Surfing.

Surfing.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Based on a post by Chatsworth Consulting Group

It seems as if many of us are surfing. Not the kind of surfing that first comes to mind – warm weather, big waves, Hawaiian shirts – but surfing nonetheless.

We are facing huge difficulties and issues at work, relentless challenges, one after the other. Like waves crashing upon us. And it seems like we have choices of how to respond. We can fight what’s beating at us, we can give up and go under water, or we can learn to surf.

Life throws things at us. Bosses who think they have to be bossy to be the boss.  Colleagues that are not very collegial. Friends and family that need more than we have to give. We can face physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges, all at the same time. And we can either get wiped out by the waves crashing upon us, or we can learn to surf.

For someone, surfing meant that she couldn’t do everything on her to-do list to her usual standards. She took an hour to comb through the list – delegating what she could, dumping what wasn’t absolutely necessary, and doing what she had to, even if she didn’t do her ultimate best.

For someone else, surfing meant recognizing how upset he was at a situation at work, and choosing not to negatively voice his disagreement, as he had done in the past. Instead, he surfed –he felt his anger, noticed what set him off and why, and decided to simply let it go. A great step for him.

Surfing can mean a myriad of responses. What it always means is riding the wave. Getting up on your board, softening your knees so you don’t stand too rigid, and letting the waves take you along for the ride. You certainly will have more success than if you fight it. You might even enjoy it.

How do you surf?

Collaborate or Succumb.

Collaborate or Succumb.

From the perspective of the individual, collaboration is both an intellectual and an emotional act: it implies the realization that knowledge is a social construct (rather than a privilege of a few) and a mindset shift from entitlement to vulnerability.

From the perspective of the organization, collaboration is the only path forward to ensure a deep understanding of what needs to be solved to effectively evolve. The collective resources of a diverse group are required to design solutions that matter to clients, and the necessary community support to do what was not done before but needs to be done.

How may an organization start to change gears towards collaboration? 

  1. Leverage meetings to discuss client pain-points rather than use them as show-and-tell venues
  2. Make sure your lay-out allows employees to see each other and prompts them to hold conversations rather than encourage communication only through emails ccing too many people and 
  3. Ask customer-facing employees their opinions and suggestions rather than trying to design solutions from the ivory tower.

In summary, in the long run collaboration is the chance for organizations to meaningfully sustain and increase relevance for clients, employees and investors.

Now is the Time.

Now is the Time.

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

The time to blossom is now, not sometime in the future when you believe the stars will be aligned for you.

Having a vision for our future that differs from our current circumstances can be inspiring and exciting, but it can also keep us from fully committing to our present placement. We may become aware that this is happening when we notice our thoughts about the future distracting us from our participation in the moment. We may find upon searching our hearts that we are waiting for some future time or situation in order to self-actualize. This would be like a flower planted in North Dakota putting off blooming because it would prefer to do so in Illinois. 

There are no guarantees in this life, so when we hold back we do so at the risk of never fully blossoming. This present moment always offers us the ground in which we can take root and open our hearts now. What this means is that we live fully, wherever we are, not hesitating because conditions are not perfect, or we might end up moving, or we haven’t found our life partner. This can be scary, because we might feel that we are giving up our cherished dreams if we do not agree to wait for them.

But this notion that we have to hold back our life force now in order to find happiness later doesn’t really make sense. What might really be happening is that we are afraid to embrace this moment, and ourselves, just exactly as we are right now. This constitutes a tendency to hold back from fully loving ourselves, as we are, where we are. 

We have a habit of presenting life with a set of conditions–ifs and whens that must be fulfilled before we will say yes to the gift of our lives. Now is the time for each of us to bloom where we are planted, overriding our tendency to hold back.

Now is the time to say yes, to be brave and commit fully to ourselves, because until we do no one else will. Now is the time to be vulnerable, unfolding delicately yet fully into the space in which we find ourselves.

A Dance with theDivine

A Dance with theDivine

From UPLIFT

We have to nourish our insight into impermanence every day. If we do, we will live more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more. — Thích Nhất Hạnh

I am sitting in Boulder, Colorado at the end of July. The hum of Summer is everywhere. Nature is asserting her way effortlessly with exponential ease. The encroaching abundance is tapping at the window panes. Self-seeded sunflowers are following the sun and rocking in the breeze. Somewhere a radio plays uplifting tunes and Winter feels like an almost forgotten era, an ice-age ago.

And yet, as a first-time visitor to Colorado, I am curious about the long Winters. How everything will recede into what T.S. Eliot called the deadlands: that dormant peaceful sleep. I can’t help but stare at the enthusiastic, leaping-green foliage and tune in to its amnesia of Winter where I too am seduced and can hear my own being whispering how Winter, this year, will never arrive. How can it? In this very moment, there is no place for Winter… it is impossible. Everything is awake, even in the deep of night. Everything is alive and communing with each other.

The hum of Summer is everywhere.

Sipping ice tea, I close my eyes and imagine the white forgotten wonderland; everything snow-capped and snow deep. Some of this green will hibernate and find its new breath somewhere between April and May. But a lot of this verdant splendour will simply die. And I’m filled with a simultaneous sense of Trust and Acceptance. There is no place for grief in this present moment; no place for conversations about the impermanence of life. Right here nothing is born or dying–it is exquisitely changing molecular shape and endlessly manifesting into countless organic configurations.

My thoughts turn to those I love who have slipped into the deadlands; who have given up the ghost. And I now feel my grief smiling as I think of their old body-vessels molecularly coursing through the icy rivulets into Gold Lake; becoming the indigo of the petals of the blue mist penstemon; the shout of the gold stonecrop moss; the irrepressibly subtle lichen determined to spruce up every rock; the intelligence shaping the deciduous bushes or the ever-green resilient pines; the soft fur of a chipmunk’s tail; or the generous Summer rains and all the wildflowers sign-posting my way HOME as I walk around the lake.

I am grateful that my direct experience with death and grief has evolved into a loving acceptance and a peaceful trust in this alchemy–mystery that we call Life. And I have known all too well the grip of grief who, like a relentless hurricane, told me over and over and over that inner-peace will never, ever return.

But it does. And it will, And it is.

My loved ones are everywhere on this material plane. They have never been anywhere else. Their life-force, their essence, their spirit is having yet more dance lessons with the Divine.

The metamorphasis fills me with trust and acceptance.

I cannot think about the infinite metamorphosis of Existence without calling upon Hafiz…

Deepening The Wonder by Hafiz

Death is a favour to us,

But our scales have lost their balance.

The impermanence of the body

Should give us great clarity,

Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes

Of this mysterious existence we share

And are surely just traveling through.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,

Hafiz would call for drinks

And as the Master poured, I would be reminded

That all I know of life and myself is that

We are just a mid-air flight of golden wine

Between His Pitcher and His Cup.

If I were in the Tavern tonight,

I would buy freely for everyone in this world

Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty

Of time and space cannot endure very long.

Death is a favour to us,

But our minds have lost their balance.

The miraculous existence and impermanence of Form

Always makes the illuminated ones

Laugh and Sing.

~