At some time or other we will be coming out of lockdown (or shelter in place) and entering a new normality. As stated in last month’s article, it is unlikely our world and our roles will be the same. But what about us, how do we want to present ourselves when we come out? This is an important consideration whether we are going back into our current job or looking for a new one. We have the time and opportunity to reflect and adapt to being the type of person we want to be, if we choose to.
In our previously frenetic busy lives, there was little or no chance to step back and take a keen look at ourselves. With our noses pressed to the grindstone, our vision was limited. Now we can take a long look in the mirror and assess our strengths and where we would like to improve. We can become quiet and listen to what our inner self is trying to tell us. Our energy can be spent understanding what means the most to us, the type of role we want to play and the goals for the future. We can take control and create certainty in a self-directing and self-determining way and define our own path.
Kittisaro, formerly Randy Weinberg, a Rhodes Scholar and now a Buddhist practitioner, found his new path some years ago and his words are insightful.
We tend to think of metabolism as the ingestion and conversion of food to energy. Alternatively, we can think of it in terms of ‘consuming’ this new reality and internally converting it for our own needs through our powerful judgement process. If you ‘digest and process’ what you have learnt from self-consideration, you can emerge from this shelter, reformed; and in an image that is meaningful to you.
However, if you don’t take the time to convert your ideas into useful energy, your considerations will produce nothing but waste and be dumped!
Our world has gone through a massive transition with a global confrontation with mortality. We can liken this to the life cycle of a butterfly. If we think of the pre-coronavirus era as the caterpillar stage, we and our businesses emerged, thrived, consumed resources; and grew. This recent period of lockdown has been like the pupa stage. We have withdrawn and had the time to change into something different. Interestingly, in this stage the grub does not transform into a butterfly; it goes into a ‘soup’ first and from that the butterfly is formed. We too can metaphorically ‘melt down’ and reform into our more beautiful self. It might be ‘messy’ at times but something better will emerge.
Butterflies are beautiful and ephemeral beings and it is the struggle out of the pupa that gives them the strength to fly. Your ‘new you’ may be very delicate and fragile in the early stages. It will need belief and support to allow you to thrive until you too begin to ‘fly’. And like the butterfly, the struggles you face now, will give you strength for the future.
Another amazing aspect about a butterfly is its symmetry. It is balanced on both sides in shape and pattern. You too can have symmetry if you are truly balanced in various aspects of your work side and personal side. When you have balanced judgement, you avoid over or under valuing things, and by so doing, you exude trustworthiness, authenticity, charisma and people feel safe with you
Consider how balanced your judgement is in these six areas and where you could improve.
|Aspect||Over value||Under value|
|People||Put others first. Accommodating. May be easily manipulated.||See people as a resource. May be difficult to work with.|
|Work||Workaholic, spend too much time on tasks.||Do not put the energy in which is required.|
|Ideas/big picture||Paralysis by analysis. Worry about consequences too much.||Do not seek or value other’s ideas. Not worried about consequences.|
|Self-concept||Too much attachment to role and self-importance.||Role dissatisfaction or underemployment.|
|Self-image||Unrealistic goals and belief in what can be achieved.||Do not stretch yourself. Do not achieve goals|
Be Kind to Yourself
Most people tend to be their own worst critics, but now is the time for healing and adjustment. This time last year, nobody could have predicted what has happened and it is hard to be sure what the future will hold.
“So far 2020 has been like looking both ways to cross the road and then being hit by an airplane!”
The best you can do is put your energy into valuing yourself, all the roles you play and the next steps you choose to take. You can trust that you have what is required within you to spread your wings and fly in perfect symmetry.
This article was inspired by two fascinating webinars by Judgement Index.