2006: Issue 21
Fall is officially here….the mornings are cool; the air is crisp; the dew is heavy; the days are shorter; and the trees are transforming to various shades of red, yellow, orange, with some, simply staying “evergreen.” I love watching Mill Mountain out my office window, seeing the colors gradually progress, sweeping the mountain from top to bottom.
I hope you have noticed…perhaps your drive to work has been more pleasurable because of the beautiful fall colors; or maybe it’s your window view that is now much more colorful with vibrant reds and yellows. And then again, perhaps you haven’t noticed, because like so many of us, you are doing something every waking minute and scrambling to get it all done.….talking on the cell phone while driving to work; proceeding into your office, saying the usual good morning pleasantries only to head straight for the computer to check email, finding yourself not looking up or out again until lunch – oh yea, what lunch? The picture is bleak, as is the result.
True confession. Until today, I had not really noticed the landscape changes on Mill Mountain for I have been in the “closed space” mode for the past couple of weeks. Going from one project to another, one appointment to another, endeavoring to stay on time and meet deadlines, and striving to honor my commitment to my husband and son. The result, my “left brain” has been working overtime; my “right brain” has been idling……waiting for that open space time to design, discover, explore possibilities, and create.
The full engagement of my left brain has made it possible for me to get things done, and a reminder of how I used to be, routinely and continually….as well as a reminder of the not-so-good consequences over the long term. Borrowing from author Daniel Pink’s words in A Whole New Mind, without the engagement of my brain’s right hemisphere, I am unable to see the big picture and to synthesize information. I am seeing the details, putting them in order, and finding the single answer, but am at risk of missing the context.
In the next edition, I will give these aptitudes some life and breath. But the first step is to commit to creating some “open space”….physically, mentally and emotionally.
As we proceeded with the coaching, she was able to identify some benefits to her, her family, and her employees if she would commit to finding some “open space” time – the opportunity to individually and collectively explore, discuss, and create. She began by cleaning up her physical space, creating some “open space”, and asking her employees to do the same. She then decided that every evening she would give herself 15 minutes to quiet her “left brain”, and engage her “right brain”. Seeing the benefit of doing so, she brought that into her staff meetings, and now places priority on the time spent in what she terms “open space” discussion. The benefit: work is still getting done; the daily crises’ have lessened; people are working together because they have co-created the space – mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Founded in 2003 and based in Roanoke, Virginia, Extra Ordinary Living works with individuals, organizations and teams to identify possibilities, create opportunities, remove obstacles and through deliberate action, optimize results.
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