The Blog + Video Series 10: Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19

Developing and Managing Resilience

I’ve been reflecting a lot about developing and managing my own resilience this week; and, just how important both are right now. So important. What is resilience you ask? Good question. Here is the definition.

Resilience

(also resiliency)
Pronunciation /rəˈzilyəns/ /rəˈzɪljəns/
Translate resilience into Spanish

NOUN
1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.‘the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions’

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.‘nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience’

Oxford Languages

Essentially resilience is our ability to face adversity, walk through it, learn, and repeat. Again, and again.

I’ve also been thinking about a video I’m going to do soon on resilience for my Developing Servant Leaders site. The idea looks something like this.

First

What we are facing right now is a huge gap between that which we once knew to be our reality, and the current COVID-19 reality. A large gap. Inside of this gap, we are all being asked to face ourselves and each other in new ways, with new tools, in entirely new contexts. Hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2993.jpg
August 1, 2020

For those that are less resilient, even harder. Resiliency, like all developmental traits, lives upon a continuum. It is not that someone has resilience or does not. Everyone has some, some have more. Alright, next.

Second

When you connect the four points of the above whiteboard, you can see the space that we are being asked to navigate and step into. A distinction. Stepping into reality is different from hiding, and running from reality.

It means taking the action you know is there to take, even, maybe especially, when it is hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2994.jpg
August 1, 2020

Now, you can see the above box, yes? Alright, then within that, let’s call it the COVID-19 developmental box, there are lots of other little boxes, which represent each of us and our comfort zones.

Yep. Meaning that as we interact with, and bump into each other, we are continuously floating in the COVID-19 developmental box. Then how, you may ask, do we develop our resiliency?

Third

We step outside of our box and into the reality that is in front of us. What is stepping outside of your box? It is doing. Again, and again.

Learning, practicing, falling down, failing – AND, getting back up again. Every time.

Know that we don’t have to continuously live outside of our box, or comfort zone. We can, what a friend of mine calls it, blip out, and blip back. Here you go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2995.jpg
August 1, 2020

And, guess what? Everytime we go outside of our box, represented above by arrows, and do something that we consider uncomfortable, we grow. Yep, our box or container gets bigger. Here is one more illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2996.jpg
August 1, 2020

As you can see from the above illustration, some people will grow, boxes labeled with a G are now larger, some will not. It’s not a demerit, or a problem if there is no growth. It is, however, a missed opportunity to learn more about yourself and being human. Alright, last section.

Fourth

Also know, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, that all there is to know and to be experienced in this world, is much larger than this present moment. The COVID-19 moment. Last illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2998.jpg
August 1, 2020

Let us say that the entire whiteboard is what is knowable. Got it. Okay. Then consider that the super small box you see is what we’ve been calling the COVID-19 developmental box or gap. Yep. Pretty small in the proper scale.

Remember this distinction when you are confronted with uncomfortableness; and, remember it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Though today COVID-19 feels like everything there ever was to know, on a universal and historical scale, there is far more to know and experience. Seriously remember that.

There are countless opportunities to develop your resilience today. More opportunities than most people would care to have. Really. And, believe me when I tell you that there are days when I feel the same way. Really. It’s hard.

Yet, like all of life, it is a paradox. Because the opportunity to develop and to learn how to manage our resilience is also a wondrous process. Yep. Hard and wonderful. A paradox.

Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

#covid-19, #covid-19andresilience, #covid-19developingresilience, #covid-19resilience, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #growth, #growthanddevelopment, #managingresilience, #resilience

A Blogger’s Diary 8/8/20: On Resilience and Breakdown to Breakthrough

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This past week, as you can tell from three of my most recent posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about resilience, breakdowns and breakthroughs, and getting unstuck. I’m unsure if I actually connected the three concepts in the posts, so I am going to do so here real quick, promise. 🙂

In the post Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19, I write about the necessity of getting outside of our comfort zones, to learn new concepts, and to expand the size of our containers, which also increases our resiliency.

