Disaggregating Self In An Era Of Division

This post shares a personal reflection by the author as I contemplate what these shifts in perspective mean for new content I may begin to share here.

For years, I’ve carved off pieces of myself to fit within the mold of the expectations each required.

  • My leadership silo remained in the professional fields of my organizations, teaching, and LinkedIn.
  • My spiritual practice and entrepreneurship remained in the social fields of my blog, social media accounts for myself and my products, my newsletter, 1:1 sessions, product development and crowdfunding/preorders/shop.
  • My writing endeavours lived in both silos, but only in the ways that each expected. For decades, I had silenced my artistic writing abilities and impulse.

The reality is that my combination of neurodivergence always demands engagement in multiple endeavours.

  • For example, I take deep interest in systemic issues, art and crafting, sustainable and high-performing people-centered leadership, spiritual practice in everyday life, anti-oppression as well as various forms of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. For many folks, this may seem an unexpected array of topics. And yet each of those is a passion of mine.
  • Of course, these are in addition to my resume which speaks to my two decades of work experience across a broad range of fascinating topics such as intergovernmental relations and negotiations; organizational strategic planning and operations; policy development; program design, development and delivery; regulatory development, implementation and oversight; municipal affairs in the areas of municipal finance, capital planning; urban and regional planning and development, housing, infrastructure, transfer payment agreements/contracts and funding applications; Northern and Arctic issues; unincorporated area finance and governance; and, the list goes on.
  • None of these speak to my decades of volunteering in other areas of interest such as youth and child services, mentoring and coaching, and Tourette Syndrome.

This compartmentalization worked for a long time

As a high-masking Autistic, I was able to make this compartmentalization believable. I almost believed it myself. And the speed at which the neurons in my Tourette brain fire means that I could keep up doing all these pursuits separately for years.

Until I was hit with a long, nasty case of vertigo that I just couldn’t kick. At the time of writing this (thank goodness for dictation technology and help from kind people), I am implementing the medically-advised treatment of this serious and ongoing vertigo with relentless determination and optimism.

Isn’t it interesting that it took several months of completely losing my ability to balance, walk and view the world with steadiness, to rediscover the foundational aspects of myself that I’ve always known?

Living the Personal Alchemy I believe

For years, I have firmly believed that we are whole people with whole lives. I’ve believed in what I call Personal Alchemy, which is the alignment and harmony of our tangible, emotional, mental and spiritual selves. And as a leader, I’ve striven for years to create environments where teams could be their whole selves at work.

While I have tried to lead by example in each part of my life, it became clear over time in each silo that I was only showing up as a part of myself. In doing so, over time, I inadvertently betrayed the other aspects of myself that needed to be present and congruent.

That’s why I’m now disaggregating my practices and communications. You may notice a few changes around here as a result.

Do I know what this will look like?

At this point, no, I really don’t know what this will look like.

But I’ve also learned throughout my personal pursuits and career that we can’t always wait until we have it all figured out before we proceed with something new. Sometimes we need to get working on a goal while we tweak and adapt along the way as we learn.

I hope you’ll stick around, even if out of morbid curiosity. Or maybe because you may notice some overlap or resonance with your own experiences or observations of the world around you.

In a world that increasingly categorizes, contrasts and divides, I think there is so much more possibility in the richness of unexpected combinations. After all, a cake is much more delicious than flour, baking powder or granulated sugar on their own!

If you’re interested in following along, I invite you to sign up my blog’s newsletter at acornandburdock.ca. It’s the best place to stay up to date, and unlike social media platforms that rely on algorithms built on previous eras’ assumptions (or can just disappear without notice or consent), you’ll be able to access the content that is available by category or posted date.

If you’re curious in the meantime, I invite you to explore the blog a little. I don’t have any creative writing material there at this time, but there is lots of useful and thought-provoking content across a range of topics such as leadership, Tarot, spiritual development and achieving goals.

If you made it this far, thanks for your time and energy! I hope you enjoy the content I’ve created over time as you explore the blog.

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