Everyone today is faced with messages that our bodies--at least their exterior appearance--are projects. To put the reality of this into perspective, I suggest looking into Jean Kilbourne’s work as she has chronicled decades of the increasing magnitude of cultural pressures on women, especially through advertisement, since the 1970s. Among the internet searches is an entire series of documentaries called Killing Us Softly 1-4. They are profound.
“Hey Mom,” my 22 year old son began, somewhat nervous. “I wanted to tell you something. Well...umm...my girlfriend asked if I would like to go spend the holidays with her family this year.” and then he paused.
Often when I am talking to a prospective field staff during the interview process, they ask me what traits I look for in a candidate. From my time in the field, working as a field staff, talking to successful high-level employees, and examining the commonalities between past staff and others who did not thrive in their previous employment, I have boiled down what I believe to be the five essential traits that seem to be universal among successful people and field staff alike.
When I was 12 years old, I was in living in Hawaii (where I grew up) and hiking to a gorgeous spot called Maunawili falls with a big gang of kids and grown ups from our neighborhood.
A crackle comes over the radio, “Backup, Backup. This is Group 1. We need…”
Awhile back, Dr. Brad Reedy hosted a webinar on Parental Grief. During that webinar, he invited webinar attendees to share some of their stories, thoughts, or lessons about their experiences as parents, and the grief and guilt that inevitably come with raising children while also learning about how to become fully their own Selves.
Earlier this year I lost my older sister Colleen, after a decades-long battle with addiction. In our younger years we were very close. Over the last several years we had become more estranged, largely because of the choice I made for me and my own family to detach from the dysfunction that was associated with her disease. It wasn’t without years of trying to help and intervene in so many different ways. This became the case for my other siblings, as well as many other friends and loved ones who one by one distanced themselves over time. And yet with that, I still miss her and will always love her.
Recently, a friend who has a teenager texted me: “I am a rabid fan of Brad Reedy’s Evoke Therapy podcasts. I have recommended these to so many people but I’ve never heard back from anyone to know what they think.”
After being on hold for more than a year because of Covid precautions, parent field visits have returned to Evoke. And with that, they have once again become a source of many questions on my weekly parent phone calls preceding the trips. The most common ones often include “What can we expect them to be like?”, "What if they ask about the future?”, and usually some variation of “What if it doesn’t go well?”
It was a cold morning in the wilderness and the boys of Evoke Group One were struggling with the basic task of stacking wood to get the morning fire going. Before this task was to begin, the boys had to wake up, pack their packs, run the organization group that distributes the daily chores, walk to the camp, place their packs in order in pack line, and stand and listen to the breakfast logistical group. “C’mon guys, we’ve stacked wood every morning for the past week. We should know this by now. Let’s get it together,” exclaimed a field staff in frustration.