In the post, 4 Things to Notice and 4 Ways to Move Yourself From Stuck to Unstuck, I write about becoming more aware of how we feel. Noticing when we don’t feel well, and using this new awareness and the information that comes with it, to move ourselves forward.

In the post, A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough, I write about how breakdowns are normal. Though there is a stigma attached to breakdowns, especially in the U.S., they are perfectly normal. More, they are needed. When we welcome our breakdowns, we get to breakthroughs, which then opens us up to more insight.

Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash

How are they connected?

Connection 1

Being more aware of how we feel, when we feel frustrated, anxious, angry, or nervous means that we are not addressing something. As possible, we are not welcoming a breakdown. Maybe we are resisting it, because we think it’s a problem to have a breakdown. If that’s so, it’s okay. I lived that way for a long time.

Connection 2

However, what I’ve come to realize is that welcoming breakdowns when they are there, will move us to breakthrough, and guess what? When we move from breakdown to breakthrough, we are now unstuck. Consider that when we avoid breakdowns, we remain stuck.

Connection 3

And, when we move from stuck to unstuck by addressing something we’ve been avoiding, or are in denial about, we increase our resilience. Yep. It’s so. Resiliency increases as we face difficult situations. Sometimes those situations are external, sometimes internal. Consider also, at some level they are always internal.

COVID-19

Lastly, continuing to live through COVID-19 reminds me that being aware of the following is needed now more than ever.

  • The importance of
    • Being sensitive to how we feel.
    • Welcoming our breakdowns.
    • Using our breakthroughs; and,
      • Moving from stuck to unstuck again and again, which
      • Expands our containers, and increases our overall level of resilience.

We are all going to have to face, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, many, many, more unknowns in the months to come. And, living inside of the unknown is a very uncomfortable place for most people. However, there are actions we can all take to increase our resiliency, which will make the unknown less scary.

There are actions here, and in each of the aforementioned posts, which walk you through strategies you can utilize, if you choose, to increase your awareness and resilience, which you may find beneficial in the long run.

Be well. Be aware. Be resilient.

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

#breakdown, #breakdowntobreakthrough, #breakthrough, #covid-19, #covid-19andgrowth, #covid-19andresilience, #covid-19developingresilience, #developingourselves, #developingresilience, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #emotional-intelligence, #emotional-self, #emotions, #growth, #managingresilience, #resilience

Developing and Managing Your Resilience During COVID-19

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is gia-oris-5dt-joxsl78-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash

I’ve been reflecting a lot about developing and managing my own resilience this week; and, just how important both are right now. So important. What is resilience you ask? Good question. Here is the definition.

Resilience

(also resiliency)
Pronunciation /rəˈzilyəns/ /rəˈzɪljəns/
Translate resilience into Spanish

NOUN
1. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.‘the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions’

2. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.‘nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience’

Oxford Languages

Essentially resilience is our ability to face adversity, walk through it, learn, and repeat. Again, and again.

I’ve also been thinking about a video I’m going to do soon on resilience for my Developing Servant Leaders site. The idea looks something like this.

First

What we are facing right now is a huge gap between that which we once knew to be our reality, and the current COVID-19 reality. A large gap. Inside of this gap, we are all being asked to face ourselves and each other in new ways, with new tools, in entirely new contexts. Hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2993.jpg
August 1, 2020

For those that are less resilient, even harder. Resiliency, like all developmental traits, lives upon a continuum. It is not that someone has resilience or does not. Everyone has some, some have more. Alright, next.

Second

When you connect the four points of the above whiteboard, you can see the space that we are being asked to navigate and step into. A distinction. Stepping into reality is different from hiding, and running from reality.

