Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Center Calm - Storms Outside

September has arrived. Things now get their hardest as we prepare for The Witches' Ball.

Late August through October are when most of the problems, stresses and changes occur. I think it's the change in the energy and the fact that the work load just get greater as we move forward. Doing this event is much like giving a play - the month before Opening Night is when things really heat up backstage.

At the center of Full Circle is where the Senior Staff work. Imagine a Witches' house in a forest. Inside is a roomy kitchen, with herbs hanging from the rafters and a cauldron bubbling in the grate. Outside, a storm rages. That cauldron is the Cauldron of Changes and it's boiling all the time.

You only get this far into the forest by invitation. For the staff, the stress is greater here and so is the responsibility. Change happens - and that's a rough lesson for some people. Change happens for them personally and it happens for the group. I've never seen anyone do this work without undergoing some radical changes in their lives.

The trick for us, as leaders and organizers, is to let the cauldron boil, keep calm within our own centers and allow whatever chaos happens in the world take place outside of that center.

The staff who served in 2002 were sheltered from most of this before by the people who held senior postions. But now those who were promoted just this year are in that Witches' house with us. They will need a great deal of patience, commitment and consciousness to get through the next two months.

Some of our people wear many hats, both here and in the outside world. I think they can see now why I wouldn't let some of them take on any more than they already have. It can overwhelming, this work, but they can handle it.

I believe that everyone who works for us is here for a reason and that it has nothing to do with the personalities here or FCE. I believe that we are each here for our Highest Good. This is a difficult gift because it involves the growth and change I spoke of. But I'll let their God/Goddess deal with that part of it and what it means for them. My job is to keep in mind that they are talented, trustworthy and smart (even when they sometimes drive me mad) and that we are lucky to have them here.

Right now our Senior Staff need to see the whole picture and the details, we need to make sure that everything gets done right and on time, no matter what it takes. We all need to be proactive and communicate often and effectively. No matter what else is going on in our lives, we have to fulfill out commitments as best we can.

Some of the staff are also in their sophomore year at FCE. This can best be compared to the first years of a marriage. It is the time when most volunteers realize that the people who work here are not perfect. Our imperfections may be baffling, annoying and frustrating to some of them, especially now, when the heat is on. We *all*wonder at that point if this is worth it. Whatever level of friendship they choose to have with the other members is their business. How well they work with them (and me) as colleagues is mine. So I spend time this month reminding people to calm down, get some rest, communicate, and play nice.

Thank Goddess these people are grown-ups. I couldn't work with the other sort.

Hopefully the work we do, the support we give each other, the laughter, and the magickal growth we all enjoy is enough to make our staff proud of FCE and glad to be a part of it all. I hope that they are willing to see their colleagues as flawed, but good people. I ask them to see me in that light, as well.

Sometimes one of us "falls off the pedestal" that the others have put them on. This experience is hard on people and it happens every year. But it's a lot better when everyone is standing together in the Circle with their feet on the earth and looking each other in the eyes. That's the time when we can speak our truth with compassion and respect and when we listen with openness, as well.

So ...where does that leave us? Well, I am now counting on each of our senior staff to help make the Witches' Ball and their other FCE projects a success. We've worked hard to pick good people. Now it's up to them to do their jobs.

That's the other thing hard about being a leader; you have to know what you can control and what you can't and you have to keep your center calm while the storm rages on outside. You have to rest, eat well, and connect with your spirit, encourage your people to do so as well, and take the storm as it comes.

Goddess Bless, us, every one.


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