Recently I was faced with a decision that I felt quite unprepared for and also unwilling to make. For seven years I have been facilitating a men’s support group at what was once the Centre for Integrated Healing and is now Inspire Health. It has brought me great joy, inspiration and meaning and I had no intention of stopping, yet here I was walking away from my most recent group with this disturbing whisper, “is it time you let this go?” My initial response was to suppress and deny any such idea. I put it down to the mild dissatisfaction with the way the last group had unfolded; they had diverted an opportunity to explore something I felt would be meaningful to a much lighter discussion but my commitment is to allowing them to direct their group not me. I walked on assuming that was that. However the whisper became a murmur and continued to nag at me; finally in order to check in with what the possible meaning could be I consulted a rune, normally a helpful arbiter that assisted me in seeing that this was about me and my inner journey. However this time I was surprised, even shocked at the specific nature of the response: “Separation – a time of separating patterns, old skins shed, outmoded relationship discarded, a peeling away is called for.” I realized I had a decision to make.
It was interesting to reflect that I had contemplated this possibility back in March when the Medical Director had decided that my segment on decision-making no longer fitted with her new two-day Life Program. I had felt disturbed by not only the arbitrary way the decision had been made but how it seemed to undermine the concept of empowerment that I had spent eleven years addressing. I wondered if I was still aligned with the goals and objectives of the organization and whether it may be time to leave altogether. However I was persuaded by my friend Dr. Hal Gunn who is the CEO that I should stay because of my longevity with my support group. Frankly I felt relieved at his perspective and dropped any thought of exiting. Now four months later this decision was up for consideration.
Over the next week, I noticed myself shifting backwards and forwards. Yes I should go, no I should stay. One moment I felt convinced the rune was right and Inspire Health was “the outmoded relationship” that needed to go, then I was filled with misgivings about abandoning this group of eight courageous souls that I had grown to love and respect. It was only when I arrived at the tranquil oasis of my home on Cortes Island that I realized I was trapped in “the battle ground of thoughts and feelings” and I needed the affirmation of my DecisionClarity process.
The first step begins with the examination of the reasons to leave. As I dug into the issue a number of concerns revealed themselves: the nagging voice that asked me whether it was time to leave, the angst from the last group, my concern that the group would fragment as a number were planning travel, a sense that I did not feel like revitalizing the group with new members, a knowledge that Inspire Health were interested in an MD facilitating the support group because it would be funded by MSP and in fact one of the doctors was attending the next meeting as a guest. Logic seemed clearly on the side of leaving but my feelings were in clear disagreement, it would not feel good to abandon ship, I know there would be some disappointed members, and I would miss the heart opening monthly meetings, it took little of my time and I was good at facilitating. It was only when I began seeking guidance on my decision that I realized I had not explored my fears. Fear has an insidious way of undermining one’s convictions. It tends to be covert and has more power when kept in the shadow. I realized I had two fears: first that this was not my soul’s intention, I was just trying to make my life easier and secondly that I had significant self worth attached to this role, it gave me meaning and I was fearful of losing it. Finally the complexity of the decision was clear and I was ready to ask for guidance. I committed to a series of activities designed to activate my intuitive faculties. This is much easier on Cortes than perhaps anywhere else; I am surrounded by so much beauty; I resolved to walk in beauty affirming let there be light, meditate in the sanctuary at Hollyhock; ride my bike then do an evening contemplation listening to sacred music. Then I would draw another rune.
That night before I went to bed I summarized the response I had received. There had been an interesting memory of walking up to the door of Inspire health about a year ago and observing that the heart had gone and the words, ‘”Oh, the heart has gone from the Centre” cycling through my head. I had some attachment to the previous logo because I had been the architect of the design. Since then my journey had taken me from marketing volunteer, board member, chairman, acting COO for six months, writer of healing journey stories, teacher of decision-making and facilitator of the men’s support group. Now only the men’s group remained and I was considering letting that go. I realized what an amazing passage this was, after fourteen years I may separate myself entirely from Inspire Health. I also realized that this would require a completion process both for me and the group. I also had an amazing dream that involved leaving a protected village, crossing a creek bed and uncertain ground. Then watching a torrent of water and debris wash down the creek and leave a firm rock foundation to walk on. The dream seemed to clearly indicate it was time to move on but there would be some emotional turmoil.
I completed step three as I went to bed and surrendered the decision to the deeper self, “I release and I surrender to my highest good”. The next morning I put on some sacred music and began the check in for the answer. As I took the final five deep breaths to complete the process, I felt a sense of calm and clarity followed by a tickle on the chest that brought to mind the words, ‘I have something to get off my chest.” Interestingly I have had this occasional chest and cough irritation that I have put down to allergies but have often wondered if there was something I needed to let go of. It was a timely soul reminder and contributed to my clarity. For some reason it is time to let go of my attachment to the group and move on. To affirm my decision I drew a rune and got Wholeness, “the path you must follow not from ulterior motives but from the core of your individuality.” What an amazing affirmation! I thanked the Divine Presence for the support and giving me such a great tool to work with. It was time to move on.
Post Script: When I made the decision I had one misgiving; my friend Philip, from whom I had assumed responsibility for the group, told me it had been five years; this was completely expunged when on checking my files I found that almost exactly seven years has transpired. A much more satisfactory number for completion.