I have a default position -- many of them actually -- but on the weekend, this particular default leaped up to awaken me to its limitations and show me the path to healing.
It was at Choices -- the personal development course I coach in. Every weekend that Choices take place, so too does Purpose. And, while I may not be coaching in the 'big program' during the week, I am always in the the Purpose room assisting on the weekend. It is something I love to do.
On the weekend, Saturday mornings is Purpose School. A two hour session designed to guide newby and not so newby coaches through the processes of working with trainees during Purpose, which takes place on Sunday afternoon. The 'purpose of Purpose', is to guide trainees into creating their Purpose Statement, that descriptive verse that tells the world (and themselves) about 'that thing they do', that is unique and special about them -- the gift they share with the world, every day, effortlessly.
On Saturday morning, as one of the facilitators and I were talking about jobs for the morning, I said, "I always like to have something specific to do. Otherwise I just feel like I'm a bump on a log, sitting here doing nothing."
A team member piped up and said, "Oh? I'm perfectly okay with just sitting quietly listening. I don't have to say or do anything in the room. I can just be here and feel really happy and worthwhile."
Now, my mind can be a busy neighbourhood. Always watching, listening, culling events and happenings, working hard to make sense of the world around me, it adds great value to my life. It can also, however, distract me, undermine me, inhibit me from experiencing life in the rapture of now.
Inside my mind is an old place. A place where I stored childhood lessons and observations to help me feel safe in what often felt like an unsafe world. At the time, they helped me feel safe, protected, in charge of a world that seemed out of control, overwhelming and often frightening. Today, they no longer apply. Unfortunately though, my 'reptilian mind' would like me to believe they do.
The sergeant major of my reptilian mind is a blustery critter who lives in the dark corners of my thinking. He likes to chew away at my peace of mind, keeping himself busy processing and aligning events and happenings around me based on childhood beliefs that, as he likes to remind me, are the only true, irrefutable facts of my life. They (and thus him) are the only things that can protect me, keep me safe, keep me out of harms way.
He can be rather annoying this critter. He has this irritating habit of constantly disturbing the peace with his foot stomping and insistence that I listen to him. His nature is to jump to conclusions, leap into the foray and set me to reacting without thinking. Sure, he wants to protect me but really, does he have to be so quick in his defense?
On Saturday, the moment he heard the woman's response to my statement of being who I am, he scurried quickly into the lime light of fear and started to hiss his messages of discord into my left ear, (okay, so I don't really know it was my left ear but he did start hissing his poisonous comments with great glee somewhere in my head!). "She's criticising you. And she's right, there's something wrong with you. Why can't you just sit quietly like everyone else and not be such a show-off?"
I swatted at him with a right minded "Go Away!" and proceeded to work through the morning, adding my best to the mix of creating a valuable and meaningful experience for everyone involved.
But his comments stung. And stuck.
What was that all about?
It was in meditation that I breathed deeply into the truth and embraced my uniqueness and gave room for everyone around me to embrace theirs.
I like to be involved through doing. Through sharing. Through giving of my strength, hope and encouragement.
The team member who spoke up is there for the same reasons. She just does it differently and is comfortable doing it her way.
She wasn't criticising. She was simply stating her truth. Both our truths are true. Both our truths have value. And there isn't anything wrong with my way of being involved.
It was a brilliant moment of light. Of learning. Of growing. The knowing -- I have a place in me that automatically defaults to a child's place that says, "Oh. They're criticising me. I'm doing it wrong. I have to do it like everyone else."
'They' are not criticising. And I am not 'doing it wrong'. There's nothing wrong with me for doing it the way that intuitively fits for me. There's nothing 'right' nor 'wrong' about others for doing it the way that intuitively fits for them. To 'fit in', to have meaning, to be part of the team, doesn't mean I have to be like everyone else. I just have to be me. Giving of my best. Giving of my heart. Giving all that I can to add value.
I love these moments of awareness. Love that I 'got me'. That I was awake enough to hear the critters voice and know -- "You are not the boss of me! I'm okay, just the way I am." And in the process, I know that to put my critter in his place, all I have to do is turn to him and reassure him with words of love that make it possible for him to relax, to calm down and know, I am no longer that child who needed his protection. I have come into my own. Come into myself, living in joy, peace and harmony through each moment, embracing all that I can be, all that I am when I let go of fear and move with grace and ease In Love.