Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Away from home

It wasn't long ago that I used to regularly do this - travel away from home (usually far away and often to some sunny location), stay in an impersonal hotel room and arrange my life from a suitcase. Spending time working in a resort location where most people are on holidays has its own challenges and eventually the novelty wears thin and even the additional sunshine that you can view from an office window is not compensation enough. That, and the fact that I could no longer reconcile the lifestyles I was participating in selling with my stand for people and our planet.

Yet, here I am tapping away on my ancient laptop (this one goes back 3 employers ago, countless miles and keeps on ticking - even though it weighs, like 50 pounds) really enjoying the typical hotel room layout and even the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner. (pretty good quality here - you can tell where the hotels take shortcuts - crappy products in the bathroom!) There is something comforting about an anonymous hotel room - bonus, if you don't have to share it - which is how mine has turned out tonight and therefore, I don't have to talk at all, if I don't want to. Now, the view outside is on a cold, rainy Vancouver night, not exactly the palm trees and sandy beaches of yesteryear (oh wait, that was only 2 employers ago and merely a couple of years).

So, what is there to say? I almost didn't come over here as I felt odd about leaving, a strange sense of not wanting to leave home. I honoured my intuition and made sure that I created a safe travel bubble, stayed aware for unexpected upsets and just remained vigilant for any possible disruptions to the force. There was a 6.6 earthquake not too far away so maybe that was on my radar but I am consciously creating a space of learning and fellowship which seems to be paying off.

The dialogue during our learning today was fascinating. It is a facilitator training for Appreciative Inquiry which is a philosophy that is very dear to my heart. Not only does it describe the way that I view the world but this week I got clear about how to distinguish it from "positive thinking" which has all those gooey Pollyanna'ish attributes. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is not positive - it is generative. That is, it creates a framework from which to inquire and therefore observe the best in people, organizations and systems. It is in its broadest sense a systematic discovery about what gives "life" to a living system when it is most effective. I have begun to study it in depth and this training that I am away from home for is another step towards more mastery in the discipline of facilitating it in my profession and in my life.

Today, we entered a dialogue in the course room about what it will take to shift the attention of the world from a deficit based world view. While it was acknowledged that there remains a vested interest in that position, surely there is a growing opportunity to find sufficient value in engaging in a new paradigm of thought that gives life force and energy to "change at the speed of imagination". I have discovered that this IS my life's work. Currently it is expressed through my coaching others and growing my coaching and training skills to the point where I can teach and facilitate for learners becoming excellent coaches and I am beginning to see the path which leads me even further in my commitment to a world that works - for every one.

Being distanced from the usual, removed from the familiar and spending some time with myself for company does make room for observation from an uncommon perspective. Nattering away as I do when in a room by myself, I discuss with myself the implications of my scrutiny of my behaviour and reactions and draw some interesting conclusions. I actually like my own company and perhaps because it is now a rare occasion that I have to spend hours alone, I value the manner in which my mind operates and honour the intuitive sense of forward direction that is clarified without distractions.

I miss home and the comfort and luxury of being well loved by my husband. I do appreciate the tremendous value in this introspective review and the new knowledge that I am advancing here. I will return refreshed and renewed. I have traded palm trees and extravagent heat for rain and some marvelous conversations - with others and myself!

No comments: