Embrace your Burnout and Release your Resilience

Do you think Burnout can be a transformational Experience?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Transformational Burnout and Meta-Resilience

Transformational Burnout and Meta-Resilience

Transformational Burnout is the guided experience of embracing Burnout to release Resilience. The transformation that takes place is from an old perception of the self which is unable to cope with the present, to a new realised self which has ample resources to relish the ups and downs of life. This process of change leads to transformational learning; which allows us to access enhanced and transcendent leadership capabilities in both personal and organisational contexts.

Meta-Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity by developing a self oriented spiritual understanding and being aware of, and prepared for, shocking events. It is about making choices and accepting one’s position in life while at the same time making sure to diminish the effect of negativity or toxic relationships. Meta Resilience teaches us to rationalise failure and uses appreciative inquiry to develop a philosophical attitude to life and work. Importantly, it uses emotional intelligence as a frame of reference.

Resilience4Enterprise, the founders of the Meta-Resilience model have developed a twelve action development framework. We use this to help our clients to understand their value system and use the process to help us to release energy to leverage success as well as unleashing the vigour and vitality to exceed expectations. Meta-Resilience, once released, helps us to live by a newfound transcendent leadership paradigm.

Our clients who have used this process have come from all walks of life; CEO’s, Managing Directors, Entrepreneurs and Social Activists. The one thing they have in common is Burnout. However, those who developed their Meta-Resilience attained it only when they experienced it as a gift. During the programme they were invited to embrace their burnout, they were guided to burn their desire to be in control without capability, helped with abandoning their desire to be effective without the resources, and helped to burn the desire to be right without dissent.
The meta-resilience programme then helped them to develop their ability to burn their relationship to material gain without a larger intent, destroy their self importance without a cause and burn the urge to dominate others without their approval.

Burnout arises out of the imperfection of being human, even though we have to accept that we are all imperfect. This imperfection manifests itself in the gap between intentions and results and Burnout is what happens when an individual is constantly trying to fill this gap when it cannot be filled with they are currently using. Being human is often about feeling incomplete, and even though we search for completion, our attempt to find this fulfilment without our Meta-Resilience, can often accelerate our Burnout.

Despite our addiction to work or our addiction to success, Meta-Resilience can and does come in through our errors and our failures, provided we are open to it. When we refuse to learn from setbacks, our burnout happens more quickly and if we do fall short, we do need to try again. Embracing our burnout can transform us into the person we were supposed to be but which we were not allowed to be.

The good news is that Meta-Resilience is like health, we cannot avoid having it. We burn out while we are trying to be perfect, but just like the relationship between spirituality and religion; Meta-Resilience is more about the imperfection associated with spirituality rather than the perfection associated with religion. While spirituality and Meta-Resilience are fluid, Burnout and Religion are more solid. Where burnout has boundaries, Meta-Resilience on the other hand is boundless. Thankfully Meta-Resilience is not therapy, but it does offer forgiveness where no explanation is needed and while therapy can provide explanations, it is not designed to forgive. We all need to forgive ourselves and forgive others.

Meta-Resilience is concerned with human weakness and natural flaw while burnout which manifests itself as illness is more concerned with unnatural perfection. It does not matter how much we travel on our Meta-Resilience journey as long as we do not stop. It does not matter at what speed we burnout, as long as we continue to walk towards our Meta-Resilience. If we are burning out, it is more likely to denote our strength rather than our weakness. It shows our spiritual aliveness and it is our spirit drawing attention to itself.
As long as we are bound to the conditions which are creating our burnout, our refusal to embrace burnout does cause a certain death. It does not help with the three stages that have to be released during the Burnout Phase of Meta-Resilience: 1. the release from the addiction to burnout ; 2. the release from the self centeredness of burnout and ; 3. the release from the denial of burnout.

In releasing our Meta-Resilience, it is accepting that we are real but limited and we have to accept those limitations as the reality. The way to Meta-Resilience is to surrender; giving up our little self only to discover that there is a much greater Self waiting for us. Yes, it requires risk, and we must release ourselves from the attachment of our own chains, even if they have fallen off already. We cannot experience Meta-Resilience by being in the process of letting go, we must have let go already.

Meta-Resilience can be a wonderful way of life. It can frame what we see, how we feel and tell us why we choose what we do. It cannot be experienced in isolation, it needs burnout to come alive and while it can be discovered alone, it requires a community for it to be fulfilling. Rather than being a set of propositions, Meta-Resilience is a way of life in which understanding, acceptance and commitment emerge together in a single act, connecting the person and the organisation in which we work, and the community in which we live. Like the wind or the smell of a rose, we can experience Meta-Resilience, but we cannot command it.

