I spent the majority of my life judging myself for being different than others. I saw the world very differently and had different interests. I also thought that I needed to be like others and tried to be like them. This resulted in a lot of inner conflict. I created beliefs and judgments from what I experienced externally. When I reflect back on my childhood, I can remember so many situations where I got into trouble for being me. I lived in a world where adults said things like "Why can't you be more like...."
I think being a parent is an area of my life which presents a deep opportunity for growth and awareness. I have been humbled by my mistakes and enlightened by the teaching that my kids have held for me. I deeply want the best for my kids and I also want to shield them from the pain that I experienced. I often held the belief that because I was older and had life experience, it gave me permission to impose my beliefs onto my children. This belief would often lead to conflict.
This week Robin Williams gave us the gift of a collective wake up call. Will we press the snooze button? We could easily have a discussion about any of the following topics; suicide, depression, anxiety, loneliness the list goes on. All of the topics I just mentioned are symptoms, that invite us to look a little deeper. I have spent a lot of time this week reflecting on how I have felt over the years and how far I have come. To be honest its difficult to truly connect to what
Over the years it has become easier to openly share my stories and my fears and feel like I have nothing to hide. While this is my truth, it is most certainly not everyone's truth. I had forgotten how difficult it can be to share with others and be vulnerable. Creating a safe space where authentic sharing and reflection can happen is a real passion of mine. Fire represents the intense courage and risk required to be authentic, open and present in our interactions. When the person you are speaking to opens their heart and lets down their shield a different fire begins
Typically when we say "Yes" to something we are indicating agreement. When communicating with someone it can be difficult to hold a space of agreement depending upon what is being shared. There may be a values conflict or what is being shared may trigger a past experience that we have had. So how do we maintain presence for the speaker when we can't "be" with what is being shared?
Being accountable is about taking action towards your ability to respond (response-ability). I think we have all been there, in the heat of the moment we say or do something that we feel cannot be taken back. Swallowing your pride can be really difficult as can losing a friendship. On a deeper level our relationships serve as a "mirror" for personal growth. We continue to react to that mirror until we own what we are seeing in the mirror.
I recently experienced, The New Warrior Training Adventure on Vancouver Island, an intense weekend of personal growth and initiation for Men. I experienced many deep changes and also emerged from the weekend with a clear purpose statement. My purpose: "I co-create a world of playful connection, by being present to myself and others."
There is a burning desire / need within me that for the most part is going unmet. I apologize in advance, this might be a bit of an honest rant. The deal is, that I am totally human and perfectly imperfect. For example, in regards to this Blog post, my inner critic had a bit of a field day. Write it , don't write it. You are a hypocrite if you write that. You won't be teaching anything, it's just a rant. Back and forth.