Finding My Place at the Table
I realize that I am active in our Mid-Atlantic Pathwork community at Sevenoaks. But am I really in leadership there? Part of me, a young part, denies that I am in any real leadership role and remains in a child place of wanting to belong, yet insisting on holding on to the feeling that I don’t belong.
But what would happen if I would allow myself to accept that I am, in fact, in leadership in our community? I can feel my young part resisting, wanting to stay the irresponsible child. Oh I’ll do my “chores” in community and want praise for doing them well, but I won’t feel my responsibility to the community on a deep level. Is there a Call to leadership here for me? Part of me just doesn’t want to grow up and accept any Call that might actually be there. Interesting to see this piece in me.
Yesterday I spent over seven hours on the phone with fellow leaders; in fact many of our organizational leaders were involved in one or more of these calls. There were one-to-one calls and conference calls. I felt engaged. The issues were those most critical to our survival as an organization, most critical for our transformation as an organization and most necessary for our playing our role in the world.
There was wide diversity of feelings, thoughts, personalities, and styles. Some comments and styles resonated with me and I could get engaged. Others did not and I had to decide how to be with them, how to be with myself.
In the end I could reflect on the very engaged day and find my place at the leadership table. I am not sure what my official role should be, but what I see as my call includes at least three aspects.
1) Hold space for yet help ground loose ends and the wide diversity present here, diversity of people, interests, skills, approaches, ideas, feelings, genius and foibles. Welcome new truths to the table when they are spoken. Stay open. Help the community stay open. Be open to Spirit, to change, to movement. Yet always be a grounding source in the community.
2) Encourage initiative where I see it, invite it when it is needed, trust people’s good will and intention, even if I do not understand their perspective or ideas. Always be a source of encouragement to others in the community.
3) Speak my truth, my sense of things; value my truth, and yet be willing to give it up for a deeper or higher truth. Always seek and support truth.
I see the process here as balancing active initiation, passive receptivity and acceptance of what is, and pausing for contemplation, percolation, and digestion. I see this process applying to me and others as individuals and to us as a community or to subsets of our community in the various official committees and ad hoc unofficial teams we form as we evolve.
I want to stay conscious about and anticipate how my own foibles might show up here and then catch these negative influences in the bud before they blossom into disaster. My pride could easily start identifying with being important and in the middle of key decisions, or inflate positive feedback I get, or awfulize negative feedback I get. My pride could be arrogant, dismissing the ideas of others.
My self will could easily get impatient and cut off the ideas of others, push its way through, “knowing” what’s best. My self will could easily get ahead of God’s will or the natural unfolding of things. I could prematurely see outcomes and drive for them rather than let things happen as they want to happen or are meant to happen and will happen if nurtured rather than driven.
I can see my fear showing up in my not being willing to boldly speak my truth if it might prove to be wrong in the end or not accepted. I can see my fear to risk taking initiative, and my fear to confront when that is necessary.
So it seems that a bit of maturing on my part is in order for me to face leadership challenges. A need to discern and answer any call that may come to me that I sense deeply is, indeed, my call. This also involves leaving other calls behind, calls that are not my calls. Discernment, always discernment. Such are the challenges in callings to leadership.
May each of us answer what calls us forth! What calls our essence forth. Each of us is needed! As Pathwork Lecture 168 says, to not risk (leadership, failure, showing up, etc.) is ungenerous and as such not risking is incompatible with the generous squandering nature of the Cosmos, and with Life itself.