Posts Tagged ‘possibility’

As the Paradigm Shifts #H: Hope and Hogwash

by Rosie Kuhn on June 1, 2011

Many years ago, before I had any sense of spirituality, a friend of mine, a practicing Buddhist shared with me that most of us are constantly immersed in thoughts that are driven by hopes and fears. Think about that for a moment … My thoughts coalesce around either fear-based monologs or I’m hoping for good stuff and not bad stuff. There is a lot of energy going in that direction, eh?

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, 70% of the time we are thinking negative thoughts. When I’m being fearful or being hopeful I’m not open to being here, in this moment. I’m not allowing new opportunities and ideas to emerge with which to engage. I’m not being with what is, I’m being with what could be that’s either going to turn out the way I hope or the way I fear it to be. What is unavailable while consumed in these unending internal conversations?

Our current paradigm has us feel as though we are trapped and victims to our current circumstances. This is absolute HOGWASH!

If and when we get totally honest with ourselves we come to discover how incredibly powerful we are to manifest limitations beyond our wildest dreams. Yes, you read that correctly. We brilliantly empower ourselves to disempower ourselves. Remaining within this current paradigm will forever more require you to live within your hopes and fears and nothing more.

Abandoning Hope

Hope springs eternal and is so essential to our sense of well-being.

On the other hand, I’ve found that when used as a strategy to avoid the truth of our current circumstances, hope interferes with possibility. Hoping is actually not a very empowering strategy. The strategy of hoping leaves the power in the hands of the Universe. As we hope that the will of God or our Higher Power in on our side, are we relinquishing power and courage to change the things we can? We have to look at our own relationship to hope if we are going to participate in this paradigm shift. How am I being while I’m hoping? Am I being hopeless, helpless and powerless while I’m hoping? Or, am I engaged with actions that will bring about a more likely and favorable outcome?

My friend and colleague Michael Sky died yesterday of cancer, here on Orcas Island. Not only was Michael a friend but he was a support person for me and my business.

Michael had been ill for some time, yet no matter what his circumstances, we never gave up hope that Michael would remain with us in physical form. It wasn’t until he actually died did hope die too. It’s a terrible thing to be with – the loss of hope. Promised miracles and magic that continually inspire us to live one day to the next, vanish. We are left with nothing and no thing to believe in. We struggle to understand why. There are no answers forthcoming.

I believe that to surrender hope takes us outside the domain of our humanity, back to the Source of all that is. For most of us, this moment of transcendence is far too uncomfortable. Our mind struggles to make sense – in hopes of finding concrete rationalization for what cannot be understood; only accepted.

Sometimes abandoning hope is actually the miracle. It may be what is required in order to shift what is currently impossible to be possible.

“Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Letting go of hope frees us to look at life and our circumstances differently. It is not easy and effortless to take this leap of faith. Opening of our hearts, flooding ourselves with innovation, surrendering attachments; the result of which is to soar beyond our limited thinking – isn’t this what we are all wanting? Isn’t this why organizations hire executive coaches and consultants to create think tanks, so as to produce results through simulated means? Yes, they work to a degree, yet too often the facilitators of change guard against their participants actually leaping the full measure, of which we have no comprehension. How does one steward an individual through a leap of faith?

I have no doubt that this is where spirituality in business will be taking our organizations. Corporations are desperate to discover ways to shift their business. Eventually they will reveal that the seat of every employee contains the wisdom and the brilliance they are looking for. Let’s hope that realization comes soon!

My experience with life in any business environment is, that these three words empowerment, essence and engage, are the most powerful. They support and enhance personal and professional growth for both you and the business within which you are employed. The degree to which you are engaged with your work and your environment from an empowered perspective is the degree to which you will experience fulfillment and healthy dynamics within the workplace.

In my initial interviews with clients, regardless of their position, I ask: “What are you afraid people are going to find out or decide about you?” In quick order, even top executives will share aspects of their humanity that they are afraid will be found out. They’ll say something like “I’m afraid people will find out that I’m a fraud, that I’m unworthy of my current position; I don’t know as much as people think I know; I’m barely able to cope with the responsibilities I have; I sometimes doubt my capacity to do my job effectively. The list is endless as each of us has our own unique set of truths about ourselves that we want to keep secret.

The next question I ask “What do you do so people don’t find out that you are a (in this case) a fraud, unworthy of your position and the responsibility that comes with it?”

Bound by Ego

The answers to this question reflect a set of survival strategies, which over time become unconscious mechanisms that in a nutshell we call our personality or our ego. As you can see, our ego is fueled by fear-based precepts that have you believe that you flawed and have to act and be in certain ways in order to avoid being found out. Being found out, for most of us translates into being rejected, humiliated or annihilated. It takes an incredible amount of effort for our ego’s radar system to constantly be on the lookout for potential slips that could incur being found out.

