May The Force Be With You

According to Wookiepedia, The Force is an energy created by all living things.  And as I was saying in the previous post, Our Thoughts Become Things, my thoughts were becoming some very unhelpful things. I was drifting to the Dark Side.

Meanwhile, our cohort, as our class of 24 people is called, was heading for a night on the town at a local restaurant to eat, drink, and be merry. Great, but I had Socially Awkward Salad for dinner last night. No thanks. Instead I opted for some solitude and an opportunity to visit some ghosts who live on the campus where Davey H 1.0 was built. I visited all the nooks and crannies that I knew so well as a student and from my past delivering food to fellow students experiencing major munchies. here were no great revelations. The past was the past. On the other hand, when I checked my watch and saw that it was relatively early I decided, what the hell, I’ll go check out the scene at the aforementioned student soiree. There’s always more room for some Socially Awkward Salad.  As the fun had already started it would probably be easy to slip in and slip out.

Good choice. My cohort made me feel like Norm walking into Cheers. I’ve said it enough times.  My cohorts are accomplished, smart and engaging. Now I need to add that they are warm, fun, and vibrant. All the ingredients were there for another awkward night but Chef Davey H 1.0 must have been chopped and version 2.0 showed up instead. I had a great time and this set the stage for the next day of class.

The highlight of our final day was another triad coaching session in which we were to apply everything we learned during the week. In addition to the usual teammates, one of the instructors (not the one I unintentionally challenged) also watched our group. I went last and thanks to a better attitude, I decided I’m going to pull a little Jedi magic on this one. Much like Luke Skywalker when he’s trained how to use the lightsaber, I put a sort of blindfold on. I wasn’t going to worry about Open Ended Questions, Reflections, Assessing, Establishing Readiness to Change, or any of that. I was going to have a conversation and do what feels right. It was liberating. When my time was up, I really felt like I got it. The feedback from the instructor confirmed that feeling. I was even called a “natural coach.” Dammit, I can do this thing.

At the end of the day, and therefore the end of the week, we were each asked to say something to the group about the week. And for reasons that are beyond the scope of this post (or of anyone’s attention span), we were to drop a potato into a bowl as a symbol of leaving something behind (e.g. fear, doubt, etc.) . We were supposed to say what we were leaving behind. My contribution was again to reiterate how impressed I am by my fellow students. Despite my well known stoicism, my voice got trembly and eyes welled up while I was doing it. I only saved myself by making a lame joke in the end by tossing my potato in the bowl and announcing that I was leaving behind carbohydrates.

As we gathered our belonging and said our individual goodbyes, I went up to the instructor who I challenged. Thinking we’d move on, I just went up to thank her and say goodbye. However, she took the opportunity to thank me and tell me what a lovely thing I did. I wan’t sure whether she meant my challenge or the subsequent apology but I was kind of speechless so it just kind of laid there.

I jumped in the car and headed home. With iPhone on shuffle the song Architects by Rise Against came on. It serves as a perfect anthem for people who thought they could change the world, got overcome by events, but haven’t given up.

By the way. If you find yourself in Durham, NC, do visit the Beyu Caffe. That’s where our group went on Thursday night. I didn’t eat there but I hear the food was great. They had a live jazz band and they were amazing. The regulars mingled easily with our group and it was a very cool and welcoming atmosphere. We’re already making plans to go back during our February session.

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