Can Change This

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The Journey of Transformation

Archive for the ‘Social Work’ Category

More transitions; so what’s new!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

So, I am in the middle of more transitions. Does it ever stop? No, we just get to cruise sometimes. I am not in cruise control right now, but in the midst of some heavy traffic, construction, detours. I need to be on my toes.

My love relationship ended earlier this summer, due to core differences in our values and worldviews, and an erosion of good feelings between us.  It has not been easy, but my busyness has certainly helped to distract me from the loss.

I have had lots of company, fun weekend activities, a heavy workload and the process of my father moving from assisted living to nursing home. It has been hectic, challenging, rewarding, fun and draining.

Last weekend I spent 4 days with my team, Sand Shells, as crew at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in the Twin Cities. It was, as always, moving, inspiring, exhausting and exhilarating. My ankles are still swollen and bruised, and I wasn’t even trying to walk the 60 miles! I helped to set up and run Pit Stop 3 with my team. We handed out food, water, Nuun (our sponsor’s sports drink) and encouragement. We used the theme, “Wild, Wild Breasts!” If you haven’t been around the 3-Day, it is quite focused on breasts and having fun, so plays on words and irreverent themes rule the day. We had western outfits and props (even a photo op with a pony!) and got a lot of smiles out of the walkers. The spirit and energy of my teammates was amazing to watch.

The Closing Ceremonies, where I was allowed to wear a pink shirt and walk with the survivors, created feelings that are beyond words. The inclusion and validation we survivors experience fills my heart up to the brim, and reminds me how precious it is to have come through breast cancer. There was a moment during the Walk that I was encouraging walkers with water and thanks, and suddenly one of them said, “No, thank you, Survivor. Walking three days is nothing compared to chemo.” She had seen my “Survivor” button. It was so unexpected and so powerful that I melted into tears. It made all the sweat, exhaustion and body aches worth every minute.

3-day, breast cancer, walk

3-Day Walkers

Earlier I had visitors from Sweden and spent a week with them. It is a special thing to show them around the area to which the Emigrants came and have them get to know their American family better. I spent a weekend with one of my best friends, her siblings and cousins and had a ball. The laughter and cameraderie were delightful.

I have had a full schedule at work, because of taking time off here and there, and filling up the remaining spaces with clients. Always feeling behind and overwhelmed by paperwork, but managing to keep my head above water and give clients what they need from me. At times I have heard positive feedback and have been moved to tears by the growth, insight and relief they express, as well as their gratitude.

Finally, I have just started a new endeavor of teaching a foundational social work class at a local college, St. Cloud State University. My first class met this week and I did well, I think. Thanks to a great curriculum I inherited from others, and help from several professors there, I got through it and feel optimistic and enthusiastic to continue it. It does challenge me, though, and I see that I am a student this fall too, as well as those in my class!

SCSU, St. Cloud State University, Social Work

SCSU

WELCOME!

Monday, June 13th, 2011

As a psychotherapist I have witnessed crisis leading to transformation.

 

I have also experienced crisis and transformation myself. In my 50th year I experienced great change and challenges. I moved back home with my parents to care for my mother, who was dying from ALS. I also got divorced, got cancer, lost both of my beloved cats, started a new career, and bought a house of my own.

 

It became a time of transformation. The wisdom I gained brought a better quality to my life. It also enabled me to work with clients at a deeper level.

 

There are four essential building blocks that allowed me to grow stronger rather than grow bitter, and how to transform the experience of pain and change it into one of growth and enrichment.

 

They are: RELATIONSHIP, RESILIENCE, RESPITE and RENEWAL.

 

These principles (the 4 Rs) hold the key to get through the trials of life. I now share what I learned in those days, to help others to utilize these skills to cope with a major life challenge or transition.

 

It might be that you are a caregiver, it may be that you have experienced loss of health or a job. Maybe a marriage is ending. Whatever the transition, these tools can help you cope and feel better.

 

On the journey through caregiving or significant personal transition facing struggle, emotional pain and fear are inevitable, but transforming those experiences into an enriching experience is a choice. This site is intended to inform, touch, and in some way, inspire you to do just that.

clouds, trees, sunshine

Sun shining through