Overcoming Addiction to Productivity
Reflecting on my 30-year career I can see plainly my commitment to productivity and effectiveness. I would be the the organizer, the meeting leader, and would pride myself on how effectively we could work through an agenda and get things done. My presentations could be cogent and clear. Everyone could get on the same page quickly. I was praised, appreciated, and rewarded for my effectiveness! And I was blind to any downside to such a skill. In fact I was both stimulated by productivity and identified with it. Productivity was a core value of mine.
So the conference call meeting of Sevenoaks Pathwork Helpers that I and two others, making up the sponsor team, facilitated last night was profound in two respects. On the productivity scale it was a big Zero. Nothing got decided, done, assigned, or even complained about. Yes, from my earlier value system a big ZERO.
But in the aftermath we all seemed moved and connected, even happy and full of life. We were somehow in a new space it seemed to me. It was a wonderful feeling, and fairly new to me. What happened? What did we do at the meeting to generate such an outcome? Well actually we, in an ego sense, didn’t do much but surrender to the moment, to Spirit, and let the meeting unfold as it wanted. A very natural unforced unfoldment.
After an attunement of our energies and Spirit, we did a check in. Each of us seven participants took whatever time was necessary to say where he or she was in life, with Pathwork, with family and friends, with what challenged and what inspired us. This process included a lot of silence as we took all of each person in. The space became increasingly sacred as each of us went deeper.
When we looked up at the clock after our check-in, item 1 on our agenda, we realized that we had only 10 minutes of our scheduled 1-hour meeting left for “important” matters. The meeting was over before it had begun, at least this is what I was telling myself from my old way of running meetings. Yet the outcome felt perfect. We seemed to have experienced what we needed. In fact when we transitioned into some business matters in those last few minutes it felt like we were violating the sacred space we had created. In experiencing our check-in it was as if we discovered the purpose of our monthly Helper meetings: CONNECTION. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Yes, there is lots going on in our Sevenoaks Pathwork community, and we need to tend to business matters, some of which are quite heavy. But it seems we also need an oasis from all that is going on just to be together. How each of us is and how we FEEL personally about the various roles we play, decisions that have been made, things that we see in the community is more important than the roles, decisions, and things that we see themselves. Perhaps other forums are needed for content and factual communications, things like “Town Meetings,” emails, focused conference calls, etc. But equally important is this space where we can just be together in community, sharing deeply of our aliveness, our blocks, our challenges and what we celebrate and are grateful for.
For me personally this Helper Conference Call was a moment of grace, a real AH HA! It seems that in my focus on effectiveness I had not been conscious of the value of pure connection. What I seemed to have valued is what got done. From my experience last night I see that I miss so much in my dogged focused commitment to effectiveness. With this experience of community my eyes were opened to a more profound way of being in the world, a way of unity and connection. Quite a blessing.
And this does not take away from being effective. Both effectiveness and felt sense of connection are important. It’s just that these two qualities, especially in a spiritual community like Pathwork, need to be balanced in how we value them and allow for them. I feel blessed by this awakening experience. May this both/and awakening in our community continue to unfold.