So this week has been rather interesting. I am steadily making small but important and good connections. This weekend alone I met two conductors living in close proximity from me. One lives in Seattle and one lives in Kelowna, BC. It is always fascinating for me to meet new conductors – in isolated Manitoba I meet only one (my friend and colleague) within four years. Most amazingly you know straight away that you are at the same wavelength and you have a common goal, which is just being able to keep working as a conductor. One of the conductors has not really worked as one in Seattle and the other one is forced to travel around North America to make a living. It is very interesting to know that none of us wants to get rich on it but just be able to do what we love and we are good at while living of it.
General speaking, we conductors are quite spoilt when it comes to the conditions we work in. We usually fly in whatever country gives us a decent salary and other quite handy bonuses and stay as long as we want to or as long as there are is money to pay for us. Usually when you are willing to travel it is not hard to find a job that suits your conditions. Mostly parents of children with a movement disorder did all the lobbying required to promote and set up a conductive education program, usually in form of a charity.
Now being self-employed is a total different story. You find yourself rather isolated and the lack of professional support or understanding outside the conductive education walls is more apparent then it ever has been. It is hard to let parents and also adults who have a movement disorder that conductive education services are available in their area. In Manitoba about 80%, if not more, new clients enrolled because they have heard from other parents and clients how it has helped them. Starting from scratch is different because you do not have those clients who can refer you easily. It was interesting to hear from the other two conductors that they have tried to approach child development centers in their area and have been rejected to even display some brochures. It is strange but not entirely news to me as I have meet plenty parents who would love to know about this as an option, earlier in their child’s live.
But do not worry I will try anyway to get the word out. I have already successfully made contacts with some great Stroke support groups in this area, who are willing to let me a give a small presentation. I am excited to see what those will bring, especially as I have not given any presentations since I was at University and even then was not necessary a natural at it. When you self employed you do what you have to, to get the word out and I know that this will be an interesting learning curve for me.
One of the parents I met this week is very interested in coming to Vancouver for an intensive week program for her 18 month old son. This would only makes sense if there is a small learning group, so I will need more interested families to make this happen. If you do know someone at this age (up to three years might be okay too) who could benefit from Conductive Education and either lives or is willing to come to Vancouver for a week, please contact me.
Talking about being on the same wavelength, last week I found a great new yoga studio for myself. Since I started yoga I met a lot of nice people on my way with whom I found it easy to relate to and made some good friendships this way. Today, I found myself having a great conversation about Conductive Education and how it encourages activity and problem solving. The yoga teacher had no problem relating to it through her experiences even though she never worked with anyone with a movement disorder. It is funny as I must have had the same or similar conversation with other professionals before, who had little clue what I was talking about. I don’t know if it’s the yoga, the teacher in her or her own upbringing made it so easy to relate to me but it made me feel great.
With meeting her and those two conductors this weekend, I am very thankful to be sharing the same wavelength with strangers and for the support of the parents out here. It’s a start and it’s a good one.