Tuning In April 2022
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 Tuesday April 5th, 2022 at 4pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Thyroid Eye Disease Support Group Tuesday April 5th, 2022 at 6pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday April 19th, 2022 at 4pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Caring for Loved Ones with Thyroid Eye Disease, Tuesday April 19th, 2022 at 6pm PST
April 1st is April Fool's Day
April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day
April 5th is National Library Workers Day & National Deep Dish Pizza Day
April 11th is National Pet Day
April 15th is National Tax Day & Good Friday
April 17th is Easter & National Haiku Poetry Day
April 22nd is Earth Day & National Day of Silence
April 27th is National Administrative Professionals' Day
April 29th is Arbor Day
April 30th is Adopt a Shelter Dog Day
April 3rd-April 9th is National Library Week
National Autism Awareness Month
National Parkinson's Awareness Month
National Poetry Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Dear Valued Community,
This is a strange time in our history. We are in another valley of the pandemic. There is the possibility of more peaks, but we are unsure what that will look like. To me, the ground feels both unstable and stable at the same time, which is probably the best anyone can hope for at any given time. How are you managing uncertainty right now?
Nervous System Healing:
Ideas for Grounding: Many associate April with rain. Probably from the well-known saying April showers bring may flowers. The image of light falling rain is a resource I frequently use in grounding. Imagine in your mind's eye water slowly falling from the sky, notice how it feels in your body. The next time it rains near you, take a moment to look out the window and watch it fall (or better yet, go outside and feel it fall) and take it in with all of your senses.
Ideas for Connection: Perhaps you've heard of the phrase "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good." This applies to connection as well as most things in life. People are flawed. We all have wounds that show themselves in relationships. Expecting the people in your life to be perfect or behave perfectly will result in fewer and fewer relationships. Instead practice acceptance and grace for others' imperfections and it will translate to acceptance and grace for your own imperfections. This of course does not apply to patterns of abusive or toxic behavior, but people will let us down and also bring us up when we least expect it.
Ideas for Creating Vitality: Similar to being cautious about expecting perfection in our connections, be cautious about how perfectionism is stifling your vitality. Contrary to how many of us think, vitality does not arise from achieving a state of perfection. Vitality comes from small daily moments of engaging with things we enjoy or small daily moments in which we are moving closer to our desires. The winding, spontaneous path is part of what makes it vital.
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: Relational and Body-Centered Practices for Healing Trauma: Lifting the Burdens of the Past by Sharon Stanley
"Relational and Body-Centered Practices for Healing Trauma provides psychotherapists and other helping professionals with a new body-based clinical model for the treatment of trauma. This model synthesizes emerging neurobiological and attachment research with somatic, embodied healing practices. Tested with hundreds of practitioners in courses for more than a decade, the principles and practices presented here empower helping professionals to effectively treat people with trauma while experiencing a sense of mutuality and personal growth themselves."
What I'm Reading for Fun: The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis
"Soline Roussel is well schooled in the business of happy endings. For generations her family has kept an exclusive bridal salon in Paris, where magic is worked with needle and thread. It’s said that the bride who wears a Roussel gown is guaranteed a lifetime of joy. But devastating losses during World War II leave Soline's world and heart in ruins and her faith in love shaken. She boxes up her memories, stowing them away, along with her broken dreams, determined to forget.
Decades later, while coping with her own tragic loss, aspiring gallery owner Rory Grant leases Soline's old property and discovers a box containing letters and a vintage wedding dress, never worn. When Rory returns the mementos, an unlikely friendship develops, and eerie parallels in Rory's and Soline's lives begin to surface. It's clear that they were destined to meet―and that Rory may hold the key to righting a forty-year wrong and opening the door to shared healing and, perhaps, a little magic."
(I'm a proud member of the sloth reading club, so what I'm reading will not always change monthly)
TV Show I'm Watching: Kevin Can F*** Himself on AMC+
Movie I'm Watching: The Power of the Dog on Netflix
Song on Repeat: Anthem by Leonard Cohen
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, HeartMath training, biblio/poetry therapy training, or yoga teacher training.
I Give You Back
by Joy Harjo
I release you, my beautiful and terrible
fear. I release you. You were my beloved
and hated twin, but now, I don’t know you
as myself. I release you with all the
pain I would know at the death of
You are not my blood anymore.
I give you back to the soldiers
who burned down my house, beheaded my children,
raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.
I give you back to those who stole the
food from our plates when we were starving.
I release you, fear, because you hold
these scenes in front of me and I was born
with eyes that can never close.
I release you
I release you
I release you
I release you
I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black.
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved.
to be loved, to be loved, fear.
Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.
I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won’t hold you in my hands.
You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart
But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
Meme of the Month:
Quote of the Month: "'Dear old world,’ she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.’” - L.M. Montgomery
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.