For the past 12 weeks since the introduction of the lockdown in Ireland, we in Below the Line have been hosting a regular Friday “Virtual Press Pause Session” for our clients, colleagues and friends as an opportunity for them to dial in and dial down from the frantic pace of work and home life and give them some space to reflect, review and recharge. We keep it deliberately simple – set up a zoom call, send an invite and when we’ve all dialled in, start a conversation that will go wherever it is meant to go but what has emerged from these calls – people, many of whom are strangers to each other sharing their personal experiences, excavating their own stories, and articulating where they currently find themselves in the middle of this health crisis has been nothing short of amazing, inspiring and energising. Reflecting on this I am reminded that while on the one hand it is incredible, on the other it isn’t all that surprising. As human beings, we’re wired for this type of interaction, conversation and discussion, it feeds our soul to do it and gives us energy which helps us on our way through the days and weeks that seem to be stretching into one long blur right now. Among some of the key insights I have taken from this process over the past 2 months are that:
- If you create the right conditions people will go into and speak from their heart space and they will go there quicker and more easily than you think.
- It will become a ritual that they will want to be part of and to which they will return on a regular basis.
- They will use it as a resource from which they take all sorts of other sources of support, energy and inspiration including recommendations on books, podcasts, and practices, etc.
- They will use the experience to shape how they show up and lead in lots of others areas of their lives and business
We’re not machines, we’re human beings and everything we do is driven and led by “e-motions” i.e. energy in motion and we need to recognise this more than ever. Right now, when the lines between work and home life have never been more fluid and where the natural rhythms of our days have been up-ended, not creating some space to connect with these “below the line” emotions and experiences does not serve us well.
Acknowledging and honouring where we are at as human beings is really important and in my opinion it’s from this source that the answers and solutions to how we pivot ourselves out of the predicament we find ourselves in lie and I feel humbled, privileged and extremely lucky to have been getting a potent and inspiring dose of this every week for the past two months. I thank my colleagues in Below the Line and every single person who has been a part of these sessions for helping to make them so special, helpful and supportive. You’re all amazing!