On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, massive, overwhelming, incomprehensible disaster struck the northeast coast of Japan. Life for those in the region would never be the same.
This book is about the awakening that follows disaster. About the minutes and hours and months and years that come after now. It is about what happens when we’re smacked on the side of the head and open our eyes, startled out of the trance in which we have been living our days. It is about the opportunities always present, often invisible, to create the lives we want, now.
As the waters from the tsunami flowed back into the ocean, as the last bricks fell from buildings almost destroyed, people began to turn to one another. They grieved, they laughed, they prayed. And they asked, what now?
This book is about my journey with the Japanese people over the last six years. I write about my own story of awakening after plunging into this disaster. I share stories from people who found where to take their first step, and the next. I offer the tools and processes and worldview I introduced as people came together to discover and create what comes after now.
This book is built around two big ideas. The first is that after disaster, we find our way forward, together. We come awake, together. Disaster obliterates the past, plunges the present into chaos and co- coons the future. We need each other to see and build the new. The second big idea is that we don’t have to wait for the overwhelming tragedy of disaster to make the communities and lives we want. We can engage each other with respect, curiosity and generosity and begin to co-create what we want, now.
For a more in-depth overview of the book, please check out these chapter summaries.