A thermostat is a beautiful thing. I’ve lived more life without one than with one, and let me tell you. It’s easy to forget how miraculous its effects can be. No matter what the time of year, your space can feel effortlessly comfortable and stable.
Some friends (pictured right) are in the process of acquiring ownership of a chiropractic practice. The journey hasn’t gone without a few hiccups and plot twists. We discussed this week how life is laden with the unexpected. Even after the acquisition itself, life will continue to happen. There may be too many clients, bringing staffing challenges to the table. A competitor could move into the shopping center across the street, showing off their extravagant decorating and branding budget. What makes all the difference in the world is having a thermostat.
How can our emotional climate stay consistent throughout life’s twists and turns? How can we manage our socio-emotional responses so that we can easily laugh, celebrate, appreciate, and move toward gratitude–no matter what the day holds?
Asking those questions triggers a spiritual response. How can we focus and center ourselves in such a way that we cope well with real life? We can look to those who have come before us–the older and wiser, the spiritual mystics among us, and heart-centered leaders who have done this work themselves.
What would it look like for an organizational culture to have that kind of thermostat and consistent climate? I picture with my mind’s eye a team, a division, and entire institution where that individual practice has become a commitment. What a great team, division or institution to be a part of! A place where humor and laughter, celebration and positivity are held in one hand along with conflict and resolution, change and transition.
I think of the time I spent living in New York City. You can clearly spot a true urban dweller on the train, subway, bus, or any other form of shaky transportation. They’re nimble. Their legs are bent. Their stance is confident and secure while they jive. Riding the train with a knack similar to a skater or surfer riding pavement or ocean swells.
So, like that urban dweller, like that skater or surfer, or like that thermostat–how can we start to develop those skills to respond seamlessly to all of the temperatures and flows that arise?