“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 the weather taken precedence?
I know at times I have been caught in the weather!
It could appear as though we have been taken “offline” from our previous way of life, without much warning – although that is questionable, if we had been awake. We are having “the wakeup call to end all wake-up calls”. Paradoxically it is the World Shadow, spreading across the globe in centres we previously may have presumed were ‘awake’, which are leading the way, to this wakeup call. A wake-up call which is unifying us, and showing us that we are, indeed, all connected.
Nothing, and no-one, is separate.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this is a “Re-Set” from focus on Self to the focus on all; from Ego to Eco.
This could also be seen as a Narrative Collapse – a collective and personal overwrite – if one is courageous enough to see the possibilities, to engage in potentiality, to embrace new opportunities in how we work and live, and importantly, aspire to wise choosing. “Choosing to refuse” to buy into the fear and engage in the old rhetoric such as “it will be good when things return to normal.” There is no normal. There certainly is no “new normal”.
This is a new beginning and we are being asked to take the leap into the unknown. For those who do, it will be the one important step to retaining one’s relevance. Many leaders in business have recognised this and adapted how they operate. Those who had a strong ethical premise have taken this time to rethink, re-orient, and reposition what their reason for being is.
The medical staff at the front line of this COVID -19, have demonstrated their focus on all by stepping up and taking responsibility. They have led the way in many countries where they have frequently been let down and left wanting by their countries’ leaders. They have definitely shown that working collaboratively and cooperatively achieves greater outcomes to that of being competitive and fighting for limited resources – other oriented not self oriented. Not being fearful, yet being cautious in an unknown and ever changing environment.
These recent times have certainly asked us to think and act differently. The world as we know it has already ended, and we are seemingly standing, somewhat unsteadily, on the threshold of a world which is just beginning to be revealed. It will be a crossing of the threshold for individuals, organisations (as we know them) and societies (hopefully).
As Lorna Bevan so aptly says: “When you start to realise that transformation isn’t an adornment to your existing life, but its’ complete unravelling, everything changes.”
A new way of Being is possible if we are brave enough to Stand Tall in our truth.
Barry Brailsford, an author and historian in New Zealand, once said to me:
“To lead is to walk at the edge”.
These times have certainly defined those who have embraced this. The surprising and unpredictable territory where things both end and begin again. A betwixt and between condition that can be unsettling …and yet, this is the environment in which we will all be living. For shifting contexts call for a radically different zeitgeist as collective beliefs, allegiances and systems, switch up.
It is reminding us personally to Slow Down.
“Slowing downwards” means growing down towards the roots of your being. Instead of outward growth and upward climb, there is a focus on inward and downward in order to grow in other ways. A shift to what is important, returning to your root metaphor, your deeper story.
I, personally, have valued this opportunity to reflect.
This will be different for each of us, according to our own unique cycle of incubation.
What are we ripening, creating? How are we regenerating?
It all becomes very intuitive. This is what “going with the flow” means.
The “virus” – or more correctly “the lockdown” has ensured you slow down. This is essential if you are to see the “Now” as a ‘tool’ for concentrating your power to shape your “Tomorrow”.
A deepening of your story, supporting you in walking your truth.
What is the story you want to create?
In a conversation this week, a client shared an example of how he is embracing this ‘working from home’ (WFH). Whilst this has posed various challenges, overall everything is ‘under control’. His next comment however, demonstrated to me his shift to ‘other oriented’ in caring for the wellbeing of his team.
To quote him: “Last Friday night I ordered pizza for all my team, which I delivered personally to their homes across the city (with the owner of the restaurant).” He has always been a leader that cares, and in these times, acknowledging his appreciation reinforces this. It is not always about results. The wellbeing of your people is important.
He is awake to what is important. He has slowed down.
I would like to share a wonderful task with you which was posed by Jon Kabat-Zinn during Otto Scharmer’s “GAIA: The Journey” last week.
Before you jump out of bed, feel your body, notice your breathing, and ask – “Am I awake yet?”
This is a time of deep change, of transformation. It is an opportunity to reconsider what can be possible if we re-conceived our economic systems to be entities designed to bridge the ecological and social divides which serve the well-being of all beings. It is a time for dialogue and deep conversations. It is most definitely time to Stand Tall and “walk at the edge”.
So ask yourself:
– Am I looking to the future or the past?
– How am I walking at the edge?
– What future do I aspire to build?
Let us not waste this wonderful moment in time.
Please reach out if you would like to discuss Standing Tall.
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