How intentional are you?
This is the sixth in the series of posts about ‘relational learning’; how we learn about ourselves through our relationships with others and what's going on in our lives. This week, I'm reflecting on how I'm learning and experimenting with writing these posts.
WOW! I’ve got to week 6 of writing these posts and I’m amazed that it’s taken this long for me to get bored! One of the reasons for writing a regular weekly post was to experiment with my boredom. I love doing the ‘new’; creating something from nothing and I can always find tremendous energy towards the next idea or project. What I struggle with is doing the same kind of thing over and over; I don’t enjoy the aspect of honing my skill; the repetition of getting a bit better every time I do something. It really requires me to ‘dig in’.
So I’m going to share a little bit of how it’s been going for me and the prospect of writing this morning….
Woke up this morning - no idea what to write…hmm… ‘what else can I right about Relational Learning?’… pondered if anyone was actually interested, not sure that I am either… got up and got on with my morning.
Walked through park to post office to collect parcel… beautiful morning… hmm… still no ideas.
Had an enlivening mentor coaching session with client, followed by coffee, few emails, hung the washing up… hmm… suppose I should get on with writing.
Sat at desk, thought about how I could turn some new ideas into first steps… hmm… not sure that this is really helping with writing.
Recognising that my vacant & distracted mind seemed to be doing everything other than writing, it felt like time for some self-coaching. Here's what I did:
1. Intention check in
Remind myself of the intention that I set out with (see my first post: Introduction to Relational Learning)
Is it still valid and true?
YES! I want to experiment with how I respond to writing and doing it on a regular basis.
What has stuck with me over the last week? What have been the themes of the conversations? What has life been showing me?
This week, the concept of energy has come up with both clients and friends. Which comes first, energy or attention? What happens if you only ever follow your energy? Is it possible to create energy through attention?
What is happening with my energy towards this post?
I am distracted, bored by it, it’s no longer a new and shiny thing to do. It lacks energy & fun from interaction with and from potential readers. Could just write anything but I’m attached to the idea that I want it to provoke something for any readers. In short, I’m lacking both internal and external drivers to get it completed. It feels like it’s a choice between persevering and ‘digging in’ against the energetic fun of ‘blasting off’ new ideas.
What if it’s not about a choice? What’s the ‘AND’ option?
Which means, how can I bring fun and energy into the task with which I’m bored. How can I give it attention? What attention does it need?
I realised that I'd been sketching and mapping out my reflections, so I decided to start with creating the image for today's post first. Normally I look for the image as the last part of the process.
Drawing is a challenge I enjoy, it still has a novelty factor and I took the time to look through some sketch note books to find some inspiration for the pictures. I also like that it stops me overthinking and over perfecting stuff. Finishing the picture then led me into writing and the rest then took 10 minutes.
So whilst I really enjoying following my energy, I know that if I’m learning something or doing something which is not second nature then it sometimes takes a bit of ‘digging in’; it requires me to find the energy to give something attention; it’s this attention that then creates it’s own energy. It turns out that I’m rather enjoying the reflective space that the process of writing creates on a weekly basis.
Notice your intentions, attentions and energies that come up for you this week. What’s your pattern of behaviour?
PS - this is an example of how I Relationally Learn! So far in the series:
Felicity Hodkinson is a leadership coach working with individuals and groups, she is a creator of ‘relational learning experiences’ and founder of Bend the River. She combines her marketing, commercial and change management experience of 20 years gained in small business and corporate FTSE100 companies with her passion for coaching individuals and organisations.
Email Felicity to explore how this coaching approach could help you develop your leadership practices. Read her recent article on 'Softening the Goal Mindset' in Global Coaching Perspectives, July 2016 (the magazine from the Association for Coaching).