Hello, friends. I hope that you and yours are healthy and resilient.
For your consideration, here are three thoughts that might help place this experience in a broader context.
This might be your Crucible Moment — the maximum challenge that tempers you for your greatest works to come.
Read this short classic from Harvard Business Review, “Crucibles of Leadership” (2002) by Warren Bennis and Robert J. Thomas: https://hbr.org/2002/09/crucibles-of-leadership.
Dr. Srikumar Rao in his comprehensive course, Creativity & Personal Mastery, teaches how to navigate through uncertainty. (The course is available now online, too at https://theraoinstitute.com/cpm-online/.)Here is one of the CPM practices.
This is not verbatim. I am writing as I remember his teaching — and as I practice it (when I am mindful enough to do so).
Who I Am Being
When I don’t know
what to do,
how to do it, or
when to do it…
In the heat of that discomfort,
I focus on Who I Am Being.
Here is how.
During any challenge,
especially one that is contentious,
perhaps at work,
or in the community,
or in the mirror,…
…amid that tension,
“Who am I being?
Who am I being in this moment?”
This is not a highly conceptual question.
It is simply this:
What words might describe how you are being?
A parent? A child? Needy? Irritated? Insincere? Sarcastic?
Then, ask yourself,
“Who do I want to be? Who do I want to be — in this moment?
Again, this is not highly conceptual.
Simply imagine the words that describe who you aspire to be in this moment.
Serene? An observer? An adult (different from a parent!)? Wise?
Then, measure the gap between
Who you are being (in this moment)
Who you want to be (in this moment)
If you know who you are being
and who you want to be,…
…you can measure the gap between the two
and can see a path,
how to get from
who you are being
who you want to be.
Who you are being will suddenly evolve
in the face of the challenge,
and, knowing who you are being,
and being closer to who you want to be,
it is much easier to decide
what to do,
how to do it, and
when to do it.
But if you are not aware of
who you are being,
how can you know what to do?
We are human beings,
not simply humans doing.
This method — focusing on Who I Am Being — can be shared with work colleagues, loved ones, even children, especially children. It is bittersweet for me to have learned such a technique so late in life.
Try it now!
In this very moment, as you are reading this, ask yourself: “Who am I being? Who do I want to be? And what is the path from one to the other?”
Here is a poem, “What Care Of Nature?” which I wrote this week. The text is here: http://artieisaac.com/blog/2020/03/what-care-of-nature/
And here is a reading, with love for you. (If you can’t see the video in this email, it is in the post on artie.co.)