Change, Flow, Focus

Permit me to be metaphysical this time around.

Today I gave advice to a colleague of mine to simply let go of the stress she faced this past week at work. “How can I just forget that? It’s been bothering me!” I knew what was bothering her wasn’t that important, in the grand scheme of things. It was simply a distraction that wouldn’t matter a week later. “How can you just say that?” was the follow up. I shrugged my shoulders. “You have to.”

What I may really have been saying was she needed to “learn to go with the flow.” Zen Habits (a blog) provides twelve steps towards learning to “go with the flow.” In essence, how to manage change.

And as I read the twelve steps, I realized I was guilty of avoiding most of them with big change in my “neighborhood.” Getting stuck due to change is bound to happen to each of us, whether it is something small, something disappointing, or (especially when it’s) something catostrophic. No matter the scope, that change can take us off-track. And being off-track is not good for us, nor ultimately, the students we serve.

Step 8 suggests we “keep a journal.” That’s in part what I’m doing here now. The last is the most profound, however. “Enjoy life as a flow of change, chaos and beauty.” Understanding that our discomfort is part of the world’s “beauty” may be difficult to accept. But luckily there are 11 other steps to help us with that realization. We might label it with another word, faith. In the throes of change, we can choose to cling to the belief that change we encounter may not always be “messy” or perhaps “painful.” Some advice I received today suggested another path, by reaching out to those willing to have authentic conversations with us and to seek personal relationship building, with what this (first) article calls “baby steps.”

Leader’s hearts are nourished by authentic relationships with other leaders.

Laughing, learning to accept imperfection, and “enjoying life” are, after all, things that are likely more significant to us in the company of others.

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