Warm Thoughts from the IOA President

By Marcia Martínez-Helfman, IOA President 2018-2020

My first thought when I woke this morning was that I should be heading to the airport to fly to Portland and the IOA’s 15th Annual Conference. The Foundations Course would have already been underway.  I’d be preparing for our Board of Directors meeting on Saturday and Sunday, and excited that the Conference itself would be underway beginning Sunday night.  I will truly miss the camaraderie, learning, sharing, and just plain socializing with you all.

Today, I return to my home office aka the dining table after taking time to plot and execute a strategy for replenishing my refrigerator and pantry.  My son, recently back from London and self-isolating, stood at the curb to pick up the groceries I brought to him as I waved from my car.  These unprecedented times have touched all of us, across the globe, in small and great ways.  Too much suffering continues, and many lives continue to be lost.

Our work as ombuds provides us the opportunity to help others encountering conflict, chaos, and all manner of challenging circumstances, to envision alternatives and open up space and paths previously unseen.  My hope for us all is that we will be able to find ways to creatively transform this global pall into new and promising realities.

I wish all of you, my Ombuds colleagues, safety, good health, and opportunities for self-care.  It’s a time to cherish every moment with loved ones — whether in person or from a distance. We will cross paths again in the future.  And as we stay closed in, I share a video that I hope will serve in some way to open your hearts.  

Be well, 

Marcia Martínez-Helfman
IOA President 2018-2020

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Mary Bliss Conger - Saturday, March 28, 2020

Thank you, Marcia. I wish we were all together in Portland, too. Love to you, and the world.

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