Privileged, Me?

As part of my commitment to learn more about how I can contribute to changing systemic discrimination and facilitating uncomfortable conversations I am currently reading So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. I am only four chapters in so far, but she has promised that I will make missteps along this journey, and that is okay. One of the frequent mistakes that is made in having conversations about systemic discrimination is forgetting to check your own privilege. Its hard to think of myself as privileged as I grew up in a text book broken home in a working class community with mental illness, but privilege comes in many different forms. Oluo discusses the many ways in which privileges present and encourages reflecting on ones own privileges. She also noted that some privileges may also come with disadvantages in certain ways but they still provide a certain benefit.

So here I go, publicly exploring and checking my own privileges and hoping you will, at least privately, do the same. If I am overlooking a privilege, which is possible, let me know!

I am white.
I am cisgendered.
I lean toward heterosexual norms.
I was able to complete high school.
I was able to afford to attend college and complete my degree.
I am a US born American.
I speak fluent English.
I am child-free.
I have supporting, loving, grandparents, mom, and brother.
I was able to attend preschool.
I am able bodied.
I am neurotypical.
I am back in school working toward my masters degree.
I have stable housing.

I challenge you to comment with at least one way that you have privilege and I hope you will subscribe to my site and join me on this journey to a healthier community and improving mental wellness for all.

I am continuing to collect questions in order to facilitate an ongoing decision about race (Lets Talk About Race) but in the mean time will explore how I can better have these conversations. Next week I will share how we can use our privileges to help challenge systemic discrimination!

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Unpacking the BAG

Recently we have explored setting a Big Audacious Goal (BAG). A BAG should be so large that it seems almost unachievable at first. However with planning and perseverance anything is possible. Today we will unpack our BAG to see what smaller achievable goals are inside and then continue to break these smaller goals down until we have a list of bit sized steps. 

We will start by looking at a BAG and pulling out the goals which are written within it. For this example, I will be using my BAG but encourage you to follow along with your own. 

BAG: I will open an ecotherapy center (1) that offers a variety of mental wellness services that integrate traditional practices as well as nature assisted therapies. It will provide out-patient (2)partial hospitalization (3), and residential programs (4) as well as consultations (5) and programs for the general public (6) 

As I begin to unpack my BAG I am able to identify six goals that are stated within it. 

  1. open an ecotherapy center 
  2. out-patient mental wellness services 
  3. partial hospitalization mental wellness services 
  4. residential mental wellness services 
  5. consulting 
  6. public programs 

Looking at these six goals, they are still rather big, but as individual goals they are not as audacious. In order to make progress to these goals they need to be broken down even further into the smaller goals that must first be achieved to reach the bigger goal. So let’s breakdown one of these goals further. 

To provide out-patient mental wellness services I need to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I am planning to remain in Florida so the goals I have listed within this goal are linked to the Florida licensure requirements. These goals include: 

  • Graduate from a masters level mental health counseling program that is accredited by CACREP (In Progress
  • Complete 1500 Face to Face and 100 supervision hours as a Registered Intern 
  • Pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination 
  • Complete the Rules & Laws Course (8 hours) 
  • Complete the HIV/AIDS Course (3 hours) 
  • Complete the Domestic Violence Course (2 hours) 

While these seem much more reachable they could be separated into even further, smaller goals, such as the course work required to obtain the masters degree and then even further into the tasks and assignments within each course. Each person’s need to break down their goals into bite sized bites will vary and for spoonies, like myself (there will be a post about spoonies in the future), sometimes we need to break our list all the way down to each tiny step. Stephen Duneier explains it while in his TedX Talk when he breaks down his goal to hike 33 trails down to each and every action, including putting down the remote. 

Writing this post in just one of the tiny steps I take on my journey to reach my BAG. What is one of the steps you are taking to reach your BAG? Share it in the comments and subscribe to my blog for more content to help you live with mental wellness on your journey.  

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