New Blog! Heartbeats: On the Frontlines of Change

Hello Transition Community!

I’d like to introduce myself and this new blog. I’m Julia (also referred to as “Jul”) Bystrova. I live in Sebastopol CA and have been active with a Transition Initiative here for over 3 years. I have mostly been involved with various projects and events in the Heart and Soul working group; but have also been active in creating a Heallhcare group; and now the beginnings of an economics project. I also serve on the main council and have been a part of the process of crafting our overall organizing structure. My personal and academic background has been in the healing arts; and the study of natural philosophy, science and spirituality. In future posts, I will be offering you more specifics about my background as well as some of the projects and events I have been involved with; but for now I would like to say a little about my sense of the transition mission from a heart and soul or “inner transition” point of view.

Being on the ground of Transition, hands-on and sleeves rolled up, has been a lot of work but it’s also been fun and an ongoing education in how to serve the community needs while introducing transition values. My intention here will be to share some of our common challenges of the multi-leveled issues we are facing and some ways we can respond to them effectively and heartfully. I would like to dive deep into the core of issues, looking at such things as how we relate with power and structure; how we resolve conflict and ways we are shifting our perspective in order to accommodate a new, living and sustainable social matrix.

Many of us are feeling overwhelmed and disoriented as we confront the major challenges around us, in addition to what may be going on in our personal life. We are trying to get our footing and are looking for direction. But for those of us crossing this threshold of change—each ‘foot’ is in a different world; one in the world where the reigning structures are crumbling, toxic or inadequate; and the other foot in the world where the new is being born, much like tender green shoots of grass coming up through the broken concrete of the old. And the direction we are needing to listen to comes from our own hearts and the hearts of our community.

I am an optimist and you will find that angle here in this blog. But I am a hands on, results-driven, pragmatic optimist. I believe that what we focus on we amplify. But I am not talking about painting spiritual pink paint over the dire conditions of the world.  We need to look at what is happening head on; and then alter our course towards what we want. If we only focus at what is head on, we will crash right into it!  I see many good things happening and try to celebrate and be grateful for those. Call me a romantic, but I believe that love and beauty are more powerful than fear and hate. But each of us decides which to give power to within ourselves.

And speaking of power: never underestimate the simple but profound change that can happen when good people get together to do something loving and worthwhile. And no matter how small you think your contribution is, you do make a difference.

This is not a time for preaching to choirs; pushing platitudes or sitting in the ivory tower speculating apart from what is going on. We need real solutions for real people in real time. We do need vision; insight and perspective because real time solutions don’t happen when people aren’t inspired or have something to hope for. 

To find these solutions, let’s follow the heartbeats on the frontlines and see how we are crafting together a new vision; a new story that inspires us to make changes—one that holds the beacon for the world that we are transitioning to.

Thanks for tuning in! I look forward to getting to know some of you and to sharing some articles; links and stories on the frontlines of this growing movement. I invite your comments and insights.



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