It means taking the action you know is there to take, even, maybe especially, when it is hard.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2994.jpg
August 1, 2020

Now, you can see the above box, yes? Alright, then within that, let’s call it the COVID-19 developmental box, there are lots of other little boxes, which represent each of us and our comfort zones.

Yep. Meaning that as we interact with, and bump into each other, we are continuously floating in the COVID-19 developmental box. Then how, you may ask, do we develop our resiliency?

Third

We step outside of our box and into the reality that is in front of us. What is stepping outside of your box? It is doing. Again, and again.

Learning, practicing, falling down, failing – AND, getting back up again. Every time.

Know that we don’t have to continuously live outside of our box, or comfort zone. We can, what a friend of mine calls it, blip out, and blip back. Here you go.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2995.jpg
August 1, 2020

And, guess what? Everytime we go outside of our box, represented above by arrows, and do something that we consider uncomfortable, we grow. Yep, our box or container gets bigger. Here is one more illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2996.jpg
August 1, 2020

As you can see from the above illustration, some people will grow, boxes labeled with a G are now larger, some will not. It’s not a demerit, or a problem if there is no growth. It is, however, a missed opportunity to learn more about yourself and being human. Alright, last section.

Fourth

Also know, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, that all there is to know and to be experienced in this world, is much larger than this present moment. The COVID-19 moment. Last illustration.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img-2998.jpg
August 1, 2020

Let us say that the entire whiteboard is what is knowable. Got it. Okay. Then consider that the super small box you see is what we’ve been calling the COVID-19 developmental box or gap. Yep. Pretty small in the proper scale.

Remember this distinction when you are confronted with uncomfortableness; and, remember it when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Though today COVID-19 feels like everything there ever was to know, on a universal and historical scale, there is far more to know and experience. Seriously remember that.

There are countless opportunities to develop your resilience today. More opportunities than most people would care to have. Really. And, believe me when I tell you that there are days when I feel the same way. Really. It’s hard.

Yet, like all of life, it is a paradox. Because the opportunity to develop and to learn how to manage our resilience is also a wondrous process. Yep. Hard and wonderful. A paradox.

Develop well.

#comfortzone, #comfortzones, #covid-19, #covid-19growht, #covid-19growth, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #develping-resilience, #growing, #growth, #humandevelopment, #learning, #managingresilience, #perspective, #resielnce, #selfdevelopment, #uncomfortable

A Bloggers’ Diary 7/23/20: COVID-19 and Our Emotional and Creative Selves

Photo by My Life Journal on Unsplash

Phew, what a week. All across the country we are still seeing rises in the COVID-19 virus. As I’ve mentioned, most of my extended family lives in Los Angeles, and the virus incident rate is particularly high there right now.

It’s a lot for everyone to bear right now. A lot. Know that even when you feel like you are the only one feeling anxious, sad, confused, angry, frustrated, or any other emotion that arises; you are not alone.

Repeated. You are not alone.

We all feel. We all feel the same emotions. They come and go, here one moment, then gone the next. Normal human experience.

This week I was feeling particularly blocked. No real writing ideas were forthcoming. Frustrating. And, as I’ve written about in other posts, this happens to us all. You can insert whatever medium you like here, arts, science, it doesn’t matter. We all get blocked. Stuck.

You know what it was for me this week?

Photo by Amin Moshrefi on Unsplash

Mm. Took me about two days to figure it out, which means that I continued to do my day like always, feeling overwhelmed. For me, the first indicator something is going on. Then it occurred to me. You’ve not cried at all this week.

You may be saying, jeez, it’s only Wednesday. Yet, as was aforementioned, we all have a lot to hold, handle, and deal with right now. Letting out those tears then is not only needed, it is necessary. For everyone, and especially those that live their life from a creative standpoint.

Creativity becomes blocked when we hold onto our emotions. Yep. What did I do? I cried. And, guess what? Almost immediately I had several new insights, which I am currently writing about, including this blog.

