I am so pleased to be back after taking a little break for the Thanksgiving holiday. I am hoping that your holiday time treated you well, allowing for some time to breathe, reflect, and connect with those you hold close to your heart. As we approach the end of another year, it presents us with that opportunity to look back, acknowledge what we have gained, what we choose to build upon, and what may come next. As with all of my writings I use my own experience, as well as the learning that I receive through the eyes of others. This week I find my inspiration coming from two sources. One is from a book I read over the recent break, and another came to me yesterday from a fellow helping professional. Both sources shared something in common, although the experiences are different, they both demonstrated the wonderful changes that come with learning new things…
One of the driving influences that I bring into my model of service is the need for self work. When you are able to work towards progress, improving and expanding your experiences, awareness, and so much more, this leads towards valuable growth and development that not only impacts your personal self, but your professional practice and your ability to facilitate change for those in need. Therefore, it is not solely about learning new things, but how you apply what you have learned to change parts of your self in positive ways. I had no knowledge of the book How Starbucks Changed My Life
until I came across it in the book store. After reading the cover I knew I would learn some things. It wasn’t necessarily a desire to learn about the world of Starbucks (although I now have a better understanding/appreciation of their model, opportunities for their partners, and attention to service) but a story about loss, prejudices, respect, change, race, age divisions, and friendship that I would be exposed to within these pages. As a social worker and participant observer it was exactly the kind of story that empowers and inspires me through the example of the life change that presents itself through challenge. It was the learning that comes with being witness to overcoming in a manner that impacts the quality of one’s life circumstances. It was another opportunity to add to my “work in progress” while reinforcing the idea that change comes when we do the work, while accepting and not resisting!
The other source of inspiration came from a comment that I received from someone that I have connected with through my Can You Hear Me? efforts. It was in response to our Learning Through Your Eyes Series
and was truly rewarding as it demonstrated what I know to be possible when you are available to receive and embrace the change that comes with learning new things. It was about the learning of oneself and how this translates into effectively helping others change for the better. It was about stepping out of your comfort zone and working with a client that you never thought you could, but now you realize the gifts that you received as a result of this work. It was about recognizing and acknowledging the difference that is made by just showing up. These comments resonated with me because these outcomes are the true rewards of our practice, without judgement or vulnerability they showcase exactly why one chooses to be in this profession, and the benefits of such. I am hoping that these comments will lead to more sharing and an opportunity for others to see an opening that will touch their own personal self, and professional practice. You can see the entire comment on our facebook page.
As you move into the end of your week, may the words that I have shared allow you to feel heard, while providing you with further opportunities to work towards progress. Be the change, learn new things, and you will receive wonderful benefits in return. Head up and heart open, until next time…
This is a contribution by Daniel Jacob, Founder of Can You Hear Me? His latest project and a real opportunity to empower, support, and instruct helping professionals. Currently, he provides instruction and support as an External Field Instructor for MSW students in the distance learning program at the USC School of Social Work.] Can You Hear Me? Blog and Can You Hear Me? Website