Recently I had a conversation with a former Board member and committee member of an organization that has been an area of focus for this BioEnergetic Facilitator. She was commenting that as she spent her working career on a computer, she was going to be using it less and moving over to doing activities that engaged her in other ways. She was not a person that used Facebook and wasn’t interested in it. I asked her how she planned to stay connected with her discipline of choice if there was minimal connection to the association through a quarterly newsletter. She hadn’t really considered this aspect. She considered winding her life down to do the things she hadn’t had time to do while in her career. But, her passion for her healing life wasn’t really considered in this decision because she hadn’t realized how she was removing herself from the highways of conversation and connection.
This led our conversation into several aspects of membership in an organization. What are your rewards as a member? As a current board member of CanBeWell it is paramount in my mind to make sure that we are offering value to our members so that they will continue to be members and our organization can thrive. But, with this special person, I realized that my view was all wrong. When someone becomes a member of an organization, they are looking for ways to connect, ways to grow and ways to learn. It is really about looking at how they can be engaged with their organization to see it and the public grow in understanding the discipline that we love, and their membership fee assures that this can happen. But, then there is the second aspect. How do they grow, learn and connect?
I have to admit that as a member of CanASK for almost 20 years, I read the newsletter every month and absorbed the incredible information that was prepared for each issue. That was the bulk of my involvement until someone asked me to sit on the board. It was their coaxing that got me to the board. I didn’t know a thing about being on a board, and I was in awe at the workings of the association and its importance in the international community. I attended those meetings hoping that no one would ask me too many questions, or that I wouldn’t need to do too much “work” on a project, after all, I was a working mom with two kids and a business to run. I started to learn more about my discipline, about the organization, my role within the organization and I began to learn about the people in my country who were passionate about the same things as I was. Then, life got busy and I left the board for a few years.
Fast forward to today. This past year has been an incredible journey of growth and discovery for me. I now sit on 4 different boards, and the learning from one influences the other. The issues in one group supports the answers needed by another group of people, and the conversations between these groups are growing in importance. Who would have thought?! So now I consider my professional development. Since I became involved in many aspects of each organization, I have developed skills in leadership, documentation, service to clients, compassion, coordination, teamwork, pride, professional growth, the list goes on and on. I could not have signed up for a class and learnt more in so many aspects of my profession than what the organizations have provided me.
No longer am I asking what the organization can do for me, I now realize I am the organization. What does it need from my skill set, and if I don’t have the skill set, how do I grow and learn to service in a much better way? Through all of this I have to say that the friendships are gold to me. I have friends that I connect with daily, weekly and monthly. I have a network to reach out to if I have a question about a protocol, or if I have a challenge with a client, if I need a distance healing, or if I am running a workshop. There is no price that I can put on this incredible community that I love and am nourished by.
Did I every imagine I would be the president of an organization? Never. Did I imagine being president of three associations at the same time? – never in my wildest dreams. Did I ever imagine that I would be creating curriculum, building standards of practice, creating a rebranded organization, connecting to other organizations around the world who can influence our world and my own world. No way. But all of this is happening. The growth of my career and my profession has been enriched beyond my dedication to my organizations. And I am grateful. Very, very grateful.
As the BioEnergetic Wellness community comes together to grow and stand strong for the Self-Care opportunities for the public, I am proud to be helping where I can. As my profession continues to grow and expand, I know that my involvement in the professional organization that supports me will have been essential to my own success.
How did my conversation finish with the person at the start of this essay? She realized that the choices she was making by not engaging with her association was going to cut her off from knowledge, friends, and her own growth. As much as she does not want to be lost for hours on Facebook, (which can happen), she has realized that she needs to engage in direct ways with the information that is being gathered for her. She determined that she needed to reach out to the closest practice group in her area and make an effort to be actively involved with them. And, she realized that she needed to make sure she was working with her discipline every day and in distant healings to keep the skills alive and supporting her. We both were grateful for the time we spent together as she handed over her portfolio to me, something she had nurtured and grown with, and something that I had not known even existed. She was paramount in the organizational qualities of the association and now I was to continue her legacy. Daunting, scary, exciting and definitely worthwhile.
As the CanBeWell Board has been expanded into a Leadership Team with several important committees sharing the workload of a vibrant and growing BioEnergetic Wellness community, I am in awe. We have skills that have come to us that are showing us the way. We have programs and opportunities being developed in collaborative and engaging ways that all of us will be able to participate in. We have friendships and gatherings that are enriching and reach from coast to coast and beyond our borders. We have a Standards of Practice being developed that will highlight our expertise and our educated gifts we have for health and wellness in Canada. Our opportunity to nurture each other’s growth is exceptional, and your opportunity to reach into this association and grab on for the ride is like no other time in history.
Thank you for your support, dedication, education, enthusiasm, eagerness, friendship, manifestation, compassion, gratitude and love. Let the gifts of 2020 begin to enrich our lives in more ways, as well as the lives of the people we reach and engage with.
CanBeWell Leadership Team President