How do you want to feel today?

1.1.17 late morning

How do I want to feel today?

What is one thing I can do to support that?

Graceful. . .moving through the world with grace and flow.  That’s how I want to feel today.  And so, I will take myself to yoga this afternoon, injury or not, and be kind and gentle to my body and give it the opportunity to Feel graceful and flowing.  I imagine a most beautiful and elegant dancer.  That’s how I want to move.  With ease and beauty and passion and love.

May I be at peace.
May I be open to joy.
May I move in and through the world with grace and flow and love.

Dancing with life.

May you be at peace.
May you be open to joy.
May you move in and through the world with grace and flow and love.

Dancing with life.

May we be at peace.
May we be open to joy.
May we move in and through the world with grace and flow and love.

Let us dance together in the truest spirit of Life; with joy, connection and deep love.

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A day for gentleness…

Hello friends, I’ve been sitting with a strong desire to write about our current political climate and why this day feels so important to me.  And before I decide what I want to share and how I want to share it, I thought I’d give myself a minute (or a few days) to sit and be gentle with myself; feel the feelings and come back to my experience from a place of kindness, curiosity and love. In that spirit of patience and gentle, self-care, I decided the best thing I could today, was to share some food with you. Because food is good and nourishing and warm.  And I think that there are quite a few of us out there, right now, who could use a big bowl of that.

With tenderness, gentleness and love from my kitchen to yours. . .Amber

Download coconut-curry-veggie-soup recipe to your desktop or check it out here:

Coconut Curry Veggie Soup:

Serves up to 8 and is also great to freeze half for another day.

Get these. . .
2 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. + Curry Powder
1 Tbsp. + Garam Masala
¾ Tbsp. + Turmeric
½ Tbsp. Cumin
¼ – ½  tsp. Chili Flakes
3-5 cloves Garlic roughly chopped
1” piece grated Ginger
1 medium Sweet Onion thinly sliced
1 Green Pepper thinly sliced
2-3 large or 4-5 small Sweet Potatoes cut in to 1” cubes
2 tsp. + Salt
½ tsp. Pepper
1 can of Chickpeas drained
1 can of Lite Coconut Milk (don’t forget to shake it first!)
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. natural sweetener of your choice (I used raw sugar .  You could use that or maple syrup or honey or?)
½ large or 1 small zucchini shredded
1 medium carrot shredded
(optional) plain yogurt

And now do this. . .

  • Add 1.5 cups veggie broth to crock pot set on high heat.
  • Heat coconut oil in large pot on low to medium-low heat and add: Curry powder, Garam masala, Turmeric, Cumin, Chili Flakes (adjust amount according to your heat preference:)
  • Bloom* 3 minutes or until fragrant and sizzling!
  • Add: garlic, ginger, sweet onion, green pepper.
  • Turn up heat medium to medium-high and cook 2-3 minutes (I added another Tbsp. of coconut oil here for flavor and to avoid things getting too dry.  Keep an eye and ear out:)
  • Add ¼ cup veggie broth to pan and stir up all seasonings at bottom of pan.
  • Pour everything in to crock pot.
  • Add: sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk.
  • Sprinkle in: ½ tsp pepper, 1 Tbsp. sweetener of your choice, 2 tsp salt, dash of curry powder and garam masala.
  • Give the soup a gentle stir and leave on high for 3 hours until potatoes are soft; could take up to 4 depending on how soft you like your sweet pots.  If you want to cook on low, expect a 6-7 hour cook time.
  • Garnish with shredded carrots and zucchini and salt & pepper as you like!
  • If too spicy, you can add a dollop of plain yogurt.

*curious about blooming spices?  Check out Chef Kev here https://youtu.be/l1iwOHT-21o.

And finally, Enjoy Thoroughly!!!

With love from my kitchen to yours, Amber

 

 

 

 

 

Safety First!

So, I’m reading this article and it got me thinking about safety.  Let me start first with a passage from that article:

“This quote from my mentor Diana Fosha, [2] founder of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy, sums [it] up:

The roots of resilience are to be found in the felt sense of being held in the mind and heart of an empathic, attuned, and self-possessed other. We want to provide that felt-sense kind of empathic listening that creates the conditions for those roots of resilience moment-by-moment:

Ah, the comfort,
The inexpressible comfort
Of feeling safe with a person.
Having neither to weigh out thoughts
Nor words,
But pouring them all right out, just as they are,
Chaff and grain together;
Certain that a faithful hand
Will take them and sift them;
Keeping what is worth keeping and,
With the breath of kindness,
Blow the rest away.
—Dinah Craik
A Life for a Life, 1859”

So, we talk about certain things in the therapy world quite often and like so many other places in life, words are over-used, mis-used, or just plain misunderstood. Safety, is a great one to start with. And because I have a love of words and their meaning, let’s start with a definition of safety from www.merriam-webster.com.

Safety
noun safe·ty \ˈsāf-tē\
Simple Definition of safety
: freedom from harm or danger : the state of being safe
: the state of not being dangerous or harmful
: a place that is free from harm or danger : a safe place

This idea of safety, specifically personal safety, may be new, or completely foreign to some of you reading this. When you really think about it; what is safety?  How do you know you’re safe?  How does your body know that it’s safe?

