Remember when “think outside the box” seemed like a revolutionary thought? For over forty years, in my training seminars, one of my main messages has been to encourage and empower people to take a leap and “think outside the box”. Of course we know the term “box”, is a euphemism for another catchy phrase called the “comfort zone”, that area of life that defines our degree of emotional safety and predictability. Because human beings are wired to seek safety and predictability, we settle into our own little comfortable nests fairly early in life and spend much of the rest of our lives fluffing it and making sure it stays intact.
Today we live in an environment, in which whatever box we might have thought we were thinking inside, has been blown to smithereens and is nothing more than a memory. Due to the rapid pace of change today, the old “box” has already been shredded and is on its way to recycling.
While that might sound scary, rather than scrambling to find the pieces and reassemble them as before, or clinging to whatever shards are left still hanging from your old box, what if we welcomed the opportunity to create a new life, not based on old beliefs, patterns, attitudes and opinions? What if we welcomed the idea that we can learn to operate free of the expectations of parents, teachers and other well meaning people, many of whom probably planted their own fears and shortcomings into what eventually became your “box” and then you took it on as your own.
If you’re still holding on to the shreds of that old box, still hoping there’s light at the end of that tunnel, still wanting to play safe and thinking that strategy will produce the satisfying life you yearn to live, think again. That ship has sailed.
Due to these times of rapid change, psychically, we humans have been blown so far out to sea, we can no longer even see the outlines of the shore. Change is happening so quickly, nothing has a chance to become the norm, except the very idea of change itself.
While change may be the new normal, here is nothing new about the idea of change. It’s always been with us. What is new is the velocity and scale at which it’s happening. Relying on what we’ve always used to orient us will no longer work.
We are leaving traditional practices behind and are heading into a “brave new world” where the rules are being written and re-written on the fly. The proverbial “box” has already exploded and we are left with the task of re-inventing ourselves in a new way, equipped to meet that brave new world with gusto and courage.
Our job, as human beings inhabiting planet Earth in the 21st century, is to develop the inner and outer skills necessary to find our selves again and again as we get caught in the riptides of change and lose our way. Life today dictates you learn these skills and do this work. We need new instruments to find our way forward now.
In spite of the chaos, disruption and turbulence, we can learn to not only survive but also thrive in these times. We can use this time as an opportunity to clean our inner house, take a reckoning of ourselves, discover who we are, and learn to build courage and resilience. We can learn to use the energy of chaos and turbulence to explode the old box, take it to recycling and create lasting, transformational change in our lives, if we’re willing to prepare ourselves and participate fully.
Here are some of the questions we’re faced with today:
How can I find direction and get oriented when it feels like I’m being overwhelmed by chaos on a regular basis?
How can I best prepare myself for change and disruption when I have little practice doing so? Where do I begin?
What’s important now? What skills do I need to learn to be effective going forward?
How can I learn to overcome my fear if there is no security anywhere anymore? Who do I look to?
If you’re facing these questions in your own life, this book is for you. Think of this as an owner’s manual for your life when the old manual has become outdated and no longer applies. It offers practical advice on how to develop the necessary skills for preparing you to live that brave, new life you desire.
My intention is to have this book support you to update the files on your mental, emotional and spiritual hard drives. Which files need deleting because their programming has kept you stuck? What new files are necessary to help you move forward and create the life you want now?
One thing is for certain: we’re not going back from whence we came. But neither do we know what lies ahead. We only know we have within ourselves the raw material from which to forge a creative and satisfying life, even in the face of unprecedented change, and even if we don’t yet know how to access that raw material. We can sense it’s potential and that’s the fuel we’re going to use to build out that brave, new life. It’s time to learn to live from a fuller expression of our potential, with freedom, courage, choice and creativity as our guideposts.
Are you ready to begin? So am I. Let’s get started.