David’s story of developing leadership skills through his participation in a twelve-week course (now the Breakthrough Confidence Group), discovering how to release the destructive power of anger into creativity.
Taking the Lead
In the first session, you asked us all to say what we wanted of the group. I remember saying I wanted the unexpected – and I got plenty of that.
I loved the freedom of being asked to make a sound which represented how we felt and being able to let rip with a blood-curdling scream. After the first time, I learned to warn the group that something loud might be about to emerge.
The group touched some deep places in me. When I played the child Krishna, my “mother” banished me from the house as a punishment for some naughtiness; and that brought up the deep desolation of my own childhood when I was punished by my mother’s withdrawal from me, or being sent to my room.
Being in my Strength
I think one of the strongest growing points for me was the experience of taking the lead when we had to plan a piece of performance as a whole group. I asked everyone what they wanted and adjudicated some disagreements in order to bring the discussion to a conclusion.
I felt I was being “bossy”, but I perceived that others respected me for my leadership, for being “in my strength”. That was a real eye-opener for me, seeing how my self-criticism could cramp me from doing things which others admired and benefited from.
That has been an important lesson for me, and I have gradually taken more responsibility in my work and trusted myself more. I have pushed for my job to be re-graded and I am being paid more money! The money is not the main point, but it reflects my increased confidence in myself.
Transforming Anger into Creative Energy
The other really memorable aspect of the group was the weeks of battle between the gods and demons. I was the leader of the gods (well, I was one of the gods, I felt myself to be the most important one!), whilst another participant was Jisefra, the Goddess of Misfortune, the leader of the demons.
One of the teaching points of the story was that the gods had to be underhand and cheat, being pure and good all the time was getting them nowhere.
I so enjoyed outwitting Jysefra by making the sacrifice in an underhand way (against the view of some of my fellow gods – sometimes you can’t wait for consensus, you’ve got to act) and then coming into hand-to-hand combat with Jysefra, whirling round the room with her, blocking her, containing her in a “mountain” of black cloth.
The dance of the “demonic” and “good” energies – especially the power of “destructive” energies such as anger to release good creative energy – has been a theme I have been continuing to explore in my relationships.
I enjoyed the playfulness of the group, rolling around on the floor, creating our own games, folding up the lengths of fabric at the end of the session, doing daft things dressed up in silly clothes. It was great!