Three thoughts for the week up to 25/05/2023:

It’s good to talk

I’ve been fortunate enough to have lots of quality work conversations this week – both in the usual remote way, along with two days of being in person with my team.

This much conversation can be intense but I’ve taken the chance to try to note where I’m feeling uncomfortable, or tired, or distracted. I’ve added to my understanding of my personal patterns, and felt a truer version of me returning after anxiety and circumstances made me different for so long.

What was great about the conversations this week was the gentle but firm reminder that assumption blocks understanding and connection. We each create our perception of reality inside our heads, and it’s only through communication we can help others to understand us, as well as gaining an understanding of their view. Without communication we all continue to operate in our own reality with the risk of frustration, mis-alignment, and all sorts.

For me surfacing the differences as well as the commonality has been incredibly helpful and through our openness not only builds trust, but also helps us see how we can become so much stronger together by building diversity (and here I’m talking on diversity of thinking, but diversity of all sorts is generally better).

Little fires everywhere

There is much Big Stuff going on professionally and personally, and there is only so much time and energy in each day. It means prioritisation is the key, and that sometimes means looking at all the things around which seem on fire and deciding which can continue to burn untended, which need attention with more urgency, which are not my fires to attend to at all, and which I am inadvertently or unnecessarily adding fuel to. Not only that but spotting what is a raging inferno but will burn out without much action needed, and what looks harmless smouldering but will whoosh out of control with the merest whisper of breath.

It takes much energy to fire watch and categorise and plan the right action, so there’s an added element of not burning out (ho ho) on that stuff and leaving no energy to actually do what needs doing. There’s a lot of loneliness, and a risk of rejection, in fire-watching too. What looks like a raging inferno to me, can be an ember on the breeze to another. The threat level is not felt the same way by all.

As noted above, perception is so personal, and communicating is hard, persuasion that your view or needs are valid even harder. And it only gets more challenging the more fires there are and the longer they burn.

Sunshine makes such a difference

Time outside in the garden has once again been my saviour this week and the sunshine has been an added bonus. Working in digital doing something hands on and practical is a lovely counter-point that brings satisfaction on a soul level.

There are lots of little challenges in the garden – finding the balance between protecting plants and working with the wider eco-system; being consistent; being patient; leaning in to the learning. Listening to the blackbird sing, walking barefoot on the lawn, or getting dirt on my hands as I work through these challenges is a joy, and one which gets me out of my head into a peaceful state.

Just sitting in the sunshine carries a hit too, and I’ve loved the blue skies over the frothy white cowslip verges and heaving hawthorn blossom hedgerows as I’ve made my way around over the last week.