One of the ways I find 'calm' in a moment involves my breath. I take a deep breath in through my nose to the count of four or more. I take a longer breath out through my mouth to the count of six or more. I repeat this at least three times. Sometimes I add a fourth and end with a loud intentional sigh. I learned this in yoga and it works in most "off the mat" moments too. There is the science that shows why this works. I'm not going to go into that here. I'm just going to say, calmness, one of the eight qualities of Self Leadership means different things to different people. Do you know what calm means to you? How does it feel in your body and mind? What it looks like? Who do you become when calm? What's possible when moving into calmness (from some other state)? Where do you most often become 'non-calm?'
The eight qualities of Self Leadership have no linear order. However, some of the qualities enable others. For example, we've covered two other qualities in this series thus far; first curiosity, then compassion, now calmness. Can you see how becoming curious (say, with your own Self) can lead to compassion (for your own Self)? And from a place of compassion perhaps you can feel calmer?
When we are calm, we are most probably not in a reactive state (fight, flight, freeze). When we are non-reactive, we can be present and responsive. Presence helps us hear and sense what is happening. Responsiveness implies we are hearing and replying to what we hear. When we are not calm, we are often not hearing clearly. A lack of calmness can be like a filter on our reply that perhaps we don't intend. Sometimes we even regret it. Our reply becomes skewed. It's often more of a reactive 'reply.' Often, we don't realize that emotion was triggered. The emotion hijacks the reply and paints it as 'reactive'. (Some call this 'triggered') We may be loud. Our energy may shift. We may go blank. We could withdraw. We are most likely no longer calm. At this moment we are not in our authentic power. Our way back is via any of the qualities of Self Leadership. We've covered 3; curiosity, compassion, and calm. We have 5 more coming. Meanwhile here are some additional inquiries to bring to your journaling:
-What is CALM for you?
-What is your relationship with CALM like?
-How do you cultivate CALM in your life?
-In a reactive (or triggered) moment, how do you get CALM?
-How can CALM be a more powerful tool in your leadership toolbox?