The Places You Go
What happens when you get stuck
With the beautiful summer sunshine, there have been new visitors to my home office. Some are welcome like the little people asking for you to go and turn the hose pipe on and offering the chance to stop and enjoy the moment. Others are less welcome. I had one of those such visitors yesterday, a very loud buzzing fly.
For anyone who has ever tried to catch a fly, you'll know what a waste of time that one can be. They move fast! This one was no exception, not that I really wanted to catch or swat it. I simply wanted it to leave as the buzzing sound really was a huge distraction to my writing.
I noticed myself in a familiar pattern, I was getting irritated. "Go Away!" I started to shout as I noticed my temperature increasing in the hot and now noisy office. The fly seemed intent on head-banging everything it could. It went for the window, crashed straight into it and then seemed to go in a vertical line repeatedly knocking itself against the window. Then it went for the walls, the light and even the books on the desk.
As I observed this fly I stopped myself reacting for a second and wondered what it wanted. If the fly could talk what would it be asking for? What was its need? The answer came to me instantly. This fly wanted out too. There was no food or anything interesting in my office and somehow it had landed here and was trapped. I suddenly thought, instead of trying to get rid of the fly, maybe I should just open the window and invite it to leave. I did just that (thinking myself a little weird), I opened the window, turned in the fly's direction and said, "Please leave." I then proceeded to ignore it and much to my surprise, within one minute it was gone.
As I sat at my very quiet desk I wondered how often I do that. How often do I react, get annoyed and fuel the issue? How often do I forget to check in with what the other person needs instead of assuming they're just trying to annoy me? I have to say I do this. I am human. And if I do it, I know you do it too. You may not be as hot headed as I can be in the moment, but I bet you've got a reaction that when you stop and think about it is just fuelling the situation.
It's normal to have reactive tendencies, we all react. But what if we learnt to act? What would our leadership look like if we owned our vulnerabilities and patterns of how we respond when we get stuck and moved beyond them? I'm guessing that's a great place for us all to play in.