03 January 2011

Gremlins and grace: Challenges for a new year

As the holiday season and another year came to a close, I reflected how, in the recent past, my gremlin kept surfacing to influence, hamper and interfere with my thinking, doing and relating. One of my colleagues suggested I read Rick Carson’s book,
Taming Your Gremlin. I did, and it has given me new ways to monitor, notice and respond to my personal gremlins.

As we begin a new year, I think it is a good time to take stock, reflect and consider how best to tame one’s gremlins. According to Carson, taming one’s gremlin involves the process of noticing and choosing—
moment-to-moment—light over darkness, good over evil and the love that sustains over the fear likely to destroy. If you have one or more gremlins that need taming, explore Rick Carson’s website and learn more about gremlin taming.

Of special note are his tips for taming gremlins. Pictures people have created that visually represent personal gremlins of many types and varieties is available in his Gallery of Gremlins. Feeling creative about describing your personal gremlin? Perhaps you will want to respond to Carson’s invitation to draw and submit a picture of your own gremlin to his Gremlin gallery?

Gremlins often take charge of the chatterbox inside our heads. Gremlin taming is one way to manage the chatterbox. Another way is to create a state-of-grace document for yourself and with others.

The five components of a state-of-grace document are: 1) the story of me/us, 2) interaction styles and warning signs, 3) expectations and core values, 4) questions to return to peace, and 5) short- and long-term agreements. A state-of-grace document can become a blueprint for positive healthy relating. Creating a state-of-grace document for yourself and with those you care about provides a stimulus for conversation, dialogue and understanding.

Learn more about these documents and consider how gremlin taming and grace can be incorporated into your personal and professional development plans for the new year, 2011.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.