Managing chaos practically in the work-life merge requires silence. It’s not that the creative impulse can’t emerge from chaos, but it’s the space between the breaths, between the disruptions of tension at work, that an “ahha” moment can sneak through.
As a news reporter through the years, I’ve had to make the space for this to happen. On deadline during breaking news, there is no choice but to perform. So I have spent most of my life in search of the daily pause. From taking control of the breath, to a slew of mindfulness techniques and every other meditation and stress reducing exercise under the sun, I’ve managed to do it. But taking ones stress down a notch to allow for the creative impulse, is a deeply personal journey.
The great Indian poet and mystic Rabindranath Tagore once wrote: ‘We gain our freedom when we attain our truest nature.” And I firmly believe that the quest for deeper vocation and purpose in our work comes from a place nestled in our hearts and souls longing to be revealed. Stillness brings us to silence, and sparks the ignition of our own individual internal fire of purpose. Even while working in a job we might not be fond of.
When stress rules the day in a chronic way, the space between the notes of our orchestration to right-livelihood cannot manifest into our unique composition. We are stifled, instead of allowing for the creative impulse to emerge.
Managing Tension at Work
However you manages tension at work, it’s pretty clear that there is a new game in town. It’s not just the digital overload, it’s how our lives are happening whether at work or at home in real time.
Employees, management, and those in the C-suite are not just navigating the workplace or family scenarios on an internal and personal level, WE are all collectively living the real time influence of external factors. No one is completely immune from the news of poor unemployment data, the euro-crisis, mid-east tensions, partisan politics which our healthcare programs, economic recovery and international image rest upon as we head into November.
Internal and external stimuli complicate the quest for work-life balance. Regardless, we’re forced to manage as best as we can through the chaos, while being charged with finding the time to take a pause.
Over the last year I’ve been writing a lot about stress at work and in business in my posts at Forbes.com (I linked to three which follow this post). They are hands-down some of the most popular posts I’ve written this year.
I think a nerve has been struck around employee stress at work. The global 24/7 marketplace has indeed impacted the way we interact with customers and go about daily business at work. But it’s the technological advances that have fueled stress, burnout and the attention crash at work. Again in real time. And as you can read in my Forbes.com posts, the brain science behind the impact of stress and it’s potential impact on an efficient, productive and engaged workforce is gaining momentum and grabbing headlines.
Transforming Stress in an ‘always-on’ World
In my recent Web series here at WorkLifeNation.com, Transforming Stress to Boost the Brain and Creativity, I feature neuropsychologist Rick Hanson PhD as we explore the brain on stress and how it reacts to the silence of the breath, meditation and positive thoughts. We are learning more and more, that managing stress at work is key to creating the silent space necessary for creativity and innovation to emerge. It’s not a topic to be ignored, but one to be explored as the engagement of human capital in the workplace is skating on thin ice.
Please join me with your thoughts here about how you are managing stress at work. And you can reach out to me on Twitter as well @JudyMartin8. I truly want to hear about your journey.