"This has been the most relevant, timely and impactful training I have received this year!" The enthused comment came from an attendee at the 'Let's Flourish Together!', BUC Women's Ministries event led by Karen Holford, TED director for Women, Family and Children's Ministries.
Realising the scope of loss, trauma, change, and general negative impact the pandemic has had on wellbeing, BUC Director Sharon Platt-McDonald, contacted Karen to run the 'Flourish!' workshop.
So how does a programme captioned 'Flourish! Choose Well – Think Well – Live well!' assist individuals? Outlining the programme overview, Karen states: "Flourish! is a set of materials designed to introduce ideas and activities that can help people of all ages to choose to experience positive emotions, even when they are facing challenging circumstances." She further explains – "Flourish! consists of 12 posters/pages. Each one focuses on a different aspect of emotional wellbeing, and includes a Bible verse, a brief introduction, and 10 different, simple ideas for experiencing a positive emotion or attitude."
Additional resources includes a choice of two journal pages that encourage daily, positive reflection on healthy emotions. There is also a tree poster for children, where they can stick or colour small green leaves each time they try out one of the flourishing ideas.
Five months after the training event held 8 May 2022, Sharon Platt-McDonald followed up on attendees to see how they were benefitting from the resources. Here are some of their reflections:
"The biggest takeaway for me was the emotional balance ratio. I've been intentionally surrounding myself with reasons to be thankful, in an effort to increase my emotional balance ratio to 3:1. Every morning I walk along the beach and as part of my meditation, I do a 360 degree rotation and find things around me to thank God for. I have found that my moments of sadness are very few and only in the evening when I am alone."
Audrey Ahwan, Freelance programme development consultant.
Margareth Mukisa – Scottish Mission Women's Ministries Sponsor shares her experience of the programme's impact:
"What impacted me most, is the part stating: 'Positive approach in life', where I am encouraged to include:
- Praise – I praise God and be happy.
- Pray – Give my worries to Him to take care of it.
- Peace – Fill myself with the peace of God.
- Kindness – Intentionally being kind and gentle to others.
- Focus – Daily focus my thoughts on positive things.
I can see the difference in my life by putting these into practice."
Elida Nota – Welsh Mission Women's Ministries Sponsor serving from 2017-2019 shares:
"The Flourish training helped me to understand the importance of self-care and finding balance in the midst of different life challenges. The interactive activities were helpful in making me start implementing some of the very useful practical recommendations. The programme was well planned and presented making it easy to follow."
Explaining the adaption of the programme title to include the word 'Together', Director Sharon Platt-McDonald states: "I captioned the training event 'Flourishing Together' as I felt it was important to add an element of support and encouragement to the practical aspects of the programme. The 'togetherness' involves attendees checking in with each other and sharing testimonies. It also has the option for accountability buddies, prayer partners and mentors who follow up with individuals on how they are progressing with the programme materials."
To view highlights of the BUC Flourish training event, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kodeyCC6FBU
The full scope of Flourish materials includes the following:
- Choose to Manage your Thoughts
- Choose Gratitude
- Choose Joy
- Choose Inspiration
- Choose Wonder
- Choose Laughter
- Choose Hope
- Choose Purpose
- Choose Kindness
- Choose Flow
- Choose Peace
- Choose Creativity
- Caring When Life is Sad
- Caring When Life is Traumatic
- Help When You've Had a Challenging Day
- Choose to Help Others by Listening Well
- Flourishing Journal
- Flourish Tree Poster for children
For more information, visit: Flourish - Family Ministries (ted.adventist.org/family/flourish/)
Take a moment to visit the webpage and try the empowering programme materials for yourself. You will find the experience very beneficial, as you navigate life in these challenging times. May you thrive, whatever your circumstance.