Monthly Archives: April 2013

Change

Clients who see me currently are already aware that as of Monday, April 29, I will be seeing clients from a new office. I’m still in the Lakewood area, and even closer to home for me! 😉

I won’t promise the construction will be completely finished, or that it will be completely furnished as I had hoped, but it will be comfortable, with a beautiful view.

I will be doing much of the same therapy I’ve always done – trauma, addictions & LGBT issues but my focus has been more & more spiritual in recent years. Working with grief has always been a part of the above issues. But I’ve been drawn to more grief & bereavement therapy and the study of the afterlife. This has brought me to train in Guided Afterlife Connections therapy, which is a prolonged session that allows the clients themselves to connect to their loved ones on the other side. One session is usually all that is needed to resolve issues that have kept them stuck after the loss of a loved one.

In addition, I’m also beginning to do a few sessions a week at the LikeMe Lighthouse in Kansas City. The Lighthouse is an LGBT Community Center that I’ve been involved with since it’s inception. Some of the sessions there will be with paying clients, but many will be with Pro Bono clientele.

These are all things I’ve wanted to do and that have been in process for some time, but the time is right to take these steps now. There will be more changes later this year, but this is enough for now. Even I can only do so much at once! 🙂

I know change is difficult for many people.
Humans are creatures of habit and familiarity – it feels safer. And at my age, you’d think I’d be ready to coast out, doing the same thing in the same place. But not only have I never been afraid of change, I have always seen it as an exciting challenge. I seem to need to reinvent myself from time to time. As I grow & evolve, I become more energized, and my interests seem to take on a life of their own.  As I see it, that can only benefit my clients.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do – or feel like you need to change in your life? Think about it.  It’s not good to make big changes without some thought.  A decision is a mixture of whole ingredients that must be simmered together.  Maybe you can make a couple of small changes and sit with those for a while – let them evolve into new ideas and energy. Timing is important.  If you go inside, and don’t rush, you’ll know when the time is right for you.

Sometimes, it hurts more to stay the way we’ve always been than it would to change. Eventually we have to face our fears and move ahead. Life isn’t supposed to be something we go through  on autopilot. We’re supposed to ride it like a roller coaster (with our hands in the air) and experience it all. We’re here for the lessons, but we can’t evolve if we don’t step into them.

To exist is to change. To change is to mature. To mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

                                                                                                                                                                                            – Henri Bergson

The Duck Story

There are several themes that seem to repeat themselves with the clients I see.  One of them is how we humans can keep our pain alive by rerunning our past in our heads. I use different analogies to explain how we don’t have to do this.  One of these is the Duck Story.
Have you ever seen two ducks fighting?  After a time, they separate, flap their wings vigorously for a few minutes – and then they’re both peaceful.  They don’t have a human mind that continues the story (of what the other duck did or said to me and how I’m never going to get close to that duck – or any other duck for that matter – again!  That way I won’t feel this kind of pain again).

No, the ducks just go on peacefully and meet each moment and situation as it arises.

Humans tend to have a need to “figure it out.”  This process keeps the story going (thinking/repeating, etc), and is what keeps the pain alive.  The body doesn’t know the difference between the actual event – or the memories/thoughts about the event – or a similar situation that FEELS like the original).  So it reacts the same way when it senses those familiar feelings of anxiety and fear.  It’s stronger than the “what-if’s” – it’s more like “I have no choice in how to react here.”  This is when we know we’ve been traumatized.  If it’s strong enough, it’s often a completely unconscious reaction to something or someone that reminds us of a painful experience.

Sometimes, we’ve held onto something so long – or it’s so strong – that we need professional help – like a therapist who practices a method such as EMDR (see my website for a short explanation) in order to get past this.

But for most of us, the lesson on how to prevent this with future events is to truly live in the moment, like the ducks.  Put it out of your mind, forget the details, etc. in order to get past the emotional hold.  Face and respond to each new person and situation separately and consciously.  Make the choice to not let it take hold of you and run your life.

Reacting

I’m reposting this because I needed to remember it!

When you find yourself reacting instead of responding, step back. Let the dust settle and your head clear. Where there is defensiveness there is no communication. None.

Return to love first, and then return to the conversation.

– Cheryl Richardson