12. Transformation Tuesday

I’d love to give credit to whomever created Transformation Tuesday. Comment here if it was you!

Yesterday I made it my business to connect with two supportive colleagues and it faned my flames and reignited my fire.

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On this day in history, I made a collage to thank the Omega Women’s Leadership Center for the transformational conferences, workshops, retreats they put on in 2012. I recently applied for a year-long program to join a network of nonprofit leaders there. No need to wait until then, today is Transformation Tuesday!

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NAMI (National Alliance Mental Illness) transforms lives everyday. I proudly raised hundreds of dollars for my birthday this Spring. In return, they awarded this lunch box for all the funds that will their transformative powers expand. IMG-3445

This Spring I attended a fundraiser that the Survivor Leadership Collective hosted, their first ever Paint Nite. The activity of painting transformed the restaurant/bar space for the evening. It felt magical. Now the magic hands in my home and transforms my mind state when I remember to look up at it. img-3446.jpg

The. dried roses transformed my day my first week at my new job in late-February. The Social Worker Union came around to the hospital’s many sites and gave us roses for Social Worker Appreciation Month!

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Receiving a piece of art or a hand-made anything transforms hearts. This piece was made by mother. Currently, we are searching for a missing painting in a basement. It looks like birch trees. If found, please contact us immediately.

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Earning this degree was transformative. I hope to transform the piece of paper into something more official looking 🙂

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This little book has the potential to transform how we think about work in a culture that seems to encourage workaholism. I’m ready for the holiday and won’t be posting for the next few days!

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At the end of the day, it’s the people in my life who have been most transformative. It’s what inspired me to become a social worker in the first place. Relationships transform us. What does transformation mean to you? What can you transform today? A feeling? A space? An office? A mood?

Enormous trees fell on my family’s home in CT this past week (the same photo as yesterday’s blog, different sentiment). May all their neighbors and all beings be safe and protected. May all beings know peace. May each of you transform dis-ease and suffering. May you experience moments of ease today. IMG_3416-1.JPEG

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11. Say Yes

It looked like another stormy/sunny, undecided weather day. I said yes to an invitation to meet a friend at the gym since it’s been hard to motivate while I navigate some debilitating fatigue.

Another dear friend and I had said yes (a month ago!) to getting together this weekend, so I was very excited to join a last minute trip to the beach with her and her boyfriend.

Brene Brown makes it sound so simple-what a beautiful quote! Saying yes to this today.

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Say yes to looking within even when it’s easier to point fingers and place the blame everywhere but within you. Working on this!

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Said yes to a generous invitation for lunch. Learning to receive whether a compliment, gift, or opportunity is truly a practice. (We did not eat lobster, but I said yes to this photo opportunity, with consent).

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I said yes to adopting the “savoring” skill as soon as I learned about it and realized I could enjoy the things I love even more than I already do.

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Yes to third-wheeling if it means spending quality time with friends in their favorite place, Plum Island. Pictured is Sandy Point since the bugs were too much at the Island. IMG-3400IMG-3391

Friend said yes to fishing even though it was buggy! IMG-3388

Yes to accepting reality that I grew up in the woods and trees fall on the house somewhat regularly.

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I’m still ambivalent about this blog, but I said yes to it this morning. It feels grounding to do something everyday. I’d really like to say yes to a morning meditation practice, too.

What will you say YES to today?

Thanks for yes-ing reading my blog this morning, too. May your day be filled with meaningful yes’s (and no’s!)

9. It Was Worth it.

It’s worth it to have a bad day every now and then if it helps you appreciate the good days!

Worth learning to trust again if it helps protect your heart. .916B3415-3E12-4BFE-979D-DD5495A0922A

 

Worth heart break and instability and too many moves and transitions to get to this moment. Worth learning to receive love and and discovering new love languages, and savoring the joy of a home cooked meal. Worth learning to be present and grateful even on the hard days.

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Worth difficult moments and conversations about ableism to family, friends, coworkers, bosses to remind folks that language matters. (Check out Mia Mingus’ incredible work.) It’s worth it to be visible to find your voice and use it in the service of justice. IMG-3309

Worth going through tough times to learn to empathize and empower others. Worth the gift of wisdom and resilience.

 

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It’s worth learning to live with not #peoplepleasing. It’s worth discovering the power of worthiness. Enoughness. It’s worth asking what is unconditional love?img-3321.pngIt’s worth saving your favorite cards and quotes for a rainy day. IMG-3322

Worth holding onto this handmade card for so many years knowing it’s endured many moves, transitions, until it found it’s place. IMG-3323

It’s worth sharing this quote even though most famous quotes we share are written by men. Worth reminding all the value of integrity and service. It’s worth asking what makes you great today? What makes me great today? What does greatness mean?!

