By Nick Sidwell, OTR/L
If someone were to ask me where to find the best resources for engaging in the community where they do their occupational therapy work, I would say “I am looking at them!” Everything we do, everything we have, every effort we make when we get up in the morning…influences the community we are in. How are you doing what you do? Begrudgingly? How are you using your time as an OT practitioner? Is it just a job that pays the bills? Are your efforts making a difference in more than just your little are where you work?
The fact of the matter is, many of us go day to day, careening in and out of auto-pilot, going through the motions, and never really conscious to the world around us. The people around us are seen as objects or a means to the end, as we are wrapped up in our own thoughts. Our clients (though we are nice and professional to them), are never really seen for who they really are when we are so wrapped up in ourselves- getting our job done, seeing the next client, etc., etc.
Ask yourself , “When the last time I ever truly listened to another person?” What does truly listening entail? It is letting everything else melt away- our own thoughts, worries and concerns…as we engage with a client and treat them like they are the only ones that exist in the world. What is this seemingly impossible ability to listen and engage with people around us? How does someone do that with every client? It is simply called love, and love is what every person on this earth needs and wants and craves. It is simply a form of being conscious and waking up from the hum-drum in life by focusing on what really matters- how we interact with others… our communities.
Ask yourself “Do I ever feel lonely, disconnected, inadequate, and uninspired?” How do I get out of this?! Start by asking yourself, “How am I showing my love today?” If we OT practitioners are asking that, we are making a difference in our communities! Every client we work with will be influenced for good because they feel loved. Every day you go to work, it will be your work, your higher purpose, your mission, and you will not be stuck in your head all day worrying about this or that. You will be empowered and never feel disconnected, lonely, inadequate or anything like that again. It starts with a choice…
Choose to wake up!
Those Sunday nights will not be ridden with anxiety because you have a job– you will go to work . Complaining evaporates, workplace politics and drama that once consumed us… fizzles away. Blood, sweat and tears are easily offered and you make a real difference in the world around you (your community). It just takes being conscious and staying out of your head. Stop the limiting thoughts and limiting beliefs…
Choose to be conscious!
Each person is positively impacted when they are seen, heard, and worked with through love- it is the essence of occupational therapy. Our clients, when loved, go out into their community as the ripple effect- if even for a brief while- ripples affecting more ripples. Resources becoming more resources, and change becoming unlimited.
What is the best resource we have for engaging in the communities around us and for helping our clients? We are– in how we move and work with others. We are the communities, we are the resources, we change, we love.