Monday, September 21, 2009

Quilting Bee #24

This darling quilt is done by Melissa!

Good morning all! It is a very chilly morning here..I have actually stoked the fire. Can you smell that delicious wood smoke..mmmmmmm! So we are cozy inside again and it is cool enough that I feel like quilting! I have set out a hearty breakfast of homemade egg sandwiches with ham or sausage and no meat at all if you prefer. Hot scones with berries and a few maple walnut and chocolate chip ones too. I have the end of the season plums and peaches to savor. Hot tea for today I think with herbal and a bit of Earl favorite. Of course there is Kona coffee and all the delicious things to add. I have racked a cozy quilt for us today. Please pull up a chair!!

I was thinking about groups this week. Groups out in the "real" world. When you join a group out there do you jump right in? Are you a leader, a follower, the quiet one, the one who really does not want to be there? Do you find it easier to join in here online? I went to a get together yesterday, led by a gal I love. I haven't been to one of their gatherings in a while..just a friendly coffee. Well..the last time I went it was..this was a bit different. I was unprepared for the serious nature of the groups makeup now. So unlike my normal self, who jumps in and is an extrovert..I sat back and observed. Totally not like me. I watched some checking out the new some of them I was new. I watched some folks try to step in and take over and step on others words and thoughts. It was a surprisingly stressful meeting. I loved seeing a few of the folks I know, but honestly felt a bit out of place.

When I was a younger woman, I really struggled with the fitting in part. I have been told I am uncommon - a nice way to say odd. I'm an artist what do ya want? I have been told I am too nice, what is too nice???? Can you be too nice? Hmmmm. I have been a leader and a follower and sometimes..I have been the one left out. I hate that..when the leader of a group for no understandable reason takes a dislike to someone. There is a responsibility that goes with leading I think..that fairness factor, that shuts down gossip and expects the best of everyone and gives it herself.

So yesterday as I sat watching the group and observing the interplay between members competing for power..I was observing my own new behaviour. Why was I sitting back and being that person that watches and speaks little. Believe me it is not me at all. What made me uncomfortable? It occurred to me in a jolt..I no longer fit here, in this group. The leader and several of the members I adore, but as a whole this was no longer my place to be. Somewhere in the last few months I think my heart knew this, but my head still felt loyalty to my dear friend. I was squirming in my seat. As I walked home I felt relief to be heading home. I also felt guilt that I didn't want to be there, I don't want to disappoint my friend.

It was then that it struck me..sometimes things just don't fit anymore, groups don't fit anymore, jobs, lifestyles, belief systems, friends. Sometimes as we grow and change we have to let go of things that hold us back, that no longer fit. Those comfortable things we have worn for so long, now feel itchy and uncomfortable. So..I am taking it off and moving on. Not from my friend whom I adore, or even some of the delightful members, just the group part. It has left me to ponder though..have I been hanging on to other things that I need to evaluate? Maybe. I don't do this without great thought..but it must be done. That deep, honest soul cleaning. I feel a bit lighter today..I really do. Would you like to share something you have let go of as you have grown?

So I think I will have a berry scone and a Kona coffee..I do love my coffee! Can I get something yummy for you? Thank you so for joining me today!! I do love it when you are here!! Namaste, Sarah


Diva Kreszl said...

Absolutely LOVE your post today!!! Very well said, I too have stopped going to groups where the dynamics no longer suited who I am at the present moment and have jumped into others where I felt led to be. As we change so do our needs, social and otherwise so of course we need to open ourselves to that change. Your words will touch many today I'm sure!

Holly said...

Sarah, my dear...

I needed to hear this today. Really needed to hear this. Thank you for being Spirit's voice for me today.

And, I know most would find this hard to believe, but I have a tendency to hang back in group situations because I find that my usual flow of easy talk can be perceived by many wrongly as a desire to commandeer the group.

I've even been told by a couple that I comment too frequently in blog land so I still get smacked. I've learned to keep my pie-hole zipped but obviously not enough for some!

Love You!

Emmy said...

