For many of us who have been in our fields for a long time it is possible to become complacent and feel as if we’ve seen or know it all. It is for these very reasons that I feel compelled to put myself in situations where I can challenge or affirm my understanding of our world, the role of work or establishing why we are the way we are.
In the last year I have participated in three very powerful events that impacted my work and to be quite honest also influenced my perception of people, resources and tools that are often associated with the helping professions – including my own.
At times I feel like a child who is learning something new and I am so proud to have grasped the concept. Other times what I’m participating in causes me to reevaluate so much of what I thought I knew.
In my experience the times when I felt the power of learning so profoundly was when I registered for things that appeared to be beyond my expertise. Sticking within my own wheelhouse is comforting as I can expand on what I know already and feel affirmed by my right answers. But, when I put myself outside of my familiar zone that’s a whole other sensory experience.
In the last year I have had three mind opening events come my way that I am grateful for and I want to share this with you.
The first was an online symposium on Translating Aboriginal Traditions to Employment. Without going into the specifics I just want to share how hearing the stories of those that participated impacted me not only on a professional level by also on a spiritual level.
I had taken cultural training courses and spent many years working with people from all over this country and world. Having sensitively to cultures comes with the territory – or so we think. But really I believe I have been naive to so many aspects of tradition and its role in employment. The sharing of stories surrounding residential schools, culture, community, ceremony, family and trauma were gifted to all of us and so our learning went far beyond employment.
Next I attended a conference on Ending Violence. Again the presenters expanded my understanding of the impact of violence while providing useful tools and resources that far exceeded my expectations.
For the last two days I attended a workshop facilitated by Dr. Lori Haskell – Working with Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: Understanding the Neurobiology of Trauma. I can’t even begin to explain how incredibly valuable this was! What I learned will positively impact my work with clients who have experienced trauma but it also hit close to home. I took away information that changes how I view myself and others in my personal life. The learning went deep, not just through the speaker, but also I had the privilege of learning from those that were at my table.
So, why share all of this with you?
Because sometimes we think we know it all. Sometimes we think we are too small to be effective. Sometimes we might be afraid to learn new things and sometimes people may question why we are even interested.
Please don’t let that stop you because everything that you create begins with the moment you said YES to learning.