This photo was in my photo album. Turns out it’s my son jumping off a cliff in Australia. Not sorry I missed it!

You Can’t Swim Unless You Get in the Water

It’s a favorite phrase of swim teachers whose reluctant students are windmilling their arms over the water. At some point, that last inch of forward movement brings a completely different experience as they fall in, get wet and thrash around, and eventually learn to swim.

Another way to say it is: Insight follows experience

Try it, you’ll like it. Or maybe you won’t. But the point is that you won’t know until you try.

You’re Going To Flail A Bit

It’s also a favorite phrase of my mentor Kathlyn Hendricks, who’s taught thousands of people to jump into the pool of their conscious awareness. I’m seeing the swimming pool analogy play out with emerging leaders learning the basics of Conscious Leadership. Some want to know how greater self-awareness will help them get what they want from another department (it won’t). Or what it will feel like when they are paying attention to their internal experience and responding instead of reacting. I can’t know exactly what they’ll feel. But I do know that it will change the experience for everyone.

Babies Toddle and You Can, Too. 

I’m mixing metaphors here. Allow yourself to toddle, which is what babies do without any judgment. Let yourself get wet and flail around while your arms and legs get the hang of keeping you afloat. It will help you learn or integrate a new experience.

Toddle Into Our New World 

I know my world’s opening up, and I imagine yours is too.  What if you allowed yourself to toddle and experience the world as it is, not as you remember it?

Three ways to toddle:

  1. Beginner’s Mind. Allow your mind to see things as they are, not how you’ve known them or expect them to be.  Try this with people, as well as experiences.
  2. What are you saying Yes to? Are you rushing out to do everything that you did Before Times? Or are you choosing from presence?
  3. Cultivate your curiosity with a few Wonder Questions to try out new possibilities. Instead of a declarative sentence to start the day, try I Wonder… if or how I could enjoy this even more? 

PS Toddling is very much on my mind, as I’m learning video story telling for my business and how to be better on camera! To see me toddle, come over to Instagram @meg_dennison. I’ll be posting a Conscious Leadership tip a week, plus video on working with the Enneagram!