In these troubled world times where we are all having to adjust and adapt to new ways of being and living, Fiona Cook PTSTA, Co-Director of Physis Scotland, muses on how we are all managing to ‘connect’ on line.
How are you doing in these troubled world times? How are you managing the quarantining, social isolating, shielding, social distancing, furloughing and working from home, if that is possible, and all that comes with COVID-19 in helping to keep ourselves and others safe.
Maintaining what was a previously ‘normal’ life during these times of restriction is nigh on impossible and we are all experiencing a ‘new’ normal and are having to continually adapt to the current news and guidance about what we can and can’t do with our day to day lives. Everybody is affected and how we individually experience is very different. So, life is tricky and has absolutely changed for all of us.
At Physis Scotland we are having to acclimatise and consider doing all sorts of things on line that we would never have previously entertained. Our beautiful home in Drumsheugh Gardens is empty and we are doing everything from the ‘comfort’ of our own homes. But it does not feel ‘comfortable’. It feels strange to be seeing clients on line. It feels strange to be teaching our students on line. It feels strange to have meetings on line. It feels strange to be interviewing prospective students on line. It feels strange to be even considering doing Diploma exams on line. And yet, if we didn’t, we wonder what would happen? Is this survival? Of the fittest or not? How do we determine success?
One of the values or principles that we take very seriously at Physis Scotland is the depth of intimacy we seek to have with colleagues and students. We are a small training institute and really value the relationship we have with all who come across our paths. We pride ourselves on having an individual knowledge and understanding about each of our students, whilst also holding a respectful boundary. We are having to consider how we hold onto our value of intimacy and also compete in a world that has gone crazy with on-line events where sometimes it feels bigger is better. Everyday my inbox is populated with all sorts of CPD offerings, almost to the point of me feeling totally overwhelmed. I attended a large meeting last week on Zoom, with over 120 folk present, and found myself feeling very anxious and wanting to fade into the background and not be noticed. I certainly would not have felt comfortable speaking up in the large group.
So, it’s really got us thinking about how we find space in the online market, but still retain our base value of getting to know each other and providing a safe space for us all to be ourselves. Big is not necessarily better and what we are trying to provide is a safe intimate space for practitioners to meet and learn with and from each other in a time when we cannot do it face to face. In a time where we are yearning to ‘be’ with others physically and experience togetherness, it is a challenge to replicate that on line. We are therefore trying to keep our on-line groups small, provide time for past-timing and checking in and out with each other as we would if we were together and also address the purpose of the online gathering. We may not have it exactly right yet, but we are trying and we seek feedback from our groups on what would make it an even better experience for them for the future. We are learning that smaller can be beautiful.
On-line working is not everyone’s bag, but it is here and it is here to stay for the foreseeable future, so we will continue our endeavour of sticking to our values and being as consistent as we can in an utterly inconsistent world.
Stay safe and well everybody.