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Winter Wonder

Posted by engage on 20/07/17 5:47 PM
I haven’t felt the need to write for a little while and then suddenly it comes out in bursts. Below are 3 very short meanderings on experiences, books, ideas that have filtered into my life lately.
The temperature drops below 0 degrees I pull on some woolly socks ready to hibernate. This time, every year I feel dormant, time to rest, recover, pause. Autumn has released all its splendour and the trees are barren and cold. The icy chill in the air keeps me indoors and the grey sky makes me feel forlorn. I crave to be in my comfortable cave to restore. I notice the seasons. I notice how nature gracefully adapts with no resistance to the power of the seasons.
Winter for me is a time to rest, pause, restore, rebuild. Are you aware of how the seasons impact you?
I am just back from sunny Palm Cove, Queensland and fully ingested radiant abundant Vitamin D and have built up my stockpile to smile through the rest of winter.
I watched the new Wonder Woman movie and wow wee – talk about Goddess power. Without spoiling the movie it highlighted the intricacies of courage and care, choosing our battles and the delicate balance of saving versus serving. It made me consider what type of Wonder Woman I could be. Wonder for me is hope and curiosity and awe of what is possible. My essence is hope I will naturally find the positives in most situations, this can drive my husband crazy, but it is my true me. I am curious in helping others reconnect with their wonder and awe. Australia is a fun, happy, larrikin country our culture is beach and BBQs. We entertain in our alfresco areas and we love great food, wine, sports and entertainment. When I contrast my time working in Australian organisations v American, German and Japanese organisations I think our employee value proposition is fun and lifestyle. So many people leave their countries to live in our dream country to sample what we take for granted. I think children naturally express wonder and awe, I think when we channel the playful child within us we can reconnect with our own wonder and awe. Try a bit of wonder and awe for a day – see what filters into your world.
Life is an Echo
I came across this on Instagram: Life is an echo. What you send out – comes back. What you sow – you reap. What you give – you get. What you see in others – exists in you. Do not judge – so you will not be judged. Radiate love and give love and love comes back to you.
One of Oprah’s famous lines is ‘you get what you are’.
When I saw the amazing Stephen Covey last century in the 90s one of his lines that most resonated with me is you can’t get to level 7 until you have worked through levels 1 to 6. He also explained talking at level 7 understanding to someone at a lower level leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
I have just finished reading Richard Barrett’s books on Psychological Evolvement, A New Psychology of Human Well-Being and Evolutionary Coaching and he eloquently explained the 7 Stages of Psychological Development (see table below). The Barrett’s 7 Stages are an extension of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and he too reinforces that us humans need to work through one level fully, before we can evolve and progress. People best resonate with people at the same psychological stage as themselves. As we evolve we will leave people behind and then attract others at our higher level of development.

Richard Barrett's 7 Stages of Psychological Evolvement
7. Serving - (Age:late 50s to early 70s) fulfilling your destiny by caring for the well-being of humanity or the planet
6. Integrating- (Age:late 40s to 60s) aligning with others who share the same values and purpose to create a better world
5. Self-Actualising -(Age: late 30s to early 50s) becoming more fully aware of who you are by leading a values- and purpose-driven life.
4. Individuating - (Age: late 20s to early 40s) letting go of the aspects of your parental and cultural conditioning that no longer serve you.
3. Differentiating - (Age: 8 to early 30s) distinguishing yourself from the crowd by honing your skills and talents.
2. Conforming - ( Age: 2 to 8) keeping safe and secure by staying loyal to your family, kin and culture.
1.Surviving - ( Age: birth to 2) staying alive and healthy in the best conditions possible

If life is an echo of who we are, I think Barrett’s 7 stages are an excellent lens for reflection and contemplation. I think the age range of stages of development may not always hold true. There are increasing examples of Millennials that have developed to stage 7 Serving, they seem to have accelerated through the stages of Surviving through to Integrating as they are having loving, prosperous and accepting starts to life. I know of 50 to 70 year olds who are still at Conforming stages frozen in their development.
The Australian Cultural Imprints at Work 2010 and Beyond study reinforces that Australian’s preferred style of leadership is cause based Leaders that pitch in and care about their followers.  In using Barrett’s 7 stages lens then our preferred leaders need to be at the Self-Actualising, Integrating or Serving stages of psychological development.
In my coaching and advising practices I am extremely mindful of helping people be the best versions of themselves. They can come to me at Surviving stages through to Serving stages. If they are at the first 3 levels – Surviving, Conforming and Differentiating there are a lot of ego issues that need to be developed. From Individuating stage up Leaders are more open and ready for deeper connections and bigger contributions.
As we evolve as Leaders I remember Ken Blanchard’s famous line ‘it has hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys’. If life is an echo of who you are then are you an Eagle or a Turkey? What is life echoing to you?
Sending you sunshine, fun and joy on a cloudy day.