My mind is holding me back from penning down these thoughts. It's giving me multiple reasons, logic & rationality to not show the dark side of this realization that is profound & powerful. But I am choosing to take this leap of faith & dive into the world beyond logic & reasoning. This is what is known as the intuition. The leap to the unknown, beyond intellect & into the infinite intelligence. And I am centering myself now to speak from my intuition. I don't know what to say, how to say but just trusting myself & my feelings to give it a form that projects clarity of thoughts & gives a message for you to uncover. Remember, there's a message here and it'll depend on your level of maturity, awareness & consciousness to be able to figure out that which is appropriate for you.
After having spoken to so many people in different capacities, with people leaders in particular; I have figured out one thing and that is, most of them have come very far in their career, is successful but there lies a vacuum in them, a part in them that they find hard to acknowledge & own. They are in committed relationships yet don't feel deeply connected to their partners, there are areas that they struggle with & so put it under the carpet since that's the most easy & rational thing to do; their pain is not on the outside but on the inside due to their inability to show up as they are in their relationships, their connections with their inner circle of people, their close people. The way they are stuck in these aspects are exactly the way they are stuck in their leadership dynamics too. But, they find it hard to own that side because that questions their whole identity of being successful & who they have been projecting. There is guilt, there is shame & there is helplessness. So, I decided to look into myself & my relationships. Because I very well know that my clients, the people I come across by coincidence or choice are nothing but a reflection of me. And if I resist from uncovering this relationship aspect, then they too would. And I know this is scary, not easy because lots of stakes are involved. But, after having moved into the coaching space, after deciding to be authentic in every way possible; I have decided to accept things as they are and not run away. There is greater joy in owning those aspects that we reject & fear; because that's when we get edgy & uncomfortable. And for transformation & growth to happen, this discomfort is very much required. So, here I am modelling by owning these things in me & me being able to put it in words is a testimony to the fact that I have indeed grown & evolved to my next level of being. I acknowledge myself for that.
So of late, I have been reading a lot about relationships. Also on leadership & intuition. I must thank Coach Kendra Kunov for her profound writing & understanding on relationships & the intricacies involved therein. I got an opportunity to meet her, chat with her & also experience her deep work during a coach intensive for a short while. Then I didn't really bother to either read her stuffs nor listen to her videos. Although intuitively I knew that she is an amazing coach & a leader. I was not ready to receive her wisdom or investigate my own relationship at that point in time. That was a part that was very private to me & so I just wanted to just let it be & not do anything about it. It is rightly said that when you are ready, the master appears. Now I am ready I believe and so have taken interest in giving deep thoughts to what she shares in social media & also draw insights from all of that.
There was an article that she had published on the correlation between our leadership development & the intimate relationship that we are into. It just struck the right cord in me. It triggered something in me that needed to be addressed but I had put it under the carpet for long. May be I wasn't even aware of that aspect. There she beautifully quotes about how the way we show up in our relationships, is exactly the way we show up as leaders. And bingo! That's so true! If you really want to uncover your bottleneck, your blind spots & see where you are stuck as a leader, the best way to do that is to look deep into your intimate relationship with your partner. Taking feedback from your partner is one of the best yet scariest ways to really see the mirror. Remember you are showing up exactly the same way as a leader in whatever field you are. This to me sounded weird at first and I tried to defy it. I wasn't comfortable doing this assessment. I also wondered how could there be a correlation at all. But when I used all my defense mechanisms to the fullest & was left with none, suddenly my right side of the brain,the intuitive side woke up. And it sort of helped me to understand something that sounded illogical & meaningless to the rational mind. With lots of courage I decided to really have a look at the relationship that I had with my partner & also the relationships that I had with my close circle of people. And I did this from an absolute non-judgmental space, just to be aware of what was happening not with any intention of fixing or blaming self or another. One thing that came to the fore was that I didn't have the deep connection with anyone of them. In fact, I couldn't/never tried to build that deep connection. I held myself back. As if I had guarded myself & showed up from a space of fear. I had created a distance that didn't allow me to completely lay my trust. I wasn't vulnerable & so I was guarded. My essence was love, but I was either over expressing or under expressing that essence. And it all originated from deep fear of not being good enough, not being loved & not being important. That was my survival mechanism. If I have to use a diagram to explain this phenomenon, it was like this:
As a result of this, I was reliable for showing up in a particular way in my relationships. I was doing either of these: being too possessive or completely withdrawn; craved for intimacy or be totally cold; be totally in it or absolutely show my back; communicate only what was required & avoid difficult conversations; perform stuffs as a result of obligation & withdraw things that required my genuine involvement; unaware of what deep connection is, yet longed for having deep connections without being ready to be vulnerable; felt a vacuum that was created by my own guarded nature, yet didn't muster the courage to communicate that; was led by the relationship dynamics instead of leading it in the desired way; be fearful of hurting self & others, lost myself in the process of meeting needs of others; didn't know what I wanted from the relationship; be okay with mediocrity in relationship, distract myself with other things in life & not really bother to work on the relationship that I have, operated from head & not from the heart; ego took the front seat & intentions were at the back burner; glorified the good in the relationship & buried the not so good aspects without realizing that even if I bury it, I carry these with me & these get manifested in different ways oblivious to me; focus was more on getting than giving; more on superficiality rather than on the deeper aspects.
I asked my partner to honestly give his feedback on how I showed up in our relationship. And he listed down 10 good things & 1 negative. That's when I realized that the greatest bottleneck was that I didn't create that space for him to genuinely tell me the truth & give him the space to reflect. Because it really can't be that you only uncover 1 negative. This may happen in either of the two cases: either you don't want to speak about it or you fear consequences.
After lot of introspection, also after finishing one module of Psychodrama & now gearing up for my next deep work with Coaches Adam & Bay, I have really figured out that the way I have showed up in my relationships is the way I show up with my clients, in my profession as a coach & as a leader. All that I do in my relationship, gets manifested in one or the other way in my working relationships too. And I am so thankful for this awareness. It has given me the room & opportunity to look deep within & do the work needed to take my leadership depth to the next level. The deeper I go, I will be able to take my clients that deep. That is the key to positive & lasting transformation. By working on my relationship with self & others, I open the doors to increasing my depth as a leader. A coach has to be a great leader to be able to lead the clients through that side that they deny & resist.
Leadership is not just having a title, or enviable success, or followers or just charismatically leading, but it is self-realization and awareness that opens the door to newer possibilities & creations for embracing miracles, the impossible; it's diving into the world of the unknown with trust, faith & love; powerfully owning those aspects that we detest & deny. Once you find yourself, once you know yourself, once you lead yourself back to your essence, the core; everything else becomes a cake walk & the by product of that evolution. I invite you to reflect on your intimate relationship & see the mirror that you are resisting to see. If you defy, you aren't ready to take the next cut; if you are ready, you'll dare to see yourself. After all leadership is a shift, a growth inside you beyond what you think is possible. Welcome to your inner self!
Love & respect,
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Life & Organizational Development Coach