There is this chaotic moment in renovations where the content of rooms begin to infiltrate each others space. That’s what happens when we instigate change: barriers drop and boundaries blur. As a masked introvert (that’s someone who is an introvert but can play the role of an extrovert), I shy away from large gatherings, especially ones that can trigger my insecurities as a professional. Yes, I still hold a membership in the Group for Impostors and Miscellaneous Posers (GIMPs). So this mindfulness conference was a challenge at many levels and my only recourse was to find a sofa somewhere out of the scrum and curl up with sufficient determination to drive away all the other introverts.
The problem however is that deciding to go to a conference (after avoiding it successfully for 8 years) AND agreeing to present at it effectively precludes all the introvert’s strategies I’ve cultivated over the years. More than that, having cultivated a practice of being aware of the never-ceasing flow of sensations meant I couldn’t even lie to myself. Saying yes to engaging in the marketplace is by definition opting for change, being open to change, and being vulnerable to what havoc that change can wreak on the fragile self-system.
At the same time and thankfully, it opens us to confirming what is important and necessary to continue to be who we are. Who we truly are, not the clinging fearful self who emerges when threatened with loss.
This was the space I eventually entered as the myths and misperceptions of who I am as this or that flowed around me. These projections were the real impostors and posers yet it was disconcerting to see the constructed imaginings that had grown in the minds of others during my absence from the gatherings. And of course, despite recognizing them as delusions, I caught myself hopping into the minds of others trying to find that rewind and erase button. I know you’re not surprised that I was an abject failure at re-directing even one misaligned neuron.
This is the uncomfortable and crucial truth about engaging in the marketplace. Only you will know who you are. All else is constructed to serve an unknowable purpose.