NOW IS THE PERFECT TIMEC
An original workshop guide
Published for the SOAR Foundation
David G. Yurth
Bountiful, Utah 2007
All Rights Reserved
My name is David Yurth . I am the facilitator for the Awakening Youth Leadership Challenge program sponsored by the SOAR Foundation and its affiliates. Each day, from the time you begin your journey with us until we meet in the sacred space of the Center for Leadership Excellence, I will be sending you a short message. Each message is intended to help you focus your intention, assess your reasons for being involved in your quest for personal excellence and actualization, make some important choices related to the workshop processes, and consider some of the ideas, notions and concepts we will be working through while we are together.
First, let me tell you how excited I am to be invited to work with you in this way. If I could spend my life doing precisely what I want to do all the time, at least 50% of my time and effort would be dedicated to doing this kind of work. As we begin the process together, I believe it is appropriate for us to have a conversation about the money you will spend to participate with us in this undertaking. The program has been deliberately designed so that the availability of money never constitutes a barrier to participation.
In our culture, we have developed an enculturated sense of entitlement that colors our expectations when we pay for things. When we pay a dentist, we do so with an expectation. When we buy a car, pay to watch a motion picture, buy a meal at a restaurant, or purchase a personal entertainment device, we do so with a sense of entitlement. Intrinsic to our sense of entitlement is the expectation that if our expectations are not met, it is the fault of the person or organization to whom we paid our money. When it comes to facing and conquering our own fears, however, the notion that we can opt out whenever we want to if things get too tough, is based on the expectation that by paying money to someone else, we have purchased an entitlement to a result that is someone else’s responsibility.
This program doesn’t work like that. After doing this for many years, I am convinced that the only way to reframe the way we see ourselves and others is to make each other safe enough to be willing to face our dragons squarely, fearlessly, without regard to any other considerations. Sometimes the processes are so terrifying that we simply cannot confront them – particularly not if we are expected to do so on our own. And that is why we encourage you to participate in facilitated programs like this. If you don’t come into participation with a sense of entitlement that gives you an excuse to bail out if things get too tough or scary, and if we can find a way to insure sufficient safety for each other while we are walking this path together, then perhaps we can both conquer our fears and shed our expectations. If so, then we will be able to forge agreements with each other that will withstand the worst that life can throw at us.
We can thrive together in our undertakings and find a full measure of satisfaction, actualization and fulfillment when we are safe enough with each other to own our own behaviors, coach each other truthfully and without shaming, support each other to live in a space of clarity and enlightenment, and pursue common goals and objectives without fear of punishment or ostracism. That is what this program is designed to accomplish.
We only have part of each day to consider what we are about to do together. Achieving a state of common cause in such a short time is a challenge that cannot be met unless we are willing to make some iron-clad commitments and cover some significant internal ground before we get together. Accordingly, each of the concepts, exercises, assignments and activities I will be asking you to work through each day are designed to move all of us through a preliminary process so we can begin the workshop on a much higher plain than would otherwise be possible. Most of these assignments will take about half an hour to complete. I am asking you to make a commitment before you attend the Workshop to take this seriously enough to complete all of these little exercises before we come together.
I have some expectations about the nature of the game of leadership and personal development we have agreed to play in the sacred space. If you decide to make a commitment to attend the Workshop, I expect your commitment to be as unswerving as my own. This commitment is not made lightly – once it has been made, I expect you to keep this commitment, no matter what. Regardless of whatever personal considerations may get in the way, if you make a commitment to attend, I want you to do whatever it takes to keep your promise, no matter what.
Timeliness is essential. Our time is already limited. We have an enormous amount of ground to cover together. If you plan to attend, I want you to take special care to make sure you arrive on time. We cannot wait to start because you are not there. Once we have begun, you will not be permitted to come into the space if you are late. The reason we insist on this is because when we begin, we make sacred promises to each other which are essential to creating and sustaining a place of safety for everyone. If you come late, you will not have participated in the making of these promises and will not be able to keep them without disrupting the work that comes thereafter.
I expect everyone who attends the Workshop to make a zero exit commitment. This means that if you agree to begin the process, your commitment to participate means that you agree to participate at 100% for the entire duration of the program. Once we begin, I do not want anyone to get up and leave, for any reason other than death or arrest. What we begin together we finish together, no matter what. When we come together, we become a microcosm of the world. One of our primary commitments to everyone who participates is that no one is ever left behind. That is our commitment to you, so we expect the same measure of dedication from you in return.
Once the workshop has begun, I will ask that all cell phones, watches, iPods, MP3 players and pagers be turned off and surrendered at the registration table. Once we enter the sacred space together, I expect each participant to be totally, completely focused on what we are about to do together. If we are to elevate the space to a level high enough for all of us experience what it means to be fully, totally, completely integrated in our purpose, we cannot allow any outside distractions to invade the space. The world will get along without us while we are engaged in this process. We get to make this choice and make it stick.
Finally, one of the challenges of leadership is for each of us to discover what we want and do not want, what we are willing to do and not do, what our public and private agendas are, and what we do, how we behave, to exploit, manipulate and control others to our own advantage. We are going to confront these issues squarely in this workshop. We are going to experience what it feels like to examine ourselves and each other in ways that will make it possible for us to love and work with each other without expectation or judgment. It is a powerful opportunity to discover how magical and powerful we can be when we are focused, committed and undeterred in our intentions.
I look forward to meeting you and will be happy to help you work your way through any considerations that might get in the way of your participation. Please feel free to contact the SOAR Foundation at your convenience with any questions or inquiries you may have along the way. If you know anyone else whom you believe would like to attend this workshop, please feel free to forward this message to them. They can let us know if they want to be included in this distribution list by responding at this Internet email address.
I look forward with great eagerness to meeting you in the sacred space.
David G. Yurth