We're twenty days into 2017 and I can't believe how much change has happened in my life. I've started a new relationship. I've had a young rabbit turn up, which I looked after for a couple of weeks before finding another home for him. My boarder has moved out after four years, so I have my house to myself again, and I've created a whole new "chill-out" space with the extra room.
My new cosy nook — a work in progress
I thought I'd be a bit grown up and, rather than ending the year on a rant, celebrate what has actually been a full and rather successful year for me, Diversity New Zealand and our clients.
We began the sixth year of Be. Leadership back in March this year. A talented group of people spent a year of curiosity and inquiry into leadership, accessibility and other social issues. It's been an honour and privilege to spend another year working alongside Lesley Slade and the rest of the Be. Accessible team. I also had the rewarding challenge of working with Lesley and Megan Barclay in leading Be. Accessible while CEO Minnie Baragwanath was on extended sick leave.
Conflict — it's easy to avoid. In fact, we often do anything we can to avoid it (well, I do). Often that means not doing anything.
Within the last 24 hours I was involved in a conflict situation with a colleague. I won't go into the detail — it's irrevelent. But the process the two of us went through — an action, a reaction by me that created conflict and then a conversation to come to a resolution — reminded me that, even though it is acutely uncomfortable, when handled constructively, conflict can have truly positive outcome.
Last week I blogged about my purpose. I said I felt purposeless, and wondered if being purposeless was, in fact, my purpose for now.
I've changed my mind. I wonder if surrendering my purpose was part of rediscovering it. I also wonder if my parents bringing a whole lot of newspaper clipping from when I was born has helped me remember.
Balancing confidence and humility in any relationship, be it personal or professional, is a real skill. The first step is to become aware of what the two are. Author of The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory, Françoise Simpère writes:
“Arrogance...is generally a cover for a chronic lack of self-confidence.To be specific, self-confidence is when one is aware of his or her qualities without falling victim to false modesty. Humility allows one to recognise quietly that even though he or she is a wonderful person, there may be qualities that he or she lacks. An individual with a balanced ego is fully aware of his or her own existence and does not need others to confirm it. He or she is interested in others because of who they are, and not because of a need to see him or herself as a reflection in their admiring eyes.”
"Who We Are" is a music video with a vision of changing how we know ourselves & each other. It's all about us, made for the world to see.
Follow Jess and her friends as they explore and celebrate identity and self expression. They are young people with unique gender, sexual and functional expression who are proud of who they are.
I was disappointed but not surprised that a diversity debate at the Auckland Writers Festival yesterday turned out to be an ethnicity debate, with a little parlance about binary gender thrown in for good measure.
Image | Auckland Writers Festival
When I asked at the end why in 2016 a diversity debate's scope would be so narrow (apart from author Victor Rodger mentioning a fa'afafine character in one of his novels), after a resounding applause from the audience, I was met with varying levels of defensiveness, including:
Yesterday I presented at the 7th Multidisciplinary Sexual Dysfunction Conference, somewhat misnamed due to history — as organiser Nic Beets explained, it's become a lot less medicalised over the years. Now it attracts GPs, physiotherapists, counsellors, psychotherapists, sex therapists, sexual health promoters among others. This post summarises my sessions and includes points I neglected to cover.
By chance (or perhaps design on the part of the organisers) I spoke after listening to a presentation by Dr Russell Shuttleworth, Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, followed by a Q&A with Dr George Taleporos, Researcher, also at Deakin University, with whom I've been acquainted for nearly two decades. Their topic was Facilitated Sex for Adults with Disabilities. I pointed out the irony that George and I had been having this conversation for those 15-20 years and, from their presentation, it seems not much has changed.
In Christopher Reive's recent Taranaki Daily News article, Stephen Hills to represent New Zealand at the Paralympic Games, he writes:
"Hills, who suffers right-side paralysis and seizures..."
1 May is the eleventh annual Blogging Against Disablism Day. "This is the day where all around the world, disabled and non-disabled people blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination (known as disablism or ableism). In this way, we hope to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we've made," says the official site.
I've blogged a couple of times. This year I'm doing a mash-up of those two posts because they still represent my views.