It is so interesting to write about the importance of doing our inner work, being with our emotions, probing into them, really feeling them, letting them go, and still continue to get stuck holding onto mine. A Paradox? Yes.

It is the reality of the situation. Humanness.

Happens to us all. It is part of being human. It is the pain, and WONDER about being human. It is also the continuous learning about being human.

Learning from ourselves and each other. Beautiful.

On this Wednesday, then, I send you peace and love; and, knowing that your emotions, which may be erratic and more complex than normal due to our current reality, are not abnormal. You are just like me. And, I am just like you.

When you need to cry do so, and see what comes on the other side of those tears that are ready to pour forth.

Be well. Love well. Create well.

#anger, #covid-19, #creation, #creativity, #crying, #doubt, #emotional-intelligence, #emotions, #fear, #frustration, #learninghumanness, #letting-go, #worry

The Blog + Video Series #6: COVID-19 and the Art of Possibility

Possibility: Noun – a thing that may happen or be the case.

I’ve been thinking more about possibility this week. What’s possible in our new landscape? Are the same things possible today, as were possible 6 months ago?

Not sure? Me either, so let’s take a look.

The Art of Possibility is about creating a context. A context specific to new ways to think about old and or new problems or issues. It is about letting go of preconceived notions of what is possible in a given situation.

The psychology of possibility is rather simple. Let go of the past, be in the present, and create the future from where you stand today, seeing reality as it is.

Not how we think it is, rather how it really is.

Seeing reality as it really is means being aware of our thinking patterns, and knowing when we are limiting ourselves by presuming or assuming we know all there is to know about a problem, issue, or situation we are faced with. Factually, humans know very little – if you don’t believe this blogger, read a little Socrates.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

The sociology of possibility involves creating traction with those around us in the art of possibility. As I’ve written elsewhere, humans are social animals, and rely upon connections with other humans.

It is only natural then that groups will function in accordance with the language they use to describe their shared reality. If that language is about limitation then limitation is what they will see and create.

If, however, that language is about possibility, then possibility is what they will see and create.

The possibility of possibility is about remaining open to new ideas, new understanding, and letting go of the notion that we know. Seems simple, yet can be difficult, as human beings are in some ways programmed to think they know more than they do, which is where vulnerability comes in.

Being open means being vulnerable.

Be vulnerable today in some way. Create and share a possibility with someone in your context, and, or create and share a possibility here. Either way, create and share. What else is there, really?

#covid-19, #creativity, #knowing, #learning, #possibilities, #possibility, #psychology, #sociology, #theartofpossibility, #vulnerability, #vulnerable

Creativity During COVID-19 Part II: The Need For Creative Contributions

Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

The first blog I wrote on this website on April 18 of this year, Creativity During COVID-19, was also the first blog I’d ever written. I’ve had a great time these past three months, writing, exploring myself, and interacting and engaging with totally new people.

All super cool and amazing people. All of you are. Fun.

I wasn’t even thinking about writing a part 2 to that initial post, until I came across the picture above. I had also, however, recently been thinking and reflecting upon the state of the COVID-19 virus across the country, and the tremendously scary impact it is having on people, business, well, on everything and everyone.

Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash

It also got me thinking about how the country, and greater world, will need everyone, really, everyone to step up by contributing their creative potential to their communities, states, and countries. Really. Why?

Because we’ve not yet nearly seen the end of the virus’s impact, which is going to last well into the future.

And, it will take all of us, each of us contributing what we can. Contributing our passion, expertise, and especially our creativity and love to developing new ways to live and work. New ways to be.

As I’ve written about in other posts, we are all creative. All of us. Creativity is where we find our highest potential, our highest power.

Creating ourselves each day, creating relationships again and again, creating business models, financial models, education models, healthcare models, and governmental models.

The list is endless of what will need to be created and recreated.

We will need to recreate all that we previously knew; and create whole new ways to move us forward. Individually and collectively. Yep, both.

What to do?

