Step out from the norm and take the road less travelled
Dear Precious Being,
So, you have decided to step out from the norm, is this your mission in life? If so you must be willing to be insecure, because you will be ridiculed, misjudged, maligned. If you are among the creative people who go to the edge and look out at the future, you are courageous but this involves risk. Rudolf Bahro said “when an old culture is dying, the new culture is born from a few people who are not afraid to be insecure”. Research shows that only 2-5% of people create revolution and change.
Facilitating change is better together
As change agents in counselling and psychotherapy, we go into the world not from a place of ego but because it is our calling, that is the way. We can support and facilitate change. We feel great sorrow at what is happening and we want to make a difference. We want our lives and work to be meaningful for ourselves and others. We sing our song together knowing we are on this journey together, this gives us confidence and strength. We are activists working together on an unknown path. It is like a trust walk, we are insecure and uncertain and this is scary, but often we feel we don’t have a choice, this is our mission and there is no way back. We work with what is here now, with what we have, this is what our generations of women and men have done through-out history.
I began our college ICPPD from a place of passion. I was passionate about counselling and psychotherapy training and education. More importantly I was passionate about the quality and approach to helping and healing required, from my experience of being a therapist for twenty years. But above all it was the perseverance and urge of the human psyche to change, to grow, that I saw and met in my clients that instilled in me the need to offer a training that saw the most important part of therapy being the encounter of beings, the relationship of trust and safety and the willingness of the therapist to go to the depths of their own being to meet and tolerate their own losses and pain and to come back from this underworld with gifts and resources to share with others- their clients.
Use your passion to ignite the energy required for the journey
Our work as an agent for change begins from passion. So, find out what you are passionate about, what ignites your energy, quickens your heart and mind, what brings you alive, makes you feel juicy and vibrant. Passion is a good place to start but it won’t carry you the full journey. The reason for this is that we will then encounter set-backs, disappointment and failures along the way. Obstacles, challenges, both inner and outer will present themselves to test our belief in what we are attempting to do. We will get stressed, start doubting ourselves, get depressed, withdraw, get ill, fall and get back up again. This is the key to success. Even though we get lost and need to renew, reflect and replenish our body, mind and spirit when we are ready we return to our action for change and continue at the helm of this ship charting and entering new territory.
Choosing to be different has no clear path ahead
As I said we are nothing special, we come from lineages of people who survived famine, war and disease; it is now our turn to be willing to keep going. This does not mean we are not frightened. It also does not mean we keep going regardless, beating our head against a wall. The real wisdom knows when it is time to give up. In Chinese symbols the image for crisis and opportunity are the same, and the symbol for perseverance is a knife suspended over a heart, possibly depicting the risk inherent in trusting your heart, or that when our hearts get wounded we come to a more understanding, empathetic and compassionate stance for our struggles and those of others. We choose to be different, we chose what Scott Peck called “the road less travelled“, we chose to see the future and to embody this, knowing there was no clear path.
Dealing with negativity when you step out from the norm
It is important to take time out to reflect on this adventure. We can get burned out and try to work faster or/and longer, this of course compounds and perpetuates the problem until we are unable to see the ineffectiveness of our behaviour and approaching dis-ease and a threat to our well-being. We don’t need to be martyrs; we do need to be people who persevere, who may have to disappear for a while, withdraw to be nourished on all levels. It is important not to carry all the blame for mistakes made. People who succeed and make changes learn to deal with Criticism, Failure, Confrontation, Aggression, Fear, Loss of Relationships, Despair, Jealousy, Exhaustion and many negative experiences along the way. You know you will encounter this and more when you endeavour to do good work, make changes. Be prepared and expect this and don’t take it personally. This is your decision, this is your project, this is your vision and dream, don’t identify with it to the point that you see it as a reflection of you and therefore if it succeeds then you are a success or if it goes wrong then you are useless. Remember you are more than this either way.
Self-care is paramount if we are going to make a difference. We lead by example, by modelling change. We take care of ourselves, not for selfish reasons but because we want to stay during the turmoil, the interruptions and chaos, the excitement and hard work involved. Society and our culture is fast paced and expect the wheel to keep moving. We become overwhelmed with tasks; issues with colleagues, environmental stress, home problems, and financial difficulties and during all this time try to keep ourselves together. There is less time for intimate relationships, for friendships, for fun, for exercise, for spiritual practice, for conversations, for dancing – for support.
Communication is key to supporting the elements of change
If we want at our deepest level to support change, we need to communicate. Communicate about how we are doing as a team. We need to ask ourselves are our relationships becoming stronger or weaker. What is the problem, what is the issue, what are we not talking about? Who are we blaming or are we taking sides. We need to sit down to reflect and ask for guidance from our inner guides and wisdom and have supervision with mentors who can steady us and mirror possible projections and introjection and offer various tentative answers that support harmony.
When we work together as a team on this vessel of discovery, there is a kind of glow, a joy in working together, a synergy and synthesis and work doesn’t feel like a chore but a communion and interdependence of energies. When we feel connected, we have a sense of belonging to the tribe. A warrior is brave, but does not use aggression, manipulation or fear to accomplish their purposes, the warrior believes in human goodness and man’s search for meaning, wholeness, pleasure and contentment. Being an agent of change requires we have faith in others, are willing to trust a process and manifest change and difference by faith in the human spirit.
Dear Precious Being, check with your inner guide and follow your own wisdom and passion!
Feature image source: http://www.ashpfoundation.org