Learning from 2021

Broken Doesn’t Mean Diminished

My “ah ha” moment for 2021 occurred quite literally by accident. I stepped on the back of my shoe attempting to sit in my office chair for a zoom meeting. Instead of sitting, I toppled over backwards and broke my back. From my perspective, the timing could not have been worse. The next day was the beginning of a course I was set to co-lead, something I had been working towards for almost a year. Mixed in with the pain was a huge sense of letdown, not only for my teammates but for me.

As much as I felt my body falling apart, I also saw how amazingly things were pulling together at the same time. Within an hour, the coworker I missed the zoom meeting with was by my side in the emergency room and we found out the news together. Most importantly, we got to meet each other for the first time in person!! This hadn’t happened yet due to the realities of Covid. Neither of us would’ve chosen the location or the circumstances, but it truly was a special occasion and a gift of the heart. The most meaningful kind we can carry with us forever.

While healing, my job went on a technical pause. Meanwhile opportunities for using person centered practices have flourished. I’ve met all kinds of people I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered. I’ve made spur of the moment one-page profiles for my roommates with markers and blank paper. People are much more captivated by watching person centered practices unfold than they are by hearing how they work. The most powerful aspect person centered practices is being there with and for someone.  My job went on pause, while the purpose of my work continued to flourish.

It’s important to note also, none of this would have unfolded the way it has without the hardships of Covid and the ingenuity and creativity it has pulled out of all of us. It has strengthened the power of what is accomplished when we pull together whether we are in person or not. The things I have seen pull together in these unforeseen circumstances are people not things. Therein lies the joy, the power, and the point of it all.