In one of my first coaching sessions, I was asked to think about the past when I let negative thoughts, feelings, actions and inactions take over me. Didn’t take long :) And once I had done this, I was to try and look at this as an entity – a pet, person or a thing and then have the fun with giving this a name. So after some contemplation, I decided to name the side of me I often pretended wasn’t there, “Miss Moss”.
Why you may ask? Since I aptly named this blog “The Garden of Nat”, I began to notice that this side also grew in my garden, but a little differently to how the other plants were. This plant ‘moss’ grew only in darkness and when the light was shone on the moss, it actually stopped growing. By turning the light on, I was able to get Natalie and “Miss Moss” on better terms with each other, rather than being enemies.
And so in a conversation with my brother the other day, I started recalling how my week had been. I had explained what I learnt about communication http://nataliesgarden.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/art-of-war/ and how I joined a leadership group with an organization called Acumenfund. After a little while, I was asked to think about some things I had been getting annoyed about specifically to communication. I said one pet peeve I have is when the person I am speaking with is very argumentative, not listening to what I have to say, is not being open minded and not open to new ideas etc. As quick as that, my brother said underneath that is a value that is important but you cannot see because of the annoyance you are feeling and also because its not really socially acceptable to just come out and say it. What is it??? You have a strong need to be right. Gulp! No defences…yeah (small voice), I do. “Well that’s not a problem, its how you go about doing it that can be”. Really? “Well, if you are trying to be always right in your relationship, then you will continually face the same issues. Your desire to be right cannot be fulfilled just from your relationship, it needs to come from more places in your life. How about going to trivia (I do like that), learning something you are interested in and feel you are more educated in it so you have that feeling of being right”. Double gulp! This definitely rang true and was important for me to be aware of this, otherwise this need will never be fulfilled by another person and I will keep trying to fit that circle puzzle piece in the square hole.
Ok I felt he was a magician and wondering what was going to come out of the hat next. So I kept on. Well, I get pretty frustrated when I see people treated unfairly or as an insubordinate. “Why?” Well, I like to see everyone as connected and don’t think anyone should put themselves above anybody else. “So you want everyone to be validated”… Yeah…well I guess I can see how that applies to me, as I do want the same thing for myself from others. Wow, like magic.
Lastly, I get annoyed by obnoxious people who flaunt they know it all, don’t care what other people think and don’t seem authentic in my eyes. “Well this can be about attention. It seems it may be something that is a value to you, but you haven’t really pursued. I know you go to dance classes, this can be a way for you to get attention for something you enjoy and are good at. Not a bad thing, its actually expressing itself in a great way”. As we wrapped up our conversation in the early hours of the Canadian morning, I was left with quite a few things to ponder. Such things were simple, yet so perspective changing.
I learnt that it is ok that I have the desire to be right, to be validated and get attention. Though to make this even more powerful and beautiful is to join this with my other values I can easily share such as being a communicator, connector of people and champion for others. I believe this is the yin and yang, Scooby and Shaggy and heart and soul of doing what we are meant to be doing here. Using all our qualities without labels of good or bad as each side has something so powerful and beneficial that is dependent on each other.
So I welcome the spot light on Miss Moss and allowing some of her to continue to grow in the darkness, as long as she is landlocked by sun loving plants as a balance in my garden, means a balance in my life.
If you had the chance to name your other side, what would it be?