Friday, August 16, 2019

Mindfulness Matters

A symphony heard
through maple trees

Wind,
a cool composer

Listen further
The cadence changes
Instrumental adjustments
Delight consumers

Shivers sent down
spines set like books
on sturdy shelving

Open to all 

Note,
All of this is absent:

on facebook
or instagram
or twitter
or email
or spotify
or netflix
or text 

No.

Outside the box
Occupies new meaning
Resistance compulsory
Give attention, push back

Go outside...
                         NOW.

Listen and notice
Tell me what you
Hear/feel/think/believe/know/question/love

And then what you
will 
have to say 

Matters 


Thursday, August 8, 2019

What you resist, persists...and that's okay.

Yesterday, I found myself in an ever increasingly foul mood. It was a combination of factors that led to this. I have been busy, tired, and run down. We recently wrapped up a (wonderful) family wedding and said goodbye to west coast family we had been hosting for several days. My oldest is a rising senior and the college process is in full swing. In addition to this, I still have a lot of question marks about what is coming next professionally and personally. 

I guess it just sometimes feels like we are never short of decisions and choices to make, good habits to build and bad habits to break. And sometimes, well, when things all accumulate faster than we can navigate and process: we just get crabby. Occasionally,  I offer my clients a strategy to use when it seems they are stuck holding the weight of negative thoughts or feelings. It involves simply adding "and that's okay" to the end of a thought or feeling. For example, "I have gotten NOTHING done today that I wanted to accomplish...and that's okay." 

We must learn to be more gentle with ourselves, and figure out how to just let it be. 


"What you resist, persists" is a Carl Jung concept/quote that I find particularly useful as well. All too often, we go into resistance mode when there is something painful, uncomfortable or simply that which is unpleasant. Our brains naturally want to protect us. Being in a bad mood certainly falls into this. No one enjoys feeling irritable, but sometimes it just happens. Yesterday, I was really there and in it, and no matter how hard I tried to resist it, it persisted. The combination of challenging life circumstances added up with some other things and it made perfect sense that I would feel this way. At one point, I actually said "I don't want to be in a bad mood". Resistance = persistence. 


And when Jung's words finally dialed me up and called out in my ears "What you resist, persists"... I stopped fighting it. I just did the things I needed to get through the day. I had to dig deep and use my own tools. So after telling my family that I was in a grouchy mood, asking for space, laying down, venting, writing, doodling, reading.... I heard myself saying "Ugh, I am overwhelmed!" but then I also found myself adding "...and that's okay" By deciding to stop resisting, and inviting the yuckiness in, I was eventually able to let it go a bit. I gathered with some girlfriends*, initially making it clear I wasn't at my best, and just made space for it...and by the end of the night, that negative energy did shift. (*Time with good girl friends can be a magical healer)

When I woke up today, I paused. I noticed how I felt, what I was thinking. I observed the change from the day before. I was more clearheaded. I was a bit lighter. And I smiled at my ability to drop the urge to resist. It wasn't an immediate skill I was able to enact yesterday, but once I leaned into it and found it, I was okay. I knew it would pass. It always does. 

So today, I got up, I enjoyed my coffee, I made a list, I took a mindful walk, allowing my body to move and push itself, and then came home to simply breathe and move on with the day. 

Keep going everyone, it will all be okay. 

Love and Kindness, 
Amanda 




Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Changes

My inconsistency with posting here seems to be the only thing in my life that does not seem to change...


With that, I am here to report some changes:

1. I have resigned from the Haverhill Public Schools in my capacity as a School Adjustment Counselor. I am both heartbroken and thrilled (all at the same time!) about this change. I am super sad to leave a job and a community of people that I care so much about. At the same time, everything was telling me it was time to move on. Happily, I have obtained a position much closer to my home, where I am hopeful that I can be more effective in the work that I do with children and families and have the balance I need personally. I will start later this summer. I will miss being in a school community, but my ties there run deep and I have a feeling I will remain well connected to Silver Hill.

2. I have written a children's book that I am working on *trying* to get published. It will be a resource tool for counselors and teachers as well...  so if all goes as planned, it can be used as a classroom lesson sort of book and will also have pull-out reproducible worksheets to use as tools to support the concepts as well. Fingers crossed! 

3. I have to figure out what to DO with this page. The vision has been all over the place and I have too many things going on in my life, and in my brain. (You should see how many tabs I keep open on my computer...) Anyway, as a mom, a private clinician, a writer, a social worker, a friend, a consumer of music and fun, citizen of the world and human being, there is always just so much to say! This blog needs focus (as does my brain). And I am on it. Perhaps I need to just commit to posting something regularly...my forever work in progress. Hang in there with me, or if not, that's fine too. 

4. I love the number 4, so I just wanted to get here. Now, I will go back to cleaning my room, defrosting the fridge, paying bills and finishing my book club book. (City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's SOOOO good). 

Time to keep growing...remember to try to stay present in whatever it is you are going through, friends...because, we are all working on SOMEthing!

Happy Wednesday everyone...and just keep carrying on and doing "the next best thing"... whatever that might be. 

With love and kindness, 
Amanda :) 


Sunday, January 13, 2019

💡💡💡POLL TIME!💡💡💡

Who doesn't love to share their opinion?

I have been really all over the place with this page and I would like to change that. Before I jump in with more blogging I would like to find out for those of you who have been reading this (or might consider reading it in the future...)

Click on this link below:


*I am going to really get going on this moving forward. And while your feedback is important to me, I am also going to try and use my own inspiration to lead the way as much as possible* 

🌤
Be Well,
Amanda 


Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

2019 has arrived and with it lots of dreams, goals, plans and intentions! 

I started the new year out with another post at Free Spirit Publishing's blog. "Motivating Kids with Effective Praise" was fun to write because I believe as educators and counselors we have a very unique responsibility AND opportunity to help children find inner desire to do well and that starts with us! 

SEE MORE HERE on how I suggest we can be most effective with this: MY NEWEST POST ON MOTIVATING WITH EFFECTIVE PRAISE!

Feel free to share this link and some of my others you may find on this site or on Free Spirit's blog if you think it may be useful to someone out there who works with young people (teachers, counselors, parents etc..) ? Sharing is caring and we need to keep caring if we are going to make this world a better place for our kids. So let's dig in and really THINK about this stuff. 

Beyond this, I want to really stop and be more reflective in my own blogging practice. And then I want to DO something about it. Read: do *more* with it. 

Stay tuned for another post where I am going to be seeking feedback on what would be most desired in my content.

Everyone loves a good poll, right?

Be well, 
Amanda