Where Synchronicity & Magic Happen by Peter Metzner


Where Synchronicity & Magic Happen 

By Peter Metzner

I once heard at a Symposium that:  “Genius is focused passion” .

To grow, to develop and become the best at your “art”  is a meaningful calling.  Joseph Campbell writes:  “Art is the making of things well.  The aim of Art is the perfection of the object”. “If you follow your bliss, you will always have your bliss money or not. If you follow money you may lose it and you will have nothing”  (J. Campbell Reflections on the Art of Living” p. 39)

Ideally, to successfully innovate; we need to feel passionate about and love what we do. We also need to feel our work – our “art” is beneficial to others.    That is the rocket fuel that can propel us to new heights.

What keeps teams or people from performing optimally?

Sadly only 30 percent of employees in America feel engaged at work, according to a 2013 report by Gallup.  For many work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in may ways, it’s getting worse.  Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. “Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night”.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/opinion/sunday/why-you-hate-work.)

To maintain engagement it is important to have enough rest and renewal. Over work, stress and a lack of capacity leads to burnout.  Interpersonal conflict, unaware leadership and not feeling valued or appreciated add to the malaise that causes disengagement, lack of commitment and turnover.

When people and teams feel connected to a shared vision and mission that is inspiring and larger than themselves,  positive energy and appropriate actions result.    When relationships are trusting and safe enough to give and receive feedback and engage in constructive conflict;  everyone becomes “smarter” than anyone one.  Kurt Lewin –  PhD,  a Harvard psychologist found that “When we are  in a supportive environment we are better equipped to deal with the complexities of our working lives”

As times change, technology advances, new applications and opportunities will emerge. Yet, we need to always keep the timeless qualities that make us “successful” and feel fulfilled. Excitement, energy,  common purpose and dedication  come from feeling, that we are doing what we do best and are challenged to better in the service of “something” larger and beneficial to others.

“When completely caught up in something, you become oblivious to the things around you, or to the passage of time.  It is this absorption in what you are doing that frees your unconscious and releases your creative imaginations”.   Rollo May, The Courage to Create

This is the place where synchronicity and “magic”  happens.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Privilege of a Life Time” by Peter Metzner


The privilege of a lifetime is being
who you are.
The goal of the hero trip
down to your jewel point
is to find those levels in the psyche
That open, open, open,
and finally open to the mystery
of your self
being Buddha consciousness,
the Christ.

That’s the journey
(Joseph Campbell) Reflections on the Art of Living – A Joseph Campbell Companion

“Find a place where there is joy and the joy will burn out the pain” .

According to Campbell, Satan is the epitome of the intractable ego. That part of ourselves needing to be right, to defend ourselves, feeling separate, better than or not as good as others depending on our beliefs, dogma and life’s situations. Hell is the concretization of your life experiences, a place where you’re stuck, the wasteland. In hell, we blame others for our condition and are so bound to ourselves that grace cannot enter. What is hellish is being stuck without hope, without relief.*

How we mature, depends on taking responsibility for our choices, no longer blaming others, or expecting rescue from them. And to acknowledge the pain of loneliness however much we are invested in social roles and relationships. (James Hollis) Swamplands of The Soul. The mature person i.e. one who is psychologically free : “is confident in his inner world, responsible for his strengths and weaknesses, consciously able to love himself, and thus, able to love others”…. Marion Woodman

In a simple and poignant description of the human condition, and of growth; Jolande Jacobi, a Jungian analyst writes: “Like a seed growing into a tree, life unfolds stage by stage. Triumphant ascent, collapse, crises, failures, and new beginnings strew the way. It is the path trodden by the great majority of people, as a rule unreflectingly, unconsciously, unsuspectingly, following its labyrinthine windings from birth to death in hope and longing. It is hedged about with struggle and suffering, joy and sorrow, guilt and error, and nowhere is there security from catastrophe. For as soon as a man tries to escape every risk and prefers to experience life only in his head, in the form of ideas and fantasies, as soon as he surrenders to opinions of ‘how it ought to be’ and, in order not to make a false step, imitates others when possible, he forfeits the chance of his own independent development. Only if he treads the path bravely and flings himself into life, fearing no struggle and no exertion and fighting shy of no experience, will he mature his personality more fully than the man who is ever trying to keep to the safe side of the road.”
J. Jacobe, The Way of Individuation

There are two gremlins we face every morning.

