I attended a conference last weekend and got so stoked on all the intellectual stimulation. I need this, above and beyond emotional sustenance - I need that engagement in higher levels of critical thinking. It was great to have such a meeting of the minds.
I met someone at this event who had also attended the MAPS conference over the summer. He and I both agreed that this organization is a strange mix of dreamers and schemers. The dreamers are the big thinkers whose ideas and experiments inspire and drive the direction of the movement. Yet the everyday running of things seems to be controlled by the schemers, who have nothing original to offer, but seeing this pot of gold in front of them, they want to control it and bask in the glow of those with true power.
The schemers were ego tripping, politicking, power grabbing. The dreamers seemed to float above it, letting the schemers carry them through their execution of the mundane tasks required. Meanwhile, the schemers fought amongst themselves, vying for the opportunity to be the best handler, as if they could somehow own the dreamers. It was strange to observe these two parallel worlds functioning together. I am sure this sort of structure is quite common in ventures where there are powerful idea-makers and a wealth of creativity that needs to be managed.
In the trenches now for the first time as a beginning counselor, I am finding it gratifying and incredibly intense. This new challenge may be less glamorous than D/s sessions, yet in many ways it is a fitting extension of the interpersonal growth work which began for me in the dungeon.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that it has been books of my own choosing, not those assigned in my classes, which have really furthered my understanding of human nature. The topics of these books, such as lucid dreaming, neuro linguistic programming (NLP), enneagram personality system, and non-violent communication (NVC) are considered too left field, too new or too "pop psychology" to be included in the required coursework. It makes sense then that this would be where the real learning takes place, and that it would require self-motivation, initiative and creative research to find. The good stuff rarely ever just falls into your lap!
As I have continued on in my studies and practice, I am becoming more certain that my path will lead me towards a focus on life enhancement and optimal actualization, rather than pathology. While I feel privileged to be in the midst of such a role at the moment, my life has been so much about pursuing excellence and going beyond the baseline of success to an even higher level of fulfillment. I am looking forward to integrating the knowledge I have gleened from my eclectic explorations into a coaching and training role.