About Ava's new paradigm of professionalism
August 1st, 2022
When I started Spanda back in 2015, I was fixated on professionalism.
I was obsessed with being responsive, available and most importantly, correct, in everything I did. I showed up to everything I said I would. No. matter. what.
No sickness, exhaustion, whims or fancies (or even food poisoning) would keep me from completing work required or services promised.
It takes discipline and commitment to build a business and reputation that precedes you... and if done with enough rigidity, its a one-way ticket to burn out.
Especially in today's day and age, if you have the above convictions, there are no limits to the ways you can be available, work or serve.
Looking back to these beginnings, I was working alongside my old-school-business-woman mother. She readily expressed disdain for anyone not falling in line with the "proper" ways to behave. Both customer and contractor. I adopted a hyper - responsibility to be professional. To do the "right thing". And like many things I adopted before doing trauma work, I never questioned, “What is that right thing?"
If I had questioned, I’d have been met with dogma:
“It's just how things are done... “
“One must always... “
… or any other recommendation to fall in line with an outdated system, whether it be industry, government or culture.
Since my burn out (and subsequent re-birth) I have radically called into question everything that doesn't feel "good”. I enquired from all angles into, both, the nature of my trauma and the behaviours it produced.
This included the old sense of professionalism that I had adopted. The:
…And the diminishing of my personal needs for rest, space, ease, support
and physical & emotional care.
After questioning and re-educating myself, I’m now in a phase of re-building.
The events of this year have quickened the rebuilding process: becoming very sick for months, and now both being pregnant and then having covid…
Layer after layer of the old professionalism has melted away.
I've cancelled more events, retreats and appointments in the last 3 months than I have in the last 8 years put together (by like 40x)…
Yet I feel more professional, respected and aligned than ever before.
I have never had more employees or responsibility…
Yet this is the most "carefree" I've ever felt in my entire life.
The last few vestiges of the unquestioned professionalism are dying off.
The new paradigm has been carefully seeded and cultivated through education, mindset and continuous application of effort.
It has sprouted, and is blossoming beautifully.
It looks like:
Intense confidence in everything I do
Deep, heartfelt care for everyone at all times
Strong communications of needs
Clear expectations and requests
A work in progress
An appreciation of every journey
The new paradigm of ‘professionalism’ embraces the disharmony that used to be labelled as ‘errors’ or ‘wrong’ in the old linear system. Instead, hardship is seen as fodder for connection and continued growth.
Success is everywhere, the joy of life is to be extracted not created. Appreciated not hoarded.
So, now I cancel things that don't fit right.
And I know that this is actually work!
A powerful and necessary work to re-program and embody a model of ease, relevancy and collaboration.
In honour of a more functional approach.
Where even you can next, join me.