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Saturday, 11 October 2014

Facing Adversaries - Personal Reflection

I had the opportunity today to attend to some personal development with guided reflection from Sonja Schliesing on Facing Adversaries, Inner conflict as Foe or Friend.

The process followed was in four sessions, the first looking to answer the question "Who or What is the adversary in my story?" The reflection was about what or who it is in our lives that holds us back, that can paralyze us, or that introduces a block for us that we struggle to overcome.

The second session dealt with the question "How do I react to my Adversary?" while the third looked at "How do I act as the hero in my story?" We were challenged to identify uncommon or yet unrealized times when we act as the hero and how we overcome our adversaries.

The final session looked at the trickster that looks for a round about way to defeat the adversary without challenging it directly. The question that stood out for me was " What do you have in your hand?" that God asked Moses from the burning bush. It relates to what resources there are available to overcome the challenges that face us and how we can use our creativity and resourcefulness to find solutions to any problem or difficult situation.

The initial two sessions felt uncomfortable for me in that my current mindset is appreciative and I spend as much energy as possible on what moves me forward. It didn't gel with me to be paying attention to what holds me back. The question that arose in my mind was whether there is validity in some people's belief that one must acknowledge the negatives in order to overcome them. I continued with the process with an open mind in order to see what I could learn from it.

During the second session I also felt like I was on the wrong side of the appreciative process as I was identifying the emotions and reactions I felt when coming up against my inner and outer adversaries. As I went through the reflection I kept in mind that these feelings could be useful as alerts to create awareness about what was happening in my mind.

The third and fourth sessions brought me more comfort as I felt we were back on an appreciative track and I found myself writing down strong affirmations regarding my strengths.

The strongest messages that came through for me were that an adversary, whether it be a physical person or ones own state of mind, can both be negative or positive. Dr. John Demartini states in The Values Factor that in order for us to truly fulfill our highest values and to develop to our fullest potential, we need a balance of both Challenge and Support. Without either we cannot grow.

Thus our adversaries play an important part in our lives in stretching our comfort zones and forcing us to explore our creativity and resourcefulness so that we can grow and develop.

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