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Welcome to the September e-newsletter of the 101 Friends Personal Supports Project

September 1, 2010
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It was a pretty busy summer – lots of travelling and meeting people, lots of talking and planning, finishing a couple of projects, starting a couple of new projects, lots of things happening.    On top of it I was taking a graduate level course in Research Methodology that was really, really, really hard (I passed and learned a whole lot, I just didn’t like it!).   Susan and I finished up a two year program that we’ve enjoyed, but which has also been hard, which was a MBA level practical applications series of workshops with about two dozen entrepreneurs from around North America, led by our friend Michael Walsh (who, by the way, has just published an excellent new book on business and management strategies, available through amazon.ca – we might also get some copies in for the office).    Our favourite part of this course, aside from the great wealth of information, was connecting with some new people who don’t know anything about our field and we don’t know anything about what they do either!   It’s been a wonderful learning experience.  

Anyway, the point is, things were busy busy busy and at the end of the last day Susan and I sort of looked at each other and headed off in opposite directions to do a little travelling and sleeping.   I also accomplished one of my 2010 goals.   It’s not a huge goal and it’s not world-changing but I had a great time.   Last year I went to a kite store in Oregon and found a kite that I loved, the Gomberg Kite Company Ghost Delta, but wasn’t convinced I’d be able to fly it so my resolution this year was to go buy it and give it a try.   It’s 7 feet across, with two twin tails that are 20 feet long.    And off I went to the beach in Oregon – a beach without a single foot print on it – where the wind was blowing so hard that when the kids tried to fly their kites they were lifted off the sand!  

It was a similar feeling to when I was lucky enough to raise a small flock of chickens – what I called chicken-mind – time spent with them, listening to their clucking, watching them not think beyond the next grain or who was where in the flock and were the chicks safe?    I watched the kite fly higher and higher, until I reached the end of the string, and just let go of everything.    Thinking, if I was thinking of anything, of Pema Chodron’s wonderful thought,  ‎”As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion.”   One of the things that Michael talks about is that we set goals for what we hope to accomplish in business and in our finances and in all kinds of ways that feel practical, but we also need to pay attention to our selves and our relationships – the things that sustain and make possible the accomplishment of all those other dreams.  

So, there were many things that did and didn’t get done this summer, and some things that were hard and others that were full of joy, but I spent a whole four days flying kites on three different beaches and don’t regret a moment of it.    One of my favourite parts was when my son said, “I like the way it feels to fly a kite – you let it go and then the line sort of disappears – and you know you’ve got something in your hand but it’s a ball of string, and up in the sky you can feel something pulling – and it might be the kite, or it might be god.”    Exactly.  

Hope to see you all at one of our events in September or October!    Oct 2nd “A Celebration of Stories of Community Living” is a great opportunity connect with some of the best minds in our field – David Pitonyak, Patrick McDonagh, Tim Stainton, Linda Perry and Barb Goode – for free, in a fun way.   Also see notices for upcoming workshops on challenging behaviours and post traumatic stress disorder.   CLBC is launching a new booklet with a group of self-advocates that we’ve been very involved in, which is so exciting.   And in September and October five greater Vancouver agencies have come together to host two weeks of Optimal Individual Service Design with Michael Kendrick, Pat Fratangelo and Jeff Strully, during which there will be two free events for the public.    If you’re interested in the two week event, let me know at aaron@spectrumsociety.org as there may be some extra spaces (no profits are being made from these workshops, but there is a cost involved).

And, next year, I will be travelling to Oregon again to purchase the large Ghost-Delta – 11 feet across with thirty foot wings!  

Aaron

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    September 10, 2010 10:02 pm

    You always have so many wonderful and inspiring quotes. Wow…and your son has an amazing way of expressing himself. So amazing to me.

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