Posts Tagged ‘change’

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Seven Ways Nature Reflects the Creative Process

 

I do love this time of the year.  Here, in the Southern Hemisphere, we have fully blossomed into Spring.

The colourful riot of flowers, the fresh lime leaves and the chirpiness of the birds is everywhere.

The Tuis – our New Zealand native birds  just love dangling from the branches – from any angle they can as they suck the juices out of the beautiful cherry pink blossoms, Kowhais and other garden plants.

After the cold, dark and weary winter, the contrast is significant including the bounce in people’s steps.

Seeing the lushness of the new during my walk this sunny afternoon, I began reflecting on how nature reflects the creative process.

1)  Cycles – the natural cycle of the seasons reflects the creative process. Sometimes our creativity is just flourishing and at other times it feels as if it has gone underground.

2)  Diversity – this season, more than others, highlights the diversity in nature with all the varied colours, shapes, sizes and smells of the different flora and fauna appearing together.

Creativity also emerges and thrives with diversity of thoughts and ideas.

3)  Smells– the heady perfume of jasmine and the gentle whiff of wisteria this afternoon was intoxicating under the strong sun.

Our feel good hormones and creative juices get aroused with certain smells, which are pleasing and/or have some previous positive memories associated with them.

4)  Happy accidents  – as per nature with the unplanned flowers and shrubs popping up in unexpected spots including the paved footpath – creativity also ‘pops up’ as we have that special  ‘ah ha’ realization at an unexpected time and place.

Nature frees our clogged up minds and lets our imagination roam free.

5)  Juxtapositions– this again mirrors the creative process, as it is the previously uncombined thoughts and juxtapositioning of ideas, which result in new insights and solutions.

Nature breaks the rules, as does the creative process in discovering new things.

6)  Giving shape – nature evolves organically with some input from us e.g. when we give shape to our gardens.

Creativity also thrives with our input – when we marshal our nascent thoughts and ideas into some form.

7)  Joy– last but not least, Spring lifts our spirit leaving behind sodden months, preparing us for sunshine – and hope.

Ultimately the creative process is a joyous one.

 

 

 

Leading and Living through Change

Life happens.

Things don’t always go according to plan.

No wonder John Lennon, and some wise people before him have said, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.”

And yet when the unexpected happens, it invariably throws us and we react.

Our reactions

Depending on the nature of the surprise and the change we have to deal with, our reactions vary.

It can range from being shocked to “how did all this happen?” As a senior leader put it, “I was blindsided and did not see this one coming at all!”

Other common reactions include anger, blame and bargaining (If only…), resistance and denial to finally acceptance and hope.

Understanding the process

Early in my career, in my work as a Clinical Psychologist, I was working with people going through profound change including grief and loss.  We often drew from the wisdom of Elizabeth Kubler Ross.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”

Getting out of the depths takes time and we need to allow our inner being to be able to do this. But this is not always easy!

Change in Organisations 

Given the VUCA world we operate in now, change is a constant.   We have barely adapted to one major organisational/industry change when other is on the way.

Actually, it is even more than this.  We are having to deal with multiple shifts and changes simultaneouly.

If I look back to the ninties working as a consultant in large scale change management projects, we used to run workshops  on “Being change ready.”

This almost seems an outdated concept now as change like our mobile phones is  almost always, ON!

SARAH Model

This popular model which we use in the business setting reminds us of the different stages of the change response:

·      Shock

·      Anger

·      Resistance

·      Acceptance, and

·      Healing/Hope

Manager/ Leader challenge

If you are a manager/leader it can be triply challenging as you deal with the change yourself and having to lead and manage teams and the organisation at the same time.

Being patient and mindful that people have different processing time and supporting people through the various stages above is vital…..whilst at the same time keeping the momentum of the required change happening!

Another leadership paradox to learn and live!

Navigating the depths

So how about you?

How do you best deal with change, especially when it is not of your making and gets imposed on you?

Can you draw on a time when you were able to come through the change even stronger?  When you thrived not just survived?

What emotionally intelligent attitude and behaviours enabled this?

I look forward to your thoughts and experience of this.

Afterthought:  A conversation between Swami Vivekanand and Ramkrishna Paramahansa
Swami Vivekanand: “In tough times, how do you stay motivated?”
Ramkrishna Paramahansa: “Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.”

The Inevitability of Change

Time and time again, it has been said – the three things we can all be certain of – death, taxes and change!

And depending on our circumstances, one of these may be more pressing than the others.

I had not been for a walk in the Western Springs Park since summer so autumn’s presence was spectacular!

From the crunch of the leaves to its gentle fall on you – the beautiful palate of variegated colours, an artist could not have painted better!

Here in the Southern Hemisphere in a few days time on the first of June winter begins.

A change bringing its own challenges – it gets dark early as there are fewer hours of sun but more rain and cold.

But also the delights as we curled up by the fire (or heater), warm, hearty meals and lots more sleep!

The in-between seasons can take a bit of adjustment and getting used to.

Whatever our favourite season, there is a hankering for that to continue – be it the endless days of summer or the freshness and vitality of spring, the cooling temperatures of autumn or the feeling of hibernation in winter.

Not unlike life – sometimes getting used to change can challenge us to the core as the familiar disappears from our experience.  The heart yearns for what was but we don’t always have a say in the matter.

And yet when we open our hearts and embrace the change, we stop resisting and flow with what is.

And in the process, like the chrysalis, we transition and emerge anew.

Are You Going through a Major Life Transition?

Life changes can catch us by surprise.

Are you feeling a tad restless, frustrated, anxious or down and depressed?

It is quite likely that you are going through a life transition but perhaps haven’t recognized the fullness of it.

Like it or not, our lives is a series of change and transitions.

Recognising and understanding the nature of such transitions can help reduce some of the angst and resource us to adapt faster and take positive action as we step into the changed or new future.

Here are some signs that you may be going through a major life transition:

(more…)

Change: The Joys and Challenges of Life

 

cherry pathI was heading home after a busy Friday. Seeing the traffic ahead, I decided to turn right into a street I very rarely use.

And boy, was I glad I did!

Barely had I gone down a few hundred meters, when I got welcomed by these wonderful, bright pink, cherry trees, many in full bloom.

Just last week I had written a post on the unexpected little joys of life.

The bigger two trees in the corner were full of tuis (NZ bird) ‘tuiting’ away, absolutely lost in the moment and in ecstatic delight of the honey nectar. It is as if, amongst the branches and the blooms, they were having a music and rhythm festival all of their own!

One of the neighbours, similarly enthralled, along with the cat came outside and we started chatting.

We stood there, very much in the moment, admiring the magical, colourful bounty and the blessings of nature.

cherry treeSeasons and change

Here in New Zealand, our Spring season has just begun. It really is a delight seeing all the lovely magnolias, cherry blossoms, sweet-smelling Jasmine, daffodils, early cheers amongst others, appear, after the dull winter.

It got me thinking – we welcome the change of seasons but are we as welcoming of the inevitable changes in our lives? (more…)

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