If you are already creating and contributing, wonderful. If not, join the fray. Start creating. Today. Right now. Create what is inside of you, your unique contribution.

You are one of a kind. No one else can contribute just like you. No one. Not possible. Your creativity and passion is one of a kind. And, the world needs it. We all need it.

I’m inviting each of you to step outside of your comfort zone, and contribute as you are able. Contribute locally, create something that’s never been seen before. Create it. Recreate something that once worked well in our previous reality, which doesn’t work today. Recreate it.

If you think you can’t, don’t know how, or aren’t talented enough.

Let me be the first person to tell you, that you can, you can learn how, and you are more than talented enough. You are all of those things, and so much more.

Be well. Create well.

#collectivecontributions, #covid-19, #creatingcommunity, #creatinggovernment, #creatingstates, #creativity, #indivudalcontributions, #recreatingcommunity, #recreatinggovernment, #recreatingstates, #youareoneofakind, #youruniquecontribution

A Bloggers’ Diary: On Blogging, 3 Months In

Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

Well, it’s been 3 months since I started blogging, and I’ve learned some, and have so much more to learn. Phew, so much.

How did I get started?

As I’ve written in other posts, when COVID-19 sent everyone home, a byproduct of the pandemic was more time. Though I continued to work, the business was/is much slower than normal. In fact, the business is completely different today, and will continue to be so.

As I was looking for another outlet for the additional time, my oldest son and I had a conversation about COVID-19, discussing if future history books would show a large increase in creativity during the pandemic. Not sure, yet it is fun to think about.

Photo by Will van Wingerden on Unsplash

What I do know is that it got me thinking about creating a site where I could get out my own creativity, and could also invite others to do the same. Though the latter hasn’t been fully realized, the former has been, and in ways that I never anticipated.

At the time, I had no idea how far it would go, and it pleasantly surprised me for sure. Pretty cool.

I’ve actually integrated the blogging into my normal daily workflow. They are very relevant to each other, and in many ways, they feed on each other. Fun.

What have I learned?

Phew, so many things. Here are a few.

  • How to create, manage, update, and maintain a website – lots of work, was a steep learning curve for me. Yet, like anything, once you get into it, starting moving work forward, you learn, read other blogs, and adjust as needed.
  • How to connect social media accounts to websites – actually not difficult. The difficulty is in managing the social media accounts. Making the time to learn how to use them, as they are all very different. Lots of work.
  • How to manage my time differently – even though there was/has been more time since COVID-19 began, I had to strategically create time each day to move the work forward.
  • How to differentiate writing from working on the site – both are needed. I write everyday, and, at first, worked on the site everyday. Now, I still write everyday, yet only work on the site once or twice a week. Not sure if that is a proper balance, as I do know updating the site is very important.
  • How to follow and interact with other bloggers – much fun. I have greatly enjoyed reading other blogs, asking questions, and giving my perspective on other topics. Fun.
  • How to connect videos to websites – about a month ago I wrote this blog, How We Learn, and Why it’s Important to Understand, and after reflecting upon it, it occurred to me that creating videos would be super fun, and would be another way to engage with people.
  • How to market your blog – learning more here every day. Lots of ways to market and engage people. I will say, however, that being active and consistent is super important.
  • How to sign up and write regularly on medium – I had never even heard of medium before beginning to blog. You can follow me here.

I’ve learned so much, and have so much more to learn, which is why I thought this new diary series would be super fun to write.

Let’s take a look at how my blogs have iterated in the past three months.

Here is the first one, Creativity During COVID-19, and here is the most recent one, The Blog + Video Series 2: Writing and Life Series #4 – On Pain and Healing Through Writing.

Lots of development over the past three months. A wonderful journey thus far, and I have every intention of continuing to write in this medium.

Here are some of the topics I’ve covered in the past three months.

