The ancient Greeks had a term for the apathy of sustained isolation. Acedia is the sense of drifting into not caring. Knowing it is happening is the key to getting out.
Remember the poppy field that Dorothy and her friends wander into in the Wizard of Oz? Or the dwarves getting lost in the forest of Mirkwood in the Hobbit? We sometimes find ourselves wandering through a monotonous dreary stretch of life that creates an apathy that almost puts us to sleep.
I have been battling this myself for the last few weeks and have coaching clients who are describing the same thing. Virtual hang out with friends aren’t as novel as they were 5 months ago. I’ve watch ALL of Netflix and am almost finished with Prime. Who cares, right?
If the ancient Greeks had a term for it, it can’t be something new to the human experience. In my brain, the fact this malaise isn’t new is helpful. Someone has been here before. How did they get out?
For the Greeks they found help in reconnecting. When they found themselves experiencing acedia they would double down and reconnect with those they cared about. The relationships and sticking together was they way through.
The first step to reducing this apathy and anxiety is to recognize that it is there! The second step is to reconnect. Who have you lost contact with in the last few months? Who do you need to reach out to? Now that you have completed step one, who do you need to call? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
We each stand at our own doorway. The threshold between the external world we live in and an internal world only you can see. It is impossible to navigate one without the other. The more you can understand your internal world, the easier it is to navigate the external world.
One of the fundamentals of communication we sometimes miss is verifying if the message we sent was received correctly.
How often do you send a text, email, or even have a phone or in-person conversation and assume that the message you delivered was understood in the way you intended? We fall into a trap of believing a conversation that made sense in my mind made sense in someone else’s.
To be clear, I am not talking about obsessively texting your friend to ask if they got your text. I’m talking about walking away from a conversation where both parties agreed, but were still on two different pages.
Our assumptions prevent effective communication. The reverse is also true in assuming that I understood the message I just received. By not verifying that I understood correctly, I run the risk of moving forward with poor information.
The antidote? Verify the message! Ask if you understood correctly. Or, ask for the message you sent to be repeated back. It takes extra time. It may even sound a bit silly. But how much time and energy will be saved by not having to go back and correct the errors created from miscommunication? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Implicit in our social contract is that if the ‘haves’ get too far ahead of the ‘have-nots’ our contract will collapse. In order to achieve the things we want as a community, culture and society, we all have to go together.
We have each developed a software code that runs who we are as a person. It addresses all of the internal and external things we experience. Frequently this code needs to be inspected. Is there a glitch? Do you have a bug in your code that needs to be fixed? The only way to find out is use introspection as a tool and look inside to inspect how your insides work.
We hold up as heroes those who make it their career or calling to serve others. Part of our own development is to find our own way to find purpose and meaning the service to others.
Who are the everyday heroes you hold in high regard? Our military service members? Our law enforcement officers? The medical community? Teachers? Those stocking the shelves at the store?
We have been doing a lot of that lately. Lifting those up who stand at the front line of our communities and serve us unselfishly. Putting the needs of others first is a trait we value, all the way down to our philosophy and religions.
What if these heroes weren’t just meant to be public servants, but also role models to emulate? How are you developing the service part of yourself? What would it look like to put the needs of those around you above your own? As it turns out, the meaning and purpose we find in the world comes from that connection of helping each other.
What prevents you from developing your service to others? It could be as simple as feeling patriotic in wearing a mask in public. Not for your own safety, but the safety of those around you. Maybe you could be just like our heroes. What do you have to lose? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Without signing anything, we enter into a social contract with those around us. When that contract is broken a replacement must be found for society to move forward. Given all of the disparity in our culture, protests make sense as a way of resetting that contract. You have a role to play in creating the next contract. How will you play your role?
We have the ability to create higher levels of potential and experience in all aspects of our lives. That higher potential leads to the ability to resolve problems and appreciate more of living. What areas of your life need to develop? How?
Each of our different communities are headed back to school in the next few weeks. In whatever form that may take, it is going to be a big transition. Anxiety is increasing as we get closer to this change.
A friend who is a school administrator related his experience of heading back to school last week after being away since March. Even without the students there yet, he found himself exhausted heading home that afternoon. The thought occurred to me that we will ALL be exhausted at the end of each day as schools try and find their rhythm. Having not been in this cadence since March, and given all of the new challenges, it is taking a lot of effort just to get to where we stand today.
I have a few requests.
Pay attention. Pay attention to your own fatigue and the tiredness of those around you. We are all going to be worn out.
Be patient. Even if you don’t have school-aged children, we are all going to be impacted by the next few weeks.
Be grateful. There aren’t any clear decisions about what is the best way to educate during a pandemic. Try and show some gratitude to the teachers, administrators, staff, and students who are doing their best to move forward.
Thank you to those who have the courage to keep moving during all of this uncertainty. Thank you to those who care, serve, and teach our children at all levels. I wish you the best of luck in the coming weeks. May you have a successful school year. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com