Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ninth Post - Hope

Does hope really make a difference? My hope or yours? Can I pour my hope over your hope and help your hope to grow? Does hope simply require a fertilizer of caring to help it sprout? I hope so!!!!!
According to "research" (Miller, Duncan, and Hubble) instillation of hope accounts for 15 percentage points towards "success" in counselling. {For those that care to know: 40% is extratherapeutic factors, 30% is the therapeutic relationship, 15% is skills and techniques, and that leaves the 15% called hope}.
Whenever I enter into a new relationship with a young person who has already given up on EVERYTHING! I lose part of my heart. That's probably a really bad way to state it. As a therapist, I'm supposed to keep my heart intact, however, lately I've been moved to tears by the heartbreaking stories of several of the young people that I've begun to work with. What are we doing as a society that the barely teens are ready to, or already have, pretty much thrown in the towel? I marvel  that they are even at school. That they are still alive. They they have the energy to walk down the hall to my office.
Recently I asked a young person if they had any hope at all.  A shrug - a very familiar teenage shrug,  and a mumble were the reply. But I coaxed about this much? 2 cm? How about this much? 1 cm?  How about this much? 1/2 cm....that got a mumbled maybe. Success! So, how about  I take my hope and add it to yours and see if we can grow some more. The response was slight, but enough to grab it and hold it dear.
So, what will make the difference this time? My hope is that I can work long enough with these emerging and young teens to help them understand that they matter. That at their core, at their SELF, they can BE and take a step or 1/2 step toward healing.
This was a discouraging week. It was a week of revelations of pain and hurt that ones so young should absolutely not have to experience. Yet, in our imperfect world, (call it sin, if you like), it exists. My job, as I see it - in it's simplest response - is to get my clients "hooked on hope". Maybe nothing will change today or tomorrow, but bit by bit, Better is Possible.

Will you add your hope to mine?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eighth Post - Sleepovers

Growing up, I had the kind of mom who loved to have our home filled with friends. With four kids, that often made for a lot of friends/noise/chaos etc. Mom was also very generous when it came to allowing sleepovers (although I'm not sure we really called them that back in the 60's). What fun! Endless chatter, limitless snacks, cramped quarters - these ranged from camping on the trampoline outside to sleeping under the grand piano in the living room. We'd share stories; fact and fiction, crushes, secrets. This summer I had some fun sleepovers with grandchildren, children and most recently a good friend. Who'd have thought that in my 50's I'd still get a kick out of staying up all night talking  - albeit, all night meant a 10:30 pm bedtime. Three nights with a visiting friend who came to keep me company while my husband was away for a few days. We laughed, we drank, we talked endlessly, and laughed some more. We shared stories, fact and fiction, secrets of  long ago. We bragged about our children, we complained about our children. With age we've become wiser and to our sleepover repertoire, we added solving a world problem or two! As the evening progressed - along with our consumption of wine, we shared our dreams of things yet to come, our hopes for our children and eventually their children .........We sat outside in the cool evening and I marvelled in the joy of fellowship with a friend. And we did all this in our jammies, because this was a sleepover. By 10:30 (let's round that up to 11:00) my friend was settled on our cozy red couch, and I in my own sleeping on the floor for these gals. (until the third night, but that's another story involving a couple of party crashers). I'm heading to work tomorrow more tired than usual, but satisfied with a weekend well spent.

When was the last time you had an old fashioned, talk all night, eat all night, sleepover?

Who knows? It was a sleepover!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Seventh Post - Options

This morning I was greeted by the sun shimmering through my living room window. The brightness juxtaposed with the cool, crisp temperature, was indeed a cheery way to begin the day. Not quite summer, not yet autumn. I'm facing a weekend with NO plans. No appointments, no commitments. That, of course, leaves me with options. Shall I walk, shop, read, clean, visit, nap, cook, organize? Two consecutive free days seldom come my way and I feel gifted with the opportunity for choice.  Enveloped by contentment, peace, and calmness, I am mindful and grateful for all the options I have today. True to my "self", these options come with a profound sense of responsibility - that I not waste this opportunity for aloneness. After a busy week, filled with chatter, this lack of noise is saturating my being. I think I shall sit in silence for a while.

What do you do when you have alone time?

Come sit with me

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sixth Post - Newness

I have always equated September with newness. Not because of summer morphing into fall, but because of SCHOOL! When I was young, it was about a new grade, a new teacher, new notebooks, new pencils/pens, new clothes and new friends. Upon graduation from Secondary school, I moved on to University and again, was delighted with the newness of September - new courses, new textbooks, new notebooks, new pens, new profs, new clothes and new friends. Following graduation from University I began my teaching career (31 years ago, but that's a whole other blog). For thirty one years, September has brought a new assignment, new students, new curriculum, new daybooks, new clothes and new friends. I've been a school counsellor since the mid 2000's and here I am once again on the doorstep of new school assignments, new students, new parents, new stories, new clothes and new friends! It is not infrequently that I remind myself how blessed I am to have a profession that has evolved with me and one that I truly love. Of course there are seems they are 'new every morning', but I can't think of a career that would have been a better fit.
What newness are you anticipating this September?


New Shoes