Struck down: but not for long

A picture taken by Claire on her visit to the Peak District. The grassy banks and blue but cloud spotted sky are struck either side of the stacked rocks.

One day you’re striding the dales, and the next you can hardly move. That was my experience about 10 days ago. 

I knew they were a lot of flu lurgies around so I thought that’s what I had. It wasn’t until I realised I’d lost my sense of smell that it dawned on me… aargh, the dreaded COVID-19. The test confirmed it. I’d gone from a Novid (someone who’d never had it) to a Covid.

Aside from doing all the things you’re supposed to… resting, ginger honey and lemon for the sore throat, painkillers for the nightmarish headaches… I also read a lot. I tend to have a few books on the boil and all are linked to the theme of regeneration. (Sorry, I just can’t help myself ;)) 

This quiet time also gave me a chance to sift through my notes and interviews I’ve done so far for my book project. I’ve been wanting to distil what I know. It helps me figure stuff out. And I’m hoping it will help pique your curiosity too.   

So, what is regeneration?

Obviously, it’s the opposite of degeneration. That’s about loss. This is about life. 

Its basis is not in the material world of mechanics or engineering – the entropic world. Its roots are in the living world of life – or the negentropic world.

So it reflects what is deeply innate within us. As you read this, the cells of your body are regenerating. The ground beneath your feet is shapeshifting with the processes of millions of microbes. Your gut – or biome – is evolving.


View across the dales, the Peak District. Green grass and ferns stretch into the distance with two ridges visible in the distance.
View across the dales, the Peak District.

But what does this have to do with business?

Regenerative theory and development has taken some of the fundamental principles of living systems theory, together with complexity theory, philosophy, Indigenous cultures, new economics (to name but a few) and aims to put vitality and viability back into the system we all share. 

Simply put, to heal the damage done.

Regeneration: a verb not a noun

Unlike sustainability which tends to focus on metrics and targets. Being regenerative is not an end state. It’s not a noun. It’s a verb — and it’s a principle to live by. 

Former Head of Regenerative Design at the RSA, Josie Warden, puts it like this: Being regenerative is both “a mindset and a way of seeing and being in the world.”

3 questions to alter your perspective:

  1. How is this project/decision contributing to life? 
  2. Who do I want to be in this moment? (I find this question shifts where I put my attention before I meet with a client.) 
  3. How can I best serve the wider system that the person in front of me represents. (This question immediately reminds me of the vast hinterland behind each of us… and gives me a broader perspective than if I just approach the individual.) 

How about you? What systems do you have the opportunity — and the delight — to influence? 

I would love to hear your thoughts. 

A picture of Claire at Avebury Henge before being struck down by Covid. She is wearing a maroon rain jacket and standing with one arm stretched out to touch the rock.
Claire at Avebury Henge before being struck down by Covid.

Hi, I’m Claire. Through my business Wordstruck we help companies bring their sustainability strategy to life. As the Founder of Regenerative Storytelling, we’re helping leaders do more for their people, their community and the planet. I publish regular content about storytelling, regenerative leadership and reframing how to address our rapidly heating world. To see more of my content, please sign up – and join the conversation by sharing a comment below.