This week I’m in the midst of introductory conversations with staff that work with my new organizational client and I’ve interacted with a few of them by email as well. These are lovely young(er) people who are very mission-driven and are committed to sustainability for our planet.
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. It comes at a time when I was questioning whether it might be time to give up my pursuit of this “portfolio career” of being coach, team facilitator and writer. But something keeps pulling me in. I think it’s the notion that I am committed to wellbeing and workplace transformation. Yet I don’t believe most workplaces are changing fast enough to adapt to a changing world, which it has been why I haven’t pursued traditional full-time employment.
Many of the up-and-coming generations want not only work that makes them feel purposeful and committed, they want to learn more about themselves and grow personally. They want to challenge themselves in new ways, and not just get stuck with the “admin” work that their leaders shovel down on them. Maybe for some people that sounds self-indulgent, but for me, it’s an indicator of future leadership qualities. And our world deeply needs those who can think creatively rather than simply conform. It inspires me to be get even better at
Don’t get me wrong. I did a lot of “admin” work early in my career. Actually, I probably spent the first 8-10 years of my post-college career doing this kind of work, to greater and lesser degrees depending on the job, because I kept starting over at each new workplace. It wasn’t until my 30’s when I really begun understanding myself better that I sought the kinds of opportunities where I thrived. Looking back to my college days, I now see how I was preparing myself all along through volunteer and extra-curricular activities that were related to group dynamics and mentoring people.
There are times in our lives when the financial tides recede, and there are times when the tides roll in. Sometimes as humans we forget that life doesn’t yield linear results. There are cycles, patterns, and spirals. There are times for earning, and there are times for investing in our growth by allowing the field to lie fallow, to regenerate and rest. The seeds we have planted are starting to put down roots, and to draw upon the earth for nourishment. Soon the plants will emerge and take in the sunlight. But they are born in sacred darkness.
The next time I feel like I’m trying to “force” a bloom, I will read this to remember how this dance works.
I spent some time licking my wounds last week and realizing that the opportunity I had been vying for probably wasn’t the right fit. But I responded with my real opinions this morning when the employer asked for feedback. Who knows if a human reads those things. Probably an “AI” is scraping the data. Oh well.
Only a few days after I received the pee test news I was offered an opportunity to coach a BIPOC and/or junior staff cohort at an organization who’s values are highly aligned with mine. Until we are signed and fully contracted I am going to hold off mentioning them here. The hourly rate is 15+ times what I was offered at the job where I was turned down. And thus, I will continue my “irrational” pursuit of self-employment while further developing affordable somatics and stress-relief opportunities and group mentoring.
There is a lot of heavy energy in the world right now, and not getting a part-time job is the least my worries as people in the Ukraine are being attacked. I was humbled to realize how lucky and privileged I am sitting safely at home, while others cope with unbridled tyranny on the other side of the planet. But I’ve also been so heartened to see how many people around the world are doing everything they can to help.
Last year I worked with a group called Fight for Right Ukraine while I was part of team facilitation cohorts for The Medici Group. They were a tiny but scrappy and resourceful team and I was greatly impressed with their creativity and their amazing resolve to find ways to grow their network of disability rights activists. I donated to a GoFundMe campaign (in Euros) because I know how hard they were working, and I believe this group has already made change legislatively and practically. In case you are feeling helpless and might want to make a small gift, I know the funds would be well-stewarded.
P.S. If you need a song to help bolster your personal Resilience, I’ve been playing this one by Rising Appalacia over and over again. The shorter video version still brings tears to my eyes. In case you need a small lift from the heavy energy this is something that has helped me to stay focused on the helpers in the world. I believe we are still are in the majority.