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 February 1st, 2022 at 4pm PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Thyroid Eye Disease Support Group Saturday, February 19th, 2022 at 9am PST
Center for Chronic Illness - Living with Cystinosis Web-Based Support Group, Tuesday February 15th, 2022 at 4pm PST
February 2nd is Groundhog Day
February 4th is National Wear Red Day
February 9th is National Pizza Day
February 13th is Galentines Day
February 14th is Valentines Day
February 16th is National Pancake Day
February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day
February 18th is National Caregivers Day
February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day & National Muffin Day
February 21st is Presidents Day
February 29th is Rare Disease Day
February 21st-February 27th, 2022 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Black History Month
American Heart Month
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Dear Valued Community,
Though February is not the darkest month it may feel like the dark night of the soul. In February, it has been a long time since we have experienced warmth. Whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow is arbitrary, we are likely to see six more weeks of winter either way.
I recently cam across these words by Mary Oliver:
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
As we continue to live in the time of global pandemic and we are in the final full month of winter, maybe we can simplify. If all we ask of ourselves is to pay attention, feel the associated feelings, and share it with someone, we are living a full life.
Nervous System Healing:
Ideas for Grounding: Sometimes we mistake the heaviness of life for feeling grounded. It reminds me of this moment from Friends...
...Learning to differentiate between unpleasant and pleasant sensations in the body is one of the most important parts of grounding. Heaviness can be suffocating or heaviness can be like the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket. How can you tell the difference? It is simpler than you think. The body already knows the difference. All you have to do is listen.
Ideas for Connection: Sometimes connection is not just about spending more time with the people in our lives, it's about how we spend the time with the people in our lives. We can walk beside many people and not feel connected to them. Imagine the ways you can improve your sense of connectivity. Is there someone in your life you are able to be more open and vulnerable with? How do you define quality time? Are there ways to bring more of it into your life?
Ideas for Creating Vitality: What do we do when we cannot ignite the flame within us? First we must acknowledge and validate our experience. The feeling of being stuck is incredibly difficult and the process of getting unstuck is also incredibly difficult. Next, tune into how many times you use the word "should" in your inner dialogue: I should eat better, I should exercise, I should do something productive today. Shoulds are not the path to creating vitality. Shoulds box us in, vitality expands. Instead, take stock of the small things that are life-giving to you: a sunny day, a friendly dog, a short walk, a warm bath. Vitality is found in the moments, not the hours and days.
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)
Podcast Episode with Impact: TEDx SHORTS "Racism thrives on silence--speak up!"
TV Show I'm Watching: Queer Eye on Netflix
Movie I'm Watching: Encanto on Disney+ (Trigger Warning: generational trauma)
Song on Repeat: Rise Up by Andra Day
Recent Publications: Mindfulness Home Design: Expert Tips to Inspire Mindfulness at Home
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.
BLK History Month
by Nikki Giovanni
If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground
rain does not
dampen the land
and encourage the seeds
sun does not
warm the earth
and kiss the seedlings
and tell them plain:
You’re As Good As Anybody Else
You’ve Got A Place Here, Too
Meme of the Month:
Quote of the Month: "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus
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.