I started grad school this month.
And the first thing I did, was perform a skit...
I am also from the east coast.
That means I drip with skepticism and sarcasm, and don't believe that “sharing my feelings with the group” will do anyone any good. I'm entrenched in hard scientific research practices, valuing numerical data, organized programming, evaluation, and facts. This hippy-dippy mumbo jumbo isn't my scene.
So imagine my reaction when the group leader rang an Asian hand bell to signify the beginning of the session, then told us all to take a deep breath and center ourselves.
As I deeply inhaled I thought “Oh THIS is where I am...”
Then I started to hear some familiar things...
“We all have unique strengths to bring to the field of counseling.”
“Like any new skill, this is a practice – you are on a path to mastery, and along the way you'll experience self doubt. Don't lose heart, it means you are becoming more self-aware.”
“Don't forget to take care of yourself as you are learning to take care of others.”
“Look at your motivations for wanting to become a helper. How have your life experiences driven you here?”
“Stepping outside of your comfort zone is scary, but it will help you grow...”
And then two goats on leashes walked across campus...
1. Be aware.
The more aware you are of yourself, your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, the clearer your path will be. Moments of confusion and frustration usually come from being out of touch with who you really are.
2. Weird places help you grow.
My comfort zone used to be a safe 9-5 job with health insurance and a 401k. Now it's gown to include living in my car, staying with strangers, and creating new ways to earn myself an income. Prescott may still feel weird, but it's helping me expand my world even more.
3. Take the time to look back.
I often focus on how far I still have yet to go: 3 years of grad school, countless papers and hours of supervision... if I look at that for too long I'd be overwhelmed. It's a pretty awesome thing to take a look back and realize that in 2010 I had no plans to move or change jobs, that I was unhappy and didn't know how to fix it. I've come so very very far.
4. Trust the process.
This seems to be the school motto for Prescott College, but it can be applied elsewhere. If you are just beginning your journey of Boldness, trust that what you've started will continue to grow. Trust that the choices you are making will lead to a life of adventure and meaning. And trust that you will be able to look back soon, and see how high you've climbed.