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When Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and The Blade was first published almost thirty years ago, the feminist revolution had already taken hold of many of Earth’s Sixties Children and imbued us with optimism concerning our ability to create a socially just world. Cynics called our vision ridiculous as they made passionate arguments about innate human violence and stupidity. But those of us schooled in Eisler’s Chalice vision felt called to forge a new way of being in the world, something she called The Partnership Way. Partnerships, she illustrated vividly, were the antidote to the Dominator model we call patriarchy (learn more about Eisler’s Partnership Way studies at http://www.partnershipway.org/.) Power With rather than Power Over became our focus, and no matter our backgrounds and talents, we took this model to our homes, to our workplaces, and to our streets. Since first reading Chalice, I have countless times experienced the transforming powers of a Partnership focus; in my home, in my classrooms, in my workshops, and in my coaching sessions, I have found partnering with others brings the deepest satisfaction and the most exciting results. Tapping has increased my insights into the value of a Partnership focus, since this tool supports my first and foremost partnership, the one I have with myself.
What is a Partnership with the Self?
We answer this question most clearly by listing our needs, our strengths, and our values. Partnering with the self means intimate knowledge of these three categories. Our needs include our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual requirements – the habits that support our health and well being at every level. These habits include the choices we make regarding food, exercise, work, and general scheduling. On a personal note, I am an introvert; this means that I recharge my energies in solitude. I make sure my schedule provides this solitude in order to support feeling spiritually attuned with my highest values of agency and caring in all areas of my life. You may be an extrovert, a person who recharges with others. Your scheduling will likely reflect your need for frequent social gatherings.
Tuning in to Needs
Listing the Self’s needs can be a daunting task. Our current culture, by design and by default, teaches us to be extrinsically motivated; ads urge us to buy things to feel complete, beautiful, powerful, and better than others; these ads and urges feed the ego. A Partnership Culture teaches how to be intrinsically motivated by cultivating our unique Self through reflection and habit, and by always keeping our values in mind. If we value health and well being for ourselves and our planet, then we will tune into the need for a specific way of life, one that fits our need for harmony with others and the Earth. This sounds like an easy process, but often it is not because we have allowed external influences to shout down our own inner guidance system.
For example in a class recently, a student said that when recycling was convenient, he did it gladly, but that when it required effort on his part, he let it slide. In making this admission, he saw clearly that his current need for convenience superseded his need for sustainability. Having the conversation revealed his needs conflicts and began the reflective process that may lead him to change his recycling behaviours.
Tapping to tune in to the Self’s needs is a great place to begin. Our tapping language can be as simple as: “I want to tune in to my unique needs; I want to be conscious regarding my needs; I want to know what I desire from life; I want to open the door to regular self reflection about my needs; I want to learn to care for my Self and in the process, connect meaningfully with others and my natural environment.”
Tapping on this kind of generic opening will clear other voices from the mind, heart, and spirit. Keeping a journal and a pen at hand will help to keep track of insights as these surface. Tapping on “I trust this process of discovery; I am ready to tune into my own guidance; I value my own wisdom; I trust this process of partnership with my Self,” will provide focus and energy to continue this journey of self discovery.
Tuning in to Strengths
In the same manner, when we sit in silence and ask ourselves what we love to do, the answer we receive will point us toward our strengths. For example, I love to write, to teach, and to help others tune into their own needs, strengths, and values. Because I love to do these things, I do them every day. Because I do them every day, I become more sensitive to the subtle nuances that make each of these activities more or less successful. And, because I tune into the process each time I am engaged in one or the other of these activities, I have a means of evaluating a class, or a coaching session, or a workshop, or a piece of writing; if something went amiss, I can examine the process and make changes for next time. If something went extremely well, I can add specific suggestions to my list of essentials as I prepare for the next writing session, class, coaching client, or workshop.
If you find yourself doing something you dislike or feeling alienated from your need to earn money, chances are you have the opportunity to discover the thing you love to do with a simple round of tapping. Something like the following is a good place to start: “I want to love my work; I want something that feeds my soul; I want something that supports me economically; I want work that is of positive use to others and that helps to heal our natural environment; I want work that utilizes my strengths; my passion is one of my strengths. What do I love to do? How can I do more of it?”
If you find yourself in a work position you dislike, I counsel you to resist the urge to quit your job without first lining up other work. Quitting work prematurely will only create a crisis that will distract you from discovering how to best partner with your Self. I give this advice to every client and student unhappy in her or his work. Listing the positives and negatives of a current work opportunity is a great place to begin to transform a situation. After this list is complete, assessing the positives in terms of your strengths – your passion or enthusiasm being your number one strength – is helpful. There may be parts of your work that are deeply satisfying. You now have an opportunity to discover how to emphasize those parts that will utilize more of your strengths and this will lead you to a new vision of how you can earn the best living possible, the living aligned with your needs, your strengths, and your values.
A Word About Self Induced Crisis
Most people are familiar with creating a crisis in order to make change. Sometimes we learn this way of creating change in childhood and so we simply have not learned how to create change differently. Sometimes we learn this way of making change in adulthood, in abusive personal or professional relationships. As a person with experience creating change through personal crisis, I advise against this course of action. Quitting a job you dislike certainly requires the search for other work, but this search is often frantic and driven by despair. Staying where you are professionally in order to calmly assess your needs, strengths, and values is more likely to create a smooth transition to work that gratifies. I know; it is easier said than done, especially when we have operated in crisis mode for a long time. However, learning to partner with the Self through Tapping and the reflection process is a much more effective way to create the change we desire, a change in line with our needs, strengths, and values, a positive change that brings stability and joy. Resisting the urge to quit can be strengthened with the following script: “I want to quit; I’m so ready to quit; but I don’t need a crisis; I need a calm transition; even though I’m ready to quit, I trust myself to find work that meets my needs, uses my strengths, and is in line with my values; I don’t have to quit; I can work this out and make changes calmly and respectfully; I trust this process of reflection; I trust myself; I trust myself to find great work calmly and efficiently; I trust my Self and my partnership skills.”
Tapping to Discover Our Values
If we have always been extrinsically motivated – by status, money, job descriptions, clothing, cars, and the “right” relationships and address – we may flounder when it comes to reflecting on our values. This topic requires a roomy, exploratory approach, one I will develop in my next post. Look for Partnership Culture – Part Two in a week’s time. In the meantime, tapping to discover your needs and strengths will bring insight and joy to all areas of your life. Happy tapping.
Until next week
Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Advanced Practitioner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-533-9277
Jane is a Learning Coach specializing in neutralizing cultural age, gender, and race constructs to support learners of every age. To engage her coaching services, please contact Jane by phone (802) 533-9277 or email, email@example.com. Be sure to put Coaching Query in the subject line.