“No-Fail” Friday: Group dynamic


This is one of those Fridays when offices and classrooms tend to go quiet pretty early. Traffic is a little lighter (in some places) than usual. It’s a holiday weekend for some, but not a huge travel weekend, so people relax a little. It’s a nice reminder that it is, in fact, possible to relax on a holiday. For me, anyway.

Holidays are usually about packed roads, crammed airport shuttles, and overflowing overhead bins. They’re about to-do lists, oven timers, decorations, and lots of other things besides relaxation. Again, for me, anyway.

Holidays are also about family, and spending time with people we wish we could spend more time with – and, well…others, too.  Sometimes it’s those closest to us who test us the most. You know the saying, right? They push your buttons so easily because they helped to install them. It’s no one’s fault. It just is. Use your breath, do your best. Mindfulness isn’t a miracle, but it helps.

This weekend’s “no-fail” mindfulness challenge isn’t just about breathing through family debates, though. I mean, it certainly can be if you want it to. Sounds like plenty to me, to be honest.

Our conversation earlier this week was about taking stock of the people with whom you choose to spend your time. By that I mean, most of your time. You can’t control every encounter of your day (but you can control how you respond to them…ahem). What we really mean, who you allow into your inner circle – the people who have the most influence on your sense of self and personal well-being.

There come times when we have to reassess whether the people around us are helping us to grow. Are they with us on the path to our very best selves, or is something about our connection just not supporting that growth? Maybe it did, and now it doesn’t anymore.

The other thing about noticing these shifts is that it makes us better at identifying the people in our lives who really ARE there for us. The ones who are ready for whatever we have in store, and only want to see us thrive. Those folks stand out when you start contrasting them with the crowd.

Water seeks its own level, as my grandmom used to say.

This weekend, dial in and then look around you. Find one person who really is right there with you, and whose support you can literally feel when you think about stretching yourself for the next thing. Call them, visit them, hug them, or high-five them. Let them know you see them, and that you are there for them, too. How exactly you do this depends on how you click with them, but the real challenge at hand is check in with yourself so you can see them more clearly.

We never see anything in anyone else that we don’t see in ourselves first. Just like M.J. said, you gotta start there first.

Photo credit: Caroline Ingebrigtsen

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