"You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking."
~ Maya Angelou

September 18, 2014

I've Got YOU...

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


I've Got YOU...  The universe has a way of teaching all of us some truly valuable lessons as we strive to work towards progress.  As I reflect on my own process, one that includes the opportunity to share through my writing I realize that I have been gone since July...  No particular reason(s) why other than the need to be somewhere else presented itself.  I am glad to be back though in that place that supports my wellness, as I strive to reach those in need.

I've Got YOU...  The field that you have chosen to represent (through challenge and reward) requires much of your individual self, availability and the patience to adjust and adapt along the way.  The results of the work, dedication and the power that lies within your own story can be depleting at times, and I haven't even mentioned the responsibilities and commitment that are asked of you in that other role, your personal life.  There is no mystery that the impact and effect of both of these worlds can be overwhelming and difficult to manage at times.  However, that is the underlying opportunity that I present as I share through the lens of reflective experience.  You see, the universe doesn't pick and choose your opportunities, it only presents them to you while reinforcing the support that it can provide, I've Got YOU...

We can not hide from the stressors or challenges that are in place, they help us grow, develop and move forward.  When we resist the opportunity to learn from the experience then we create unnecessary stress, challenge and the complete opposite outcome of what we are trying to avoid in the first place.  I can share from my own journey that I didn't get this opportunity until I was able to accept, believe and trust the process.  If I wanted to have the quality of life that found me well, I had to commit and do the work.  Now, I don't want to repeat myself in my sharing, but the message is needed as I do believe that there are some readers out there that are continuing to resist and avoid, while still serving in the capacity of helping others.

I don't sit behind the keys asking for approval to share.  I am fully present and committed to supporting the opportunity, while respecting your own self-determination to find the quality of life that you can (and deserve to) have.  The universe will keep presenting you with choices, and no matter what you choose to do with these opportunities it won't abandon you.  As I leave the process that I am grateful to receive, I continue to learn through the lens of a participant observer.  The classroom will always be open, the door only closes when you close it.  May these words find you breathing well out there as you strive to stand up and stay up!  I've Got YOU...



About Author


Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email 
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  Adjunct Lecturer and External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work | VAC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission ⇢

July 31, 2014

If You Can Change Within Yourself...

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


If you can change within yourself, then you can help others...  You may have heard this before.  You may have used this experience as an opportunity to empower another.  You may be struggling to find this change within yourself.  My writing today is inspired by another opportunity to facilitate insight, what happens as result of this process will be entirely up to your own availability to receive.  If you can change within yourself, then you can help others...

As I reflect on my own journey (the one that not everyone will understand) I am reminded of all of the lessons and learning that I have been afforded.  I am also reminded that none of those opportunities would have (or could have) become a possibility unless I was able to receive them.  It did not always come with ease, as resistance and avoidance will always show up when the message is not being met.  I lived many years doing it my way, and although I was not entirely off course I was going with the stream, when I should of been going against this flow.  If you can change within yourself, then you can help others...

The door towards my change within really opened for me through higher education.  This may sound like that kind of endorsement that many others have sold through time.  However, for myself the education that I was exposed to changed the quality of my life that I never expected going in to this endeavor.  I chose education at the age of 25 because I wasn't satisfied with the way my life was playing itself out.  There was no dream of a certain career when I began.  All I knew at that moment was the idea that If I changed the quality of my life in a positive manner, I may just find my way.  Well, I did as the key fit the lock and the doors (that for many years remained closed) finally began to turn the other direction.  

As my lens changed and I was given the ability to make better choices, I was moving forward.  Although the path would not save me from challenges and difficulty, slowly and surely I was changing within myself.  When I moved into (and through) my MSW program I met awareness in a manner that I had not quite experienced before.  The mirror was right in front of me, and I was a willing participant.  The road towards acceptance and forgiveness allowed me to grasp the truest gift that I could receive.  The change within had found its way in a manner that would effectively and competently allow me to help others help themselves...

