As I step into the role of Chair of the SEI Board of Directors, I do so with both excitement and some trepidation. I know I have very big shoes to fill, following the tremendous leadership of the past two Board Chairs – Michael Changaris and Rebecca Stahl. They have been mentors for this role and have become deep friends. I am grateful for their leadership and all that I have and continue to learn from them.
We have come through so many changes over the three years I have been on the Board. Under Marv Tuttle's extraordinary leadership, the hard work, flexibility, and growth of the staff, the vision and expansion of the board, the unfailing commitment of our faculty, assistants and coordinators, and input and collaboration from you, we have grown, learned, stumbled, picked ourselves up, and persevered. We are far from perfect as an organization. Indeed, we are constantly growing and evolving. And at this particular point in time, it feels like we are yet again on the precipice of our next evolutionary phase and quantum leap forward.
We are looking forward to becoming more of what our new SEI branding implies – a strong international presence. We are conducting more and more research to become an “evidence-based” modality and accrue all the benefits that attend that status. We are revising the training curriculum to be more current, inclusive, and attentive to the needs of everyone in our community and to those outside our community with whom we seek to engage. We are looking to expand into new and different markets beyond what we traditionally have served, providing short-term training to those whose jobs or service place them on the front lines of trauma – social service providers, medical/healthcare providers, police and first responders, teachers, crisis response teams, integrating with university training programs, working with nonprofits, and more. We are expanding the breadth of our webinars to be more inclusive and cutting edge. We are engaged in fundraising to support the multitude of needs that growth and evolution demand. In short, we are looking for SE to become part of the common vernacular, known on the street as the go-to modality for trauma healing. I feel hope and joy when I think of all the possibilities that being on the precipice brings.
And, being on the precipice also puts us on our learning edge of growth, and along with that comes a high degree of uncertainty, which can bring its own activation. I look around at the devastating condition of our society and planet; COVID has left a traumatized world in its wake, and more is certain to come; climate change has already created environmental refugees around the world and is threatening our very survival; war ravages on creating more dislocation, more economic uncertainty, more threat and harm. I get upset and angry when I think of these things. But it is also what drives my passion for SE and for healing. These things cannot stand. I will not give up and I will not give in.
I know that as a community we can come together with strength, courage, and love, and make a huge difference in the world. I know as practitioners we are doing this everyday with our clients. And we have skills…. when I get upset, angry and activated, I know what to do: slow down, really slow down more, breathe deeply, make sounds, orient to beauty, and recall that which gives me joy and passion. I am forever grateful that I found SE and learned these skills! It literally changed my life and I know it is changing lives everywhere.
The world needs us.
SEI also has a place you can offer your thoughts, concerns and views: email@example.com.
I look forward to this next year of service as Board Chair with hope, heart, and gratitude.