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Today, greatness means beginning again. Letting yesterday be yesterday and today be today. Being open to possibilities and finding light in the darkness. Reminding myself and others we are never alone. Greatness means tapping into my wisdom and asking myself “What Do I Need In This Moment?”

Thanks for witnessing this experience. Was it worth it?

 

8. Feeling Words

My day off filled me with a range of feelings and I guarantee you will want to challenge that some of these are not “feeling words”!  #socialworkerhumor

I felt relaxed eating breakfast without rushing off to work.

 

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Awed by my 4 year old niece who graduated pre-K! img-3252.jpg

Sympathetic (consulted the feeling chart below to find this feeling word!) to be there for a friend in need.IMG-3247

Proud that I pulled this event off on a rainy lunch hour last summer-great turnout and fantastic presentation by Gretchen Schmelzer, Author of Journey through Trauma.  img-3257.png

 

Organizing the office a bit felt productive.

Amazed, humored, confused, pleasantly surprised I hang onto some of the papers that I keep…

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Patient that all the organizing need not get done on my day off! In fact, I made sure to spend a small amount of time on this so I could feel more joy. IMG-3264

Excited to check out a CD gifted from an aquaitance–dissapointed I have to use my work laptop in order to do so since nothing plays CDs anymore!!  IMG-3266

Inspired learning more about the anniversary of Stonewall. #PRIDE #WORLDPRIDE

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Apathetic noticing this pile of magazines.

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Disgusted by the present waiting on my car after a relaxing  afternoon. IMG-3276

 

Content with my toes. Apparently nail salons are busy around 4th of July holiday, who knew?

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Surprised serving raw cookie dough is now a thing.IMG-3280

Impressed a friend tried a new lip color and fell in love with it, too!

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Curious about these beautiful questions from a John O’Donaue poem. Check out Courtney Martin’s newsletters for more intriguing and interesting news.

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Grateful for this list of feeling words to inspire the title of this post and remind me what a great day of positive feelings I had yesterday! Checking in with how I feel now that I have to get going with the day. I feel tired and uncertain if it makes sense to write in the morning. Ambivalent about waking up earlier…no more apprehensive. Can I do it? What if I fail? Confident I’ll figure it out. One day at a time!

Thanks for reading! (especially to my Mother!)

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7. Choice

Today I chose to take a day off because I had a choice. Choice often indicates places where there is privilege welded to people with certain social power depending on your intersecting identities. I have had a lot of choices in regards to BIG things in my life, for example related to my education, job/profession, housing.

On a smaller scale, in the little moments throughout the day, I chose myself and asked “What do I need right now?” The practice gets easier as you do it. I needed to cancel plans all the way in August, over a month from now. It’s interesting how putting your needs first can give others permission to do the same.

Dr. Thema is presenting at my graduate school’s annual conference this weekend and I wish I could be there. I have a choice and I’m choosing not to go.

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I choose to interpret this quote to reflect on my love for myself as well as others. A quote I chose to share with my parents on their anniversary last week was: “To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds.” Bell Hooks#allaboutlovebookIMG-3204

Yesterday I had another challenging meeting. It’s hard to say it was a choice, but I chose to stay grounded in what mattered and what I value and through practicing self-compassion and vulnerability I was a much better communicator. I choose to feel proud even though my patterning is to go to shame and self-doubt. “I see you shame! I see you self-doubt, you’re welcome here too-you did well.” #IFSIMG-3205

I chose to take photo of my food because it feels more socially acceptable than taking photos throughout the day. It also helps me savor the moment of gratitude and delight, despite how the media is talking about us ruining every place with our phones! IMG-3209

I snuck this photo during a walk. I’m glad I chose this moment because I LOVE these roses. I realize now I chose to take a photo instead of smell them. I choose not to regret it and will make sure not to let that happen again. If I do, that’s okay, too.

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I chose the coffee Oreo flavor right away. Usually it takes me awhile to make a decision. It  feels good to be decisive for a change! Switch it up. What decisions are easy for you to make? Which ones feel hard?

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I chose to attend a talk at the local meditation center and decided to ask a brave question in front of ~50, mostly strangers. I placed my hand on my heart when it sped up before speaking into the mic, and reminded myself of our common humanity and how many folks in that room would never choose to speak publicly-it’s many people’s worst fear. It really helped my body calm down and I was surprisingly able to laugh during the Q&A encounter. IMG-3239

Very slowly catching up on reading from the course I just finished Monday. Forgiveness is a tough topic, maybe I’ll do 1 page a day to sit with these ideas. So far, I really like how the complexity of such a big topic is written about. IMG-3240

I chose this photo because it’s an important reminder.

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I’ve been thinking about fat phobia more lately. I choose not to engage in conversations about weight. I heard a colleague say folks in the eating disorder industry don’t use the word “weight” anymore either.

