3 Tips for Riding the Tsunami of Change

“I can’t take it anymore,” a 30-something marketing director of a major tech firm complained to his mother. “The pressure is enormous and there’s no end to it in sight.”

“My husband and I have no time together,” a VP of HR told me. “The change initiatives just keep coming. I’m putting in 14 hour days and taking work home on the weekend, and he’s just as busy. We’re both exhausted.”

Welcome to the world of accelerated change in which our economy, businesses, politics, climate, planet and lives are being disrupted. The U.S Army War College coined the term VUCA to describe these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times, and they seem to have been right on the money.

According to Fortune Magazine we are in the third wave of the industrial revolution. Business’ challenge is to move labor, money and information quickly and without friction. And while that is creating great innovations, it’s also reshaping our industries, organizations and the way we work. Add to this global competition, information glut, and an expectation that we are available 24/7 and it’s little wonder that most people these days are stressed.

Although we can easily lose ourselves in the stories of our personal or organizational experiences during these high-pressured times, we need to keep our eye on the ball. The action is bigger than any issue, person, organization or Tweet. There is a global shift occurring in which forces of destruction and creation are in play. This shift is providing an opportunity to evolve ourselves, our organizations and our world. To take advantage of these times requires that we learn to mindfully surf the tsunami of change. Here are three suggestions….

1. Make it a practice to notice at different times during the day where your attention is located. Are you lost in your to-do list, in your electronic devices, in the addictive race for success, or in trying to please someone? Remember that wherever you place your attention becomes your center and stop giving yourself away. You’re worth more than that!

Every surfer knows that if you are in your head worrying or analyzing you will wipe out. To ride the big waves requires a center that is deep, strong and spacious enough to provide balance, presence, power and endurance. That begins with bringing your attention back into your mind/body/energy field. The shift back to you will heighten your perceptions, confidence, performance and creativity. Here’s how..

Call your attention or spirit back inside of you to the place I call HOME. Notice…is your breathing shallow? If so, take some deep breaths into your back surrender to the feeling as the muscles soften. Let your exhale be longer than your inhale. Breathe wide into your rib cage and feel yourself relax. Breathe into your lower belly and allow gravity to ground you.

2. Learn to set boundaries, even with your boss. Start with something small so you gain the confidence to assert yourself. Ask your supervisor to help you prioritize your long list of to-dos. She may not be aware of how much is on your plate. Stop seeking perfection and know when good enough is good enough.

3.Take time to replenish your energy throughout the day. Don’t wait for a vacation or an open weekend because it may not occur. Instead steal time. Take a few minutes before you write the next email to breathe and reconnect with yourself. Imagine/pretend you have angel wings attached to your shoulder blades. Let these big soft wings unfurl past your physical body so you feel supported as you work on your computer. Imagine/pretend you have strong, wide, elephant feet as you walk to your next meeting. Notice how relaxed and grounded you feel. Experience that…

Mindfulness is a result of your alignment to yourself and the greater universal energy field and is not dependent on certain activities.

And remember that, as Bruce Lee said, “Under duress we do not rise to our expectations, we fall to our level of training.”

Good enough? Now go practice!