  • Relationships
  • Mindfulness
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Human Development
  • Self-Development
  • Writing
  • Social Action
  • Business
  • Letters
  • Inspiration and Imagination
  • Possibilities
  • The Sound of

That’s actually a pretty inclusive list. The letters category is really new, it was just created last week. There is only one blog in there now, which is the one about my father passing, Letters: For My Dad.

Corvallis, Oregon

That was a tough one to write, and has me in tears now. Phew. I miss him.

What’s next?

Continue to write, and learn. I’ve got a long list of topics to write about, much more than the time to get them all written anytime soon. And, you know, that’s totally okay.

I see blogging as something that will continue to be a part of my life forevermore. I’m not interested in the short game, only in the long one.

I also see my work in higher education and blogging, as something that will continue to converge. Actually, I’ve just recently added coaching services to the website, which I am super excited about. You can check them out here.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I’ve got a deep passion for personal and professional development, and have been working in this field all my life. Fun.

I also get very excited about new ways to engage, and new topics to write about, which I continue to reflect upon.

Alright, that’s all for this entry. However, before I go, I would like to thank each of you.

Thank you for reading, liking posts, commenting on posts, engaging me in however you did. You are appreciated.

#blogging, #blogs, #coaching, #covid-19, #engagement, #learning, #managetime, #marketing, #medium, #personal-and-professional-development, #socialmedia, #videos, #websitedevelopment, #writing

Force and Flow: What’s the Difference and What Do They Have to do With Persistence?

Photo by Maico Pereira on Unsplash

What is the difference between force and flow; and, what do they have to do with persistence? An important distinction, and question. What do you think? When you think of force, do you think of persistence? You might. Many people do.

However, in this article we will pull force and persistence apart, so we can see how being in the flow is actually more solidly connected to persistence. Ready? Excellent, let’s go.

Force and Resistance

People often confound force as being persistent. Yet, when you think about force, what comes to mind? Is it flexibility and adaptability? Probably not. Yet, we continue to think about persistence as the ability to withstand our environment. Not so.

When you look at those things that are persistent, they are working with the environment, not against it. Important. Imagine a tree sprout that makes its way through a crack in an asphalt blacktop.

Photo by Lucas Myers on Unsplash

That sprout is not resisting its environment, it is using the environment to its advantage. Flexibility and adaptability create persistence, not force.

When we use force, we are resisting that which we are confronted with. The lack of flexibility and adaptability is resistance. And, you may persist for a little while by using force, however, you will not stand the test of time. Persistence over time is not possible when we use force. Why?

Because when we apply force to situations and events, we are basically refusing to accept our current reality. And, when we are in denial about our current reality, we are living in resistance.

What to do?

Flow and Persistence

We can recognize and acknowledge that when we are resisting our environment and current reality, we are being resistant. That is first. Once we are aware, we can shift our focus and attention to accepting our environment and current reality for what it is. It just is. That’s all.

And, you don’t get a demerit for being resistant. We are all, at times, resistant. It is part of being a human being. It’s okay. Really feel that. It is okay. Please remember that. Why?

Because when we get frustrated and upset about being resistant, we will use more force. We will try to force a reality to appear that we want more than the current reality. Happens all the time. Why is this an issue?

Because, when we expound that much energy on resisting, and are forcing, we will typically find that we don’t feel all that well. Maybe we aren’t sleeping well. Or, we are feeling even more frustrated and upset. Not helpful. And, not sustainable. Not over time.

Yet, when we go with the flow, or are flexible and adaptable to our environment and current reality, we can continue to create the reality we want to manifest. And, we can do that with much less mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual effort.

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

We can actually get more out of the reality we are living in, and can be more creative than we can if we continue to resist and use force. Really.

Can you think of a practical example of how these conceptual ideas play out? I’m sure you can. For now, let me give you an example from my life.

I work in education. And, the work I do involves experiential learning. Think the arts, fitness, professional and personal development, and small business development.

