Thank you for the outpouring of love I received last week – I am very grateful to all who responded to the article I wrote about Maya, our dog. I am happy to report that I visited Maya last Sunday and she is thriving. She looks better and seems happier. More importantly, the behaviors which our family was struggling to manage have decreased. Seeing Maya last week reinforced the importance of a good fit for BOTH parties.
Next Friday, September 22, is the Fall Equinox which means that the official Shakti Fall Schedule will be released in full next week. Woot! On the Shakti event page, we have listed all the events occurring in September, including an event which happens BEFORE the Equinox on September 20. Erinn’s Sound Bath Meditations historically fill up fast, so I recommend registering soon.
Before I move into this week’s article, I have some important announcements about attending Shakti events.
- Registration closes 24-hours BEFORE an event begins. For example, the Sound Bath Meditation on September 20 begins at 5:30 pm; therefore, registration ends on September 19 at 5:30 pm. Due to the high volume of requests, I cannot accommodate last minute requests to join an event. Please be proactive and register in advance.
- The small parking lot behind Shakti only holds four vehicles. We CANNOT block the driveway. Please review the Parking page to know where to park safely and legally.
- Shakti does not provide refunds unless the facilitator cancels the event. If you want to transfer your ticket to another person, then please send an email with the name of the new attendee. Thank you.
I started school last week. I am a student in The New School of Participatory Change offered by Rural Support Partners. During our first class, I was asked the following question:
How would my experience change if the people I lived and worked with were empowered?
While I have been very focused on empowering the people I interact with in my professional life, I realized that I do not give the same amount of attention to empowering the people in my personal life. To unpack this question, I decided to examine some of the automatic thoughts I have about the familial roles I perform. Thoughts such as:
- It would be easier if I did it myself.
- It’s my job to initiate the conversation.
- I am responsible for getting certain things done.
These automatic thoughts do not support growth – of myself or others – and limit my ability to respond with equanimity. The question then becomes: Why are these thoughts allowed to operate in the background?
During last Friday’s Makerspace…
To answer this question, I turned to the work of Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan who wrote Immunity to Change. Lahey and Kegan spent the majority of their careers studying how personal and cultural beliefs impact one’s ability to change. Their work encourages people to identify the often unconscious and limiting beliefs which keep us stuck. (I completed this step when I asked myself, what thoughts do I have about my familial roles?) The next step in this model is to acknowledge the underlying fear or worry attached to each belief.
I unconsciously adopted the above mentioned beliefs for two reasons. One reason was to feel needed and therefore accepted. If I made myself useful and hopefully indispensable, then I belonged. Another reason was to protect myself from feeling vulnerable. Being the responsible one is a type of armor: an armor which provides a specific type of power. While it is not always fun to be the responsible person, there is a certain amount of cachet which comes from being the person who gets things done. This role, consequently, can shut down other people who are considered not as responsible.
When I acknowledge the benefits to being “the responsible one,” then I better understand why I struggle with empowering people at home. I am afraid of not being useful, and therefore, not belonging. While I intellectually do not believe this thought to be true, I clearly have an emotional response which lives in the shadows. (Shadow work addresses unconscious fears (not being useful) and unexpressed needs (to belong). Consider registering for my upcoming Shadow Work class offered this fall.)
L: Thank you Sandy Freschi for sharing your organic pears with us! We turned some of them into Pear Butter which you can taste at the Fall Equinox Celebration.; R: Teri helped make Bran Date Muffins for Makerspace, thank you!
Returning to the original question: How would my experience change if the people I lived and worked with were empowered? The answer is I would enjoy my personal life even more, because I would not assume responsibility for everything and because I would deeply know that my belonging was not contingent on my doing. Damn! That sounds nice, real nice. I, therefore, commit to asking myself:
- What would I gain if I slowed down and asked my family what they find important?
- What is one thing I would like not to be responsible for? Can I ask another person to assume the responsibility?
- What am I willing to stop doing, even if no one else does it?
- Where am I willing to be curious opposed to seeking a solution?
If the above questions intrigue you, then please let me know. I would love to hear what happens for you as you work through your answers. I also would love to hear what would change for you if the people you worked and lived with were more empowered.
Wishing you a wonderful week!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.
Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.
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Shadow Work: Uncovering our Unconscious Needs
A 6 week series
To support emerging leaders, the Shadow Work series is being offered this fall to build resilience and freedom. The goal of this series is to unearth your unconscious needs so you may eliminate limiting beliefs and healthily address your needs.