Working with Erik on the opportunity to try a new role means getting past the polite speaking quickly, and going right for “the jugular". For me, the “going for the jugular” means allowing myself to be exposed on a personal level for the sake of skill development. As impressed as I am by Erik’s perceptiveness, I am in equal measure squirming at the close attention. That is an “interesting” inner dynamic to witness. Hooray.
I suppose being exposed is a part of Moving, so I allow it a little. I describe the scenario of conflict in which I practice being Not-a-Follower, but initiating a conversation about a conflict. The other word I’ve heard for this is confrontation, I use no names or suggest the relationships of anyone in my semi- revealed story.
Erik asked if I’d had an opportunity to try a new role. I responded that I had, and felt satisfied that even though I might not have filled the new role, I’d seen myself come out of the old one. Transitions take time, and increments of transitions are important to make note of.
I continued to the part where the conflict changed into a sharing and receptive conversation. What made that change happen? I didn’t know exactly, but since I’d been kind of initiating and Moving, I’m pretty sure it was something I’d done. I explained that by that time I’d tried every trick up my sleeve to help the conflict improve. Erick suggested that it must've created the Container of Safety. Looking back after our session, I think it was actually a Container of Realness. How could I have created a Container sooner in the Movement? I have ZERO clues.
That is an honest answer.
So, we backed away form that story and I told a different one about interacting with a cousin who’s political views offend me (and mine offend her, as she makes clear). On one occasion she ranted about the how meaningless the recent Women’s March on Washington was. She’s a happy, powerful woman, no one is telling her what to do with her body, and she’s not giving up her Glock. So why did I feel the need to march because its stupid…My response was that I marched so that she could keep feeling exactly as she does. That there is a danger that soon she may not, if resources are taken away, etc. Then I shared my experience with a resource that has helped countless women, and if I hadn’t been there, I’d have been in chemo by the following year. Erik thought for a moment, and reflected back a similar experience. I think we both simultaneously arrived at the conclusion that speaking to the issue is more effective than speaking to the person. (Like Kate’s “Play the ball, not the man.”)
Erik is really great at listening and picking up on things I might yet be blind to. He inquires with genuine concern and curiosity. I will keep that in mind and practice trusting.