life change on myself

Okay, I’m drained.. will lay low tonight, stay here in Raleigh, then drive back to my DC home tomorrow afternoonish. A warm welcome to the CCL LDP‘ers [you know who you are 🙂 ]

For those of you just tuning in (I’ll write it more towards them and everyone else may listen in), I have it easy with the vulnerability opening up and even trusting kind of thing, but towards the 2nd half of the week, the big insight that impacted me [to use SBI lingo 🙂 ] was this big issue that most people wrestle with on the work and life balance. Being pegged on the end of all the spectrum when we lined up according to personality type and personal needs and preferences and tendencies, I’d lived all my adult life with little to no attention to career development, b/c I was always turned off (among other emotions) by people who lost themselves in work, or were hard charging aggressive types (b/c I didn’t like being run over). To see their human-ness over the course of the week sparked an inspiration for me to “show up at work.” [and I say it here for the ‘public accountability’]

Some lights began to come on after getting to process a lot of the “work” and “organizational” and “corporate” lingo as these high-energy driven ambitious people talked about life at work, and a few about personal life (my bias and preference for latter noted, and even received by a few)… but overall, people were accessible and cordial, and thus didn’t push me off, roadblock me, or run over me.. the course was actually designed for managers with 5-10 years of experience, and there I sat in with 0 years of real life experience. Talk about feeling marginalized! But I did sense that in their humanity, their struggle to work thru their own vulnerabilities and weaknesses, their honesty, their teachable spirit (tho’ some will fight it more visibly than others!), and sensed that competencies and skills can be learned, behaviors can be learned, personal adjustments can be made. So the distance lag of my inexperience gave me the room to observe and learn and quickly process what was happening, and that I also had capacity and competency to do that kind of thing — IF I wanted to. It’s more of a question of passion, desire, making choices; and while I may never “enjoy” the decision-making action-oriented goal-setting planning-concrete pragmatic categories of stuff as they seem to (just as other may never “enjoy” the adapting to a diversity of people), work life is about the both/and of task AND people. And I had only gone into the work environment (all my life) doing the task part like a cog in the machinery.

No wonder I had great work and life balance. I kept them disconnected, disengaged at the one, loved and craved the other. (Cutoff, to use my 1-on-1 coach’s terminology) While I can do great work, I don’t “enjoy” work. What I enjoy doing is talking about and explore new IDEAS. And guess what? It may even be possible to be at a workplace where I get to make those ideas into action! What a novel concept! I can apply myself there in the work environment.. I can learn more skills to be persuasive about my ideas in teamwork and presentations and written communication.. I can learn to more skills to manage projects that have innovative ideas (as I did during our nuclear reaction exercise, where I managed 5 middle managers and 5 frontline workers [corporate terminology] to get us to the winning solution with time to spare.) While I didn’t have a polished package of laying out the specifics of how-tos or celebrating the “win”, partly b/c I didn’t know how and it didn’t cross my mind, there was excitement for me in introducing THE idea that worked. I’ll never become the hard-charging take-charge domineering manager/leader, but I can do much more than I’m doing (hiding behind a computer screen pecking away).

And it dawned on me during the closing integration exercise that the “real DJ” doesn’t go to work. A “DJ” that has greatly honed and limited and highly performing skills of programming shows up, and then tunnel-vision tunes out the rest of the organization. The opportunity presented was to have “more of me” (or even have “all of me” show up at work) and do more work based on my passion and ideas (the strengthed that surfaced in this work-oriented & self-awareness context) is that I love ideas and can even generate them. And if I can build a support team around me so they can make it happen with me, and participate in making it happen, I’ll get to use my strengths in the context of a bigger organizational/organic machinery.

the group was like a magnifying mirror (not like the one-way mirror through which we had been observed all week), and helped me to see more of myself, and that there was a lot more in me (which I had always held back especially in the work context). And today, I shared that in all my life, the real DJ never showed up at work, but now with their inspiration, _I’m_ going to show up at work. Doing the work thing with more of a DJ flavor, and a DJ voice, and exploring beyond my own job description, et al. And to put myself out there to grow personally in the work context, as well as all the rest. I’ll be throwing out wild ideas and test the boundaries, we’ll see what happens.. if they reject me, as least I gave it my all.

And for the home front, I’ll get our family swim night going again, and at least 50% of bedtime storytelling. The quiet insight I got last night, to use spiritual language, from God’s small still voice, and that I had an “insatiable” appetite for hearing their personal stories and sharing mine, pegging the charts on wanting & expressed affection needs; that intense connection stuff, was idolatrous. I wanted it from work, I wanted it from you, from strangers, from everywhere and anywhere. That is not fair really. Not in the work environment (tho’ if they do connect personally with me, it’ll add more energy and better work relationship with me), but in right measure, appropriate and necessary in marriage and friends & family life. Christ is the one who can satsified my insatiability, and He does satisfy- that’s the Gospel.. Christ has fully accepted me and fully loves me and fully gives me everything already.

.. as much I love seeing life change up close, and love talking about it, now I’m entering into it for myself with all of me. Scary thought!!

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