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286 hours…A Time of Transition 

I am about to complete, a long, intense, and deeply satisfying internship. Now is the time of transition for me. The change—from being in the hospital seeing patients and in-class wrestling with thoughts, feelings, and questions—will end next week though I have been on the emotional roller-coaster of the ending for a week or so—that’s transition.*

I sat with my preceptor on Wednesday and said, “I am still here and I already miss being here.”

Do you ever have those feelings? You’re still in the experience and yet mourning its end?

And then in class last night, I also welcomed the change of pace that will occur as soon as I am done, as it’s been just about 35 hours a week of placement, classes, readings, and papers—in addition to my everyday work that I also love, and making time for family, friends, and self-care.

The true dichotomy of wanting to continue the experience and also the sense of peace (and relief) that settles in when a “chapter” is complete… 

Have you had experiences and feelings that are similar?

What is it about certain experiences that makes them qualitatively different?

Happily, in my class, I was assigned the last slot of the semester for the delivery of my presentation/“Didactic & Dialogue.” I took the opportunity to tell the story of my lived experience over the months in pictures and words…what I learned about myself, people as individuals and in relationships, life, death, pain, suffering, happiness, connection, power, self-care, silence, the systems within which I was working (hospital, department, university, and class/group), and more. It felt big. It was big.

While I do a lot of reflecting on my learning and life through drawing my thoughts, wonderings, opinions, and plans, I don’t often do so religiously. Over the course of 16 weeks, I filled a notebook and then culled over 100 ideas that I want to explore more deeply. I’ve started creating diary comics to further process and then share my musings…  I think I will discover even more through this process and perhaps it will become a graphic memoir. 

This finite timeframe certainly made it easier for me to capture the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of this great adventure though I am taking with me a newfound love of creating containers around experiences and finding simple ways to memorialize them.

I’d love to hear the ways in which you choose to capture aspects of your life and how you carve out time and space to reflect upon your journaling, drawing, artwork, or… I hope to hear from you!

 

*My favorite resource on this topic is Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges.

What journey are you on…

and where are you on that journey?

Just recently, I began a new coaching relationship with a young woman from a country far from here/NY and a culture that I know very little about. It is exciting! 

While coaching in my practice is always an adventure, founded on co-creating the experience, this will be different. To borrow some of the language from my chaplaincy training, our

  • major life events
  • relationships
  • social location
  • cultural contexts
  • and social realities that impact our personal identities

have few similarities.

I have much to learn—by being particularly astute in my observing, listening, asking questions, pausing, and checking in… ensuring that nothing is assumed and time for reflection and conversation about the journey we are making together is a fit for her needs and wants. 

The more I think about it, the more I am reminded to be aware of false assumptions about similarities and perceived congruence with coaching clients who appear more like me (regarding the variables noted above).

My lens for all the work I do is Appreciative Inquiry. It is a path that provides a framework that is truly generative and in alignment with my vision of coaching relationships (and honestly, all the work that I do).

Similarly, last Thursday, I hosted two thoughtsketching sessions (a bikablo technique) for quite different groups of people mostly unfamiliar with visualizing/visual thinking: first for my colleagues, (known to me from my years at the American Management Association in my consultant roles as a speaker and instructional designer), and then for the AIF-NYC Facilitators Group, which attracted people from around the world, Vietnam the UK Belgium, the US, and Canada.

In all three instances (coaching + trainings), the majority of people joining the sessions were stepping on to a new path or in a new direction… whether tentatively or diving in with abandon.

In each encounter, my approach was Appreciative, engaging, and interactive in nature—

  • What is your foundation/what do you know about…?
  • What do you like about your work (what you are presenting that we are building on or what are you creating at the moment that you like/admire/are proud of)?
  • What do you believe to be your growing edge? (And, how will we keep your inner critic at bay? Focus on strengths.)
  • What more do you want to discover (about the topic, process, project) or… before moving forward?
  • What are you dreaming about?
  • What experiments do you want to design—to work and play with your new ideas?
  • How will you create what will be?

I am passionate about this work! If you’re curious to learn more about coaching with an Appreciative Inquiry approach, please reach out to me.

My curious mind wants to know…

What do you think?

