From Annelies & Conduit for Change, LLC
Annelies M. Gentile, MA, ACC
Consultant | Facilitator | Process Artist | Author | Speaker
Since last we connected, I've coached executive leaders from Oregon to Maine, facilitated a resiliency workshop for government employees, presented to women business entrepreneurs, lead rooms full of coaches, facilitated a life and learning experience at a community garden, mentored refugee youth, sprained my ankle, signed contract with my new book publisher, spent time in the hammock at the lake, with family at the beach and planned many parties! What have YOU been up to? I want to know! Email or call me. Let me know what's good in your world.
SUMMER :: A Time For Connection :: Element of Fire
Each season I provide inspiring nuggets of wisdom through my newsletter which includes invitations to upcoming events. My goal is to help YOU better cope with life and learn how to cultivate success through mindfulness and creativity. Seasonal teachings come through both my personal and professional experiences and the Chinese Five Elements philosophy of Wu Xing (wŭ ching) and Tao, among other philosophies and sciences which highlight and explore unique nature-based ways to understand the processes of change. In addition, each newsletter aims to help you create a mindful mindset and provide resources to build resiliency in the face of personal, professional and cultural change. Find this newsletter useful? Be the gift that keeps giving, share it with a friend! Want to hear more? Invite me to speak at your next conference, place of business, networking or civic groups. Enjoy!
One of the ways I help professionals become better leaders in life and at work is to help them cope and manage change. We cannot separate the human condition from our work life. They're inseparable. When we try to separate our humanity from the tasks, lists and linear roles of the work-world we harden ourselves and become hard towards others. What's more useful is understanding how to integrate our humanity into all expressions of life, even at work. As life gives us a variety of challenges to cope with, exploring problem-solving through nature is not only interesting and inspiring, it's also a unique way to better understand our own nature.
According to Eastern tradition of Tao, there are five elements expressed through five seasons each represented by an element, color and emotional characteristics. Here's a simplified explanation.
• Spring : Wood : Green : Creativity : Anger
• Summer : Fire : Red : Connectivity : Joy
• Late Summer : Earth : Yellow : Integrity : Gratitude
• Autumn : Metal : White : Acknowledgement : Grief
The season of summer is related to the element of FIRE which feeds and inspires laughter, joy, passion, playfulness, connectedness, maturation and expansiveness, and is represented by the color red and the sound of laughing. Think of fire as metaphor. Qualities of popping, expanding, bursting forth, the element of fire in the season of summer has the potential to connect to and affect other things. Think of it as an opportunity to bridge separate parts together.
Let's explore just one fire/summer quality; joy. In general, we're wired for survival, not happiness. Therefore, joy is the experience of a combination of factors starting with a sense of safety needing to be felt first. It's hard to feel free and joyous when we're stressed. We need to trust our circumstances and the ones around us in order to access the bonus of joy.
So how do we cultivate trust? We need to get over our survival instincts, circumvent it, change our relationship with our fight or flight stress triggers. It's not easy and most likely impossible to do with 100% accuracy but we can wiggle our way around and through most of our biggest joy squashers simply by being mindful. One of the ways to be mindful is to catch ourselves in a moment of stress and ask, "Is this absolutely undeniably true?"
For instance, Stacy, one of your favorite former clients texts to see if you can meet as she had a last minute opening in her day. You look at your schedule which is quite full and over at your list of to-dos which practically fills any last breath of air you think you have. The thought of squeezing her in causes a ripple of anxiety. But a greater truth about that anxiety is that you've not taken time to see anyone that brings you joy in awhile because the busy-ness has got you by the throat.
So... what's more true? The fact that you "can't" fit her in or that you won't take time for yourself to experience joy and authentic connection? You can wrestle that thought and say that fitting her in will slow you down. Is it absolutely undeniably true that it will slow you down? What's more true? Maybe the answer is that slowing down gifts you a different perspective, a chance to connect and gain the benefit of a few good hearty laughs with someone you know, like and trust. That's a much better outcome than being glued to your schedule. So next time you feel pressured, ask a better question when faced with stress. You might find a better answer that makes you LOL! : )
Integrate the element of FIRE in your life and work.
