Remember: HUG Your Baby's First Presentation in Japan!

Jan and husband, Jim, at Kagawa
Un School of Nursing
I spent a few hectic weeks corresponding with my colleague, Professor Kimie Tanimoto, from Kagawa School of Nursing, and preparing my first HUG Your Baby presentation in Japan. Hoping for a show of 15 faculty and students, and happy to chat with 10, imagine my surprise when Director of Nursing, Dr. Shimizu, welcomed me and 82 others! 

Professor Kimie Tanimoto
Since faculty from all areas of nursing were invited to my presentation, Kimie had suggested a broader (than just newborns) topic for discussion. Kimie also willingly served as IT expert, logistics director and translator as I, phrase by translated phrase, began “The Nurse as Innovator: HUG Your Baby as One Example of What Nurses Can Do.”

Kagawa Un School of Nursing faculty &
 students get the first HUG in Japan
While discussing the expected steps to reaching a dream (set goals [and write them down], research, take action, share goals and collaborate, evaluate and redesign), I discussed some of the more tender and challenging moments for me in the birth of HUG Your Baby: recognizing and addressing my internal insecurities and resistance, choosing carefully those to share my dream with initially, dealing with failure, committing to small steps even when the goal seems quite unattainable, and being open to discovering new passions and skills in myself. (Who knew I would LOVE to tell stories?!) 

Nursing students from Kagawa
enjoy getting The HUG! 
The obvious language barrier, and a cultural hesitancy to share feedback openly in a group setting, made it difficult for me to access how well (or not) this topic and my style were received. But, the joy of meeting colleagues internationally has inspired me to push myself beyond my comfort zone and to see what the world has to teach me!