By Cornell St.Jean
On April 19th the ﬁrst ever “Imagine Conference” was held at the Roundhouse Community Centre in downtown Vancouver. “Reclaiming Our Passion” was the overall theme of the conference, and much of the focus was on personal and professional renewal. Through hands-on exercises and touching stories, individuals attending the conference were encouraged to reconnect to their deepest values, passion and purpose.
Seis^lom, of the Kla-how-eya Cultural Centre, started off the conference playing a First Nations frame drum and offering an Opening Prayer. The pulse of the frame drum, and the ﬂow of the First Nations Prayer were captivating, and set the tone for the rest of the conference.
Michael Kendrick was the ﬁrst speaker of the day with a session titled, “What one person can do in human service, Advocacy, and Social change.” Michael spoke of how we sometimes become immobilized – a rut in our life or in our work. We become paralysed by doubt and “self-defeating assumptions”, telling ourselves we just can’t do it. He spoke about the importance of taking that ﬁrst step in order to make a difference, and the need to leave your comfort zone. Explore the source of your motivation.
What motivates you?
What can you give? Understanding, sensitivity, insight, patience, warmth, imagination, determination, knowledge…
Gregg Levoy was the second speaker of the day with a session titled, “Called to serve: The power of passionate work”. Gregg spoke about renewing your energy for life and for your work. We participated in an exercise that involved answering, as truthfully as possible, a series of questions regarding your life, work, family and personal beliefs. We were then asked to analyze the answers and look for themes, or things that stood-out.
Basically, it was meant to bring awareness to the important things in one’s life, to be able to recognize a true calling in one’s life.
Overall, the conference was a brilliant reminder of the wonderful community that exists within people who work in support of others, and of course within the individuals we support.