Reason to Thrive

Reason to Thrive

Reason to Thrive – Equine Assisted Learning Programs

Debb @ Davaar – August 2020

Nearly 2 years ago I had the fortune of meeting the lovely ladies from Reason To Thrive.  Their organisation offers  “… equine Assisted Learning programs for skills development and personal growth.  Equine Assisted Learning is a ‘hands-on’ innovative approach to learning where the participant learns through interaction with a horse.”Ribbon Cutting Reason to Thrive

A fantastic initiative that supports at-risk children and youth, offers a special needs school program and women’s empowerment for survivors of domestic violence.  Visit their website …   https://www.reasontothrive.org/ 

I was asked to represent Davaar Consultancy at the opening of their Thrift & Thrive Shop at Kenmore.  A great turnout with a local councilman and staff present, cutting the ribbon.  Coffee & beautiful cakes … it was very enjoyable and I felt honoured to be there.   Dr. Wendy, on behalf of Davaar, supports their cause, so when the lovely ladies were thinking about team Reason to Thrive Who's Whobuilding workshops we were the first ‘guinea pigs’ to be contacted.

We needed to organise 6 people.  Easy enough.  We were then presented with three options and Dr. Wendy with her wonderful sense of humour and adventure chose ‘Brainiac’ !!  We’re in trouble already.

Reason to Thrive Following ordersSo, what was Brainiac all about?  We were given our briefing and put in teams of three and allotted a horse per team.  In hindsight, these magnificent creatures were the true ‘brains’ of the team!  And I don’t mean that lightly.  As a team of three, we linked arms.

Reason to Thrive Braniac exercise

The person in the middle was the ‘brains’ (obviously me – tongue in cheek); the person on the left was the ‘left arm’ and the person on the right ‘right arm’.  One of those ‘arms’ held the horse’s reigns.  Around the arena, there were ‘tasks’ to achieve.  For example, there was a set of upstanding poles.  ‘Brains’ had to instruct her ‘hands’ to direct them around the poles, or put a halter on our horse.  Oh and did I mention, that only the ‘Brains’ could talk – neither the ‘hands’ NOR the horse were allowed to speak.

Reason to Thrive Prep

Reason to Thrive On task

There was also a row of logs that the ‘Brains’ had to instruct her team to walk over, and a piece of cloth in a semi-circle.  ‘Brain’s had to instruct her ‘hands’ to gently guide the horse to stand on that cloth.  That one was a doozy – and, thankfully, in our case, our might steed knew exactly WHAT to do.  He was either frustrated with our pathetic attempts or he was getting bored and wanted to get back to some feed as soon as possible.  ‘Enough of this silliness human person! There is some real food to be had over yonder.’

Reason to Thrive BreifingIt’s all about teamwork.

We finished by brushing down our exhausted steeds, thanking them for their patience and reassembling for a debrief … not to mention some yummy wraps & cake.

A fabulous day of learning was had by all.Reason to Thrive

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Tenderness is about you looking after you

Tenderness is about you looking after you

Tenderness is about you looking after you

This is my first blog in a long time. Such a long time in fact that my PA Debb took it upon herself to write a blog to get the blog energy back into Davaar. How fantastic is that and what a funny blog she has written, I trust you enjoyed it and smiled as much as I did… Starting out with Davaar

The theme of tenderness was created in me a couple of years ago during a supervision session with a group of supervisees. As one of the group was describing work she had done with a client, I experienced a great softening and tenderness in her whole being. When I shared what I experienced with her and the group, the supervisee moved deeper into tenderness with herself. Her body softened further, her body relaxed more. As she got more tender with herself, I became aware that I experienced increased tenderness for her. It was such a touching and vivid few minutes for me. As I kept reflecting on the interaction between us and the experience for both of us, I wondered about the power of tenderness and the absence of acknowledging tenderness in our language today.

Trying to locate information about tenderness in the literature has been difficult. I am going to be bold and state there is a dearth of information about tenderness in contemporary literature. Perhaps, that in itself is a clue: if we are not writing about tenderness, not talking about tenderness, not exploring tenderness with each other, and in groups is it possible, then, that tenderness does not exist?

Of course, tenderness exists I hear you say. Ok, so reflect further – how often do you use the term in your work with clients, or thinking about and interacting with colleagues, or expressing tenderness with loved ones? Do a quick check-in now and respond to the following:

1. When you hear or think about the word tenderness – what presents for you (colour, image, name, person etc……allow your creativity to create)

2. In what ways do you demonstrate tenderness with a client?

3. What factors trigger tenderness in you for another person?

I have been running workshops on the theme of ‘Tenderness – Looking After You’ for a couple of years and from those workshops, it is clear that participants struggle with the notion of tenderness for themselves. I concur with them that tenderness may not be an easy idea, concept, experience to grasp. Then I notice an interaction from a participant, I experience their tone of voice, a shift in their body position and I say to the person – “what’s happening for you right now?”, they pause, they respond, I propose “this is you being tender with you right now” and their body softens more. “There you go,” I say “deeper into your own tenderness”. From interactions such as this, a whole new world of understanding about what tenderness means and how tenderness is experienced by that person (and the group) opens up. Is it possible that tenderness is simply about being with self or being with another in a gentle tender way?

