How often do we hear ourselves saying, “…and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” whenever a negative event or life-changing experiences comes our way? It is difficult, probably impossible, for us not to begin to tell ourselves negative stories around our new circumstances. Yet, the price of sustaining this activity can be a heavy one, paid in added stress, obsessive thinking, worry, impaired sleep, diminished hope and increased overwhelm.
“If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Today, I’m celebrating three months of having you travel with me on this Fire and Flow journey. You will find a review of all of the blog posts for this quarter. Enjoy the read and thank you for being part of my growing tribe.
“The mind ought sometimes be diverted that it may return to better thinking.”
Welcome to the high dive, way above the deep end of the ambiguity pool. Today’s flow activation exercise will teach you an unique hands-on method for swimming in ambiguity and finding sunken treasure. True problem solving and solid leadership requires creative ways of seeing, flowing and thinking. I want you to get something important for yourself today, so I’m asking you to explore a challenge that currently has you dog-paddling in circles. Pick a good one. Something that has some juice to it, as this is no ordinary learning. It will require you to open up to curiosity and uncertainty. You will need to suspend your tired habitual thinking patterns or perhaps simply let them float on a tube down in the shallow end for awhile. You can always retrieve them later, if you think that’s useful or necessary. So without further explanation, let’s jump up and down a few times on this board and leap. It’s time to create some flow and the water is fine!
“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning.
Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”
Embracing uncertainty and ambiguity is not often seen as a worthy skill, especially when you’re engaged in important decision making. Our culture demands certitude of direction and clear evidence-based steps that guarantee success. Shouldn’t ambiguity be banished as quickly as possible? According to Fromm, if you want to unfold your powers, then perhaps other expertise is needed. The capacity to open wide to ambiguity and begin to dance with uncertainty is a necessary and amazing asset for high-level decision making and problem solving.
“…anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you. “David Whyte: Sweet Darkness
To live your life and not someone else’s version of who they think you should be is a worthy and rewarding endeavor. However, wishing doesn’t make it so or more people would achieve their personal life goals. How to begin this process takes effort. It does not take a carefully planned strategic campaign, mission statements or critical dates for achievements. Here is a small and user-friendly way to begin.
” At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want ”
If Lao Tzu is correct, then how do we lose ourselves so frequently? For several years I’ve known my personal path and the gifts I have to give. I believe that this is also true for many, if we will only take the time to stop surrendering our personal authority over to others and instead lay clear claim to who we truly are. However, simply having this self-knowledge of who we are and what we want isn’t enough..
“I’ve gotta slow down!” How many times a day does this thought cross your mind? How quickly do you return to your to-do list of urgent priorities? In Richard O’Connor’s book, Perpetual Stress: The Missing Connection Between Depression, Anxiety and 21st Century Illness, he details the consequences of our pressurized, communication-fueled, overloaded lives. According to O’Connor, the constant onslaught of stressors and overwhelming information coursing through us creates a flood of stress hormones plus physical and neurological changes that are damaging us from the inside out.
It’s late Sunday afternoon, the sun is going down and it hits: you’ve been running full tilt all weekend getting things done, doing chores, driving kids, grocery shopping, socializing, meeting all those various have-to’s / got-to’s and “pow” it’s over. The whole weekend is gone. What looms before you now is your work week, with a whole different set of demands and deadlines. You’re not rested or restored. Far from it, you’re exhausted and regretting how you’ve used up your two precious days off. Many of those tasks may make your life a bit easier this week, however, you just can’t seem to catch a break or stop the frenzy.