This blog was first published last May. Is Sandra still suffering from brilliance?
Suffering from brilliance. by Sandra Shafii It is 3.27 in the morning of Friday 3rd May 2013 and I am suffering from brilliance. AGAIN! Now before you think I am boasting here….I don’t mean I am like Yogi and “smarter than the average bear” … I think probably every one of us suffers from brilliance! It is the “Eureka” that wakes you up in the early hours and you can’t get back to sleep unless you find paper and pen and write down your ingenious thoughts. You know that unless you do this you will have forgotten it all by the morning….. So suffering from brilliance is when you “get it” with blinding clarity. When your mind creates the solution to the problem that has been eating away at you for hours consciously and subconsciously. A bit of background to this story….I was on Lewis at an AHP event on Wednesday 1st May and my Alzheimer Scotland Nurse Consultant colleague Anne kindly drove me to see some fabulous places on the island before taking me on to the airport. I visited the Standing Stones at Callanish and the Black Houses….and was treated to some stunning scenery in between. The next day, Thursday 2nd May, I spent the morning with mental health AHP colleagues reflecting on Realising Potential and the “where to next” question; our conversation facilitated beautifully by Helen Ross. All good stuff…so why was my brain working overtime trying to put these two things together….then my moment of brilliance on Friday morning!! The Standing Stones are prehistoric, who knows their true function or purpose? There are several theories about them. But immune to these various interpretations, the Stones silently stand there as they always have done… evocative, primitive and enigmatic. They are enduring, simple, raw…. raised up as a representation of belief, connotation and significance. Anyone who visits them will look, wonder and distil their own meaning. And this was the moment when I put the events of the two days together…. I thought of us!! The AHP Mental Health Leads. As we reflected on Realising Potential on Thursday, we thought about our story, our journey and where Realising Potential has taken us. The Stones to me just sum it up…a pictorial representation of where we are and what we are. Bear with me….as I try to explain… The Stones are of the earth, founded in the earth but raised up, elevated, standing out. They have presence and lift our eye upwards and out to the horizon. I thought that this is just how it feels to be an AHP right now!!! Our value base as AHPs is founded in humanity and in public service. We stand for fairness, equality, impartiality and individuality but we remain grounded firmly in a moral, professional and ethical value base that reflects a civil and just society. We are enduring and resilient, weathering the constant storm of change, our strength and endurance rooted deeply in our value system; a value system that is as valid today as it has always been. Like the Stones we retain our simplicity of purpose …. we are passionate about our alliance to the people and communities we serve. Irrespective of changes in style, structure or trend in the changing organisational world around us…. what we believe in, what grounds us, is still as relevant and powerful today as it has always been. As at Callanish, AHPs now stand together forming a group, not as uniform blocks but individually shaped forms which reflect our range of professions, skills and knowledge; shaping a collective meaning, and bound by our shared beliefs and values. We have always stood out from the landscape we inhabit and we invite our patients, clients and communities to see us, to notice us, to be with us and find hope, inspiration and affirmation and feel able to derive and create their own individual meaning from their contact with us. We are what our individual patients and clients need us to be ….or want us to be. But the Stones at Callanish are a tourist attraction! Their striking image appears on marketing material and tourist brochures, inviting visitors from home and abroad to come and see them. They attract the New Age Travellers at Summer Solstice. We are moving into a New Age too…. of health and social care integration, with agendae created by our existing and emerging health and social care policies. We stand at a point in time when we should lift up our vision and invite others to come and look at us, see what we have done and are going to do. Could we invite others to offer their understanding, interpretation and reflection on who we are? And could we add to their understanding and experience by sharing our beliefs and what we stand for with them? I think we now need to look up and look out and feel so proud of what we are. We do stand out in the health and social care landscape. Why try and fit in if you have been born to stand out? Let’s use this moment in time to have the confidence and self belief to invite partners old and new to come and stand with us and work together to derive new meanings from the world we live in as we gaze at the horizon from our vantage point and dream of what might come. @AHPRunRideTeddy To read ‘Realising Potential’ click here To read the ‘One Year On’ report click here