Growth and learning will always be an available opportunity to us all.  I have been very fortunate to receive many positive outcomes as a result of this empowering possibility.  However, none of this is possible with out the want, belief and commitment.  It's a road that will not be smooth, as those bumps along the way remind us that there is still plenty more to learn.  Until the next time, may my words find you well out there, with choice and opportunity by your side... 




About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email 
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  Adjunct Lecturer and External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work | VAC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission ⇢

June 27, 2014

Acceptance...

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


Acceptance...  It is hard to believe that the month of June is coming to a close.  The days just seem to be blending into one another, and so I use this forum once again to slow down my process.  It is only with understanding that I have been able to recognize what is important, and how I would be able to live the quality of life that serves me well.

Acceptance...  It really is the catalyst to changing for the better, as there is usually some form of resistance preventing one to see clear enough to begin the process.  It can be as simple as your pride getting in the way, that common refusal to confront what needs to change.  As I continue to share my own example, I know that my road to recovery would of never been obtainable without a true understanding (and awareness) of the problems and stressors that were negatively impacting my mental and physical well-being.  You see, I was unable to recognize what was transpiring (in the moment), though I was fully aware that it was only a matter of time before It would come to greet me.  Acceptance...

As I write, I reflect upon that period of time when I would soothe my thoughts with nothing more than avoidance and false promises.  Here I was, someone who chose a career to serve others in need, and I couldn't stop myself long enough to support the one person who truly needed the help.  It was so present, as I could see the road I was traveling down was not going to deliver me to a healthy destination.  I was not ready to understand, even with all the self work, training and awareness that I had cultivated along the way.  It was almost as if the lesson that was unfolding needed some more time, there was a greater purpose even if I couldn't see it.  So, as I now understand, my road to recovery could not of happened until I was willing to rebuild, refine, and open that door towards Acceptance...

Wherever you may find yourself at, let my example vicariously touch you as you move towards accepting what you can change. May you see your resilient being as you look upward, learn to forgive, express your feelings and recognize what YOU can control.  Until the next time my words meet your availability, may this find you breathing well...

 

About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email 
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  Adjunct Lecturer and External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work | VAC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!    More about the man behind the mission ⇢

May 30, 2014

When You Give You Receive!

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me? 


When You Give You Receive!  If you've been on this platform before, then you may have heard me speak to this opportunity I am presenting to you today...  It's so easy to get caught up in the challenges and demands that this profession can present, right?  However, with a little self-care and self-awareness by your side you will be able to cope in a manner that will allow you to see, When You Give You Receive!

As I find myself walking into a new and exciting chapter in my career, I have been moved to share because this opportunity I speak to is so clear right now, crystal!  When we are empowered by the opportunity to support another for their benefit and gain, this process is truly inspiring. If you are having trouble following my lead, you may be in that space and place that has your availability on empty.  Our profession (helping others help themselves) asks us to balance two different outcomes of our efforts (reward and challenge).  However, sometimes one can get stuck in the effects of that challenge, and the impact that this can create will not support one's wellness...

If I have you thinking about just that, there is good news awaiting you...  This state (stuck in challenge) is as permanent as you choose for it to be.  The point here is that your suffering can either be temporary or long term, you get the opportunity to choose.  If you don't see it that way, then there is some work to be done.  We are provided with so much opportunity to give to ourselves as we enact the process of service and support, but it has to be of value to you, a choice, belief, and ultimately a commitment to the necessary work.  If you are able to get to this place, then you are more likely to receive when you give!

Recently, we lost one of the wisest pair of eyes that I have been fortunate to learn through, Ms. Maya Angelou.  I leave you with her gift to all of us, as her words, lessons and wisdom will live on... 


“I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

~Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
  

 About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email 
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  Adjunct Lecturer and External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work | VAC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing processMore about the man behind the mission ⇢

May 2, 2014

Learning Through The Eyes Of Neitcha Thomsen

The Learning Through Your Eyes Series was created because we recognized that the opportunity for helping professionals to share a part of their story can be a powerful tool, one that provides an opening to empower and support both the storyteller and reader.  It teaches us in a manner that allows us to inspire and reach, educate and teach, and tap into that space and place that has intention and purpose.  Our hope for all of those that can here us is that these stories will provide you with an opportunity of your own, as there is always a choice!
 
