Saturday, May 14, 2011
This is not me seeking comfort or reassurance; I am actually seeing this as an opportunity to talk about what happens when things break down.
I am, in school right now, taking a course on intervening in systems, and, of course, you really only intervene in a system when something is broken. So this morning, in a discussion about resistance, it became apparent that many people see resistance as something to be fearful of, to fix, to break down, or to overcome -- kind of like a bit of grit that's gotten stuck between the gears and needs to be removed (if you look at an organization as a machine, with interlocking gears and parts.)
But if you look at an organization as a living system, then resistance can be an important indicator, a place of growth, productivity and change; the grit in the oyster that eventually results in a pearl.
So failure, to me, works a bit like resistance: I bump up against an experience like the one I had with this image, and some part of me wants to shut down. Sometimes I even think, well, I guess I've milked this well dry and it's time to move on.
But what if (to milk that metaphor) you just need to tunnel a little deeper and you could hit this huge aquifer of creativity? What if the way you've been approaching the problem is shallow, and if you were to stay with it, lean into it, really look hard at what's not working and why, it could take you into a whole new realm? You won't know if you don't try.
It takes so much courage to be an artist sometimes, to ignore all the voices that panic and shut down at the least sign of resistance. Which just brings me back to yesterday's post: it's really not so much about courage as it is about faith. If we trust, have faith, that we are onto something, doing what we were born to do; if we listen constantly for cues that the path needs to shift, but always in the context of faith that there IS a path, that there IS guidance, and support, that there is some Divine Presence out there (or within us) reaching out to lift us when we get stuck or anxious -- then the resistance can become an opportunity.
It's all in how you look at it. But I think the first step is really what my husband always says to the girls when they screw up or encounter unexpected obstacles: "So. What did you learn from this?"
Maybe that's where the faith comes in: he trusts that there will ALWAYS be something we can learn, and that learning can make a difference.
So. What did I learn from this?
Oy; don't get me started! (and can you hear the resistance?)
Posted by Diane Walker at 8:21 AM