Authored by Binita Modi, a core team member and Essentials Program facilitator.
What happens when you bring a real life Bruce Banner, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers together? You have Daniel, Binita and Romana - our very own version of the BecauseYOU Avengers.
This is a shout out to our facilitators who bring their unique gifts and personalities that adds strength to our community. A small window into our lives, hop onboard!
Like Dr Banner, Daniel brings the unwavering energy, grit and strength to the group and while Hulk is always angry, Daniel is always witty! Great characteristic right? Also, it’s safe to say you will always be treated to great music by him.
I am similar to Stark - swimming in possibilities, like to fly (clearly love metaphors), can be politically incorrect but eventually come up with something that helps the team. But unlike Iron Man, I usually say no first and then come on board anyway keeping the team’s interests in mind.
Romana, our very own in-house Rogers comes with an immense amount of patience, presence and never letting us off our mission and purpose. Behind the principled veneer exists a very goofy side to this Captain America that is filled with wonder and curiosity.
Our design process
There’s not a single meeting which goes without us checking in on each other - usually led by Romana or Daniel while I comfortably slip into my not-a-therapist role for sometime. If holding each other through our Zoom screens had an expression, it would look like how we hold each other endearingly - in playful, respectful and loving ways. And somehow, the work gets done!
Creative foundations - our grounding
Daniel - the note taker and question master while Romana and I shift gears between ideating and grounding. Our bodies move to that rhythm too. You’ll never miss Daniel humming to something, Romana swaying around and me mostly munching on some popcorn.
Apply to self
When we design our programs, we apply our tools on each other. I can imagine Daniel saying, ‘how might we answer this question ourselves?’ and one of us then puts ourselves into our participant’s shoes. I have never seen disagreements and opinions be presented so beautifully! We definitely imbibe the quality of respecting the self and the other without really having to spell it out.
The impact of this partnership
So is this effortless? Of course not, this has come from learning to trust each other, shedding our defensive skins and learning to share our vulnerabilities.
We believe in the same core values - people are whole, beautiful at their core and come with their own unique gifts that make them who they are. As someone who is constantly interacting with people in different capacities, being a part of this incredible team makes me feel at home instantly and has given me the space to connect more authentically with my inner and outer world with curiosity and appreciation.
The energies we bring made us click. Just like the Avengers, we ain’t no superheroes but have had experiences that have led us to imbibe those powers and we try really hard to bring our whole selves. We bring our shadow sides to this work as well, and acknowledge our struggles, judgements and shortcomings. It’s what keeps us grounded, knowing that we are on the journey with our community every single day.
Luckily, we have nothing to avenge! Except perhaps the fact that our lives have been overtaken by a pandemic we did not expect, and many of us are finding it difficult to cope.
We believe that long term resilience is built by making space for all emotions, understanding mind and body connection, deeper awareness of self and community support.
Our next program starts in July, reach out to Dr Banner for a quick call! If nothing else, I guarantee that he will make you laugh at least once during the conversation!
(Clearly, I am a Marvel fan! If none of these references make sense, I promise not to judge. Maybe.)