(not a microblog by any stretch of the imagination.)
April 29, 2018
SG invites me to a informational meeting for this seminar because he just went through it and found it useful (he says super powerful and transformational). I seriously think about firing him and on May 7, 2018 meet him for coffee to discuss said invite. Newsflash, I don’t fire him and that meeting helps me to start understanding how much he cares and how he can support me. He also becomes this annoying mosquito in buzzing in my ear for the next several months until I relent and get myself an informational meeting in December. That doesn’t go well, but I sign up for the 3-day Basic anyway.
Friday February 8, 2019
I show up anxious, scared, but determined. I’m determined to dive in, after all, to even get through the door has taken sheer force of will and fighting my ingrained survival instinct. My therapist is on-board and encouraging. Discussions with SG have been helpful, plus he’s there and I know I have a supporter in the room. S is happily’ish taking care of the kids while I spend 3 10-hr days in a hotel ballroom a few miles from home. I try to sit in a chair waaay in the back and am gently prodded to move up to the students seats as I chose the staff seats. I sit in the back row tense and taking deep breaths trying to slow my racing heart.
The seminar starts and the facilitator is amazing. He’s dynamic and engaging, and I immediately know he is the guy I need to have guiding me through the process. He eases us into the work, starting with classroom style lecture/interaction. Soon though, we move on to some practice in sharing and visualization exercises. At one point, I force myself to get up and share to the 60+ people in the room. I don’t want to, but again, determined. The night closes and I’m like, ok, I can handle this, strong emotions come up, definitely have things to think about. Later that night I have a revelation that is pretty damn profound and educational. I don’t sleep all that great.
Saturday February 9, 2019
Feeling just the teensiest bit more open to the process, I barely make it to my seat on time in the morning. I’m starting to move around a little, not quite the back row. As we begin, it becomes clear we’re going a little deeper now and I’m ready. At one point in the afternoon I make myself share again. This time it’s a bigger realization and I’m kind of having this….whoa moment. At 7:00pm something happens that breaks it all open, shows me the exact thing that has been holding me back from happiness. I start crying in the last hour of the session, graduating from tears streaming down my face to trying to contain full-body-wracking sobs while sitting in a chair surrounded by people. People around me comfort me, giving me hugs as we leave and I don’t look at SG as I walk out the room feeling broken. S takes one look at me when I come home and is worried, I try to talk to him about it without telling him exactly what happened to trigger the realization, and he starts to understand my reaction. I write for a couple hours, sleep 4 hours, get up and write more. In the morning, I ice my eyes trying to get the swelling down so I don’t look so horrible walking into the class. I’m marginally successful.
Sunday February 10, 2019
S suggests we have a family outing to my favorite breakfast place in the morning, which is exactly what I need before facing the class again. I make sure to get there early, staying silent until the doors are open and it’s time to sit down. I get an encouraging hug from SG, then sit in the front row, next to a woman I’ve just met, supporting each other. I encourage her to share with the group as she’s telling me she wants to but she’s really scared. She tells me to go first. I have to sit down and face everyone for this, but the only person making me do it is me. I start by talking about what I realized the night before and how much it hurt. The facilitator stops me from rambling at one point and starts guiding me through questions. I’m shaking, I’m crying, my voice is breaking. I get to the end and he says “What are you going to do about it?” “Change it” I get applauded and sit down. Several people share including my new friend and it’s interesting how different everyone’s experience has been. After that, I feel lighter, and open. People start randomly telling me how awesome my share was, how amazing I am, how brave and courageous and how much they identify with what I said. One woman tells me she thinks I’m the most beautiful woman there (!?!). The rest of the day becomes easier with exercises that are pretty fun and kind of mind-blowing. SG and I get an opportunity to share with each other through one of the exercises and it’s such a connected experience that I feel all the last vestiges of anxiety and fear of our relationship fall away. By the time we close, I can hardly walk 5 steps without someone stopping me to tell me how much I’ve impacted them during the class, how different I look and what a major change has taken place from Friday morning to Sunday night. I finally go up to the facilitator to thank him and he CRIES. He tells me I’m magnetic, that he was drawn to me Friday morning as I sat there stonily resistant and what a huge transformation I’ve had to Sunday. He tells me I’m ready to go, to grab on and become the leader I want to be. He tells me people like me are the reason he does this work. The manager of the Denver area and someone who has brought this organization to several different cities tells me that my share was amazing and he says to me, “This lady is ready to MOVE.” These two guys see EVERYONE go through this training. I’m flummoxed, awed and reeling: All I did was...what?...kept getting up and sharing how learning about these concepts was forcing me to look at different things in my life; I allowed myself to completely break down among strangers and I then sat in front of them talking about why I broke down and how what I realized has affected me, my family, all my relationships. SG is ecstatic, “You did it!!” When I get home that night, I drop my bag to the floor, look at S and beg, “Please come on this journey with me.” He stares, “Whoa, what happened?”
I’m modeled after my step/adoptive father. My mother tried to make me into how she sees him, a brilliant scientist. I tried to become him, but couldn’t live up to the expectation, and didn’t want to be him.
I saw myself as my mother in a crucial part of the weekend and realized that the very person I’ve never wanted to be, I’ve become in a significant way.
My dreams died the moment I stepped onto the Colorado School of Mines campus at age 18. I didn’t want to be an engineer, but it was expected of me. College is where I learned to put the blinders on, choose a path and barrel down it without stopping to think about consequences or who’s affected.
In being walled off from people and developing the survival instinct to push people away, I’ve been warring with myself.
The big one.... I am passionate about protecting people.
It took the fight of my life to walk into that hotel ballroom. In order for all these things to happen in 3 days, I needed to be already working on breaking down beliefs that weren’t serving me. I needed the buzzy mosquito of SG not letting me blow it off entirely, and I needed it validated by my therapist. Lastly, I needed it validated by my place of work. Because I have this one-little-thing-called-communication holding me back in my job, I asked if they would pay for the training as part of me working on a performance element. Without hesitation, my boss said yes. I asked again at the end of this training, whether they’d pay for me to travel to do the 7-day seminar in the fall. Again, no pushback, just a curiosity of what was it in the 3-day that made me so enthusiastic? (the woman who is hardly enthusiastic at work) So, they’re paying for me to travel and immerse myself into the actual change of the beliefs holding me back. Now that I’m aware of them, it’s time to break them all down and build new ones centered around worthiness and how I want to show up as a person, wife, friend, mother, colleague and leader.
And I thought it was a cult. 🤣