resilient tree

Practicing the Flip

If any of you know me or my colleagues from the Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change, you have likely heard us talk about “practicing the flip” and the “power of questions.”  These strengths-based exercises help individuals and organizations shift their mindset from problems to what is possible.  It seems that the whole world is currently challenged with putting this into practice. All around me I am witnessing beautiful acts of kindness, resilience and strength in the face of what seem to be endless obstacles.

As our team gathered virtually today for what is usually our monthly in-person planning meeting, we checked-in by sharing our own versions of these exercises:

Faced with the gym and other classes being cancelled, Amanda and her partner are asking themselves: “What exercise classes can we take virtually to help stay physically fit and ‘in tune’?”

Recognizing the challenge of feeling isolated at home, Barbara initiated a conversation with her friends: “How might we support each other socially during this time?”

You can do this too by considering a few simple questions and working to reframe the possibilities.  Here is my example:

  • What is the problem I am facing? (ex. “My family’s Spring Break plans are ruined!”)
  • What is the opposite of this problem? (ex. “Surviving Spring Break with two teenagers.”)
  • What great question will enable me to discover the most positive possibility? (ex. “How can our family have a fun, memorable and meaningful family ‘stay-cation?’”

By leaning in to positive possibilities, we invite creativity and new ways of connecting.

One of the positive possibilities before us now is to explore how to support those who are most affected by this crisis.  I think of our neighbors working to keep our health care systems running, those earning hourly wages to provide critical services like groceries and electricity, small business owners scrambling to figure out how to stay afloat, and our most vulnerable individuals experiencing poverty,  illness and isolation. Those of us that can practice the flip might consider how we might put our own challenges into perspective, and instead help ease the burden of others. I can’t think of a more important flip than taking our own disappointment and loss and turning it into kindness and generosity.  What if we practiced this all the time?

How are you are practicing the flip, or helping others?  If you are feeling stuck, please let us know how we can help.  We might have a creative idea to share – or perhaps just a powerful, timely question.

Wishing you good health and positive possibilities,

Kara Schmitt, LCSW

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