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Career Moves, What’s Next?

 

 

 

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Sunday was my 28th birthday. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions I like to reflect on what I’ve learned this past year of my life and consider the year ahead. This past year has been exciting; I’m in a place in my life and career that I wasn’t a year ago, and I wanted to share with you all some of the challenges and triumpths I’ve discovered along the way. I also want to share some goals for the upcoming 12 months that I can use help holding myself accountable for.

Sometimes we try to ignore our bodies and minds, despite clear signals communicating that something needs to change. For me, this reality was born from my learning to prioritize myself better and recognize my needs. 

Healing is valuable work. It is draining – emotionally and financially. My creativity and conviction and belief in full recovery has given me hope and inspired others to keep swimming.  For the first time in my life I became my own best advocate, I was and am on a mission. I pushed through the fears that I should just be grateful and accept myself and my life as it is. Ignore pressures to compartmentalize, repress, dissociate and “move on.” It makes others uncomfortable at times and they seem to have lost hope and think you are giving in to your past. DON’T listen to them! Healing is not linear, and these past few months have taught me so much that I would never have believed just a year ago. 

I am forever thankful for my tribe who continues to believe in me and remind me of my strength when I waver.

 

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A fellow social worker entrepreneur, Nicole Clark, writes:

“It’s always been said that when you make a decision to play big, the Universe will rearrange itself to bring in people and opportunities that will get you closer to your dreams. When you have a big enough WHY, the HOW will always present itself.”

I am proud of how far I’ve come since I first put myself out there consulting and coaching in 2012. I remember the Omega Women’s Leadership (Omega Women’s Leadership Center) Intensive that was my launching ground. This growing circle of women who believe in their power and what it means to share power, continue to inspire me. This summer I have the chance to give back to the OWLC and I can’t wait-stay tuned for details! 

Beginning in July 2016, I began hosting a podcast called Transforming Trauma. I still have a lot to learn, but I am proud of and excited by this new opportunity to break the silence. In April 2017, I was offered the opportunity to do be in a direct service role with the coaching business I was contracted for marketing and consulting these past few years. I’m officially facilitating a monthly virtual support groups for adult survivors of physical, sexual, and/or emotional child abuse or neglect, bringing them together within a nurturing and supportive community. This past month, 17 survivors joined the call from around the world-one person calling in from across the world! In the Fall of 2017, in addition to completing the last leg of my Masters in Clinical Social Work @ Smith College (at a college counseling center!), I will be be providing one-on-one coaching to support survivors going through the Beyond Surviving Group virtual program.

This Spring, I’ve been developing a program for Volunteer Facebook moderators who will help maintain a safe space for survivors who seek support in the “Healing from Sexual Abuse” Facebook Community. I’m interested in how people can learn to utilize social media as a rich resource while still protecting themselves from triggers and traumatic experiences. I continue to be amazed at the ways that technology intersect with social work/therapy and how we can leverage online resources and apps to meet people where they are at in their healing. 

Finally, these past several months, I have begun collaborating with various local organizations like Beth Israel’s Center for Violence Prevention & Recovery, Survivor Theater Project, Incest Resources, Cambridge Women’s Center to design more services and spaces to support survivors. I am so energized by this work and am working on creating a scaleable web platform that will be a resource for survivors everywhere (contact me if you’re interested in getting involved.) I’d LOVE to hear from you!

Coaching

Therapy

Action Oriented Thoughts/Feelings Oriented

Tools:

Inquiry Listening
Accountability Reflecting
Requests Confronting
Goal-setting Interpreting
Strategic Planning Diagnosing
Telephone & Email Face-to-face at a
special time and place

What are some of my career goals that I want to achieve by my 29th birthday?

Well, I have a few:

  • Complete my college counseling internship.
  • Complete an independent research study with Smith Social Work faculty who have similar research interests. 
  • Chart a strategic plan for the open-source web platform I am creating to facilitate resource sharing and connections for the survivor community in the Greater Boston area.
  • Complete Level 2 of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training (apply for a mini-grant to make this happen!) 
  • Continue my meditation practice and meeting monthly with KM group. Go on an extended retreat.
  • Cultivate multiple (and sustaining) streams of income (by way of speaking engagements, writing, coaching, and consulting.
  • Share a story at a Live Moth Event.

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Of course, these will change slightly or significantly. The accountability of writing them out should help keep me focused. Feel free to ask me how I’m doing! 

Jack Canfield says:

“The quickest way to hit a target is to fire, see where the bullet landed, and then adjust your aim accordingly. If the hit was 2 inches above the target, lower your aim a little. Fire again. See where it is now. Keep firing and keep readjusting. Soon you are hitting the bull’s-eye. The same is true for anything.”

Despite how scary and challenging the world can be, today I feel more hopeful than I’ve ever felt. I feel creative and energized and connected and surrounded by incredible friends and colleagues.

I wish ease and abundance for every human in my life and around the world.

Change. Hope. Possibility.

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In Strength & Power,

 

 

*Self-Care & Sustainability: Why Healing is Valuable Work was first printed on Rest for Resistance https://www.restforresistance.com. Read more of Shivani’s writing at @shivaniseth05

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When I was 12…

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When I was 12 I thought I was the only one in the world with an auto-immune disease, at least one that couldn’t be pronounced or spelled. Generalized subcutaneous morphea or eosinophilic fasciitis. Always wondered about my leopard skin? You might not want to google it. My brave parents. My fearless, naive little me.

Now that I’ve lived more than half my life with the condition and its residual scarring, I can see how incredibly lucky I was to have insurance and advocates. My life mattered because I had access to privilege.

#affordablehealthcare #iamapreexistingcondition

As far as anyone could tell I was a healthy 12 year old when I suddenly couldn’t shoot a basketball or sit cross-legged or try on a dress. Putting my socks on became a struggle. I remember waking up early to get blood work every month. I remember almost getting used to my brother (my personal EMT) giving me shots every Tuesday and Thursday at our house and when he left home, my dad would practice on an orange and tried his best, but it always hurt, despite how hard I hid my face in the pillow.

My parents drove me to various hospitals, consulting with doctors who gave me different diagnosis and treatment regimes, some more aggressive than others. At the time, I couldn’t comprehend that the rare auto-immune condition could be terminal. My parents made a binder with my face on it and devoted much of their life during this period to researching and driving me to physical and occupational therapy, and so much more. I can’t imagine the fear and pain they experienced watching the illness spread through my body. Fortunately, after a series of scary tests, we learned that I didn’t have the type that would impact my organs. Still, the disease spread across my body to forever impact my joints and skin.

I remember my mom distracting me with puppets when I had to get a scary skin biopsy on my arm and hip. They described it to me like a cookie cutter as if that would put my terrified heart at ease.

I remember my parents waking me up in the middle of the night to numb my arm because I hated more than anything, getting my blood work done. Even though the cream didn’t do anything, it made me feel better and they entertained my attachment to the cream + numbing with ice before anyone (shout out to the one and only phlebotomist I ever loved, Ed) came near me with a needle. So in the middle of the night, they’d prepare my arm with cream and saran wrap. They took me for PUVA light treatments and advocated for me in school.

Like many girls, especially those who have experienced any kind of trauma, and all humans really, I was not taught to love my body. Being at war with your body kills your spirit. I can’t remember how my body felt before my cells started attacking me. Ever since then I’ve been in conversation, often fights, trying to remind my body it’s okay, we’re safe, you’re home now. You are an amazing, powerful force. #thebodykeepscore #whenthebodysaysno #gabormate#besselvanderkolk #somaticexperiencing