Would I call it bravery?
Nah. I never think of myself as brave.
Chancy? On occasion.
Stubborn? Oh hell yes.
But Brave? It’s not a word I bestow upon myself.
But there is something about that moment.
The moment at the beginning of a session.
Any session ….a one day workshop; a week-long programme; the gathering of a dialogue group; the open-circle with no tables so we can all talk freely (which I both loathe and love at times, with its possibility for equality or exposure); the expectant, shuffling bodies in a conference room; the joyeous excitement at the Unconference, settling into a willingness to co-create and explore…….
In that moment, in the breath before the words form and the tone is set, my heart beats a solid rhythm. I can feel the pulse in my throat. The dryness of my mouth.
And I sense the adrenaline run through me. Sometimes gently: enough to mingle with the caffeine and brighten my eyes and my responses. Sometime it rips – limbs leaden yet tingling – annoyingly immobilising and distracting.
An weird internal battle that no-one bears witness to.
My body throwing up data that my mind shoo-s away.
My body whispers or sometimes yells: this is madness. This is dangerous. You are in a room full of strangers. So much is unknown. It’s not safe.
And so, as it is wired to do, it tries to protect me:
To freeze me, to allow me to run… the chemicals running about my bloodstream could make me fight-y. All options are possible in this moment.
My heart is steady. Working hard to keep me upright and functioning.
It knows there is warmth in strangers and in friends.
It knows there are no real dangers in a room of people who gather to learn.
There are gifts in offering content and what you know.
There are gifts in receiving others’ wisdom.
And I do as we all do, we who choose to speak to strangers, we who step forward to speak up and out, we who design and undesign learning, according to established rules, or wobbly experiments.
I breathe deeply and find my words.
This one is for Tony Jackson – for setting up #LDBravery challenge and for giving me more credit than I am possibly due.
You can read more from Tony here: PeopleViews and have a look under the hashtag. At the time of publishing, there are great posts from the likes of David D’Souza, David Goddin, Krystyna Gadd Janet Webb and new blogger, Alice Frame