Each week 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.
Facilitating: Center for Chronic Illness - Parenting Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday September 21st, 2021 at 2:30pm PST, Living with Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday September 21st, 2021 at 4pm PST
September 22nd, 2021 - Autumnal Equinox (first day of fall)
September 26th, 2021 - National Pancake Day
September is National Suicide Awareness Month and National Self-Care Awareness Month
Ideas for Grounding: This Tweet (below) spoke to me. Mindfulness and grounding are interconnected. We can't have one without the other. Something was can do to encourage mindfulness is to learn to identify when our brain is filling in the blanks.
These are the stories we tell ourselves; they are always incomplete and almost always untrue. Identify what you actually know about the situation and what parts of the picture you are painting for yourself. Do this in a loving way, as this is an automatic process and not something you are doing on purpose. Overtime this will become a skill you can use to help ground yourself in what you really know.
Ideas for Connection: As we know, many people adopted pets during the past year and a half, because they were searching for additional connection in a time of isolation. Our connection with our animals is undeniable and one of the greatest resources we have for connection. In your extra moments this week, love on your pets. Notice how your feel when you give them extra belly rubs or stay sitting a little longer when they curl up next to you.
Ideas for Creating Vitality: It's a sunny fall day today in Seattle. We won't have many more like this before the rainy season. The sun is an instant source of vitality for our nervous systems. If you are able, spend a few minutes outside today. Remember, when you lack vitality, it can be difficult to go outside. Instead, find a sunny spot in your home, or spend a few minutes looking outside and notice how the sun illuminates all the colors.
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. In other words, 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: The Last Season by Eric Blehm
"Randy Morgenson was legendary for finding people missing in the High Sierra. Then one day he went missing himself."
(I'm a proud member of the sloth reading club, so what I'm reading will not change weekly.)
Song on Repeat: "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor
TV Show or Movie I'm Watching: The Great British Baking Show
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.
My close friend died a week ago today from COVID-19. She had just turned 40 years old. This poem is dedicated to her.
On the Death of the Beloved
by John O'Donohue
Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.
The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.
Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.
We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul's gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.
Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.
Meme of the Week:
Quote that is Inspiring Me: "We don't have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to." - Brené Brown
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.