Fear: I am too tiny it is too hard… I can’t do it.

Lethargy: – chill out tomorrow is another day…

Each will eat us alive… Fear and lethargy are the enemy they are not out there they are inside
Carl Jung wrote: The spirit of evil is the negation of live force by fear… only boldness can overcome that fear.
If the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is violated”

Our task is to recover our personal authority and discern the meaning of our lives.
Who are we to stand in its way?

Navigating the Middle Passage: Finding Meaning and Purpose in Mid-Life by Peter Metzner


“Navigating the Middle Passage: Finding Meaning and Purpose in Mid-Life”
By Peter Metzner
Jan 2011

Sigmund Freud was once asked in a lecture “What is needed for a successful life?” Surprisingly, he answered in only two words: “Lieben und Arbeiten.” To give and receive love — and to do work that is right for you. His words still resonate today.

If we are not living our values or purpose or expressing our passion in meaningful ways, we will be living someone else’s dream. Psychologist James Hollis encourages asking “Whose life am I living?” He says “the task of midlife is to find out who you really are and to claim your life.” We need to ask ourselves, “Am I living the expectations of my parents, my spouse, or the organization I am working for?”

When we are not living our lives in purposeful, meaningful ways we experience a sense of emptiness, loss and often wonder if we are missing the point of our existence. Hollis cautions us: “If our work does not support our soul, then the soul will extract its butcher’s bill elsewhere.

Wherever the soul’s agenda is not served, some pathology will surface in everyday life.” Symptoms often include low grade depression, workaholism, obsession with material wealth, or loss of energy, to name a few. When we try to escape these feelings, we develop such diversionary habits as drug or alcohol abuse, over eating, addiction to television, the internet, or even affairs, each offering a fleeting respite from the emptiness. But no matter the diversion, the symptoms will recur unless we make changes that will bring authentic happiness and satisfaction to our work and lives.

Two of the most striking predictors of a person’s longevity can be found in the answers to two questions, says Nortin Hadler, MD at UNC’s Medical School: “Do I like what I do? and “Do I have a satisfying social support network?” Meaningful work and satisfying relationship are crucial to health and happiness.

So how do we answer these questions affirmatively? How can we use the messages of our emotions or body to guide us to the richer, fuller and happier lives that are our birthright? Psychologist Erik Erickson highlights two essential tasks for adulthood and mid life: Intimacy and Generativity.

According to Erickson, intimacy is the ability to share and confide, to give and receive feedback, and to accept our selves and others. The relationship we have with our self is mirrored in the relationships we have with family, co-workers and friends. We need to be able to form intimate and healthy relationships in our 20s and onward. With healthy and supportive relationships, we are better equipped to address generativity, the essence of midlife.

Generativity (versus stagnation) is simply a focus toward making the world a better place than when you found it. It can occur in some small way, like planting a tree or coaching your child’s soccer team – or it can appear in grander acts of volunteerism and philanthropy. Whatever mark you make is based on self awareness and self acceptance. It requires knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, responsibility for your behaviors, and a connection to your passion, which enables you to express your gifts in unique and meaningful ways. Unleashing your passion sometimes takes a therapist or a coach – other times workshops, reading, journaling, or Dream Work can help you claim your life. It doesn’t matter how you get there as long as become more fully aware of what you are in service to the community and world around you. This is the essence of health and happiness in mid-life.

Peter Metzner is President of Dynamic Change, Inc. in Chapel Hill, NC., which specializes in Leadership and Life coaching, facilitation and consulting services that provide individuals, leaders and teams insight and tools that lead toward greater clarity of purpose and mission.