Is there a repeating pattern in your life that keeps causing you problems? This happens to us all, and the brilliance of it is to see that this could in fact be your super power, your unique flavour that you’re here to live. But it’s been misappropriated along the way. Read on and notice what occurs to you.
There was nothing fundamentally wrong with my life, in fact I thought it was good. I only started this exploration for the benefit of my clients. Little did I know what I would discover and uncover for myself.
In 2017 I read a book called Buddhism Plain and Simple and it had a profound impact on me. I saw that the essence of Buddhism that the book described was like coaching plus plus plus! Like coaching beliefs on steroids. I knew that, if leaders saw this for themselves, they and their teams would be off and running.
We’ve constructed new year’s eve on 31st December.
But what if you’re Jewish or Chinese or Pagan?
Then we’ve constructed the idea of new year as a time for reflection, for celebrating or mourning what’s passed, for looking ahead to what’s next.
What if we knew that we didn’t have to do any of it?
What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?
Over thinking leads to..
Inhibited cognitive function & IQ
To try and change we can work at the level of:
- The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
- The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
- Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
- Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.
None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them?
When we have multiple pulls on our time things can feel out of balance. It’s one of the main things clients come to me with — needing re-balance of one kind or another. And yet, each and every experience of ‘out of balance’ has the same origins. When we know that, balance gets a whole lot simpler.
I wrote recently about leadership and said I’d write a linked piece about balance because it’s such a common feature of experience and something that was more than a one-liner.
The out-of-balance problems I hear from clients tend to show up as:
- I’m so busy managing the team I never get to stakeholder relationships
- I don’t have time to think strategically because I’m so in the day to day
- My days are full of meetings, when do I do my work?
- I’m frantic trying to manage a job, family and house – and then there’s friends to keep in touch with too
- I spend my time head-down in the business and don’t get to look up for inspiration
Which of these sound familiar?
Normally we identify what we believe to be the source of imbalance — it’s those meetings, those people, this responsibility — and then we look straight to tools practices and approaches to use to fix these broken aspects of our life. Once they’re behaving in the way we need them to, we’ll be OK.
You always have been.
Just increasingly hidden by clouds of conditioning as you’ve aged.
To the point where now the conditioning no longer makes sense.
The rules have begun to conflict too often.
The experience isn’t matching the dream that was sold.
The responsibilities to be juggled seem increasingly likely to drop.
I shared this on Twitter and LinkedIn this week and was deafened by the silence.
When we get messages like in the pictures it’s easy to believe alcohol is the answer, and that somehow ‘secretly smashed’ is socially acceptable and not a sign of deep suffering.
This podcast episode from Nicola Bird with Annie is a story I’m sure many will find familiar.
Leadership development: an industry worth over $3.4bn. Are we seeing the results of that? I don’t think so and here’s why.
Do you remember the days when Head & Shoulders was one shampoo?
I was online shopping last night and was struck by the fact that in one shop there was a choice of 32 different variations of this once lonely bottle. 32!
OaaaKaaaay, and what’s that got to do with leadership development?
Not hair volume. Volume of content, information, concepts, theories, models, ideas. Your personality alone can be tested by hundreds of different tools to tell you which animal, colour or collection of letters you apparently are.
In conforming and being ‘good’, we’ve ignored our heart. We’ve created the perfect conditions for collective suffering. And for waking up.
The mind says ‘do the right thing’ because then you’ll be mended, you’ll have crossed the finish line of acceptable and ‘good enough’. And we’ll have order. Without being good – certain anarchy! Chaos!
Or so it says.
But it doesn’t know the deep wisdom behind it.
The deep wisdom of the heart which does the ‘right thing’; naturally inevitably. The perfect ‘right thing’ for you. No reference to right and wrong, no consideration for ‘will this get me the kudos?’. Just doing, from love, which includes strong words, and includes powerful action. This is not about fluff. All in alignment with a deeper reality behind the scenes.
In attempts to become enlightened, the ego can become the enemy. Something to be pushed out, got rid of. There’s another way.
Ego. Not the source of our self-confidence or self-esteem. In fact it diminishes our innate brilliance.
Ego. A collection of thoughts, some curated in your life, some inherited from past generations. A repetitive thought process which highlights only the ones which conform to the story we’ve been told and tell about ourselves.