4. My Happy Place

“Go to your happy place” a cliche, but a very real experience that I often forget exists until I am there!

At the beach, my nervous system calms. I can nap, read, play, wonder. All 5 senses are excited to be there and my phone is safely tucked away.

 

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Discovered a new happy place, a strawberry festival with fresh donuts too!

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Tastes can bring us to happy places no matter where we are-food helps us time travel.

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Nurturing relationships impact our happy places, too. My table wasn’t always full of abundance, learning to set boundaries, end relationships, and maintain and strengths connections that matter has been a learning process. Not something we’re taught in school. #lifelonglearner

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Happy place cannot be in a video game, social media site. Found some tools to help all of us be present to experience happy places more often. Who knew digital media health resources were available to free us all!

 

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The friend who reached out to me about parenting resources received this manifesto–may her home be a happy place for her young child!

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Experiences of trauma can make happy places feel non-existent. Our systems are scanning for threats. Happy places are more complex than they seem. It’s true, I can be miserable in my happy place. Why is that?

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Almost missed the views en route to the beach. Don’t forget to look up today! Beauty is everywhere.

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Books can transport us to happier places. This passage is from my book of poetry by Danna Faulds titled, Breath of Joy! I share her poetry regularly in writing workshops and have since learned yoga teachers love to quote her too.

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The sign of a good day when you are covered in sand! #myhappyplace —what’s the sign of a good day for you? how will you know if today’s good or bad?

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Trying a new recipe makes me very happy, too. Unfortunately, this one came out too spicy, but learning that I could make something this tasty is still inspiring!IMG-3107

Off to work, to another place that can be challenging, but at the end of the day, is a happy place that I am grateful to have in my life. Our attitudes, thoughts, beliefs matter. Writing these words helps me start the day in a happier place.

Thanks for being here!

 

3. The Longest Day.

Summer solstice. The longest day of the year and truly felt like the most hours of beautiful weather I can remember in my life.

It was a long day because I wrote a difficult email first thing the morning.

unnamed-11.jpgunnamed-2My phone sanctuary generates more time in my day and supports me in being intentional with my phone since the day flies by when I’m mindless and sucked into the screen for hours.

 

 

 

It took me the longest time to appreciate and realize how spectacular my porch area is. Thank you solstice for waking me up to to the beauty and cultivation around me. A belated thank you to my partner for his vision!

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Solstice woke some other people up, too in time for PRIDE month. Every month I’m proud of my clients and loved ones who identify as LGBTQIA or gender non-conforming. This apology took the LONGEST time. Long over do, but better late than never?

 

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A long walk in the woods was exactly what I needed after a long morning. unnamed-5

Took a long time to post this photo of a flyer I received at a VA training last month, even though it spent a long while in my car waiting for me to decide what to do with it. For a long time, I’ve been struck by the disparate resources, services and attention to support veterans and their providers compared to those impacted by and providing treatment for sexual abuse recovery. #NeverWorryAlone #healingisNOTlinear

 

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I fell asleep early on the longest day of the year because it felt like I lived several days in one. Catching the sunset with friends put the day in perspective. Suddenly, it wasn’t long enough! #thelongestday #beautyeverywhere

 

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It took too long to realize this simple truth! Relationships expire and we can outgrow them. It can take a long time to end a relationship of any kind.

 

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It takes a long time to gather resources as a social worker, especially in your free time when you receive questions like this that are hard to say no to. It’s taken me a long time to learn to say no and kindly point someone in the right direction.

  • Google
  • Visit a library
  • Post on their social media page for recommendations.

I could make a long list of options for gathering resources besides asking a social worker off the clock 🙂

 

 

 

Day 2. Savoring.

Savoring is a “distress tolerance” skill taught in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. It’s often taught with the concept of Self-Soothing, being kind and respectful to yourself.

“Savor a sweet bite of chocolate or a special coffee (taste). Find a place with a beautiful view and really take in every color, every line, pinpoint what is pleasing about it (sight). Listen to a favorite piece of music (sound). Pet your cat (touch). Go for a walk in the forest and breathe in the fresh, pine-scented air (smell).”

