Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monsters for Halloween

It's Halloween, and on Prairie Home Companion this morning (heard as we were heading in to our favorite coffee shop) they listed a few of the scarier demons that could come to your door, including an IRS representative, demanding receipts.

We all have our own ideas of scary demons -- the things we fear most, the things that trigger us and upset us.  I spent my lunch break, in fact, reading about some aspects of this challenge in Parker Palmer's observations about the Five Shadows of Leadership (from his book, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation).

He calls his list "a bestiary of shadow-casting monsters," and my homework was to read about them and think about where I'd encountered them, and to think about practices that organizations and individuals can put in place to to address or “disrupt” the assumptions and behaviors that reinforce them.

So of course it seems only fitting that as soon as I finished that exercise -- it being Halloween and all -- a couple of my own monsters have peeked out.  So now I get to deal; to clarify what's true and what's not, to assess whether these demons are internal or external, and to figure out how to cope; how to disrupt the automatic assumptions that have leaped forward. 

Not fun.

But then, it's Halloween, and the monsters are prowling!

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