Conversation – real conversation, where reflection, respect and deep listening occurs is something I feel is needed at this pivotal time in our lives. This has been a recurring theme for me as I, and many of us, navigate these uncertain and yet very opportune times in our respective lives. And then last week, a wonderful insight from one of my mentors and heroes – yes I still have those – Lynne Twist, of “Soul of Money”, in her most recent weekly blog caused me to really stop and think. Her thoughts were also shaped around the premise of conversations, the quality of those we have, firstly with ourselves, and secondly with others.
“We’re all here to make the world a better place “ says Lynne, “and whilst that is definitely the job – we don’t have total power to change the world as we would like. What we do however have, is absolute omnipotence over the conversation we have about the world.
Our actions are derived from the way the world shows up for us, the way it occurs for us.”
I really considered this word ‘omnipotence’ and its impact over the stories we tell ourselves, and how important our internal conversations are. Lynne says that “one of the most powerful levers and dials that we can apply is to inquire into ‘what is the conversation we’re living?”
Is it one of fear, anxiety and even a kind of shutting down?
I know friends and family who have had cancer whose choices around these conversations has made a difference in how they live their lives and often subsequent healing.
Let’s think of this year, of the challenges posed. What is our conversation around COVID for example?
The concept of the conversation I have with myself is something that has been stirring within me for some time – not just as result of COVID. It has certainly escalated the realness of these conversations. I can no longer gloss over what I am sensing or feeling – I find I am having to contemplate more deeply about the choices I am making and the actions I am taking from a much bigger perspective.
This has also guided my external focus on what is truly important. How do we have those deeper conversations on more meaningful issues which previously may not have been at front of mind. Or at least I was not as aware. It seems this period and its restrictions, has allowed a heightened sensitivity to certain issues which I may not have considered ‘mine to do’. Indeed, some are still not “mine to do” personally, and yet I am still impacted or affected by them. As an example, the wild fires burning endlessly on the West Coast of the USA -arguably a direct or indirect result of climate change.
So what choices can I make, however small, that may in some way help reduce the effect of global warming?
Having experienced and suffered from the Australian bush fires in late 2019, I am certainly aware of the need to step upand take any action, no matter how small, to reduce the impact of these disasters which are occurring increasingly around the global. This is evident for all to see. It is about the choices every individual can make. It starts with us individually:
“What conversation am I having with myself? “
Do I look for the facts? Am I blindsided by the hype? Or do I even put my head in the sand thinking that there is =nothing I can do about this?
In his TV series “Fight for Planet A”, Craig Reucassel says: “We only have Planet A, there is no Planet B.” There are strong views of both the climate activists and the climate deniers. What I sense is missing is – meaningful dialogue, honest debate, deeper conversations and less extreme views.
Having these will ensure we do not retreat to fear, anxiety and inertia, but feel empowered that there is something we cando, as individuals.
I see this mindset as a positive outcome from our various ‘lockdowns’ (courtesy of COVID). Increased awareness of what is important. At the outset, there was a distinct slowing down, a forced contemplation of: “How can I live more sustainably?”, and “What is it we really need as individuals, as a society and community?”
Being sustainable possibly won’t be enough. We may need to look at natural systems for the continuous renewal of societal and ecological functions.
This applies also to our minds, bodies and spirit . Who couldn’t use some regeneration right about now?
Deep meaningful conversations are at the heart of regeneration.
A key element of meaningful conversations is to look at the individual and and universe and how it embraces all possibilities, allows distinction, sees beyond opposition. Yin and yang cooperate, reach consensus. This is rather challenging in these days of seemingly black vs. white, of choosing camps, and of seeing nearly everything through a political lens. The political lens seem decidedly heightened at present. How we sift the facts from the fake, how we step forward and take action, stand tall and speak our truth without blame or judgement is a very delicate balance. We need to regenerate.
