Over a year ago when General Motors was still a stock that was coveted for generations and virtually no one outside of the investment world knew who Bernie Madoff was, I created a seminar which I called “Tools for Turbulent Times.” I just had a sense that we were headed into uncertain times and a time of significant challenge.
As I continue to work with this theme of Tools for Turbulent Times in my own thought processes, I thought I’d write and share some of the guideposts that I am applying to my own life.
1) My wife told me yesterday that she went to the bank and the teller was doing a poor job of holding back tears. Everyone is stressed. I am being more conscious of being kinder to those around me.
2) Speaking of my wife, I am being more aware to not take my stress and inadvertently dump it on her. We are a team and need each other more than ever in these challenging times. Rather than pushing away those who are close to me, I am reaching out to them.
3) Keep the big things big and the little things little. In facing my current challenges, I ask myself these questions: “Is this stressor worth my health?” and “Three years from now is this going to matter?” If the answer is “no” to either one of the questions, then I re-frame my response to the challenge to, in a sense, let it be three years from now, now.
4) I know from looking back at other “tsunamis” that have swept through my life in the past that there always is a silver lining to the challenge. I have enough trust in Life to know that the same is true with my current challenges. At some point I will look back at these turbulent times and see that there is a silver lining to this as well.
5) I have always been fascinated by the physics of the bicycle wheel. The three core parts are the hub, the spokes and the rim. The spokes are virtually little strands of metal. It is puzzling to me that this little strand of metal can support my weight. The secret lies in the physics and how the spoke that is taking the weight transfers the force to the hub and the hub distributes the stress to the other spokes. Each spoke takes a turn as the wheel spins. As the wheel of Life is spinning now, for a lot of us, the load on our individual spokes has significantly increased. For me the hub represents my spiritual core and the spokes are my close friends and the professional consultants whom I consider to be my support team. Some of you who follow this blog are on my support team so, thank you.
6) If you go back to my last post on the “Biology of Stress,” I wrote about the genetically encoded response to stress of “fight, flight or freeze.” In these challenging times, I am being conscious of not staying stuck there. For me the antidote is: to replace “Fight” with facing the challenge creatively instead of wasting energy in opposition, to replace “Flight” with facing the facts no matter how humbling they may be and finally, to replace “Freeze” with: exploring options, forming an action plan, and doing the work that is necessary to meet the challenge.
7) I also make space for the “State of Grace.” If you scroll back through my posts, I wrote about it that in my first posting.
I wish you well in these Turbulent Times. I am finding that the challenges are creating changes in my life. Where I have attachment, the changes are uncomfortable. Interestingly enough, in the midst of the discomfort, I am finding that some of these changes are welcome.
Copyright © David Pasikov 2009