I remember when I was young, most of my energy was focused on raging. No matter what was going on I would shout out "You have hurt me! You are wrong!! You are unfair! You are not well!" Like that. I would go on and on. As years went by, for some reason I shut down. I remember in university - I was about 30 something, I was sitting in a circle of about 40 or so people. Two people on either side of me started a conflict. I froze, couldn't speak, blanked out ... the teacher (thank you M, I don't know if you remember this) caught it and called me on it, taught me to recognize it, guided me toward empowering myself. Well I did.
As things go, the pendulum swung the opposite way - so that I was all about raging again but in a more adult way. What that looked like was me speaking before thinking, jumping up at injustices, not picking my battles. A wonderful example of this was when I was an admissions counsellor at Concordia. I was in a meeting with other counsellors - some who represented the John Molson School of Business. In the meeting Maria said "John Molson decided that they were going to cut the grades off at B+" .. to which I jumped up and shouted emphatically "John Molson is dead!!!" - and Maria with all the serenity of a monk responded, "The school Heidi, not the man." I actually had to leave the meeting because I could not contain my laughter. At least I can laugh at myself!!!
Lately, with the group I am involved in, I have been challenged, both in my role in this group, as well as on an interpersonal level. The "old me" would charge in, name a wrong, stir up shit I guess, think I was doing good - and probably had the intention of doing so - but chaotic, un-thought out action rarely results in much good. Oh my how far I have come. Instead, I am learning, making connections, checking for support and happily finding it, planning for the next time, being patient. I feel kind of grown up. I feel safe. I feel empowered. I feel conscious. On Oprah today, she was telling a woman you are not conscious, you are not aware of your impact on your environment - whether your kids, husband or yourself. You have to live consciously and with intent. I'm there I think.