We’ve all felt it. That shame-tinged feeling that comes with being made to feel we have stepped beyond an imaginary line. Out of our box.
I have seen this tactic used by politicians to avoid answering a question, by teachers looking to control a child, by parents fed up of being challenged by unruly teens, in meetings to maintain the hierarchy.
Know your place they are saying. And by that they mean, understand the rules, this is how we do it. How could you not get that?
Why does it happen that way? Why are we so easy to shame into stepping back into a place that’s not of our own choosing, even if we know we were not looking to be rude, even when we know we are right to have asked the question or challenged the answer? Even when we know that what we bring is of value, that a fresh perspective will enhance thinking?
Collectively as a species we humans have over hundreds of years, particularly in the last 500 or so, increasingly lost the sense of knowing our true place in the world.
Disconnection from nature, separation from each other, disharmony between our inner and outer selves. So many of us consequently crave belonging and connection, many of us without even knowing why. And this lack of knowing, this lack of sense of self, makes us more uncertain of ourselves, less willing to trust our intuition, less confident in our own abilities. Easier to manipulate. Easier to shake. Easier to sell to.
As separation of humans from each other, from nature and between our inner and outer selves has intensified, so it has become easier for soul-less, bureaucratic, purely profit focused business practice and governance to rule.
Consequently as our collective ‘not knowing’ has grown, so we have seen our home, planet earth, put under such intense, unsustainable pressure that now we are talking about the real possibility of irreversible change and the 6th mass extinction. As Greta Thunberg now so famously said, our house is on fire.
It is clear that things must change and I believe we need to start small. With ourselves.
Whether we are a leader or a child still at school, everything we do, matters. We are connected to each other and to every living thing.
There is no longer time for us to turn a blind eye or walk away bruised and silenced. It’s never been more important to know who we are and to be steadfast in that knowing. How we feel about ourselves matters, how we react to things matters, what drives us matters, how we relate to everyone and every thing, matters.
So know your place. Take your place.
You are as important, as beautiful, as powerful, as deserving as the next human and your are, without a doubt an absolutely vital part of this awe inspiring, abundant, vibrant, interconnected world.
The more you bring your true, aware self into every situation you face, the better it is for you and I promise, the better it also is for the planet.
And it starts with our own work.
Doing your own work..
This is all about finding the right way for you to bring awareness to the choices you are making, the things you are doing, the stuff that triggers you, in ways that you can integrate into day to day life.
- Learn how to centre yourself. Simply slowing down your breathing or changing the pattern of your breaths will help you calm yourself even in the midst of chaos and stress, if you learn the ways that work best for you. Guided meditations or simple rituals can be powerful too. It depends what feels right for you.
- Take time each day, just a few minutes, to ground yourself. Literally feel your feet on the ground, ideally outside with bare feet. Grounding helps us to become more sure of ourselves and the decisions we make and to be more content with who we are. It also helps us to feel our place in the world, interconnected, part of the environment. Consistent yoga and mediation practice can also help with grounding.
- When did you last consider your values? Which 3 or 4 central values are key to you living the life you want to live? The values that mean you get up in the morning? If they are incongruent with what you are spending your time doing, life is going to feel like an uphill struggle.
- Never underestimate your power as a consumer. Behind every purchase is a whole chain. Know the story of what you are buying.
- Find a channel for your stress. It may be power-walking, it may be yoga, it may be hitting the pads. Your body holds onto shit. Help it to let go.
- Be brave, step out of your comfort zone once a day. The more you challenge yourself, the less challenge from others will impact you.
- Get out in nature. Whether in your back garden looking at ants, sea swimming or walking for miles through wild countryside, there is nothing better to help you come to understand your true place on the planet than being part of it.
- Working with a life coach, a mentor, or a therapist. Everyone, individual or organisation could benefit from understanding themselves better. Check out my website The Beautiful Thinking to find out what I can offer https://www.thebeautifulthinking.com
- Leaders, business owners, if you haven’t already read it, Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux is a must read. Regenerative Leadership by Giles Hutchins and Laura Storm is inspiring too.
- Check out https://www.regenerators.co
Image: Andy Vu