Comment la nature va-t-elle colorer votre journée ?

Comment la nature va-t-elle colorer votre journée ?

Se connecter à la nature a un effet apaisant immédiat ; cela stimule des émotions positives et nourrit un sentiment de gratitude. Lorsque j’observe, que je prête attention, je suis également entièrement présent.
Voici donc une pratique de résilience que nous vous invitons à cultiver cette semaine :

Je suis particulièrement attentif à la nature en admirant la beauté des couleurs automnales.

Qui allez-vous remercier aujourd’hui ?

Qui allez-vous remercier aujourd’hui ?

Nous avons tendance à sous-estimer l’impact d’un remerciement au travail. Quand l’expression de cette gratitude a lieu, la personne remerciée est reconnue et se sent valorisée. Elle devient aussi plus encline à aider à nouveau dans le futur.
Voici donc une pratique de résilience que nous vous invitons à cultiver cette semaine :

Je prends une minute chaque jour pour dire « merci » à un collègue.

10 Tips for Rest, Recovery and Rejuvenation

10 Tips for Rest, Recovery and Rejuvenation

Originally published on www.resiliencei.com and reproduced with permission.
Written by 

The Season for Stillness

We tumble to the end of another warp-speed year. We spin through our tasks and grasp at floods of information.

We press too hard, too fast and for too long. Reservoirs are sucked dry. Self-awareness fades. Self-regulation is impaired. Your health and your relationships are at risk.

It is time to slow down, repair, rejuvenate and reconnect with what matters.

In a world of optimisation, ambition, pride and duty, we push hard on multiple fronts. The rest, recovery and rejuvenation cycle is squeezed out between ever shorter bursts of dopamine. We are child-like in our impulsive tapping, swiping, checking, buying, rushing, feeding… compelled to chase the next hit.

As I come to the end of 2019, I feel battered. My mind is a little flat. Attention is fragile. Relationships are edgy. I know I need a good break. I am struggling to disconnect, calm my hypervigilance, and allow the natural cycle of recovery. I sense it in our family, friends and colleagues.

Rest, recovery and rejuvenation (R3) is the next competitive edge. Ironic!

My end of year message it to give rest, recovery and rejuvenation your full attention.

At a cellular level, the R3 cycle is vital to repair and rejuvenation. It is the key to longevity and sits at the biochemical core of fasting, sleep quality, intense activity, meditation, and cold water baths. It is a promising solution that supports this process of slowing, cleaning and repairing hard working cells.

The R3 cycle is key to musculoskeletal strength and physical wellbeing. Intimacy, touch and dreaming (REM) sleep stimulate the R3 cycle for emotional wellbeing. The default network is the R3 cycle for cognition allowing us to focus, engage and refresh our minds.

Our end-of-year pause is an opportunity to capture the R3 cycle for life and family. Please make an effort to allow for adequate rest, recovery and rejuvenation as your year comes to an end. Engage your family in this process so that you may reconnect in more intimate ways.

Share what works well for you.

The purpose that rises above all

The purpose that rises above all

By 

Originally published on www.resiliencei.com and reproduced with permission.

The purpose that rises above all

One thing every human seeks is joy. More commonly it is called happiness – a positive or pleasurable emotion. The evolution of joy is clearly based on our need to seek survival. From the simplest bacterium to the most evolved human, three billion years have embedded the drive for joy into life. When we take a moment to reflect, it will be joy that we seek above all else.

For the bacteria it is simple: move away from threat (anger), suffering (sadness) and starvation (fear) and seek safety (calm), comfort (contentment) and satiety (fullness). We share this with all species on the planet. For many of us, that continues to be the main game in town. An increasing number of us lurch with little awareness between anger, sadness and fear. Whole communities can be lost to joy. Many simply grasp for the easiest scraps of joy to be found in sugar, drugs, sex, domination, etc.

We can do so much better.

There are many shades of pleasurable emotion. At one end we have schadenfreude, which is to enjoy the misery of others. At the other we have bliss, exuberance and contentment. Explore your joyous options. There is no more creative and satisfying pursuit.

 

It is surprisingly simple. Just practise!

From the most simple, physical and proven to more esoteric here are 15 pathways to joy.

