Recently, I was asked to speak to the occupational therapists of the Trauma Center at Regions Hospital for their professional development luncheon. Mind you, it was ironic that these were the same highly talented professional therapists that worked daily in a network of occupational and physical therapists who coached me in my attempts to heal and retain my dominant hand through six surgeries. Now I find myself training THEM and offering coaching and healing inspiration from my personal and professional experiences. What?!
As with many in the health profession, they offer an amazingly skilled and compassionate service with little thanks for their much-needed efforts. As part of my talk, I asked them to privately write down 3 strengths or talents that they feel contribute to their team and or patients in their care. I also required they write a “secret” strength, talent or affinity that their colleagues would be shocked to know. I was silently laughing in my head thinking maybe I was getting a little too much pleasure out of asking therapists to write for me after all of the hand exercises they had been making me do to practice writing in attempts to retrain my hand.
I collected their notecards to compile and send to the head of their department. Their answers were fun and inspiring. I shared my story about having to decorate a ceramic pig while in my hand brace for Occupational Therapy when I was hospitalized there. I admitted it was an activity that I deeply resented because of my fears and the pain it would cause. I was tempted to put three eyes on the thing and paint it orange with big stripes.
The photo on the left is that resulting pink pig, which sits on my desk as a reminder of the perseverance to heal. When I received in the mail another highly decorated “Swine Creation” from the therapists as a thank you for inspiring them as both people and professionals, I saw it as a clear representation of the reason why we should NEVER keep our gifts nor interests a secret. - Shine on, Kaari Allen
Shine on, Kaari Allen