Imagine the amount of attention you put towards this protective process I call your survival mechanism. It’s much like your computer that is set up with a virus detecting software. It has to be on alert 24/7. In the case of us humans, though we are alert for not only what might be coming in, but more importantly what we might be putting out.

In the business environment too many of us are working and being from our egoic self. What else is there, you might ask?

Free of Ego

Imagine if you will, a moment in your life when you are not operating from your fear-based strategies. What’s that like in your body? What’s the quality of the experience you are imagining yourself in? Sometimes it’s challenging for people to remember a time because it’s rare for them to not be stressed, fearful and on alert. However, most people will eventually remember a time or at least begin to sense into what it might be like. When they do they describe the qualities of being in that moment as, light, relaxed, free, creative, playful, fearless, engaged, connecting, open, flexible. This list too is endless as there are so many adjectives to describe this state of being without fear. We know this place; we just don’t visit it often enough.

The next question I ask my client is: “What would shift in your relationship to your work and your work environment if you were to coming from freedom, creative, relaxed, . . . instead of stressed, overwhelmed, intimidated, . .? The answers always astound the person answering. “I’d be more accessible to my direct reports, I’d be more engaged in their projects; I’d be less controlling and would delegate more easily. I’d be more fun to be around and I’d support people in being innovative. I wouldn’t be so stressed; I’d also be more willing to leave the office earlier, spending more time with family, friends and myself.

Wow! So by imagining being in a state that is not fear-based all sorts of possibilities show up that may have seemed otherwise impossible.

Once an individual is aware that they actually can choose to choose differently in how to be who they want to be in their work environment they then can begin to exercise muscles that will help them generate from this newfound freedom, fun and flexibility.

The 4 Questions to Ask

You would think that once experience and revelation has occurred that people would actually empower themselves to choose to begin the process of shifting from fear-based choice-making to what I call essence-based choice-making. This brings us back to that essential dilemma of wanting what is desirable, at the same time wanting to avoid what is undesirable. For those committed to bringing spirituality into business there will be the conflicting commitment of wanting to avoid repercussions. Again, those four basic questions need to be asked:

  1. What are you afraid people will find out or decide about you;
  2. What do you do in order to have them not find that out
  3. What qualities arise when you remember your vision of having the desired outcome; and
  4. What would shift if you were to be that now? What choices would you make and what actions would you take in alignment with that choice?

This line of questioning consistently brings the individual in direct alignment with their essence of being, and empowers them to engage in actions that will bring about the desired outcome.

I totally understand how terrifying it is to consider being in your essence, especially in the workplace. Rarely are we seen or acknowledged for our essence-self. However, we are not our survival strategies, they change as our circumstances change; we are not our ego either. If that were true we would never ever experience those moments when we know ourselves beyond or fear and limitations. It doesn’t make it any less scary.

This brings me back to my original introduction when I defined spirituality as the practice of faith-leaping; exercising muscles that allow you to consider the possibility of shifting from the perspective that life is scary, to, life is a daring adventure or it is nothing – as Helen Keller said. Engaging with your life as a daring adventure requires thoughtful presence to what it is you’ve come here to do and to be.

At some point you will realize you don’t have a choice but to begin to get those muscles in shape. It isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of when you’ll empower yourself to engage in living into your essence of being and living your life totally on purpose.

How to handle any situation

by Vijay Peduru on April 1, 2010

Our lives are made up of a series of situations.  How we handle each situation determines how our lives shape up. If we handle each situation well, our lives seem fulfilling, if we don’t, we end up living lives that we usually define with words like stressed or dull. Well… Imagine how you would define your life if you had answers to all situations that occur in your life? Wouldn’t that be simply phenomenal!

I was watching the brilliant,  multi-talented Ben Zander’s video and he talks about how to handle any situation. Per Mr. Zander, there are 3 ways of going about it:

1. Resignation

2. Anger

3. Possibility

An example he gave in his speech went as follows:

Let us say you went to a restaurant and you witness a kid’s birthday party.  Everyone in the party starts singing the “happy birthday” song like a chore..dull and boring.  You look at the situation and can do 3 things

1. Resignation : You think people don’t change, that’s the way the world works

2. Angry: You say..These dull, boring people, can’t they know how to sing?

3. Possibility: You go to the party and take charge, Be the conductor of the orchestra.  I am sure, the birthday kid won’t forget this experience and the others too would have experienced a little liveliness in them.

Now, imagine applying this to your business or the work you do… well! that’s a situation, isn’t it?

Do you go to your work in resignation, anger or do you show up as a possibility. That is… do you show up as a possibility for leadership, a possibility for being the conductor of you being productive? If you do… your boss, your employer or your customers will be like the birthday kid who won’t forget the experience… and of course, the others around you will experience a little liveliness, too!