Maybe frustration is prevalent for you just now, whether you’re isolated at home with ‘loved’ ones (they might not look so loved sometimes) or whether you’re in the frontline with customers or patients not keeping safe distances, high absence levels, supply chains slowed up or equipment not available. Have a read and see what occurs to you.
I was on Hung Lee’s Recruiting Brainfood on Friday lunchtime — loved it! — and at the end we were invited to share practical tips for mental wellbeing, at this time of ‘unprecedented change’! I felt resistance to the idea of giving tips and here’s why.
We all have a fresh, bubbling source of creativity, fresh thinking and ideas available to us every single moment of every single day.
You’ll have had these. The shower moments when the lightbulb appears. The walk when everything becomes clear. The pits of frustration or sadness and even depression when a fresh thought strikes like a bolt of lightning.
I’ve always said I could never home-school my kids and yet, like many other people right now, coronavirus is confronting me with my most strongly-held beliefs. We’re being shaken awake from the confusion of who we think we are and how we think life should be. Here’s what I noticed when frustration arose this past week…
Friday: school closes. The kids are tumbling in a whirlpool of excitement and fear. Confused by the strength and mix of emotions.
Weekend: standard. Just a bit more at home than usual. Quite nice not running around to sports clubs.
Monday: high hopes. School have set up their work online. I have my normal work schedule of clients and desk work (thankfully my work with clients had already moved online before all this!). We can all work happily, we each have a separate workspace, we can come together for breaks and lunch. We took up an idea we’d seen online to choose our snacks for the day to avoid too much grazing.
The Coronavirus is bringing into stark view the fact that we are not in control. Which is fine, because we never have been, we just thought we were. So now what?
I bumped into a friend last weekend. He’s the MD of a business that’s already seen significant decline as a result of Coronavirus. “We just don’t know what things will be like by next Friday” he told me.
I’m writing today with an offer. An offer to shift your perspective around the human experience of this thing we call our life. On the other side of that shift is everything we’ve been looking for.
This image is a useful way to see where I’m inviting you to look. Most of us have grown up entirely focused in the content of experience — what’s going on in this apparent reality in front of us. Then some people might move into therapy, counselling and coaching which encourage the exploration of the programming — why is this happening, where did that belief come from. I’m pointing you to true nature as the source of all of life, the real ‘you’ behind the imagined ‘you’.
We’ve been taught to figure things out when something feels difficult. We’ve been taught to analyse what’s going on to find an answer. These are activities of an intellect that just gets in the way of the very thing it’s looking for.
Have you ever had an experience where you felt like you were chasing yourself round in circles in your mind?
When you understand the system at work in human change you can make smarter choices about which coaches — or counsellors or therapists — you work with. In here I share the one source of change and what enables that so you can make smart choices.
I remember Julie Starr in my original coach training being brutally and beautifully honest:
When people are smart, high achieving, wonderful people who care about doing a good job, in and out of work, it’s very easy to reach a crunch point.
I often see it where clients are doing exactly what Bill describes in this quote.
Things are busy at work, it’s all go, glued to screens and phones and meetings for hours. Lots of coffee, lots of sitting and maybe some sugary, processed, quick-and-easy food chucked in for good measure.
In the presence of this, it can make sense to try and balance. With all this unhealthiness at work I must make sure I go running or to the gym, I must make sure I eat well at home, I must make sure our family time is full of maximum-quality experiences.
When we’re lost in the story of what we think “busy” means we find ourselves in judgement of others or being judged. Frustration, upset, anger, suffering. When we see through it, we’re free to act from love.
Andrew told me he’d been working with a group in business recently about ‘the cult of busy’ and how they’d told him being busy was like a ‘badge of honour’. I burst out laughing! These words were literally the title of the just-recorded podcast. Word. For. Word!
We get lost in ideas that we fix as facts and truths. Resisting reality. It’s uncomfortable — thankfully — because then we have a chance to see through the illusion.
What are you fixing as true, definite or absolute?
Is it the ‘fact’ that person’s really annoying? Is it the ‘fact’ you’re no good at X, Y or Z? Is it the ‘fact’ that nobody ever gets work done to the standards you think they should?