What a great post. It is hard when we have to make change in life, even when we want to.. but ultimately it is for good. Good for you for recognizing and realizing what was happening.
Some groups really aren't any fun.
I used to try and be the leader of the group, but as I have grown and matured I have been able to relinquish that and let others have their say. I don't feel like I have to step in with, well this is happening in my life. I share when I need to and just listen when I need to.... well at least that is what I try and do (sometimes old habits are hard to break)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Sarah, What a beautiful example for us all of observation, awareness, self-examination, struggle, and finally arriving at inner-knowing, re-evaluating and making a choice.

You could not be you and do otherwise - it would be too inauthentic. And I'm sure the choices you make that involve others, are done with grace and compassion.

Groups are a challenge despite the rewards they offer. There are always power stuggles (control) and inclusion/exclusion issues.

You've encouraged me to do some thinking about what I need to let go of today . . . there are a couple of things that have been tweaking me - needing some examination. Thanks!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Another great quilting bee, Sarah. As we grow, we always long to carry the past with us instead of letting go and understanding that it was a learning experience. We weren't meant to stay the same and perhaps that is why the groups dynamics had changed as well.

I can say that most of the groups that I have been in are fairly harmonious with an across the board interaction. I sometimes find myself zipping shut for fear that I may come across in a manner that I did not want. One of the hardest lessons to do in a group...and life for that LISTEN. Be it your inward self or outward appearance.
Happy Monday!!!

lakeviewer said...

I'm still admiring that beautiful quilt you display. Groups have their own dynamic and it can be a struggle for any leader to keep things peaceful. In my writers' group, one person offended another; they both left the group on their own accord. We miss them both; but we have no way of controlling who comes and who goes in these meetings.

Snap said...

I've learned that I don't have to *fit*. That I'm me. Take That! ;D said...

Once again you've hit the nail on the head for me. In very recent years I've been learning that it's okay if I change and no longer "fit in" to certain groups I once did.

What a loving reminder (:

Grace said...

This post hits the spot. Last year when our family moved to a new city, I left behind the comfort of my friends and my groups. I had to find new ones. It took some experimenting. I found myself totally out of place in a few way too conservative home school groups. I found my fit...after a few months. Found a group and some friends. It was a reminder, like this post, that sometimes we are forced to find new places to be comfortable like when we move. But we also should re-evaluate as time goes by.

My free time is limited, with two small children, a husband that works alot, and home schooling. So, I only want to spend that free time with people I enjoy, in places and situations that make me feel good, happy, content, and interested.

Anyway, sorry to blather on. I love this post and appreciate the eloquent reminder.

Margo said...

beautiful quilt and thanks for the tasty breakfast!I have found that the window of time when I fit in any group doesn't stay open long - as soon as it feels incredibly right, something changes. I don't know - perhaps it is me?

clairedulalune said...

I loved reading this Sarah! Thank you!

Sharon said...

Oh my thoughts exactly. Sharon

Phyllis said...

Hi Sarah,

I've just discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading your post.

I'm one of those extraverts who jump up in a room full of strangers saying "I'll help with that!". Sometimes it's a very wise thing to sit and observe...

I like to quilt too, along with garden and paint and other things. I'll visit again soon. Right now I want to read through some of your older posts to get to know you a little. :)

Buttercup said...

I belong to two groups, both for more than a decade. I took a breather from one last year to catch my breath and see if it still worked for me. It did and I am happily back. The other group is going through real changes. I'm actually putting in more energy, to see if extra effort will keep it going. Only time will tell here. As I've gotten older I've found it easier to shed older things that don't work anymore and leave room for the new. Thanks for the scone and for stopping by. Both are yummy treats.

Sherry Byrum said...

I absolutely could relate to every sentence. Going through some of the changes you mentioned myself! I could never say it as good as you did so I will just say Ditto!!

Well said!!
Love and hugs!!!!

GABRIELA said...

Well, I can see you woke many people up to new questions and searching inside one's soul! I did try to belong...for quite some time...but I gave up the moment I realized I am a loner, not a to say! With other words, I like to choose my company and have the feeling I'm at home with those people. If the feeling is not there, I quit.
Our lives are short, I feel we should not scatter the bit we've been given!
I prefer to think of what I can do to help people....there are so many who NEED just a kind word!