The past 12 months or so have been a whirlwind of insights, new learnings, discoveries, and growth for me in my work. It’s been exciting and scary all wrapped up together as I step more and more into the work I feel I am meant to be doing in the world.
Years ago my business coach Lisa Marie Platske told me that if we are following someone else’s trail, we are not making our own – and that each of our jobs is to blaze our own trail (I’m paraphrasing). No matter what we are up to, or how many others are doing similar work, no one does what we do quite like we do it. We all have a light to shine.
Getting off track
Sometimes in new places, it’s easy to misstep: to think we’ve “got it” when actually, we are off track. In any situation, we can choose to see division or connection. I have been in both places in the past little while, and connection feels much better. Division is often fueled by anger, and anger canbe an energy that fuels action – which can make us think we are moving things forward. However, since the energy with which we do things impacts what we do, you can see how it can take us off track.
Division can make us angry, scared, hurt and hopeless. None of those places help us to find solutions, build community or create a sense of belonging.
Getting back on track
Connection, on the other hand, requires that we get into our hearts and see the whole picture, not just one side. See everyone, not just the people we have more in common with. In fact, in a place of connection we all have something in common.
What I’m being reminded of in the last few weeks is that duality never wins; that separation creates more pain; that coming from a place of vision that there can be something else, something better, is what will lead us there; and that the energy that we bring to something is just as (maybe even more) important as what we do.
Working for change
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging work can be very hard.
It often breaks my heart, makes me want to throw my hands up, rail against the world, and cry. And when I get there, I have to remember to step back, take care, and regroup. Because although those can be catalysts for change, they themselves don’t create change.
For me, what creates change are honesty, openness, love, connection, dialogue and a willingness to roll up my sleeves and dive in. I need my heart for that. I forgot that for a minute.
Change is possible.
And we have to do it together.
(c) 2020 Annemarie Shrouder