A Developmental Moment #5: Patience as a Concept and Practice

Expanding our Patience While Limiting our Reactivity By Understanding and Practicing Our Emotional Intelligence

The past few weeks, I’ve been thinking more about patience, and just how important being patient is in all aspects of life. For sure, patience was, and is, something that I continue to be present to, as patience was, and still is in some ways, something that is a developmental opportunity for me.

How do you feel about the concept and practice of patience? Do you think it affects how we interpret the world, and how we, for instance, function at home and work?

I think it does affect all aspects of our lives, whether we are aware or not.

In this post, we’ll explore a couple of ways to expand the concept of patience by unpacking the stimulus response system, and by exploring ways we can increase our patience, or, conversely, decrease our reactivity. Ready? Good. Here we go.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

The Stimulus Response System

In some ways we are programmed to respond to our environments. As we navigate our environments, our brain takes in data and information, let’s call them inputs, processes them, and then runs through a selection of outputs, or responses. Pretty simple, yes?

Yep, pretty straightforward. The issue? Good question. Well, if we never question our responses, and simply react, we can become reactive, which means that an event occurs and we react without pause. Super helpful in an emergency situation.

In a non-emergency situation, however, it is not always as helpful. There are ways, however, that we can slow down the stimulus response system, which creates a space for more choice.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has been written about for a long time. Very simply, having emotional intelligence means that you understand that there is a space between a stimulus and response, and you can access this space. Accessing the space between a stimulus and response, also means that you are able to make more choices and handle emotions that arise more readily. Important.

Learning about and practicing emotional intelligence is important for all aspects of life, and is particularly effective in our relationships. When we can slow down and increase our choices, we, at the same time, increase the outcomes that are possible in each situation.

Home and Work

As we learn more about our emotional selves we create the opportunity to reduce reactivity, and understand our own humanity. For instance, anger was something that was present for me a lot of my adult life. There are many reasons this is so, knowing today, I was only ever upset with myself for not living the fullest life possible. Knowing this is helpful.

Additionally, understanding that anger can arise, and not mean that I am an angry person is also helpful. We must be careful with the concepts we internalize. If we internalize concepts, such as anger, as part of who we are as a human being, we then become an angry person. It’s just how it works. If, however, we understand that anger is an emotion that, like our thoughts, will arise, yet is not indicative of who we are as a human being, we are immediately freed from the concept. Super helpful and liberating.

Further, it is important to understand that our emotions not only affect us, they affect everyone around us, even if we are unaware. It’s not possible, for example, to carry anger, and to not give it out. We will. And, when we do, then all we see is anger, because, in fact, that’s what we are creating.

However, when we learn about and practice strategies that can increase our emotional intelligence, and at the same time, slow down our reactivity, we have new choices. New ways of being, and of releasing old concepts that we once believed in.

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Closing Thoughts

Emotional intelligence has a direct impact on our patience. When we slow down our impulse to react to external stimuli, such as other people and events, and internal stimuli, such as thoughts and emotions, we create a space to choose being patient over being reactive. Important.

And, in the space we create to be more patient, we get to choose from a plethora of ways to respond (not react) to a person or event. Powerful.

There is one practice that has been instrumental in my practice of my own emotional intelligence, and that is meditation. I’ve written about meditation lots of times, and, in fact, it has been scientifically documented that meditation decreases reactivity.

As our reactivity decreases, we see and experience the world more slowly, our patience increases, and we are able to understand our thoughts and emotions on a deeper level. Which also means that we will understand everyone in our lives that much better as well.

And, when we understand ourselves and those we love and care about better, our relationships begin to blossom. Our relationship with ourselves, yes, and with everyone else. A beautiful cycle.

#conceptandpractice, #developmental-moment, #emotionalintelligence, #home-and-work, #leadershipdevelopment, #meditation, #patience, #reactivity, #selfawareness, #selfdevelopment, #slowing-down, #stimulusresponse, #understandingyourself

Centered

Image credit; Lance Anderson @ Unsplash

upended, we can
feel at times, with the hustle
and bustle of life.
yet, I am
centered in the knowing of
life’s richest treasure within.

In response to the WDYS #70 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje.

#poetry, #centered, #centeredwithin, #life, #love, #poem, #wdys70

Haiku #10

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

memory, like a
whisper of times forgotten,
behold, this moment.

#poetry, #haiku, #life, #love, #memory, #past, #poem, #poems, #present

My One Thing This Week: Creating a Vision Traction Organizer

Current Reality, Future Reality, and Gaining Traction

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Alright, it’s been a while since I’ve created a My One Thing post. As I considered this this past week, it occurred to me to write a post about creating a Vision Traction Organizer (VTO). The VTO is taken from the book Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business, by Gino Wickman.

