CPCC, BBA, Certified Professional Life Coach
You cannot remove darkness from a dark room. You can only bring in light. When you try to remove darkness, it feels like work. When you bring in light, it feels like play.
Much time is spent trying to remove darkness instead of bringing in light. It is the way we have been conditioned to respond to challenging situations.
Terms like “conflict resolution”, “problem solving”, and “managing people” are created from the “remove or handle darkness” frame of mind. We ask ourselves, how can we best deal with this conflict, tackle this problem, or manage our staff or children. It feels like work!
The illusion is that you can remove darkness or, at minimum, rearrange the furniture in the room. But you have undoubtedly found that this only provides temporary relief. And then the darkness resurfaces.
And so we then create training programs called, “How to deal with difficult situations” or “Anger management”. But often people come out feeling far from inspired. I am not saying we don’t attend to problems. That is unrealistic. The question is, however, where is your primary focus. If you are the captain of the Titanic, are you placing most your attention on the icebergs or passageways?
Where your attention goes, the energy flows. What you focus on, you create. When your primary focus is on what you don’t want, you attract that. When your primary focus is on what you do want, you attract that.
A team leader recently told me that she decided to begin placing most of her attention on those employees who wanted to thrive in the organization, and less on those who where disruptive. Simply by making this small change, she found the positive group becoming more productive and fulfilled. And to her surprise, the less interested group began to automatically follow suit. She didn’t have to work at them coming along because the actions of the positive group inspired them. Nothing motivates people more than the light of inspiration. She also began to pair members of the disgruntled party with the positive group. And one pairing eventually won a reward for a project they created together!
A family mediator who counselled estranged couples told me that every time a tense couple sat in front of him for a session, the first thing he’d do is pull out a picture of his dog. The conflict-ridden couple would look at the cute puppy dog, sigh, smile and the tension would immediately dissolve creating the way for a new and healthier dialogue.
So, where is your attention? Are you working harder than you need to? If life feels like work, chances are you may be trying too hard to remove some sort of darkness – a bottomless and stress-fill pit indeed!
You can only do so much to change the world. Ultimately, you must allow it to be changed through you.
The light that illuminates darkness comes from within you. Therefore, to create real change in our professional and personal lives we must first look within ourselves and ask where we can say Yes more fully to our own spirit. To be in-spirit, or in-spired as this team leader was, is to allow the light of your own deeper Self to shine through you into the world. As you do, not only do you enrich your own life, but you invite others to reclaim their authentic Self as well. One candle lights another brightening the room we all share.