Platforms for voices

One of the cool things about being director and therapist at Conexus Counselling is I meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet.  I do meet courage, remarkable people who have the strength to be vulnerable to deeply explore their stories with me–that’s true…but I’m talking about other opportunities. I know I learn so much from reading and hearing the thoughts of others, and I am humbled when folks invite me to share my voice with others, believing I have something to contribute.

We can learn so much from inviting other’s voices into our lives.

I want to acknowledge those that have recently given me a voice by inviting me to speak on a platform they have created. I am grateful for the way they invited me to speak…and continue to invite other diverse voices to speak.

The humble listen to their brothers and sisters because they assume they have something to learn. They are open to correction, and they become wiser through it. Thomas Dubay

Each Thursday at 2:30 I meet with Brett and Greg on the Mackling and Megarry show on 680CJOB to talk about something that we think is an important topic for the season.  Last week we talked about a blog entry comparing the ocean waves to life, and the week before that we talked about finding ways to beat the winter blues. For a therapist to have a regular platform to spread messages about healthy relationships to a wider audience like this is incredible.

I’ve had also some opportunities lately to be a part of two amazing projects:

The First Project:

Brittany J. May is a graphic designer here in Winnipeg who created: Fierce Females. She asks the same questions of a variety of women.  I read through several of responses by strong capable women…and was honoured to be a part of this.

I took over a month to respond to the questions.  She asked big questions that required a lot of thought.  Important questions that meant I had to be clear inside myself on the responses.  My responses marinated at length until I was ready to put them down on paper.  I’m grateful for being asked to clarify some critical thoughts that actually help me set direction in the future.

Project from Fierce Females by Brittany J May.

The final question, from her site:

A short clip of Brittany May's fierce female project where Carolyn Klassen explained what feminism means to her

I listened to the audiobook, Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult last fall, around the time I answered this question.  This novel created a holy discomfort for me that continues as it reflected thoughtfully on racism and privilege…looking at the nuances of the issue in ways that had me realize how I benefit from white privilege.  As a woman, I know the experience of being disregarded and discounted on occasion. As a European, I am increasingly aware of how privilege I have is something I need to prevent the experience of others being disregarded and discounted.

We all deserve to have a voice at the table.

The second project is

Ian McClausland is a Winnipeg Photographer, whom, I think, doesn’t sleep. When I go to blogging workshops, he’s taking pictures.  When I go the TEDxManitoba, he’s taking pictures…I see him all over, all of the time. And this last provincial election, he ran a robust campaign to become a MLA for Manitoba.  I saw how hard he worked…and loved how he set a standard for himself to make his son proud of him as he worked.  So, when I saw on social media that he was running a program FiftyX50, I volunteered to participate. It meant choosing to be photographed…so it is a sign that I’ve matured some that I asked to have my picture taken!!

The idea behind Fifty X 50 is to interview 50 people who turned 50…a project Ian started as he was looking to do something innovative during the year he turned 50.  Fifty is often an age when folks contemplate and he is using this project to hack into people’s thoughts at this milestone.

He’s a thoughtful guy who asks great questions. And then, as he set up his equipment, we had a chance just to share about life on a wide range of topics.  He’s an artist, and so thoughtful about life.  Such a gift to spend the time with him.

Carolyn Klassen by Ian McCausland on Exposure

Thanx to Brittany J. May and to Ian McClausland…to two folks who invite others voices to be heard and celebrated.  Brittany and Ian, you both create a space for dialogue and conversation from a variety of voices. In this world that tends to share in 140 characters or less, you both have created a venue for thoughtful explanations and views. These sites are places where people can go to hear voices different than their own–or maybe even hear their own perspectives crystallized as they see their thoughts reflected in the thoughts of others.

Brittany and Ian, in a world that is angry and judgemental, you hold open space for people to reflect their own ideas without editing or judgement.

You teach us to listen to others, Ian and Brittany…and the world is a better place for it.  Thank you.

1 Comment

  • Brenda Skene

    I am subscribing to these gifted people that have had such an impact on you. It is so good to listen to others and I can learn a lot from them. I am learning more and more about you and what you have had to endure. I cannot imagine the hurt and pain you’ve been through. Thank you for sharing those personal things. It’s amazing how you sit and listen to all of your clients and yet you say you have learned from them. I have immense respect for you as a person and a counselor. I look forward to our visits.

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