I’ve been reflecting recently on the shared experience we’ve endured since March. Working to find my own center through this disorienting time, I’ve landed on a couple guiding principles that have helped me to stay grounded. These ideas have been really helpful for me, and hopefully they’ll be valuable to you as well.
Our brains are not wired to process big changes as rapidly as the ones we’ve been experiencing. Our minds are always trying to keep us safe, but they’re ill-equipped to process change at this rate. This has left many of us feeling disoriented and distracted at best… or out of control and afraid at worst.
For me, the key to dealing with this is to stop fighting the change and move toward acceptance. When I practice acceptance, I don’t judge things as good/bad or right/wrong. I simply sit with what is. When in a place of acceptance, I allow my mind to stop resisting things as they are. Rather than resist, I can instead choose to be fully present in each moment and, with that awareness, respond to whatever’s there. I’m not a surfer, but it’s what I imagine surfing a wave to be like. I find daily meditation to be a useful practice in being with the present moment, however it may feel.
Getting Out of the Drama Triangle
If you’re like me, your default state might be to view the world as something that’s “happening to me.” When I experience the world from this orientation, I can often feel victimized by my circumstances. When I find myself in the Victim role, I find Persecutors to blame or seek out Rescuers to “save the day.” In this Victim-Persecutor-Rescuer “drama triangle,” I’m focused on my problems, which leaves me feeling anxious and behaving reactively.
I have been working to develop the habit of shifting my perspective to consciously view myself as a Creator who has the power to choose how to respond to situations. In this frame of mind, I view events as something “happening by (or for) me.” When difficult situations (or people) arise, I can frame them as a Challenge to overcome instead of something trying to tear me down. Rather than seeking a rescuer to solve my problem for me, I’ve learned a Coach can help me identify opportunities to create my own solution. In this Creator-Challenger-Coach triangle, I’m no longer focused on problems, but instead on desired outcomes. This leaves me feeling creative and empowered to work towards the goal I wish to achieve.
I’ve seen many of you take this approach to managing your camps by exploring new ways to deliver the camp experience to your families. I’ve seen you lease your properties to those who want to work/live/study remotely, stay in close touch with your camp families, and invest (despite financial difficulties) in making next year a success.
There’s a lot to explore here, and I strongly recommend reading The Power of TED by David Emerald if you want to dive in further.
At CampMinder, our belief in you – in all of us – remains as strong as ever. We accept what has happened this year, and we’ve all felt the pain. And, like you, we will not retreat. Our purpose is clear: to work alongside you to rebuild a healthy, vibrant, and strong industry.
If there’s anything 2020 has made clear, it’s this: Families need us. Children need us.
And, yes, challenges await. But as we move forward together, let’s remain steadfast in choosing to focus not on our problems but on the opportunity to create a brighter future. Let’s push forward together and ensure that you and camps everywhere will operate safely in 2021. We are committed to working toward this outcome alongside you, every single day.
With love and admiration,