painting credit: Circles in a Circle, 1923 by Wassily Kandinsky
Years ago when “getting your colors done” was a thing, I went to a workshop that the male director of our Texas non-profit organization paid for and expected all the women to attend. Not the men, mind you, but that’s a story for another time. This workshop was focused on empowering us women and strengthening our contribution via the way we dressed and what we adorned ourselves with. As I look back, it was quite sexist, but we all thought it would be fun and no one in non-profit work turns their noses up at a paid day out of the office!
(Truth be told most of the men in the organization could’ve benefitted from this event far more than a gaggle of already confident and very capable females! Just think of the potential of a bunch of engineers getting in touch with their feminine sides!)
But I digress, as usual…
At the end, my color suggestions were presented to me as laminated sheets. I found them recently as I was tidying up my office. Not sure why I kept them for over a decade, but back they went into a file that will probably still be around when I leave this Earth. The colors didn’t really speak to me, but a topic the presenter touched on sticks with me to this day.
“Surround yourself with more circles.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that at the time, but life carried on and 15-years later my life has balanced out and become steeped in more joy than I can fathom, and I’ve begun to notice circular patterns in my daily life.
I’m drawn to circular objects.
Take pictures of circular items.
Kind of cool to recognize the connection. I wonder which came first? The circles or the joy?
But wait. There’s more.
On a recent coaching call, I repeated a statement I’d made to the individual a few weeks prior. They’re struggling with moving through and past a funk that is deeply rooted. I’ve suggested lots of activities, my personal favorite being “doing things backwards”. Like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand or adding creamer before you pour in your coffee. Changing things up a bit always shakes up my perspective and allows me to drop baggage.
But the suggestion I made was “identify your circle of interest and lay your circle of action over it.” Meaning: identify what you care about and what you can control.
The thought came up as I was reflecting on the old “circles of concern and control”…
If you’re unfamiliar, let me explain. You draw a circle and log things you care about inside it. (This can be a topic driven or an all-encompassing list.) Then you draw another circle and note the things you can control from your circle of concern. Then you redraw two circles that intersect, creating a Venn Diagram. In the intersection goes all the things you can control. In the one of the other circles you note all of the things you can’t control. The empty side of the other circle then becomes an activity in itself. This is your “things I can control” space. This activity can be quite empowering and can shift you from worry and into a place of contented and intentional direction. In these tumultuous and confusing times, that’s a solid practice to adopt! Don’t just make lists…. there’s something about the circle drawing that connects to a special place in your mind, or at least it does in mine!
Circles of interest & action can help shake up your current perspective as you shift towards realigning your subconscious energy! This can allow you to flow towards a healthier, happier and more productive space!
Try it! Give yourself five minutes and circle up!