Excerpt from Christina's Graduation Speech
To you graduands I would like to congratulate you on your hard work and perseverance to complete your studies, your practical work and your own transformation. All of which is big.
You have finished one phase of your life long journey to be a good practitioner. Now as one door closes behind you another opens.
Have courage to dare, stay true to your vision and your understanding of the holistic Human being and step into the next phase of your growth. It is not an easy time but I believe you are born for these times and are equipped to meet them.
Collectively we are in a time of great change.
We are witnessing a huge cultural paradigm shift that excites some and threatens others and challenges us all.
This challenge is a separating us into polarised groups out of fear.
It then becomes easier to blame and criticise the other, rather than acknowledge and manage our own insecurity and vulnerability. This is when our shared humanity gets lost.
We have witnessed this in the impact and tragedy in NZ recently.
We have also witnessed real humanity and Political leadership in PM Jacinda Ardern. She urged us not to confront these issues alone and not to pay attention to fear so as not to feed it.
Rather it requires an ability to listen to the other with an open heart, to be inclusive and to collaborate and embrace difference. She is a great model for us all as we navigate the challenges.
It is my hope and wish for you graduands that you can remember your humanity at all times.
Remember your knowledge of the mystery and wonder of the Holistic Human Being that you have learnt at Metavision.
Remember your study of conflict where you can fully put yourself in the other person’s shoes, as well as take your own side, and together collaborate to find a new position. This requires an inner fluidity and an ability to be ‘shot down ‘ as Arnold Mindell (PW founder) teaches and models beautifully.
This paves the way for mutuality in relationship, understanding of difference and collaboration for a new paradigm to emerge where humanity and compassion is preferenced over control and exclusion.
As Arny Mindell says it creates the possibility for “all to feel at home”. What a simple yet profound statement that is.
You have been part of a large class at Metavision where conflict has not been a foreigner. I hope it has been a good training for you as you step over the threshold from student to practitioner.
Last year I spoke ofDr Iona Heathpast president of the Royal College of GP’s in England gave a speech at Sydney Uni. a year or so ago. I would like to remember her message again as I think it is for you to hear.
She used the termTintinnabulation (Edgar Allen Poe) The sound of a bell after it has been struck that mixes with the sound of the succeeding bells.
She used this word to describe how fear is joining and reinforcing the next fear in many layers in medicine and healing. This is the field you are going into whether you go into a Counselling /Psychotherapy practice or not.
Dr Heath spoke of over medicalization of ordinary humans in distress, within the current medical system, and of the progressive exploitation of fear in patients, doctors, administrators and politicians by those who stand to gain from it such as biotechnical and pharmaceutical companies leading to over use of medication and surgical intervention. This comes from someone in the midst of the medical practice in England.
You are entering into just such a climate described so eloquently by Dr Iona Heath.
Tintinnabulation of fear occurs not only in the medical field but everywhere.
I have seen the effect of this in previous graduates from MI as they face a system where the Holistic practices and understanding of the human being that you have learnt at Metavision are not that of the current mainstream Psychological practices. Don’t be intimidated by this. Do not think that it is better than what you bring. It is only different. I hear of how many graduates are shining in their work places because of the way they work. People are looking for more holistic and integrated ways of working.
I want to encourage you to hold onto your own understanding and perception and not allow fear to sway you.
It is not easy but together we are making a difference. Remember keep connected in to the MI community as an alumni member.
As you step over the threshold from student/graduand to Graduate and professional there are 3 things to remember:
Professional support and PD
Alumni and peer support
Self care supported by an active and abundant social, family and community life where you are not working.
This is a Vocation where the hearts deep longing meets the worlds deep need. (Arthur Zajonic)
It is a vocation of Relationship and Conversation.
I’ll leave you with the words of famous author Ursula Le Guin:
“Words are events. They do things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.”
Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two possibilities, to being understood or misunderstood…
The most magical thing, the most sacred thing is that whichever outcome, we end up having transformed one another in this vulnerable –making process of speaking and listening.
The courage to do this can create a Tintinnabulation of compassion and humanity. Let us put this out into the world. It will counteract fear.
To do this we need not only courage but also imagination and perseverance.
I trust that you can do this.