The sharing we present to you today is told through the eyes of Neitcha Thomsen, a part-time MSW student at the University of Georgia (Gwinnette campus) clinical program who just completed her second semester of studies.  By sharing her story (as scary as it may be to tell it), Neitcha hopes that it will somehow help others.  We truly thank Neitcha for taking the time to share (and embrace) this opportunity, her courage and resilience are heard loud and clear as she gives and receives!
__________________________________________

Writing this brings feelings of anxiety.  Maybe it is fear of judgment or a sense of shame that still lingers.  My daughter had her first psychotic break at the end of her freshman year of college.  After many different diagnosis; different medications;several hospitalizations; dealing with a 1013; an attempted suicide and various treatment tracks, I am happy to say she is stable as she finds purpose, joy, independence and love in her life.  It took a long time and much courage on her part to reach this moment. 

At the time of her suicide attempt I felt many emotions. Some of these were due to me being her mother and others were from my own suicide attempt around her same age.  I was saddened knowing that she had felt such pain and desperation and saw suicide as the solution.  I felt like a failure for not having seen the signs or to have sought help for her sooner.  I understood what one has to feel in order to reach that moment that death seems like a good option.  I struggled with sharing my experience with her, and I think that came from my lingering feelings of shame surrounding suicide.  Eventually, I shared it with her and she said my opening up made her feel not so alone or like such a failure. Even my closest friends do not know this part of my history.

While struggling with my daughter’s illness I began to reach a place of hopelessness and anxiety.  This led to the return of my depression and suicidal ideations.  After a friend in a support group shared with me her decision to reach out for counseling and how it had helped her, I realized that I needed this same type of professional help.  My therapist helped me to identify my feelings while recognizing my lack of boundaries and unhealthy coping skills that had arisen while dealing with the impact of mental illness on my family.  I learned to pay attention to my needs and put in place self care.  I set goals for myself such as entering graduate school while working on my feelings of low self esteem and lack of confidence.  I was able to have enough hope in order to reach for my dreams.


I volunteer with NAMI.  When I share my experience or volunteer to bring information and support to others, I feel as if I have taken one more step on my path of healing.  Sharing this story in a more public way is one more step.  I look back on these experiences and know that even though they came with pain and crisis, they also brought to me opportunities.  I have shared the part of my story about my daughter with some of my fellow MSW students in hopes that it will allow them to maybe see the family from a different perspective.  I found that sharing it with them was scary due to my fears of being judged by my fellow mental health professional students.  This fear has prevented me from sharing the whole story...  Finding ways to share our stories in appropriate settings will aid us in recognizing our own possible triggers and bias, while helping to support our practice as we work with clients in the future.

-Neitcha Thomsen



About Neitcha











Outside of her MSW studies, Neitcha volunteers with NAMI Northside Atlanta where she has taught the Family to Family curriculum, been captain of the NAMI walk team and served as a chair for their mental health fair for two years now.  Neitcha has found further opportunity to advocate (sharing her story and its learned experience) at family orientations for Skyland Trail (a treatment facility in Atlanta, Ga) supporting families who have a loved one entering treatment for major mental health illnesses.  Prior to her path in the field of social work, she worked as a Spanish Interpreter for the Dekalb School System for 12 years.

April 25, 2014

The Story...

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


I am inspired by the story, one that has shown me the true depth of resilience, overcoming and healing.  It is the reality of these outcomes that ignites my inspiration and moves me forward as I strive to reach others!  My words today have arrived from a recent conversation with one of my closest confidants, and once again I am invested with the opportunity to share, The Story...

