I’m not a huge fan of scripted ice breakers, but one that caught my attention, invites people to share something that others in the group may not know about you.
There are many ways to approach such a prompt, but a fun response I once threw in the mix, was my unassuming indulgence of foot massages in airports. There’s something luxurious about having your tired feet rubbed while endless strangers pass by, lol! Along with a very public layer of mental relation, the tightness of your body is basically fixed after a conference, golfcation, snowboarding, or any time you had fun while being away on travel.
Now that you’re smiling, and also secretly planning to try this next time you fly, follow along to reflect on how we approach our endless transitions.
The thought of “transition” came to mind when a recent airport masseuse was melting my feet into mashed potatoes. The subtle tension of this mini moment arrived as the artisan prepared to switch from one foot to the next. There was an undercurrent of disappointment in that one foot’s rub was coming to end, yet this feeling disappeared when the next foot received its first touch of attention. This is quite a stretch, haha, but this tiny transition made me want to explore these kaleidoscopic moments.
Unconscious transitions are constantly happening all around us, yet some transitions bring forth extra weight or take more time than expected. The path for a smooth transition will be different for every situation, but here’s one tactic to try as you navigate your next transition: Acknowledge the past, then use the present to concentrate energy toward what’s next.
This seems obvious, but such centering can be challenging, as the ego often tries to pull us back to what we may be leaving behind. To surpass these ornery moments, take immediate action toward your forthcoming future.
For example, I think back to when we were first building the Regional Rep role for 1 Million Cups. I remember how hard it was transitioning out of my role as a lead 1MC organizer within the local startup community I care so much about. I had loved organizing 1MC in Des Moines for so many years, and every Wednesday morning felt like a ritual that never got old. As I transitioned into my expanded responsibility, whenever a sense of lose or thoughts of “what if” arose, I took abrupt action. Instead of dwelling on the comfort of what I was stepping away from, I twisted toward my own next. In these moments of uncertainty, I left a sense of lose behind by brewing new connections with more 1MC organizers I was excited to support/connect in the new Regional Rep role. This progressive action helped build relationships and a lot of constructive momentum. Over time, what first felt transitional, soon became my practice. This clarified my new role while also providing space to evolve for the new 1MC organizing team in Des Moines.
Wow. That was over four years ago! I’ll always be a 1MC organizer in Des Moines, but that progressive action helped me move forward and released personal bandwidth needed to help build my new role with the Kauffman Foundation. Fast forward to now. I’m still an active 1MC attendee here in Iowa, but I’m also blessed to collaborate with hundreds of remarkable community builders, ecosystem builders, and 1MC organizers throughout all 12 states that make up @1MCMidwest. Even more, after years of complex work with 1MCHQ and the other four Regional Reps, #1MCNation is now more aligned and supported within it’s connected era. As with most ventures, there will always be more to do and everything will continue to evolve, but it’s such a gift knowing so many lifelong friends are enjoying coffee every Wednesday morning, in over a hundred 1MC communities nationwide.
Hopefully the lighthearted ice breaker, followed by that oddly connected reflection, inspires you to stay energized as you grow from within your next transition.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s a telepathic gift. Think back to when you enjoyed a relaxing massage, yoga, workout, or meditation. Alright, in that peaceful state of mind, close your eyes and enjoy five deep breaths. Ahhh…alright, get back to building.