Each January, I seem to remark that the year before was a doozy! I’m noticing a trend. Is it just me? And you? So, how’s it going so far?
For me, I’m setting intentions to increase my practice in three areas I’m calling the Three Rs: Reverence, Radical Self-Care, and Risk-Taking. I’m not a big fan of the idea (or impossible practice) of what people like to call “work-life balance,” but I do believe in living and working from a place of wholeheartedness and presence. I also know that Worshipping at the Church of Busy-ness is the gravitational pull for most people I work with, and for me.
Recently, in our Studio Audio Blog (www.studioleadership.com), my partner Steven Morris mentioned how he’s looking at the difference between things that are routine—perhaps it’s a morning routine right after you wake, or the way you get yourself to work? What about meals or client meetings? Certainly, there’s benefits of repetition and discipline and doing what seems to work, but what if things that are routine for you could be more like rituals with the added element of Reverence? This reverent practice is making its way into my mornings, my writing and even my phone calls and coaching sessions with clients. What if, instead of the ordinary around-the-table check in with your colleagues, you posed a beautiful question or asked everyone to name something that’s inspired them recently? It’s still a check-in, but the tone and tenor is completely different.
I’ve written and talked about Radical Self-Care a few times in the past year. So many organizations and leaders have been dealing with tumultuous change, whether in their markets, with employees, resources, the politics of organizational life. People want to know “how can I keep up with the pace of change?” or “how can I deal with a chronic sense of overwhelm?” It’s not as simple as coming up with a strategy for managing an inbox and a to-do list. The only way I know how to navigate a constant stream of information overload and impending demands is to get off the merry-go-round—practice self-care in ways you might imagine you don’t have time for or cannot afford. Weekend massages and walks at lunch time are good, but what about an entire day with nothing on your calendar and no technology? What about a real vacation? What about pausing before saying “yes” immediately and saying, “hmmmm. I’ll think about it” and then really thinking about it? What about a #yearofyes where you lean into things that make you uncomfortable that you’ve always wanted to do?
Every entrepreneur and business leader has a relationship with Risk. Whether you describe yourself as a risk-taker or risk-averse, there is always the unknown and the beautiful mystery that unfolds within us and without us. How do you cultivate trust with yourself, your intuition and your inner voice that actually knows what to do, the direction to take, a risk to manifest? What happens if you fail? What happens if you succeed? What does it cost to sit in your sameness ever drifting from your true alive-ness? Take a risk. Do something that doesn’t make much sense. Pay attention. Pay close attention.
Although I’ve spent most of my professional life doing some of the same things, especially helping people find their voices through writing, speaking, and leading, making a decision to host two events in Ireland in 2018 is a risk! Why Ireland? Why me? After all, I’m only about 12% Irish and don’t really know much yet about my Irish roots. And, to step into the space where much more qualified (as in really Irish) people host events and gatherings . . . what was I thinking? First, I was invited. My former client and friend Aileen Markey asked me if I’d come to Ireland to work with a small group of women desiring a transformational experience about the current path they are on and becoming inspired about what’s next. How could I not say yes to that? Check out www.cosanireland.com. But perhaps the most risky invitation for me is to host a writing intensive not far from the little village of Kenmare, where I spent a week alone writing, wandering the streets, and listening to live music. What is an American woman writer doing hosting a small group on the gorgeous grounds of Parknasilla Resort? Why not? If I can share practices and work from a life’s worth of writing, or help someone else step solidly into their own writing voice in a transparent way, or foster an inspired relationship with the land of Ireland (its landscape and music and people) and write from that place . . . well, perhaps we can write inspired from anywhere!
I hope you’ll join me—in Reverence, in Radical Self-Care and in Risk Taking. The path is windy and beautiful, mysterious and brambled, but it’s our path, isn’t it?