An Hallelujah Moment
Ali admits that participating in the programme was emotional at times. She describes the experience of crying on the first day of the programme as “an hallelujah moment”:
“The first day of the programme was something I will never forget. I experienced such a release of emotion that I burst into tears, but I was amazed that it felt completely OK. The course gave me the space to think differently, talk differently, get upset and be in a scary place. We were asked to keep a journal of our experiences and the first thing I wrote in my journal was “thoughtfulness”.
Ali began practicing what she had learned within days of the programme:
“One of the things we learned was about being in the moment. I practiced that in the first week when I went to a meeting that I was not really prepared for. I decided to be completely present and by being that way I really connected with the other person. We had a fantastic conversation and I left the meeting thinking “wow, this stuff really works.”
More Meaningful Conversations
Ali believes the programme has taught her to be more open and curious with people. Being this way allows her to see different things in people and to ask different questions. “I am practicing this even with the people I know really well. By looking beyond the façade you have different and more meaningful conversations. At work I am having more genuine interactions with people. There is a lot of intense listening going on. I believe that many of us are hearing things we wouldn’t have heard before. We understand more about where other people are coming from. This is really helpful, particularly in tricky situations.”
She concludes: “I’ve always found Somerset Care to be a person-centred company and it is quite something that they have invested in a programme like this for us. It is off-the-wall and exciting. It takes you way out of your comfort zone.
“This programme has transformed me. I no longer over-think things or over-analyse. I go into situations with an open mind and don’t try and control things. The relationships I have with others are changing for the better as I now have a better understanding of where people are coming from. Above all, it has taught me that I have the power to change my life.”