How was your 2022?
As it draws to a close and we start to look ahead to 2023, what stands out for you? What do you notice in your life and work during 2022 that might direct or support you during the next twelve months?
What have you liked, and found energising? What have you disliked and found draining? If you knew you could have what you really need to flourish next year, what would you include, what would you definitely exclude?
What a lot of questions!
Questions are more relevant than answers. Questions are bigger than answers. One good question can give rise to several layers of answers, can inspire decades-long searches for solutions, can generate whole new fields of inquiry, and can prompt changes in entrenched thinking.
Answers, on the other hand, often end the process.
This quote from Stuart Firestein’s remarkable little black book ‘Ignorance, how it drives science’, has certainly made me think afresh about the potential that lies in what we don’t know, and the way great questions help us to discover it. It reminds me that every perception, every inspiration, every ‘finding’ that is part of the Thinking Environment as a body of knowledge (as well as a way of being) derives from one question that Nancy Kline began asking herself 5 decades ago.
‘What does someone need in order to think for themselves?’
My life would be infinitely poorer without Nancy’s questions and the thinking it has provoked in me over the last 15 years and this seems a good a time as any to say that! It’s shown me how a great question is a kind of supercharger for the mind. And how the crafting of questions is a skill in itself.
Just asking these questions about the year that is ending has set off a train of thought about what gives me energy and what takes it away, alongside a happy recognition of how I might shape next year accordingly.
It brings me back to energetic boundaries and the positive possibilities of ‘creating friction’ around what I want to enjoy, sustain and grow in my life so that I stay on course.
A really significant boundary currently is around time offline and resting. Hence the beautiful artwork (by Jessica Boehman) above here. Winter is the natural season for resting, recovering, slowing down; it’s part of our essential rhythm as creatures of the earth ourselves, a yearning and wise response to nature, to shorter days and longer nights that nourishes and sustains us. We need some time to burrow down into our thoughts and dreams, to shut out the noise that is the consistent backdrop to our modern lives, to be at ease.
Ready to return in the spring full of new energy and resolve, ready to grow.
What can you do for yourself that gives you rest and ease over these next weeks, how can you hold energetic boundaries that support you best?
I look forward so much to hearing from you, to being in touch during 2023 perhaps meeting at a TTT Collegiate Day or another event, perhaps on a new programme or Discovery Day with me.
In the meantime may I wish you a peaceful and happy holiday over Christmas and New Year, and a calm and satisfying start to 2023.