Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Balancing the Give and Take

As I looked at my calendar for this month, I noticed there are a number of pro bono engagements, times that will not be fully compensated, at least in a monetary sense.  I am writing a final paper for a course in Leadership and have been asked to describe my leadership philosophy.  Well, I thought, mine must be "give it away".  Often the flip answers that I say to myself in the Q & A time that goes on in my head are worth pausing to consider.  What is it about this desire to bestow something to someone that can have it return such value to us?  

It is not as though I provide anything less of myself to my non-paying clients.  Quite the opposite, I am almost more free to share all of me because there is no assigned value to live up to.  I am coaching or advising them purely because I want to see them glow.  There is nothing in it for me other than being present to the absolute magic that occurs when another human being gets a measure of themselves and sees their world from a brand new perspective.  I have known for a long time that is priceless.  And as I puzzle my way through this, I wonder how this balances out in the karmic world?  Will it lead to the life I envision simply because I am willing to be generous now?  

You may have noticed there are more questions than answers here (which probably doesn't bode well for the 1500 word paper due at the end of the week...).  There is still the concrete, in the world reality, of paying rent and buying groceries that doesn't get handled just because I have shining eyes from my last fabulous conversation.  I can consider a world where remuneration might be that my housing is covered or someone provides me with meals for a week but I don't yet have the structure built to participate in my life that way.  I have a sense we are moving towards that but for now my freedom to travel, to eat at wonderful restaurants and indulge my loved ones is based on my bank balance not whether I have sufficiently balanced giving and taking.  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Showing up in the world

As I notice my reluctance to complete the task of polishing my website so it is shiny and ready to be seen widely in the world, I get to consider what may be behind my hesitation.  I have always thought of myself as an introvert, a shrinking violet and an easily forgettable little person.  I have come face to face with a different person who seems to bear little resemblance to who I know myself to be.

I have tackled my Masters program with zest and enthusiasm and it has resulted in academic excellence.  It turns out that I am pretty good at this school stuff and I love the challenge of expressing myself in a scholarly manner.  More than that, it has been impossible not to notice that I have an impact on the groups/classes/cohorts I am engaged with and that my input and opinions have been welcomed and appreciated.  Not something I expected.

The fact that my MBTI came in solidly as an extrovert and no one else was surprised is another indication that I may not have been as self-aware as I claimed to be.  How could I have missed what others have clearly seen?  What would have me want to be invisible and keep pretending that I am?  I am reminded of trying on a pair of pants in a shop last summer and the clerk saying that I should try on the small.  I said, no, that couldn't be and she said why wouldn't you want to be a size small?  In pondering on that, I wonder why I wouldn't want to be out there and overt instead of covert?

Well, I won't get all therapy-like on you here, as much as I am sure there are explanations in my childhood.  Suffice to say that I am ready to be conspicuous and noticeable.  Launching my website with my newly branded self is a great next step.  Stay tuned, here we go...