Posts Tagged ‘service’

Step Up

November 20, 2017

Do some service.

Get the fuck out of your head.

Worked like a freaking charm.

I sat and listened to an amazing woman today for hours.

I did a lot of reading.

I did some client work.

I got asked to do a speaking engagement and did that too.

It was fantastic.

To get to be my complete self, lit up, on fire, alive, in love, all the things.

I don’t remember what I said, which is good, that means I wasn’t trying to manipulate how people saw me, I was just sharing.

And my God.

The gratitude.

I smiled so hard.

My face actually got a little sore from smiling so much.

And.

Yes, of course, there were some tears, and love was talked about and I got to reflect on how much love I have been given and how much I still get to give back and out into the world.

It’s amazing.

I was also told this, “you sound like a psychologist!” A sweet man told me after.

That was really nice to hear.

I am grateful for so much in my life.

I have a life, I am alive, that is the start, and you know, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, it bears repeating, if life were fair, I’d be dead.

Life is not fair, I have more than I can have ever imagined or asked for.

I have extraordinary people in my life.

I have people I love and who love me.

I have a full heart.

I don’t do so many of the things that I used to under the guise of it makes me feel better, but really it just made me feel worse, temporary solutions to the pain I was living with.

Like smoking cigarettes, man, I still forget that, I haven’t smoked in twelve years!

No sugar.

No flour.

No booze.

No cocaine.

Sure.

I still use salt, but please, really, don’t take away my last white powder!

I also do things that I always wanted to do but I would just talk about doing them, I didn’t actually do them.

Like.

Oh.

Writing.

I write every motherfucking day.

How amazing is that?

That I consistently give myself the gift of sitting down to paper and pen and getting honest with my heart.

It is no easy task and it always gives so much back to me.

So too, this little blog.

I do love the writing, I love how my fingers fly over the keyboard, I love how the words pour out of my hands, a direct conduit from the love in my heart.

I have a great job.

I have a site to get all my practicum hours so that I can graduate in May.

Jesus.

I get to go to grad school!

How many people actually get to do that?

Granted I was getting hella frustrated with the FAFSA online tools which kept telling me my passwords were wrong and wouldn’t let me access my student account.

I have to file for the 2018 financial year.

I have not applied to school yet, but I have some fairly serious ambitions to do so, to go for the PhD, I’m thinking that I would get in Transpersonal Studies, which is a two-year program at my school.

I have to flesh some things out, when I would apply, what I might want to dissertate on.

“You should totally do it!” My therapist enjoined me.  “You find so much richness for yourself in the academic world.”

I had not thought of it like that.

I had thought of it, like I want a PhD, ego stuff.

Then.

When a professor I highly respected told me that I could be of more service in my community with a PhD I thought, yeah, I should do that.

Then.

Well.

I know this sounds kind of crazy, but it also sort of makes sense to me, it would mean being in school two more years and that would give me two more years to acquire hours at my internship before I have to start paying back on my student loans.

I am not in a paid internship.

I’m not sure that I could swing paying back student loans on top of getting my hours.

Then again.

I just keep saying, it’s God’s money, it will work out.

I do believe that.

But.

When my therapist reframed the continuation of school by reflecting to me how much I have gotten out of school, just personally, how much I have grown, that I am giving myself an opportunity to learn more and grow more.

I really liked thinking of it.

So grateful for my therapist.

We started in on a hard piece for me last week.

It was something that I have been holding for a while and I knew eventually it was going to have to come out and the work would need to be done on it.

I have done a lot of work, but there is still more to do, still places of pain that need to be touched into, places I need to grieve, things lost that I don’t know I’ve really let myself see that I had lost.

I don’t want to wallow in my past.

I don’t.

It doesn’t really serve.

But I do want to integrate those experiences, grieve what needs to be grieved, and let it go.

My therapists face when I was getting into some of it, how she pulled me back, grounded me, settled me back, ran over time with me to make sure I was calibrated and strong enough to leave the office.

