I want to share my current experience that has led to an inspiring framework for viewing life challenges. About a month ago I felt a spontaneous inner nudge (meaning I had no logical reason for saying yes), and I signed up for a coaching program entitled: The Coaches Studio: Where Outrageously Creative Coaching Happens. (Please see the link under Be Inspired.) While registering for the program, I heard a mental voice saying, Gayle, you have no time, absolutely no time, for this course. Right now, just a few weeks into the program that includes four calls, an online self-paced guide, a self-motivated buddy connection and online forum, I relish the rekindling of my familiar passion for creativity. While I am not "learning anything new," I am accessing the inner longing and fire in a context that is brilliantly created, well-prepared and genuinely lived by the authors, Fred Mandell and Kathy Jordan.
The program begins with the Four Dimensions of Change - a reality of life we all experience in varying degrees, in nano-second moments or grand drawn-out stages of maturity. These dimensions include: creative dilemma, exploration, discovery and integration. While there is fluidity among these dimensions, the opening for something new, the catalyst for life, the energy for growth, is in the initial tension; or as the author's name, the creative dilemma. They say, "the creative dilemma dimension arises out of a tension we feel between the current state of our lives and a sense that things can be better." People can stay in this tension for seconds or many years. How we attend to our tensions, our creative dilemmas, shapes our experience in life.
The euphemism "creative dilemma," used for tension, helps us to recognize that tension is a subtle (or maybe not so subtle) wake up call to your life. It is our body nudging us to see what we are not willing to see, very much like the tension I felt when the opportunity came to sign up for the course. Do I sign up? Yes or no? Tension is the energy that allows for something new to emerge. Depending upon your view, tension can be creative or difficult. The opportunity available is to see and experience ALL tension as a creative dilemma, ultimately, that is what it is ...
Creative dilemmas are applicable in every aspect of life; consider any situation - work, home, school, relationships, health, money and so on. At Colman Knight, we practice Holacracy, a progressive and liberating way of governing, organizing and sustaining an organization. Each week we process tensions. As Holacracy offers, tensions are "potential futures that are different from present reality, and would be a step forward in some way." (Did you pick up the similarity in definitions?) These tensions are internal nudges that we each pay attention to on behalf of the Colman Knight purpose. Since our tensions have a clearly structured path for processing, our tensions do not become unfriendly. In fact, they are creative dilemmas and this word-change, my friends, may just be a new tension I bring forth in our next meeting. We are not managing tensions, we are openly processing creative dilemmas!
In your life, consider the situations that are causing you tension. Swap the view of tension with creative dilemma. Notice any shifts in your experience. What are you willing to do, what new action might you take, what is arising now ... that would support your creative manifestations in the world?