Monday, February 6, 2012

Keep on Keeping On

Ann-Christine Racette

IMPACT first came to my attention in the early 1990s. This was before internet marketing, when a casual word overheard could change a life. A dear friend had gone through the training and recommended it to me. We were both involved in Reevaluation Counseling, a form of co-counseling with a similar mission to IMPACT’s: to empower the individual to make choices.
After many months of juggling my self-employment schedule, I finally cleared my time to take the Core Program in 1995. At the time, it was a five-Saturday class that met for five hours a day. It was a huge, scary commitment! Go to bed early on Friday nights; keep Saturdays open; avoid all out-of-town travel. But the benefits were countless. I was sore after the first two weekends, but then my muscles—and my psyche—built up during the week in preparation for the following Saturday. What I learned settled in at a deeper level than I could recognize. From being surrounded by the same supportive faces, we formed friendships. We sought one another out between classes for an empathic listen. 

Witnessing other women’s slow transformation over 29 days awakened me to process. Some Saturdays were breakthroughs. Most women barely slogged through the second Saturday. Some weekdays were tough because the entire societal construct, as I saw it, was called into question. In the end, the transformation was profound. By living with the material for several weeks, I integrated it into my world-view. I began seeing things differently and questioning the usual. 

A reverence burgeoned in me from watching women fight for their lives and their self-respect. After facing and vanquishing the fear, I found more occasions to laugh. I loved better. I began painting. I tapped into the darkness and my new-fund trust in process, and surfaced with the ideas that have flowed into my paintings: women floating in iridescence, emerging from water, straddling ice floes, extending a hand to one another.
I thank all my fellow students, all classroom muggers, instructors, and alumnae, and all women who keep on keeping on, for making me privy to the nobility of your struggle, for sharing your triumphs. You inspire me.

Word of mouth is the most effective tool we have because it is a message born of experience, conveyed with firm belief, out of concern and respect for the recipient.
IMPACT--pass it on!

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