I had tears on my face and many crumpled tissues, but I also felt a kind of inner awareness that this is where the real work is going to happen and I can get through it all the way.

I wasn’t collapsed in, I was strong, I was lightened, I lightened the load a tiny bit and left a good bit of it in a tissue in the wastebasket.

I have the strength to get in there, dig it out, and let it the fuck go.

So grateful for that.

I am resilient.

I have inner love and joy and strength and light.

I have been given so much love in the last few years, so much more than I thought I deserved, so much appreciation for who I am and what I do.

I really am loved.

I really am lovable.

I am enough.

I have enough.

And.

I get to give it all away.

Which.

Oh.

Glorious paradox.

Is.

The only way I can keep it.

The only way.

 

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All Systems Go

August 22, 2017

Fuck.

It was a busy, full, going on all four cylinders from the moment I got up, day, from early morning until.

Well.

Until.

Right about now.

I just got off an email back and forth with director of my internship, did a bunch of e-mails with some clients, booked some sessions, logged my hours for today in Track My Hours, and whew.

It’s like um, 10p.m.

I got up at 6:30 a.m.

That’s a full day.

I got some writing in today though, I hadn’t gotten as much morning page writing in the last week or so and it was really good to just let go on the page and scrawl away.

I also showered yesterday so I skipped it this morning, giving me a little more time to process all the junk in my head.

I don’t even know what I wrote, only that it felt good to write.

And.

I did a written gratitude list and sent another out to a friend via text.

I’m on a list he sends it to and I like getting it.

Not just because it reminds me to be grateful, it definitely does that, but to see what other people are grateful for.

I am grateful for everything.

My life is beyond my wildest dreams.

Sometimes it is strange and I wonder, how did I get here, but I know there are no mistakes in God’s world and I am being taken care of and having all the experiences I am supposed to be having.

Like being of service to the woman I am traveling with to Burning Man.

I am still having some trepidations about going with someone who is 74 years old, but I also am happy that I get to be of service to her.

It’s a nice to be of service to others, it gets me out of my head, and if you’ve never been to Burning Man it is super hard to imagine and of course, if you’re 74 there’s a different approach you’re going to make than if you are 24 or my age, 44.

How did I get to be 44?

Fuck.

Time flies.

I suppose I will look back in 30 years and wonder how it is that I got to be 74.

I’m going to be old.

I know it.

I also hope to be of service all the way to the end of my life.

I believe that’s the only way that I am going to be happy, by having a useful life, by helping others, it gives me happiness, it gets me out of my own head and I got to do a lot of it today.

I had a few phone check ins, one lady who I just recently met, and got to share some experience, strength and hope with her and although we are vastly different, we are the same person and it was good to hear how relieved she was to know that she’s not alone in her journey.

I got to talk with one of the other women I work with in recovery and I also got to see clients tonight.

And.

I worked with my supervisor.

I also got to go over my review with him, which was really enlightening and I got a better idea of how he thinks of me and what I am doing and that he also, although he didn’t exactly say it, likes me.

We had a great session and I learned a ton from him today.

I often feel as though I am taking a solo masters class in psychoanalytic theory when I am working with him.

I write a ton of notes and I can hear him in my head sometimes when I am with a client.

It’s exciting to work with him, he pushes me, he’s extraordinarily smart and intelligent, and I feel smart when I am working with him.

I like feeling smart.

I have always understood that I was intelligent, but the smart part of that eludes me, I have been mystified most of my life as to what people meant when they say, “you are so smart.”

I haven’t always felt that way.

Smart.

In fact.

I have often felt rather stupid, stupid in love, stupid in my life choices, idiotic some of the decisions I have made, or so I tell myself, but oh, the learning, the learning is so much.

I have such a wealth of experiences.

Mostly because I try to say yes to doing things.

Sometimes to my detriment, I’ll get too busy, I will get to wrapped up with my schedule and I won’t have the time to appreciate what is happening.

I try to find balance.