In the field of helping others our arrival, commitment to, and the direction that we may find our careers moving is in fact influenced by many various sources.  Although, one of the most important influences often gets overlooked, The Story...  We all have one, and as different as they might be, they often share similarities that most don't take the time to acknowledge.  They include challenge, hope, resistance, determination, fear and resilience to name but some.  So, why don't we hear more about these stories?  

As helping professionals we are often trained/educated to not self-disclose, or to do so when it is feasible.  The problem here is that most can't figure out the middle ground, and so they either cross the boundary and share too much, or stay far far away from it and don't share anything at all.  Another reason is the "vulnerability" that one is holding on to, feeling as though if they share, it will come across as a weakness or that it may negatively impact their credibility or title.  I ask you to think critically here, as The Story can also be used in one's action and behavior, it does not always have to be spoken.  I believe the reality of one sharing The Story is so connected to their willingness to be accepting of that story...

When you are comfortable with your own truth, and there is enough self-awareness (and evolution) in place, you will have the necessary skills and tools to effectively use The Story...  I encourage you to give this some thought, and while you may find yourself chasing that title, CV, or another line on the resume...  Please ask yourself, how was it possible to get where I am at today?  My hope is that your own story will find you empowered as it has tremendous use, value and opportunity, Can You Hear Me?  Until the next time my words meet your availability, may this find you breathing well...




About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  External Field Instructor and Adjunct Lecturer at University of Southern California School of Social Work VAC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission⇢

April 10, 2014

I'm Jumping Back In!

   by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


It has been over a month since I last posted. The idea was to keep my last entry (in support of National Social Work Month 2014) front and center for the entire month as we honored this great profession!  However, as time moved forward I took note and found that I was lacking the needed inspiration and drive to write something new.  If I don't see it, my words will not tap into the passion and drive that is my catalyst behind the process.  I accepted that this was where I was at while recognizing when the time was right I would return.  The time is now and I'm Jumping Back In!

As I find my words today inspired by hope and purpose, I am thinking about my fellow helping professionals who may be in need.  I understand that you may be unable to see it yourself, and that my awareness may not be the same as those I strive to reach.  I fully accept the "why" behind this as our impacted culture, demands of the profession, and those historical factors that are still hanging in the distance have their way...  The outcome here, well they are the ample opportunities that promote disengagement, distraction and the inability to hear.  I mention this because when I write, I do so with the intention that it will find its way to those who are available to hear it when and if.  Hence the name of this forum is a message in of itself: "Don't listen to what I say.  Listen to what I mean." 

I'm Jumping Back In!  The support (i.e. promoting resiliency and advocacy) that I strive to give has to facilitate thinking, encourage risk, and support struggle.  These components are not only necessary for the process, but they are key ingredients towards one changing for the better.  I understand this because I've lived through it as I continue to trust the process.  Therefore, when you find yourself available to what I am sharing, you are more than likely wanting to change, believe you can, and are ready to commit to the necessary work.  Not so simple I get that!  However, this is truly the gateway to resiliency, and I advocate for this with every opportunity I can to the clients and community (in need of the support) that I am striving to reach with Can You Hear Me?  

I'm Jumping Back In!  If you are new to my forum I welcome you to join my efforts while learning through my eyes as I strive to support you, my fellow helping professionals in need.  Here is some further insight into my model as shared in this interview that I was a part of around this time last year.  I think it conveys my history and mission quite well, so when the time is right please feel free.  As always I am available when you are, so by all means contact me when and if!  Until the next time my words meet your availability, may this find you breathing well...
  


About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor and Adjunct Lecturer at University of Southern California School of Social Work VAC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission⇢

March 7, 2014

Proud to Be One!

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?

 
As we celebrate National Social Work Month, I thought it would be fitting to share some words...  There was a period in my life when my direction was far from having a career as a social worker.  In retrospect, it was so fitting that I had to be empowered along the way, moving towards self-determination in order to find my way, helping others change for the better!  I can say with my whole heart that I am proud to be a social worker, and I welcome every opportunity that presents itself to share, expose, and advocate for the profession that has given me so many wonderful lessons and experiences.

