This morning I read a post written by Dr. Willem Lammers, the founder of Logosynthesis, on work he is developing in the area of life transitions. As always, I am interested in applying the concepts to my everyday life. Top of mind is the current labour dispute between government and the teachers union in Nova Scotia. Here are some thoughts for consideration:
Kicked out of comfort zones:
According to Willem, we tend to cope in life by avoiding discomfort and finding stability through coping techniques, such as working hard and pleasing others. These mechanisms may take a lot of energy to maintain but they tend to work for us by providing stability. At least until there is a time of transition. These transitions can shatter our beliefs, values and fantasies and often we expend our energy to try to restore the former balance. He proposes that this denies the chance of growth or may set the stage for the next, more serious, crisis. At this point in the negotiations, it appears that this comfort zone has been disrupted. It appears that what teachers are experiencing is very similar to what I have experienced in my job – a true sense of being overwhelmed! And I applied the principles of Logosynthesis to help me navigate through this change to help let go of the feeling so that I could better focus on what needed to be done.
Suffering has one cause:
If we accept that we are out of our comfort zone, we can begin to look at the cause of our stress. According to Logosynthesis, suffering has one cause – a disconnection from our life energy, from our higher Self, from our Essence. We are not connected to our purpose. As a result, we tend to get stuck in the stress responses of fight, flight or freeze. If we listen to teachers, we can appreciate that the demands of the classroom are not providing the environment to allow them to fulfill their desire to teach. If we listen to parents, they fear they are not being good parents if they are not fighting for their children to get the education they deserve. If we listen to government, there is a sense of purpose to make life better for Nova Scotians. As everyone reacts individually to what is demanded of them, their energy is less available for work aligned to their purpose. From my conversations with Willem about my work situation, as I provided rationale for what was wrong and why things had to change, he would respond back that these were all interesting beliefs. He challenged me to reflect on my reactions and apply the Logosynthesis sentences to let go of my reactive energy. He did not argue that my beliefs were wrong but rather suggested that perhaps my reactions were not beneficial. For anyone that knows me, you may find it hard to believe that I listened … but for some reason, I applied the teachings. The work is subtle but the results are quite profound.
This is not about the teachers being right and the government being wrong or vice versa. It is not about parents and students taking sides. This is about each of as caring and compassionate humans being immersed in a world that is overwhelming. We want it fixed now. We want to feel comfortable. As leaders and as employees, each of us has the responsibility to do our own work. The most difficult step for me was to realize that I had to let things go. I believed (strongly) that I was right and it was not me that had to ‘change’. As I embraced the work, I started to realize the beauty of ‘letting go’ and that as I was more calm in my reactions, I was in a better position to approach ‘hot’ topics.
Logosynthesis is a simple process but it tends to be counterintuitive to us. Our beliefs dictate what is right. We are trained to take corrective action to make things right. If something is broke, then fix it! And the more urgent the situation, the more reactive we become. This work provides a beautiful framework to allow each of us to consider what is causing our stress and recognize what we are feeling so that we can let go of our reactions and have our energy available for creative work, aligned to what energizes us!