In recent posts, I’ve been drawn to introspection: REcognition (and embarrassment), REcovery (and comeback), and now – REcalculating, the idea I borrowed from Sylvia Boorstein, who was interviewed by Krista Tippitt for the On Being podcast.
If you have ever found yourself in a literal or metaphorical not-the-right-for-you, and needed to figure out how to get out of it and where to go next, this is for you. It happens to all of us at one point or another, whether it is due to something outside of our control (say, an organizational restructuring, which leaves you without a job), or something that turns out differently than you imagined (parenting, marriage, entrepreneurship).
As a coach, I know what to do when this happens; I’ve worked with clients through hundreds of scenarios, which require recalculating. When it comes to my own life, actually doing things according to what I know is proving to be a challenge… What made recalculating easier for me is to approach it as a wayfinder:
1. RE-feel the situation. Even if you’re an analytical thinker, you feel all the time: you can tell whether your food tastes good, you can feel whether you’re uncomfortable around a particular person, you can experience pure joy from a precise solution or an aha! moment. Notice how things feel here-and-now, and sense which direction feels “even slightly better than here-and-now”. Try it. This is a “know as you go” wayfinding approach to choosing where to move. “A compass can go wrong, the stars never”, said a Tongan cutter captain (quoted by Dr. Chellie Spiller, a scholar on Wayfinding, from the book “We, the navigators” by D. Lewis).
2. RE-lax into your experience. Here’s a beautiful idea from Sylvia Boorstein: if you make a wrong turn, your GPS doesn’t judge you, it doesn’t call you names, and it is not angry with you. It simply says “recalculating”, and suggests an alternative route. We are wayfinding creatures, so recalculating without judgement, in a GPS-like navigator style, may not come easy. Think of it as a mercy we can show ourselves, a kindness. Also, just because we ended up in a wrong-for-us spot, does not mean we have made a wrong turn; each turn may have been not wrong, but their Gestalt of all turns may be something that is not right. So, just try something different, without judgement.
3. RE-view the obstacles. I recently attended a fantastic workshop in NYC by an intuitive Laura Day, who suggested to view obstacles as information about your journey rather than barriers to it. For example, finding and putting in one place all of your invoices and receipts for preparing taxes is a part of your doing taxes, not a barrier to it. If your business proposal was turned down, treat it as useful information: think how you can use time to your advantage before submitting the next proposal, think what turn you can make to submit this proposal elsewhere, or do it differently.
I am recalculating my journey for the coming academic year: coaching, classes (both attending and teaching), writing, family, adventures (TBD). What are your plans? If you would like us to work together, let’s begin scheduling for September-October, to make sure we both set aside time for each other.
Also, I would love to hear about your summer! What is going well? What has been difficult? Are you traveling? Shifting gears? On my end, I’m getting ready for co-presenting at the Academy of Management Conference (“Intuition in Organizations: Making Sense of Intuition” Symposium), and hoping to fit in more beach and hiking time with the kids before the summer is over.
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Would you like to talk about any of this? I would love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter or email me at Alina@AlinaBas.com . Also, if you’ve read all the way up to here, thank you for the gift of your attention. I’m thankful we are connected.
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