There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Saturday, May 28, 2005


I am considering whether or not to be brave. So I have linked here a photo of my "group" from the workshop I was at last week, as they helped me become brave. What wonderful women--I felt so lucky to be in this group (which is missing my pal, NJ, who had to go home a day early). In the workshop we practiced the meeting techniques that I think I mentioned in the previous post. This showed me that you can really get a lot accomplished if you take the time to really get to know the people you are working with, and to listen to them. We spent many hours after the official workshops were over, in our rooms, just talking and listening. One night, a group of us from very different backgrounds shared our spiritual path stories. The range went from pagan to liberal Christian to LDS to Catholic (liberal). What I loved about the discussion was how respectful we all were and how well everyone attended to the others' stories. In the end, I really could see how each of us ended up in the place that was right for HER, and I think the others shared this experience. What a contrast from the knee-jerk reaction we often have, "Oh, she's an X, so she must be an idiot." (A thing I have done in the past, don't get me wrong, not perfect here.)

Back on the home front, I may have mentioned that things have become painful for me again at my own spiritual home. Some circumstances I thought I was handling well (thanks to years of wonderful therapy, which, yes, I will go back to when I am not so effing busy) resurfaced, and I was disappointed to see that I had a very hard time coping. I became fearful, distrustful and uncomfortable around the people even tangentially involved, like I used to be. Afraid that if I said anything that could be negatively interpreted by a group who was looking for me to make mistakes, it would be reported and exaggerrated to put me down. As this has happened a number of times in the past, I knew it was possible. I had spent two years being very careful what I said and to whom, but had been feeling more relaxed this year.

I had decided to withdraw again, and have not been back in many weeks--thanks to travel and other circumstances. But, the group of people working toward change kept asking me to stay involved. And the ministers called in a mediation team (whew, was out of town for THAT painful meeting), and when one of the ministers phoned me to find out if I could go to a later meeting...she began to tell me what she was looking into as ways to improve the situation. She actually mentioned World Cafe and Appreciative Inquiry. So I had to say, "Hey, you should look into Open Space Technology, too."

It occurs to me that, after this training, I actually have something constructive to offer. I could help. And that has been my goal this year--to not focus on negativity, but on what positive things I could do to help. I had been unable to figure anything positive out until that conversation. So...maybe I will be BRAVE and see what I can do to bring these useful techniques for conflict resolution and deeper understanding to this community.

To remind me I can be strong and brave, at right is a photo of me at the workshop, explaining my grand plan to start a couple of helpful and positive email lists for my organization.

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