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My idea of leading a mindfulness self-compassion group at work is becoming more real every passing week. I chose to bring Victor Frankl’s book on a meditation retreat with me 1 year ago, wow! “Man’s Search for Meaning” did not disappoint. Also, I chose to read on the retreat even though they recommend you do not. img-3244.png

I chose to rest today and let that intention guide my day off. What’s your intention today?  May it guide your choices.

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Thanks for choosing to read this post. I will choose photos wisely today and see if taking photos in public becomes easily and consider why I’m finding it challenging to do more of.

 

6. Cheer on a Rainy Day

Another rainy day meant I’d need to make a greater effort to find cheer. This photo is from one of my favorite book stores where I love to do work, especially at outdoor tables, but mostly to look at their selection of gifts and cards….okay, and books!!

Cheers to WORLD pride which means there are more tourists than usual heading to NYC this weekend because “New York is delighted to host the largest Pride celebration in the world, spanning the entire month of June.” I hear more businesses than usual have displays like the photo below.

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Cheers to the only quote I’ve seen at the office happens to be pinned right next to my computer-a relevant reminder at any given moment. IMG-3145

Cheers to this Book of Qualities that is so beautiful to flip through.

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Cheers to care packages to celebrate the people you love. Cheers to gendered merchandise and how much money is made off of making gendered clothing.

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Cheers to donating books like this one. May it find a cheerful new home to bless with its wisdom.

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Cheers to holding onto books you love and re-reading them on a rainy day.

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Cheers to public libraries where I borrowed Invisible. Already devoured chunks of it and recommended it to several friends and colleagues. Cheers to the alumni from my graduate program who recommended it to me!

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Cheers to solitude and an evening to myself to just do me.

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Cheers to finding the perfect gift for someone you love and customizing a frame for the first time in your life. Cheers to spices and fresh herbs!

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Cheers to group art projects and mandalas painted with love at Omega Institute where I remember many rainy summer days, fondly.

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Cheers to sharing poems with the world (Peonies by Mary Oliver) and receiving photos of peonies in return!

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Cheers to spreading the word about these offerings at the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion.

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Cheers to life long learning and social workers everywhere!

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Cheers to Ann for challenging me to blog again and reminding me that imitation is the best form of flattery.

Empowered women empower women.

Cheers to a less rainy day today, thank you for reading my post! I welcome your ideas and comments as I know they have the potential to make this process even more cheery.

5. Home

Last night I finished a 10 week course at the Center for Mindfulness and Self-Compassion. The Center had an open house where I learned of their inspiring history of how they came to be through many years of planting seeds and cultivating a vision. The Director described the Center as his spiritual. home, his community.

 

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If work becomes your home, or home becomes your work, it’s especially important to be able to say NO. Learning to say no has helped me find home in myself. A necessary magic, indeed!

 

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A phone call with a union representative gave me a strong sense of belonging–and this simple quote grounded me, brought me home again. After some challenging meetings I read quotes by Dolores Huerta (some I’ve shared in this blog post) and I was reminded to advocate for labor rights is to fight for the right for all beings to belong. May all beings feel safe at work. May all beings feel valued at work. May all beings be protected by the law at work. May all being feel heard. May all beings feel seen. (more Metta phrases to come).

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As we get older, do we decorate homes with quotes like this? This frame was gifted for a 50th anniversary present–photos of a beautiful couple from their kids.

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Yesterday was the first time I’ve been asked if someone could play me a hymn! The pianist provides volunteer entertainment and plays weekly for his fellow residents at the Assisted Living Facility.

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To find a home in ourselves is to figure out what truly matters. What are your values?

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So many people work from home these days that there are now businesses dedicated to help people working from home FEEL at home, offering snacks and coffee, community events. I laughed seeing a job being promoted in the show notes of this wonderful podcast. Jobs are promoted in such creative ways! Check out this podcast and share the opportunity if you know someone who might be interested.

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Love this workbook. One I’ll keep in my home for many years to come.

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This was gifted by a friend and I shared the poem about Courage to the class as we closed the last session. It felt like we were at a campfire or playing show and tell, it was so cozy and homy.

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The meditation teachers gifted each person this laminated Metta practice and said, “Keep in touch! They were like parents who were able to create a sense of safety that allowed for a rich experience. Chapter 9. “The Rest of Your Lives.”

What helps you feel safe in a class, workshop, conference? What conditions allow you to feel at home?

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We are the mud and the lotus.

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I’d be remiss to publish a post on home without acknowledging what’s happening in our “home” country.

Allowing the journey to unfold in its own wild way will always bring me home. Thank you, Danna Faulds, for bringing this blog post home.

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Grateful to have created a home that makes leaving for work so difficult each morning. It’s taken years to find home. Where do you feel most at home?

Thanks for reading! This is getting easier by the day.