I can give you many examples of why social workers are
important, but what I would really like to share is how this profession not only helps those in need, but supports those who serve.  I have always maintained that there is no greater feeling than when you see "change for the better" happen right in front of you.  That moment when the person you are striving to support gets it, and thus the door towards opportunity has been opened.  To be part of this outcome is empowering, and the mutual process that transpires for both parties is truly rewarding to be of witness...  Yes, of course there are tremendous challenges, obstacles, and barriers involved with this work, as it is a profession that asks one to find balance between challenge and reward.  However, recognizing this balance in of itself is just another opportunity to utilize your skill sets, training, experience and that learned wisdom to help you grow and further develop. 

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself."             - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love being a social worker, while having the opportunity to continue to evolve and work on my craft.  As I strive to improve both my personal and professional self (in order to better serve those in need) I am inspired.  Being in a position to facilitate "change for the better," an outcome that can transform for years, on to others, and within communities and organizations is quite powerful.  This profession is not for all as we know, but for those that it is, may these words find you available to listen to what I mean as I am proud to be one!  Until we meet again be well to yourself out there, because when you are, you will better serve the needs of others!



 About Author
 







   
Daniel Jacob, MSW  Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me?  External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing processMore about the man behind the mission ⇢

February 21, 2014

It's Possible!

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


It's Possible!  Ever heard that one before?  As I reflected on what to share for this post I was reminded of a recent passage from another opportunity to learn through the eyes of another...  The learning was not new information to me, but definitely information that we can easily lose sight of.  The idea of possible thinking when we are challenged, overwhelmed, anxious and the emotion that comes along for the ride.  Our culture, socialization, and the many examples that present themselves often promote that the way to get away from negative thinking is the opposite.  However, often the positive way can increase one's worry and levels of stress when we find the outcome we want no where to be found.  Therefore, instead of striving to be all or nothing, why not think in terms of It's Possible!

Sounds pretty simple when it's spelled out for us huh?  Well, that's the truth in what often one can create when they find themselves consumed in a manner that will not promote clarity or awareness.  I can truthfully share that I will continue to learn this lesson as I strive to be that work towards progress.  Often, the need to slow down, assess the situation, accept and then act in the most supportive and honest way we are able to get to the idea that It's Possible!

Recently, I've had to direct my focus and attention on a single project that is both important and challenging.  What comes with this effort is the kind of difficulty that sounds like "I need to get to this, but I just can't stop doing that..."  Sound familiar?  It's more than a need for time management here. It's about focus, negative thinking, worry and the impact we take on when the uncertain is just that.  So, I found myself having to take a two week refresher course in how to manage (and cope) with my needs in a way that was going to support my wellness.  I had to re-evaluate what was working versus what was not serving me well.  I needed to keep working, trust my process and ultimately see the possibility within the difficulty! 

I eventually found my way back and by preparing (doing the work) while striving to do my best, the rewards of opportunity have once again presented themselves.  The teaching will always be there.  However, the results will never come if you are not willing to put in the time (and effort) with trust as your guide.  Until the next time my words meet your availability, as always may this find you breathing well...



 About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW 
Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission⇢

February 7, 2014

Hope...

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


Hope...  You may have heard it before as it is the message that we hold on to in times of need.  It is surrounded by feelings, expectation, and often that desired outcome we convince ourselves we must have.  As I recognize another opportunity to share, I am filled with inspiration as I choose to model it forward.  Hope...

As we move into February, we are moving...  Whether it is in the direction of choice, we always have a say in the matter.  Yes, at times difficulty will arrive as when we just can't shake that "something" that seems to have a hold on us.  It is exactly this example of challenge that has my thoughts processing today with Hope...  

As helping professionals we often have the insight and a level of awareness as it applies to behavior, psychosocial stressors, risk factors and all those intangible forces that impact and effect one's well-beingWe are not protected from feeling (and taking on) these certain factors just because we are the helpers.  Therefore, it will always be important to recognize that we can be as exposed and vulnerable to these forces just like those we strive to reach and support.  Hope...

