Natural Leadership, Not?

I find myself in leadership roles frequently, and yet I wonder if leadership is part of my Essence manifesting or if my leadership is coming from some forcing place. I am not aware of longing or striving for leadership or recognition, and yet I ask, “Is there another part of me saying ‘Yes’ from a place that is not my Essence?”

Teaching is leading. I do not feel natural or comfortable in teaching. I am more of a discusser, a collaborator, a facilitator, building off the energy and ideas of others, extending these ideas, connecting the dots, inspiring new activities, etc. But to teach something — like a Pathwork lecture, or a Ken Wilber idea, etc. — or to lead something that has a specific protocol — like CORE energetics, meditation, an Ira Progoff-type journaling exercise, my new engagement with SoulCollage® — leading from a routinized set of ideas or protocols — scares me. I feel utterly incompetent, asking, “What could I possibly teach or lead?”  It all feels like trying to teach surfboarding from a text book.

So this morning I face two opportunities to lead or teach — one with a journaling group and one with Pathwork — teaching in the Pathwork Transformation Program next year. I can feel my resistance, terror even, if I am honest. I feel like I did in gym class in high school when asked to do a forward roll over a horse — only to land on my head, bringing laughter all around.

In my sense of incompetence, when teaching or leading exercises such as the above, I prepare, and prepare, and prepare. Oh I get into it and love the preparation, but in a way I get lost in the preparation, taking way more time, perhaps, than warranted or necessary.  And then when I teach from my super-prepared state it can go well, if I let go of my preparation and flow in a spontaneity that reflects my passion for the material and for the class, or it can go less well if I rigidly stick to my carefully prepared script.

Moira, my Helper, as often tells me, “Gary, you can lead or you can do.” It seems I can get into my doing mode pretty easily. Leading means letting go of scripts and interacting with what is present around me and arising within me. This would be coming from my Essence. But in sensing my incompetence it can be frightening to lead from Source within, fearing that I will distort it in my humanness, and in my fear of surrendering, coming to rely on my ego to lead rather than my Essence.

Yesterday I had lunch with two of my friends from the church to which I once belonged. They are both leaders, natural leaders, leaders comfortable in their leadership. I could see this in them and appreciate them. They brought a fourth man into the conversation, another natural leader. Conversation turned to activities in which their leadership and natural capacity to interact with people shown brightly. It was beautiful. And yet I was aware that none of this was me. I tried to hold my own, adding a few antidotal comments of my own just to stay in the flow of the river they were in, but it was not me, or at least not the me that lives inside and has all these passions regarding spirituality, personal development, and the purpose and meaning of life.

And leaders surround me at Sevenoaks Pathwork Center — natural leaders. Natural teachers — or so it seems. Why can I not be comfortable in this community of natural leaders and teachers? Why can I not find my own place at this table of Pathworkers?  Seems odd. True, but odd, yet so familiar.

So where does this all leave me? Pat offers that maybe my growth edge is to lead from my incompetence, to teach from my incompetence, or, rather, to lead and teach through my feeling of incompetence and thereby grow. Maybe my preparation is the doing that has to go in order to make my life sane while any natural leadership I might have emerges, effortlessly.  We’ll see, as there is a lot on the table to work through in the next few days! Prayers requested.

With love, Gary