There are no airs and graces about Kristen Holzapfel. The author of Selfless: a social worker’s own story of trauma and recovery, and owner of Canberra’s Friendly Petsitter, is known for her openness and honesty about the messiness of life.
In her role as a frontline social worker, Kristen experienced an extreme trauma reaction. She shared her story to bring perspective to a situation many people who work in ‘helping professions’ grapple to reconcile – that being superhuman is a sign of success.
‘By accepting that I’m human – not superhuman and not subhuman – made me realise I can make a massive difference through my humanity, and that some problems take collective approaches and structural change that is beyond my immediate influence,’ Kristen says.
For Kristen, animals played an important role in her recovery. She found interacting with pets always lifted her spirits, regardless of how hard her day was. The opportunity to step back and focus on what made her feel healthy and well gave her an idea.
Creativity and connections with liked-minded professionals have helped guide Kristen through the inevitable challenges of becoming a small business owner. Her participation in the Network of Possibility has given her the ability to see life through a different lens.
‘It taught me to celebrate what you can do, and what value you have been able to contribute. It is okay to feel sad about not being able to fix everything but it is important to remain focused on what brings out the best in you to help you succeed,’ she says.
Kristen Holzapfel is the guest speaker at the Network of Possibility’s champagne reception on Wednesday, 8 November 2017. She will be announcing a new initiative that she will be launching in Canberra’s workplaces, in conjunction with the RSPCA.
Date: Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Venue: 25 Forster Crescent, Yarralumla ACT