Over a month ago I was invited to offer a virtual dialogue for donors of The Haven Foundation fund. This is program set up for donors and involves faculty members offering one hour dialogues around various topics. At the time this seemed like an easy enough request and since I have a huge appreciation for all of those who contribute to The Haven, I was willing. Carole Ames (my co-leader in the Phase program) and I agreed to talking on the topic; Strength, An Alternative to Powering Through.
Now 20 days into a month-long Phase program, the evening of the dialogue has arrived. The topic is much more relevant than I had imagined it would be. I find myself right in the midst of an active battle with my will. I am caught up in the demands of a long intensive program and I am wrestling with my best path. To power through and simply do what must be done or to use my will to drop into my vulnerability and feelings and connect with folks even if it means some things on my to do list will not get done.
There is value in both paths. I am committed to making sure that things get done. We do have a fairly tight schedule and at times it is important to simply use my will to power through and control my impulse to ‘give up’ or collapse into to helplessness when faced with a challenging situation. Yet there are also times when I would be best served to drop the control and role and simply be open and authentic with my feelings.
More than any previous program I find myself faced with choices in the power and strength continuum. (To learn more Go To Ideas in Action: http://www.haven.ca/resources/the-haven-models.html )Maybe it is because of the invitation to speak on the topic, maybe this is simply a more challenging Phase for me. I have always loved the model and have wrestled myself with what seems like the good side and the bad side. I place a high value on connection, vulnerability, authenticity and being personal. (the strength side – or good side) Yet I know that at times I would become quite lazy and irresponsible if I was not willing and able to use my will to take control and actively push myself out of an entitled stance or my own despair. (the power side – the bad side)
Tonight I want to speak from both sides of the continuum. I want to create a frame and provide a structure and understanding of the concepts that does demand a concentration of purpose. (the Power side) Yet I also want to show up and be vulnerable. (The Strength side) I am by no means an expert of this topic, though I am finding I am more of a master these days as I become more willing to flow and flop through my day between power and strength, control and vulnerability and my role as leader and my place as a human being.
I do believe that is really the message in model; sometimes I surrender to the day and sometimes I fight my way through. At least these days I am more conscious and aware of the difference.