Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Karen Waldron, Reverb10 Day 8)
I drew a blank on this.
So I asked Hubby. He said: You question authority. And you live your life not by any bottom line but by what feels right to you.
Well, doesn’t everyone? Maybe not. I needed a view from outside the pond to get me started on thinking about how I might be remarkable. His comment was enough to click my own thoughts into place.
I am an amazing facilitator. In 4 hours I can take a room of disparate folks and have them organized into working groups around issues they (not I) think are important. Once, in Zambia, I had to do an 8 hour training that I had not been warned of. About fundraising. I had no idea what might work in Zambia so I broke the group out into 6 groups of 8 and had them list all the things that had every worked for them, including the organizations that had funded them (often a closely held secret). Then the groups reported out. At the end of 4 hours, they all had a fund raising plan, and I could leave them with the idea that they had done it themselves. They didn’t need an American in the mix to tell them how. They already knew, they just had to share information.
People trust me. Strangers talk to be about their heart’s desires, and acquaintances tell me secrets knowing I won’t judge and won’t tell. Clients think I can read minds. The truth is that I’ve lived a lot of versions of “life” this go round, and have “been there and done that.” And I’m happy to share what I’ve learned along the way. Mostly I ask a lot of questions. People know without knowing they know. Like the Zambians, and like my needing my husband’s input, sometimes we just need someone to part the waters so we can see outside the pond.
I work well with all demographics but most especially with folks who find themselves marginalized because of a system (government, social, community). I not only question authority, I am not afraid to fight city hall. And when I fight city hall, I generally win.
I am a linchpin. I know how to bring people together and make a safe place for them to explore new, often scarey ideas. I am the connector who can link the dots among different groups and ideas. I am a catalyst without trying. It is in my very nature. I don’t even have to think about it. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes it makes people very uncomfortable. Self included.
I am a synthesizer. I read widely and quickly, digest information across disciplines and put it back out in a format that is understandable by someone not familiar with the subject matter(s).
I understand the power of story and know how to story to create change.
I understand power itself, and all the cloaks it hides itself in. I can name it and pull it out of the shadows.
One of my greatest strengths is taking something abstract and making it concrete: be it an idea or energy that wants to be art.
I realize I don’t think of these skills (or myself) as remarkable because they are my gifts in this life. These abilities come to me without thought. They are the pond that I swim in.
What a great question! It is good to sit down and pat yourself on the back every now and then!
We must come together in a new way – consciously. Our stories are of individuals but only as they are told collectively do they move us forward. In the process of telling our storeis as a conscious act, we begin to define ourselves and our reality. ..In sharing experiences and stories, women learn to value themselves, to recognize stagnant and destructive patterns in their lives, to name their strengths and to begin to take responsibility for their lives. Christ and Plaskow
Sooner or later someone walks through that door and pushes all out buttons. We find ourselves hating those people or scared of them or feeling like we just can’t handle them. The is true always, if we are sincere about wanting to benefit others. Sooner or later, all of our own unresolved issues will cime up; we’l be confronted with ourselves. Pema Chordon
The universe is made up of stories, not atoms. Muriel Rukeyser