Posted in Just a Thought

Changes Coming

man cleaning the glass of building
Photo by Mircea Iancu on

So, as I looked at the layout of my page, I realized I didn’t love it.  I am not the most technical person in the world (obviously), but I know changes are needed.  So, I wanted to send this quick post out to let you know I will be attempting to update the page.  If you have suggestions, please send them.  Also, I have a dedicated email for this page.  More positive moves are in the works.

Until next time,

Visionary Trailblazin’

Posted in Just a Thought

Just Ask

The past few weeks have been filled with self-reflection and self-evaluation. This week I wanted to share some of the things I’ve come up with. The Best Life Collaborative, as you can see is a place to share, learn, and grow. We have begun to take the first steps to living our best lives, on purpose. I was reminded that through our sharing we realize that we are not alone. Too often, we suffer in silence believing that no one will understand. No one could possibly believe this, no one could love me, or this is all I can do.

We are not all knowing, but what we realize is that we are greater because of our experiences, tragedies, trauma, and adversity. Sometimes, we need reminders, support, a subtle nudge. Please understand, we are still struggling everyday. Some days are great, and other days we have to scrape and claw to take another step.

I have begun to, not only read my share of awe-inspiring blog posts, but I have gotten back to the motivational videos. Every person is different, and that is what makes us wonderful. Find that thing that grounds you and keeps you focused. Unfortunately, the same things that make us wonderfully diverse, sometimes divide us.

In a recent conversation, I spoke with an inspired savvy senior that loves to cook. She has a catering business, but she has reduced her workload due to health challenges. In spite of the her situation, she remains focused and driven to serve others. She lives in a rural community that struggles to survive. When she sees a need, she fills a need. This wonderful lady, buys food, cooks it, and delivers meals to families, to ensure they have proper nutrition.

Now, at first glance, an assumption could be made that she is reimbursed or maybe, she receives grant funding. Well, I am here to tell you, she does not.
Every week, she has made food, taken people to appointments, bought clothes, you name it. All of these acts are, as she puts it, “where the spirit leads” her. Whether it is the spirit, the Universe, or a whisper in the trees, she gives freely, without a thought of payment or compensation. Someone heard about her works and wanted to do a story on the community. Here is where things turned muddy. The same families and community members that benefited from her kindness began to feel taken advantage of. They told her, “we don’t need you making fun of us. We were just fine without you. Local church leaders told her she was acting like some sort of vigilante, and her local Board of Supervisors told her to cease her efforts until they decided the next best steps.

I have shared all of this to say, everyone will not understand your plan. Everyone will not follow your plan, but you must engage in self-reflection to remember your purpose, your vision, and your plan. There will always be days when your good intentions are misconstrued or turned inside out. Stay true to your plan, stay grounded, and just breathe. Every day, try to be better than yesterday. Yep! Fall down, but don’t stay down. Someone out there understands your song, and they are willing to help you change the next verse. Just ask!

Until next time,

Vizionary Trailblazin’

Posted in Just a Thought

Social Work Month: Toolkit Edition

March is social work month.  The theme this year is “Elevate.”  So, I considered some tips and tricks for students hoping to expand their knowledge and abilities.  So, in the spirit of elevating and promoting the sharing of resources, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my tools.  I have gathered a few tips and tricks from other social workers, and some of the information is just what I needed.  Other times, I pass it on.  So, I hope that if the information is not beneficial to you, share it with someone who might benefit from it.  First, let’s put these tools into their appropriate pocket.  Social work practice requires a sprinkle of patience, a lot of flexibility, a little creativity, topped with empathy.  I truly believe, this is a career field that demands a special super power. 

Photo by Burst on

As social workers, we are always engaged in some type of intervention, treatment, assessment, or research.  If you are not a person that enjoys writing, social work may not be the best field for you.  On top of the required writing, there is an equal (or greater) amount of reading required to remain up-to-date.  Through one of my many searches, I ran across a wonderful site, Social Work Tech

Ignacio Pacheco is a social worker that is also technically inclined.  He developed a website complete with different exercises and tools you may consider incorporating into practice with individuals, groups, and families.  The site is set up to allow you to download and reproduce them.  However, be the ethical social worker and give him credit for his creations.  Even if you are unable to utilize them, maybe they will assist you in getting your creative juices flowing.  I have his website bookmarked to my home screen for easy access.  He makes the list of people I would love to meet.  By the way, he also has a YouTube channel. Check it out, and subscribe, like, and share.

I encourage all social workers to adventure outside of their corner of the world to gather tools from international social workers.  Many times, we become so focused on our own communities that we forget that social workers all over the world face the same barriers with clients.  While some challenges are different depending on the location, some of the same needs arise.  One such site for resources is MacMillan International Higher Education.  Here they have developed the Social Work Toolkit.  There is a lot of information, and instead of spoiling it for you, I suggest you click here if you’re interested.

I know we always have too many tasks and not enough hours in the day.  Still, I suggest adding a couple of helpful books to your social work library.

  1. Psych Meds Made Simple by Ashley L. Peterson. Also check out her blog Mentalhealth@home
  2. The latest version of The Social Work Dictionary by Robert L. Barker
  3. The Social Workers’ Toolbox: Sustainable Multimethod Social Work by Herman de Monnink (available on Kindle)
Photo by on

Social Work Survival Tips:

  1. Self-care- You can’t help anyone if you don’t take time to regroup and refresh.
  2. Keep Learning-Every client, group, or community is different.  Be open to learn from others.
  3. Self-reflection- Take the time to evaluate your practice, your biases, and process your own feelings.  Vicarious trauma is a real thing.
  4. Connect with other social workers, psychologists, nurses, counselors, teachers, any network of partners that you can learn and grow with.
  5. There is no one best method, every situation is different.
  6. Ask questions, that is the best way to find answers.

As I compile and organize more of my tools, I will share them.  Some days will be great and others may have you questioning what you were thinking.  Just breath and know what you do makes a difference.  As always…

Keep on pushing (Still don’t own the rights),

Visionary Trailblazin’