In times of uncertainty like we are experiencing now, worry, panic and chaos can set in. These are the times when tapping into our quiet power will help us find calm in the chaos. By accessing our inner calm, we can respond creatively rather than react. Find opportunity in what seems like a crisis.
The problem is, it’s easier said than done, especially when fear and anxiety are fuelled by media and we see people panic around us. It reminds me of the wild Australian bushfires going out of control with wind and heat. We can perhaps learn from the wombats – how they survived the bushfires by staying underground in the cooler burrows and how they became accidental heroes for providing a safe refuge underground for other wildlife.
Here are some tips on how you might access and maintain your inner calm.
Accept: Accept what is happening by gathering facts rather than fiction as much as you can. Notice how you are feeling and reacting, accept without judgement. Writing them down to get them out of your head, as we can overthink, catastrophise and stress out when we leave them in our heads.
Pause: Step back, be an observer of your feeling and behaviours. Use meditation, conscious breathing, mindfulness practices to create a gap between stimulus (what’s happening) and response. By distancing ourselves, we give ourselves the power to choose our responses. If what you have been doing is unhelpful, find another response. If following what others are doing has not been helpful, listen to your inner guidance.
Reframe: Look at the situation from a distance and reframe the story we tell ourselves about it. This way we don’t ignore what is happening and what needs to be done, but we feel and behave differently. See uncertainty as an invitation to be present, chaos as our training to manage risk and find opportunities. What’s the worst that could happen and how could you handle it? What might be the opportunity in the crisis, silver lining in the cloud? How might you support others?
Adapt: Watch out for tendencies to get too attached to the way things were, so you can experiment with new ways of doing things. Some of these adaptations may be beneficial after the chaos, so why not get practiced at it? Remote working and virtual meetings are good examples of this.
We have the capacity to tap into this quiet power if we choose to, as I’m sure some people are. When we do, we can respond in ways that are much more creative, productive, helpful to ourselves and others. What do you do to access your inner calm?