My fifth out of six EOL leadership weekends was the best one yet in terms of the experience of being there and how I feel coming out of it. One remarkable thing that happened was that I asked one of the men for feedback on when I shared the vulnerable experience with the whole group the prior weekend. I had felt very raw coming out of that and realized that I needed to receive reflection and reassurance that what I shared would be honored and held with care. I received all that and more, including his perception that all the men in the circle were tuned in to what I was saying and trying to hold space for me, and that what I shared mirrored a thread of what they had shared in the men's circle. It was a truly wonderful and generous conversation and met all my needs for reassurance and care. I feel so grateful.
Another significant insight was that I often feel the need to be "on" in my life and am scanning everyone looking for a connection. This is exhausting, as is working to have everyone - including all my students - like me. Not everyone will like me! And I don't need to connect with everyone as I move through my day or walk across campus. No wonder I come home from work and need to crash! So my intention is to, as corny as it may sound, befriend myself and let myself off the hook to some degree. I want to be my authentic self, and that includes being "on" at times and tuned in to my students, being playful, as well as being more quiet and inward at times - taking opportunities to be alone and "recharge" my energy.
On a lighter note, we also crawled, skipped, galloped and ran all around the property in our pod groups acting like various species of animals exploring nature. It was silly and playful and there was lots of laughter. At one point, we crashed in the grass of the meadow and exclaimed that being an animal was exhausting! For the rest of the time, we just made animal sounds from a reclining position, including those of fish and sharks. I am definitely feeling comfortable and a sense of trust with the "village" now that is really wonderful.
In ongoing dating adventures, I let the last guy I went on a date with know that I didn't feel there was quite enough attraction there to continue seeing each other romantically. Not surprisingly, he wasn't interested in the friends track. I have also been emailing with a couple other guys, both of whom seem more attractive and interesting to me. I will likely talk to one of them on the phone today or tomorrow afternoon. He suggested we talk on the phone after I asked him a couple questions about something he wrote in his profile about "8-hour parties," attending Burning Man, and being bohemian, as well as having a more regular Joe side. I happen to know he works in strategic planning/public policy and is not a total flake, but I'm not sure what he means when he says these things... he recently went to a wedding in LA and said his group of friends hung out by the pool talking and did some dancing, so it didn't sound too crazy. You just never know here in the Bay Area. :) I'll let you know what I find out and whether we end up meeting this Sunday. He also surfs, which I find trés sexy...
The second guy is very cute, has a Ph.D. focusing in part on psychology, describes himself as athletic... and, comes with his own issue of possible concern: He says he has food/other allergies and gets migraines on a regular basis which somewhat limit his activities. Kudos to him for being up front about it, but it's a little worrisome to know from the start that your partner is limited in the activities they can participate in with you. He said in his profile that he would encourage his girlfriend to go do things with friends, but companionship in life - including in social and cultural activities - are a big part of the fun of relationship for me. So, I also look forward to learning more about this topic when he and I meet next Wednesday.
Other than that, just generally enjoying Spring Break this week and the gorgeous weather we're having! Hope you all are having a good week, too.