Mel Knapp: work results in major changes

Melanie Knapp

Mel Knapp

Editor’s note: Mel Knapp is a Wings leadership intern, appreciator of all things outdoors, and environmental collaboration and conflict resolution project manager and trainer.

Over the years, I have participated in PES, CrossOver, and LifeWorks, served as an assist team member for both PES and CrossOver seminars, and am currently serving as one of this year’s leadership interns. I deeply believe in supporting work in the world that leads toward increased freedom in myself and others, and I have found Wings work to be a powerful tool in the toolkit toward that goal.

Working within a large group has been especially meaningful for me. This aspect of the structure of Wings helps to dispel the myth that “I must be the only one who does or feels X.”  For me, the group structure has challenged feelings of separation and increased my sense of shared humanity and connection. In the time I’ve been involved, I’ve been impressed and truly inspired by the vision, power, and courage of so many of the folks that I have met through Wings.

Some of the richest areas of learning for me have centered around the themes of integrity, visioning, and ownership. Three of the tangible changes in my life that I largely credit Wings work with precipitating include finishing up grad school, landing a job that had previously been only a dream for me, and getting my financial house in order.

A few of the harder to quantify but equally powerful changes included clarifying my priorities and next steps, increasing my ability to say “no” to what is not serving me in my life, getting serious about my commitment to the things I say “yes” to, and freeing up energy through actions to close many open loops in my life. Wings communication exercises and frameworks have also made a lasting impact on the way I communicate with others in my life, both professionally and personally. I also continue to find a lot of inspiration in the short vision statement I developed in LifeWorks, and it has served as a foundational guide and intention in my life these past few years.

I had always wanted to do the internship since I started participating in seminars. Although I no longer live in Oregon, I knew that it was still important for me to do what I could to make this vision a reality, assist others with doing this work, and continue my own learning.

My current learnings in the internship so far have centered most around challenging limiting beliefs, increasing compassion for myself and others while also maintaining firm boundaries and responding wisely, asking for help, and practicing self-care, self-love, and forgiveness. One tangible change during the course of the internship has also been realizing it was time for me to move on to a different living situation and making that change!

Quote that inspires me:

“Forgive yourself,
Forgive yourself.
Now is the only time you have to be whole.
Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true nature.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.
Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe
in your stories of deficiency and failure.
This is the day of your awakening.”  —Danna Faulds

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