I always seem to have these wonderful conversations with myself when I am jogging. Just the other day, while I was on a nice brisk run, I was thinking about the relationships I have in my life. But not the normal relationship kind of thing. Instead, I was thinking about my relationships with “hot topics” in my life.
What are hot topics? To me, hot topics are those things in our life that occupy our energy – something that draws us in and asks for our attention. For example, “love” is a hot topic. Am I in love? Do I love?
I think it’s fair to say that we all have an idea of what it is to be in relationship with ourselves or with another person. We have incredible resources — books, seminars, and teachings — to work on being in better relationships with people. But, how are we in a relationship with a topic or dare I say a hot topic? How are we in relationship with love or courage? That’s the question that struck me throughout that afternoon run.
What I discovered is that I have a tendency not to be in relationship with hot topics in my life. I either like the topic or I don’t. I also tend to simply “vote” about the topic. It occurred to me that I could choose how I wanted to be in relationship with a hot topic. For example, I remember when my first coach, the fabulous Cynthia Loy Darst, asked me years ago, “What is your relationship to money?” Now that was a radical concept – the idea that I even had a relationship to money was foreign to me.
Is this something you can relate to?
What if we became aware of our relationships with hot topics? How do we do this? To give us a framework to explore, below are some hot topics. I call these light hot topics, meaning topics that are generally in the positive states of humanity:
Pick a topic and ask yourself two questions…
- What is my current relationship to… (fill in the blank, i.e., joy)?
- What is the relationship I want to have with… (fill in the blank i.e., joy)?
This also applies to the shadow side of us. By “shadow” I mean the darker side of the human experience – areas we tend to avoid:
Again, ask yourself…
- What is my current relationship to… (fill in the blank, i.e., shame)?
- What is the relationship I want to have with… (fill in the blank i.e., shame)?
This exercise is intended to stir the idea that we can have a different type of relationship with the different aspects of ourselves. It can be a huge “aha” moment when we realize we can choose how to be in relationship with hot topics in our lives. This choice leads us out of the pain of victimhood and into the land of empowerment. We can design and build the relationship we want with a feeling or thought that is in our mind.
The challenge is to realize that we can separate from it. We are not one with it! One way to become aware of this it is to look at our language around it. We can change from, “I am overwhelmed” to “I am experiencing overwhelm.” Or, “What is the relationship I want to have with overwhelm?”
While jogging I was thinking about courage. I asked myself, “Am I courageous enough to do x – y – z? A much better and more empowering question would have been: “What’s my relationship with courage? Is there something about courage I could look at? What is the relationship I want to have with courage?”
These are much more empowering questions to consider. Pull yourself apart from the hot topic. The weight of it becomes entirely different by acknowledging we are in relationship with it. From there, we have more options.
I invite you to explore your own hot topics in the next few days.
Are you able to see that your hot topic is separate from you?
What is the relationship you want to have with this aspect of yourself or this hot topic?
How can you feel empowered to redesign it along the way? How can you shift your perspective of it? Then, consciously do it.
And, lastly, where is this hot topic pointing you in your life? (Now, there’s an interesting question, don’t you think?)
Thank you for letting me share my jog and what was stirring inside me that day. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this!