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 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?