This is Me

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This June, Building Caring Communities (BCC) hosted its third discussion around the key conditions of resilience, but this time it was our autonomy orientation stars who joined us. We asked the group if they like the name or if they wanted us to change it, and one participant remarked that they “might fall asleep” as the name sounds boring. We took their suggestions and renamed the condition “This Is ME”. Our working definition of This is Me is: I get a say in the direction of my life through understanding myself and feeling my power.

The participants were asked why they thought they were asked to join us for this discussion. One participant said, “to build up our leadership skills” and another participant commented that, “I know what I am doing and what I want in life”. The group also discussed independence, having a positive outlook in life, and their ability to make plans for the future.

“One of the best things in life to do is be easy going”

The group of participants was asked questions about how they make decisions and who is involved during that process. One thing that stood out in this segment was that choice can be flexible – you can make one decision and change your mind. Sometimes we make decisions just because we feel like it. It is this intuition of decision making and flexibility that allows individuals to follow their inner journey map. The group of participants also agreed that if something is important to you that you just “go for it”. Close family and friends will understand that you have the right to make your own decisions and they will respect your choices.

“Choice” – “doesn’t matter to me – if they want something I would just go for it”

Our next segment was our journaling activity which was about self reflecting, being able to point out your strengths, and how to cope with difficult life experiences. The journal activity highlighted the participants’ sense of self. We found that with this activity everyone picked a skill that they felt they were good at. One Participant said they use their skill to help others: “I’m good at writing and blogging – I have my own blog about my experiences with anxiety and epilepsy”. The individuals in this group were also able to point out things that make them sad as well as positive coping mechanisms that make them feel better. One participant said that they, “listen to music to cure the sadness, feel good vibes, and make me take it slowly” when talking about the feeling of loss and grief.

“I’m good with hands-on stuff – building and fixing things. In high school, I started taking wood shop and it came kinda natural to me.”

We asked the group what their long-term goals were. One participant in the group mentioned that they wanted to learn a new language and travel. This participant mentioned that they have a budget but, “my goals might change and that’s okay”. One participant mentioned that they are starting a new business because it’s, “super, super cool and fun to do”. Another participant said that they recently completed some big goals, so they look forward to working at their new job and building a new relationship; this participant said, “it’s quite a commitment and responsibility to have a boyfriend, but it’s something I decided I wanted on my own”.

As the group session ended, the participants left together continuing on the conversation. Another fantastic group of self-driven and ambitious individuals. Thank you for joining us autonomous participants, we are so lucky to have you!

Contributed by: Christine McPhedran