Healing Trauma

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I have been learning a lot recently about healing trauma and while there are many layers to explore and resolve part of the healing process involves feeling your feelings and not suppressing them. Suppressing the feelings around trauma initially feels like the only way to survive. But for healing to occur you have to open yourself up, become vulnerable and begin to release the emotions inside. After years of stuffing those feelings down, ignoring them, numbing the emotions, living dull and carefully, you finally have to acknowledge that there is unfinished emotional business to take care of. The release, maybe just what you need to begin or finished the healing.

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How to keep the spirit in Christmas

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It is December 1 and if you have not started to think about the holiday before today you most certainly are now. Everything seems to be a buzz in preparation. Here is the thing many people spend a month getting ready for one day. The retail world has managed to suck just about all the goodness out of the season. There is the big hype leading up and the bomb drop let down by noon on December 25th. However, it doesn’t need to be this way.  Of course there are presents to buy and decorations to be put up and all the hustle and bustle of the season, that is part of the fun. But just a small part.

Most people love Christmas not for the presents but for the feelings it brings. We would like to bottle that warmth, the spirit of giving and generosity, the feelings of peace, relaxation and just stopping the world and spending it with those we love.

So, set your self a date, by December 15th you will be out of the malls (except for the grocery store) your shopping complete. This will allow you lots of time to get back to the basics and embrace the traditions and true spirit of Christmas. Remember the 12 days of Christmas? To extend the season and avoid the Christmas let down. Start your 12 days of Christmas on Christmas Eve. Why rush to get it all done, rush, rush, rush rush, and rush to take it all down. Pause, breath it in.  My favourite time of the holiday is actually after the big day. I sit by the fire reading books under the glow of the tree lights. We have family games. We do puzzles. We have friends over for simple gatherings. We drive about the neighbourhood looking at lights. We walk. We eat chocolates and suck on candy canes. We watch movies and drink Cranberry Ginger ale with orange slices.

Take the commercial out of Christmas. Decorate with nature, bring the outdoors in. DIY gifts are special and meaningful. Make your own cookies, even just one batch. Listen to  Christmas Classics by the greats-Frank Sinatra . Watch classic Christmas movies-White Christmas. Use a punch bowl. Bring out the crystal and the silver that you inherited from Grandma. Stop and smell the pine, the wood,the clover, the cinnamon. Squint your eyes at the tree so the lights all blend together and blur.

Pause, take a moment to enjoy and cherish each moment of the season. Don’t rush it here and rush right past it. Savour the Saviour, as that is the true spirit of the season.

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Have you lost your sparkle?

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I have a love for sparkly things. Jewelry, clothes, if something has a sparkle or shine I am drawn to it like a bear to honey.  Sometimes we lose our own sparkle. Someone could have taken it. Jealousy. Not everyone likes to see you shine and will tear you down to steal it. It is not that it is gone completely,  just you realize other people don’t like your shine and so you put a lit on it, turn down the flame, bury it deep inside. So when you see sparkle or shine you gravitate towards it, in remembrance. After a while, you forget why you like that sequin dress, you just know you do. You forget that you once sparkled inside. You just feel numb. There are no highs but there are lows, deep lows. When you are not low you are just. Your in the middle. Then one day, someone reminds you that you once had a sparkle inside of you and you suddenly remember and you long for it again. You realize, you put a lid on it not to please yourself, but to please others. And now your angry.  You were robbed. You don’t blame because you forgive easy. You just feel sad for time lost. But not too sad because you vow to not live with regrets. Instead you turn up the flame just a little and wait.

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Winter’s Early Arrival

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Everyone seems to be talking about the early arrival of Winter. Not only does Winter bring with it cold temperatures, snow and slush.  Living on the East Coast there a dampness that sticks and clings to your bones.  Early dark nights and an increase in grey skies bring on gloom. Many people experience Seasonal Depression luckily most people will begin to feel like themselves again as Spring approaches. We naturally hibernate in the Winter and I think that is perfectly okay. Afternoons of Netflix and long hours on the coach reading books and eating chips should all be done guilt free. If it is too cold, stay in and have a hot chocolate with marsh-mellows.  Take a nice long bath with some essential oils. I don’t think you can force loving Winter. If a nice Winter day should present itself, take advantage of it. A walk in falling snow can be magical. Snowshoeing on a warm Winter day can be wonderful. I even went to a ski hill last year and enjoyed sitting around the fire and looking out over the  observation desk. Get your friends together for a game night. I am not going to lie I dream of Florida and California this time of year and I think about what life would be like to have Summer all year around. I imagine it is glorious. But I am many years away from becoming a snowbird, so should I hibernate doing things I enjoy all Winter, I am going to be just fine with that and so should you.

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Break Time

I am on break from school and it feel pretty good not to have text books to read, papers to write and presentations to do. Of course I am still working full time so the load is just a little bit less heavy.

Canadians are expected to hold about 15 different jobs in their lifetime. I have always had the mind set of my parents, get a good job, with a good pension and hold on to that baby. Which has been pretty much what I have done. Luckily, I can make a changes within my job and hold different position. However, each change I have made requires more education. I hold a masters degree and I am now working on a second masters degree with another change in focus. This time I am looking a little further ahead and wondering if I will leave my company after almost 20 years and open my own practice when I am finished this masters degree.

How many jobs have you held?
Have you made any big career changes?

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