Thursday, 23 April 2009

With integrity.....everything is possible

My first thought when I woke up this morning was 'Oh no, I have a shorthand test today'. My experience of shorthand is that it is like a fungus in that it gradually grows into being familiar. From being vigilant and practicing it regularly I am fairly confident in two out of three parts of the test. When it comes to dictating sentences I have not already drilled then panic sets in and what is logical gets lost in the haze of panic.

I've been such a different person since my euphoria moment about the importance of integrity and being my word which happened on Tuesday. Wednesday inspite of my identity going on a rant about the need to shelve all of my commitments in favour of studying for this shorthand test I ignored it and was rigorous about doing everything I said I would do. To my absolute amazement I managed to do everything and also fit in the study for the shorthand test. Early morning came and for one moment it looked like we were not going to have the test until Monday. I had mixed feelings about this because I am going to London for a team meeting and have an exam on public affairs on Wednesday so didn't want to have the thought of a postponed shorthand exam also on my mind. Luckily one of the girls was vocal in her annoyance which came down to at its most simplest level, the annoyance and uncertainty that occurs when something that is expected doesn't happen. I was my usual philosophic self in that I thought 'I'll go with whatever is meant to be here'. But in truth I was thrilled when the teacher having a sudden attack of what I don't know, suddenly became focussed and intentional and declared 'yes, we were going to have the test'.

This resulted in a flurry of pages being torn out of books, the screech of pens scurrying down pages as margins were hurriedly drawn and then finally this test that brings me face to face with my nerves and panic began. The first two parts were OK because these were outlines we had done once so they were consigned to my memory. The third part was dictating sentences I hadn't practiced before and I immediately felt the well of panic as the correct spelling of the words conflicted with how they sounded and so by the end I needed a home for the bewildered. But I calmed myself down and gave everything over to my intuition. Only time will tell if it has been a friend or foe.

Then came our design class. I had completely forgotten that we had done a mock paper just before Easter to test our sub-editing and ability to write eye catching headlines. I remember coming out of this thinking that I had done so badly on this. I had it that my headline and introduction to the stories was so off beam compared to the headlines I had sneakily glanced at that others had written. To my absolute surprise and amazement when it came to feedback time the lecturer had given me eight out of 10 for my headlines which I was thrilled about. As he went through my work I saw the impact of what happened once my identity had said 'you have made a hash of this'. How I gave up, in terms of making sure that it was the best that it could be. I saw with shame how I had let go basic grammatical and spelling errors that as a writer I am sure that I saw but at that point my attitude would have been sod it (or maybe something stronger!) and I would have done with it what I do with everything that I feel goes wrong....abandon it without any integrity.

Doing much better than I thought I did has really boosted my confidence that I can produce something of quality next time. I've seen that I can add in words to line up columns of words and that I don't need to be afraid of really turning around copy as long as I do not change the meaning of the article. We are having another mock exam next week and I intend to play and take risks that up to now I haven't wanted to because of a fear of not doing it right. But it is this restraint that is putting the block on my creativity all over the place. Restraint and free self-expression cannot live in the same space, being one or the other is a choice.

Feeling much more positive about design and sub-editing than I have during all of this course I returned home so happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to do this course. I stopped off to give my consciousness the treat of merging with the power and magnificance of the sea and as always when I do this, the few thoughts in my mind are reduced to nothing but wonder and awe. I am deputy accountable for ensuring that everyone on team receives a phone call to acknowledge them for what they are creating in the world. It is in the listening that we have for others that they experience their own greatness. For the person who is acknowledging people, those moments when the consciousness is not concerned with 'me and mine' but is concerned with giving a powerful experience to another are shape-shifting.

On Wednesday I called lots of people who hadn't communicated that these calls had been done. I was amazed at how open everyone was to being held to account and their willingness to recommit these calls at another time. From this I understood that holding people to account for them to have the power that comes with being their word is not the policing I thought it was. It is a commitment to them to have a life that works.

My last thought tonight.......was wow.....Integrity rocks

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