We fill up our days with so much, forever battling this lingering sense we are permanently 'behind'. We forget that we have within us the capacity to choose a new story, to claim our white space, to return to our ourselves (and each other). We create more white space for ourselves when we respond with an authentic "no", clean out our internal and external clutter, and let go of stories which no longer serve us. Put down your 'brush' for a few minutes throughout your day. Help others with whom you work do the same. See what wants to emerge. It is like I say to those in my Labs: "Stop trying so hard to coach; just allow yourself to be fully present to this human being in this moment." What do you want to paint with your life today?
For example, you notice your stomach tightening (reflecting an old story in which you feel you have to be in control), so you take a deep breath or two and activate a new story of trust that all will be well. For others it might be noticing you are judging another person, pausing and shifting to a stance of compassion.
What openings can you notice today, often when you least expect them?
What new stories can you develop that will allow you to harvest more from your life?
It is about catching ourselves in the here and now, noticing our old story emerging, shifting our frame/state, and enacting a new choice.
It got me to thinking about my own practice and how much time I spend preparing for what I imagine is next. It leads to a nagging sense of being on a treadmill and it reflects an old story that if I work hard enough I will keep up. I came to realize that the pace of change and disruption will keep increasing, but I decide to what degree I will choose to participate. When I immerse myself in what is essential in the present I find myself less stressed and distracted by what is coming next. I can only hold so much in the Now, so I let more and more go.
What I am finding is that I am getting more done, attracting more cool opportunities, and finding more joy in my work and life. Organizations can do the same in focusing on the big moves which will have the greatest impact. What if "busyness" was no longer your currency? What "nexts" can you release? Where can you act with more courage now?
My thoughts for you this week:
Here are four lessons learned from helping organizations de-clutter the ways in which they worked:
We use a variety of minimalist narrative coaching and design tools to help organizations de-clutter their processes. The net result is better utilization of precious resources and higher levels of contribution from people and the organization as a whole. What needs to be released or recycled in your organization to make more space for people and those they serve to flourish?
Dr David Drake is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching.