RL Practice of the Month

We only truly see what we are looking for

We only truly see what we are looking for

Fact:We naturally assume that the ability to see is located in our eyes, since that is the critical organ that we immediately identify as essential for the gift of sight. But science reminds us that the ability to see is located in our brains every bit as much as in our eyes. Emerging neuroscience has further broadened our understanding of perception as an extremely complex phenomenon that goes well beyond the mechanics of eyesight. Perception is shaped in decisive ways by deliberately focused attention, and a host of emotional factors both filter and highlight what and how we “see” the world around us.

Action:Here are some practices to help develop Resilient Leadership’s “New Way of SEEING”

  • Observe how the emotional dynamics of your work or home system play out. Choose settings where you can “get on the balcony” and simply observe without being so heavily involved that you lose your focus.
  • Watch children at play or observe the roles that family members or co-workers play in routine daily activities.
  • Notice such things as the subtle reactivity you observe around anxious conversations, the reciprocal patterns that characterize certain triangles, the over-and-under functioning on the part of certain individuals and others with whom they are connected.

Try It:December, with its increased holiday gatherings and celebrations, can be both a joyful and a stressful time for families. During this month, use your daily commute to and from work, or other convenient time, to get on the balcony and practice this new way of SEEING. Turn the radio/TV off, and reflect on the emotional systems you are a part of, beginning with yourself.

Here are some questions you might find helpful:

  • “What level of anxiety is present within me?”
  • “What level of anxiety is present within my family system?”
  • And perhaps most importantly of all, “How can I show up as a calm and centered presence to the people I care most about?”

Use this quiet space of reflection to access your own wisdom, and act on what you hear.