An interesting side effect of bringing Maple out into the world is meeting new people and reconnecting with folks that I haven’t spoken to in a while. Both are generally fun and energizing. Both are also a bit scary.
New folks represent the unknown and possibility. It’s all novel and delicate to start. I tend to tread lightly until I have a sense of their Chris Tolerance. Will this person think I’m crazy? Is there any chance of unwittingly offending? Fears like that creep in.
Reconnecting with old acquaintances is a different kind of fear, because these folks already know me. They know where the bodies are buried so to speak. I believe I’ve evolved since we last spoke. However, sometimes I get the reality check that maybe I haven’t grown as much as I thought.
That’s what happened recently when I made an off handed comment about how I like to be in control of things (if you follow this blog, this is not new news to you) to someone I was catching up with. The reaction was sort of like a deflated soufflé. The conversation had been rolling along and then THUD.
There was an extended pause. You know the one.
Finally, I picked it up and owned it. “Yes,” I said “I’m still working on that. I’ve made progress. I can’t tout the value of personal growth without working on some myself. I use Maple to reflect on my control issues and …” The conversation resumed, but I made a mental note because someone just illuminated something I was blind to. It was a little cue: Pay Attention Here!!
“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things they are transformed.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh
We’ve shared our belief that the journey for personal growth doesn’t have a final destination. You may get to where you were going, only to realize more work lies ahead. This is what happened with my effort to be less controlling. I feel I’ve made strides and given up control in a lot of areas but the deafening splat from my reconnecting conversation said otherwise.
I thought I had fixed my control issues but with this new insight, I had to reconsider that. It’s a time of transition and change for me. Launching Maple already has me out of my element learning new things. I might as well take advantage of the useful discomfort coming from that growth and make progress on multiple fronts. After some thought, I decided to start right away. Having recognized a need and committed to it, it was time to get clear about what I was going to change and devise a plan to make it happen.
I took stock: Yes, I’m more comfortable with asking for help but, I also need to accept that help when it arrives, even if it’s not exactly what I envisioned. Then I realized I don’t need to drive the conversation all the time. It’s OK to let others lead, even if we go in a direction I wouldn’t have taken. My last insight was I need to begin with collaboration and cooperation rather than defaulting there after I’ve mucked things up.
With that clarity, I was feeling pretty good about my journey, past and present. Those goals demonstrated progress, even if it wasn’t perfect. They also showed me there is more to do and I need to be a little less cocky and more vulnerable and coachable. (Humbled again.) I headed to the interwebs to find resources and get my plan together.
Which is when I lost all control. I started at Amazon in search of self-study books and before I knew it I had clicked my way through networking groups for women entrepreneurs, multiple blogs about stress and seminars on positivity before finally, somehow, landing on a site that does garden makeovers. (No books in my shopping cart, BTW.) What just happened?
OK another lesson learned, personal growth can be chaotic. Even when we have the clearest of intentions we can wind up far from where we set out to be. Just chalk it up to the journey, refocus and keep going.
I’ve got my personal growth walking shoes on because my journey is amping up and now you’re a part of it. Let’s Maple something. Onward!
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