From Annelies & Conduit for Change, LLC
Annelies M. Gentile, MA, ACC
Integrative Life & Leadership Coach | Author | Speaker | Consultant | Facilitator | Process Artist
Since last we connected, I've coached executives and leaders from city government to entrepreneurs facing change, published a 333 page book (on KINDLE now too!), facilitated discussions and resiliency workshops, traveled to the beach and the mountains, had a fire scare at home and started a neighborhood fire safety class as a result, went to retirement parties, birthday parties, girl parties, holiday parties, designed a funeral ceremony for a friend, hosted a house concert for 23 people in our kitchen, and calculated that I presented 52 times to hundreds of professionals in 2018-- about half for free. How is CHANGE showing up for you? I want to know! Email or call me. Let me know what's changing in your world.
How do we cultivate resilience in times of change? Click the video below to learn more about how perspective plays a part in navigating change. If an hour-long show is too long for you, skip around to find something that resonates for you or just listen to it in the background like a podcast. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!
WINTER is Rich with Hidden Potential
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!
From Dec 21 till March 20th, we'll experience winter with its polar vortexes here in the United States. And on the opposite side of the globe, in Australia they're experiencing summer and a radical heatwave! Seasons may be what they are yet how seasons are expressed can be so different based on location and perspective. Here's some thoughts on how a nature-based approach can open your eyes.
Nature provides a unique lens in which to see ourselves and the situation around us. Here we can discover inspiring perspectives, useful solutions, and new patterns that may reveal our next step. According to Eastern traditions of Tao, there are 5 seasons, each represented by an element, color and emotional characteristics. Here's a simplified explanation.
- Winter : Water : Blue : Stillness : Fear : Hidden Potential
- Spring : Wood : Green : Creativity : Anger : Growth
- Summer : Fire : Red : Connectivity : Joy : Authenticity
- Late Summer : Earth : Yellow : Integrity : Sympathy : Transformation
- Autumn : Metal : White : Acknowledgement : Grief : Letting Go
Winter is related to the WATER element which represents our emotion of fear and informs a sense of power, hidden potential, courage, stillness or mindful movement and wisdom. Through the season of winter and element of water we are reminded to be with the unknown. Like swimming in a cold sea, we can't see what's underneath. We want out ASAP and if we don't get out, we panic. When we face the unknown head-on, we're looking directly into the face of fear itself. This is not a bad thing! Doing so changes the fear making it moldable, softer, approachable and makes us more available to access possibility, ideas, solutions and common sense to think our way out of a situation. We need to be present to what is first-- then act when action is called for.
Let's be honest, facing our fear is not something we tend to readily explore. Who wants to do that?! It can be a terribly upsetting and downright scary. Ironically, you may discover that the resistance to explore the unknown is actually stronger than facing fear itself. We may all agree, to varying degrees, that today we're all facing change on an unprecedented level. Everything from fear of the future, to environmental challenges to polarized politics. How do you gain a foothold when all sides are pushing in, especially when you're a leader who others are looking to for guidance?
I encourage you to reflect through the nature of winter/water/fear as resources for courage to emerge. Welcome the aspect of shape-shifting as something pointing to hidden potential. What IF all the pushing all around us is pushing us up and through a new stage of human development? What if the mess is necessary?
I invite you to draw a larger circle to encompass the importance of chaos and change as a basic fundamental of life. Breath in, breath out. Sun up, sun down. Tides in, tides out. We are made from momentous shifts of constant change. Nothing is stagnant. Ever. Take a moment to slow down and ask... "What is my next RIGHT STEP?" You don't have to do everything, just the next right one. Sometimes that's really small, like stepping away from the computer and getting a glass of water. Sometimes it's saying NO to one more thing that will push you over your edge. Sometimes it's saying YES to your particular needs. Sometimes its saying YES to something bigger than you. The point is to scale down to the next tiny right step.
So- let's bring some awareness here and as we move through winter (or summer if you're reading this from Australia) and remember you're an intricate part of nature- in all ways. We cannot remove ourselves from the chaos of change. We can only choose how we respond to being moved.
Time to Reflect
Remember you're a human being, not a human doing. Step back from the doing to just BE. Pause to notice the small shifts in and around you. Explore the season of winter and its water element through these inquiries.
- What am I deeply committed to?
- What's my next right step, just for today?
- What are my sources of power and courage?
- Where and how do I give my power away?
- How much empty, quiet time do I have in my life to reflect and regenerate?
- What might your current fears be pointing to? Take a look, then-- can you show up as what's missing?
Humans function like seasons of the natural world. We often easily respond to the expressions and changes of the natural world. Nowadays, many of us are inside, working year-round, many are isolated with no windows to tell our bodies where we are in our natural cycles. So, if this describes you- I encourage you to give extra attention to exploring your inner nature this season by exploring in nature. Go outside, get off your devices, sign up for a class or a get-a-way to tempt, tease, teach and release your genius. Engage in exploration for the sake of savoring what's good. Invite others along to follow your lead. What's your ONE word for 2019?
Click here to go to Amazon and buy your copy of From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change From the Inside Out. It's on KINDLE now too! :)