Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hearing the untold stories?

after the storm

My mission this week was to create the space to write and relax. As last weeks blog indicated it took a few days to achieve this but as ever this beautiful place started to work its magic. And it's as my book was taking shape again I read the quote from Maya Angelou. We a have lost some very special people this last year and she was certainly one of them. Her wisdom, her courage, her call to our humanity, her poetic writing a huge inspiration.
The quote I read was:
 "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."    
It really had an impact on me as I read it. Is that what drove me to write my story really? I honesty couldn't describe it as an agony but when I sat down to write its what wanted to come out. I wanted to fully understand and articulate what I have learned along the way. In the hope that the process itself would finally settle some of it in my own mind. And maybe it would help people travelling a similar path or even those caring for or working with someone in a similar situation. What happens as I write is interesting information for me too, some parts are really hard to describe, my emotions still affected by them. I stumble over the chapters of my life that were painful and still are. But I admit a lightening of the burden as I leave them behind on the page.
There is no doubt that my experience has also shaped my working life, initially when I was still nursing, in my career as a third sector leader and now too in my coaching and consultancy work, especially when it's focused on health and social care. I want what I have experienced and more importantly what I learned to be clearer for me so I can use this to further inform my work.

Next week I have the honour of chairing two sessions on person centred care at the NHS Scotland event. The title is Ask Me, Hear Me to reflect that to improve care compassion and kindness in themselves are not enough, unless we ask people what matters to them and respond to that, we can't provide person centred care. We aim in the session to show people that just behaving differently , involving more and connecting differently can have a profound impact on their wellbeing and on the service. And it's not as difficult or complicated as we think. At its simplest its listening instead of talking and at its most challenging it's letting go of traditional power dynamics in health and social care and sharing the responsibility with those other experts, those living with the condition or in need of the service. It's about connection and trusting that people and communities need to find their own path to well

being and its our role to enable that. To ask, to hear, to enable, to let go.
In reflecting over my time in and out of wellbeing these other words of Maya Angelou also resonated.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I have learned the truth of that. And I'm not going to focus on the ones I remember for all the wrong reasons, but the ones who made me feel cared for, listened to and those who helped me find my own path back to health. My deepest thanks go to those who connected with me as a person and allowed me to follow my own truth with their guidance. They are the people who have helped this wounded healer back to a place of wellbeing and with a deeper understanding of what really matters to me and to others like me. What a rich and life enhancing process that can be for people and communities too. Can we be courageous enough to make that the norm for everyone?


  1. People like you describe a very special. Some folks are particularly gifted in that way of support, but I do think we all have it in us to be generous with one another. ~Catherine

  2. I do agree Catherine, it's there in all of us, we just need to bring it out in ourselves and then in others too. You do that well. Ax


Using your bounces wisely!

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