Wednesday, March 21, 2012

“It’s the way of harmony with Ki”

“Write down a conflict or challenge you have right now, just a few words to describe."

   The speaker posed a challenge during an exercise at the presentation titled “Power to get it done with grace” that I attended recently. I looked at the question again and yet again, wasn't sure what to write, or which one to write probably (?) well, no surprises there, we always have plenty of those. Thankfully, it was a paper exercise and we were not supposed to share our responses with anyone else present there. I scanned the room noticing the attendees around and found them restlessly playing with their pens, a gesture associated with an instantaneous reaction to our sense of conflict we usually have with ourselves. Why was it so hard? I was wondering! Don’t we complain about challenges and conflicts all the time? The interesting fact is, just before the presentation started, we were having a very engaging conversation about the things that didn't look right and of the situations that didn't work for us. Then what was the challenge in putting one down in black and white? It was the fear of giving it away. It's enlightening how powerful written words are. As long as our worries are nestled somewhere in a corner of our heart/mind, we are fine, but when we try to give them away and look at them objectively, they make us question our own integrity/strength.

  “I am having a conflict with myself.” I wrote down my response. Yes, that was it. I looked at it again and felt assured. There are no external conflicts. There are external circumstances that work as stimulus in our system to evoke a response. What we call a conflict is merely how we process the information internally within our system to generate a response. Internally, we create a very strong statement about the way we perceive things, and whenever we fear that our perception or idea might meet with opposition, we become unsettled. The things in our lives that don't go well probably get into a conflict with our own values or beliefs. This revelation also partially explains why we often struggle to find an answer to our “whys.” We can improve our understanding of what’s not working, what needs improvement and how to achieve a goal, but whenever we endeavor to find an answer for our “whys ” we are puzzled and most likely never find one -  reason being, they are unique for each individual. There is no process, no logic, no our individual reaction. I guess it was all making perfect sense to me now.

  “If you are having a conflict with a coworker, boss, colleague or anyone, don’t make statements, do not create a point of view, and don’t confront , rather create a paradigm shift and try to look at the situation together by coming around it," the speaker lamented further….

  “What is it that you do NOT have as a result of that”?
This was her second question. Now that I had clearly analyzed the situation, the answer came easy - “Peace of mind and clarity of thought”. I wrote down my response. Yes, because of conflict, we harm ourselves the most. The lack of objectivity incapacitates our clarity of thought and renders us unable to analyze the situation and ask the right question. Our vision is blurred and perspective obscured. Force against force creates a linear impact, what we should rather be looking for is spiral impact - centralized energy. Centralized/ focused energy that empowers us.

  We cannot change the people around us neither can we choose who to work with, but we can change the way we look at a situation and stay in control by keeping our energy centralized. "We should be thankful for the challenges we get in our lives as each situation teaches us something unique about our own skills. Bigger the obstacle, stronger we become, depending on how we deal with it. The mantra is to actualize the energy to stay in harmony not in conflict.

   As the Japanese philosophy AIKIDO states.
   AI = Harmony / Connection, KI = Spirit / Energy, DO = Way / Path

  “It’s the way of harmony with Ki”