Thursday, September 7, 2006

Getting Intimate

My new "Artist Way" group is well underway. The group has grown, and now, instead of being the comfortable size of less than 10, it's a slightly more intimidating size of at least 20! All of the people seem really nice and are really baring their souls, so to speak, right from the beginning.

But NOT me. Unless I'm singing words I've already written, I find it very hard to express my authentic self in front of a group this large. So I have contributed very little to our discussions on these Wednesday night meetings so far. And although I AM listening, I have to admit, I'm finding myself feeling disconnected and actually, a little bored because of it.

I think the book we read last time, "The Artist's Way", is so similar to our current book, "Walking in this World" that I feel like I've already listened to these same discussions and discoveries just a few months ago. I have been feeling a bit disenchanted with the process. And that's my own fault. I think I started to have my mind made up that a group this size could never really be intimate. And if it's not intimate, then I'M NOT SHARING.

One of my friends and I met for dinner before heading off to our meeting. I told her although I admired that the other people in the group where so willing to share personal stuff about themselves, I was not. She said something like, "Try to share something tonight" Whatever. I really had no plans initially to follow her advice.

We always "open up our circle" (start our meeting) by sharing our high and low of the week. I've shared in previous weeks, but it's been stuff that's really not significant to me or about me. But as I was listening to people really present their TRUE selves to the group, I thought I might test the water and take my friend's advice after all.

What I want to say is some times NOT what I do say because I feel emotional about it and I don't want to embaress myself, or make someone else feel uncomfortable. But I think when people are being authentic, that comes across to others, and then everyone relates. That shouldn't be uncomfortable. Or at least not in a bad way. And isn't that what we're really here for anyway?

So I shared my high. And it was a little hard. It was about a dream I had about my Mom. It's the first dream I've had of her since her death where she was happy and healthy and back to her old self. It's the way I want to think of her and the type of dreams I've been waiting to dream of her. I had trouble speaking because it's hard to talk when such a wave a true emotion is washing over you. But I knew by telling my high of the week, I was sharing something important about myself.

No one laughed. No one rushed me. And after I got through that, I felt like I could contribute my thoughts whenever I felt like chiming in during the rest of our meeting. If I want to connect with these people, which I DO, I've got to be authentic. I can't just be a voyeur.

So maybe this group of 20+ is shrinking. Maybe it CAN be intimate.

1 comment:

jerry said...

I lost my dad on May 14th and have had several dreams about him. It is funny because I never dreamed about him when he was alive but do now that he is gone.