Each month I post an update called Tuning In on what I'm up to and ideas for grounding, connection, and discovering vitality in your life. Most of the links on this post are informational only, but a few are affiliate links that help me keep up my website.
Center for Chronic Illness - Web-Based Rare Chronic Illness Support Group January 4th, 2022 at 4pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Thyroid Eye Disease Support Group Saturday, January 15th, 2022 at 9am PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Parenting Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday January 18th, 2022 at 2:30pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday January 18th, 2022 at 4pm PST
January 1st is New Years Day
January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day
January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day
National Soup Month
Dear Valued Community,
We are truly learning to weather the storm. With each new variant and rise in cases, we face more uncertainty. This year the omicron variant hit the United States just as the winter holidays were in full swing. Right as there was some movement toward normalcy, we experienced another disappointment.
For hope, I dig deep and recognize that we have done this for two years, and have learned more and more about how to live during a pandemic each day. Most of us are no longer disinfecting our groceries before putting them away, but we are doing things to keep ourselves and others safe.
Personally, I've learned...
...daily walks in fresh air improve my mood.
...video calls are a good temporary substitute for in-person visits.
...new ways to identify and communicate my boundaries.
...my comfort zone is ever-changing and I can react to where it is in the present moment.
As we enter 2022, let's keep our feet on the ground and our eyes looking forward, because we've gotten pretty good at this uncertainty thing, and we'll only continue to get better at it with more practice.
Nervous System Healing:
Ideas for Grounding: Entering into a new year is an important event in all of our lives. How can you enter into the new year from a grounded place and in a grounded way? Some folks love entering into the year with a roar. For others it may feel more grounding to enter into the new year with quiet observation. For some the new year comes and goes and little changes except the date on the calendar—staying grounded in routine. Whatever works best for you will always be the most grounded path forward. Identify what that is and move into the new year accordingly.
Ideas for Connection: Connection has taken on new meaning over the past two years. We've learned how important it is, but also how difficult it can be. In pandemic times, I have far fewer social interactions than before. In order to continue fostering my connections, I make the goal for myself to connect with at least one person outside of my immediate family per week, either by phone, video call, or in person (when. it feels safe). What rhythm works for you? For some it may be more often, for some it may be less.
Ideas for Creating Vitality: As we enter into the new year, I am revisiting some of my annual traditions. One is to choose a word as a touchstone for the year. For 2022, I've chosen the word RESTORE. After two very difficult years of a global pandemic )and still no clear path forward), I've decided to focus on restoring my nervous system. Restoring health. Restoring connections. Restoring alignment.
Why grounding, connection, and vitality? Because these are the ways we regulate the nervous system. Spending intentional time in a regulated state allows our nervous system to wire in the direction of safety and aliveness. It's a big piece of the puzzle of how we repair the survival response of trauma.
What I'm Reading Related for Therapy: What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD & Oprah Winfrey
"Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain development and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry discuss the impact of trauma and adversity and how healing must begin with a shift to asking 'What happened to you?' rather than 'What's wrong with you?'"
Relational and Body-Centered Practices for Healing Trauma: Lifting the Burdens of the Past by Sharon Stanley
My Somatic Transformation consultation group is re-reading this book and doing a study group. Every time I pick up this book, I discover something new.
What I'm Reading for Fun: Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
"A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for the their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin."
(I'm a proud member of the sloth reading club, so what I'm reading will not always change monthly)
TV Show or Movie I'm Watching: Legendary on HBOMax.
Projects I'm Working On: Self-development book on trauma and worthiness, book of poetry, ongoing content for various publications. Considering next steps in career training—psychedelic assisted therapy, biblio/poetry therapy training, or yoga teacher training.
by James Crews
My friend and I snickered the first time
we heard the meditation teacher, a grown man,
call himself honey, with a hand placed
over his heart to illustrate how we too
might become more gentle with ourselves
and our runaway minds. It's been years
since we sat with legs twisted on cushions,
holding back our laughter, but today
I found myself crouched on the floor again,
not meditating exactly, just agreeing
to be still, saying honey to myself each time
I thought about my husband splayed
on the couch with aching joints and fever
from a tick bite—what if he never gets better?--
or considered the threat of more wildfires,
the possible collapse of the Gulf Stream,
then remembered that in a few more minutes,
I’d have to climb down to the cellar and empty
the bucket I placed beneath a leaky pipe
that can't be fixed until next week. How long
do any of us really have before the body
begins to break down and empty its mysteries
into the air? Oh honey, I said—for once
without a trace of irony or blush of shame--
the touch of my own hand on my chest
like that of a stranger, oddly comforting
in spite of the facts.
Meme of the Month:
Quote of the Month: "The new year is a time to boldly take the first steps toward your best future." - Oprah Winfrey
I'd love to hear how you are grounding, connecting, and creating vitality. What is helping you feel calm and alive? Or comment below on what books, podcasts, songs, shows, poetry, or quotes are resonating with you right now.
I'm Kerry (She/Her/Hers) and I am a licensed therapist, group facilitator, poet, writer, & speaker. This is a place to acknowledge and validate our suffering and trauma, while also learning how to turn toward aliveness and spaciousness.