Now, let’s put this in to the context of Therapy.  What does it mean to feel safe in a therapy session?  Well, in my experience you can’t just tell someone that they’re safe.  It’s like saying, “Let me be honest with you. . .”  A not unusual response to that statement, “I Don’t Trust You”.  So safety is something that You feel. And that can take time. Because, at the end of the day, when you first meet your therapist, they are a stranger.  And it is not weird or f*ed up that you don’t immediately feel safe or trusting with your therapist.  In fact, there is a chance that what’s brining you to therapy, is the experience of not feeling safe with people.

Over time, you will have a felt sense of safety based on in-the-moment experiences with your therapist. When I think about creating a sense of safety in a session I think about showing up with: consistency, integrity, gentle curiosity, kindness, acceptance and patience.  And most importantly, the session is Your time so You decide when and how much you want to share.  My job is to support you in that process without causing more harm.

Ok, so right now. . .just check in and see just how your body is responding to these questions.  Are you suddenly more aware of your surroundings?  Notice that you’re feeling tired?  Or maybe you feel more at ease after a quick scan of your surroundings?  My intention here is to simply name that bringing your attention to this idea of safety, may (or may not) have an effect on your state of being right Now.

And if you do find yourself feeling a little less safe, take this moment to look around and take stock of your environment:  Look at 5 blue things, and Breathe.  Listen to 4 different sounds, and Breathe.  Name 3 things you can smell, and Breathe.  Find 2 things that you can imagine the taste of, and Breathe.  Notice 1 thing that your hands are touching, and Breathe.

This is a simple thing that you can do almost any where, any time, without anyone noticing what you’re doing.  And if they do, eh.  You deserve to feel safe.
All the time.  Everywhere.  No exceptions.

Honesty. . .

 

Honesty ~ Billy Joel

Listening to this song and it got me thinking about this little 7 letter word, that is anything but.

Honesty. . .I’ve had this conversation with my son starting with questions like: “What is honesty?  What does it mean to be honest?  Is it o.k. to tell a little lie sometimes?”.

Good questions.  Hard questions.  Answering them in a way a 10-year-old can understand puts my understanding of honesty under the microscope and gives me a chance to share my perspective, simply and Honestly.  Sometimes being honest is easy, other times excruciating.  Especially when we perceive a risk of hurting someone with our “truth”.  Now there’s another loaded word, truth.  Truth feels a little easier; it’s relative. . .mostly.  There’s one thing I know to always be true and that’s change.  But I digress.  The conversation is honesty.

Years ago, I found it pretty easy to tell a little white lie or a big, bold faced lie to myself, others, strangers, family, friends.  My little deceits were easily passed out when I found them to be more convenient than the truth.  Because, at the end of the day, my fear of what might happen when the Truth was delivered; well, my fear mongering little ego can go pretty wild and pump up any situation with the fear of potential disaster.  “Someone might not like me!  Someone might think I’m a bad person!  Someone might think what I’ve done is horrible!”.  Or worse, “That person might leave because my Truth is just too unbearable, or ugly, or too close to home?!”.

So, honesty lost and a more convenient “truth” won.  And for a long time, I thought this was the easier way to be in relationship; keep the Truth to myself unless my Truth made me look more desirable in some way.  The desired end result and the compass for my Truth was simple: tell you what I think you want to hear so that you’ll think I’m a good person; worth keeping around.

And I don’t know when it happened exactly, when I decided that this way of being in the world, shelling out half-truths, withholding (that’s the best way to not lie, isn’t it?); it wasn’t how I wanted to be anymore.  Or maybe it started to feel bad.  Or maybe it always felt bad and I was starting to actually feel it.  And there were enough times of being on the receiving end of someone’s constructed version of the Truth that hurt enough to make me start to re-think my choices.  And so, I took another step towards my mature, Grown Up Self (whatever that means) and decided that I wanted my words to be more true.  I started to think about my own integrity.

The integrity of my word.  Maybe that’s honesty; integrity of your word.  Do you say what you mean and mean what you say?  Yeah, it’s a cliché and easy to say. . .but live it?  That’s an entirely different story.  Because sometimes what is honest and True for us in this moment looks a helluva lot different than what was honest and True, last year, last week or even this morning.  Maybe honesty is more fluid and not so set in stone.  Or maybe not.  Maybe that’s a convenient truth.

Tuesday, 7.26.16  10:50am somewhere over Texas

Practice what you preach. . .

I won’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t, haven’t done myself.  And so, with that spirit of openness, honesty and integrity I share my intentions. . .

I open my heart.  I open my door.  I invite those in who are searching for love.  I invite those in who are curious and ready to walk this path, compassionately.  I invite those in who are longing for connection that is meaningful and fulfilling.  I invite those in who are ready and willing to do the work of self-discovery.  I invite those in who are desiring more feeling, authenticity and Truth.

I invite those in who are searching for love; ready, willing and excited.  6.24.16.  11:15pm