I’ve written about the book Traction before, and highly recommend it for anyone working in the business world, both private and public, no matter the size of your business. It is a very practical and implemtable book.

Alright, so here is what the VTO for the Extended Learning Department at Linn-Benton Community College looked like in year 2.

Extended Learning, Vision Traction Organizer

As you can see, it begins on the left side with the department values and vision and then works all the way to the right displaying the department goals, and issues the department is facing. Hence, traction. Why?

Well, as I’ve written about before, the only way to make a vision a reality, personal or professional, is to actually tie that vision to day-to-day life in the form of smaller goals. When you have your day-to-day activities tied to the vision of who you want to be, or where you want your organization or business to be in, say, 3 years, you will develop traction.

Meaning, you will move toward and likely manifest that reality for yourself, or your team.

Now, since the department’s second year together, well, we’ve had some, let’s say, unexpected things occur, such as the pandemic. Yep, so now that we’ve been living inside of this pandemic for a full year, it was time to start to sketch out the next 3 years.

Here is what it looks like on my white board wall.

Albany, Oregon 2021

If you compare the two, you will see that the revenue goals are much lower than they were expected to be when the original VTO was created in our second year together. That, however, is the reality. And, as I’ve written about before, being clear on the current reality is necessary and needed in leadership.

We may not want to look at the current reality, we may want to instead run and hide from it, yet, it will only follow us if we do. And, in refusing to acknowledge the current reality, just as it is, the people that work in your organization or business, will be confused. Confused because they are not getting honest communication from leadership. Not helpful.

Further, when we don’t stand in and accept our current reality, we cannot create new realities. The only way to create a vision for the future, is to accept reality as it is. Just as it is now. Then work from there. Simple. Yet, this can be hard for people in new leadership roles. Trust me, I know how that feels.

However, you will find that your team, organization, or business, will be grateful when leadership stands in and actively communicates the current reality. For it gives everyone a real starting point.

Alright, that’s My One Thing for this week. The next step will be to take the “whiteboard wall VTO” and put it into a graphics design software package. Once I’ve done that, I will create another post and walk you through some of my thinking about Extended Learning’s next three years. That will be fun.

#business, #current-reality, #gettingagriponyourbusiness, #ginowickman, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #myonething, #selfdevelopment, #strategicthinking, #traction, #vision, #visiontractionorganizer

Tanka #6

Photo by Janis Karkossa on Unsplash

Vast sand dunes at sea,
Such a juxtaposition
Underneath? The same.
Pondering the truth of life,
Watching for the nexus. Unity.

#poetry, #dunes, #life, #love, #nature, #poem, #poems, #sand, #sea, #unity

Deep Down

Photo by Kyle Goetsch on Unsplash

When we are born,
We get it, and then
A little at a time
That which was gotten

Becomes the forgotten.

Concepts invade our every
Sense, even though we know
We are blessed, these concepts
Pervade, like dew drops

Covering our eyes in a grand
Masquerade.

Reality becomes blurry,
And, at times, with such furry,
We lash out at others,
Because we feel quite smothered.

Lost in concepts,
Of our own creation,
A mentality develops
Of great separation.

And, yes, isolation follows,
Yet there is another way
We may harken today,
Recalling what we got
So long ago,

By remembering that
Which we already know.

You, me, and that tree,
And all of the other concepts
That you do see, are not
Separate, my friend,

For that, know it does depend,
On a realization, which you can
Make with some fixation, and

Steadiness of Mind,
By uncovering that which
Is deep down inside.

#poetry, #concepts, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #reality

Haiku #9

Leaves fall from the tree,
The sky is cloudy and gray.
Autumn fades. Winter.

Photo by Andrey Bond on Unsplash

Photo Credit

#poetry, #autumn, #haiku, #leaves, #life, #love, #nature, #poem, #poems, #winter

Creative Beings

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Is a wondrous
Part of the human
Art form.

Something we’ve
Been given, entrusted
Into our care, is the power

Of a special order,
One that does grow as
We get bolder, and understand
Ourselves more.

Even as we shoulder
More responsibility,

It is still possible to continue to
Develop our innovative agility.

Beguiled by life, as we
Can sometimes be, it’s
Important for you, and well,
Of course, me, to
Remember,

We are,
And always will be,
First and foremost,
Creative beings.

#poetry, #being, #creativity, #life, #love, #poem, #poems

A Blogger’s Diary 2/21/21: On Writing and Reflecting, Spring Term, and Asking for Help

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Do you ever feel like you have so much to say, and there’s just not quite enough time to say it all? Well, I’ve felt like that some this week, so have some new posts coming in the next few weeks, which I’m pretty excited about. Before we get to that, let’s take a look at 2 reflections from writing that occured this week. Alright, here we go.

