One woman said she didn’t remember waking up one day and thinking, “I know why I’m here”. She hadn’t really thought about it until she heard it mentioned on the recorded lesson.
Several of the participants brought up that it was uncanny how the lesson’s chapters aligned with what they were doing, especially at work. In one situation two women had decided to work together on the course. At first they felt guilty taking work hours to do this task. However, in the end they accepted that the coursework was valuable for their jobs.
Personally, I have always known my path but I have always pulled back at the last minute and not enjoyed the success and joy I could have. I am experiencing great resistance at the moment therefore as the excuses and predictable behaviour no longer stand. My vagueness and unwillingness to talk about myself is lessening. I am embracing things that are good for me and letting go of things that aren’t.
Our facilitator said that if other people don’t know who they are, they can be resentful and we have to realize that it is their problem, not ours. With that in mind, I haven’t seen this particular troublesome woman since I started the course. I know she has noticed because I formerly felt compelled to visit quite often and I was miserable. I finally got a phone call last week from her. “I hear that you’re doing that course.” I replied that I was. “That course ruined my life,” she said and hung up. Her husband had taken it years ago and no longer put up with her selfish and foolish behaviour.
Someone that is emerging as our wise participant told us: “I am me, and only me, without hurting anyone.” That’s all that we can do. As we explore deep within us to discover what we are meant to do, as the veils are lifted and we are able to see clearly, we feel happier. However, we as women still question whether we deserve it or not. Kathy says it is common to acknowledge success for others; we often disregard satisfaction for self. “We are conditioned to dismiss our own success,” she says, “It’s a woman thing.”
Someone suggested that the very word success, especially for women, may be the problem. She said that she often didn’t know how to acknowledge success; project completion yes. But that one step further to call it success was not made. Someone else suggested that we now know how to measure success: the completion of pre-determined goals. Kathy says we need to slow down in order to celebrate the part we had in a success. It is no good showing false humility.
The chapter on purpose also dealt with the goals that are steps towards achieving success. As one of our participants echoed, “It is the goal of becoming.” She went on to say that we can’t worry what other people say, we have to go beyond, question it.
Crystallized thinking was a popular phrase. One participant put it beautifully. “If you have clear goals, they should weave into a personal tapestry”. Another said clear thinking helped you reach your goals quicker and gave you more confidence. A couple of the participants were even setting it up so that they could be either gypsies or live in a warmer climate in the near future. I daresay a few more of us joined in that dream as we looked out on 8 -9 foot snowbanks.
The good thing is, as Kathy says, once we start to see opportunities for ourselves, we can’t hold people back when they themselves want to change. If you are static, you don’t grow.
I actually mentioned a quote from that chapter that resonated with me. It stated: “what you say or think you are affects what you actually become”. I think that is absolutely true and I think that is where one of my failings lies. I don’t articulate clearly enough in my mind, on paper or in speech what I really want. I am too vague and watery. Images evaporate before they have a chance to crystallize. “I am a writer”, and I accept all the consequences that go with the title. There!
More and more the course is working on both a personal and organizational level; the participants are actually passing on what they are learning to their staff and using techniques in their projects at work. One person says she no longer gives her team the answers. She asks them to figure it out themselves instead of being guided. Another person got her staff to attend a workshop dealing with some of the areas we are working on in the course.
As a taster for our homework we were asked to set goals for changing our behaviour in order to be who we want to be. We are accustomed to want something to happen immediately but behaviour doesn’t change overnight. We have to realize what we want to change and work towards it. Desired changes in behaviour mentioned ranged from impatience, judging too quickly, personalizing, being overly sensitive or too trusting when it comes to staff, lack of clarity, naivety.
It helps to examine our values when we set goals to change aspects of our behaviour. Kathy reminds us to have values written down because they are not always at the top of our minds. We have to keep reminding ourselves.
Kathy gave some sound advice in dealing with people who let us down. She recommends saying: “This is what happened. This is the impact. This is how I feel” and say it with no emotion. Continue to speak the truth and continue the conversation.
The wise woman of the group has the last word; ‘we are taking this course and whether we like it or not, behaviour changes are going to occur. For example, the way we treat other people, how not to feel guilty, liking ourselves.” It is so uplifting that we can really work towards being a better person.