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Philosophy is not a subject that I usually study in depth. However, I recently reconnected with some friends who are on this topic so I added it to my list to learn more.
I started with a modern philosopher, Bye-hair Han. In his book The Scent of Time he talks about how we have lost the gap or change between where we are and where we want to go.
His view is that because events in our lives happen so quickly, there is no place for them, we are losing the value of the interval or the time in between.
The way I understand it is that we don’t take the time to feel every event and we are very uncomfortable with what happens when we transition from one event to the next. So, we fill that transition time with something else; There are no breaks
I know I’m uncomfortable with change. When I look back, I now know that I have not been able to take advantage of my many big changes. This is the first time I’m really taking the opportunity to be uncomfortable in my current evolution.
I’m in the middle of the bridge. I know where I come from, I am very familiar with that space. I don’t know what’s on the other side of the bridge. It can be wonderful or terrible. At this point, in the middle of the bridge, I can either go back to the familiar, or move on to the unknown.
This time is both exciting and scary. I can recognize myself by walking on the bridge. Every day I discover something new about myself whether I go back or move on. Or an emotion that was deeply suppressed comes back to the surface again and now I deal with it.
My only regret is the amount of time and energy that is always rushing towards something. During the change of the past, I was so restless that I focused (always) on avoiding emotions (of any kind) and self-discovery that can bring both pleasant and unpleasant surprises.
After all this time, the work finally left me tired, lost and confused. Initially I felt like I was being forced to take a break, to be on a break.
Very quickly I decided that I needed to calm down, walk over the bridge, and focus on the path, not the destination. This decision has been extremely liberating. It has completely changed the way I interact with my career, relationships and life in general. The road is as beautiful as the destination (if not sometimes).
One of my favorite phrases in the book The Scent of Time is, ‘The pure orientation towards the goal deprives the space between all the meanings, turning it into a corridor without any value of its own.’
Our society attaches so much importance to the end result (money, position, power, etc.) that it is not surprising that we are associated with an uncomfortable feeling similar to the fear of the unknown in the middle (which to a certain extent it is just that).
Bye-hair Han Explaining that events happen so quickly and everything becomes memorable (i.e. we can bring almost anything from the past to the present) ‘The feature of today’s experience is that it is very bad for change.’
A life-changing event like losing a job, getting sick, having a child or losing someone takes a compelling change for us. And what do we do with it? Many of us usually try to get rid of it as soon as possible by going into action.
So, how do we change our mindset and learn to enjoy change, time and space?
1) Raise awareness
Practicing mindfulness directly increases us Awareness. We want to observe our emotions without judging them and it is equally important not to push them away.
From experience, I know that the more emotion we fight, the more it insists on staying and / or coming back.
Growing consciousness helps us to realize when we are moving back to ‘doing’ to escape from our current reality.
“Unless you make the unconscious aware, it will manage your life and you will call it destiny.” C. G. Jung
2) Learn to embrace discomfort
People are programmed to get rid of any discomfort because it is associated with stress. This is the cable that has allowed our species to survive all this time.
Unfortunately, our brains have not developed enough to distinguish between a truly life-threatening stressor and the one created. Practicing mindfulness helps us to distinguish between these two types of stress.
Once we realize that our stress has been created, we can use many tools and methods to soothe ourselves and release stress quickly.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as they are.” Take it easy
3) Be curious
I often find myself in the middle of the bridge now. At this point I can easily go back to identity. And at the same time, I keep telling myself ‘you already know this. Let’s see what’s on the other side! ‘
It is a constant internal dialogue. One part of me, the curious one, wants to see what the other side has. The other part, the one who tries to keep me safe, says, ‘What if we don’t like it there?’ This is a constant discussion to continue the ‘curious’ progress.
At the moment of this writing, I continue to embrace curiosity and observe my reactions and feelings after the result appears.
“Enjoy every step you take. If you are curious, there is always something new to discover in the background of your daily life.” Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Every event and every person in our lives is here to help us learn and discover something about the world, our vision or our soul.
We often miss lessons over and over again because we are so busy that we don’t take the time to do it (i.e. to observe and reflect).
In the workplace and in our careers, we want to deliver visible and immediate results – promotion, more clients, side gigs, and listings.
In relationships with other people, we want to know quickly where we stand with them, what we have in them, or how quickly we want to get rid of them.
I’m on a journey to be present for my relationship. Sometimes those appearances are five minutes, others a few hours. And I find that the more deeply I connect with people, the more comfortable I feel and the more meaning and lessons I find in each interaction.
Of course, not everything is sunlight and rainbow. I often go back to old habits and behaviors. My mind wants to run all the time. The difference is that now I can have a fruitful self-talk, soothe myself and learn to embrace and enjoy the intervening times.
What are your thoughts on the break? How do you approach them? Please, let us know in the comments. You can write in English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.
As a leadership coach, I enable talent to achieve bold goals with high quality. My goal is to create awareness, increase mental intelligence, and help transform women into senior-level leadership positions by uncovering the tools and choices available to them, so that they can confidently realize and fulfill their potential.
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