And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed. Kitty O’Meara
With the spring season now upon us, we begin to notice nature changing and rebirthing itself in the form of buds on branches and stems emerging from soil. Normally a time for happiness and anticipation, this year finds many of us mired in feelings of sadness and disappointment. Coronavirus continues to monopolize all newscasts and conversations while concurrently robbing us of our health and normal life routines. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” Sun Tsu Faced with perhaps one of the greatest viral challenges of our generation, all of us as healthcare workers have been required to provide services in different ways and to care for our country and our world like never before. While exhaustion and frustration are ubiquitous, my team and I have chosen to focus our efforts on exciting opportunities for change. Just this week, I was attacked for sharing this approach to our circumstances by a critic who replied with, “Weird to say ‘exciting opportunity’ when we very likely are risking poor outcomes, and so I suggest you give pause to your wording.” In response, I expressed my belief that positives and exciting opportunities can co-exist with challenges and misfortune. Negativity can consume us and distract us from what needs to be done; positivity always improves productivity and performance. Ultimately, remaining the same can also negatively impact patient outcomes by reducing and degrading individual and group potential to settle for mediocrity. Whereas, times like we are in can present us with a call to action, to rise out of complacency, and to force us to look at things again with a new lens. Perhaps the pandemic has abruptly roused us from the greatest danger individuals and healthcare have always been susceptible to: the delusion of thinking we know what we are doing, that we are doing everything right, and that we are doing everything we can. In merely the smallest and most formless element of nature, we are reminded that, despite all that we have accomplished, we must continue learning and improving ourselves. We must keep getting better. And all the while never forgetting the inherent core to our existence: humanity, humankind, and the person that each individual patient is to their families and communities. It is, therefore, with earnest that Kay and I continue forging ahead as healthcare professionals looking for exciting opportunities to learn and share our learnings through NeuroPro Education. Although our previous path has been interrupted, rather than concentrating on the cause (Coronavirus), we will instead use this as a time to evolve, develop, and produce. NeuroPro Education course curricula will be updated and reconfigured to provide the most current teaching pedagogy, content, and centering on the priority of who our patients are and what activities and roles matter most to them. Let us emerge from this chaos with a renewed energy to attend to each other and to be better than we were before. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Plato
The legendary, Grammy Award-winning singer, Kenny Rogers, died on March 21, 2020. You may or may not be a fan of his music, but several of his songs have been playing a loop in my head since the news of his death, especially “The Gambler”. Perhaps the most famous lines in that song are from the chorus, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, Know when to fold ‘em . . .” But the lines I’ve been thinking about are these: Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’ is knowin’ what to throw away and knowin’ what to keep . . . Possibly, this is a secret for every person, not just the gambler. And maybe it is more than a way of surviving . . . it may be a key to thriving professionally. Over the years of my career, I have been at this decision point a number of times, choosing what to keep, when to go, where to go and what to leave behind. Last year, I came to one of those key decision moments again. If you are reading this, you have found your way to NeuroPro Education. Here’s how I found my way here. In 1999, I met my future partner at NeuroPro, Jason Knox, during a course I was instructing. Over the next ten years, I began to develop my own style of instruction and began innovating a static curriculum. I gave myself permission to teach in the same way that I actually thought about examining and treating patients. By 2009, Jason had become an instructor and I invited him to teach with me. By our second teaching engagement together, I knew that our thinking about clinical practice in stroke rehabilitation was aligned and I felt a teaching synergy emerging. “. . . knowin’ what to keep . . .” As we both continued our clinical practice and teaching, we continued to innovate together. It seemed like we thought each other’s thoughts and could finish each other’s sentences. We were having fun in our new found freedom in teaching and we started seeing students not just improving their practice but being truly inspired by their own ability to change a patient’s life. We changed the content of what we taught, we changed the focus of how we taught, we changed the style and use of the classroom, and we changed our presentation methods. “ . . . knowin’ what to throw away . . .” Last year, we began to realize that all our innovations and experimentations and pushing the limits of the old curriculum we had taught for another organization, were leading us somewhere else. We knew it was time to go and we knew where to go. We had to make our own way in our own endeavor. I guess you could say NeuroPro Education had always been in the making . . . every shift in thinking, every change in practice, every classroom transformation. “ . . . the secret to survivin’ . . .” So, welcome to our new home, NeuroPro Education. We are bringing you the best courses that we are capable of teaching, the culmination of our collective knowledge and experience. And we promise to keep innovating. Yes, Kenny Rogers, the secret to surviving (and thriving) is knowing what to throw away and what to keep.
Disasters and crises bring out the best in us. This simple fact is confirmed by more solid evidence than almost any other scientific insight, but we often forget. Now more than ever, in the middle of a pandemic, it’s crucial to remember this. Sure, our news feeds are flooded with cynical stories and comments. A report on armed men stealing rolls of toilet paper in Hong Kong, or a passing comment about the Australian women who got into a fistfight in a Sydney supermarket. In moments like these, it’s tempting to conclude that most people are selfish and egotistical.
Welcome to the NeuroPro Education website! We are very excited to finally be able to share our information and learning opportunities with you. And what better time than the Spring Equinox? The arrival of spring has long been associated with renewal and we look forward to our renewed (or new) association with you through NeuroPro Education. The global crisis surrounding the Coronavirus has placed a different demand on all of us right now. Continuing education may be far out of your mind at this moment. But when this virus is contained, the new case “curve” is flattened, and the chaos abates, we will be contacting you about hosting and attending one of our excellent courses. Until then, keep safe and well.