Sunday, 15 February 2009

I haven't written for a while....and the truth is...that I'm having to rein in my self-expression

What I am finding out on this journalism course is how careful I have to be with what I write. I was under the impression that this blog of me making assertions that I never claim to be the truth would not land me in hot legal water. It seems that this is not true and that full self-expression is confined to the land of Utopia. This insight has made me pull in the reins of my self-expression and it has also made me angry that I am not free to write what I like. As many of you who are reading this blog on a regular basis know, I have been writing it for almost 4 years. It's purpose is to be a record of what I am calling a spiritual journey. The spiritual journey is predominantly about the challenges and tensions of identity/ego versus possibility/soul. This is a journey that is about the transformation of human to spiritual. It's very nature is such that it deals with the dynamics of how the human identity has been put together and the lengths it will go to to survive and play small. As it is my spiritual blog I speak about this tension as it occurs for me and the circumstances in which it occurs. These incidents do not happen half-way up a mountain where I am the only species of homo sapiens. No, I have chosen to have this spiritual journey in the midst of life and not away from it.

Given this, I write about events as they occur and my reaction and analysis to them. I never mean to be offensive and if I inadvertently am will not hesitate to issue an apology. I have always said that what I write is just my view or opinion and is not the truth. I don't plagiarise in that I always acknowledge where I get the insights that I write about so that I continue to be in integrity and authentic. But in spite of all of this the dire warnings that 1 of our lecturers gave to us a couple of weeks ago has made me re-consider how best to continue this blog for the future. One way out of this would be to close the blog down and re-start it under a fictitious name, but to me is this is not honest. I don't want to hide who I am and play safe because it is easy. Yet on the other hand I really don't want to land myself in legalese. The compromise that I am going to try out is not to name anybody and to distort the events that I write about so that they are unrecognisable. This still doesn't fit very comfortably with me but I am loathe to close down this blog and start here goes.

Life since I have begun this course has just opened up and explanded in ways I never dreamed possible. This weekend contained the like-it, or loathe it V day. A day when those who are loved feel even more loved and those who are lonely even more lonely. I had a team meeting on Friday night and drove to London. I called my good friend to ask if I could use his computer given that I had left mine in Brighton. I thought that my V day would be spent in my flat doing the final cleaning required before the new tenants took over today. To my surprise my friend invited me to a dinner party that a friend of him (who I also knew) was giving. This was totally unexpected and delightful. It was strange again returning again to the flat that had been home for so many years. Once again on Saturday morning I found myself in that black space and I suddenly realised that it was because I missed Brighton. Far from thinking that I have made a mistake doing what I am doing I realised that it was being back in London that was creating these feelings. I missed the sea, I missed Brighton.

I called to my friend and after collecting another friend we drove to where the evening was being held. I've noticed such an ease and a peace around myself. We walked in and I didn't feel any tension and awkwardness, I was completely relaxed and at home. We opened a bottle of champagne and it was so lovely. I had a thought that I was never this happy and relaxed while I was working in the job that I was working in...why was that....Had it something to do with not having any integrity in that job. I wondered then if it's true that if integrity is out in one area of life then it's out in every area. Since I made the choice to re-train for a career that in my world has integrity given who and what I say I am opportunities seem to be coming up everywhere. I spoke openly and honestly about my book and the process I went through to having it published. Hearing myself speak I realised that I had never had such full free and passionate self-expression. Then came the ultimate moment for me. My friend had brought a couple of magazines and he started to flick through the pages. I immediately remembered what I had learned about the design of magazines and suddenly I was in full flow about the front of the magazine and what the different panels were designed to do. In that conversation I had the experience of being authentic and present and it was very powerful.

I am clear that I didn't have any of this while I worked in a job which didn't bring out my strengths. I did it to the best of my ability but I knew that I didn't have integrity. With this course I have huge integrity. I'm determined to do everything I can to get the qualification at the end of the course. I had an interesting experience on Friday night when there were elections for various positions of leadership. One of these positions is Integrity accountable. This involves making sure that team members keep their promises. I consider myself to be integrity guru or maybe integrity rottveiler might be more honest, and I was fully confident standing up. I was sure that those members of team that were at the meeting would see me as the next natural integrity accountable. I stood up with 3 others and said from the heart who I would be for the members of Team if I was privileged to have this accountability. We were asked to state who Team is for us. As I tried to compose something I suddenly lost my self-expression and became tongue-tied. I realised with a mounting sense of horror that I don't really know what or who Team is for me. I don't know this because I am not playing as a team, but small separate and alone. This playing small, separate and alone is nothing more than my identity asserting itself and until it is distinguished it operates unfettered.

I suddenly saw this and the impact on me of not being connected to Team and the hypocrisy of me then writing lyrically about all of us being connected without any separation and yet my way of behaving around members of team was showing the direct opposite. This was a very sobering moment for me on Friday night. This is my final few months of this programme and even though I do not have a leadership role my commitment is to being related and connected to every person on the programme by the time it finishes in May....... As I wrote that I could feel my identity go into orbit with such thoughts like 'yeah right, let's see about that'. I have learned that whenever I feel resistance to something that this is the work of the identity. Possibility never has resistance just the excitement that comes with growing and expanding. This is why it is so important to feel the resistance and do whatever it is one was going to do. As Susan Jeffers says 'feel the fear and do it anywhere'. On the other side of fear is freedom.

So hopefully there's nothing in this blog entry that will cause offense....I really don't like to have to monitor and censor myself in a new way. By doing this it becomes all about my survival and not about being the stand to make a difference by being bold and taking the risk of upsetting other identities for what is possible......I'm going to have to think some more on this......

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