Showing posts from June, 2013

The music behind the words

It's been about seven years we have been coming to Bulgaria. And to my eternal shame I still can't speak much Bulgarian. We speak some french and german so western Europe was much easier for us but here it's a different story.  Some key words get us through but mostly it's the language of the shrug, a gesture , a smile, a hand grasp, a kiss on both cheeks, a wave. Their eyes tell of their warmth  and welcome. But there is a catch. With one important gesture we understand the opposite, because here in Bulgaria a nod means no and a shake of the head means yes. Now I have always known that "da" means yes but every time it's accompanied by a head shake I'm thrown. I receive the answer as "no" until I have to adjust my thinking to the accompanying verbal answer of yes. Seven years on that's still true. The power of body language and the reminder that what we communicate is much more than what we say. When I facilitated counselling train

On empathy and the search for meaning

 But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer. Viktor Frankl "Mans search for meaning". I met some great people this week. People who made an impact -and not just on me. People who have been brave enough to tell their stories to help others understand more from their perspective, to challenge current practice, to enable change to happen. I know that's not easy and not without a cost but it does make a difference.   Tommy Whitelaw is one of them: an eloquent and passionate story teller.   His campaign to raise awareness of dementia touches the deeper places of our awareness, leaves people unable to look away. Hearing his and his Mum's story holds up the mirror on our care systems. Tommy respectfully but powerfully articulates this, helping us see it through his eyes: yes as a carer, but also as a loving son. A system that sadly allowed him to find out what might

What Matters to you?

  Kissing Cara! It's been a fascinating few weeks, steeped in developing principles for person centred care. The process brought together people working in health and social care in all sectors and those with lived experience of services too.   I found myself wondering which I was....what side of the fence? The healthcare professionals were familiar; a warm and a   recognisable part of my past. The third sector is definitely part of my tribe now:I'm proud of the   innovation, the flexibility, the person centredness at its heart.    But I recognised where I felt I really belonged was with those with the lived experience for this work. The words expressed went to my heart and its absolutely that, that fuels my passion for the work. My name badge just had my name on it. Just me. Part of every tribe and none. I admit there is liberation in that. Feeling able to see all parts and advocate for all in the system is part of what I can offer. The symbol we develop