Well, we typically offer about 300 in-person classes a term. Since COVID-19, however, we’ve reduced those offerings to 50 remote classes this past spring, and about 80 remote classes this summer. A big difference.

And, we increased the offerings for summer, because I tasked the team with creating more classes, and then even more classes for fall.

However, what I missed, and missed big, was that the community need wasn’t offering more and more classes.

That was the old business model. What was I doing? Inadvertently, I was resisting the current reality. Yep. Not intentionally, not at all.

Often we resist our current reality out of habit, or a deep desire to, as we’ve discussed, create the reality we deeply want – resistance. What happened?

Well, I had a huge insight as I was working through all of the summer classes we were going to have to cancel. What was that insight?

I was actively resisting and trying to force an old way of doing things onto a totally unrelated and new context. That context, the current reality, where the old model doesn’t fit.

Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash

Once I was aware, I began to create plans with the team of focusing on core classes, and using the freed up time to create new ways to engage the community. A big deal. Phew. Was a huge insight.

Alright, so we’ve covered the concepts of force and flow and also looked at a practical example. And now, you might be wondering what you can do to move from force and into the flow?

  • Notice when you are resistant – Don’t judge yourself, or be hard on yourself. It is normal to be resistant at times.
  • When you are aware, you can shift from resistance to acceptance – Inside of this shift, you will create more flexibility and adaptability, as you begin to accept your current reality.
  • And, once you are in acceptance, you can shift to persistence – A state that allows you to be open, flexible, and adaptable in a sustainable way. In the flow. Accepting what comes, and creating from inside of what is there. Right in front of you.

Alright. I’ve written several pieces on persistence this week. I am more present to the need for persistence as all of us, all of humanity, continue to wonder. Wonder about when life will return to some sense of “normalcy.”

I do believe that what we once knew as normal is gone forevermore. When will there be a new normal?

Don’t know. I do know that the need to be flexible, adaptable, and have the ability to create within high-levels of change has never been more needed than today.

Well, then, together we can wait and watch. Notice when we are forcing situations. And, when we notice force, we can shift our attention and focus to acceptance, which is where we will all find the flow.

#change, #covid-19, #creating-reality, #flow, #force, #force-and-flow, #persistence, #persisting-through-change, #resistance, #resistance-to-persistence, #resisting-our-environment, #resisting-reality, #working-with-change

Creating Your Life Anew by Letting Go of The Life You Are Currently Living

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about creating the future. Creating the future we want to live into, what will be, while also reflecting upon the deep attachment we all have to what was, or the past. What’s created the space for such reflections? And, why do these reflections matter to the future we plan to live into? Let’s take a look.

The COVID-19 health crisis has created the space for these reflections, as every day, people, including myself, continue to have new experiences, both at home and work.

These new experiences are a product of an unplanned event that has disrupted life as we once knew it. What we once knew as our reality is over. Gone. The “new normal” people often refer to will look nothing like what once was.

Inside of this understanding I think about how hard that has been, and will be for many people. An impossibility for some, as it once was for me, as humans are deeply attached to the ways they understand their lives, thus reality. It will be continue to be painful for people to let go of that previous reality, the past.

People that are unable to let go of their old views of life, will meet untold challenges in our new reality, and our coming future reality. Why? Because those behaviors and actions may not mesh well with our future reality.

Though I have no idea what that reality will look like, I do know that preparing for, and creating the new life you want to live into will be needed and necessary.

What can we do to prepare for this future reality? Start creating now. Don’t wait. What might that look like?

Here are some strategies I use that you might try.

  • Journal – start to write about the new life you want to live into.
    • Here are some questions I use to get my thinking started.
      • What do I want that future life to look like?
      • What do I want to create for myself, both personally and professionally?
  • Write down your goals – you know, the ones that you’ve wanted to achieve, yet have not been able to do so.
    • Make lists of them. You can even start to plan them out. Start a year or two out, and work backwards to today.
  • Take action – one of the most important steps in creating that future life, is to start living it now. When you are clear about your goals, create actions that you can take today to start to bring them to life.

