Typhoons of Change — with Family, Teams, Friends
“Yes, by all means, let’s find new vision to create better communication, find balance after a change, and appreciate what each person adds to the whole.” My experience is that people are usually eager, after a tangible shift, to sort through the old or original patterns and generate fresh connections and revitalize mutual understanding. This is true whether dealing with families, coworkers, or friendships. What is required is a deep, honest, vulnerable look inside oneself, followed by a willingness to share what you noticed or learned. This is an essential beginning to inspire any group to approach commitment, open communication, and heartfelt appreciation.
Deep. This is a process of knowing oneself. Probably all of us can say we know ourselves to a certain degree. We know, for instance, what we are good at and where we need assistance, the skills we have developed and improved upon, and what kind of friend or co-worker we are. Some of us have addressed places in our lives that are most and least satisfying. We might be able to ask ourselves if we are who we want to be? Did we dedicate ourselves to an aspect of growth that initially thrilled and energized us, only to realize that what we achieved is now dissatisfying? How do we change direction effectively once we realize we’re not on the right path? As we listen deeply to the answers that our inner knowing offers us, they begin to illuminate who we are in the world and how we are participating with others every day. Going deep sheds great light, and too, it requires us to stay the course when the insights we gain are challenging.
Honest. This requires us to continually take stock of the veracity of what we are saying and doing—to ourselves and to others. If, for example, I am prone to “blame others” for negative things that happen to me, chances are I am suffering from self-deception. If, on the other hand, I am asking myself how I could have behaved differently when something goes awry in a relationship, it’s likely I am being honest with myself. Being honest with oneself, allows us to take a positive mind-set even when life throws horrendous challenges at us seemingly randomly. Rather than running away or pretending the disturbance doesn’t exist, we have the courage to face what has happened and the will to find reasonable solutions. Being able to admit when we are wrong is also a sign that we are coming from a place of honesty. Admitting we make mistakes is both a breath of fresh air, and it can be a powerful motivator for ourselves and others. When we experience this level of honesty, we’re more apt to be gentle with ourselves and others when we perform less than brilliantly. It is this gentleness that is summoned during a time of tumult and change. Being gentle doesn’t mean we relax into nonchalance. We can earnestly stay on course, with conviction and urgency equipping our sails, all the while interacting with one another kindheartedly.
Vulnerable. This means having the courage to be sincere in our connections with others and speak from the heart. It is the intention to share openly, unburdened by secrets. When one adopts vulnerability, one has nothing to prove and nothing to hide. It is the open sharing that is only done after one’s motives are closely examined. If one decides to “be vulnerable and share something” they may not have shared before, it is essential that there is no hidden motive to hurt or embarrass another, or even to “get them to admit” something you think they should. The truest sense of vulnerability is to concede one’s own humanness in the name of creating a safe place for others to do the same.
The winds of change can indeed feel like a typhoon. And if there is any hope of restoring a sense of cooperation and camaraderie, each individual must take it upon him/herself to turn inward and find the courage to look deep, and reveal themselves with honesty and vulnerability. It is only from this place that synergy can occur. When it does, peoples’ minds, ideas and spirits unite. Intimacy occurs spontaneously. People feel free to risk, because the environment maintains that no one is right or wrong. There are limits, to be sure, but people are invited to explore options and offer their good ideas. Those who participate honestly, feel the storm winds relent, and experience a sea journey that they never fathomed possible.
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