It wasn’t that I hadn’t looked forward to it. Of course I did. Who cannot look forward to a week of sun in a beautiful country as South-Africa? At the same time, I worried because I knew that it would not be easy. We were, in my opinion, totally in the mud, and the challenge was clear: to resist the suction of the mud and to visualize and bring to life a clear and attractive plan for all partners in the consortium. We needed clearer goals, a stricter timeline, great visionary plans and the urge to take responsibility concerning the outputs, at all means.This week I refined my perspective and I do feel grateful for having learned so much. Most importantly that the plans do matter, but in the end & in the beginning, they don’t. It’s not on the plans that one must work, it is with the people and within ourselves. Plans do help, for sure (just putting this phrase to help the Finnish people cope with the rest of this blog :-), but plans are just manifestations of what people adventure to be.
The only important thing to look at, are the people. Not their knowledge and expertise (yeah, academic people, we do have theoretical miracles in our head), but their passion, their commitment, the willingness to be totally present, to be vulnerable and genius at the same time. Their braveness to defy own limits, to show themselves, to trust the process of really don’t understanding anything and staying there.
I have seen the most beautiful persons on earth this week. I listened to and heard their stories, I watched their beautiful games to deal with life, their attempts to contribute willy-nilly. I was impressed by the huge amounts of ‘drukkies’ they hold in their bodies, available, just there to uplift another human travel companion. I for example, did need quite some hugs . People did transcend their normal ways of being on different levels. Gone were the professional specialists, they made way for whole persons. Gone was the ‘I-am-a-European/I-am-a-South-African and only I can know my context’. There was all that courageous love, right in the middle of the muddiness. We stopped talking about the experiences of others, and dived in experiencing itself.
And out of nowhere, it was suddenly there: the plan, the goals, the timeline (you can take now a deep breath, you awesome control-freaking colleagues). This time, it are plans with volume, supported by all the dimensions that came up throughout the process: the vision, the care, the commitment, the passion. The unyielding conviction that we, peoples, can and will make a difference for clients, patients, youth and professionals in the field of health and wellbeing in South-Africa and Europe.
I learned that we can only do that by showing ourselves in the fullest potential reachable in the moment at hand. That we can do that only by bringing together all the assets that stir and sway in the relationships amongst us.
“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re alive” (Orlando Battista). Dear Caso-peoples, this week we became a family and I love you all very much.
By Bea Van Robaeys