‘an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities.’
Have you ever booked a holiday or a mini-break and been very aware of what’s included in the package? Well, I know anytime I’m lucky enough to plan a holiday, I pay a lot of attention to what’s included as part of the deal!
If I’m booking two nights away for example, I like to have breakfast included on both mornings and it’s a bonus if dinner on the first night is included at a nominal cost.
It’s also encouraging if access to a gym or leisure centre is included at no extra cost as part of the package deal, although any of you who know a little about me will have guessed I’ll probably admire the gym from afar and spend more time relaxing in the sauna than strutting my stuff in the pool! But even so, it’s probably fair to say that inclusivity is important to me!
And maybe that’s why inclusitivity is important in other areas of my life. I’m always aware at any meeting or event of the importance of reaching out and helping others feel included. Just like I did at my recent ICASSI in Bonn. You might like to read about my ICASSI experience here Perfectly Imperfect
I seem to have a radar that helps me spot people who are just a little outside their comfort zone and I enjoy helping them feel at ease.
Years ago, for example, I was involved in setting up a local women’s club and a young mother, a non-national joined us. Most people there made polite conversation with this newly settled person to our rural community but none made a point of actively including her. As a result I tried a little harder to include her and I enjoyed getting to know this lady and watching her settle in and make friends as time went on.
Maybe it’s because I find people fascinating, or maybe it’s because I grew up in a three generational home where my Nana also loved being around people and included me in her frequent visits to neighbours and friends in our locality.
Or maybe it’s because I best describe myself as an introverted extrovert…yes, if you didn’t already know it, you can be both!
So, I like my own company and quiet time but I love people, I love being around people, I love getting to know people and I love people feeling included and being inclusive. This is probably because I hate walking into a social situation on my own. I’ve had to push through that feeling at ICASSI recently (as you can read above) and it’s encouraging to have overcome that challenge. But knowing how it feels for an introvert to face a gathering… of more than one person!… is important, as it gives me insight into what it’s like for anyone who finds themselves on the fringes of any social situations. I know, like me, they probably find it a bit intimidating at first until they find their feet!
So next time you consider a hotel break or wonder what’s included in that all inclusive package deal, spare a thought for inclusitivity in other areas of your life and spread a little of your warmth and social inclusion further afield!
Thanks for your company and for including me in your day! In what ways do you like to be included? Have you ever felt excluded? How did it make you feel? Have you ever gone out of your way to include or exclude others?
Last month I travelled to Bonn for ICASSI 2018, (learn a little more about ICASSI here.)
I got this opportunity after applying for one of a limited number of places on an Erasmus programme offered by my employers. I had been hoping, like a real live blogger, to post some updates while in Bonn but my internet connection didn’t live up to my expectations. I’m home almost a month and I’ve been unable to concentrate long enough to pen my thoughts because I’ve been paying and still am paying the price in CFS/FIBRO currency for the huge amount of energy I expended during the wonderful yet demanding week at ICASSI but I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, thanks to insights from Adlerian Psychology, one of which is having the courage to be imperfect I can accept that a post just over a month later is not perfect but is instead perfectly imperfect. It is good enough, I am good enough and I hope you find it good enough and if not, well that’s ok with me too!
I travelled alone to Bonn, and I didn’t know anybody there except one of the faculty, Karen. I found it a little intimidating heading into the registration area on the evening I arrived. Everybody appeared to know each other, there was an exciting buzz that was upbeat and friendly, yet I felt like an outsider.
As soon as I had my name badge on and a cup of tea in my hand I mingled about. I knew I just had to call upon my courage and do my best to connect with others.
I soon discovered that so many people, from all over the world, have either been to Ireland or are curious about Ireland. I sat down beside a young Asian lady, who was on her own. It turned out that it was her first time at ICASSI also. She came looking for me at tea break a day or two later, asking to take a selfie together and thanking me for talking to her that first evening as she had been feeling lonely and apprehensive in her new surroundings. Reaching out to encourage others takes courage too but it’s definitely worth the effort.
If you were energetic and wanted to partake in an exercise programme, then your day began at 7am. If not you could start your day at 9am, like me, with a Plenary session which was a one and a half hour presentation with power point delivered in English and translated into German or vice versa.
Tea break was from 10.30 until 11am and morning classes started promptly at 11am until 1pm. Lunch was available on site if you wished.
I usually walked back to my hotel to grab a quick siesta following my lunch. This helped recharge my battery for the afternoon classes which started promptly at 2pm until 4pm.
