From the three levels of connection we have connecting to ourselves, connecting to others and connecting to the system.
In my consulting and coaching process I sometimes start with exploring people’s connection to the system through asking questions to make the system, that is often invisible, clearer and visible.
But I also frequently start with exploring people’s connection to themselves.
Whether you are an individual creative practitioner, an independent business owner, an employee or an organisational leader, an effective connection with your self – your true self – is an essential requirement for feeling creatively liberated and able to act on that creativity.
But the more systems we get involved with – our families, our partnerships, our teams, businesses, corporations – the easier it is to lose sight of our true self. The connection with who we are can become weaker as we are subtly influenced by the context and dynamics surrounding us.
Once that connection to our true self has been weakened, the barriers which spring up in the path of re-connecting to our self appear as huge mountains we need to scale to get back to who we really are.
Those mountains might be things like feeling unsure that you have enough time to re-connect with yourself or that you have too many responsibilities to be thinking about yourself right now. For organisational leaders, the pressure of running a business and ‘being the boss’ are big mountains that can appear hard to overcome.
Every pit stop on the liberating path has a dark side. That includes connection, and nowhere more so than connection to our true self. What if we start looking and find something we don’t like? What if we start scaling those mountains and realise we need to shift our entire life? Change our job, our home or our partner? There is a real fear of finding out about ourselves, and not liking what we find.
In connecting to our true self, there is a risk that our life won’t be the same afterwards. Some people don’t want to take that risk. For those that are willing to take the risk and ‘do the work’, they will reap the rewards.
When you are closely connected to our true self, you’re rewarded with a sense of acceptance. You’re better able to make decisions, because you know what’s important to you. You become a better leader because you have vision and poise that other people want to be part of. Your creativity improves, because you’re aware of what you want to create and are committed to making it happen.
In an organisation, when everyone there is connected to their true self, you will know that everyone is there because they want to be there. People who do not want to be there will leave – with grace and good relationships intact. Those who stay will stay because they can see who they are and what your organisation does fit together wonderfully.
If you’re willing to scale the mountains, you’ll get to the meadows on the other side.