Committing to a Compromise?
by Susan Hastings
“You cannot commit your life spirit to a compromise.”
That was a message I heard from Robert Fritz, the creator of Technology of Creativity and DMA, many years ago. It resonated with my soul.
When I look at the times I have compromised with my life spirit over my lifetime, they have been the times of greatest stress for me. It has felt like I’m trying to fit a square peg in a round hole or to make something right that I know deep down is not. Or to stay longer in a situation when I know the time has come to move on, whether it is personally or professionally. I have experienced both.
I was a part time Home School Liaison at the Richmond School in Hanover, New Hampshire for ten years. I loved it! I started out as being a part time counselor but when the school hired a full time counselor, I could see the hand writing on the wall: they were not going to need both a full time and a part time counselor. I looked at where I saw the need to be and it was in involving parents more in the process when their kids were having problems.
I then went to the superintendent and presented my idea of Home School Liaison, which he accepted. As such, I met each week with the teams of teachers, met with students individually and occasionally as groups, and now, met with parents when their intervention would be an asset.
I thoroughly enjoyed my job: the kids were a delight (although there were times I was glad they went home to someone else’s Mother!) and I felt very loved by them. even worked on my birthday, which I usually don’t, but I wanted to be with them – and they rewarded me with a party. I enjoyed the teachers with whom I worked, the administrators. I felt I was doing a good job, and it was during this time that I started teaching Parent Effectiveness Training where I know I made a difference in ways I never had the opportunity to do before.
However, as time went on, I was aware that I had moved into a rather complacent phase; I didn’t feel as creative or as energized, it was just comfortable to be there twice a week. Ironically, it was at that time that I spoke to my principal whom I really felt connected with, and told her that maybe the time had come for me to move on. That felt like a risky move to me because I sure didn’t want to get fired but that turned out to be one of the most life changing and significant conversations I ever had because the next day, in my “cubby” was an ad that asked such questions as “are you energetic?” “a self starter”, etc? If so, become a Performax consultant, using behavioral assessments for better communications. I still do that today and it is the backbone of all of my work.
But I jump ahead … the superintendent also told me, as did my principal, Velma Saire, that he thought I was meant for “bigger things”. And then the “bigger things” was looming in front of me when my job was cut from school. Practically all part time positions were let go during a severe budget cut – and mine was one of them.
Here’s the interesting point, to me…when they announced the final vote that my job had been cut by six votes, my first reaction was one of relief before I went into my feelings of disappointment and rejection …(if only four of my friends had gone to vote rather than being sure my job wouldn’t be cut; if only the administrator who said he was going to speak up in defense of my job had done so rather than to be afraid to go against the superintendent’s recommendation….if only, if only….)
But it is clear to me that the “if only’s” were not meant to be. It was time to move on.
If I had stayed any longer, I would have become bored, I would not have done as good a job – I would have been compromising my life spirit to a compromise.
Instead, my life spirit was leading me in a new, very exciting direction. I went to talk to the Director of Personnel at Dartmouth College, where I live. She at first thought I should apply for Director of Admissions and Director of Alumnae Affairs which seemed odd to me since our family has no Dartmouth connections. But then she said, “What I really think you should do is start your own business.” Even though my father was a very successful small business owner and entrepreneur, somehow I couldn’t see myself doing the same thing.
However, the seed was planted and I did. One thing led to another to another to another and doors opened wide with absolutely no effort on my part. That is how I know when I am on purpose for my life spirit – there is synchronicity everywhere. I meet the right people, I hear about and read the right book, opportunities abound that are far greater than I ever would have thought in my rational mind.
A leader: one who does not compromise with their life spirit. One who will see the signs of stagnation and take action to keep the spirit alive whether it is in their personal life or their professional life, which keeps the winds of opportunity blowing so that our life spirit and our purpose for being here are one.
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