It’s the Inner Game that Needs to Change First

What an extraordinary experience, to spend 8 weeks in deep enquiry into wisdom, purpose and integrity, in a community of gamechangers.

This was the first Gamechangers GO program, which is ending this week. Although I founded the course myself, along with my friend Douglas Tsoi, and I knew the curriculum in advance of all the other participants, I was not prepared for the ride we were creating for everyone.

I spontaneously decided to join in, as a regular student, on the day when Douglas revealed his first ideas about the curriculum. It was one of those moments when I knew I had to do it and nothing was going to stop me.

I was responsible for sales and as I introduced people to the concept of Gamechangers GO, and discovered who was attracted to it, I felt as if I was putting together the ingredients for an amazing new cake – one that I’d never tasted before, but I knew it was going to be good.

8 weeks ago 16 of us met each other for the first time, thanks to the miracle software called Zoom – videoconferencing that allows us all to be in the same space, talking and seeing each other, whilst being all over the world.

My first surprise was the sheer willingness of every single person to open up and share themselves wholeheartedly. I’d expected we’d take time to relax, warm up and get to know each other – but not a bit of it. There was a hunger in each person to connect with others at this level of purpose and integrity. It allowed us all to be ourselves without any apology – a rare treat.

Over the following weeks we worked ourselves a lot harder than we expected. It wasn’t the volume of work but the depth of self-examination that was called for. We were challenged again and again to find our inner wisdom, question our purpose, ask caring questions of one another and the big one – examine our integrity.

I knew before we started that integrity was my real challenge. I teach people how to access their inner wisdom all the time and I’d done a lot of work on my purpose, but I was getting a strong sense that there was way more to integrity than I’d realised.

If you look up integrity in the dictionary this is what it says:

“adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”
“the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.”
“a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.”

The first line is what most of us associate with our personal behaviour but when we also apply the other two meanings to human life another meaning emerges which connects with wholeness, unbrokenness, inclusiveness. It brings a sense of deep healing and acceptance into consciousness. It gave me a new awareness of integrity that I’d only acknowledged in passing before. And it showed me huge gaps in my own life.

Towards the end of the workshop one of our participants said “I’m loving it and I’m hating it, and that’s a good thing.” That’s a great way to describe the experience.

At times the last thing in the world I wanted to do was write that week’s assignment. Not because it was getting late and I had a midnight deadline. Not because I’d been working all day and needed a break. No, there were no such good excuses. It was sheer resistance. I didn’t want to see myself any more clearly. I didn’t want to “do my best”. I wanted to cheat and just get my homework done to get it off my to-do list.

But  I wasn’t doing this for a teacher – there are no teachers on the course, only students. I wasn’t even doing it for the community, although not showing up is certainly letting them down. I chose to do the course for myself, and if I didn’t do my best I was letting myself down.

Now I’ve done a lot of that in my life. I’d far rather let myself down than other people. But this was different. There was a pull to do the exploration and see where it took me. At times the resistance was huge, but the pull was greater. It was like a treasure hunt. I didn’t know what the treasure would be in the end but my curiosity got the better of me over and over again.

One of the things I loved, and it surprised me, was that I found many different ways to express myself. I took risks with revealing my own inner state of mind and was delighted with the result. My fellow gamechangers were so generous in their feedback on my assignments and so caring in their help for me to find my treasure, even as they were taking part in the same treasure hunt.

As co-founder of the course, it was beautiful to see people waking up to their own purpose and finding solutions to problems that had been keeping them stuck, often for many years.

I witnessed a business owner designing a new business – something he’s been wanting for a very long time – that will allow him to help young entrepreneurs avoid so many of the mistakes he made in his own life.

There was a wonderful moment when a highly purpose-driven writer realised that he didn’t need to wait any longer for the right person to show up to make his business work. He was that person he was waiting for.

The clarity that came for each person, as they were pushed further and further to answer questions that no one else in the world can answer for them, was tangible.

I’m now seeing people working together, helping each other, bringing opportunities to one another and determined to create a community of practice. This is a place where we don’t just chit chat with each other on social media, but where we continue to explore these hugely important topics, wisdom, purpose and integrity, in collaboration with each other. Where we challenge one another to shine. Where we support the whole community to grow through doing as well as talking. And where we keep on meeting, connecting and producing gamechanging work.

So it isn’t just a workshop that ends. The end of the course is the beginning of the real work. The workshop brought us together at a level I rarely experience and gave us a shared ethic and commitment on which to base our future work.

And for me, the treasure is now emerging. The last few days were a wild ride of inner turmoil. I knew change was under way. Today I feel peace. I’ve recognised that for many years I’ve been responding to other people’s problems, always willing to help, always fascinated by the huge challenges they were facing and loving the journey of working together to solve them. I’ve experienced great joy as I sit with people, sharing energy with them, quietly and patiently feeling our way forward to create inner peace, successful business, connected relationships, happy kids and purposeful work.

But often I longed for someone to do the same for me. I was looking for someone who would be as patient as I am with others, someone who would keep pushing me, especially when I wanted to give up, until I truly connected with my own vision. It seems strange, because I’ve been driven by my own purpose for a long time, but there was always something missing. I was responding to others, helping them find their own direction, but my own direction was never really clear. It seemed enough to keep responding.

Through Gamechangers GO I developed a deep desire to create my own direction in life. It will be unique to me. It will speak to my experience, talents and potential.

I will no longer look to others to show me which way to go. I will ask them for help when I need it, but that will be because I will have decided what I’m looking for.

It’s not clear yet exactly what my direction will look like. Some parts have been there for a long time, others are emerging, now that I”m giving them space. What’s clear is that it’s a different way of living. It’s spacious. It’s natural. There’s no force or control involved and no need to push or motivate myself. I will find my clarity on where I want to go, and the rest will arise on the journey, always at the right time.

Above all it’s me who’ll be doing for myself what I’ve been doing for others so far.

Thank you, Gamechangers.

The next Gamechangers GO workshop starts in February 2017. If you’re interested in taking part and would like to find out more, please email me on sarah@sarahmccrum.com.

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