Transformation Starts With A Pause

Dorian Baroni
Jul 23, 2021
In these times rich with the possibility of transformation, it is natural for change agents to want to step into the fray and start to bring about the changes we have all been longing for.
And yet, what our drive and vision may be ‘naturally’ encouraging us to do (and be), may not be the way that is needed in these times.

How do we make equal time for spaciousness, for stillness, for the discerning presence of patience and deep listening? So that the actions we take are not solely born out of habit or preparation from earlier times, but more fully responsive, emergent even, awake in the times we are actually in the midst of. Born out of the now, not force-fit into the now.

With that overarching question in mind, I offer 3 simple questions for a week’s meditation on what is the current now, really – both inside and outside.

1. How is your inner world? No really. Slow down for a day or two and ask yourself in the quiet of your office, your kitchen, your garden, on your daily walk, while in line waiting for entry into a store, or in your morning journaling time: How is my inner world? What is my internal weather? And how is that shaping what I notice?
2. What actions are you choosing to take to prepare for what will follow this phase of the pandemic? How are you examining them for ‘fit’? How are you ensuring that they are born out of a felt/embodied sense, as well as a cognitive sense of what is needed?
3. What actions are you choosing to put on hold, or pause, or hold for later? How many more might need to be placed in stasis for the moment so that you can create spaciousness in your focus?

If we are to take actions that matter now, as well as actions that matter for us and others in the future, a new level of listening to our own needs, interior worlds, and those ‘out there’ is being called for.

What might have been effective is a pre-covid19 world may no longer apply. What we were aware of before covid19 may have expanded or contracted – noticing that will matter greatly.
Taking the time to prepare for the marathon of changes ahead is a key part of co-creating a new future less beholden to the crumbling rhythms of industry, stock markets, agribusiness, global trade, jet-fueled expansion and reach.

There is no way back to the realities of December 2019. There is only a way forward. And that is all uncharted territory, for all of us. Old maps may no longer serve. Discerning what works now and what needs attention now, will make all the difference. Discerning well takes going still, taking a pause, questioning our own skills and knowledge, and intentions from time to time. Discerning well takes a community, different lenses, letting go of partisan ways.

We are all authoring the stories today’s children’s children’s children will tell of this era. May we author the new realities of our times with care and creativity, and with the spaciousness and inner clarity, we need to do either.

Dorian Baroni
Executive Coach, Leadership Retreats Designer, Organizational Advisor, and Entrepreneur. "But basically, I am a lifelong learner whose business experience has spanned a variety of industries: investment banking, global energy, consumer goods, leadership consulting and art retail - and a number of countries: Italy, UK, US, Venezuela, Belgium," as she describes her practice. Dorian joined the business world in 1983 as part of her research into the impact of automation on Wall Street. As a graduate student at Columbia University and then as a management trainee at Morgan Stanley, she became intrigued by the potential for technology to significantly transform the dynamics of the industry. My professional working question was whether collaboration, trust, and transparency would be enhanced by the advent of information systems. Little did she knew at the time that automation might actually have the reverse effect on the investment banking industry's culture. And yet because of that early interest, she became thoroughly 'hooked' on a business career, and on discovering what it might take to create business cultures that produce financial rewards while enhancing the quality of life of employees, communities and customers.