Amanda Ryznar is a Flank 5 Academy Collectivist alumna and facilitator. Professionally, she is a digital marketing leader who is committed to the pursuit of conscious leadership for herself and others. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn.
I have always expected a reward and I have always been willing to work for one. My theory has been that hard work = reward.
My world was initially set up to support this theory. I liked the model and have continued to play it out most of my life. Hard work at school meant good grades. Good grades meant getting into a good college. Getting into a good college meant getting a good job. Getting a good job meant achieving financial stability, satisfaction, etc. You’ve heard this before. You may have done this. You may be doing it now. And, you aren’t wrong for doing it. I only know that it does not serve me, personally, to continue this way of thinking.
I joined the Collective because I wanted to know my purpose. I thought that if I spent two hours a week in this group setting, and then more time thinking about it outside these meetings, that I would figure it out. In other words, if I just worked hard enough, the reward would come. The reward in this case was specific purpose with a specific role.
That is not the reward that I received. And, I no longer think that the “reward” for my participation needed to be a purpose and an associated specific role.
Mark Nepo in the Book of Awakening writes, “The closer we get to all being, the more synonymous the effort and its reward. The reward for uncovering the truth is the experience of an honest being. The reward for understanding is the peace of knowing. The reward for loving is being the carrier of love.”
The reward is the experience that you have that is internal and intrinsic to you. It’s not an external acquisition – and viewing it as a set target with a set point in time can be extremely limiting.
My rewards for participating in the Collective are many. I evaluated my role at work, my attitude towards work, the type of leader I wanted to be, and the dynamic that I was co-creating with my colleagues.
It was not easy, but the reward was a clearer picture of how I wanted to view work and an acceptance that growth comes from the willingness to question and sit with challenges. People who I didn’t know, got to know me, and as a result encouraged me, believed in me, and supported me week after week.
I thought about what gave me energy and what took it away. I realized I had been saying yes to a lot of things because I thought I should versus because I wanted to. I came to believe that there is no real end point to what I become and that the journey does not have to be perfect. In fact, it won’t be, but I am open to carrying on, learning as I go, and making the journey and the reward my own.
The value of the group experience is a “spot check” on honesty – on my own truth – and making sure I stay the course that I’ve set out to journey; not a prescribed journey with a definite outcome.