On Writing and Reflecting

Forgiven

I had a great time reflecting upon and writing the poem forgiven. It was prompted by the Saturday RagTag Daily prompt, by Punam. The prompt was hugs.

As I reflected upon the concept and actual practice of hugging someone, it occured to me to write about a warm embrace in two ways, which are paradoxically, and not, one way. There is something very special about the contact between two people that occurs in a hug. Magical in fact.

The concept of falling into someone’s arms is about sharing something so special with someone else that in a way in that moment the two become one, and all of life’s complexities, challenges, and even disappointments disappear and are forgiven. Lovely.

I miss hugging people. I look forward to a day when hugging people is something we all do again as a normal everyday practice.

Imagine

I had an equally fun time reflecting upon and writing the poem Imagine, which was a WDYS prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. As I considered that beautiful tower, I wondered what the tower would think about the state of the world today. I imagined, pun intended, that the tower would long for a day when people would be bustling up and down it’s steel reinforcements, and walking, laughing, and playing at its base.

Of course, as with all things we write about, imagine is also a poem about my reflections about the state of the world. The hope and knowing I hold deep inside that in due time, we will all be in-person together again, walking hand-in-hand, and laughing and playing again like we did not so long ago.

I look forward to that time.

New Writing

I have several new posts I’ve been working on. Here is a preview.

  • My One Thing This Week: Creating a Vision Traction Organizer
  • The Reflection Series #8: Causal Loop 101
  • A Developmental Moment #5: Patience as a Concept and Practice
  • A Developmental Moment #6: Why Learning to Ask for Help is Necessary and Needed

Of course, I have some new poetry, which I am also excited about. More to come!

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Spring Term

Well, last year at this time, we were just about to embark on pivoting 5 educational programs to fully remote. Something we’d never done before, pandemic or not.

And, as we prepare for this Spring Term classes, registration for which begins on Monday, I am filled with such gratitude and appreciation for each person I work with. Their persistence in the face of adversity, determination to never give up, and to always acknowledge our current reality, while creating new ways forward within that reality, is such a treat and joy.

The department has over 120 remote classes, workshops, and training on offer for Spring term, and each term, as I’ve written before, we reach more and more people with opportunities for them to be with other people. This last term, we had students from Europe and all across the US. Super fun.

Asking For Help

For a very long time, I did not like asking for help. In fact, I would say that I avoided it at all costs. It was a part of how I was raised. Part of that individualistic mentality that is so pervasive in the US.

However, it is mere confusion at best. Why? Because, as I’ve written about before, the idea that we are independent of other people is an illusion. Simple. We are interdependent, nay, really One.

Therefore, living in an illusion that you are an individual separate from the rest of humanity and the world is a space full of pain and suffering. Seriously, I know. I lived that way for a long time.

When we are aware and realize that we are all interconnected, and that, in fact, all things on this planet are interconnected, the idea of asking for help is much more palatable. In fact, when you take that idea further, and realize that you ask for help everyday without saying the words, the concept of asking for help sort of becomes a part of who you are.

That does not mean, however, that it is easy for everyone. And, in fact, when I am super busy at work, my old pattern will reappear at times, and I have to always keep asking for help present for me. Important.

When we need help, we need to ask for it. Simple. You are not deficient or in any way less efficient or effective when you ask for help. In fact, the paradox is that you are way more effective and efficient when you ask for help. Yep. True.

I have an upcoming article on asking for help, which will come out in a few weeks.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Stay healthy and well, and have a tremendous week.

#poetry, #askingforhelp, #blog, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #diary, #education, #personaldevelopment, #personalenrichment, #poems, #professionaldevelopment, #remoteclasses, #spring, #writing

Intuition

Photo by Anthony Intraversato on Unsplash

Comes from within,
And feels like a magical
Enterprise, one, I do surmise,

Has been within me
For a very long time.

Though hidden
For a spell,
I do often tell

Of a time

Not so long ago,
Where my intuition
Reappeared, and with
It a zest

For the love of
This life.

Not another life,
Full of perceived strife.

It is a common misconception,
Created,
By our over-thinking,
And even conceiving of
A way out

Of what’s right
In front of us, and has
Been from the
start.

And?

In the end,
The thinking is the
Antithesis of what’s needed.

When we’re driven by
Compulsion, we are
Striving for something other

Than ourselves.

Yet, when we are
Guided by that impulsion
We feel on very long nights

Alone

By the fire, and our mind
Does wander, we let it
Because we no longer wonder

What life’s all about.

Nay, all is as it should be,
And, we know this, because
This knowing,

Burns deep in our heart,
So we follow that
Kindred spirit
We call

Our Intuition

#poetry, #heart, #intuition, #love, #poem, #poems