I had the good fortune to participate in a Circle of Trust retreat. If you want to know more about these types of experiences, the Center for Courage and Renewal. I took serious the task and intention of the retreat, to recall my committments to aligning my role (what I do) to my soul (who I am). Before I left I was reading Parker Palmer’s book, Let your Life Speak and journaling. I have a blog post draft from four months ago, about how Palmer’s work aligns with restorative justice. To summarize this paragraph, I was prepared to go and have a transformative experience. I’ve learned all that takes is a little extra intention.
I’ve been fortunate in my work travels, for the past 5 years, usually once or twice a year I am on a plane. I take preparing and going as chapter heading in life. I have a strong need to be at the gate waiting, tothe point it’s annoyed a travel partner. I hurry up to wait. Its out of character for me, in the larger context of how I operate. I realized this trip, gate time is down time. I am not good at down time, yet it is something we all need. I realized I can slow down, I just need a ‘cover’ for it. You know in case my Dad, who taught me how to be a workaholic, ever sees. (How weird is blogging? You tell everyone your secret cover for down time.)
See the paragraph above illustrates a nugget of understanding who I am and what I do. That is just a small example of the many pieces of self-awareness I had on this trip. Self-awareness is necessary for growth, and we are all growing, one way or the other. I prefer to grow bigger, better and brighter, or at least I try.
I feel so connected and confident about who I am and what I do. As I waited to for my shuttle to get to the airport, I pulled out my calendar, 5 days of not being opened and it did not disintegrate. No appointments Tuesday, called the office took the day off. I have PLENTY of Paid Time Off right now. For me to actually take a day off, WOW, that’s a real sign the retreat worked! I took a day off for my birthday, and even though I was at the office in sweat pants [WAIT, need to stop right here]. See I rationalized that if I went to work, in sweats it wasn’t really working. Sheesh. Anyway . . . I go in the office on my day off, I took questions, had a meeting interupted for a question, did a task or two. I was struck by no one shooing me away, it was as if, me working on a day off was now normal. Point being I don’t disconnect much or very well. I did it this trip.
I left the rush, buzz, thrill, busyness of SCVRJP for 5 days. The retreat itself was one full day, with a half day on each side, then I vacationed for two days. WOW, that is the way to go. I actually and honestly let it go. I enjoyed the company of a new friend, someone from the retreat and I hung out after. Then I enjoyed the company of an old friend, 8 years of seeing each other once in awhile. It was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
Where can you get some self-awareness? Have you thought about your role and soul lately?
I thought I had all the answers, connecting in community gave me even more. See what you can find out about yourself and the change you make may suprize you.