One person who has embodied this with humility and grace is Naomi Osaka, the Japanese tennis player who won the US Open this week. She wore a different mask for each of her seven matches each with the name of a Black person killed by police violence. I am not here to be judge or jury on these cases, and Naomi also was not taking this stance. In her response to Jim Courier’s question “ What were you trying to say?” Naomi replied: ’What was the message you got? is more the question. I feel that the point is to make people start talking.” This approach to BLM seems to achieve more than violence or riots.
I would also add to this: Take the time to deeply listen, to pause and not rush to judgement or conclusion.
Last week a client of mine was experiencing exactly this situation. She was offered a new position in another company, and was unsure of whether or not it was right. By giving herself permission to not rush a decision she was able to relax and listen to the conversation she was having with herself.
Most humans, I have noted, have a difficult time holding multiple possibilities in their minds at the same time. There is always a rush to form a conclusion, make a decision, if you like. If that conclusion turns out to be wrong, people often stay committed to it for fear of the alternative which is the unknown.
Notice the conversations you are having, firstly having with yourself, secondly with others.
Are your conversations regenerating yourself?
In these times of tremendous change and upheaval, how may we each discover the Essential Truth of our purpose and find the strength and wisdom to express that essence with volition, clarity, and kindness?
How do you move from fear and anxiety to a headspace where you feel more centred and aligned?
What actions are you taking to stand tall in your truth, whilst respecting others truth?
Where are you willing to step forward take a stand for something and have a different conversation?
Winds of Change
“ Honour the space between No Longer and Not Yet” Nancy Levin A friend of mine told me “2020 is best described as being a rickety bridge between Epochs beginning in one Era, and ending in another. It may not feel particularly safe or inviting, but it’s the only way across. I thought that was…
Fight for the things you care about
These times are calling us to take a stand and fight for the things we care about. Twenty years ago, Sydney celebrated the “best games ever”. Well, according to those who attended. Over this past month there has been a literal trip down memory lane, recalling how, as a collective, everyone came together to help…
Conversation – the bigger picture, a bigger purpose.
Conversation – real conversation, where reflection, respect and deep listening occurs is something I feel is needed at this pivotal time in our lives. This has been a recurring theme for me as I, and many of us, navigate these uncertain and yet very opportune times in our respective lives. And then last week, a…
Roots of Connection – Heightened Attention.
“Beware the stories you tell yourself for surely you will be lived by them” – William Shakespeare In these unprecedented times I am noticing how easy it is to get caught in the ‘story’ if one is not operating with heightened awareness. One day can so easily morph into the next and the next. The pulse…
Seeing your shadow as a source for Transformation
Recently I am noticing a lot about ‘shadow’s – most notably my own, but also those of society. Shadows of the past, which seem to be coming up to be redressed and, in many instances, healed. Otto Scharmer, The Presencing Institute states: “What I have learned from various conversations and reflections on our blind spots…
The Path Ahead.
It will have direction and shape – IF you have done the work! “There are times when you have to take bold steps. Make up your mind; know where you are going and never waffle. Many wonderful opportunities are missed by those who are indecisive. In times when you have to take bold steps; take…
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather”. Pema Chodron. The past 4 weeks may have seemed like an eternity for some, and for others, a time pressured haze of days. It is all to do with context, personal circumstances and focus of attention. Is your attention on the sky or has…
In these extraordinary times,”to bend but not break” seems to be a very apt intention. Lerner believes that if we are able to deeply adapt it will lead to courageous and creative new forms of resilience – and opportunity. It requires us to adopt different ways of being and doing, as well as thinking to…
Taking the leap
“Sometimes the scariest bridge to burn is the one between you and the person you thought you were” Tanya Markul Leap – and the net will appear! How do you tell your story? Regardless of what you’ve done, where you’ve come from, or who you are – your personal truth is important. For you. For…
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” — Paulo Coelho This is a dramatic time of ‘re-creation’. Within the tumult, it is important to reclaim you. Reclaim your life, transform and reshape your purpose and start to build anew. Hope is reborn – if we are…