In the work of Conscious Leadership, which Sue and I teach at our Leadership Camps, we talk about the value of living in one’s Zone of Genius. The gift and curse of teaching work like this is that it constantly invites deeper alignment with the material we teach. When I find gaps, it can sometimes hurt like a M$#@#$* F*(&@!(*.
Yesterday, my dear authenticity-detector, Joanna, invited me into an exercise to explore “Who I Am.” This is what I found, and I share it with you, because…
…I’m a sharer.
I’m an expresser. I am a heart pour-forther.
I’m also a collaborator, a thought-partner, a muse.
I am an articulator. I’m a simplifier. I’m a consciousness translator. I’m an explorer, an experimenter, a freedom-seeker.
I am also an introvert. I am a romantic. I am starved for regular intimacy, and only barely beginning to get it. When I don’t, I eat peanut butter instead.
I am a seer of possibility but don’t often know what to do with it.
I am a hard worker; sometimes because I am passionate, sometimes because I am desperate, or sometimes because I don’t know what else to do. Or maybe just because I’m a Capricorn.
I am fiercely dedicated, but I think I might be weak, which is super annoying.
I’m sensitive, which is a gift, but I am frantically melodramatic when I am off-caffeine and off-purpose.
I am deeply held by a tremendous network of love, seen and unseen, but I rarely trust it to hold my heaviness. I’m like the terrified man on the airplane who won’t sit, afraid his weight will crash the plane.*
I’m not so much a creator, but I am a good iterator. I’m a gift-giver.
I’m a dancer, as in, I love to. I am almost a yogi. I am a woman. I live in a body, though I don’t always act like it.
I am pretty enough, though I don’t always believe it. I know I’m sexual, but I don’t remember where I put it.
I am vain. I am self-involved. I spend a lot of energy trying to pretend these things aren’t true. I relax when I let them be.
I am wildly generous in some areas, like the benefit of the doubt, and tightly avarice in others, like time.
When I’m scared, I’m a liar and a manipulator. I’m a performer. I’m a show. Sometimes I think everyone’s watching, sometimes I realize no one is; they have their own show to watch. This is as terrifying as it is comforting.
I’m an emotional self-abuser. When this is happening, I’m a recluse.
I am financially wealthy, but directionally poor.
I am someone with many wonderful friends; but not someone who has ever been in love. I am someone who tells herself over and over “I don’t need that.” I might be someone who needs it most of all.
I am confident and self-assured in some areas, while in others I feel pathetically inferior.
I’m a teacher, I think, but I don’t know of what. I’m a leader, I think, but I don’t know of who.
I pretend I’m confused when I’m not, and I’m so good at it, I even fool myself.
I am a glutton, especially for snacks, stimulus, and validation, and so much more. Because I’m also a coveter: Whatever you have that seems good, I want it, because I suspect I’m not worthy without it.
I am hopeful to the point of delusion. I am hopeless to the point of despair.
I am a person, just a regular person; but I am also a dreamer of dreams so big they often crush the real me.
I’m a contradiction who probably makes perfect sense, which I find infuriatingly boring.
I can’t find the middle way, perhaps because I’m not really trying, I am still someone who believes in extremes, and craves them. This may be what sometimes tears me apart.
I am honest, when I find the truth. Or I am honest, when the truth finds me. Or I am honest, when I notice there is no truth, and there is no me, only this moment and the memory of a life lived so far.
*I heard this analogy from some else once and loved it. Jack Kornfield, maybe?