Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: My inner drill sergeant....

This morning's class, even though it was the last, was the best one we've had through the series. Many people opened up and talked about their own concerns for the future, what they wanted to do and how to help each other manifest it. The overall topic was forming community and how to be of service within the community.

Most people had something to say about what they felt blocked them from offering all they could. Some brought up the disconnectedness among all of us. Others brought up the "faux busyness" so many use to isolate themselves. One woman, the youngest among us, came up with a good solution using technology. We brainstormed it roundtable fashion and I was enchanted! In my element! By the end of the class, three or four of us agreed to get together and talk about how to make it happen.

It had little to do with Life Coaching but within a larger context, it definitely incorporated the purpose of it.

As I'd agreed to do last week, I was coached in front of everyone. Procrastination was my topic. The facilitator (who is also the instructor) sat patiently while I unpacked the many reasons for my chronic procrastination. I can find a million and one excuses to not do something I'm afraid of doing. Fear is definitely at the root of it. When I want to do something, I definitely get it done which is true for most of us.

We used my visiting a group that is not structured and is not a classroom setting as the focus. What steps can I take to make myself go? I also gave myself permission to decide that it might be the wrong move for me, that perhaps I'm not yet ready for purely social situations. Unless there is a higher purpose, I can't see forcing myself to be someone I am not. The only way to find out if it is really who I am or whether it's just more fear-based choice-making is to attend something and see how it feels.

My internal judge is very, very harsh which showed during the coaching session. There is no drill sergeant in any boot camp in this country who could possibly be any harder on me than I am on myself. Other people in the class commented on that as a matter of fact. They were a bit startled to hear how harsh and judgmental I was when it came to my excuses. I have a habit of speaking to myself in a way that would get me punched out if I spoke to anyone else that way.

I admitted all my fears and the reasons for them. I was open about being afraid of situations like that because I don't feel adequate. I'm afraid of rejection. I'm afraid of judgment. I'm afraid of going into a situation where I have to do the whole "will I be accepted" dance with a bunch of strangers. I don't trust people to be kind. It exposes every bit of the miasma that resides at the core of me. It exposes parts of me that I've been very good at burying for a lot of years. There is absolutely nothing in my general appearance that would reveal that I feel that way. Like a demon on my shoulder, it just whispers in my ear and keeps me trapped. Coaching, which is not counseling or mentoring, was used to help me walk through ways to move forward. It's all about making a commitment and following through with some level of accountability.

It was a little awkward, admitting in front of so many people that I am a complete chicken when it comes to engaging community without a "job" or designated purpose. In the strictest sense, I think we did a good job of moving through it and coming up with some solid ideas for progress.

I got through it and hopefully we all learned something from it.

Now I'm looking for the next class!



LittlePea said...

How wonderful it must feel. You were fearless in your honesty and I admire that. I hope you'll be posting about this class often. It sounds like a healthy way to help one's self grow a group situation like that is hard to find.
(I too have procrastination issues. I'm working on it-it's a slow process but worth working on.)

Leann said...

It sounds like it was a very productive class for you Chani. Great job on opening up and facing what your are afraid of.

I am working towards that same end in my counseling sessions.

Thank you SO much for sharing the process in all of this. It truly has anyway :-)

Have a blessed Sunday.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Maybe instead of looking for the next class, you and the small core group who agreed to meet again could simply do so in a coffee shop or other neutral, comfortable place. It sounds as if you got all you could from this one and the timing was perfect since it was the last in the series. You are brave, but then we knew that. Those who are not scared in social situations are not brave because they engage; doing this or anything that one FEARS is brave.

I wish you would practice kindness with yourself. Since this is one of my own issues, I feel strongly about it. Tell the inner drill sergeant to take a hike because you deserve at least as much kindness as you give to others.

Anvilcloud said...

I'm impressed with you, and I get being "... little awkward, admitting in front of so many people that I am a complete chicken when it comes to engaging community without a "job" or designated purpose."

Marya said...

I so identify! Great post

Mary Louise (my other blog)

Z said...

Well done - do allow yourself some praise from yourself. I completely agree with Heartsinsanfrancisco's last paragraph - do trust yourself to be kind, please. How can you trust me if you don't trust yourself.

Bless you, lovely Chani. Onwards and upwards!

molly said...

Sounds like these classes take courage in the first place; and then to be willing to face your inadequacy issues head on and be open to dealing with them, even changing? Bravo! Not sure I could do it.....

secret agent woman said...

Good for you for letting yourself be vulnerable and open to learning! Very impressive.

hele said...

"I don't trust people to be kind" - this is something i recently recognised in myself as well as the price i pay by missing out on the kindness of acquaintances.

a beautiful post - thank you chani*

painted maypole said...

i can't wait to hear about the next class.

and the social situation?

you ARE brave Chani. you are. in so many areas. you will find a way to be brave in this one.

Woman in a Window said...

Chani, it seems to me that if we all could stand up and admit our vulnerabilities our larger community would be so much further ahead. So many, though, hang on to the illusion of superiority, or worse still, the need for it. Sounds like your group is a healthy one. And brain storming for a better world. I look forward to your sharing.

Glad to be back here.

AngelP said...

Chani, I have spent the best part of the last week reading everyone of your blog posts and I am quite impressed with your journey. I am an alcoholic with 10 days sober. I haven't read many blogs - yours and Eclectic Recovery is about it. Thank you for putting yourself out there. It has meant so much to me. I am glad you are back in classes. It's a great place for you to be.

Keep sharing. You make a difference.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

You were brave to be so vulnerable, and I'm glad to hear that it was productive. I can so relate to having an inner drill sergeant. I hope you teach her to cut you a little slack.