Finding the ME in Team

September 25, 2018

Libra season has arrived: justice, beauty, peace, and relationships. This month, as we feed off the cosmic energy to build partnerships and rely on collaboration, let’s bring the focus in: where am I in the relationships in my life?

Connections require at least two participants, so bringing your truth to any interaction increases the possibility of connection. (Withholding your truth prevents connection, even when your intention is to make space for the other person.) If your truth is, “I don’t really understand why we are doing this project, so my motivation is unfocused,” maybe say that instead of, “Let’s get started!” at your team meeting. If your truth is, “At the end of our conversation yesterday, I felt like there was some tension, so I was nervous to see you today. Can we talk about that before getting started?” that’s a fair way to begin an interaction. The more we pretend that a common narrative matches our own, the farther away we get from our own truth–and from the people around us.

People are often threatened when you bring your truth. It’s much easier, in so many ways, to be a traditional team player, biting your tongue, smiling and nodding. Working in schools for thirteen years, I gained experience in determining when a leader was incompetent, disengaged, or both. The schools where I worked adhered strictly to a traditional hierarchy: principal, assistant principal, department chair, teacher, parent, student. Part of my job was to uphold that hierarchy. This meant that, when I knew a teacher had a personal vendetta against a student, it was “better” to pretend that the student was in the wrong. When I knew that a department chair was insecure in their own classroom management, it was “better” to treat them as the expert. When I knew that a principal was making decisions from a place of fear and confusion, it was “better” to compliment their innovative leadership.

Over time, prioritizing someone else’s narrative causes serious blockages. In Chinese Medicine, all disease is caused by the interruption of qi flow. If I agree to fake it for the comfort of the group, I am blocking my qi flow. If I don’t then address it and the block becomes more significant, it causes sickness: inflammation, physical discomfort, interrupted organ function (headaches, heart palpitations, sore backs). While blockage and flow occur in every channel, there is one in particular where we can focus to encourage our truth and love on the me in team.

Acupuncture PhotoThe  san jiao channel governs  the interaction of the self  and other, the internal and external.  Often when our boundaries are not respected—or  when they are unclear to ourselves—the points along  this channel ache to the touch. Tending to the flow  of qi in this channel can help us identify the line between  our truth and external expectations. In short, tending to the energy  that protects the inner from the outer helps us understand, define, and  assert ourselves.

This week, take time every day to rub your forearms and elbows. Notice if you have any achiness there, and offer special attention to those spots. (For more specific instructions, reach out. We love talking about acupuncture channels.) Tell yourself, “I take up space, and I know the line between my truth and someone else’s story.”

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