Clarity isn’t the same as certainty, though they’re often interchanged. Certainty lives in the brick house of absolute facts and has a firm texture. Clarity is about a deep sense of understanding, and embodies the flexibility of bamboo.
Right now it may seem like many folks feel both are lacking in their lives, communities and the world. That foggy confusion can be scary. Especially for a society addicted to certainty. While I can’t give you certainty — and remember, no one can, and if they claim it, RUN! — I hope to walk this path in gaining clarity with you.
We’ll explore connecting to Self, then relating to Others, and lastly bridging all of that to the World of Possibility.
Connecting to Self
So here you are. Day whatever it is in your current version of quarantine in your little bubble within the globe. This is a lot of consecutive time in one place. Probably the most amount of stillness in your life. Ever. It’s an opportunity to realize things aren’t the same and will never be. We’re in the era of the great global shift on a personal, collective and universal level. This gift is allowing us to reassess what we want our lives to look and feel like, versus playing into the script we were handed the moment we were born. To kick things off, ask yourself: how are you processing events, ideas, your life?
Remember back in the early 2000’s when you had to defragment your PC’s weekly so it could run optimally? And if you didn’t, your computer would be super sluggish (and if you weren’t aware of this then, now you know! ;)). It’s kinda like that. Or like how our bodies indicate to us that we need to release all that no longer serves us in the most basic biological form — the need to go to the bathroom a few times a day. It’s kinda like that. Creating time, space and rituals around processing helps you take mental, emotional and spiritual shits more often so you don’t feel clogged, heavy, and backed up.
Three ways to try this out:
- Create 10–15 minute time buffers between meetings or role changes (ex: from project manager to Mom)
- Observe your energy and notice what times and activities fuel it and what times and activities deplete it. If you can, shift your work, play and stillness to flow around this.
- Anytime you feel like you’re obligated to do something or say yes to someone, ask yourself if it’s fully aligned with your values.
Connecting to Others
So now that we’re aware of some aspects of Self, how do we connect this to Others. Why is connecting Self to Others important you might ask? You know that saying, No (wo)man’s an island? Yeah. That. Humans are innately social creatures. Doesn’t matter if you’re an extro-, intro- or ambi- vert. Or whether you live alone or with others. The fact is we all crave connection. We all want to be seen and heard and to see and hear others. And that requires the ability to show up just as you are, not as you ought.
During the summer of 2012, fresh out of a seven year marriage,I came across Brené Brown’s TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability. It painfully revealed what I’ve been numbing for a big portion of my life. The longing for authentic conversation, connection and exchange. How that encouraged me to know the future person I wanted to become and the baby steps to get there. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. I’ve watched it at least annually for the past eight years. And here’s the thing, even with our new normal of being six feet apart, you can create a sense of belonging and intimacy. In fact, the space can perhaps allow for a different kind of vulnerability to bubble up into existence in our friendships, familial relationships, colleague connections, and romantic partnerships. Hey, even fire needs oxygen, right?
Here are three ways to connect with Others:
- Ask Questions. Make a Connection. Go in that Direction
- When asked a question, share your story and invite others to share theirs.
- Require yourself to Listen twice as much as you speak.
Connecting to the World of Possibility
This is a nice little leap, isn’t it? From Self, Others to the World of Possibility. But let me tell you, it’s actually not that much of a leap. We have a lot more influence and impact that we realize. Are you familiar with that theory, the six degrees of separation? According to wikipedia, Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. And most likely even less these days with all of our tech platforms. So knowing this, feeling this, believing this — that together we have the ability to inspire others has a real global impact. WOW. Close your eyes and think about that for a second. Breathe it all in. It no longer becomes a question of who, how, when but of what. What do you choose to put out there — through your energy, your values, history and story — to help shape the Earth for now, for next week, next month, next year for the unforeseeable future.
Some fun messages that people have shared with me:
“Your [instagram] message was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.”
“That was some hug! People don’t hug like that no more. I’m gonna hug ’em like that.”
“I met my soulmate at one of your courses. We fell in love and are now married!”
The more I realize our ability to impact on a global scale, the more I feel called to share these tools around emotional intelligence and prosocial behavior, along with other experience and behavior designs.
Want to gauge yours and others impact? Take a moment to:
- Explore what you are putting out there today. An energy, feeling or idea? Who does it affect and how is it affecting them?
- Write a list of 50 people who have influenced your life in some way shape or form. It can be some you’re in an intimate relationship with, a stranger you chatted with once, or even a public figure you’ve never met.
- Send a thank you note to three people that have helped automate your life in perhaps an overlooked way (ex: mail person, your significant other, office manager)
Join us on this Journey!
If you’re looking for more guidance and want to dive deeper, join us for the course by the same name of this article: How to Gain Personal Clarity. We kick off our Fall Cohort on October 6, 2020, for three months, and meet weekly for thirteen weeks. We will be further adventuring into the depths of Energy, Values, History and Story as tied to Self, Others and the World of Possibility. Join us on this journey!