By Cheryl Fryfield (Self Advocate)
In the past 5 years now I have done two PATHs.
PATH is about person centered planning. It doesn’t have to be for just people with diversabilities.
It can be for anyone. In a PATH meeting there will be important people there that you have invited.
There is a facilitator and sometimes a graphic facilitator who does drawings.
The facilitator will ask you two important questions:
1. Who are you, and how are these people you invited important in your life?
2. What can we do together to reach a better life for you now, and in the future?
At both PATHs I had some co-workers and my friends.
I was very happy after I had done the two PATHs.
My first PATH was about four years ago. Most of my goals came true.
Here are some of the goals that I came up with.
One of them was to do a presentation at a conference – which I did.
I am still doing presentations 3 years later! Another goal was to get healthy.
I have had a rough time with my health, but now I am eating better, exercising and trying to sleep better too.
This has helped me be healthier. Another long term goal I had was to get the proper papers for my Canadian citizenship.
I was born in San Francisco, California. I am grateful that my mother is a Canadian. I did not have to take the citizenship test.
Instead I had a friend who helped me with the papers. After many months I got my Canadian citizenship card.
She is now helping me with the forms for my Canadian passport. Another one of my long term goals was to have a little bit of financial freedom.
With the help of some of my friends my finances are in better shape and I feel less stressed.
I co-facilitated the Cheryl’s Star Raft Salon group. Most people in the group did a PATH, including me.
On the second PATH, I wanted to get better in my writing skills, become more confident in public speaking and keep in touch with some of my SALON friends. I am doing all of these things. There are other goals like wanting to volunteer at the “Bard on the Beach” that I have not done yet.
But that’s ok as I was busy doing other things. Laugh out Loud!! I hope to do a toastmaster’s session one day.
Another one of my goals is to have something like a Stone Soup gathering, that’s like a potluck.
I hope to do that some point this year with a few friends.
I think planning is important because:
1. It helps people gain control of their lives.
2. Pictures and drawings are also good to have so you can see for yourselves the actions you will take.
I keep my PATH pinned up on my wall.
So go for it. Trust me, it worked for me.