I recently came across the idea that we move through life being either open or closed. I love this idea. Perhaps since it’s so real and visual. We’ve all seen closed people. They tend to roll their shoulders into a stoop with a slumped back, making no eye contact. And of course, you can spot an open person straight away. They have an erect posture, a natural ease about their body and movements and are happy to make eye contact.
For most of life, I think I move through in quite an open fashion. I frequently not only make eye contact with strangers but actually chat with them, I notice the environment around me versus rushing through to a destination and I still get frequent comments about my posture, which is always amusing. Since the notion of being open or closed has been front of mind, I found an area where I’m absolutely lacking in remaining open. The trying environment for me isn’t cueing up for the ATM, dealing with an aggressive situation or even trying to keep focus while desperately wanting to sleep. Instead, it’s the dreaded work meeting!
As my calendar starts to fill up with meetings I can already feel myself get a little anxious. And once a meeting has started, I’m on high alert for casual chit chat versus getting down to the business at hand. As people talk I find myself trying to summarize their point in order to move along towards the finish line. A colleague recently observed, “Julie, you’re a closer. You like to wrap things up and stay on task.” Truer words have never been spoken.
So, my challenge is to stay open during meetings. Remain curious, engaged and not worried about the time ticking away or lack of any clear resolutions. Fortunately, I have plenty of opportunities to put this into practice as I look at my calendar for the week ahead. Wish me luck! Surely remaining open will allow for even more JOY to enter.