Meta-Resilience springs from shared vision, shared goals, shared memory and shared hope. That is why it is mutually beneficial for an employee and an organisation. We depend on each other. The process suggests that Meta-Resilience comes when we are healed and we are healed by wanting to heal others. If we soak Meta-Resilience up like a sponge and keep it to ourselves, it is useless. Meta-Resilience is essential, but everyone experiences it differently than they imagine it to be. While it is open ended, it cannot be grasped and it is more at home with questions than answers, thus making it perfect for a new coaching paradigm. When it is discovered, it can pervade all aspects of our life, thus proving it is not a theory, but a lived experience of life.

Some people ask if Meta-Resilience is about re-framing. It is not. It is about finding a new map and breaking away from being who we were told we were. It is helping us and our organisations to figure out who we are, and what it means to be us. It requires willingness, honesty and open mindedness and requires no technique other than time and a good Meta-Resilience Coach. It uses the power of story to show us that life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. By the same token, our organisations are not problems to be solved; they are secrets to be uncovered.

Meta-Resilience is not about perfection, preferring instead to deal with progress and we do this in three ways; we listen, we ask questions and we tell stories.

There is a story about a founding member of AA who was asked about spirituality. He was in a log cabin and he looked at the fireplace for an age. When he looked up, he said “it is like that fireplace over there. It is the mortar. Without it, there is just a collection of rocks and marble. The mortar turns it into a thing of beauty. Meta-Resilience is like that – something which binds us and provides us with a definition and identity.
While Meta-Resilience is lived in a forward manner, it can only be understood by looking back at it. Meta-Resilient people live in the now and we can unite our past and our future - we prefer to “do it” rather than fantasise about it. We live it. In living it, we find release and gratitude, we are filled with humility and tolerance and in doing this we experience forgiveness and we are “at home” with who we are.

Meta Resilience influences how we live by shaping what we experience and it cares less for the wrong type of achievement. Rather, it is about seeing what we did not see before and seeing the world differently. Meta-Resilient people detach without resenting what we detach from. For us, it is a gift that we receive freely and we give it spontaneously, not requiring any special occasion to give it away. The reality is that Meta-Resilience helps us to release our serenity, experience tolerance and friendship and through the community of those we work with, we even experience love. It includes joy and sorrow and is not concerned with what happens to a us; it is what a we do with what happens to us that signifies our Meta-Resilience.

Meta-Resilience calls for us not to take ourselves too seriously when our real need is to discover the self that calls for the abandonment of who we thought we were. It knows that strengths make us different, while weakness makes us the same. It is shared sorrow, where two people in a designed alliance realise that we are in the same story and that we both must first accept our imperfections before we are able to accept the imperfection of others. The distance travelled on our Meta-Resilience journey needs to be measured in one day and it does not matter how far we travel as much as the experience that we gained.

We can only find Meta-Resilience when it is being looked for and by searching only where it can be found and that is within. When found, this new map gives us a sense of place, relationship and identity. While it is found in the present, it bears the scars of the past for it knows that those without a past also have no future. Meta-Resilience is not thinking less of ourselves, even if it is thinking of ourselves less, and while honesty gets us there, tolerance keeps us there. This tolerance begins with a vision of how things might be different and which sees helplessness in advance, building the bridge for others to cross when their time comes.

Of course, it has its paradox too. It is only by embracing burnout that we release our Meta-Resilience. Our failures become our successes and our sorrow becomes our joy. It is only possible to do it ourselves, but we cannot do alone. Meta-Resilience transcends the ordinary but only through the ordinariness of burnout.

Meta-Resilience creates new meanings for our old experiences as we know that the mind does react to stimuli, it reacts to meaning. Meta-Resilience helps us not to worry what other people think for that is none of our business. It releases our own personal wisdom and it detaches us from the material. It knows that there is no growth without pain but crucially, Meta-Resilience helps us to discover the purpose of our pain and finds the passion for our growth.

Meta-Resilience knows that there is a difference between wishing for it and willing it to happen. It knows that it is not the imitation of other people’s toolkits, rather it is an origination of our own. It knows that demanding to be Meta-Resilient is pointless as the willingness to become Meta-Resilient is the only commitment that we need.
We can burnout in the attempt to gain knowledge but without Meta-Resilience we will not achieve Wisdom. We can experience pleasure, but we may not experience happiness. We may congratulate others, but not admire them. We may read and listen but we might not understand. We may go to bed, but we might not sleep in peace. We may practice being meek, buy we may never experience humility. We may play the game well, but that does not mean that we will become the champions.

Without Burnout, Meta-Resilience lay dormant within us. We embraced it and we released it. And we are thankful.
Inspiration for this description of Meta-Resilience came from “Storytelling and the Journey to Wholeness” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

1 comment:

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