Waking up on a Friday. Savoring the end of the week and the feeling of knowing there’s a weekend ahead. The shower feels more relaxing. I appreciate music and a special playlist created for my friend who passed a few years back. I can savor the rainy weather and appreciate the calm it brings me, reminding me it’s okay to slow down.

Found a newspaper clipping my mother saved for me. I have no idea which article she wanted me to read or when this was from! Savoring her savoring.

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unnamed  Savoring my delight in receiving a stone from a senior trainer who gifted this to the early career clinician in a training about harm reduction at the VA last month!

Social media gets a bad rep along with technology with all the bullying these days. I savor the gems and share them to spread the goodness on our endless newsfeeds.  I savor artists’ creativity! My generation takes a lot of photos, I like to think we are savoring a moment in time. NPR produced a show on how we are ruining National Parks. What do you think?

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I savor working amongst smart and driven nurses every day.

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Savor the ordinary and small things at the office. Kind notes acknowledging good work for sometimes thankless jobs. It’s the little things we do that matter most.

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Savoring PRIDE month and wishing I could visit every parade. Wouldn’t that be joyful?

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I work in the community and visit people in their private homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day center. I wish I could share the moments I savor witnessing people’s treasured possessions, photos, and crafts. Some folks even decorate outside their homes like this:

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Savor opportunities to volunteer and support work that inspires me. My first Art of Healing fundraiser for the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation. I got to know colleagues who work at my office every day, longtime volunteers, and courageous & crafty interpreters who created a gorgeous Respite Space in their office for employees.

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I savor sweet texts and voice messages from loved ones. Photos and the joy they evoke in me.

Savory flavors, not my favorite, but I’ve become an avid-egg eater of late. I always wonder why some favor savory over sweet. For me, it’s a very important quality in people 🙂 I’m a sweets person all day, any way.

Writing this blog post helped me to savor the day. I think I’ll do it again tomorrow!

What do you savor?

Blogs.

Re-inspired to blog, I’ve been dipping my toes back in the water for several months in different ways. Thank you Ann Kopolow for challenging me to dive back in.

Who follows blogs? What can I add to the blogsphere? I return to what matters which is what would be in the service of cultivating what I value most in the world. I will begin there. What inspires me can transform someone else’s day. A daily gratitude blog with creative titles, photos, blips of my world. Here goes nothing!

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How are you working to #ChangetheCulture to prevent sexual assault? #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth

I am graduating with my MSW in August and am excited to continue working in prevention and recovery for individuals who have experienced trauma. My work spans multi- media, workshops, expressive arts, consulting, fundraising, and event planning.

Most recently, I completed a clinical internship at Mass Mental Health Center’s partial hospital program providing DBT therapy and psychotherapy groups I also work for a Sexual Abuse Recovery Coach providing and creating supportive online spaces and mentorship to folks in their healing. I believe people who been traumatized are vulnerable to further trauma and so part of prevention work is supporting people in their recovery so they can develop skills to try and protect themselves from additional harm.

Additionally, I’m a co-organizer in a new grassroots initiative called the Survivor Leadership Collective (www.survivorleadership.com) that has been showcasing survivor leadership in the community through open mics and art workshops and exhibits over the past year. I’m part of an art studio Planning Committee, which is creating the first designated space for recovery from childhood sexual abuse. To raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month as well as Child Abuse Prevention Month, I created a video called “We Need You to Listen” featuring various stories of people at different stages of their recovery.

I’ve been sharing my story since my college days where I organized Take Back the Night events in an effort to end stigma and offer hope to others. Sharing my story has been a powerful part of my healing as it’s helped ease the shame and isolation that caused far more suffering than the trauma itself. I found my voice and realized I could use it to help advocate for others and be part of the change. I’m passionate about meditation and nonviolent communication, as well as restorative justice as a means to change the larger culture of  violence and oppression. My vision for #metoorising is to focus on accessibility and systemic oppression in order to prevent violence at every level of society.

