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Friday, June 30, 2006


Lavender's Reign of Tiredness

I've blogged about my fatigue gremlin/saboteur/shitty committee ruling before, in passing. I like to call her Lavender, since (in my imaginary portrait of this part of myself) she wears a flowing mauve gown of some gauzy material that swirls around her romatically as she reclines, exhausted, on a chaise longue. Since the last retreat, I've realized that this particular gremlin is doing a lot more damage than just preventing me from going to Kinko's in a timely fashion.

I get TIRED whenever I have to do something that I don't feel like doing. I think this is connected to my childhood, when I was very active and verbal, rarely sleeping and always challenging my parents. If I said that I was tired and needed a nap, I could get out of almost anything, they were so grateful for the break from my incessant questions. So I told my new coach, Zoey, about this and asked her to call me on it if she ever saw any evidence of Lavender showing up.

We had the most hilarious coaching session - Lavender appeared about 5 times in 45 minutes to block me from my goals. We were laughing about it, but it's actually quite serious. How many opportunities have I passed by because I "don't have the energy"? A sobering thought. And it makes me wonder about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

It’s jolly difficult to tell at the moment whether I am actually tired or whether my gremlin is active. It feels exactly the same. Today I am trying this tactic – is there another fun, non-challenging activity that I would like to do apart from sleep, like read my trashy novel? If so, it’s an avoidance thing. Seems to be working so far – right now, for instance!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Back Again

So I returned, then disappeared again. Any of my readers who have issues around needing me to be predictable have probably decamped permanently by now. But for those of you who are still hanging out, chilling, I am back again for a week or so before my next excellent adventure.

This time I was back on my leadership program, grooving with the Deer as we climbed enormous trees and yelled and cried and laughed and danced our way into a new understanding. This retreat was number 2 of 4, and focused on creating from other - very big learning curve for me.

The way my dear friend Dr. Jane explained it to me, there is a theory of old-school group work that says the group will perform at a level slightly below that of the most competent member. Her suspicion was that I was often the most competent member, leading me to conclude quite logically that I could have done the whole project better by myself, a lot faster, and with a lot less hassle. The rest of the group would be happy and want to work with me again. I ran away as fast as I could from these people and started doing my own thing.

The work we did at this retreat gave me a whole new perspective about groups and it is exciting the hell out of me. The structure made it abundantly clear, again and again, that I could go farther with someone else than I could by myself, farther than I even dreamed possible. This is what my coach meant by meeting people where they are. I finally got it. In order to find out where they are, I have to get over there with them, ignoring me for a while, because I know where I am. Not sure if this makes sense to anyone else!

Mainly I want to point out that this is GOOD NEWS, especially because I have a big job to do, and it's going to get done much better and faster now that I can understand how to get help with it. On some level, my improv experience has taught me this before. But now I simply cannot ignore its application in my life.

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Friday, June 16, 2006



I had a conversation with a coach that went like this:

"How can I get them to really hear me, understand what I am trying to say from the heart about giftedness?"

"It's easy. You just have to meet them where they are."

It's been three months since that conversation and I'm still trying to figure out what she meant, and more importantly, how to start experimenting with the concept.

Over the past year, I've been meeting people where they are by meeting them within the existing structures that are set up to serve gifted people. This has meant working with schools, parent associations, corporations, and self-selected groups of gifted adults. In order to get the concepts across to them, I've mastered their particular argot - the words and phrases that they are comfortable with, the workshop designs that fit into their schedules. It's been both fascinating and frustrating.

I'm starting to wonder what it would be like for me to set up a new structure that really made sense to me, and hopefully by extension to other gifted people. I enjoy designing coaching relationships with single clients, but designing with an entire culture usually means that I am the one who has to do all the compromising. What if I could choose the cost and length and learning objectives of my own workshops? It would be great, but then how would I be meeting people where they are?

It's got my brain tied up in knots. Usually I find the best thing to do with a block like this is put it on the back burner, meaning I push it to the back of my mind and let it bubble on its own for a while. Going at a problem more indirectly frees up my waking attention, and sometimes produces superior results. Let's hope this is one of those times!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Procrastination Chicken

Realized that I am becoming totally obsessed by the book! All I can think about is (say it out loud to yourself, you'll get the idea) "book, book, book, aaaahhhh, book, BOOK!" It's like there is a chicken living in my head. It has had the effect of getting me up to 44,000 words in 5 weeks, but I can't live like this any more!

So that is why I hired myself a brand new fantastic coach, Zoey Ryan, to kick myself back into gear with all the other fabulous things that I love to do - like write my blog. I really miss hearing the comments and feedback, good or bad, on what I'm up to. I also love to get out into the world and meet new people, sparking unexpected connections and ideas. If I'm a chicken, then focusing on the book as my single strategy to get my experience and passion out there into the world is really putting all my precious eggs in one basket.

What has been happening is that I have used the book as a very sneaky type of procrastination strategy, as I realized when talking to Zoey today. It's easy to avoid doing anything when I am telling myself that as soon as I finish the book, things will magically change. I will become a world-recognized expert, instant riches will drop from the skies, I will be interviewed on Oprah, and I will feel like blogging again. I'm actually quite impressed with myself for coming up with something so creative. Clearly, I am also a gifted procrastinator. And in some ways, it's true - there is only so much typing a girl can do in one day.

My favourite anti-procrastination strategy is pretty effective - all I have to do is think of something that needs doing (like cleaning, or accounting, or phoning my relatives) that I want to do even less than the thing I'm procrastinating about. In this case, the last thing I want to do is fail in a commitment I made to my brand new coach. The power of coaching, happening right before your eyes!

It's good to be back.

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