For me personally, my desire to participate in anything has to be led by my own internal compass. Or, I need to see, like and experience a persons happiness, joy and excitement. If you're walking the walk and talking the talk-that is enough to interest me if I'm interested. Or I'm just curious what something is about and I want to experience something new for the sake of having the experience. Things I don't know anything about-usually fascinates me greatly.
The one common thing I've noticed is, no matter which type of program I place myself in-there are always amazing people in those programs. No matter how strange or weird something may be to someone else-people are people and those people are as good and as solid and as amazing as anyone else. And sometimes you really do not understand what something is or why people are attracted to it until you experience it yourself.
The Art of Participation is a simple process for me. If you share your own experience and If it feeds into what I want or what I feel I need or if it's an experience I'd like to have- I AM ON IT!!! And I will participate and play full out.
It's that simple.
I'm a sensory being. If I sense an ounce of force, manipulation, or a crossing of my personal boundaries-it won't matter how amazing something is-I am a huge NO THANK YOU.
In addition to this, I'm 100% okay with how I've lost out on the opportunity you were trying to give me because I already know there are 15 other opportunities coming into my world that vibrate in alignment with what I need at any given time. Opportunities that aren't forceful, that don't use emotional manipulation to try and "get me," to do or be anything. Opportunities that just show up and flow in an organic process that is a good fit for me.
Even when I do play full out..My experience of my own participation is the same, no matter what it is. I take what I want, what resonates with me, what feels true to me. If there are reminders inside of my participation that I'm already aware of, I will be grateful for the reminder, play with it, see if it's still something I subscribe to. And anything that isn't for me-washes over me as I'm aware its very likely- that particular principle may not be for me but it could be very important for someone in the room, therefore it is equally important.
It's all three elements running all the time. Something old, something new that I can integrate and something that isn't for me-but very valuable for others.
When you've been actively participating in varies workshops, events and uniquely designed programs for over 20 years, you become a bit of a Participting Ninja.
The art of participation is an organic process.
Many moons ago (coming up on two decades) , I was sitting next to a man at the gym on a stationary bike. All he did was share his personal experience of a program he was in. After several years of viewing his Dad as toxic and not wanting anything to do with him, he was delighted to have his relationship with his Dad back. The man was just sharing his story as tears ran down his face. That is literally all it took for me to say "That is amazing, I want to come see what this program is about, is there an opportunity for me to experience this?"
Three days later I was driving into center city Philadelphia for my first experience inside of the walls at Landmark Education. I sat in on his "Self Expression and Leadership" guest day. I was clear I would be signing up before I even entered the space.
A similar process took place when i began to want to know more about Scientology. I was working for dear friends in their business for a short period of time. These friends are just about the only people on the planet who could ever get me to work in an office. Because their essence is so great and their company was all about empowering women in an enormous way.
All I did was answer the phone and I ended up in a conversation with a woman who lives in California. In our conversation she shared her story. That was all she did was share what she created for her personal life and her family after a divorce and I was very interested. The next thing I knew she had paid for me to get several hours of Diaentic auditing. What an incredible gift.
So there I was again, driving into the city to participate in something else.
What I loved most about this process, other than the fact that it did work for me...was their insistence of the importance of a good nights sleep and the recommendation to take B1 Vitiman to assure my process was a healthy one. You couldn't be on drugs for at least a month (which was no problem for me) and no alcohol.I really loved that because it showed up for me as congruent.
The auditing process would be one where we would be finding the origin of my triggers and we would be doing the work to restore those triggers back into my analytical mind where they belonged. This, like landmark was an awesome experience for me personally. And it totally worked.
This has been the thread of my personal Art of Participation. Someone shares their experience, shares their story and I want to experience those things to discover what my experience may be. Simple. Very simple.
At some point along my journey, those who don't understand it or me often say things like "Are you done yet?" Or "haven't you found something yet to stay with?" Or they try and sling their lack of understanding mud on me "you keep trying different things because you probably run whenever you are confronted." Or "aren't you happy yet?" (That one is my favorite misperception of all time!) it's like why are you still searching? What are you searching for?
These are the people who were happy to see me settle down even though it wasn't good for me or him. They were happy with the concept that I was "being taken care of." And/or they view being settled down as happy. That doesn't mean I was taken care of or that settling down brought either one of us the happiness people assume exists just because you have someone to call your someone. When people love you they just want to see you have things that appear to them as a good thing. It's out of love.
But here is the realty for me:
I'm not searching. I'm living life in a way that makes life very interesting for me. I'm hungry, thirsty to learn so many things not because I feel a lack of life but because I feel there is so much to life and I want to experience as much as I can. It's fun. I like it.
No, I'm not done and my desire to grow and participate in many different things will most likely continue for several more years. The only shift is, I will now be leading/Facilitating my own workshops, programs and events instead of me always leading other people's programs, workshops and events.
In my journey I am always being confronted. You'd have to be a certain kind of human to get its not about running from anything. It's about diving into everything. And when you do that, you are always being confronted. It's a huge part of it. It's sort of part of the fun of it.
As far as happiness goes. I AM HAPPY. I was happy even when my relationship didn't feel good. And therein lies the rub.
My existence as a human being is more than any one relationship, is bigger than any one chapter of my life. My happiness isn't dependent on if a relationship works or doesn't. If it last or doesn't. Life for me isn't an all or nothing experience. Sorrow exists sometimes in life and sometimes things don't work out. But that doesn't mean I am unhappy.
I am happy when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes I'm just happy that I even woke up that morning. Happy to be alive. I'm happy for a lot of things and for a lot of reasons. I laugh every day. Even on the days that I'm crying. I'm very happy with who I am as a person. And that has been true for many years now.
And I'm pretty sure that has everything to do with the Art of Participation and Inquiry.