Stillness is uncomfortable. The silence speaks to me. Calls
out my imperfections. My brain reels with thoughts of what I should or should
not be doing. Its like a blank page before I begin to write. Or the blank paper
before I plan the workshop. It’s full of possibilities, vulnerabilities,
successes and failures of past, present and future.

I’m so caught up in talking and standing up for my ideas
that I’ve forgotten to listen. Like a drone I listen to what others say only
simply waiting for my turn to talk. I’ve become enraptured in my own self. The
worst enemy of the change agent. Not that I feel that I have a ton of ego. It’s
more that I’ve reached a place where I’m not afraid to speak my mind. Except
this has its own set of challenges. For as I speak my mind and become more
confident in what I think and know do I not at the same time begin to cement my
thinking? Do I stop listening?

It’s hard to live and work in a work culture where one is
supposed to have strong opinions and judgements towards other people, where you
are supposed to know what to do at work at all times. Where to be okay with
having your own thoughts and opinions changed by talking others because you
learn something shows weakness. Letting go of certainty, expertise and
solutions shows weakness. But I do not believe this. Becoming certain and
ascertaining oneself as an expert immediately closes down my ability to learn
new things. If I let my ego get in the way, I don’t even want to invite people
to a meeting that have differing opinions. I want people that will agree with
me and assure me about what I think and believe. But when the culture begs, no
demands, that you stand steadfastly in your opinions, what do you do?

I walk into a workshop and realize that I’ve lost some of my
practice. I did a visualization exercise and realized that I’ve lost touch with
what I believe, write about and talk about with how we need to interact with
each other. How did this happen? I’m terrified to think that I’ll lose what I
know to be true which is the importance of differing opinions, holding space,
allowing for emergence and holding a gracious space. The slope is slippery,
quiet and quick.

What will I do? It’s of the utmost importance that I
maintain my practice of learning, not being afraid of my opinions being
changed, that intention matters, that every interaction I have matters.

Don’t you think it would be better to stand mindlessly for
your opinion? Won’t it be better to not be swayed and seen as weak? Won’t it be
better. It’s better not to listen, not ask questions, to not be curious of
others and their opinions. Yes, this is the better way to go. This is the
easier path.

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