Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #50
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Sun red with smoke
For each of us to deliver on our biggest aspirations—to take advantage of new opportunities or meet new challenges—we must grow into our future possibilities. – Robert Kegan & Lisa Lahey.
We transform and evolve through practices. We are what we practice. Our bodies reflect what we practice. Practices are linked to values, ethics, care, and commitments. – Richard Strozzi-Heckler
I was practicing Aikido. My training partner was eight inches taller, and his forearms twice the size of mine. I’d offer both arms, and he’d grab them from behind. If I slipped into reacting with the normal human responses of fight, flight or freeze, I was ineffective.
We practice to learn and grow. In Aikido I practice to develop new response-abilities to each grab, blending and creating better outcomes in the moment. Like most of life it isn’t something we can learn solely from a book or on our own, we need practice partners. Working with someone equally committed to both of us learning and growing is joyful.
Back and forth we went, each of us taking turns grabbing and being grabbed to learn the feel, and cultivate resilient effectiveness within us.
Switch partners said our Sensei. Now I was training with someone eight inches shorter, and her forearms two-thirds mine. Similar practice, with a different feel, all to cultivate our ability to creatively respond to the challenges we face. We train with an intention of dissolving the conflict through compassionate action that takes care of both people.
These practices help me realize, it is easy to react to what life throws at me and try to cope, just to get by and then disengage as soon as possible. It takes discipline to explore what can I learn and create in each moment, and how do I stay engaged to act with compassionate action and take care of myself and those involved.
We don’t need to stay stuck in our reactions, we can choose how we want to respond. We have new opportunities to practice each day with every person we see and meet. It helps me to reflect on:
- Who do I want to become?
- What am I committed to create?
- What will I practice each day to grow my response-abilities?
Let’s cultivate resilient effectiveness, and create a better future today!