On Being Human

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Happy Racial Discrimination Elimination Day!

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Where are the peonies and wisteria here?

Would they feel safe and welcome to grow and heal here?

Would they see themselves reflected in their teachers faces, wall decorations, and food choices?

Would they be attended to and exposed to the same sun as the others?

How can we bloom when others are missing?

Where are the peonies and wystera?

Why don’t they grow here?

Who decided some flowers don’t belong, don’t deserve, don’t access?

Our ecosystem feeds off of the survival of all flowers.

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“The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity to renew our commitment to building a world of justice and equality where xenophobia and bigotry do not exist. We must learn the lessons of history and acknowledge the profound damage caused by racial discrimination.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Experts and anti-racism activists hold a debate at the Human Rights Council on the state of racial discrimination worldwide. Among the participants were Ms. Christiane Taubira, French Minister of Justice and Mr. Doudou Diène, chair person of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

The discussion aimed to explore the root causes of racism and racial discrimination. Experts stressed the essential need to learn the lessons from historical tragedies, in order to combat racism and racial discriminations today.

Watch the video: http://sm.ohchr.org/1GDIfue

Inspiring Quotes from my first AAPCSW Conference 2015

Inspiring Quotes from my first AAPCSW Conference 2015 (Click Here for Inspiring Quotes!)

The American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW) Aims & Purposes:

  • To represent and protect the standing and advancement of psychoanalytic social work practitioners and educators.
  • To provide an organizational identity for social work professionals engaged in psychoanalytically informed practice.
  • To promote and disseminate the understanding of psychoanalytic theory and knowledge within the social work profession and the public.
  • To affect liaisons with other organizations and professions who share common objectives for social work and the advancement of psychoanalytic theory and practice.
  • To advocate for the highest standards of practice and for quality mental health care for the public.
  • To bridge social work and psychoanalytic discourses by integrating concerns for social justice with clinical practice, and to conceptualize psychoanalytic theory and practice within its broader social-political context.

When to Be Vulnerable

In the past I’ve always longed for “intimacy”, deep, meaningful conversations, strangers turned friends. Then why do I suddenly find myself hyper-aware of others’ need to disclose their inner-lives so quickly? Before I’m ready or wondering if they’re ready for what I might share.

I used to feel like people needed to know about my life experiences to know me. I wanted them to see my scars right away so I could feel seen and accepted. Now, I’m being trained in a profession that focuses on intentionality and mindfulness. We must ask ourselves: WHY are you sharing, for WHO are you sharing? These questions along with a stronger sense of self have me thinking twice about sharing and how vulnerable I am with people.  I feel more patient with the time it takes to build relationships and earn trust. I feel more guarded in a healthy way, protective of myself. We can’t control how people react to our stories, our disclosures, our wounds, but we CAN control who we share them with.

I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone. I know what I’ve been through and those experiences may not be written on my face but they live within me and inform everything I do and everything I am. I never thought I’d say this because I’m a big fan of vulnerability and still love connecting with people through sharing meaningful experiences. Yet, I’m noticing how others choose to share and why. I’m wondering if they feel these experiences define who they are or if they too see that they are SO much more than what’s happened to them. We are so much more than what we’ve been through.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

Dear Me #1-Letter to My Younger Self

I have so much to tell the younger me so I’m going to just start now and accept that this might end up in a dozen videos or blog posts until I get it all out. Where Do I Begin?

You are amazing and you don’t have the slightest clue. You have a unique style and often wear things that nobody else would dare to wear. Forget about the one girl who comes up to check the name brand on your awesome, unique shirt. Know that you are courageous for daring to be different in middle school!

I hope you will surround yourself with nice girls who make you smile, NOT cry. I know they exist and it might take some patience and bravery to leave the one’s you’ve been hanging with for awhile. You are independent, and have so much to offer a friend, don’t waste another minute on girls who make you feel less than fabulous. The mean and insecure thing is normal at your age AND it’s also a sign that those individuals are struggling themselves. Try not to take it personally. Don’t change. There isn’t a single person who is just like you! Being sensitive is a gift.

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You know you are different and that’s hard to deal with in middle school. You want to fit in and be “normal.” You have a LOT going on in your life right now and I want you to know that you are an inspiration to others. You are dealing with some major trauma and an illness and you are becoming a resilient and wise young lady. I’m proud of you and wish I could give you a hug (every day for the rest of middle school). I love you and am so excited for you to get to high school and start to explore activism and leadership-you won’t believe all the cool things you’re going to experience. Think boyfriends. Think Surviving Bullies Charity. Think Girls Leadership Worldwide. Think Gay-Straight Alliance. Think Field Hockey team. Did I mention you are going to go to a whole bunch of proms!?!

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P.S One day you will laugh that you cared about where you were sitting on the bus or in the cafeteria. Nobody cares about that when you leave high school!