From TJ Magazine: Life, an inside job

In the second part of her series, Kimberley Hare shares how to navigate life with ease, clarity and peace of mind.

Readaing time: 4 minutes.

If you’d have met me prior to 2009 I would have told you, quite sincerely, that I had a wonderful life. I led a very successful business doing work that I loved, enjoyed great relationships, international travel and financial security.

It’s fascinating, as I can see now that I had no idea what was on offer in this thing called life!

These days, my experience of life is far richer and deeper than I could ever have imagined. My relationships are on an entirely different level and, as I outlined in my article last month, this has nothing to do with my life circumstances or external events.

For those of us who are struggling or suffering, this inside-out understanding helps us to rediscover our bearings and get back on track. For those of us who would report that we are already successfully creating what we want in the world, this understanding helps us to do that even more easily and effortlessly. 

Inner wisdom and insight

Most people tell me that there are times in their lives when they just know what to do. It turns out that we have an inner satnav or GPS – you might call it an inner wisdom – that can act as a guide if we let it. This is very different from rational, intellectual decision-making, where we are researching data and weighing up the pros and cons of each possibility that we see.

it’s often a challenge to hear the gentle flute of your wisdom over the crashing noise of the brass band that’s already playing in your head

Imagine that your brain is a bit like the hard drive on your computer. You have an incredible amount of data stored about what’s worked in the past, and information from experts about the right thing to do in any situation. Sometimes, this can be very useful.

But you also have something else: intuition, fresh insight, ideas that just come to you out of the blue. To quote Einstein: “Intuition is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. But we have created a society that honours the servant, and has forgotten the gift.” 

As we explored in the first article, when we don’t have a lot on our minds, the default is to live from a place of clarity, creativity and peace of mind. You don’t have to do anything to get there. That’s the factory setting.

And this is the space where insight is more likely to happen – or more accurately, you’re more likely to notice it. But, if you have a lot of revved-up thinking (that doesn’t look like thought, but rather looks like reality), it’s often a challenge to hear the gentle flute of your wisdom over the crashing noise of the brass band that’s already playing in your head!

As Sydney Banks, founder of the Three Principles approach, said:  “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”

This understanding is already transforming the lives of thousands of people who are suffering and struggling. It doesn’t matter what the form of this suffering is or how we label it: anxiety, stress, PTSD, depression, addictive behaviours, eating disorders, self-harm.

I’ve witnessed this transformation hundreds of times with my clients over the past 10 years. It’s not about denying our experience or feelings. This understanding makes it easier to feel our feelings, but to drop the “story” about them – because it’s the story that keeps us stuck. And the story was only ever made of thought. 

But you don’t need to be actively suffering for this paradigm to be enormously liberating. All of us have insecure thinking some of the time in some areas, which results (if we let it) in not realising our full potential. Not asking, not taking the risk, holding back, believing our own judgmental thinking about ourselves, living small. 

What relevance does this have in the workplace?

The implications for the workplace are enormous. Look around your workplace and I’ll bet the top 10 challenges or difficulties your organisation faces stem from the innocent misunderstanding about how our minds work.

Poor engagement. Less than optimal relationships. People feeling stressed, burned-out or just operating with a kind of get-through-the-day mentality. A lack of breakthrough ideas.

This understanding translates into less presenteeism, hiding or withholding. Engagement and trust goes up. People tend to give each other the benefit of the doubt more often. They start really listening to each other, rather than operating from the egocentric need to be right. Creativity goes up.

It’s especially helpful for leaders and others trying to bring about change. It really helps to understand how the human experience actually works.

I’ve spent a large portion of my life training leaders, facilitators, trainers and coaches – and I’ve seen how this understanding impacts how well trainers train, and how well learners learn. Leaders start to lead differently and better. Behaviours change.

There is more humanity, more human-ness, more humility and more trust.

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About the author

Kimberley Hare is the founder of Heart of Thriving.


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