  1. Use your chopstick for two minutes per day
  2. Secure eye contact and smile at every greeting
  3. Watch, read or share something funny every day
  4. Throw your head back and laugh out loud
  5. Take each of the words above and find a memory that matches
  6. When you feel pleasure, positivity or lightness, name the emotion
  7. Relate a happy moment to loved ones every day
  8. Meditate, contemplate or pray with a different version of joy
  9. Make Friday a day to focus fully on maximising your expression of pleasure and joy
  10. When you notice a worry, exhale slowly and appreciate this moment
  11. When you ruminate on the past, exhale slowly and appreciate this moment
  12. Seriously improve your sleep discipline: length, timing and quality
  13. Exercise, even if a brief short burst, every single day
  14. Seek sunshine for 20 minutes per day
  15. Fast for a day a week

The single biggest delusion

Consumer economics has successfully convinced the world that happiness comes from outside. We deserve it, are entitled to, have to buy, must get, need this medicine, will be happy when…

Expecting something or someone to give you joy is clearly delusional. Consumption takes us from joy to anger, disappointment, anxiety, and shame.

Joy is internal. It is a human responsibility, not a right or entitlement. We find joy in our bodies, our emotions and our minds. This is the ultimate privilege of being human. It is your responsibility to explore, discover, train and learn how to express your joy.

Ha-ha-ha-ha!

 

Empathy: have we taken it too far ?

Empathy: have we taken it too far ?

By Originally published on www.resiliencei.com and reproduced with permission.

Distorted and short-sighted or the solution for our lives and our planet?

 

First, I recommend that you read both of these masterful books before you judge.

Paul Bloom has put the cat amongst the pigeons with one book that stands against a wave of 1,500 plus books on empathy. We have gorged on empathy. We advocate it for families, schools, businesses, leadership, politics, war and finding a partner.

Bloom asks the question: “Does empathy actually deliver positive results?”

In short, he concludes that it does not. Empathy is ‘a distorted and short-sighted force’ by ‘focusing on certain people in the here and now’, leaving us ‘insensitive to the long-term consequences of our acts and blind to the suffering of those we do not or cannot empathize with. Empathy is biased, pushing us in the direction of parochialism and racism’.

As Bloom works through the literature, it becomes clear that empathy studies generally show little or no positive benefits. As the timeline and scale of situations increases, decisions based on empathy mostly have disastrous outcomes.

 

But wait, how does Bloom define empathy?

Here is the issue that undermines a brilliant and timely book. While he explores a few definitions, leading with “the act of coming to experience the world as you think someone else does”, or as Adam Smith called sympathy being “place ourselves in (his) situation” and settling on “feel what you feel”.

Few authors define empathy clearly. Bloom wanders hopelessly into the traps of sloppy understanding. Our team has wrestled with this. Here are some suggestions to avoid the traps.

 

Empathy is Passive

Define the difference between understanding and taking action. Empathy is understanding – it is passive. Taking action to benefit a situation, which may or may not involve commonly understood elements of empathy, is altruism – it is active (as defined by Ricard). This is as fundamental as discerning the serve from return of serve in tennis.

There is no doubt that neural circuits allow us to map, respond to and understand others. This can be vital information. Our body detects and responds to physical signals from others. This is common in posture, hyperventilation, yawning and facial expressions. Biologists call this contagion.

We also detect and feel the emotions of others through the “mirror neurons”, anterior cingulate and anterior insula areas of the brain. Through this we actually come to experience (feel with) the feeling that another has. This is also called emotional empathy.

Finally, cognitive empathy or perspective-taking allows us to understand how another is thinking. We effectively stand in their shoes. It remains passive.

 

Altruism is Active

Altruism as the active component is what we do in response. It is possible to close the empathy portal (see De Waal, On Empathy, 2009) in the brain, and deny the need of the crippled child. Just cross the road staring into your device. The truth is that you have experienced a child’s suffering and chosen to walk away. Many studies suggest that this is far better than rewarding the child with money or food.

Do we feed the child to relieve the distress we feel or do we step back and wonder what system we end up supporting and consider better ways to uplift a community?

 

Empathic Distress is the Problem

Here, Bloom and others are clear. The distress you feel upon the suffering of the child leads you to fumble for money and food and enjoy the feeling of sainthood for an instant. If our perceptions and understanding of another make us feel bad, we may act out of sympathy to relieve our empathic distress. De Waal calls this consolation. It is rarely skilful and leads to long term problems in parenting, social work, aid programmes and healthcare. This is where the spotlight of empathy becomes biased and dangerous.

 

Restraint and Reason are Solutions

What many writers fail to grasp is that this “foolish kindness” to relieve our own distress, is actually impulse control. Just as we should not react rashly out of our own anger, nor should we react to the sadness or grief we feel for another.

Skilful altruism requires us to be fully aware of another’s physical, emotional and cognitive states AND then to step back, resist the impulse, and use reason to select the right action.

