What makes you come alive? – Now there is a question worth thinking about

Good monday morning,

I’ve been thinking about what has made the most difference to the work we do and the impact it makes. I think it goes back to some words I heard for the first time a year ago….

The wonderfully wise and generous Rev (interfaith minister) Briers offered me these words through his inspiring and illuminating wonder book:-

A Little Book on Finding Your Way: Zen and the Art of Doing Stuff

These words come originally from Howard Thurman

So why have these words made such an impact?

Think about them.

What really makes you come alive, puts a huge grin on your face and fills you with energy and optimism?

Are you being, doing and sharing what makes you come alive?

When we offer our two day compassionate practitioner programme (which is for small groups of committed compassionate foot soldiers who want to lead the way) there is a moment on day two when I ask the ‘what makes you come alive’ question.

I then ask people to think about what the question means in their context – for example dementia care.

Here are the beautiful questions that were designed ‘from the inside out’ at a recent course at Dementia UK:-

Dheeresh – How can we involve others in the development of mindfulness and how it enhances appreciation of life in the work context?

Sally – How can we ensure a compassionate connection with the people we train (outside of these sessions)?

Lisa – How do you think you could bring movement and fluidity to your role?

Rose – How can we ensure our carers get involved and do what makes them alive?

Tina – How can we ensure the people we support spend time with their loved ones?

Ashley – How can we promote community precense and a sense of achievement for our service users and their families?

Hilary – How can I  make sure staff at dementia uk feel alive so that they can realise Dementia UK vision?

Mandy – How can we promote and achieve a sense of balance in the lives of people with learning disabilities?


Threads around family, community, paying attention and balance.

Applying this kind of thinking to each other seems to have a super powered effect – energy, confidence and hope spread and are passed on.

A short story to finish:-

A manager at a care provider organisation in Westminster recieves a call and discovers the CQC inspector has arrived at another site – there are no managers there.

A care giver warmly greets the inspector and quickly sends the word round for her colleagues to join her and the inspector, telling them to ‘bring your certificates’. The care givers have just completed the ‘Compassionate Care Giver’ seminar and they seem to have ‘come alive’ as they tell the inspector:-

Everyone one should do this programme

It makes us proud of what we do

Everyone should be compassionate

They boldly share their ‘certificates of commitment to compassion’ in which they have declared their commitment to taking care of themselves, each other and the people they care for.

The CQC inspector thanks the care givers and says ‘I have never seem such happy care workers’.

As we come alive, we become our true selves and we can give the kind of care that we all long for.

I would love to hear what makes you come alive.

For me it is sharing the gift of compassion.

Wishing you a wonderful day



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2 Responses to What makes you come alive? – Now there is a question worth thinking about

  1. Maxine Craig says:

    Foe me in all walks of life … Seeing people grow

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