Monday, January 19, 2015

Digging Holes with a Red Van - Part #2

Now, let’s pick up from where we left off on Monday, January 12, 2015:

Then we faced the question of the boulder at the bottom of the icehouse. We both crawled down into the hole, hugged the rock, and said, “This is where you came to rest and this is where you will stay until the next fools shall attempt to move you.” We each threw a handful of sawdust upon it, crawled out of the hole, and loaded our gear into the van. The, with a great noise from our punctured muffler, we roared down the mountain, and a couple of hours later we were back at the farmhouse. Noises tend to echo off the sides of the valleys in the mountains, and the entire homesteading crew was sitting out in the farmhouse porch listening to our arrival. They welcomed us home like heroes when we told them we had been attacked in the woods by a “wild stump creature” and barely escaped with our lives. Then, of course, we had to tell the truth and live with the weeks of teasing that followed.

So many times when I listen to people who are working through conflicts I think of this event in my life. It seems we are stuck in wanting to “get it all over at once.” We want the metaphorical rock out and we want it now. So we tend to choose the first solution that comes to mind and often nearly run ourselves into the pond before we really understand all the consequences of our actions. As a dear colleague of mine recently said, “When dealing with big issues, go slow and think small.” My digging partner and I needed to hear this advice when we left to accomplish a grand task all in one day. Conflict resolution and quality interpersonal communication does not happen instantaneously. It is an in-depth process involving your complete attention and awareness. One needs to learn to look backwards and forwards at the same time and also remember not to press too hard on the accelerator. I believe we are addicted to instant gratification and resolution. While this may be nice, it is probably the ideal rather than reality. The key is to work slowly and give the process time.

As I look back on my experience of digging out the icehouse, I wonder why, when we discovered the size of the rock at the bottom of the icehouse, we simply did not stop and take stock of our options. It was not until we had gotten ourselves in a big mess that we actually had lunch and talked about options. Similarly, small conflicts evolve so quickly into large ones that it is important to take time in the beginning to work them through or at least understand the parameters of the problem.

To this day, I suspect that the boulder is at the bottom of the icehouse “way up in the woods.” I have learned not to rush through projects and conflict resolution as fast as I used to. Now, I am growing more and more comfortable with changing what I can change and learning to with the boulders in my life. When I release my expectations and learn to live in the moment, then the health and wellness pathway before me is full of many wonderful lessons, even when I find that I am once again digging the metaphoric equivalent of holes with a red van.

From Listen to the Heart The Transformational Pathway to Health and Wellness by Geery Howe published back in 1991. For more information about the book, please click on the following link:

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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