Bloom is right on the need for cool reason but wrong to be against empathy.

Skilful, targeted and long-term altruism is exactly what we need to solve many challenges of our time. However, we absolutely have to open our hearts and minds to the plight of others and our children’s children.

If we find Against Empathy we will simply sink back into our devices and consumption.

Against Empathy, Paul Bloom, Penguin Random House, 2016. P8.
Tough Love Talking

Tough Love Talking

Human interactions lie on a bell curve from acts of wanton violence to joyous collaboration. Every day we witness interactions from the full spectrum and live our lives in our own particular zone of competence. The pain of wanton destruction where people and societies degrade their interactions towards the left is clear to all.

Humans crave meaningful, creative collaboration with others. At all stages of life, we long for connection, shared activity and the celebration of achievement. When we mess up, we feel regret, anger and sadness. Repeated failure in conversations can lead to online addiction and alienation.

We explore six steps to connecting skilfully: physiology, emotion, mind, process and growth:

  1. Fix the blind spot – physiology

A school counsellor recently commented how “stressful” relationships were for schoolgirls. No question. Yet I am convinced from study and experience that many times it is a personal resilience failure that leads to relationship failure.

Many wrestle with the tigers of sleep disruption, anxiety, nutritional disruption, self-doubt, and empathy failure. In other words, at the moment in which a meaningful connection beckons, they are exhausted, hypoglycaemic, anxious and self absorbed.

Physiological compromise is at the heart of most broken partnerships, parenting failures, conflict and grievance. When sleep is disturbed, nutrition compromised and anxiety prevails we fail to concentrate, restrain impulse, empathise and collaborate. Those who give in to wanton violence are the most compromised and distressed. Those who operate on the connected side of the curve take care of themselves.

  1. The challenge of connection – emotion

Creative collaboration is the Holy Grail. The rarity of excellence defines the difficulty. An elite sport, performing art or business team in action is glorious. This is the creative edge of humanity. The foundation is powerful connection. Current research at Google and MIT independently show that empathy skill is THE significant factor in a high performing team. Empathy trumps intellect, technical skill, diversity, and communication styles in every study.

Empathy can be learned – starting at birth and extending through life – humans can awaken, improve and excel in empathy. Empathy is simple but the ability to exercise empathy requires strong foundations – emotional self-awareness, impulse control and attention. These take time and nurturing environments to mature. Introduce a little hunger, fatigue, anxiety or anger and they collapse bringing empathy and connection crashing down.

As we cultivate emotional intelligence and increase our capacity for empathy, meaningful connection, collaboration and creativity will follow. In every way we benefit, others benefit and we create a better world. But it is hard work. Seek out supportive and emotionally literate environments, study up on emotional intelligence, take care of yourself, and start early with your children.

  1. Purpose and courage – mind

Our own personal drives – food, sleep, sex, safety, power and money – scream loudly for attention. We must attend to these personal needs first, establishing what is actually required and what is demented addiction. Then we can raise our thinking to the higher-level purpose of connection and collaboration. We call this altruism. We have to exercise our capacity to embrace the world of others.

Purpose and courage hold the mind open to the immense potential for joy and flow in creative collaboration. It is always easier to default down to your own gratification. Purpose emerges when we have a clear vision of what is possible through connection. The clarity of that vision plus the courage to sustain the cycle of trial and failure keeps us open to learning and mastery.

Purpose and courage are essential to keep you on track through the important connections. Relationships go wrong. It is easier to back down on your truth. We feel we should make others happy. Be clear and stay the course.

  1. Planning – process

Every human interaction is important. While our impulse is to relax – to have a drink or to shoot the breeze, a case can be made for thinking through every interaction. Even a simple process to make the most of a connection will benefit all parties. Have a clear plan, prepare yourself, consider deeply those you are meeting, and review the experience for learning.

In particular, exercise your empathy muscles by anticipating how others might be in body, emotion and mind. What are their interests? What are their core concerns? The graphic below might be a useful template for more important conversations and team meetings.

Slide3

  1. Review, learn and recommit – growth

It is easy for things to go wrong when we try to solve problems together. Even the most skilled negotiators with excellent planning mess up. We have to keep learning and the best way to do that is quick, honest review. Even a simple: “It was really good to talk today. Thank you. How was it for you?”

Whether in a personal catch up, a team meeting, a difficult conversation or a tough negotiation it is always important to reflect, understand the different experiences of participants, and clarify the next steps.

To accelerate your development, you may like to consider a coach or a mentor to help your through these five steps.