The first known use of the word ‘tenderness’ was in the 14th century. According to the Cambridge Dictionary tenderness is defined as “the quality of being gentle, loving or kind”. Other descriptions of tenderness that I have found in the literature include:

  • a feeling of concern, gentle affection or warmth
  • a pain that is felt when the area is touched
  • a tenancy to express warm compassionate feelings
  • concern for the welfare of others.

I think of the tenderness, the softening that can occur for adults and other children around a newborn baby. I smile in tenderness when I experience an infant taking those first tottering steps and falling down. I sit in tenderness with clients when they share their heartfelt and heart wrenching experiences of workplace bullying, of losing themselves in traumatising and cruel systemic processes. I experience tenderness when clients share the moment they knew that they had made a significant positive impact on the life of a patient they provided care to.

Imagine if individually we took more notice of tenderness. Notice how we experience tenderness, notice how we share tenderness. As we notice, we collect all those tenderness moments in a glass jar. As we see the jar fill up in and with tenderness, we can be reminded even in those harshest, darkest moments and days, that as humans we have an enormous capacity for tenderness. Enormous capacity to be tender with ourselves and with others….. now that is just heart-warming….. and tender.

Follow my blogs on… https://davaar.com.au/dr-wendys-blog/

If you are interested in attending our tenderness workshops visit our Events calendar or email debb@davaar.com.au or wendy@davaar.com.au for more information.

We’ve scheduled a 3 module workshop via Zoom  Dates/times: Wednesday 16th September, Wednesday 23rd September, Wednesday 30th September Bio Wendy McIntosh PhD

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Starting out with Davaar

Starting out with Davaar

Starting out with Davaar

Debb @ Davaar – July 2020

I’ve been with Dr. Wendy for a couple of years now. Before Dr. W, I was admin in the education system. Two years later, employment nursing courses went online, so staff were made redundant. Dr. W offered me a job with Davaar, and as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Debb Quinn

So what’s it like working for Dr. Wendy and Davaar Consultancy? Well, it’s been the best thing to have happened to me since … oh gosh, ok well, I can’t remember that far back but it’s been oh-so-good! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still ‘a work in progress’ when it comes to the Scottish accent and terminology – or as I call it ‘Wendy-Speak’ – but I hope I am slowly ‘getting there’. With my hand on my heart, there’s never been a dull moment I can tell you. She is certainly one very resilient lady! (a workshop participant called her a ‘pocket rocket’) – and with ‘proven consistency’, as per our Instagram posts. In between podcasts, workshops (face to face), online training, Rotary (Past President), supervising, one-on-one sessions, being hassled by me – she still makes time for her own mental health by throwing in a game of golf!

Dr. Wendy McIntosh portrait

Starting backwards – Covid-19 has certainly brought a ‘what are we going to do?’ question to the drawing board. Here I was panicking, very concerned about my own welfare, at the same time trying to think outside the box. Well, surprise surprise, Dr. Wendy was already outside that box … waiting for me to catch up! She and IT guru Nikki had already set up online training and published the first 6 podcast episodes ‘Professional Boundaries‘ – something to relax and listen to while self-isolating, and/ or working from home. Add into that organised mix came ‘You Supporting You … Your Sentence, Your Story, Your Week’ … and gently stir. We had such a positive response that it is now on our website for one and all to download.

Check out the booklet for yourself … it’s really cool … and yes, I am blowing my own horn! I loved designing thisbooklet especially using Japanese influenced illustrations from Pixabay (thank you Pixabay).

Download the You Supporting You Workbook

Click on the cover to learn more.

One of our customers loved the book so much she gave us this testimonial to use:
“The best part for me is the title ‘YOU Supporting YOU during this time’. I am a strong advocate of people helping themselves. I often talk about the three-prong approach to recovery with my clients: doctors and medicine, counselling therapies, and most important ‘what can you do to help yourself??’ This fits perfectly in with that model!”

Without carrying on too much, that’s what I love about this diverse ‘job’ (dare I call it a ‘job’?) – the love of design – webinar PowerPoints, training flyers, workbooks, documents, booklets, and everything in between – like I said ‘never a dull moment’ with this talented woman.

Dr. Wendy also completed a very successful VIRTUAL workshop, this July month, with Linguistpd in the UK via Zoom. Over the past couple of years, Wendy would take the opportunity to catch up with friends and relatives when these workshops were scheduled; however, this time around the workshop was facilitated virtually. Will it work? Will anyone turn up? Will it be successful? Well, yes indeed, the feedback was very positive and humbling. Another exciting chapter to add to the memoir!

I will fill you in on more amazing feats blitzed by Dr. W in the next month’s blog. Stay well, stay safe.


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You Supporting You – Workbook to Download

You Supporting You – Workbook to Download

You Supporting You – Your Sentence, Your story, Your week

It is our great pleasure here at Davaar to provide this resource for your own musings, a reflective writing process packaged in a free downloadable workbook.

Download the You Supporting You Workbook

Click the cover to download your copy of our PDF workbook.

Creating this resource grew out of the Covid-19 pandemic that has had such a significant impact on our world and peoples of the world.  What began as a social media exercise has developed into a soothing six-week daily personal reflection process.

The aim of this reflective process is to assist you as the writer to connect or perhaps reconnect with your strengths, your dreams or your purpose in life. To support more inspiration and deeper reflections we have included the mediums of images, music, stories and art to arouse the creative genius in each of us.

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