flower growing outside a pot, a metaphor for growing out of your comfort zone

Today, I discovered myself reflecting on some feedback that I received from two people we support here at Beacon. Both of these people were in their own unique situations and they both had found themselves in need of change.  These recent stories hold two men, who moved into new programs here in Minnesota. Both of them, after being with us for a short time, made it a point to tell me in person that the supports they are receiving have made a significant change in their lives. The compassionate care Beacon provides every day makes a direct impact into the livelihood of those we serve.

“Mark, I gotta tell you that I wasn’t very happy where I was before, and now, I’m 10 times happier. I love where I live.”

“I just wanted to leave you a message and tell you that this house has been a godsend for me and I finally feel like I truly am home.”

Both of these men in situations where history follows them, where they had moved from provider to provider unsuccessfully, spending a few months somewhere and then moving on.

Beacon’s Minnesota team found ways to make changes to the environment, changes to the services and supports, and changes from what these men were experiencing in their lives before Beacon.

I recall an image and reflections from a few years back as I listened to a similar story of change. I am now realizing their story is just as connected to this imagery and writing from my past.

Their previous situations become the pot, their lives and supports, the plant and its roots.

I am proud to be a part of this transformation and to be part of a team of people who have been doing important and meaningful work that is making a difference in the lives of the people we care about. 

But we cannot stop now, the work continues. We can pay attention to the little details that are most important both to and for a person’s success.

“We have an opportunity. We can realize that just as a plant that has been inside that container for some time, our lives can become root bound creating little space for growth and opportunity.”

We can continue to find ways, to make a path, to support new environments, new relationships, and new connections.

“When a plant is bound by its roots, they move and they shift and they seek a new space. The pot that contains them holds them in. If you set the pot off to the side, you can see that the roots have literally taken the shape of their container. What do we do at that point? We get a little dirty. We get our hands in there a little bit and we work those roots loose. We show compassion for that plant and find a way for it to thrive in a new space, a place where those roots can grow. This can become a new foundation.”

Mark Winters, Executive Director of Operations – Minnesota

Mark graduated with a BA in Organizational Behavior and brings over 25 years of experience of project management and leadership to the Beacon team. He is responsible for ensuring Beacon delivers high-quality, person-centered support and for meeting our operational goals by providing leadership, oversight, and guidance to our adult and child foster care, crisis, and respite programs.

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