Just around the corner from where I live is The Herbal Path, a Chinese health and medicine shop. Yesterday, I was looking at some of the diagrams they have pasted in their store window. Those diagrams illustrated the meridians in our bodies, the rivers of energy within our body, the Qi (pronounced “chee”) flow. With a reframe, I see those rivers as collaboration flows.
Our mind can hold opposing views. Check out this classic drawing it’s from the mid-1800s. Is it an old woman or a young girl? “It’s both, of course. The yin yang of our minds!
I’ve seen this image many times, over the years. Strange, sometimes I look at it and I only see one image, one person. For the life of me, I can’t seem to see the flip side, the other person. What’s going on?
When our mind is fixated on one thing, it can be really hard to see, to imagine, something different. The shift, the flow, to something else, is blocked. I see it all the time in others, when mediating conflicts. It’s important, though, to hold out for a different narrative, a different story to flow to. Our stories define us.
Chinese medicine and health is very much concerned with the flow of energy in your body. When that flow is blocked, when an obstacle obstructs the flow, for whatever reasons, our whole being is constrained. Everything we do can then seem more difficult, or impossible, to do. Freeing up the obstruction is basic to free flow of energy.
A good chunk of my business involves project work, and facilitating change. As a business systems consultant, I’ve worked (and continue to) on lots of projects where the key to success was a smooth transition from the old to the new state-of-mind and being. There is always a period of transition from one state to another. That transition is part of the natural flow between old and new. William Bridges Managing Transitions has been forefront on my bookshelves for a long, long time.
In many ways, the art of the collaboration requires us to reframe the transition, the flow from the old to the new. Facilitators, mediators, parents respect that transition, in others. And, we want to do it for ourselves, too!
So, be good to yourself. You already know the importance of your vision, a more collaborative you. Align your daily intentions and actions with the direction of that vision. Respect that there are obstacles along the way. Find ways to let go of, or at least sidestep, those obstacles. Maybe spend some time wandering, in the neutral zone, for a while. And, then gradually create a new story for yourself; learn and experience your way to it, through thinking and doing.
2013 is just getting underway. It’s a good time to shape a reframe that will enable the rest of your year to flow smoothly.
What’s one reframe you’ll hold on to, this year?