Waxing physically and philosically...

After literally years of deliberation, and as a result of some delicate and some less delicate prodding, this blog is my effort to organize - to bring together - my thoughts about my work as a conductor and as a personal trainer, to rant and rave as necessary, to celebrate the little things and the larger moments of brilliance, and to share some conductive magic and life lessons gained through 'waxing physically and philosophically'.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Life Without Limits -- Conductive Education on the International Stage

I was planning to use this blog posting to simply announce an upcoming conference that I will be presenting at -- but it seemed a bit impersonal dear readers, to do so without at least saying hello to you, and telling you a bit about what has been going through my head lately.  That said -- if you are pressed for time and just want the facts, please find a link to the conference which takes place April 16-18th in Auckland below.  My presentation is on Friday April 17th at 2:30 pm and if you are in the 'hood it would be most wonderful to have support from the CE community there.

Work has been hectic and a bit stressful over the last while.  That may or may not be the subject of a future blog post.  Life outside work has been more about exploring, adventuring, and indulging than about maintaining this blog, for which I will not feign apology.  In fact, I actually offer the opposite of an apology -- I offer the encouragement to do the same.  When life is good, get out there and enjoy it.  When things are hectic and stressful, all the more reason to seek what makes you happy and to care for yourself by doing things that offer pleasure, restores balance, and provokes gratitude.

Yes, my time outside work has been about exploring, adventuring, and indulging.  But as conductors we are very lucky.  Politics and organizational crappiness aside, for most of us our work makes us happy, offers pleasure, and provokes gratitude.  On the weekends I love the outdoors -- and New Zealand's outdoor are inspirationally splendid.  During the work week my classroom is my sanctuary, my time with clients feeds my soul, and inspires me to be the best that I can be for them and for myself.  Working conductively reminds me to celebrate being exposed to the attitude and lifestyle of Conductive Education; it helps me take risks and try new things; it helps me value and appreciate being the best you can be within the context of a set of circumstances or of a moment, and it helps me celebrate even the tiniest of achievements and to remember that tiny achievements add up to more than the sum of their parts.  For example...

A small achievement was writing about the benefits of Conductive Education for people with degenerative conditions as part of my dissertation as a student at NICE, and having that shape my practice to this day.  A small achievement was opening my colleagues minds to the possibility of opening our services to people with Muscular Dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions beyond those typically seen in CE.  A small achievement was getting a pep talk from conductor Mandy Elliott affirming that I was right to pursue this path.  A small achievement was starting to work with people with such conditions, even if at first it was just me providing individual sessions outside of our main programs and groups.  The work was too exciting to keep to myself, the clients too outrageously orthofunctional to deny my colleagues the chance to learn and to understand what we could do to support these people.  A small achievement was building a service relationship with the relevant association here in New Zealand and being invited to speak to their key workers about what Conductive Education had to offer.  A small achievement was being encouraged by the Muscular Dystrophy New Zealand service manager to submit an abstract for this conference and actually finding time to meet the submission deadline.  A small achievement was having my abstract accepted for presentation -- and yes, it is a small achievement as in terms of exercise and lifestyle for people with Muscular Dystrophy I didn't have much competition.  (I will post my abstract in the comments for those who wish to read it).

A big achievement, bigger than the sum of all of those small achievements - for what it is worth - is seeing Conductive Education represented at an academic, international conference.  I have a couple of months to prepare and I would be grateful for any support from the Conductive Community, anecdotal or other, from conductors who have worked with people with neuromuscular conditions beyond the few we typically see in CE and from people with these conditions who have benefitted from CE.  Not to be sardonic, but there is a good chance I will be presenting as an independent instead of on behalf of my current organization, so I could use all of the support from the CE community that I can muster.