The Path is You

Some of the clients I've been working with are feeling like their lives are out of control. They have been through downsizings, and are now "doing more with less."
Some said they are anxious and overwhelmed, feeling like they are drowning. Some have just about given up on hope.
For others, stress is high, nerves are on edge, and tempers are rising. Some even said that their personal and family life is starting to suffer.
They are trying to find their pathways through chaos.
Two of my favorite bloggers, Dick Richards and Curt Rosengren, have offered some wisdom about finding your pathway.
At his blog Riding on Dragons, Dick Richards muses about the "pull" of pathways:
"The question–why am I attracted to images of pathways?–is yet another pathway that leads to an uncertain destination and so attracts me in the same way that I am attracted to the pathways in these photos. It seems that certain phenomena, be they photographic images or unanswered questions, draw me in because I cannot see where they lead–they invite me to seek and so allow expression for the mythic energy of the Seeker."
I know what he means. I have always been a seeker too. One who is drawn to the "pull of the road," wondering what discovery is around the next bend.
At his blog The Map Maker, Curt Rosengren asks: "What would happen if you really and truly looked at each moment, not as simply a continuation of an inevitable single-track path, but as a crossroads jam packed with potential directions?"
To start exploring the possibilities, he recommends that we stop and ask:
What are the possibilities here? Where am I going? Where do I want to go? What choices or steps can I find right here and now that would lead me - even incrementally - towards that goal?"
Coming back to my clients in chaos, I believe that exploring possible pathways is what they need to find their way through chaos. But how can they do that when a lifestorm is raging around them?
Here are a few thoughts that might help.
~ F for Focus: In the midst of chaos, it's like you are in a hurricane. Distractions are flying all around you. How do you find a calm center, a place you can go, where the din is not so loud, to find your focus?
~ A for Attention: Chaos can scatter your attention, shattering it across too many "to do's" and priorities. Busy-ness does not work. How do you pay attention to the things that matter most? Things like your own goals? Your family? Your health?
~ S for Slow: A few years ago, journalist Carl Honore published a book about the Slow Movement. In his TED Talk on the positives of slowness, he recommends "getting in touch with your inner tortoise." How do you get out of the fast lane for awhile?
~ T for Think: In the storm of organizational chaos, the winds can be strong. How can you think? You need to raise the unanswered questions, weigh the knowns, and consider your choices.
Finding the path forward is a challenge when your life has turned upside down. A period of focused, attentive, slow-paced thought, centering on the One Thing of most value to You, may be just the thing for discerning the pathway forward.
The path is You.
Updated from a blogpost by Terrence Seamon, Nov 19, 2009

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