I don’t often succeed, but I try.

And I’m ok with failing.

Ah.

Who the fuck am I kidding.

I am never ok with failing, but I recognize that I am going to fail and that I will try again and again until it works its way out, whatever it is.

I guess what I am saying is that I live.

I am not sitting on the bleachers, I am in the game.

I am hustling.

Sometimes perhaps a little too much, but I know that it’s what it is right now.

And that all the things I did, mistakes, which were not mistakes, life experiences, travels, moving to Paris, moving back from Paris, trying things out, has led me here.

Right where I am supposed to be.

With the people in my life with whom I am supposed to be with.

Such gifts.

Such grace.

I didn’t expect it to look like this.

But.

I have to say.

It is a beautiful thing.

My life.

So beautiful.

My heart aches with it.

Grateful beyond words.

And now.

One more gratitude list before I retire.

Because.

Truly.

There is that much to be grateful for.

Every day.

Grateful.

Every damn day.

Waiting

August 16, 2017

For more to be revealed.

I am waiting.

And.

Yes!

It’s happening.

Oh my God.

I have a ride to Burning Man.

Holy shit.

And the best part?

She’s a 74-year-old first time burner.

I want to have that much spunk when I’m in my 70s, let me tell you.

She and I were connected via some mutual friends who suggested to her that she contact me as someone who has experience going to Burning Man.

I said, sure, I’ll let her pick my brain, happy to share about food prep, how to get there, how to get back, how much water to bring, etc.

I had seen a post in a community forum for my camp that I will be staying with and it appeared that she was also looking for a ride to the event.

So.

Imagine my surprise when I get a message from her saying that she’s decided to not only drive to the event, but she wants to give me a ride.

What?!

I was not, in any way shape or form expecting to go to Burning Man with a 74-year-old woman virgin burner from Santa Cruz.

The playa hath provided.

Or.

God.

As the case may be.

I will not have to rent a car!

I will share drive cost, split the vehicle parking pass with her, and give her all the Burning Man tips she can possibly handle.

I can’t believe I have a ride!

I am so relieved.

And that she’s willing to go on my time frame, which allows me to go to class on Sunday.

The weekend the event opens, next weekend, holy shit, is the same weekend as my first weekend of school.

I have to go.

I’ll be in class Friday 9a.m.-4p.m.

Saturday 9a.m.-8p.m.

And.

Sunday 9a.m.-12p.m.

I’ll hop on my scooter, get home and throw myself together.

I will have to be packed and ready by 1p.m.

I’m sure there will be a little wiggle room, but the fact is we’ll want to get on the road as  soon as possible, it’s an 8-9 hour drive depending on the traffic.

Which on a Sunday really shouldn’t be too bad.

We will stop in Reno at the 24 hours SafeWay and buy ice, dry ice, water and anything that may have been forgotten in the melee to get out-of-town.

I am pretty seasoned at going, like I said, this is year eleven, and I pretty much have all my stuff ready, it’s just not all in the same spot.

And considering that I don’t live in a big space it won’t take me real long to compile everything and have it ready to go.

Really.

The packing shouldn’t take me more than an hour.

I figure I’ll suss that out this Saturday.

Get all my bins out, shake off the dust, so to speak, the dust never seems to quite go away, and get it all organized in one spot in the garage.

Depending on how much room she has in the car, which doesn’t sound like a ton, I may only take my one big cooler.

I have a large cooler and a medium size cooler.

The large one is the one I invested in for this year, it’s on wheels and holds a lot more than my medium size one, plus, it’s a much better insulated cooler than the one I’ve taken the last few years.

I have a ride!!

I am over the moon.

Aside from the fact that I get to be of service, I mean, she is an elder states(wo)man and it’s an honor and a privilege, I believe, to take someone who means a great deal to her community, to her first Burning Man.

At the age of 74.

How freaking radical is that?!

I love it.

I get to be of service and she’s really happy to have the company.

I think it is a total win/win scenario.