- Ask better questions. Is what's happening absolutely undeniably true?
- What might be more true about a situation?
- Connect or reconnect with those who live and work around you in a fresh new way. Host a potluck party, start a game night or watch a nostalgic funny movie with new faces.
Explore these questions......
- When and where do you experience the most joy?
- What's your relationship to vulnerability?
- How well do you work with others?
- What fires you up?
- How burnt out are you?
Update on my new book
From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change from the Inside Out is slowly slowly emerging! It's been exactly one year since I began writing my book and have just signed contract with Write Way Publishing this week! I can't say how long it will be before it's officially published but I can say, I'm excited!! Here's a sneak peek from PART 1 "Nothing to Fix"...
"When I first introduce the concept of "nothing to fix" to clients they feel uneasy. They’re good at fixing. They’re good at taking care of everybody else’s problems. It’s been their world and identity as far as they can remember. They’re “fixers”. Now, common sense says when a pipe bursts in your house, you call a plumber and— fix the problem. No amount of duct tape and towels will repair that pipe. It’s a mechanical system that can’t fix itself. It needs to be fixed. But life isn’t mechanical. We just can’t call a plumber to fix life. We try to “fix” with pills and doctors, experts and distractors, screen time, full schedules, work, alcohol and food. The list of “fixers” goes on and on. The fixing habit works like duct-tape on a leaky pipe. It’s temporary, doesn’t stick and doesn’t address the underlying issue. With life, there’s no “problem”. It’s just life and all its expressions of movement and change. What if there’s nothing to fix? What could change if we incorporated what was challenging, hard and painful into navigating life and solving problems verses trying to cover it up, numb, hide, ignore or fix? New conversations could be had with novel outcomes. Interesting questions may follow that lead to compassionate and thoughtful connections. That’s why there is nothing to fix. When we approach problems with a “fixing” mindset we walk through life short-sighted, quick to judge and react. This habit can run us ragged as we chase an outcome we can never fully achieve. There will always be something wrong for the “fixing” mind. That’s exhausting and joyless. That’s why there is nothing to fix. Integrating issues as a part of life’s natural chaotic movement leads us to the next creative solution. The answer to what’s next lies in the problem itself. That’s why there is nothing to fix. Everything is connected. That’s why there is nothing to fix." [Excerpt from From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change From the Inside Out, PART 1 "Nothing to Fix"]
Personal & Professional Transformation
I help professionals navigate change. If you're an executives or entrepreneurs facing transition, consider working one-on-one with me or bring me in to your place of business to work with your team to address priority issues, fuel goals and sharpen mindset. Immersions are custom designed to suite your needs, time and budget. Immerse yourself over one full-day, a few days, six months or more. Local and destination experiences are available. Design your transformation. Contact Annelies
Custom designed business development seminars for small businesses from 3-25 employees, staff and management. Trainings include variations on skills to improve communication, develop empathy, leadership, collaboration, change management, stress reduction, resiliency and conflict resolution. Learn more
Wisdom Circle is a facilitated 6-month mastermind group designed to help you gain mastery over your mindset alongside other professionals. Bi-weekly meetings, accountability partnerships and coaching support helps serious professionals, like you, to define yourself, grow your business, fuel goals, catalyze ideas, gain traction, direction, community and peace of mind from personal and professional accomplishments. Wisdom Circle is limited to 4-6 seats. $3200 READ MORE
Want me to speak about resiliency, change management, reducing stress and transforming conflict in order to develop sustainable life and leadership? Invite me in to speak and/or facilitate a workshop. Moving through change has never been so interesting! Contact Annelies
Last Saturday of every month 10AM-1PM
$38 includes Lunch & Workshop
Disconnect to reconnect! Learn how important creativity is to living and coping with change. Come explore an art-FULL experience at one of Raleigh's best kept secrets, the Well Fed Community Garden owned by Irregardless Cafe. Join us for Art in the Garden and enjoy the simplicities of life; creativity, community and cuisine. Experience the good life through an outdoor (plein-air) guided watercolor class with Annelies followed by a vegetarian farm-to-table picnic lunch from Irregardless Cafe. REGISTER HERE for JULY 28
Well Fed Community Garden
1321 Athens Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606