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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 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!

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.

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This morning my friend reminded me of the wonderful interview between Krista Tippett and Brene Brown. I relistened to it at the gym (embarrassing? It gets my heart rate up!)

Here are some of my favorite take-aways:

  • “Most of us are brave and afraid in the exact same moment, all day long.”
  • “When i meet you vulnerability is the first thing I try to find in you and the very last thing I try to show you in me. It’s the glue that holds connection together, it’s all about our common humanity. When we own our stories and share them with one another and we see ourselves reflected back in the stories of people in our lives, we know we are not alone. And to me that’s the heart of whole heartedness.”
  • “It’s the long walk from what will people think to I am enough. I think it is recognizing if courage is a value that we hold as important, then vulnerability is the only way in and through.”
  • “It starts by an openness to see ourselves and how we are protecting ourself from vulnerability.”
  1. Standing my ground, valuing my time and contributions, in a negotiation
  2. Asking someone for a second date. Going on a date. Period.
  3. Reaching out for support.
  4. Reaching out for a friend to get her more support.
  5. Going to a community event by myself and going up to the moderator after to thank her for her comments.
  6. Asking for help with a new machine at the gym and then responding confidently when the person commented on my “sun tan.”
  7. Setting boundaries with my ex.

Share your stories with yourself, a friend, or below to honor your strength and encourage others in your life to take some emotional risks!