Link to Feelings — a Swiss Army Knife of a Leader
Do you remember the last time you took a hot and steamy shower or a bath? Or how was the last time you dipped yourself into an icy cold lake for a swim?
I remember hearing how there are “two ways to go about it” when we want to swim in the cold:
Either little by little, slowly getting used to the water before immersion, or directly at once without thinking.
The first takes a bit longer, does not require much stamina and cardiovascular health, and is more gentle. The latter is a shock, which can be either detrimental to your life or it will surely make your body and mind a lot stronger in the long run.
For most of us, the first approach is better and more doable.
It does not matter if the water is hot or freezing. We touch it, little by little. Then moving away. After a while we move further into the water, stay there a bit longer, and move away again. Through this pendulum-like motion and patience, our body and mind start to get used to the water’s temperature. We are able to relax and stay aware while in it. Strong fight-or-flight -response subsidies and we are eventually left with a smooth, relaxed, and a refreshed sense of life.
Our feelings and emotions are like that water. So can our approaches be similar to the above-mentioned two, especially when we have been at least a bit disconnected from them and are re-learning to feel and be aware of them.
It is this patience, awareness, and pendulum-like motion happening inside of us that eventually allows us to fully feel what we are feeling and become like after a good warm shower or a cool swim.
We must also be willing to let go of the stories we identify with, and which create and sustain our emotions, when we eventually move towards fully feeling ourselves and our feelings.
However, if we refuse to establish, or restore, our connection with this vital part of ourselves, it can have a multitude of negative effects in our lives.
Our relationship with feeling, the root of empathy and compassion, whether our own or those of others, can define the quality of our interactions and relationships to very large extent..
and if we look at it, our lives are almost entirely built on different relationships. Especially our work-life, where organization really describes a bundle of relationships.
Learning to feel the broad spectrum of our feelings and emotions without reacting, is like staying under that hot shower or hot tub at peace.
When we are able to foster this link with our feelings, it is to us as remaining in touch with that pleasant water all the time.
Unless we disconnect, we only have to go under the water once. And establish our relationships from there, whether at home, at work, with customers, with those you supervise, with yourself.. with life itself.
For a leader, or anyone in a leadership position, establishing and maintaining this link with feelings (and needs) is hugely important. It is what makes a difference between someone whos is a manager, and someone who is also a leader.
Luckily this can be done.
Let me know if I can be of help..