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The words of Robert Burns come to mind when I reflect on the past year at The Initiative.

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When I took the position of Executive Director in February of 2014, I had serious high hopes, with simultaneous, intense reservations -all wrapped up in a well devised plan of action. But what I came to learn through the first year is the need for a plan is only a need created within myself and that plan had little relevance to what would actually occur. The only true practice I had to maintain, to carry this organization forward, was to keep taking the next step. So that’s what I learned to do, listen quietly and take the next step. I couldn’t have planned a story so beautiful and I am certain it’s only the beginning.

We’ve had an undeniable amount of change and huge growth this year at The Cypress Initiative. As with most transformation, this came with some reflection.

How did we get here?    What did we do right?   Where could we improve?

Except at The Cypress Initiative, we don’t really take those kinds of questions all that serious. Instead, what is often heard echoed in the hallway is “Isn’t that awesome? I couldn’t have planned that if I tried.” or “Wow, that didn’t work out. I can’t wait to see what is really supposed to happen.”

For the staff at the Initiative, over the past year, we consistently found ourselves in each other’s offices celebrating the victories of life unfolding, in the way life does, with unexplainable leaps forward: Leaps with our students, our clients, ourselves and our organization. I can honestly say I haven’t been a part of so many happy tears, happy dances and happy silences in my 35 years combined, as I have this past year. There is a palpable difference in this organization compared to any workplace I’ve been a part of in my career. A difference that truly has taken the “work” out of work, out of parenting, out of relationships and out of life. A difference so unique that collectively the staff at The Initiative, decided we wanted to share our stories with you. These stories will not always be about us, personally, but some will I’m sure. We hope this will be a place to inspire you, to teach you and to reach you with the stories of the people we work with throughout the year. If I have learned one thing in the past year, it is that we are all humans teaching each other. My greatest teachers in life have come in the form of the very people I was supposed to be teaching.

In the coming weeks, the staff that will be contributing to this blog will introduce themselves. My hope is that through these postings, we will become a family of sorts- teaching each other along the way.

With Love,

Brooke Wheeldon-Reece

 

 

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