Intentness

The road to real achievement is usually bumpy and long, but you do not give up.  You may have to start over.  You many have to change your method.  You may have to go around, or over, or under.  You may have to pack up and get another start.  But you do not quit.  You stay the course.~ Coach John Wooden.

Oh, boy, did my Minutemen learn about this in the first round of the NIT 2013

In Summer 2012, I was involved in a series of meetings to prepare college students for internships in Springfield, MA.  I put together some self-care tips, anticipating that many students would struggle in their first attempts at community work.  I know that I did, and continue to.  Going into an unfamiliar community is a real eye-opener– especially to your own stuff.  You confront your feelings of inadequacy, lack of preparation, and wrong-thinkingness.  If your Intent is to actually serve that community, you cannot give up.  You need to figure out a way to stay the course.

My Tips:

1.  Learn about the community.  You will learn about hardships and disparities.  You will learn about resilience and dignity. Developing an understanding of the community is a critical part of creating realistic expectations for yourself.
2.  Talk it out.  Make time to have conversations  with your colleagues, site supervisor, and academic advisor.  They are here to support you.  They know how hard it is to step out of your comfort zone.
3.  Take a break.  Take a  walk, read a book, watch a movie, close your eyes and take some deep breaths.  Get enough sleep and eat well. Have fun!  Good health helps you provide good care to others.
 
The mission at Baystate Health is to improve the health of the people in our communities every day, with quality and compassion.  Jon Kabat-Zinn points to seeing existence of beauty, even in difficult circumstances, as a motivator.
 

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