How often do you switch up your routine, or break loose from the work you do and people you see everyday?
I have been enjoying myself at an equine therapies conference this past weekend. Here I get to share my Stable Moments model with equine professionals, and network to develop my next steps in the industry.
For the last year I have been really wanting to pursue research of my model. It's a structured unprecedented program, running at multiple sites, so naturally I would think it would be interesting for universitues to tackle. I reached out to several department heads, with no response. I started to think, maybe research wasn't the right direction. I just walk through doors until they close, but this seemed to be all closed doors.
At this conference, again I tried to connect with a few university reps and learned a lot about the challenges on taking on new research and why faculty is only interested in research that will earn them tenure. Bummer.
Then, after I spoke during a session I had someone ask to meet with me at a later time. I somewhat casually asked her to come by my booth at 4 as I managed to swipe cards for the line of people wanting to buy my book.
At four, she shows up and tells me she just wants share some research she had done on links between animal abuse and interpersonal violence. Pretty interesting findings, with pretty clear implications for social work reform. I was intrigued.
"How did you get your research done?" I asked.
She proceeds to tell me she is faculty at a university.
"Oh, neat, I have been trying to make connections, but I hear it's political, money driven and difficult." I responded.
She smiled. It doesn't need to be. I'm your person. I have a PhD, I can run your proposal through an Institutional Review Board (ensures research is legit and ethical), and we can do this study for little cost.
I lit up! I asked so many questions. Where do I start? What study design would be best? What do we measure first? Should it be one site or multi-site? How does it get published? And on and on and on. She was a saint. She answered all my questions. She was right, she was my person.
I reflected back on all the people who had come to me after my presentation, bringing me much of the same energy I had brought this woman. People with so many questions, eager to serve foster and adopted kids and curious about all the ins and outs. I poured into them as this woman had poured into me. We are all somebody's person. This is how this networking thing works, but when it's aligned with your calling, your purpose, it feels so much more meaningful than networking and collaboration.
Success is when your work IS your self care.
You are rejuvenated by interacting with this steady flow of alignment. You know in these moments, without a doubt, you are exactly where you need to be.
The goal is not having to switch up your routine. It's that you're just surrounded by those who inspire you, collaborate with you, challenge you and support you. But, if you're not there yet, you must make a conscious effort to live in your passion as often as possible. Book time to be in the world of your purpose. That is where God speaks to you and you start to see all the connections light up. All the seemingly meaningless, even painstaking things you endure in your day to day make sense, they're all for this and you're reminded Gods always working.