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The Missing Fundamentals for Transformation

Rob is a 41 year old father of two young children and husband of 12 years. He and his family moved from Pacific Northwest, USA to South Asia in 2015, where he’s been serving as a social worker in small business and non-profit organizations.  Having a Masters in Social work and 18 years experience in the mental health field, he highly values Thrive Premier material both professionally and personally. Rob was a Track 1 attendee during our Thrive Premier Training and is passionate about spreading the Relational Skills in communities around the world.

Burnout seems to have led me to Thrive. More specifically, the stress and pressure of overseas work, living in a new country and culture, and parenting two young children seems to have led me to the burnout which led me to Thrive. As someone who studied mental health and psychology in grad school and had been through previous brief Christian counseling, I imagined I was prepared for the emotional challenges of the work to which I felt called.

Thankfully some compassionate elders and mentors recognized that my responses to the emotional challenges were actually revealing missing skills, lack of maturity, and unhealed trauma. These elders recommended a break from overseas work in order to pursue further transformation and personal development. It was during that time that I was introduced to the 19 brain skills and Thrive.  This introduction was gradual, and it culminated with the attendance of a 2021 Thrive training in Holland, Michigan.

Even though my gradual introduction included reading books, watching videos and joining a weekly group to implement  intentional practices (like Immanuel Journaling, shalom for my body, daily appreciation and joy building), there was still something compelling about the Thrive training. It seemed like an important missing piece – what an understatement!

As a former athlete I can relate my Thrive training experience to similar experiences – sports camps. That one week per summer of intense focus on fundamentals under the supervision of experienced coaches and mentors did wonders for my football abilities. Even though I practiced for a couple hours a day during seasons and studied and trained during off-seasons, those camp weeks, being filled with constant focused training in the fundamentals of running and tackling, were an essential piece of optimal development. I have come to believe the same of Thrive training. The week-long “right-brained” training and coaching at Thrive took my joy and rest skills to the next level.

Thrive Track One facilitated the development of the foundational skills of joy and quiet. The processes and activities are too many to describe here, but I can gratefully reflect on some outcomes and benefits of the experience:

    • I can now confidently track the bodily awareness of joy and quiet in daily life.
    • I have a solid baseline for how building joy and quiet with my wife and kids should feel when done properly.
    • I have vivid experiential memories of how to check and re-engage my relational circuits when needed.
    • I have powerful reminders of how big feelings impact others.
    • I have a deep lasting impression of how securely I can be attached to God and others.
    • I can identify skill practice activities that strengthen the pathways that were targeted at the training.
    • I have a manual for 52 weeks of Track One skill practice and troubleshooting.
    • I have a Momentum Group consisting of other attendees who want to continue practicing and sharing experiences.

Again, to say that Thrive Track One was an important missing piece is a massive understatement. It has been a month and half since the training. I’m back in the stressful routines of missions work and parenting in another country. It seems miraculous to be able to report that daily challenges that previously exposed immaturity and caused pain are now more frequently experienced as opportunities to quiet and settle into the foundational joy from which God designed us to live.  My new exposure based awareness of how that joy can and should feel fills me with gratitude for the week of Thrive training.

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