Courage is Contagious
“Don’t ask the world what it wants from you, ask yourself what makes you come to life. Because what the world really needs are more people who have come to life.”
This is a quote that was shared with me by my very wise younger brother while I was in the midst of floundering, transferring colleges, and trying to find my own meaning and purpose. I remember reading it while sitting by a river on a wilderness solo trip and knowing he was right. It is a quote that has continued to inspire me through my life journey.
As I look back on my time in Dallas at the innovative FITS Conference, put together by the Second Nature Team to encourage collaboration, I couldn’t help but come back to this quote that I first read over 10 years ago. As I have reflected on this conference, I feel blessed to still be living this truth and surrounded by other professionals who have followed their hearts and make it their life goal to help others come to life.
Gratitude is the word that I have consistently heard from folks who attended this conference. I feel immense gratitude to have spent a weekend with a group of professionals who weren’t afraid to truly show up in an authentic and vulnerable way. The first day of the conference consisted of a series of panels. During the very first panel on family work the conversation quickly shifted to the importance of us as professionals doing our own work. Part of us doing our own work looks like taking our guard down and showing ourselves as human beings who don’t have all the answers. I left the conference feeling more connected to myself and the many individuals that let me see and know them. We lived what we teach our clients day in and day out.
Each panel and presentation stimulated passionate and heart felt discussions on topics close to each of our hearts. The intention was collaboration verses competition. I am hopeful that this is the next evolution in our field. If the goal is truly to help families heal, then we need to work together to make this happen by utilizing each other’s strengths and supporting one another in a process of personal growth and exploration.
Courage is contagious. As people began and continued to open up during this conference the entire energy began to shift to one of partnership and openness. The conference culminated in an experience of watching Tonya Meeks, a psychotherapist and artist out of southern California, share her own heartfelt journey of healing through a one woman play while Kevin Kindlin, part of the marketing and development team at Second Nature, narrated parts of the play by song. Afterward, Kevin shared that he too is rediscovering his voice. What struck me was not only the amount of courage this took, but the fact that their willingness to share their stories and gifts summed up what the entire conference was really about.
I too feel immense gratitude toward the Second Nature individuals that dreamed up this experience, took action to make it materialize, and to each participant that was willing to courageously show up with their whole heart. I feel inspired to continue to listen to what makes me come alive, to role model that for the clients I work with, and to collaborate with other professionals who are also willing to speak their truth and follow their hearts because ultimately that is what the world really needs.