Trusting The Process

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A process is defined by Wikipedia as a series of steps or actions to achieve a particular end. We are more familiar with processes than we care to recognize. For example, think back on the process of baking a cake . . . this is a process.

During this process, everything is dependent on precision; Sifting the flour, adding baking soda, preheating the oven, lining the baking pan… these were all very integral steps to ensure the quality of the cake being made. If we trust that the process of baking a cake will ensure a delightful outcome, why is it so hard to trust our own processes?

The process isn’t always the same for everyone, and not always as precise as baking a cake, but the recipe is the same. You do the work, you wait on the outcome… you have to trust the process. Even when the outcome isn’t what was expected, it must be understood that this too is part of the process. Nothing ever truly happens to you, everything happens for you—this is the beauty of the process.

In the beginning, I thought my process would end in Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). I had every aspiration to become a dentist and open a non-profit dental office, helping underserved communities get the access to care they deserve. I began my journey directly after my first Associate’s degree. I was enrolled at University of Detroit Mercy in a Biology, Pre-Dental program and completion was within eyeshot. I was flagged by my financial aid advisor and she informed me that I would not have enough monies to complete the dental program and it would be an expensive feat to complete dental school working a part time job. Initially, I thought why me… my next thought was ‘what now.

Instead of crying, I activated my trust in the process.

I decided I would enroll at a community college and apply for the dental hygiene program. I met the requirements and applied, only to be told that I was on the waitlist!! Every ounce of my being was devastated… WHY ME? WHAT NOW? This seemed to be an ongoing theme in my life. Time to activate my trust in the process… AGAIN. Remaining optimistic, I said to myself, ‘everything will work out, I’ll work more hours at work- I have more time to save for when I won’t be able to work as much.’ It seemed like the moment I redirected my thoughts from negative to positive, I received a call from the program director asking if I was still interested in starting the program Fall 2009. Of course, I said yes!!

After dental hygiene licensure, my plan was to work three years before looking into dental school applications. It’s important to note that your plan is not always the process! I acted on an opportunity to relocate from Detroit to Washington, DC as an independent contractor and anticipated an 8-month stay. My plan is not always in line with the process, but I realize the process surpasses all. I have been in the DC metropolitan area for over six years and my process is ongoing.

While I realize I don’t have to be a dentist to give back to the community, I have been charged with the initiative to shed light on how many oral hygiene products and food items are wasted at continuing education conferences. Had I forced the plan, I would not have this process; I’m thankful for understanding.

Hygienists for Humanity exhibitors at ADHA Annual Session in Columbus, June 2018
Our first time as exhibitors at ADHA Annual Session in Columbus, June 2018. Promoting our mission #DoingAngelsWork

I am able to see the larger picture, which makes it easier to trust the process. I am currently enrolled in a graduate program, focusing on dental hygiene and public health. I have also founded a non-profit organization, Hygienists For Humanity, that is centered on impacting communities experiencing homelessness. Our mission is to connect those in need with quality oral hygiene products and usable food.

Hygienists For Humanity’s vision is to be a catalyst for all oral health professionals to give back in their capacity and provide a platform for donated dental services. We are all very privileged with the ability to travel around the country for continuing education credits and enjoy all the extracurricular activities that go along with a conference, but do we ever stop to consider those we walk past in our coming/going? Isn’t there more that we can do? While we appreciate international mission trips, isn’t there more we can do in our own backyards?

author shown donating reusable shopping bags and travel size toiletries
One of the ways to support our mission is donating reusable shopping bags and travel size toiletries. This picture is me transporting what seemed like a billion reusable shopping bags that were collected during ADHA Annual Session in June 2018!! The support and response from the hygiene community was overwhelming and welcomed!! Special thanks to Midwest Dental for the abundant donation of orange reusable bags!
wearing my Hygienists For Humanity swag on Friday
GRATEFUL at work on a Friday!! Very rare, as I usually work Tuesday thru Thursday. I still practice clinical hygiene 3 days a week and I wear my Hygienists For Humanity swag on Fridays!!

Our logo is one wing spread wide attached to a lower case h. This represents our selflessness as individuals and embodies the quote from Luciano DeCrescenzo. “We are each of us angels with one wing and we can only fly by embracing one another.” This organization is 11 months old and it has grown much faster than any of us could have anticipated and we will continue to grow with the support of individuals like the DEW community. We are looking to travel to communities nationwide and have an impact at a conference near you.

What is your big picture? Can you see how all the ingredients, even the most minuscule morsels of your life are working together for a sweeter outcome? Can you see how my life is an ongoing process? What if I was on the dental hygiene program wait list for an entire year? What would have happened if I enrolled in dental school? Left DC in 8 months? Who knows, but trusting the process is also easier when there is a healthy respect for timing and seasons.

Being vulnerable enough to share a vision and try to make an impact is not easy, however, when you fully activate your trust in the process it makes it easier to enjoy the journey. Be courageous enough to trust your process like you trust the recipe for baking a cake. #TrustTheProcess #WeFlyHigherTogether

I would love to connect with you all!


SOURCEAll photos were provided by Alicia Murria
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Alicia Murria, RDH, MS(c) is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and clinician. She is Executive Director of Hygienists For Humanity, which was founded in 2017 after noticing a need for action at a continuing education conference. Not only is she is Hygiene Faculty with Align Technology and a national presenter on motivational topics and the oral systemic link, she is also working towards a Master's Degree with focus on public health and dental hygiene. Alicia has appeared on several podcasts and serves as Vice President and Public Health Liaison for her local component of the ADHA. She is very passionate about quality oral healthcare and upholding the highest standards of quality care to modify the narrative on what it means to be a dental professional. Alicia believes once dental professionals are recognized as healthcare providers, dentistry will be recognized as part of the healthcare industry and more people will receive the quality oral healthcare they deserve. She strongly believes that life is too short not to live with real passion and her life is centered around trusting the process! Connect with Alicia today: @aliciamurriardh


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