I could not do the work I do in the world without a deep personal practice in inquiry.
There is a high level of uncertainty, discomfort and conflict that shows up when we are trying to do something new, or when we are working together in new ways across all differences. As the patterns of fight, flight, stress, and confusion show up, my practice in The Work gives me a way to engage my own thinking resulting in new patterns of reaction that enable me to learn, shift, connect and stay.
When we really step into the world to do our work, we find the world is full of challenges we don’t know how to solve or fix - from global warming, to office conflict to parenting teenagers. And when we are out there engaging with the diversity of other humans (with all their gifts, difficulties, opinions and ways of being) we can often get reactive, disconnected, overwhelmed and stuck.
From our fear-based thinking we create patterns of belief that project a very small world with limited possibilities, and often a very small self in facing that world.
When you don’t know what to do, when things feel hard or groundless, wrong or frustrating, what beliefs do you attach to? What are your patterns of reaction?
Often our minds turn to judgment, fear and blame, operating from unquestioned assumptions and strongly held opinions. We create a fixed mindset and generate stressful emotions and reactions when we most need to be open, creative and connected.
The Work offers a way to engage with your own thoughts and beliefs right in the places where you get stuck. Applying The Work to your own judgments, fears, assumptions and other limiting beliefs as a practice can help you shift your own ‘stuck’ and unconscious patterns. It can give powerful insight into your own blind spots and open your mind to what else is possible to bring more peace, clarity and wise actions to challenging situations.
Personal practice is a crucial component of cultivating the openness we need to fully engage our work in the world and to grow and learn on this frontier of life. Whatever your practice, you may want to try applying The Work to your own thinking. It complements many other practices, and it is an accessible and powerful way to know yourself and to step more completely into your work in the world and offer your gifts.