First Post! (Also, how do you mesh your Quakerism with your professional life?)

  • May 8, 2015 at 10:58 pm #1496

    I am so excited about this new online platform!

    i am a Quaker building a career in the web software industry. I have been fortunate to work for socially and environmentally concious companies which match many of my own Quaker values. Also, I think of clerking and recording clerking when I am leading or a part of meetings at work. I have also successfully organized 4 technology conferences/”hackathons” for work in Philadelphia Quaker meetinghouses.

    How do your Quaker and professional lives interact?

  • May 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm #1497

    Interesting question Andrew. I am new to the Quaker faith, but, I have essentially been using Quaker tenets for much of my life. With that being said, I leverage the Quaker teaching of mindfulness to help me center and focus on my art, writing, and even coming up with ideas for how to better guide my children. When I am sitting in the meetinghouse, that time of quiet and inner reflection helps me come up with ideas for my art and writing projects. I find that if do not go to meeting on Sunday the rest of my week is usually not focused or balanced. It seems Sunday meeting helps me center and prepare myself for the upcoming week.

  • May 15, 2015 at 4:33 pm #1498

    Hi everyone 🙂

    I am a music therapist, working in drug & alcohol case management/counseling and this is the topic that inspired me to pursue PYM Connect forums! I am hoping to connect with other Quakers that work (or have worked) in behavioral health/psychology/counseling/social work, etc. It is a VERY rich field for reflecting on how spirituality can influence change and how faith can save lives!

    Many of my clients haven’t had any exposure to Quakerism, and when I tell them I’m Quaker, they think I mean “Amish.” They generally persist in this notion, despite my explanations! I am always looking for ways to introduce clients to Quakerism in accessible ways.

    I feel very lucky to have many opportunities every week to discuss spiritual development with my clients, and I often find myself sinking down into a prayerful state during these conversations. My primary practice of Quaker faith at work is simply answering to that of God in everyone. My Quaker faith asks me to be curious, observant and loving with everyone I work for, and to explore the worlds that shaped them.

    Andrew – which “socially and environmentally conscious companies” have you worked for?

    And Jamie – what is your art form?

    • May 15, 2015 at 5:21 pm #1499

      Pamela, thank you for sharing your experience. Your post is interesting and helpful. I am an artist in Chadds Ford, PA. I am not a hobby artist but rather professionally trained. I am a graduate of Tyler School of Fine Art. I started drawing and painting in my mother’s studio when I was 5. My artwork centers on abstract modernism. The bulk of my work are paintings and drawings. I use a combination of mediums such as: oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, pastel, and other stuff. I have two styles of art. One style is loose and centers around my interpretation of items I find in nature like seed pods, plant life, ocean organisms, and such. My work is often compared to and parallels the early work of Mark Rothko (abstract watercolor and oil paintings) during the 1940s (Example of his work) , modernist Arshille Gorky, and Robert Motherwell. My other style is more tight yet abstract. It is rooted in my study of architecture. The result are abstract architectural-like drawings and sculpture while usually incorporating some sort of rhythmic pattern. I also create small scale sculpture pieces that can easily be placed in most homes. This is unlike many sculptors who work very large. I like to use vintage artifacts and found materials such as recycled wood, metal, and such. It is quite Quaker like to use recycled material 🙂 Right now, I purposely operate under the radar of the big art scene now but that will likely change. My work is privately collected. I am in the process of creating a blog/website that will feature my work. I was forced to start this initiative because of a growing interest in my art. Right now, people interested in my art visit my studio by invitation only to see my work firsthand. With the risk of sounding haughty, which is not my intention at all, I anticipate my work will be in a museum collection one day. I think it is time to share my gift with more people. I like to touch lives and make them think about the world around them.

  • June 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm #1500

    I am a retired family physician. As a way to remain humble and to do my best to not act authoritatively when interacting with my patients, I always reminded myself of one of the Quaker beliefs – There is that of God within everyone.

    • June 2, 2015 at 10:49 am #1501

      Ken, you speak my mind. As an about to retire transactional lawyer, I also always remind myself that there is that of God within everyone. It often was hard.

  • June 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm #1502

    When I was practicing medicine in a private practice partnership, I found that I was so consumed with the care of patients and with keeping track of the financial end of the practice, that I lost track of the importance of relating in a meaningful way to the people I worked with other than we wrote down a vision and mission statement that described the type of care we wanted to give and the types of patients we wished to care for. After we sold our practice to a the local healthcare conglomerate, I was no longer in a position to have much influence on the total vision and mission of our practice, and so what I found was very useful was to meet for 5-10 minutes daily and for up to 15-20 minutes weekly with the 5 or 6 people I worked with closely to find out what everyone’s concerns were and how we might address these concerns so as to provide better care for our patients and to make for more of a meaningful day at work for everyone. For me, this was a good way to practice “listening to the voice of God in each person.”

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