A dear friend who is also a business coach told me of this TED Talk by alt-rock icon, Amanda Palmer, who surprised everyone when she asked for $100,000 on Kickstarter, but broke all records when her fans quickly raised $1.2 million. In her TED talk, Amanda discusses the discomfort, beauty, and vulnerability of “asking” as a way of reciprocal giving, because in the exchange we let ourselves see one another and participate in something!
It reminded me of one of my favorite reads, “Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion” by Sara Miles. As a journalist, she was curious and walked one day into an Episcopal Church where she experienced an “open” communion table for the first time. In that moment, she felt something radically changed. (For her, it happened to take place within the Christian tradition.) She went on to become the director of that church’s food pantry, which was one heck of a ride!
Sara found that, whether in the sharing of bread and wine at communion or in the work of the food pantry, we engage in a reciprocal act of reaching toward one another in giving and receiving. In these acts, we are all transformed because our hunger is about more than needing to be fed, but also about a “hunger to give”.
So I have long been increasing my comfort with “the ask”, letting myself be seen, and acknowledging a need. Amanda Palmer’s TED talk finally helped call me over the edge when she stated “Don’t make people pay for music. Let them.” And so I’m asking…
My Carla Cheatham Consulting Group, made up of members of the Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization’s Chaplain Development Committee, is officially launching nationally the training we have researched and developed for over 3 1/2 years, under the umbrella term of SCIE (“sky”) Spiritual Care Integrity Excellence: Training and Support for Healthcare Workers.
The flier may also be downloaded from our website carlacheatham.com (The “pro” version of the site should be up within the week).
So here’s the ask…Please forward this to others you know who work in healthcare or spiritual care or have an interest in either! We need as much momentum and “branding” as possible to help persons know about this rich and affordable resource available, and we’d love to bring a training to your area.
We rolled out the 2-Day version of our training in Austin last week with not only chaplains but also social workers and nurses from hospitals, hospices, and palliative care programs from across Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and California. So far, the evals have been glowing. One participant said, “I’ve been a social worker for 20 years and we do lots of conferences. This has been by far the best thing I have ever been to. Thank you!” One nurse came to me at lunch and said, “I can’t believe I’m actually getting CEUs for this!! It’s amazing and I’m enjoying it so much.”
So please forward this to at least 5 others, even now. I won’t promise your wishes will be granted if you do or that you’ll grow a uni-brow over night if you don’t! But maybe, just maybe, by seeing my open-hearted ask and meeting it with your own, we’ll all experience the gift and healthcare will be just a little more transformed.