Just the prospect of having to go through such a process was enough to slightly ‘uncenter’ me. I waited patiently for a week, two weeks, and then more. As I realized that I wasn’t likely to even see what would be involved until much closer to the busy holiday season, I could feel my anxiety rising.
The entire scenario degenerated as the days stretched out. The solicitation not only was late in being issued but had a number of conflicting directions and undefined terms in its 60 pages. As I write, deadlines are extended and everything is on hold while the Feds attempt to publish answers to the multitude of questions asked.
What is amazing and has helped me to often regain my center is what has happened in the midst of this process – the emergence of an actual online community around the preparation of this solicitation. An enterprising individual set up a wiki back in November and a core group of consultants impacted by this decision began sharing information and interpretations. We quickly learned that we were not alone in our experiences. When one person would voice a frustration, another would come forth with a more positive perspective or possible solution.
While I am sure that this process still has many mini tests of center left to throw at me, it is heartening to also find in it a reaffirmation of the power of connection and relationship in grounding oneself in the midst of chaos.