“Stay open to the sun! Stay open to the sun!”
“What?!?” I was confused about what that even meant. I was having a challenging month and had been sharing the woes of my world with my colleague. My peer was an eternally optimistic person and was always cryptically encouraging new ways to think about things.
Even though I secretly thought she was pretty out there, I respected her and the zest and energy she had for life. She didn’t seem to get stuck for hours upon days in mental story and questioning. She didn’t beat herself up and doubt her skills and abilities. She didn’t even really worry about what people thought about her. She was open to feedback and was always learning and developing herself, but she didn’t give in to negativity and criticism. She was able to discern feedback that served and feedback that paralyzed.
I admired all of that and knew it was a more healthy way to be in the world.
So then, what does “stay open to the sun” mean? This had been bothering me all day. I felt a bit silly not understanding but I wanted to know. It sounded like it had so much brilliance, potential, and power. I reluctantly returned to my colleague and asked what that meant and how I might do that.
She responded, “Oh! I didn’t tell you the SUN acronym before?” I tried to remember, but was pretty sure this was new. She continued to explain:
- “S is for Self-reflect: Ask yourself is this true, relevant and useful? If so take what is helpful from it. If not, let it go.
- U is for Understand: Ask yourself what can I learn from this and how I can move forward?
- N is for Navigate: Look at the best way to go from here. What CAN you do? What WILL you do?”
“Staying open to the SUN (self-reflect, understand, navigate) helps us to not get stuck in the story and the problem, rather we can look at what can serve us, learn from it and move forward. The key is staying open. When we shut down to reflection, learning, and action we get stuck.” she finished.
This made sense. I thought about my situation and decided I would do a little journaling that night to work through what was true, what I could learn and how I wanted to move forward.