36 min

Part 4 | Shifting - Featuring Gemma Houldey Service Without Sacrifice

    • Business

The world feels heavy these days. Issues go far beyond our little bubble of life to the furthest reaches of the earth: pandemics, global warming, fires, floods, wars . . . it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. As humanitarians, we not only work to alleviate the pain and suffering in the world, but we also have to navigate it for ourselves. In this episode of Service Without Sacrifice, Gemma Houldey and I discuss how we can continue to show up in dark times and do the work the world needs us to do now more than ever.
Gemma’s work with international NGOs and civil society groups in East Africa and the Middle East allows her to bring unique insight to our conversation about shifting–the act of moving from autopilot reaction to intentional response. We discuss the importance of vulnerability, connection, and empathy and how grief plays a significant role in our shifting process. We also touch on the need for organizations to create brave spaces where individuals can honor their feelings and find support. Join us as we explore the power of shifting, the importance of self-compassion, and the role of grief in our personal and professional lives. Together, we can find hope and light in dark times. Part 4 highlights include:
* We need to create brave spaces for vulnerability where individuals can connect and honor their personal and collective grief. Gemma emphasizes the need for courageous conversations and intentional practices that allow people to show up with vulnerability and connect with one another.
* Pausing as a practice in shifting. Dimple talks about how when we think about pausing there’s a feeling that we’re simply stopping, but that in actuality, pausing is a choice.
* Our work often requires us to carry the grief of the people we serve, and this can be a huge challenge. 
* Gemma and Dimple discuss societal expectations around productivity and the importance of using our agency to choose to focus on work as a means of avoiding difficult emotions vs. doing so out of habit.
* Gemma highlights that managers have “a responsibility in setting a good example so that people feel that they can show up in their vulnerability."
* As we grow up, we’re often conditioned to suppress emotions and push through difficult situations. Society wants us to constantly be productive rather than indulging in emotions. Gemma shares her personal journey of unlearning these patterns, not relying on unhealthy mental crutches, and embracing practices that support emotional well-being. She states, "It takes a while to unlearn that and to sort of remove that conditioning."
* Dimple talks about how in order to shift, we must take time to pause and practice self-compassion. This pause allows us to reset our nervous systems and operate from a place of intention. Gemma adds, "It means remaining continuously conscious of, “What does Gemma need right now?” and just being okay with that, even if it's sometimes working even more or distracting myself even more."
* Dimple talks about the power of sharing our stories and creating ritual and practice around empathy and connection.
* The space between seeing and shifting is the pause. We now have self-awareness and before we can shift into intentional action, we need that pause to collect ourselves and reset our nervous systems so we’re not operating from survival mode, but from a place of intention. Dimple says that even though they know these things, people like her and Gemma doing this work still have to work at this every day. 
* How can we be carriers of hope when we have difficulty finding it in the first place? The answer is that we work together to create spaces that honor feelings and remind individuals of their shared humanity. Dimple says, "Without hope, how do we keep moving forward and showing up every day?"
* Gemma highlights that there are markers of privilege around certain practices and interventions, and we need to keep that in mind. There are different needs as we think about

The world feels heavy these days. Issues go far beyond our little bubble of life to the furthest reaches of the earth: pandemics, global warming, fires, floods, wars . . . it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. As humanitarians, we not only work to alleviate the pain and suffering in the world, but we also have to navigate it for ourselves. In this episode of Service Without Sacrifice, Gemma Houldey and I discuss how we can continue to show up in dark times and do the work the world needs us to do now more than ever.
Gemma’s work with international NGOs and civil society groups in East Africa and the Middle East allows her to bring unique insight to our conversation about shifting–the act of moving from autopilot reaction to intentional response. We discuss the importance of vulnerability, connection, and empathy and how grief plays a significant role in our shifting process. We also touch on the need for organizations to create brave spaces where individuals can honor their feelings and find support. Join us as we explore the power of shifting, the importance of self-compassion, and the role of grief in our personal and professional lives. Together, we can find hope and light in dark times. Part 4 highlights include:
* We need to create brave spaces for vulnerability where individuals can connect and honor their personal and collective grief. Gemma emphasizes the need for courageous conversations and intentional practices that allow people to show up with vulnerability and connect with one another.
* Pausing as a practice in shifting. Dimple talks about how when we think about pausing there’s a feeling that we’re simply stopping, but that in actuality, pausing is a choice.
* Our work often requires us to carry the grief of the people we serve, and this can be a huge challenge. 
* Gemma and Dimple discuss societal expectations around productivity and the importance of using our agency to choose to focus on work as a means of avoiding difficult emotions vs. doing so out of habit.
* Gemma highlights that managers have “a responsibility in setting a good example so that people feel that they can show up in their vulnerability."
* As we grow up, we’re often conditioned to suppress emotions and push through difficult situations. Society wants us to constantly be productive rather than indulging in emotions. Gemma shares her personal journey of unlearning these patterns, not relying on unhealthy mental crutches, and embracing practices that support emotional well-being. She states, "It takes a while to unlearn that and to sort of remove that conditioning."
* Dimple talks about how in order to shift, we must take time to pause and practice self-compassion. This pause allows us to reset our nervous systems and operate from a place of intention. Gemma adds, "It means remaining continuously conscious of, “What does Gemma need right now?” and just being okay with that, even if it's sometimes working even more or distracting myself even more."
* Dimple talks about the power of sharing our stories and creating ritual and practice around empathy and connection.
* The space between seeing and shifting is the pause. We now have self-awareness and before we can shift into intentional action, we need that pause to collect ourselves and reset our nervous systems so we’re not operating from survival mode, but from a place of intention. Dimple says that even though they know these things, people like her and Gemma doing this work still have to work at this every day. 
* How can we be carriers of hope when we have difficulty finding it in the first place? The answer is that we work together to create spaces that honor feelings and remind individuals of their shared humanity. Dimple says, "Without hope, how do we keep moving forward and showing up every day?"
* Gemma highlights that there are markers of privilege around certain practices and interventions, and we need to keep that in mind. There are different needs as we think about

36 min

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