As I reflect on 2017 I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring. I’m beyond honored to have welcomed new clients as well as continue to support some who have been with me since the start (September 2013 to be exact). What I’ve noticed this year is a deeper understanding of the complexities of grief. Grief has been one of my specialties – one of those topics I’ve always been comfortable thinking about and in my adult years have pursued looking at how to talk about when my own personal grief shook the very ground I was walking on. I find the research on healing and trauma fascinating and continue to learn about the neuroscience behind this work (which I fell in love with as I completed my last stent in school).
This last year I put on my first Young Women’s Empowerment Class where I introduced gratitude jars, vision boards, and journaling as ways to pay attention to hopes and dreams, as well as barriers and challenges that get in the way of those very same hopes and dreams. In February 2018 I’m putting on my first Young Women’s Retreat which will incorporate some of those same ideas however in a different setting~ at the coast in a cozy house where I find healing comes more naturally with the ocean air, the sound of the waves, the quiet, music, creations, and a whole lot of laughing.
So thank you, to everyone walking alongside me as we journey through this thing called life.
Summer is in full swing and things at Ignite are going well. The Young Women’s Empowerment Class completed last month and they liked it so much we are going to continue monthly check ins! I’m hoping there will be more interest in this class to start a new one this fall. Here are our final vision boards:
I’ve welcomed some new clients recently who are looking for support as they transition out of unhealthy relationships, as well as some couples who are trying to find healthier ways to communicate. Stress can impact our relationships, how we communicate, as well as how we make progress towards our goals. Self-care is a must as we manage day to day responsibilities as well as find ways to address the grief and loss in our lives.
One of my favorite subjects is gratitude. Finding ways to pay attention to what we have rather than what is missing can really make a difference in our frame of mind. Gratitude jars were a hit in my class as well as many of my clients are tracking gratitude in their journals. Right now I have a couple more spots open for new clients; I hope that if you or someone you know could benefit from counseling or a life coach that you will contact me!
A few clients and some friends have been going through some tough break ups recently. Break ups can be very difficult when tensions are high, emotions are raw, and they can be complicated more when couples have been living together as well. It is important to be patient with yourself as well as to utilize supports.
Here are some things to consider doing for yourself as you go through this transition:
1. Journal: Write down your feelings, experiences, and don’t hold back.
2. Listen to music- find music that speaks to your heart!
3. Lean on your friends and family; tell them what will be helpful in supporting you.
4. Stay active- staying in may feel easier and
5. Separate yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally from the person. Disconnect from them on social media.
6. Take time for yourself. A quiet book, a soak in the bath tub, a walk in the park? Taking time to reflect can be very beneficial.
7. Pet therapy – animals can be a great way to receive physical affection and can help keep you in the moment.
8. See a counselor- find someone to talk this out with. The benefits of using a third party is that you can get perspective from someone not attached to your ex. This person can also help you grieve your relationship, set new goals, and provide a safe environment to share what is on your heart and mind.
9. Try something new. This can help you focus on something exciting and challenging in your life.
Pay attention to your body and give yourself time to heal. Know that you are processing a loss which can impact your life in numerous ways and staying in tune with this can help as you rediscover this new chapter in your life.
Lately I’ve been working with some clients who are struggling in their relationships. Feelings include frustration, anger, resentment, loneliness, pain, confusion, and sadness. Questions I’ve seen clients ask themselves include:
Have I done all I can to save this relationship?
Am I ready to lose this person from my life entirely?
What else will I lose in my life if I say goodbye to this person (friends, family, financial stability, home, belongings)?
Will I be able to find love again?
Will I regret leaving?
Will I be happier?
Often times there are imbalances in relationships that can be looked at and discussed and those include the division of chores, time spent together, financial discrepancies, health issues, lack of support systems, and conflicting visions/goals for the future. It can be helpful for couples to keep talking about what they want their lives to look like both individually and as a couple. Too often we may assume odd dreams remain the same, but the truth is that we are evolving being and what we wanted 3 years ago may have changed.
There are other signs that indicate that the relationship is an unhealthy one and those include:
physical and sexual violence
name calling and degrading comments
problematic alcohol use
lack of intimacy
If you find any number of these problems in your relationship it would be beneficial for you to talk to someone to make a safe place to reduce the chance of harm. Intimate partner violence is a serious matter and utilizing professionals is highly recommended. Use this hotline if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone now: (800)799-SAFE (800.799.7233).
Knowing when to leave can often be a difficult process. If you find challenges in your relationship are not improving but you are not ready to leave, consider couples counseling which can help foster difficult discussions about what each individual wants and needs. It can provide time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not working, and a counselor can provide tools for discussions and goal setting that can be beneficial.
Letting go can be difficult and accompanying that is a process of grief and loss. Remember this does not need to take place in isolation and many could benefit from individual counseling at this point. This can be helpful in the grieving process, taking time to re-group and think about what you want in your life, and reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself in this process.
It’s a busy month. My private practice business (Ignite, LLC) has partnered with another local company, Chacha’s Boutique to make these handmade copper bracelets to raise money for breast cancer. Next week we will be producing a video on my YouTube channel talking about this specific fundraiser as well as how to cope with a new diagnosis for those with breast cancer and their loved ones. Folks can purchase either bracelet on Etsy for $15 and there are two other options for personalization as well. Proceeds will go to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute. Pre-order your’s now and they will start shipping out October 1st in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This week’s video covers grief and loss, another topic suggestion someone asked me to highlight. I discuss the variety of feelings you may be feeling, how you might be coping, stages of grief, as well as tips for healing. I hope you’ll subscribe, comment, and send more topic ideas.