Imagine one of those moments when you just can not seem to remove that worry of what is yet to happen.  Whether it's a client's current status that is weighing you down, a pending meeting that revolves around uncertainty, or a personal challenge that you just can't seem to breakthrough...  If you are not well, meaning YOU are in that place of heightened worry and stress and you are not taking action/practice to facilitate change for the better, you will most definitely be suffering.  Now imagine you are taking healthy/positive measures to manage and cope with these areas of challenge, and you are still not feeling right...  What are you going to do?  Would you stop taking care of your needs?  Are you going to turn to unhealthy and negative coping mechanisms?

Now that I have you in thought there is a message waiting for you... The process of being well will need you to be patient with some Hope by your side.  You see, just because your practicing self-care and doing the necessary work, you are by no means removed from feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated and the gamut of emotions that are available for us all.  What it does mean though is that with practice in place you will be able to manage, cope and recover in a much more healthy and supportive manner.  You've heard me say it before "trust the process, change takes time."  If you are a non-believer, please feel free to experiment with this model.  The next time you find yourself consumed (and in the place and space that does not have you well) don't take care of yourself, do the opposite as you numb and suppress... At this point ask yourself, how am I feeling right here right now?

May my words today find you with some perspective, and another opportunity to help you help yourself (or someone in your circle who is in need).  Remember, hope is friends with resilience, but neither of them show up without effort and trust.  I am confident that what I've shared today is "truth" and "valid" as I have lived the example, and it only took a breakdown to produce a breakthrough.  Hope...



About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW
Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission⇢

January 24, 2014

Support X 2

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?


Nice to be back in a familiar place with another opportunity to engage in some Support x 2.  What does this mean, you may be thinking to yourself?  It is no more, and no less than the parallel process that happens as a result of the support I extend to all of those that can hear me.  My platform is not traveling down a one way street.  It is by far a two way interaction, as when I give I am receiving in the process.  However, this would not be possible if I was not a work towards progress, choosing to be open and available to opportunities that better the quality of my life.  By following this approach I am continually adding to my personal self and professional practice as I embrace the Support x 2!

As a result of this platform (and the process that is transpiring) I am humbled and grateful for the many opportunities that I have been given to meet some truly inspiring helping professionals along this journey.  One in particular, Relando Thompkins, MSW,LLMSW (Servant Leader, Teacher, Learner, Social Change Agent: Writer of Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.) has been a friend and supporter of CYHM? for sometime now.  Although we live on opposite sides of the country, and our platforms and target market are different, we are united as passionate helping professionals who strive to do the right thing without thinking!  Relando recently extended another Support x 2 opportunity my way, as he presented me with several questions related to the story behind this platform.  When you have an available moment, please do check out Relando's efforts as you will truly learn through his eyes!


Relando Thompkins, MSW, LLMSWI was recently given another opportunity to share some insights into how this blog/platform began, and what the lies beneath the lens of my passion and inspiration.  I humbled and grateful for t 
1. What inspired you to start blogging?

My inspiration to start blogging was really born out of my Breaking Open experience, and the recovery from it.  I had something to share as you could imagine what happens as a result of overcoming such an intense experience...  It truly opened up a door, and the efforts as a result have strengthened my resilience in a manner that allows me to embrace my own vulnerability, while sharing my story and support.  As I strive to inspire, empower and help my fellow professionals in need, I am being served as well!

2. Is there a special story or meaning behind your blog’s title?

Can You Hear Me? was chosen because I recognize that when others are available to listen and digest, they are more likely to receive what is being given.  Therefore, the title is about the person on the other end and their availability, choice, awareness, and the opportunity that is right here ready to help you help yourself.  The title does not mean "listen to me because of what I have to say" but rather, "listen to what I mean."  My passion, empathy and compassion to help those in need is just that, there are no other motives involved in this platform: Words with a voice, a story, and an opportunity to inspire others to change for the better!

