By invitation only

Going to Gabriola Island to learn more about relationships with the Inner Activist and others was an invitation I made to myself.

In writing, I proceed mostly by invitation these days. The energy called forward in the process conjuring up my words for specific readers often helps ground me.

This is not the kind of writer I thought I would be. But I still like it.

There is safety in accepting an invitation, as my writing will have a home. My earliest writing was done in secret. I wrote pixel-faced arson and fragments of lives dispersed after everyone else had gone to sleep, or when I was sure no one else in the quiet room at the library was looking. Some invitations come only from oneself.

Going to Gabriola Island to learn more about relationships with the Inner Activist and others was an invitation I made to myself. A few days before leaving for the Haven to attend Building Strong & Respectful Relationships, I shared with friends that I was excited, but also a bit nervous.

It wasn't that I worried I wouldn't learn anything, or that I wouldn't get along with the group. It was that I felt conscious of wanting to connect well with fellow participants and feared feeling lonely in the company of others. This is a feeling I work to avoid.

The only times I've found feeling lonely in the midst of a group useful is at the end of a project when a group disbands, it has made it easier to move on. These days I'm drawn to long term projects and growing with others, rather than living my life a few months at a time and needing to regroup constantly. So if loneliness rears its head while I'm at a party or a conference, I feel distressed.

During Building Strong and Respectful Relationships, I did not learn in secret. Confidentiality was in place, but even so, I felt quite vulnerable working through some relationship challenges in groups.

Even though my personal breed of existential angst didn't rear its head at the Inner Activist it still does show up sometimes. But the teaching from the group has given me so many tools to articulate and explore fears I've often let hold me back. I feel encouraged to continue down this path of connection.

Many thanks to the June 2015 crew for a memorable and enriching week!