Making a Person's Best Self Visible

Visioning is Making a Person's Best Self Visible

Some people vision by imagining the future they want in detail and identifying all the steps that will take them straight to it. This kind of visioning can work well for short term goals like training for a 10k run or organizing a vacation. It gets stuck when the future unfolds over time and unexpected difficulties show up. It overlooks unpredicted opportunities.

Experienced families have discovered a powerful way to vision when the purpose is following community pathways to a meaningful life. Good things happen when they create a vision of the person's best self. This way of visioning brings the person's and family's dreams of a meaningful life into bright focus, identifies the pathways through community life that offer the best opportunities, and points toward the very next steps along those pathways. This leaves the picture of exactly what the future will look like to come into focus as the journey continues. This form of visioning can lead to desirable futures that families could not imagine before they were in them.

Experienced families know the desire for a plan that nails down every step to a place that guarantees lifetime safety and good care. And they know that the chances for a good life are far better when people are embedded in good relationships and valued community roles than any disability program or facility can guarantee. They know it can be hard to trust their own ability to figure out the supports and safeguards that will make it possible for their family member to immerse themselves in community life. That's why they reach out and stay connected with other Inclusion Alberta families. That's why don't try this alone is their firm advice to families new to FMS.

The seeds of vision are everywhere when people are open to notice them. An uncle's comment spotlights an ability that could make a positive difference to an employer. A friend mentions an activity that engages interest. A conference talk opens a new possibility.

These seeds grow when nurtured with action. Even just gathering a bit more information can encourage them to grow. Exploring the idea that a person could own her own home will go well when others join in to identify options and research the many questions that need answers.

At crossroads - like adding people employed through FMS to family life - it helps to gather up seeds of vision and refresh awareness of dreams of a good life and meaningful pathways.

A family's handwritten note on visioning

The image to the left reproduces the seed of a vision a father created on the back of an envelope during a conference panel while the mother of a man with developmental disabilities told the story of how her son became a condo owner.