entrepreneurial journey

Keeping the Flow of Life Force Open and Clear

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Villages in the mountains of South America depend upon the snow melt and the flow of freshwater that comes from headwaters at high altitudes to flow downstream and provide life nourishment and sustenance. Annually, time is set aside for community members to hike up the mountain to clear out clutter, debris, and obstacles that have gathered and clogged the stream during the winter preventing water from flowing downstream. The entire community participates in the project.

Throughout the course of life it is important to clear out the clutter, debris, and obstacles that clog your life force. There are three dynamics that propel us through the stages of life. There is the dynamic of creation. It’s the place where life dreams come from. Many of you have created unbelievable life experiences, achievements, and inspiration. There is the dynamic that sustains. It’s where long term careers are built. It’s the dynamic that solidifies principles to live by. It’s the space that cultivates resilience. Many of you have amazing stories of bouncing back when you were down and out from business, relationship, or health failure. Then there is the part in life that breaks down and dies.

We are asked to build and create, to sustain sacred principles and resilience that bring us back again and again in the presence of defeat and to break down what no longer works, allowing the ineffective to die.

It’s not an easy pattern of living to subscribe to. For example, some of you have created an amazing successful business in which you have become a leader in your industry. You are a founder. In order for your life force to reach the next level of effectiveness, you need to recognize that the people who sacrificed and played a vital role to achieve your level of success is not the same people who can help you reach the next level of effectiveness. The present stalemate in progress tells you this.  You need to bring in new people who have skills and capacities to help you reach that next level. Not only that, what if you the founder, do not have the skills to take your company to the next level that your creativity calls for. Are you willing to step aside and find the right person to lead to the next level? Most are not. See how difficult it is! The next level will require that you rebuild the dynamic that was once successful creating the first level of prosperity. 

The dynamic of sustaining is also difficult to maintain. Most founders lose their “beginners’ mindset”. And why not! People have written magazine articles about your amazing success. You have surrounded yourself with people who tell you how wonderful you are. This environment undermines sustaining a hungry spirit that yields excellence. 

Addicts in recovery face the same pattern toward cultivating a healthy recovery life force. In the beginning they are urged to create a lifestyle that is built around recovery and not the other way around. It worked! In the beginning, addicts make amazing efforts to make sure recovery is prioritized. Yet, sustaining recovery priorities is hard to do. For many, there is the experience of an intense flame that weakens to smoldering embers because it requires determination to sustain program priorities.

M. Scott Peck writes in his book The Road Less Traveled that life is a metaphor for taking a long journey through the desert. Many stop at the first oasis, set up camp and spend the rest of their lives hovering around the amenities of the oasis. Yet, the life force requires that you pull up stakes and continue the journey all the way through the desert! Addicts must not merely be satisfied with sobriety but dig deeper to find serenity and peace. 

How many addicts do I know who are veterans of 12-step meetings with answers galore for beginning recovering addicts but who never translate the principles of the steps to their relationships at home with a partner and family. Sober for so many years but assholes to live with! They live a different type of Jekyll and Hyde life even in recovery! 

It’s important to take the journey upstream and clear the clutter, debris, and obstacles that have diverted your life force and prevented you from healing beyond your recovery from addiction/entrepreneurial success and to heal all aspects of living.

Here is a list of considerations:

1. Clear the clutter that blocks life force. There is a myriad of possibilities that become clutter. Here are some:

  • Codependency to your partner or others whereby you have lost yourself trying to please or caretake.
  • Resentments that block creativity and life force. You must do the necessary work to clear it out.
  • Procrastination: an unwillingness to embrace step 4 and stalk shame and other painful character defects and abusive experiences that clog the flow of life force.

2. Remove the debris of incongruence and inconsistency. When you don’t clean out the clutter previously mentioned, you will live an incongruent and inconsistent life that will hinder your progress and undermine your goals that lead to sobriety, serenity, and success. Everybody is inconsistent and incongruent in some way. Few people if any follow through with their stated goals all the time even with best intentions. So what is a person to do? Live in consultation with accountability! Not if, but when you are incongruent to your values, be accountable to a group of people who believe in you about your shortcomings. Consult with them about what happened that triggered your downward spiral. Listen and be coachable. Take in the insight others see that you were blind to. Inconsistency can only be addressed by getting back on the horse and progressing one step at a time in a daily fashion. It will be average and unnoticed until the day you achieve your desired goal of serenity or whatever it is you seek to achieve. Manage the debris of incongruence and inconsistency.

3. Tell on yourself about your dishonesty and hypocrisy. Everyone battles hypocrisy, not just people who go to church! In addiction recovery, it is encouraged to establish a detailed behavioral contract called a sobriety contract.

It has four sections:

  • Inner circle behaviors that designate acting out in addiction.
  • Middle circle which identifies the high risk of acting out.
  • Outer circle which promotes positive behaviors to replace the destructive behaviors.
  • A list of people for accountability to report addiction management and any relapse within 24 hours.

Addicts in recovery put dishonesty about their addiction at the top of the inner circle of their sobriety contract. Dishonesty and secrecy are breeding grounds for relapse. It’s true for any goal you have set for yourself. You must tell on yourself when you are hypocritical or dishonest. When you live in consultation in this way you will best position yourself to course correct and bring yourself back to the center of value in the goal you have established as important. The art of telling on yourself is a common point of advice that when you follow through will transform your life and secure your goals with regularity.

Following these principles and guidelines will remove the clutter and debris that block the flow of your life force whether you are seeking recovery from addiction or striving to achieve the next level of success in your entrepreneurial journey.