Scarcity, Abundance, and Balance
It seems like it was just last week when I sat down to share more with you about the month of February, and yet here we are, at the end of March. The snow still hasn't let up, and I have to assume you're as tired of hearing about it as I am of seeing it.
With that said, if you pay attention, you'll notice that the sky is beginning to change, letting us know that spring is on the horizon.
March is often one of the busiest months for my work, and this year was no different.
Things kicked off with a trip to Colorado to deliver training for the City of Boulder's Open Space & Mountain Parks Department Crew Leaders. It was a jam-packed day of learning and play, including discussions of situational leadership, Mind Styles, adult learning theory, and tools for difficult conversations. The feedback was very positive, and I hope to return again.
After sneaking in a bit of time with my family in the area, I returned to Montana and traveled to Helena to deliver the opening plenary session for this year's ServeMontana Symposium. This is Montana's annual gathering of AmeriCorps members from around the state, where I've delivered plenary sessions for close to ten years. It's a highlight of my spring. This year I discussed how to develop a Time Investing Mindset, which was anchored in the concept of Ikigai. The following day, I had the privilege of facilitating the event's AmeriCorps Alumni panel, which is always a fan favorite.
Next up was a trip to San Diego, where I was invited to present at the Western Region National Service training, hosted by America's Service Commissions. The event convenes AmeriCorps staff members from around the region for several days of learning, networking, and inspiration. I was delighted to have the opportunity to FINALLY meet many of my virtual clients in-person and explore a new, warm, beautiful city. Word on the street is that my session on Facilitation for Innovation went pretty well, too!
The last stop of the month was to Camp Utmost in Greenough, Montana, where I spent four days co-facilitating this year's Montana Conservation Corps Crew Leader Summit. This was my seventeenth year working on the project, and I could write a book about how my relationship to these cohorts has defined me as both a person and a professional-in fact, maybe one day I will.
Suffice to day, a week with them fills my cup for the entire year, and I am deeply honored to continue playing a role in their transformation. I am also blown away by the quality of staff the organization holds today, specifically the current VP of Programs, Stacey Williams. She is one of the most powerful collaborators I've ever encountered.
The virtual wheels keep on turning.
The great thing about virtual training is that it can take place most anywhere, and this month I delivered sessions from Livingston, Helena, Seeley Lake, San Diego, and Fort Collins.
These sessions included the final four sessions of my Community-Centered Program Development training series with the Arizona Governor's Office of Youth, Faith, and Family, and a Community-Centered Program Development 101 session for the Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact Site Supervisors.
I snuck a few virtual coaching sessions in there, too, and there is really nothing like running those from the airport!
Music & Memories
I had the opportunity to catch the Infamous Stringdusters's set while I was visiting Fort Collins. Now, if for some reason you're not aware of this phenomenal, grammy-award winning bluegrass band, you can click the player below to give a listen.
If you ARE aware, then it might excite you to learn that I grew up with bassist Travis Book, which probably gives me more satisfaction to say than I deserve.
When I saw the show coincided with my trip, I rallied my brother and my parents to get tickets. When I arrived, we learned that the show was at an all ages venue, meaning my nephews could attend, too. The show was sold-out, but Travis came through and added them to his guest list, an act that probably gave them more satisfaction than they deserved.
As a result, three generations of Stobers were treated a special evening of dancing and connection, and a memory that will definitely last a lifetime.
Scarcity, Abundance, and the Pursuit of Balance
While I can reflect upon this month and see that it was both fun and impactful, I can also say that I was completely out of balance. I had too many balls in the air, and while I didn't drop a single one for my clients, I definitely dropped a few for myself.
I can track this back to late last year when, for reasons I'm still not entirely clear on, I allowed a scarcity mindset to take the wheel for a small period of time. As a result, I took on too much, and my work became so tightly coupled that there was no room left for taking care of myself.
Specifically, I didn't create enough room for contraction.
You see, my work is at its most authentic in an expanded state; when I show up in a large, charismatic manner. As I've grown, I've recognized that the only way to sustain that approach is to match those periods of expansion with equal periods of contraction on both a micro and a macro level. This looks like creating daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly opportunities for rest, routine, and reflection.
When I am not committed and bound to those needs, I burnout, which shows up as feeling irritable, inadequate, and emotionally fragile. I don't judge myself for feeling those things, they're part of the price we pay for being alive. However, I recognize that when I'm experiencing burnout, the runway to recovery is long, and I am frustrated to find myself back here.
Being human, am I right?
My challenge to us in April is to pause and consider how abundance scarcity, expansion, and contraction show up in our lives.
Where do you strike balance, and what causes you to lose sight of it?
How do you recover when you're out of balance and burnout?
What's your cat's name, and why are they critical to the process?
If these are newer concepts for you, I would encourage you to ready Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth by Deepak Chopra, and go from there.
Next month will be another humdinger, however I'm optimistic that a little intention, warm weather, and comfort from my creatures will bring me back into balance for the spring.