Jocelyn Schur, an advocate for survivors of trauma, restorative justice, leadership development, and sex education. She is committed to ending violence through education, prevention, and raising awareness by empowering youth and survivors to know their bodies and their rights. She is a leader of the Survivor Leadership Collective and pursing her MSW at Smith College.

Last week, we asked men why it’s important to be leaders in their communities to support survivors and fight sexual assault. This week, we asked: How are you working to #ChangetheCulture to prevent sexual assault? The individuals you’ll hear from below reaffirm that there are so many ways to advocate – creating cultural changes in the workplace, teaching children that they have control over their bodies, modeling healthy relationships, simply having a conversation about #MeToo – and more. 

At JWI, we’re working to shift norms, language, and attitudes through programming that aims to build a culture of consent. “

Read the full article here:

https://www.jwi.org/articles/how-were-changingtheculture

 

 

Restorative Justice.

Whether I’m thinking about gun violence and toxic masculinity, politics, relational trauma, I keep coming back to Restorative Justice. I’ve just added some links to my website for those interested in learning more.

Here’s a quote from a recent talk I listened to, by Sujatha Baliga:

“How do we heal through the work? Be thinking about this notion that we are interdependent. Ubuntu was driving force for truth and recon processes in South Africa. I am because we are. A person is a person through other people. it doesn’t mean you can’t also see it in your work litigating. We get to see that in action through RJ processes….we heal together with our clients. we are healing the world together. Think about why are you in this? what’s your skin the game? instead of thinking about helping people outside ourselves. without becoming narcissistic, there is a e’s a way we can be in deeper relationships and community with the people we are working with. and to humble ourselves and say what do i have to learn from this moment. not like they are in a peetree dish, but rather we are in there with them.

How is my own personal healing going to be the gift to the work that I do? And this is true for allies as well, because we all have colonizers mind. all of us. Even those who have benefited from it are being deeply damaged by it. in closing, it’s my sincere hope that through our individual and collective healing, from our shared legacies of genocide slavery colonialism, that we will all be able to embody ubuntu as lawyers and move beyond justice of sides. win lose, towards a justice that heals.” Sujatha Baliga

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” -MLK

Big milestones and social work updates!

I hope all is well by you.

It’s been nearly a year and I wanted to share some exciting updates.

This past Fall I helped organize two interactive art exhibits in cafes in Boston and Dorchester. We raised awareness about domestic violence and invited the community to join us for open mics to culminate the month. It was especially meaningful to create physical spaces for dialogue during the #metoo movement when so many survivors were glued to their screens reading testimony’s from friends, family, and celebrities on the daily.

This Fall I interned in a college counseling center and most recently I began at Mass Mental Health Center’s intensive outpatient DBT program

Also featured in this newsletter:

  • Where am I headed next?
  • New Opportunities

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Where Am I Headed?

In August 2018, I graduate from Smith College School for Social Work with my MSW.

As I complete my final internship, I am considering what therapeutic setting I’d like to work in. Right now, I am loving working on an inter-disciplinary team, the emphasis on collaboration, creativity, and group work. I am drinking the DBT kool-aid which is based in mindfulness and grateful for this rich training experience.

If you come across any great opportunities, I hope you’ll keep me in mind! 
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Coming Up:

Join me at Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training in Great Barrington: Feb 17-20. This course is Entry Level Course for all Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Certificate Programs. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is accredited by IAYT and registered with YA.) They are still offering major discounts!

I am continuing to interview amazing leaders on my podcast, Transforming Trauma), and leading volunteers supporting an online community (4k!) of survivors. This Spring, I have been offered the opportunity to coach survivors in this 16-Week Beyond Surviving group program.

Very excited to shout out to my inspiring colleague and creator of Healers of the Wound, promote a conference Friday, March 16th, 10am-3pm. The theme is “Racial Trauma & Healing: Research, Policy & Practice.”  Stay tuned for details.

Happy Winter!

Choosing Love,