Over the past few weeks, I have attended a number of events and classes. These experiences have caused me to pause and wonder. I find that my descriptions or definitions of key terms in my field appear, at times, to be completely different than how others enact their roles. I wonder what they’re thinking and so I imagined this visual of me, sitting, wonder, pondering…

  • Have you had these thoughts?
  • Have/Are you experiencing any disconnects?

What do the smattering of terms, titles, and interactions bring up for you? How do you define them? Have you talked about any of them with your colleagues? What did you discover—congruence, misalignment, something in-between? I’d love to know.

(Of course, if you are curious about how the misalignment played out in the real world—I’m happy to share!)

Mmmmmotivation!

Last Sunday I spoke at Brandy Agerbeck’s ENVISION event—it was fabulous and so much fun! Brandy had tasked with addressing, fully engaging with the topic of motivation. So, my question for you is…

What motivates you? 

Maybe the first question or the better first question is, what does motivation mean to you? 

How is it different from inspiration? 

And where do you “get” both of those things? 

Inspiration is exciting, it pulls me forward. I’m inspired/totally engaged in almost all my projects or endeavors. 

Motivation is the engine/energy that keeps me going because in most projects not only is there a beginning, middle, and end, there are also periods of excitement, immersion, flow, joy, and yet there are also those times of disappointment, feeling stuck, working through challenges, frustrations, making and learning from my mistakes and rising up again. 

 

One of the fabulous ideas from Brandy Agerbeck’s ENVISION 2021 Card Deck

So my question for you is, what keeps you moving forward (know that this is not a straight line) when it gets challenging?

For me, part of it is my philosophy of life. I’m steeped in the field of positive psychology and come from an Appreciative Inquiry perspective. In short, I endeavor to focus on the positive AND be realistic/acknowledge the things are difficult. Ultimately, I choose to focus my attention and energy on what’s going well, to amplify that, to work with the things that I perceive to be obstacles, concerns, or frustrations. 

So when I need motivation, I think about experiences I’ve had in the past that are similar. They/the learning and insights become the foundation to build on. And, I love turning to books, articles, websites, and, of course, my ever-growing network of colleagues and friends, who among them possess a vast amount of knowledge. Truth be told,  I’m also motivated by the deadline…

How about you?

I’d love to hear you’re strategies and tactics for generating and maintaining your motivation.

How are you growing?

As we wind down from summer and gear up for fall there’s a lot to be thinking about!

What are you reading? 

That was the question from my buddy in Tasmania as we chatted over the weekend. I’d like to take that question and run with it.

What are the resources that you are currently working with and expanding on? What’s new and exciting in your world?

For me, the past few weeks have been chock full of new experiences, new resources, and using existing resources in new ways. 

The bikablo + IPEVO Meet Up two weeks ago was brilliant! I say that because we—the bikablo team and the participants—were using existing tools (document cameras, markers, and paper), and collaborating in new and different ways. 

 

 

The Graphic Medicine UnConvention was fantastic! I wrote about it on LinkedIn in August and just this past week here.

As a result of presenting and participating in the GM UnConvention, I have read Rosalie Lightning, by Tom Hart. It is an incredible graphic memoir. Truth be told, I have also signed up for the Graphic Memoir course offered by Sequential Artists Workshop and the Graphic Memoir Working Group. I believe that aspects of the internship I started last week will become a graphic memoir.

And, I have this stack of books to dive into—just some of the books suggested in the second lesson of SAW’s Graphic Memoir course—I’ll be working my way through them starting this weekend. 

Finally, my schedule and the Visual Thinkers Society monthly meeting are in sync—I can’t wait to join the meeting on Saturday morning!

Next week, I will start the bikablo Sketchnoting train-the-trainer course… it’s going to be great to learn from Amelie Vesper once again and join my colleagues in this training. I’ll be offering this course soon too!

Lastly, I am expanding my digital drawing capabilities by learning Concepts, a vector-based app… More to tell about the project that will support soon!

Upon reflection, the themes I am noticing now are, self-education through books, videos, podcasts, and direct instruction from colleagues, focused practice, and the beauty of collaborations with colleagues.

What are you noticing about your world?

What’s new in your world? Please ping me and let me know!