For the last few months, I’ve been focusing on the 2014 digital overhaul. In short, it has not been fun. I’ve spent so much time updating passwords, switching e-mail accounts, and figuring out the hosting and plugins for my websites that I felt like I was becoming a hermit. After programming throughout the day and then attacking these digital projects in the evening, blogging has taken a back seat. But back seat no more! Now it’s time to move out of Q1 and into the next phase of the year. Travel, blogging, adventures, and changes are all ahead.
Last weekend I spent Thursday through Saturday in a course offered by the Newfield Network (www.newfieldnetwork.com) called Foundations of Personal Leadership. It was quite different from other courses I’ve taken, which is what prompted me to enrol in the first place. Beforehand, I was warned about the crying, dancing and emotions (yikes!) that undoubtedly occur with every session… and I was sold! This course was the first step in making different things happen… however those things manifest in my life. I’ve been doing a lot of the same things for quite some time: a comfortable job, hiking regularly, completing fitness challenges, and traveling when I can. It’s all been fantastic, but it has been a while since I’ve been pushed out of my boundaries and comfort zone. And even though I have a lot of stability, lately I’ve been feeling a bit lost.
Newfield Network’s Foundations of Personal Leadership… What?
The course challenged me to suspend my habitual way of being in the world, and claimed that the self is a complex interplay between the body, emotion, and language. (There’s that “E” word again!). After three days of discussing those three components, I realized there’s lots of discovery work to do, and as a society, we do not give those components adequate time for exploration.
Here’s something I found interesting: It is the notion that language is generative, and that through language, we not only describe the world but also generate the reality of our world. And when we say something, is it an assertion, or simply an assessment we have? For example, “I can’t run a half-marathon” is an assessment of one’s abilities rather than an assertion of fact. Someone may have a different assessment. It reminded me that WHAT we say and HOW we say what we say can be pretty powerful when it comes to what we do and how we feel. Instead of “I could never run that long”, maybe it needs rephrasing to “I am a beginning at running long distances”. The first seems final, whereas the second alludes to progress.
We also explored how movement and body language influence emotions. For example, when I was flapping around like a bird with 25 other strangers, most of us were laughing. When we had to lie on the ground and just relax for 15 minutes, it was very calming. When I forced myself to breathe as if I were crying without thinking about any sad story, I felt sad. And those emotions are contagious! When someone is sad around you, the limbic system in the brain can’t help but make you feel something too. Interesting, no? I think exploring the emotional side of the triangle will be the most challenging, and perhaps most eye opening. I spent the weekend completely immersed in the learning that I needed a mental break when it was done. But now the fun stuff begins- reviewing the material and implementing the practices with 4 months of homework. Ugh.
Or maybe I should rephrase that and say “I have 4 months of transformational learning“. I think that’s better!
I currently feel a bit lost with the course, but one quote that came out of the session was: If you’re lost, you’re learning…
When I reflect on that and think about the many times I’ve felt lost, whether in the workplace, relationships, or in life, this statement holds so true.