Many years ago I worked with a public agency, improving communications within one of the departments. I had an in-house departmental contact person coordinating some of my activities who, like me, was passionate about positive organizational change. At some point after the completion of my work, I learned there had been problems again in the department and she had lost her job. I didn’t know all the circumstances, but clearly she had been blamed for “stirring the pot” in her organization and became at odds with the leadership. I was not too surprised for I knew the top person in the department and he seemed very easily hijacked by his emotions and judgments. It was some time after that, maybe a year, that I ran into my contact again. After her separation, she had gone on a long trip to Indonesia. She told me about her interest in psychic matters and their relationship to workplace culture, including what she described as “organizational vortices of positive and negative energies.” While on her trip she had even asked a healer to tell her whether she appeared to have any psychic power herself. He took her by the hand, and after a few minutes she was overcome by waves of heat coursing through her body. She broke into a big sweat. “You have plenty of power,” the healer said.
I tell this story because it reflects two sides of life from which we can learn: mistakes and vision. Clearly something had happened. There had been problems in her relationships at work, and she had been blamed and held at fault. But there was also another energy, the energy of her vision for organizations, and that vision took her to an entirely new place where she might awaken more deeply to her own power. We don’t even have to be talking in literal terms about psychic power, just the power to be ourselves, to follow our paths and trust them, to do what we need to do as we move through experience. That there is blame and fault is tremendously painful, but to also see this blame and fault fall away and the “good medicine” return is the breath of inspiration. It would be wonderful if we could only focus on what is positive and good, if events never turned out badly, if positive energies would always prevail, if there was a universal alternative to dealing with too many snakes on a narrow road. But that is a fantasy. Sometimes we must go through the challenge, deal with the venom just as it is, and hold on, trusting that no matter what we face or which way we turn, in the end wisdom will find us.