Here is a picture of a very simple, what I call whiteboard post-it, that my youngest son and I created with goals we both want to acheive.

I labeled this board strategic thinking as I was teaching my son about the difference between reacting to an already existing environment, the one we are currently attached to, and creating a new future reality that we can live into. And, that is a part of strategic thinking.

It matters less how you begin to create that new life, than it does that you take action today and begin to create it. What will stand in your way? Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being told it can’t happen, by yourself, and by others.

Let me be the first to tell you that it can happen; and, you are the only one that can make it happen. You can do it.

How do I know this? I know this because I live it today. I live it in my personal, and professional life. As some of you may know, however, living this way was not always my life, or my reality. My reality was once predicted predominantly on the past. What was.

As difficult as it is, we must let go of the past.

There is a shift in thinking, and your corresponding awareness to live this way. Yet, if I can do it, so can you. It simply requires creating new goals within the new life you want to create, and taking actions that align with these goals, and that life.

As we enter new phases of the COVID-19 health crisis, continuing to reflect upon, and create new actions inside of the life we want to create and live is available to us all. You simply have to take action. Take one step. Then take another. One step, and one action at a time.

#attachment, #covid-19, #creating-a-new-life, #creating-a-new-reality, #creating-your-life, #goal-setting, #letting-go-of-the-past, #reality

Why do we write?

Photo by Aaron Burden

Why do you think people write? I’ve been thinking about this this past week, as my writing has increased, well, exponentially since the shelter-in-place order went into effect. And, now as States and Counties all across the United States start to reopen, I am wondering more about my own intention to write, and how it may or may not change in the coming weeks and months.

As we get busier doing things that we’ve not done in some time, we will all need to set our intention to continue to do those things we’ve picked back up again during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders were put into effect. For me, that will be continuing to write.

Writing is an outlet. It is an outlet for many things, such as creativity, innovation, passion, inspiration, and so much more. It is interesting to reflect upon my writing the past 10 years, most of which involved writing in school. Though I did not take the “traditional” path to and through higher education, without it, writing would not be as present for me as it is today.

Factually, I did take time away from writing, as, for a long time, I did not consider it an endeavor that would yield much for me. However, that was long ago. Today I realize that when I am writing about something that inspires me, or moves me in some way, the words are not hard to find.

There are many reasons people write, and have written for centuries, across all cultures and geographies. I believe most people write today, and wrote throughout history, to communicate their ideas to other people. Writing is no different than any other art form. When someone creates a painting, or a sculpture, or a piece of ceramic stoneware, they are communicating a passion for that medium that lives deep within them. Writing is the same.

Even the most simple writing is elegant. I love to read. It was not always that way. I did not grow up reading. It was not until I was in my 30’s that I picked up reading as a habit that would last until today, and will continue until I am no longer on this earth.

I’ve said many times that it is harder to write something simple, than it is to write something complex. It is difficult to write something in a very simple way, with less words communicating the same idea that it might take someone else many more words to convey.

Take the current book I’m working on. Lot’s of language, too complex, and yet, I will endeavor to continue writing that book. Anything less is not an option. Yet, in the editing phase, when I someday get there, I will take the time needed to simplify the complexities. Simpler is better. Yet, remember, simpler does not mean easier. In fact, often times it may mean it is harder to do.

I think people also write as a way to work through their inner selves. Digging deep within to get in touch with their humanity. Sometimes these people write for the masses, sometimes they write in their own personal journal. Know that either way, both are considered writing endeavors, and those that do them, are writers.

You do not need to be famous, and have sold millions of copies of a book, or books, to be considered a writer. If you write, you are a writer. Simple. Do not let anyone tell you different.

#communication, #covid-19, #creativity, #innovation, #intention, #writing