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What’s an emotion or experience that you try to avoid? If you take a moment, I bet you can think of one. Are you happy with the things you do in order to avoid it? What would happen if you let yourself actually feel that thing instead of avoiding it - what would that be like?
We asked each other those questions this last week, using a simple peer-coaching script. Personally, my answers tend to sound like “…probably nothing would happen, and I’d realize I didn’t need to be afraid of it” or “…well then I’d feel this deep insecurity– oh that’s what’s motivating me!” I haven’t heard from anyone yet, after this exercise, that was satisfied with their current avoidance behaviors.
By bringing our attention to something unobserved/unconscious/unaware, we can bring it into our capacity for intention, for alignment, for change. Whatever is left unseen remains in our “shadow.”
As we play with attention and noticing in our IS member meetings, one thing that could fall in our shadow is who is not represented there. On the polarity of sameness and difference, we recognize that differences in perspective are of vital importance in challenging ourselves to expand our own awareness relative to ourselves and the world. So even at this nascent stage, we notice we have started off predominantly white and male, which - guess what I am - is not particularly suprising. But in ranking priorities last week, we put this issue right on top. So, we’re going to explore our diversity, equity, and inclusion this week. I’ll let you know what we manage to bring into our awareness!