Re-Imagining

My father called me with a challenge. He often does this - gives me an idea to think about and to refine. I think he does this because I'm always home when he calls, we think an awful amount alike, and I can see things from a different perspective. I often do the same thing to him, so turn about is fair play!

Anyway, his task is to run the pledge campaign for his church this upcoming Fall. He started with the theme idea of "Imagine," but it has changed to "re-Imagine." He had the beginning of his campaign going and wanted some input about where to take it from there.

re-imagine


I started off the situation like I always do, a bit confused and not thinking about the idea AT ALL, but I eventually started to get involved in the idea. He sent me some thoughts written down and the power of the visual stimulation started to take over. I was able to send him some thoughts back in written form, so we are off and running. Just then, my sister called to let him know that my mother was hungry, so off he went to feed them with the directive to think about more ideas for him to use in his campaign!

The idea of re-imagining things has been coming up over and over in all of my various situations - professional, personal, and hypothetical. My school is getting a physical makeover that has necessitated some new ideas about how music therapy will be offered within the school year. The music therapy job itself is constantly changing and evolving because new clients arrive and change the job over and over again. The music therapy profession is on the verge of a shift - lots of talk about "how we always do things" that lead me to think that it is time for a paradigm shift there. Ideas just keep evolving and revolving in my head.

I think I have been programmed to think in a specific way. I blame the parents, of course...

Our mother is very good at taking an idea and making it into something new, different, and better. I think she started us all off on a path of creativity and seeing many options available to us. Our father takes those ideas and builds on them often pointing out the opposite viewpoint in a way that prepares us for opposition. He challenges us to move from our place in the world to other points of view. Between the two of them, they raised three creative people.

My parents helped us become critical thinkers. They challenged us to try new things. They also helped us to see that "the way of doing things" was not "the ONLY way of doing things." There are always more options available.

That's the purpose of re-imagining. Seeing the options that are available.

One of the tasks of a "re-imaginer" is to reflect on what happened in the past, observe what is happening the present, and dream about what will happen in the future. It is important to think about the many aspects, opinions, and ideas that are out there in the ether - not just your own, but those of everyone affected by a change in "how we do things."

So, the professional association isn't doing what you want it to do. Start asking yourself some questions. What do you want the association to do? How can you help the association do what you want it to do? Who will be affected when these changes occur? It this in the best interest of all professionals or just you?

Your life isn't where you want it to be. Ask yourself some questions again. What do you want to do with your life? Is music therapy what you want? Is your idea of music therapy a match for the ideas in your present employment place? Do you need a change in location and situation?

People often make excuses for not making changes. I am guilty of this. "I can't move right now - I can't afford it." "I shouldn't quit my job until I find the 'perfect' job." "It's worked perfectly well this way up to now, so why rock the boat?" "How can I, a mere [insert term here], expect to change the [association, job, profession, world]?

There is a quote that I have carried around with me for a long time. It is attributed to Corita Kent and says the following:
"Structures are restraints - a way of limiting. What you can build within restraints and structures is almost limitless."
That thought sits over my shoulder when I present a webinar. It is on a bulletin board that I see daily. I try to remember that structures and restraints are upon us but they do not define who we are or what we can do with ourselves. We may have the structure of "the ways it's done," but that doesn't mean it always has to be that way.

Re-imagine.
 

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