The Pacing Of Passion

By Thursday, October 1, 2009 3 0

I’m in the thick of an excellent three-day training on interpersonal communication here in the verdant town of Eugene, Oregon. Yesterday when Susan and Peter Glaser asked which participant would like to kick off the introductions, of course my hand hyperactively shot up.  A few hours later when we were to choose partners, I happily sprinted to the person I knew I wanted to work with, a well-seasoned fellow who leads an organization. He gamely accepted my invitation while also trying not to fall backward at being so enthusiastically approached.  In the afternoon when we did role-plays and got feedback, I was praised for my warmth and cautioned about appearing aggressive. Valuable to hear.

I ran it by my husband Thor when we talked last night on the phone, the idea I can be aggressive. “Oh yeah, “ he said matter-of-factly, as if agreeing I have blonde hair. I burst out laughing. Spouses excel at reality checks, among other things.

My pursuit of the diamond-cut life is fueled by my passion for a world that can actually sustain itself. My work-work is hard going right now, with my insomnia giving me three nights in a row of little rest. But I’m eager to show up in 50 minutes for day two of the Glasers’ training. As troubled as the world is, my ability to be contribute to it can only be improved by trainings like these and being in lively, supportive communities, even ones lasting just three days. They make my passion and sometimes mercurial energy more sustainable. In particular, I am pondering the precept that passion needs to be well-paced to avoid burnout . . . . .  and warmly rather than aggressively expressed.

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  • Alison
    October 3, 2009

    Colleen and Alli: good to hear this feedback. You are two of the people in my life I see as major contributors to the world, between Habitat For Humanity work and creating solar highways, respectively. You inspire me to persevere in my own sometimes difficult work. Big hugs!

  • alli
    October 2, 2009

    I love the descriptor “mercurial energy” and while I agree with the words about pacing and not appearing aggressive – they make sense – it’s been my experience that hot passion is what causes things to change. Polite, paced and patient social intercourse certainly has it’s well-earned place (remember this at your next tea party ;-)), but in these accelerating times, it may be that full-on, respectful, passion is just what we need.

  • Colleen
    October 1, 2009

    My most valuable takeaway from your post today:

    “As troubled as the world is, my ability to contribute to it can only be improved.”

    Well said. I’ll take that into my day, week, month, and year ahead. :)