Friday, December 9, 2011

I’m still a bare foot cobbler

What follows is an entry in my journal that after finishing it I realized was relevant to many of us that at dedicating to Well-Being and making the world a better place for Human Beings to live in.
Remember to make an difference; post a comment about how this topic shows up in your Life.
12-09-11 I’m still a bare foot cobbler: I’m still working at doing for my Self what I advocate for others. This seems an odd sort of thing; yet is only the nature of the way Life is. Our own work has to be done while we help others do theirs.
A point in case is a conversation I had with a client earlier this week. In reflection I can see that I still have a ways to go yet to be as skilled as I want to be; awake in the moment so I could see what I was holding on to that was getting in the way of me being more precise and relevant to her need. While I did plenty well enough, I just think there was opportunity for me to have been simpler and more direct; thus getting to where we going sooner, easier, more fun.
I think I could have been more effective in helping her deal with her personal conflict if I was better at doing what I was guiding her to do: leave her boss’ angst over there with him and let go of her attachment to seeing her self through what she thinks he thinks of her.
As I write this I am not sure that what got in my way was my attachment to what others think of me. While that certainly shows up and is part of my unfinished development, I don’t think it was the active issue. And yet, I sense strongly that my own unfinished work reduced my effectiveness with her.
The real issue seems to be more in the area of where I focus: I tend to forget to shift away from the purely cognitive and analytical approach to a more hands on, physical and experiential, way of guiding my clients to where they needing to get to. I think I needed to have her do some deep breathing and visualization to calm her mind and center her passion; then do the cognitive analysis of how to address the conflict with her boss. I went, as I often do, straight to the intellectual strategic approach while her mind was still too agitated to function all that well. This frustrated me and likely confused the process.
Being more mindful of this tendency is a key opportunity for me. I think I could be much more helpful with my clients, as I am when I remember this, if I am mindful of first things first: don’t try to engage the strategy while the emotional gears are still spinning; the process won’t go there. I need to remember to let go of my attachment to the intellectual approach so I can see the
High-Point Way
to work; to do what Love would do if it was not so confused.
Here it is; my version of the letting go that I was advising my client to do. For me it was, and still is, let go of my attachment to the security of the intellectual approach to engaging Life’s turbulence. I am still learning to be comfortable with the vulnerability of direct experience with others; with being mutually present with them without the protection of intellectual concepts, abstracts, words, etc, between us. For me to use direct experiencing, such as guiding my client to experience their experience of breathing and directing their emotional experience with imagery, is quite intimate and thus makes me feel vulnerable. This causes me, at time, to forget to use the non-intellectual techniques that would work better.
I can see that I have a lot of protection around the intimacy of being mutually present with other people; not just with my clients, but with people in general. Thinking about it right here makes me feel very exposed. Perhaps more so than what is actually true. I don’t think I am actually exposed as much as it feels to me. Is there an illusion of risk here that isn’t real? I kind of think so. I need to explore the Truth of all this to find out what the real risk is. From there I believe I will know how to be more effective with my clients and have more rewarding relationships with others in general, my wife in particular.
This seems to nail it for me; it feels like I have found what I was looking for when I set down to make this entry. That being insight on how my feeling vulnerable plays out not only in the mastery of my work, but having more fulfilling relationship with people in general.
Once again journaling has done its job of bring me to clarity.

5 comments:

Michelle R. DeLaBarre said...

Vulnerability--a frontier for everyone, every day. Your post was thought provoking.

Jennifer Garrison, SFO said...

Great blog, Arlin...it got me thinking. I find in my life that the feelings of "exposure" and "vulnerability" many times come from us not acknowledging that we people have waaaaay more in common with each other than not. Many times in my life I have kept troubles bottled up because I feared being judged...just to find out that those around me had the SAME struggles. I learn this lesson over and over again...to the point that no one can really be placed on a pedestal in my mind any longer...b/c we are on EQUAL grounding, ultimately (and ideally!) maturing with experience. Take care!

Arlin K. Pauler said...

Thank you Michelle and Jennifer for your comments.
In so many ways what's vital in our Life lies just beyond our feelings of vulnerability.
Please share with us how you find the courage to not retreat from vulnerability; to keep moving forward while feeling vulnerable.

Jennifer Garrison, SFO said...

I think "just beyond our feelings of vulnerability" lies HUMILITY. Self-Humility and observations of humility in others has allowed me to keep myself grounded and realistic. With the "positive reinforcement" that this experience gives, the vulnerability becomes ok. For me, it's ok to be open to the possibility of being either blessed or wounded...because at the end, the lessons I learn about life are entirely worth it, as long as I look deep enough. :)

Arlin K. Pauler said...

Thank you Jennifer for a very good point.
It seems to me that much of what makes Life truly worth living lies just beyond vulnerability. The courage to be vulnerable is so important. It is my hope that this blog will give people the courage to walk boldly through their vulnerability.