I promised to be back and am managing it sooner than I promised, which feels hopeful. KK's eighth grade math teacher gave the kids a non math assignment at the end of the year, a character exercise. He listed five traits that he believes contribute to character and asked the kids to list three ways that they show each of the traits. It seems like a good exercise for adults too and I would adore it if some of you responded in comments. If three examples seems like too much, just list one or two. Here are the characteristics and my responses.
I show leadership when I run my practice in a controversial way regarding fees because I believe it is ethical and help younger therapists learn to do the same.
I show leadership when I refuse to condone against, sexist, or racist jokes in my present, or to participate in the kind of "you know how men are" games women tend to play when alone together.
I show leadership when I model admitting that I am being defensive, apologize quickly when wrong, and make every effort to change my ways.
I show concern when I check in on a regular basis with people I know are having a hard time.
I show concern when I write letters for social justice for Amnesty International.
I show concern when I listen to the concerns of friends and family and abide.
I show courage when I go out into the world on a regular basis and shop, make appointments, make phone calls, deal with details even when I am very anxious and would rather hide.
I show courage when I share my views on issues close to my heart with people I respect who might not agree with me.
I show courage when I set strong boundaries with my grand daughter, even if it makes her mad.
I show curiosity when I get library books full of new knitting stitches and patterns and try them.
I show curiosity when I read poetry sites on the web and try new forms.
I show curiosity when I ask people about their lives and listen well, drawing them out and cherishing their stories.
I show integrity when I tell the truth about what I've spent, what I feel, what I need or want even though I believe I will invite disaproval or disappointment.
I show integrity when I keep the spiritual practices I choose to keep (Sabbath, Kosher, meditation time) even when it isn't convenient for me or ohters.
I show integrity when I refuse to gossip, even if I want to.
I hope some of you will respond to any extent to this exercise, which I found truly useful.