Tuesday, November 27, 2012

conscious leadership workshop and the search for authenticity

it's been over a year since i have looked at this blog or even thought about writing anything in it. though in the last few weeks i have been examining a few things which culminated with--or perhaps just marked the starting line of further exploration with this post. (it has little to do with racing and training fyi since that is what this blog has mostly been about...just fair warning)

the examination started with a sense of being less than satisfied with the expression of my authentic self. there have been a few points, touch points if you will, that i come back to as being expressions of my true and authentic self in all aspects. i am blessed and challenged that one of these moments that had a huge impact came when i was in my teens. i went on these summer hiking trips that really shaped showed me who i really was/am apart from my family unit. the blue ridge mountains hold a place in my heart (and are tattooed on my lower back) that will be forever held.  these trips seemed to bring out qualities i never believed i had and never tried to cultivate. they were just somehow known to me. expressed without trying or being conscious of trying. concretely leading without saying to myself "self we need to lead this situation," it was organic and genuine. there are other qualities but that is not the point.

my recent contemplations have had to do with two okay really three questions. one: why am i not expressing my authentic self in some life aspects...two: what is holding me back from kicking the "why" to the curb and just being truly authentic and three: how can i get back to that expression of authentic self i felt in the woods.

i must admit that this musing is not a fully formed idea however it's more of a visualization and externalization of ideas and insights in order to gain the ability to leap over the chasm as it were for a solution and innovative way to solve the problem. one idea per post it note...

there are several thought paths that i have been going down and these will be externalized in no specific order. since i have felt like i have been expressing less than my authentic self one path of thought has been okay so how have i been _thinking_ i am doing to express my authentic self. what comes to mind is sport. four marathons, three ironmans and countless other races and months of training interspersed in there are/were supposed to be and expression of who i am. yet i have lacked much satisfaction from the completion of these events save perhaps the first time in each event and  IMWI in september. i was really genuinely happy--felt true, pure joy and pleasure--when i completed the race in WI--my worst time of three IM races. now that i am reflecting upon this race i see that i "allowed" myself the space to say this can be the last one my last IM--you don't have to push yourself to race three more to "catch up with" others in the community who have done more. i let my self off the time goal hook and allowed myself to really just think about what i was doing. 140.6 miles under your own power is incredible and i don't care how many other longer races there are that is an f-ing long way to go. my finish line picture shows this emotion (to my surprise this is the first time i really felt it) so why do i race or rather why have i raced in the past. because reflecting on a lot of the racing (and training for that matter) that i have been doing has not been a fun or fulfilling experience. do i continue do i do something new? trying trail running/racing....we will see... 

so great--now what. what other ways have i been expressing my authentic self...learning and knowledge come to mind. i have moved away from a career as a chef and went back to school to learn and grow in nutrition. great done. what else...well reading lots of books about food and sport and the combination of food and sport...okay i see a theme i need to branch out from food and sport!  and i have been in some ways and i feel those can be further explored as growth opportunities. a lot of what i want to cultivate is more of a sense of how to navigate my new(ish) career and my personal values in a setting of business and as j calls them wicked (social) problems. he's been really integral in helping me understand and start to embrace this concept...more to learn 

what else. okay there is service. the nutrition hotline which is great but sporadic in my ability to feel that authenticity come through. and there is writing and blogging for other organizations. ahh we are on to something there.part of that missing piece of self comes from a disconnect with the writing that used to quite and still my mind as well has help me to reflect on themes and moments that i want to remember. okay i'm now in the present moment embracing the lack by writing...feeling a little more authentic now ;)

another expression is yoga. it's been gone for a couple years but it's beginning to return slowly but surely. however i started by approaching it as sport realizing (with the help of a friend) that i wanted a challenge but not unconditional following of someone else's path. my practice is slowly becoming more regular and more about my spiritual intelligence...however it's still a lot about sweating profusely for an hour. 

today i had an "ah ha" (ooo palindrome!!!!)  about all of this. and really i have to thank whole foods for creating something called the academy for conscious leadership and giving me the opportunity to participate because this is huge to me. perhaps i was just open to this at the "right" time. the questions was asked "what personal challenge do you need to realize your potential in life?"

hmmm....and of course i answer the question with a question...damn. here is my question

are all of these physical challenges i have taken on (and think i want to take on) helping me realize my _true_ potential? what else other than these physical challenges (which i really have been focusing most of my time on outside of work and husband) will really (really, really really) bring me to realize my potential?

the answer to this questions is still up in the air and up for discussion but this ethereal answer also (i think) will lead back to the expression of authentic self. so perhaps we (well I) need to examine the qualities of the earlier authentic self in the blue ridge mountains to understand more of what i am missing presently in expressing authentic self...

camping feels like it's in order at some point in this process and perhaps a spirit animal....

lots to do...




2 comments:

Amy said...

I loved your IMWI finish photo so much I saved it to my camera roll/photo stream.

jimbo11604 said...

Please keep me (us) posted on your progress towards answered questions and fulfillment. I have the same pondering. I guess as long as we ask the questions, then we are in the process of getting the answers, but damn it, I want answers now! Good Luck with the Whole Foods opportunity.