When afternoon class ended there was then the option to attend short presentations from 4.45 to 6pm at which time dinner was served. There was a vast canteen area and plenty of outdoor seating which was so welcoming in the warmth of the evenings and provided ample opportunities to talk to lots of interesting and like-minded people. Coping with the heat was challenging as it ranged from 31 degrees on Monday to 40 degrees celcius on Wednesday. Thankfully a thunder storm and lots of rain on Thursday saw temperatures drop back around the early 30’s which dare I say felt managable! Bear in mind 25 degrees is considered a scorcher of a summer’s day in Ireland and quite rare!
There was ample opportunity for socialising every evening and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday an evening programme of entertainment started at 7pm and included a German Night, a talent show and a closing ceremony. There was a lovely bar where we gathered to relax over a drink or two and there was always someone happy to sing or play a guitar!
There were many different courses to choose from and I decided to participate in two short courses, instead of one long programme. I chose Cooperative Problem Solving and Encouragement in Stressful Situations. These courses were delivered using an Adlerian approach which is based on respect and social interest. Working in small groups was a great way to get to know some of the participants better.
I’ve come away from my first ICASSI with so many beautiful memories which include lots of conversations, laughter, fun, cultural insights from participants from 35 countries, renewed awareness of the importance of community, lots of new friends and promises of e-mails, a fantastic approach to cooperative problem solving and strategies from BASIC PH to encourage myself and others through stressful situations. Looking back now it really was A New Book…a beautiful one!
Thank you for reading and sharing in this experience with me!
I’d love to hear your comments or answer any questions you have.
In that post I tried to set myself a goal of taking time away from technology on Sundays. I have to admit that it hasn’t been easy! I’ve had some successful Sundays and some not so successful ones! But that’s ok because in my world, it’s about the sustained effort, not the outcome. I keep trying and that’s the main thing!
I’m popping my phone aside again today and I’m going to make rhubarb and apple tart for my extended family.
Rapid is an adjective meaning happening in a short time or at a great rate. Rapid can also be a noun meaning a fast-flowing, turbulent part of a river.
Modern living revolves around rapid…people’s lives have become entwined in rapid; everything must happen in a short time or at a great rate. We talk fast, think fast, move fast. We expect instant results, from our new diet, new hobby and even from our children. We buy commodities and use them up fast. We connect on social media to get ‘likes’ and ‘followers.’ But as quickly as people build a profile they are rapidly overtaken by the next sensation. Everything and everybody is disposable. All is well until rapid turns to turbulent, then life is no longer stable or calm but characterised by conflict, disorder and confusion. Getting life back on track may not be such a rapid process!
But we are amazing human beings. We are, real people, hidden underneath all the hurry and rush. We can turn every negative into a positive…let’s start a tidal wave, a rapid revival of real with a friendly wave across a street, time for a chat with a neighbour, a phone call to a friend, a family meal around your table…even if it’s fast food, eaten slowly!
I’m always amazed by the talent and creativity of song writers. They have the ability to lift our spirits and transport us to the most amazing and far away places without leaving the confines of our kitchen or car. Their lyrics tell inspiring stories that teach us a wide variety of lessons.
Bloggers also have the power to lift others with their words. When we write from our hearts we can say something that speaks to others. It can resonate with what somebody is experiencing at that very moment. When we take a few moments to comment on someone’s blog, to compliment a wonderful post or share words of encouragement we can have a positive impact on somebody else’s life. I believe we can provide the motivation somebody needed just at that very moment. Maybe it can be the song their heart needed to hear!
I know one thing for sure, your comments and feedback often makes my heart sing… such as,
“You know what I think Marie? I am glad you are in the club, because not only can you share what you love, but you embody love and kindness, which might pass to one person. Hugs my friend.”
…thank you Donna @ https://windkisses.com
Marie, I love how you write “My illness does not define me as a person.” So powerful. And empowering! The way you share your challenges, gives me perspective about my own. You are teaching us all. And for that, I will always be grateful. (This is who you are! A teacher. A writer. A muse.) Andrea xo
…thank you Dr.Andrea Dinardo, Thriving Under Pressure
I’ve also found that blogging has boosted my confidence in my writing ability, and connected me to other terrific writers! Thanks for this post, I think it spoke to many of us!
..thank you Ann Coleman
And to all of you who take time to read, like and share encouraging comments…thank you!
And above all continue to sing your song among the blogging community and beyond!
(1)Some relationships do not bring any profits, but they do make your life rich. (2) I do not want to reach such heights, that I may not be able to embrace others. (3)Your footsteps are going to imprint the earth, the news has spread through the garden, all the branches are bowing in reverence, […]