Holiday GreetingsDecember 21, 2020
The New Year is generally a time which is viewed as a new beginning and an opportunity to creatively fill in the ‘tabula rasa’ (blank slate) of the fresh year. Some approach the new year as a ‘do over’ having gleaned some awareness from past experiences. How exciting, yet it may also be coupled with some apprehension to make that first stroke on the canvas.
We often get in our own way of effecting change or trying new experiences. Exploring is a ‘win/win’ situation; we either find that it is something that is fulfilling, or something we are fulfilled by as having had the experience. For me, having known I’ve tried something new out of my comfort zone is a success over saying ‘I wish I had’.
Tracy Stopler, in her book “The Ropes That Bind”, so eloquently and accurately addresses how we create our own impediments: “Are we the author of our own script? Are we the main character as well as the director? Are we the saboteur, the person to push us down?” She continues with: ”There is some truth to the saying that time heals all wounds. But the other part, the part that is even more important, is the work that you put into healing during that time. In other words, healing is an active process. People who actively do something to deal with trauma use their stress hormones productively and therefore are at a much lower risk of staying traumatized.”
Fear is frequently a topic addressed in our Sisterhood of Support groups. We can’t block it out or shut out the feeling BUT you can approach it as I paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert’s thoughts:
“I recognize that, you, FEAR, may invade my thoughts but, your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a back seat, and allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You are not allowed to suggest detours; you are not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
And lastly, I must address the focus that is placed, in group, on self-care. Many of you have heard me say, “Self-care is not self-indulgence”. As women, there is a tendency to do it all, to be the one that others rely on and many find it most challenging to ask others to be available to them. Unfortunately, “asking for assistance” is frequently perceived as “weakness” while the true show of strength is reaching out to have our needs met. The “asking” also serves to keep relationships balanced and reciprocal. We are all perfectly imperfect and imposing the superwoman expectations on ourselves is both unreasonable and quite a heavy burden.
As part of the Patient Empowerment Program, you have tremendously supported, encouraged and lifted up one another. This unique setting and close community has had an extraordinary impact on each other’s physical and emotional healing. You have shared with one another, cried together, laughed with one another, healed together, and created a bond that goes beyond the physical restoration and healing. With the wonder of zoom, we have been able to stay connected and actually “see” one another. This also served to allow those “sisters” who live in Canada and across the country, to continue to stay connected. (I believe we all miss the in-person hugs). I have been privileged and honored to have joined you during this most challenging time amidst this extraordinary support.
While I focus on encouraging, each of you, to utilize this experience to re-assess your lives, the overlay of stress from the Covid pandemic, will hopefully further propel you forward to making positive changes in your life. Make this the year that you try the things you’ve always wanted to experience, stop before you automatically respond “Yes” to requests, and most of all, nurture and be kind to yourself. Thank you for your trust and in allowing me to partner with you during your journey.
Patient Empowerment Program Resource Connection
November 24, 2020
We love to share other programs and events that complement the “building blocks” of our Patient Empowerment Program. Check out some of these…