3. Who/what inspires you?

I gravitate towards inspiration in thought, practice, and within the story that resides in all of us.  I am inspired and enlightened by the many learning experiences I have gained through the eyes of others, in the literal sense and through reading.  My sociology and social work roots/interests have provided me with so many resources, guides and valuable tools that will always serve me well as sources of inspiration.  I am also inspired by my own story, one that has shown me the true depth of resilience, overcoming and healing.  The reality of these outcomes ignite my inspiration and move me forward as I strive to inspire others!  

4. What do you hope to achieve with your blog?

My hope is to provide those in the field of helping professionals an opportunity to be supported, and heard.  My experiences (both personally and professionally) have afforded me some valuable insight and awareness that I am choosing to share with only one goal in mind, to help those in need help themselves.  My blog allows me to share in a manner that supports the unsupported, while creating a safe and trusted space. We are helpers that need to be helped from time to time, and that's OK because when you commit to (while trusting) the process, you will transform and the opportunities as a result of, by far change for the better.   

5. Do you have any advice for anyone who would want to start a blog of their own?


It's definitely a work in progress endeavor.  For myself (and like many others out there) I am self taught as it applies to format, social media, marketing, etc.  With that being said you don't have to have everything figured out when you start a blog.  You are not on your own as there are many sources of support available out there through the various modes of electronic sharing.  If the passion and desire are intact, and you have something of value to share, the rest will work itself out.  

I will say that we (those who blog) all have different goals and aspirations when it comes to sharing, and so the outcome you are looking for is an expectation that you get to create.  I share my experience, support and vulnerability, while providing resources and instruction.  Therefore, my model is much different than one who shares third party and/or other content, without any exposure to their own thoughts, emotion and struggle.  Allow your passion to shine while daring greatly, it can be a very rewarding process!

As always it has been my honor to be given this opportunity to share and support.  I hope that after reading this post you have been provided further learning about my community of support.  A platform that continues to grow and evolve, while being available to help you help yourself.  Until the next time may you be well to yourself as you deserve! 



10 Questions for Nominees to Answer, Should They Accept
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. Is there a special story or meaning behind your blog’s title? If so, please share it.
3. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
4. Who/what inspires you?
5. Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why?
6.Other than your own, what are some of your favorite blogs?
7. Do you have any advice for anyone who would want to start a blog of their own?
8. Where do you get your inspiration for blogging?
9.  What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
10. Share the link to one of your blog posts that you think deserves more attention.
- See more at: http://www.relandothompkins.com/2014/01/07/notes-from-an-aspiring-humanitarian-recieves-the-liebster-award/#sthash.1iJWnUyN.dpuf
10 Questions for Nominees to Answer, Should They Accept
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. Is there a special story or meaning behind your blog’s title? If so, please share it.
3. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
4. Who/what inspires you?
5. Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why?
6.Other than your own, what are some of your favorite blogs?
7. Do you have any advice for anyone who would want to start a blog of their own?
8. Where do you get your inspiration for blogging?
9.  What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
10. Share the link to one of your blog posts that you think deserves more attention.
- See more at: http://www.relandothompkins.com/2014/01/07/notes-from-an-aspiring-humanitarian-recieves-the-liebster-award/#sthash.1iJWnUyN.dp
10 Questions for Nominees to Answer, Should They Accept
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. Is there a special story or meaning behind your blog’s title? If so, please share it.
3. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
4. Who/what inspires you?
5. Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why?
6.Other than your own, what are some of your favorite blogs?
7. Do you have any advice for anyone who would want to start a blog of their own?
8. Where do you get your inspiration for blogging?
9.  What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
10. Share the link to one of your blog posts that you think deserves more attention.
- See more at: http://www.relandothompkins.com/2014/01/07/notes-from-an-aspiring-humanitarian-recieves-the-liebster-award/#sthash.1iJWnUyN.dpuf
About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW
Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC.  Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work).  He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process as he continues to work towards progress!  More about the man behind the mission⇢