Thursday, 2 October 2008

My street fight.......with myself

'It's like having a 5 year old in charge of customer delight team, you make people wrong and force outcomes' these were said to me by my coach a couple of days ago and they left me reeling. Let me set the context a little. I have written in this blog about the team management and leadership programme I am doing with Landmark Education. The whole of the Landmark technology is aimed at uncovering how we as human beings have been put together. It is an ontological study into the nature of being. I consider myself to be quite advanced in understanding and using this technology and through using it I have identified the inherent conflict between the identity or ego and the possibility or soul. The technology has accelerated my spiritual transformation quicker and more intensely than anything else, yet it is not promoted as a spiritual programme. It is promoted as 'education' but how it has been playing out for me is as a spiritual programme.

For a long time now I had been aware that I have only one way of doing things. When I first began walking the path of spiritual transformation and enlightenment I was so focused and had unwavering faith that the state of enlightenment was possible in one's lifetime and I was going to get it. I saw one way and that was the way it was going to be. My way was very much about reading and then taking myself on at every stage. People used to say to me often 'you are too hard on yourself' but this purgative and totally obsessed with one way was what I took on. The trouble with this is that it was also the way that I was in life. There was only one way to do everything and when it didn't go my way I made people wrong and I forced an outcome to get what I wanted.

This training is a year long and I am currently in quarter 2. All last quarter my coach who was different (coaches change every quarter) used to say to me 'it's 'Mags' (this is what I like to be called ) way or the highway'. Every time he said it I could feel irritation but I had no idea what he meant. Last quarter I thought that this single-mindedness and commitment to having things one way (my way) was how to succeed, so I put up with this coaching and remained irritated instead of taking it on.

This quarter I took on the accountability for the customer delight game. This is a game where I have a team and I promise to grow and expand transformation in the world. This takes the form of registering people into the Landmark Forum which is the first access to Transformation. I can be authentic about this because of how powerful I know that first weekend to be. I have a team with me who I empower and manage. But something has not been working. I have not been the leader to my team and as a result there have been so many breakdowns and the game is losing. The comments from my coach followed after a team conference call that I led. One of the most important qualities on this path is courage. The courage to take on a comment of the kind that was made to me and not to defend or dismiss it. Recently I had been aware that I was very one-sided to the point that I wondered whether or not I had some autistic tendancies. I have written about this concern in an earlier blog. To me it would have accounted for the ease with which I write and understand spiritual Truths and how I get upset when there is change of any kind or when I don't get what I want.

I took on what was said to me and I thought back to my life and where this obsession with having my own way had come from. Each night before I slept I said to myself 'I am committed to having a breakthrough with this'. I knew deep down that there was something hidden from my view and that if I could get at it that it would make such a profound difference to my way of being and my way of being in the world. Somehow I knew that I am not autistic but that I made some decision when I was young which has given me this way of being and I was determined to get to what that was.

Sitting at work and gazing out of the window from my desk on the 8 floor and getting absorbed in the beauty of the different coloured leaves on the trees I suddenly had a flashback of when I was 11 and we were leaving London as a family to go on our annual holiday to Ireland. I was sitting in the car waiting to leave when my mum said 'that's it we are not coming back to London'. I was so shocked that I ran out of the car, into my best friends house crying saying 'we are not coming back'. She immediately ran into her mum, who ran out to my mum in the car and asked 'is this true, you are not coming back'. My mum said 'no, we are, it's the usual family holiday'. She then told me to get into the car and we drove off'. We never returned to London and at some point I made the decision that I had to control my own life. This was why there has been only one way for me, it is the only way that I can control life and what happens. The impact that this way of being has had on my life has been immense. Seeing only one way has been so limiting. The minute this realization came to me I felt the most amazing ease and lightness. There is more than one way, I can now allow people to contribute to me without fearing a loss of control. As a result of this insight I have created the possibility of being generous and it feels real to me. It's not a possibility that is created over the obsession of control because of my fear of what will happen if I don't have control, it is a real possibility of generosity.

What I have gone through realizing this is an example of my own street fight with myself. The only thing that makes us different from each other are the decisions we have made about the things that have happened to us in our lives and what we have made those events mean. For me, I made that event mean that if I didn't take control of my life that the consequences would be disastrous. This gave me a way of being that was bossy, domineering, single-mindeded with the view by my mother that I was always a child who 'got your own way'! Take all of this away and there is absolutely no difference between us. It is our choices and our interpretations about life that give the illusion of difference.

I am so looking forward to beginning the first day.....of my new transformed way of being. A way of being that is easy, light and not significant. What is weird for me is that I have constantly written about the importance of surrender and yet up to now the reality for me was that I was obsessed with control. Experience makes words and meaning and come alive......

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