Why is it called ‘The Churning’?

People often ask me why this book is called “The Churning”. I tell them there are three reasons.

The first is because of the churning that is happening all around us: the changes in politics, the economy, society, technology, and of course the environment. Together these have created a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. This is the outer, physical churning we face.

The second type of churning is the inner, emotional churning we can experience as a result of these changes: the feelings of uncertainty, loss, anxiety, and even fear that naturally arise when so much change is happening. Sometimes we feel tumbled about like a sock in a washing machine. This is our inner, emotional churning.

And the third kind of churning is the churning that turns cream into butter, the churning that can make us stronger. Because the fact is that change is nothing new — change has always been with us. The only thing that is different now is that the amount and rate of change are higher. And with the right tools and techniques we can learn to use the changes that are happening as an opportunity to become clearer about what matters most to us and more able to achieve it.

We can learn to ‘churn’ ourselves from cream into butter.

How much outer change is happening in your world? How much inner churning is that stirring up? Are you using this time as an opportunity to become stronger and churn yourself from cream into the butter you want to become?

(The ancient Hindus described this process in the legend of The Churning of the Milk Ocean.)

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

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