Current Reading: Atomic habits - James Clear (44%), Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins (Finished!), and How to Change Your Mind - Michael Pollan (pg. 304).
Supplemental Engagements: Reading about endurance racing, special forces training, and stories related to David Goggins. The audio book gives unique insights and interviews not included in the text. If I were to summarize this book (which is powerful on many levels including surviving trauma, overcoming adversity, military culture, and extreme brands of consciousness), I am reminded of a song from the show Jackass "If you're gunna be dumb, you better be tough". I say that with an incredible amount of respect to the author and the accomplishments described (and agree with the message about the power of pain as a transformative force). And in many of the cases, suffering was the point. But the number of stories about lack of preparation and planning (only to "successfully" suffer "through"), and how stretching became an incredible source of wellbeing really take a detour from the lessons I prefer to preach regarding performance (granted we are talking about sport performance). I guess I was really pulling for David and wished that his endless hard work could have yielded the results he was pushing for (Delta, racing victories, etc). There is A LOT to unpack from a book like this and it may need to get its own complete write-up. #stayhard #canthurtme
Grief - There is no debate regarding the disruption COVID19 was and continues to be. And while vaccines are being deployed and some prioritized routines are regaining a footing, this dark year has not lessened its grip on the collective psyche. "Ambient stress" is the best way I have heard it described. Everyone is just under an added layer of hardship as they navigate the changes to social interactions, career prospects, and feel the limitation of ability to predictably plan for the future. And yet if you are reading this, you must also acknowledge that your suffering does not compare to those who have or will lose their lives during this pandemic. I don't say "compare" as an invalidation of what you or your family have endured and the incredible lengths the pandemic has stretched so many. But rather, it is improper to compare because the struggles of the living maintain the potential for change whereas the finality of death is just that; final. Death comes in many unfortunate forms, and will continue to be the marked feature of COVID's legacy. But to be a casualty of the pandemic, one does not have to acquire the virus. I am speaking, of course, about suicide and the many who were struggling to find reason to live before their world was broadsided, and the months behind or still to come are testing their last strands of hope. Making it more difficult to believe that anything can change or that there is anyone they can go to with this feeling.
A phrase I frequently rely on to when discussing suicide or suicidal thoughts with clients is "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem". Yes, a gross oversimplification of the depths depression can reach and the seriousness of suicidality, but this is where I always start. Because my goal is never to judge, or confront, or to jump in and change someone's suicidal thoughts. My role is to be the voice that is different, and to remind a client of what they already know; that things can change. I refrain from lying and saying "everything is going to be great!" or that they have nothing to worry about. Simply to help them recognize that things can change. They always have. And always will.
As I write this, I am thinking of those who are grieving. I am thinking of those who have had to accept that permanent solution. And I am thinking of the many more suicides we are going to face as the year unfolds. I hope that this work is enough and I hope that people can remember what they have always known; that things can change.
2020 disruptions of relationships and expectations. Removing barriers of self. (To be discussed further in the COVID reflections post)
Ego states and disruptive self-talk. (To be discussed further in the ego states post, and added to resources).
Future Directions: Completing the comprehensive booklist of "recommendations" that I receive during sessions, editing and adding clinical hypnotherapy audio
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