It has been some time since I blogged, mostly due to some of my own self of therapist issues playing out these past months. We could consider that I have had a number of competing attachments to contend with and my writing took a back seat. ;)
Today, I am sharing from a personal/professional place ~ my personal journey over the past number of years of becoming a therapist and supervisor, which culminated in an experience last week at a professional training.
Two years ago today my mother passed away. This is pivotal to my story, because my mother is the source of both my great strengths as a therapist and supervisor, as well as my great woundedness and insecurities as a therapist and supervisor, moreso than any other figure in my life. This is also pivotal because her death was the catalyst for me galvanizing my work in a deeper direction, which has been quite amazing to experience, while also being full of really rocky terrain.
And so, as I unravel my mixture of feelings today, I am growing in clarity of the finer points of my journey that have truly helped me to become the professional I am now. The points that have actually led me to becoming Me, which then influences my role in my work.
Ok, so the mother I had ~ she was born in Ireland into a very large family, the 10th of 12 children. She was one of the few who became educated, becoming a nurse and traveling here to the states in her early 20's. There are many tales of her travels, but a main point is that my mother was bigger than life. She was bright and colorful, with flaming deep red hair. The image I have that describes her best is of a colorful eagle with wings spread out, soaring high above in the sky, circling all around, beautiful for the eyes to behold.
And yet, she was often flying so high and fast that it would be hard for her to see anything on the ground beneath her, which is where I resided.
And now my presence ~ I am the 4th of 5 children, and I was born with a quiet and gentle nature, which is the part I got from my dad. He was a kind man, soft spoken, a caretaker by profession (pediatrician). And, I was born with a happy nature, a love of life, a love of song and dance, with music in my heart always. This I got from my mom. I am truly, out of all my siblings, the most like both of my parents ~ looking like my mother physically, loving life and comfortable in front of people (thus my love of presenting workshops), and yet a quiet, gentle presence that speaks to my dad's nature in my being.
Fast forward to how these play out in my work life. Being a therapist is my fourth profession, and I have often thought it would be my last, but I am honestly not sure of that, as I have many, many interests. Writing is a love, as well as the arts (drawing and photography), and who knows where my travels will take me ... perhaps I will travel the world, take or draw pictures, and write for a travel magazine in my retirement years!
Sorry, I digress ... back to the main points ~ some of the most frequent criticisms of me have been my gentleness, my quiet voice, my sharing from my personal heart, as well as my desire to connect through words. These criticisms originated from my mother. I did not speak until I was 2 (see my June 2015 posting for more of that story). I have been teased about being shy, and then a confusing message about talking too much when I did talk. I have been criticized for sharing more than I should with clients and colleagues, for being too transparent. The list goes on ... and on ... All of these messages have confused me, confounded me, made me angry, made me hurt.
And now, today, I am grateful to share ~ they are no longer as strong a barrier to me being me. Today, I am grateful for who God created in me, and how I can now bring all of me into my work as I assist clients and colleagues in their own healing journeys.
A Short Story of a Transition in Work Life as it Relates to My Healing
Last week, I had the pleasure of coordinating and co-leading an EFT Externship in West Hartford, CT. This was the first real forum for me to be seen visibly in Connecticut, after a number of years coordinating EFT trainings in Louisiana and Arkansas, helping those communities develop and evolve. I was now ready to settle in at my home base.
After "doing" all the coordinating and logistics, being sure the participants, trainer and facilitators were all taken care of, I had a chance to do a live consultation, working with a client case at the training, being observed by the trainees. This was my first real opportunity to work with a couple in this setting, and I was excited, nervous, and ready for this experience.
I believe the most wonderful thing of all during this training was giving myself permission to bring all of me. I shared with the group my process of growing, the natural nervousness of performing my first live, and the excitement that I had waited for some time for many things professionally. I continued to lean into my process with them, sharing transparently about how I would manage my emotions in the room with the couple. And then by the time the couple came, I was ready to go, I did what I feel was an exceptional job for my first time out, and I was embraced with cheers and accollades for the work I did when all was done. But mostly, I was acknowledged for my vulnerable process with the trainees, sharing my heart with them in an authentic and vulnerable way, and allowing them to respond to me in ways that groups of colleagues in the past have not ever done.
In one week, I carried together my role of "doing" into a space of truly "being" who I am, and I was embraced for both of them. This was an exercise of moving out of the old life into the life I was always meant to live. And in doing so, I brought all of me to this training, allowing me to be the type of role model therapist, supervisor, and leader of a new community that I have always hoped to be.
There is so much more to this story, but for today, I ask you, does it get any better than this? Embracing oneself, and being embraced and truly responded to for all of who we are.
Hi and welcome to my blog! I am excited to have this endeavor underway. It has been many years in the making.