#ShowingUp with Anese Cavanaugh

The Energy of the Wolf - Part 3: So who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I shared the old Native American parable of "the wolf you feed" and how these different "wolves" show up in our lives and organizations impacting energy, mindset and results. In the final part of this series, I offer some more ways to get into action and make shifts that will serve you, and those you care about, at work, at home, and everywhere in between. Enjoy!

So who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Here's the thing; we all have our bad wolves. And we all are prone to feed them from time to time...after all, we are human. (Of course, if this is not you, please email me and we'll bottle your secret. :-)) We all have the good and the bad in us. That said, I've noticed that what can be even more dangerous than feeding the bad wolf, is denying that one actually has one, or that they fear having one. For being afraid of the big bad wolf, and resisting him, doesn't make him go away, it just makes him stronger. (I'm reminded of the saying "what you resist persists.")

So the invitation is actually to, rather than resist it, give yourself honest space to feed the big bad wolf and feel the emotions that go with it. Lean into it, be present, and give yourself permission to have your feelings. And then decide what you want to do with them. Which wolf will you continue to feed? What action do you need to take for yourself before you can feed the right wolf? What do you need? Sometimes it's as simple as asking these questions and giving oneself a bit of care and compassion without self-judgment or blame. Be conscious, be real, be honest with yourself and be intentional, and ultimately you'll make choices that will serve you best.

What the heck do I do with it all now?

Given that we generally have a default wolf who seems to get the food first...Which wolf is yours? What's the impact on your energy, your life, and the people you lead? What have you found the gifts to be? When one wolf dominates the other, what are the common themes of the stories you tell yourself? Reflect on what's happening in your life right now, personally or professionally, and consider which wolf you're feeding. Truly. How's it working for you? If you have a hard time exploring this, you may want to look for unhealed wounds, grudges, or any area where you get that "spark of ick" to locate which wolves may be lined up for supper. And finally, know that one of the quickest ways to shift gears, and to create new emotions, behaviors, and outcomes, is simply the awareness of what wolf you are choosing to feed.

So, how do you integrate the concepts of parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series to make them more concrete in your own life and organization? First, make a "promise to self" to be conscious of the "wolf "and to be at choice about how you want to be with him. Next, if it resonates, share this article with those you care about, invite them into the conversation. Finally...and here's the fun part...get to work. WANT TO "GET TO WORK?" PLEASE SIGN UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS BLOG TO RECEIVE THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AND 7 VERY SPECIFIC TIPS ON HOW TO "GET TO WORK".