Raising the Floor

Today is the Winter Solstice. December 21st… the longest day of the year. If you were to map the amount of daylight for the year on a graph, you would see that today it will hit it’s nadir… it’s lowest point.

When we hear about things, “hitting bottom,” or “bottoming out,” we tend to relate to them as negative. And it makes sense… on some fundamental level, it is often bad news. But I want you to consider that rather than just floating around under the surface, with no real traction and drowning, once we get to the bottom, we can kick our way to the top and rise up again. It’s true in the daylight example… starting tomorrow we’ll be on our way toward the Vernal Equinox in March — when there will be equal parts of light and dark — and then past it, on to the Summer Solstice in June, when we’ll have the longest day of the year.

Typically, we build our lives and businesses by getting clear on what we want and then working hard to achieve it. We’ve all heard expressions like “Dream big!” And, “Everything is possible!” And these ideas are great. But they are related to our upper limits. Raising our ceiling, so to speak.

Today, I want to have a different conversation. What becomes possible when we raise our floor? That bottom.

We all have our version of excuse or rationalization. We all know how to let ourselves off the hook at times. And I want to be clear, this is a judgment free zone. It’s totally normal to relate to our stuff as real. It really does feel like time and money are in limited quantities sometimes. Or we’re tired or overwhelmed. Or we need to get some kind of permission from someone. Or whatever our particular flavor of the day may be…

But what if rather than relating to these things as real, we were able to see that they were simply choices — simply the way we have created our lives and businesses. And what if we could actually have it go differently? What if we could really have it all? An exciting prospect for sure, but perhaps also a bit confronting.

Consider what becomes possible when we take away the permission to show up as anything less than our best. In other words, imagine how life and business might go if self care and productive action were as normal as getting dressed in the morning. We wouldn’t leave our homes without clothes on. Yet, we let ourselves miss sleep, or meals, or moving our physical form, or taking the actions we said we would to grow our businesses.

What if we put down the push-pull, and related to these things as non-negotiable? What if, from complete and total ownership, our license to complain, blame, “phone it in,” kick the can and procrastinate, was revoked. What if we no longer made excuses, and had nothing to explain away or defend?

Can you hear the power in that?

Remember, there’s no judgment or criticism here. And there’s nothing inherently wrong. Just an opportunity to shift how we relate to ourselves and how we operate.

It’s so tempting to abdicate our power and put the locus of control outside of us. To point our fingers over there and throw up our hands.

I’m inviting us to own it like the bosses we are.

This room is filled with passion, compassion, and brilliance. We have everything we need to get to where we want to go. Really get that it’s not a matter of if, but when. All we have to do is choose it.

Especially in this fertile container, where the walls have been built, the gates tended, and the finest townsfolk show up.

So stand up today and ask for what you need. And practice givers gain to help support what someone else needs.

And as we travel through our day today, and the rest of this holiday and year and into the next one, let’s do what we can to raise our floor and choose from our highest and best selves. It’s who we really are, and it’s what’s worthy of us.

Have a great meeting. And a powerful close to 2022!

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