In the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed myself dodging around a particular subject or at the least downplaying it. I’m noticing that because it’s something that is actually quite important to me. I know I’m avoiding the topic because for some reason it makes me feel really exposed. At the same time, I’m really excited about it so I do want to talk about it.
I figure if I just write it down here in the public sphere, that will dismantle some of my walls around the topic. I’ll also have some kind of weird safety in being able to refer back to my own writing. The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s actually pretty much everything right. I’m just getting used to the idea that it’s right for me to be doing it.
OK what the hell am I talking about? Simply put: I’m taking a year-long training in “transformational leadership and coaching.”
“There. That wasn’t so hard, Cianna, was it?” Well, yes, actually it was.
“What makes it so hard?” Well aside from my push-pull relationship to all things new age-y sounding, I think there are two main things I’m struggling with: 1) Doing this course depends on my exposing the kind of thinking and introspection that I normally do alone (in case you didn’t know: during many of those long periods when I’ve “taken off” or “been really busy” in the past this is what I’ve been doing), and by extension exposing the personal issues that I’ve been addressing through that thinking; and 2) It makes me feel like I’m “not capable” of figuring this out on my own.
I think this last point is the hardest for me to admit. The first is obvious, easy really: It’s hard to talk about personal stuff with others. Done. Not hard to understand. The second, though, makes me all kinds of wiggy. The voices in my head start scolding me. “What, do you think others are weak if they ask for help?” No. “Do you really think you’re better off doing everything alone?” No. “Don’t you recognize that getting another’s perspective would be useful?” Yes. “Do you agree that others might think of things that you haven’t?” Yes. “Just because you have insights about others doesn’t mean you have 100% insight about yourself.” True… “C’mon. You know that’s true! You’re wrong all the time about how people perceive you, what you’ve done to someone else, what effect you’ve had on them!” Yes, that’s true. “Or do you think you just know everything and can figure out everything better than anyone else?” No. Not really. Maybe? No. I don’t want to think that. Truly no. “Are you really so in love with your own ability to re-interpret and re-invent things that you need to be known as someone who ‘figured it out,’ someone who didn’t follow someone else’s system? Do you need people to know you’re smart enough to do this without them?” Uh… “Does that make you better than other people who ‘had to’ take classes or go to events or listen to someone else to understand what was up?” No, wait. That’s not what I — “Do you think others don’t have anything to teach you? That you really won’t learn anything?” No, that’s not true. There’s so much I still have to learn! …But ok, yes. It’s true that I think I’ll learn something and then expand on it, change it. I admit that. I think I’ll make it better. But I didn’t mean — “You still have to learn it in the first place, right?” Yes. “And you haven’t fully managed to do it by yourself, right?” Not fully, no. “‘Not fully’ Huh. OK, if I pat you on the back for what you’ve already done would that make you more able to chill the f**k out and listen and really be ready to learn?” Um. “Be honest here. Does it?” Um… yes. “OK, then. Congratulations on what you’ve already managed to figure out. Congratulations on getting through some very hard times in your life – often while taking care of other people at the same time. Congratulations on not just surviving but actually thriving and coming back to connect with people each time after you tuck yourself into your turtle shell. I truly am proud of you for your persistence.” Thanks. That does help. “Cool. Now are you ready to tell people what you’re doing and what you want to get out of it?” Yes. “All right. Go ahead.”
I’m taking a year-long course called Transformational Coaching and Leadership Training. It’s going to be totally intense. It already has been and we’re only 9 days in. My goals are many-fold. I am not happy with many of my old patterns in relationships – in all arenas: romance, family, friends, community. I know that many people think I’ve been doing many things well but I am sure that I can do much better, that there are so many ways in which I have not yet reached what I could. I want to stop doing the things that I recognize as unhealthy, damaging to myself and others. I want to find and embrace balance and love in my world, to express the fullness of caring that I have for everyone I come into contact with and do it in a way that I can sustain, without losing myself along the way. I want to find a balance between giving and taking. I want to embrace my natural leadership abilities and use them in ways that can help the world. I want to express my joy about being alive and my sense of playfulness through everything that I do. I want to find ways to use my ability to integrate information and thinking from many different fields to find new solutions to seemingly entrenched problems.
I want to become a whole person who doesn’t have so many negative voices in her head.
I want to be good to you and to me.
That’s it really: I’m taking a year long training so I can break apart everything that I think I know so that I can figure out how to be good.
And I’m looking forward to it.