Cathy Merge-Martin: learning that guidance comes from within

Cathy Merge-Martin

Cathy Merge-Martin

Editor’s Note:  Wings in the World is a monthly blog, and this month’s is by Cathy Merge-Martin, an organizational development specialist for CareOregon in Portland. We hope you will “like,” comment, share, and join in the conversation!

 “The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”  —R.D. Laing, psychiatrist

I originally heard about Wings from a friend at a party, then soon after that my leader at CareOregon told me about it and asked if I would like to attend. I said yes, and I have been a believer ever since!

I had done a lot of personal development work prior to attending this seminar, but it pulled it all together for me, giving me a model that tied different things I had been learning together in one approach. I love the four cornerstones model. I think it is a beautiful way to look at and assess my strengths and opportunities for growth. I did not see the importance of understanding my strengths and opportunities through this lens and was completely surprised at how deeply the fear of one of the cornerstones was impacting my life. The threads of that fear are so subtle and yet so influential in the choices I have made in my life. This has been very interesting to watch play out. In my young life I was driven, for many reasons, by pleasing others first. It was my strategy to belong, to create meaning, and to stay safe. As an adult, I can see the origins of my weakest cornerstone and where my most important current work is focused. I am so thankful for that.

Wings has helped me both personally and professionally. Personally, it has given me tools to approach interpersonal relationships and communication. It has given me courage to lean in and create the life I want. It is abundantly clear that I am the creator of my life, that how I think and behave is an inside job, not something that is controlled from the outside. I now see that I choose, consciously or unconsciously, my attitudes, words, and actions and that they in turn create outcomes. I can now see more of my automatic patterned responses and stand in more curiosity instead of being at their mercy. I am still challenged AND I have tools to be responsible, which has led to more ease and grace in my life. Life is practice, after all, and now I practice with more self-awareness.

Professionally, it has given me the courage to be more visible at work and to speak to possibilities of “what could be” in our work culture. It helps me ask myself, “What am I waiting for?” This is my life, at work, where I spend so much time, and it has made me really think about how I want to be when I am there. I want to be in service. I find that as I am more visible and more confident, I am seen more as valuable to the company. I am trusted more and am involved in more projects. The seminars are great for leadership development.

After having completed all the core seminars and some advanced seminars, I have a clear, compelling, and juicy vision I am living into—a blueprint for what I want to create from this point forward. I am more focused on creating what I want instead of being at the mercy of subtle influences from the outside. I know I have choice and therefore control, and I have set my sights on what I want to do in retirement. I now have a clear and compelling vision of where I am going. I can feel in my entire being that it will happen.

I think it should be a requirement for all humans to do PES! It would make us all kinder, gentler, and more effective in every way.

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