When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret • Shannon L. Alder
I know someone who was put in a situation like this only recently. He not only spoke his mind but also consciously decided that nothing has the power to throw him off the chosen path and I admire him for his strength and determination.
See, my dear friend joined a group of people who decided to make a major change in their lives. They were working hard for more than twenty weeks: weekly webinars, daily reading assignments, weekly blogging and networking with other participants of a program.
I will not go into details here, but for the sake of clarity I want you to understand that the program was designed to help people discover their hidden potential and to develop so called Master Mind.
My friend is a man of exceptional qualities and integrity. He is a former Marine who served in the Vietnam War at a very young age. He worked on B1 Lancer and also in the Space Shuttle Program at the Space Center in Florida but is very humble about his personal achievements. He joined the above mentioned program out of personal need for change. And he worked diligently reading, writing and networking.
The Master Mind program is a very powerful tool and it requires a lot of self-discipline. Some people drop out after first few weeks when they realize that this is not what they expected, others will not bother to do what they were asked to do. Not even for themselves. But not my dear friend. He worked hard from the very beginning despite the fact that he works full time, has a long distance relationship and has to take care of three young, demanding animals.
The program requires a great dose of introspection and at some point, as participants progress in their self-discovery, they are forced to change their entire life philosophy. The entire framework of habits and beliefs collapses as they look deeper and deeper into their souls. Personal growth and transformation are very painful processes at any age, but I believe that fully formed adults suffer more than young people. They have to revise and reevaluate everything they have learned and done in their lives, and have to face incredible resistance to change that comes from within. They have to overcome the strong temptation to give up and return to a safe zone. Only the very strong and determined participants continue despite a genuine emotional pain.
The inner change is often accompanied by cascading events in participant’s life that make the day to day existence even more unbearable and yet they try to follow the program despite the doubts that appear from time to time.
This was what happened to my dear friend after the last assignment. The inner struggle slowed him down and he did not publish his latest blog-post on time as it was required of him. What followed next borders on ridicule and reminds me of a first grade school experience. He was told that he was disturbing the harmony and was punished with exclusion from the program like a first grade pupil who got suspended from school for misbehaving. Rules are rules and you will be punished if you don’t follow them.
The most interesting thing in the whole situation is that my dear friend did not break down. He is so strong and so wise, and so much beyond the framework of the program! I believe that he simply arrived at the crossroads where the program did not work for him anymore. He had the courage to speak his mind and I admire him for that. The “punishment” only precipitated his decision to continue walking on his own chosen path.
I do not have to right to make a judgment about the program but as an objective observer I have an opinion and it is a valid one. The whole program sets inner processes in motion and participants are left alone without much psychological support when catharsis occurs unexpectedly. Most participants face their pain bravely and what they need is empathy and support, not punishment and exclusion. On the other hand, many people face punishment, exclusion and power play in their daily lives and such “mistreatment” may only strengthen participants who were let go. Twenty weeks earlier they might have become depressive but now they are strong enough to deal with the situation and maybe even laugh about it.
By Dominique Allmon