I am back in Montana after a month up at The Haven leading the Phase program. A month is a long time to be away from home. Yes, I love the program and believe there is incredible value for folks who decide to take the time. Still, it’s a long journey.
Of course, it is not simply a discovery process for those who are participating. I also learn amazing amounts about myself. This year there were a number of situations I found challenging. There were some personalities that were not easy for me to like. Sometimes because of what seemed like impulsive and angry behavior that got in the way of others. Also, I was told to ‘f-off’ more than ever before. In general, I expect some negative transference or some projection. This time though I did find myself exhausted and wishing I could push a ‘mute’ button when I saw the signs of an eruption.
We also had a leadership team that struggled to work together. I generally think of myself as someone is pretty good at building positive team dynamics; however, we struggled. There simply wasn’t the level of laughter and good will I am use to in our meetings.
Still even with all the challenges, I love this program. Because it isn’t really about having a ‘feel good’ experience. No, The Phase is about ‘living alive’ and that means spontaneous, impulsive behavior. It means having issues come up between people and dealing with them live time. Sometimes it even means asking someone to leave and having to deal with the empty space and the fears that they may not be okay.
Yes, this year’s Phase was not easy. It was real. There were some wonderful moments and once again I was privileged to witness transformation.
Now home I am working to get caught up on things. Of course that also involves reflecting on my own learnings from the month.
In general, I feel good about how I handled things. Though I frustrated myself at times, I also found paths out of the frustration. I did move from being in my role to being personal and authentic. I handled some very difficult conversations and came away feeling like I had said what needed to be said, listened and at times was influenced and changed accordingly. I liked the people I got to know and as I looked around the closing circle, had memories of each person that will remind me why I do this work.
Yes, it is great to be home, and I miss dancing before each group session, a schedule that ensures I stay on track, and mostly, folks interested in growth and engaging fully in life!! I would say until next year, but the next Phase I’m leading comes earlier in February. So less than a year away. Wow!
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