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.