Remember when we called CIU Facilitators Superheroes? That’s because they are. They are coaches, mentors, cheerleaders and teachers. They are caring humans who build trust-based relationships with participants. They are not, however, super human. Or perfect. But they do need to come to this work with a few extra tools in their backpack
- Be Curious – about yourself
Know what your Kryptonite is. Recognize your triggers. Understand your style of learning and interacting with others. Be aware of the mindset and bias you bring with you. It’s part of being human. We bring our whole selves with us wherever we go. Awareness is key. Be honest with yourself. Be curious about your own feelings and responses and know that you too will learn and grow through this experience. Always be ready to learn more and try new ways of doing things.
- Recognize that you are a role model
How you deal with your own issues, conflict, sudden challenges and interpersonal issues all matter. You are helping provide positive observational models for participants. It does not mean that you have to be perfect. It means that you have to practice awareness, be present and acknowledge when you have acted or responded in ways that might have been less than helpful. Show others what leadership looks like - be reflective, explore reactions, take ownership and to try to do better next time. Model the art of asking for help, feedback and advice when you need it. That’s real strength and resilience in action.
- Build your circle
Who else could you invite to help support you and the program - a yoga instructor, a counselor, an elder or your local government representative? What services are available in the community ? Is there a library, an art therapy program, a meditation center or a gardening co-op? The classroom walls are permeable. Bring the community in. Create a circle of support for the program, the participants and for you.
- Have a self-care mindset
The secret to becoming a true superhero is never giving beyond your means. Read that last sentence slowly one more time and let it sink in. Give only what you can and ask for what you need - mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. YOU are your most important ally. Build and foster the skills, tools, and daily practices needed to take care of yourself. Don’t neglect your own health and wellness – remember, you are a model for participants in this area as well. Make sure you have the supports you need and know your own boundaries.
- Live in the Fab Five
Th is program is strength-based, holistic, learner centred, hands-on and trauma-aware. When making decisions, planning the program or responding to new events, these concepts are the lens for creating all CIU activities and interactions.