Friday, March 29, 2019

What’s Your Cause? A Birthday Challenge


I shared with Paul Warner that for my 60th birthday I wanted to do a vertical ski challenge.   He said, “Great! Let’s do 60,000 vertical in a day!”

Yikes! So I did a little research and math and wouldn’t you know, it is actually possible! It’ll be about 30 big mountain laps over 6-7 hours.  So we rallied his family and a few others and will be on the first chair at Beaver Creek Saturday morning. It’s a totally arbitrary target, and has been fun to prep for. “60 for 60!”

The valuable part for me is simply the process of joining together with some good friends to see if we can rise to the physical and mental challenge. But is there a greater purpose or cause? Should we be “skiing to end hunger” or raising $60,000 for some other charitable effort? We could do that, and certainly have at other times. But no, this time the cause is friendship. I believe in the value and importance of meaningful, authentic, intimate, and treasured friends... and am committed in my life to make the world a friendlier place for all. So, here’s to good friends. May we each value what we have over what we don’t, and connect well with ourselves and a few others along the way.

Onward!

V

Sunday, March 10, 2019

It’s Not Safe Here!

I was debriefing a meeting that I had attended with another guy and he made the comment, “That meeting was totally unsafe.”

Really? I felt very comfortable in my skin, knew what I was about, had clear boundaries. Wouldn’t have judged it “totally unsafe” as he had. But, it was his judgment. His experience. His emotional response, perhaps. And, he didn’t own it that way. To him, “that meeting was totally unsafe.”

Well, there’s a lot of talk about safe and unsafe people. Or, places where you feel safe. Or groups that are safe. “I don’t feel safe with you” is a common statement in relationship.

But then, is “safe” really a feeling, an emotion? Is it Anger? Sadness? Fear? Joy? Huh. Maybe “safe” isn’t so much an emotion as it is a judgment or an observation about what is going on inside of you. So, a good question to get to the root of it would be, “when I judge that I am unsafe, how am I feeling?”

My guess is that the emotion most often connected to safety is fear. I feel fear when I judge that I am at risk of getting hurt- hurt emotionally or hurt physically. So, the clear statement about the meeting might be, “I felt some fear around the possibility of betrayal or loss at that meeting…” or something like that.

And, if “I am feeling unsafe with you”, I might want to own it as, “When I am with you, I feel fear. I make up a story that I might be betrayed in some way because that has happened before. I know it’s just my story, and it’s my feeling of fear…”

When I can own my emotion… in this case fear… I become empowered then to take action, to set a boundary, to take 100% responsibility for what is happening in my life, to step from victim into maturity and to clarify my want… in short, to be me.

Am I Listening?

A while back, someone said to me, “Wow, Vince, you’re such a good listener!”  It made me wonder what it’s like to be a bad listener!  So, I ...