Let’s talk story about mantras
Funny how some mantras just come to you, seemingly out of the blue, but they really are very perfect.
All we need to do is stop when we get in the flow of things (we feel the energy pulsing through us), and just capture the moment so that small voices in the background can speak up louder because we’ve turned off the other noise. When you have those ‘whoa, I managed to slow down and pay attention’ times, you can also have those “Well, of course!” moments of decision. Those are when you don’t question impulses because they aren’t impulsive at all; they were meant to be.
That happened for me earlier this week. Such a great feeling!
It started with me simply thinking about the turn of the calendar page to December 1st, and my writing up Surf the December Tidal Wave.
Then I found that great photo by Helder on Flickr, and thought to myself, ‘amazing… it couldn’t be better than that!’
Then the Listening Challenge I am now guiding for Ruzuku led me to this very timely blog posting by leadership coach Susan Mazza: 5 Ways to Lead the Way to Holiday Miracles and it struck me as so completely in alignment with what I’d written about at Surf the December Tidal Wave, and in a very positive, immediately useful way – an example the blogosphere seemed to offer up to me, because I had ended my own post by saying to you, “We’ll see where this leads, and I’d love to hear your suggestions!”
I highly recommend you read Susan’s post. A snippet to give you the feeling of it:
I can think of no more important place for our leadership to make a difference than in our families. The Holiday Season is a particularly opportune time for us to lead the way for something new and maybe even miraculous to show up. Wherever in the world you may live the holidays have a way of amplifying the best and worst of our family relationships, add to our stress levels in both good and bad ways, and heighten our emotions.
I appreciated Susan’s list of 5 ways, but I actually got the most out of the tip in her preface:
You might start with creating an intention for the season. What do you want this season to be like for you and for your family this year? Last year my intention was to “stop sweating the small stuff and really enjoy the important stuff”. In the spirit of that intention we declared no more adult gifts. Instead of running around shopping for each other the days before Christmas we spent time together at the beach.
That word, intention, does have a Ho‘ohana way of speaking to me… Therefore, I left this comment for her, and comment-wrote my way into a holiday mantra for myself!
Susan, I really love this idea of having an intention for the holidays. This year it will definitely need to be “Christmas is in my head first, arriving with me wherever I am, all month long” for it will not be the actual day” the only time we will be able to get our family all-together in the same place will be between the 14th and 18th of the month, and away from home. I know it will be wonderful, yet that also gives me another thirteen days to New Year to fill joyfully rather than allowing them to fall flat in the aftermath. Your post is getting me to be more inventive yet still focus on that mantra of decking the halls of my head space!
Are you paying attention?
The question I will ask you again – in a different way than Surf the December Tidal Wave did two days ago – is this: Have you made room for those small but highly significant aha! moments to grab hold of your attention?
Intention, and Language of Intention (which I am very fond of coaching) need not be big and scary. The best ones start pretty small, so there is room for happy coincidences, and then they gain steam.
The book I am reading right now is by Marcus Buckingham. I will tell you more about it later, so we don’t get too far off track right now, but he has a line in there that is getting to be very sticky with me because I believe it is utterly true. He says, our “attention amplifies everything.” Actually, I did mention it before if you’ve been paying attention… (number 11.)
I know that where my attention goes, I go. It is where I will choose to manage or lead, be thoughtful and reflective, or active in diligent follow-up. This month, “decking the halls of my head space” can be my small start of intending to be positive, and intending to enjoy the holidays, allowing those two things to eventually gain steam and be that leading the way to a holiday miracle like Susan says it can.
I know, without needing to know all the detail of it yet, that “decking the halls of my head space” will turn out to be very, very powerful for me in the coming days and weeks. I just know it, because my aloha spirit tells me so, and I choose to believe in my own good intentions.
What will you choose for your mantra, and choose to believe this holiday season?
My mana‘o [The Backstory of this posting]
Each Tuesday I write a leadership posting for Say “Alaka‘i” at The Honolulu Advertiser. The edition here on Talking Story is revised with internally directed links, and I can take a few more editorial liberties.