“Organisms do not experience environments. They create them.” – Richard Lewontin, geneticist
I can’t claim to know this quote but was inspired with it in Margaret Wheately’s new book “Who do We Choose to Be?- Facing reality, Claiming Leadership – Restoring Sanity”. I think of Wheately as the Deepak Chopra/Chloe Wordsworth of business and management consulting. Her new book is as wonderful as her first from 1992 “Leadership and the New Science” and a must read for those working in situations in need of a new kind of leadership.
In my practice I meet many people who very unhappy in their corporate lives. They start with many fingers pointing at management, difficult colleagues, budget restraints etc. and mostly feel victimized and hopeless. They can initially get quite irritated with me when i explain how the energy of a group works and where they can own their own power to make a difference. Internally if feels justified to blame others because we feel innocent.
The road back is to realize that everyday in every moment we are at a point of choice and can choose to be happy, relaxed, and in a peaceful state of mind. We have the brain hardware to do this and we can control it. However, we can easily fall into a victim state (myself included) when life happens unexpectedly or at least not how we wished it would. We may find it hard to resist options readily provided by our lower brain and unwittingly accept it’s invitation to think negatively – blaming, complaining, being afraid,reactive etc. What we may not realize is that whatever we choose, brings an energy to our field of influence… our family, our coworkers, our volunteer work etc. We create our environment.
What environment have you created for yourself? Consider who is showing up there to hang out with you. What is the tone of the group? Do you feel valued and valuable in this environment? Are you fulfilled? Is it nurturing? Rewarding? Does it make you want to get out of bed in the morning? Is your current experience the one you wanted for yourself?
A great source of unhappiness I see in my practice is for clients facing workplace stress, toxic relationships and general unhappiness. At work they feel unfulfilled and sometimes bullied. The office politics and gossip pool wears them down. It may take a few sessions, but most people start to turn things around when they resonate with taking positive action that makes a huge difference. Simple but effective things include:
– appreciating the work of others
– asking clearly what they need to get the job done
– clearing up misunderstandings in the moment
– following through with their own commitments
– discovering their own non coherent group patterns and clearing them goes a long way
– creating new patterns of making others feel welcome and part of the group along with entrainment goes a long way
A new client informed me he was finally convinced about the power of repatterning when he returned to his old formally toxic work place. The same people were there, but the atmosphere was noticeably more positive and uplifting. After doing coffee with a few of his former colleagues he concluded it was the person doing repatterning work on himself that made the difference to the group. At that point he wanted in.
It does not matter where you are on the corporate ladder, when you create your environment to ‘be the change….’ you not only change your experience for you, others will experience it as well.
Notice something positive in your environment today. Appreciate yourself for the positive thought!
With love and light