I also feel like she’s not going to have any issue leaving a little early from the event, I’m pretty much hoping to leave as early as possible Sunday morning and get out an on the road.

I want as much time Monday to recuperate and take 18 different super hot showers and time to wash all my clothes and get the dust out of my hair.

Wow.

I am over the moon.

I have a ride.

Such a relief.

And yes, the thought of driving my own car was a lovely thought, but not the possibility of losing a big deposit on a rental from Burning Man dust.

One day.

Perhaps sooner than later.

I will have my own car.

And I will offer someone else a ride out to that thing in the desert.

Until then.

I am happy as a clam.

A dusty one, mind you.

To have this opportunity.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Or at Burning Man.

Seriously!

Turn It Around

August 9, 2017

It took almost all day.

But.

My day was completely and totally turned around.

I didn’t have a bad day per se, just a tender and emotional one.

It started off with a phone call that I took this morning, one I almost let ring through to voicemail, but a soft little voice said pick up the phone and check in, get accountable.

Get recovery.

Do it.

So.

Of course, I picked up.

And I hashed out somethings that have been on my mind and in my heart and I got some really good suggestions about those things.

I also was read a mild riot act about not taking on more in my schedule.

Last Friday I said yes to working with a woman who deeply touched me with what she was going through and it resonated so much with me that I said I could work with her.

And.

Of course.

That is in direct opposition to what I had been told to do, no more working with others.

I have two women I work with and I have two people who work me and I have two commitments twice a week that get me involved and maintained in my recovery.

The rest is work and internship and so very soon.

School.

It was foolhardy to take her on, so after a mild dressing down I agreed completely and immediately felt some relief.

The rest of the check in had to do with setting boundaries, and dealing with my anxiety around school.

Which.

Oh therapeutic irony, as soon as I had decided to set that boundary I started to feel less anxious around school.

I got off the phone having already had a good cry and it wasn’t even 9 a.m.

I washed my breakfast dishes, brushed my teeth, put on some makeup and hopped on my scooter, heading over to Noe Valley in a thick, cold fog.

A fog that never lifted, not all day, not in the Mission, not in Glen Park, nowhere, it was cold, foggy, dreary, all day long.

I got to Noe, my helmet awash in moisture, I might as well have been riding in rain, and made the phone call to the woman I said I would work with.

I explained why I couldn’t, I apologized, and I wished her the very best and if she needed support she could reach out.

Then.

Phew.

I felt a lot better.

One more little bit of time for me.

One less thing to schedule.

Ha.

In fact, I just toggled over to my calendar and took her off.

That felt good as well.

And.

Therapy was great, I missed my therapist last week, she was out-of-town on vacation and it felt really good to see her and get into the work.

Of course.

It takes a minute to get there, but I leapt in with the anxiety, the recognition of how it relates to school.

And how it relates to my relationship with my mother and my desire to be above and beyond, to be perfect, to excel, and the level of pressure and stress I put on myself to be the good school girl and what will happen if I don’t and the annihilation of all things good should I not perform.

There are reasons for this, and I’ll let you read between the lines.

I have written about them before, I don’t need to rehash it all right now.

Suffice to say.

I got a lot of crying in today.

It was a relief too, let me be clear, to finally connect a few dots and to see where things were messy and still needed untangling.

And where I needed to set boundaries in my life and what those looked like and how to walk through the school anxiety, and it was just really good to hash it all out.

I had a fantastic session.

Granted I had to go to work right thereafter, so there was a bit of tenderness and sensitivity in my body all day long.

But no.

Wait for it.

No.

Anxiety.

Hallelujah.

Well.

Almost none.

I got tossed a client at the last-minute, a consult add-on and I teared up, I had thought I was going to get away with only seeing one client tonight and then zipping over to school, dropping off my paperwork and getting home “early.”

Nope.

I didn’t burst into tears.

I just sort of melted into them.

Then.

I had a little chat with myself, you normally see two clients on Tuesday, this is just how it is, you’re going to be ok.

I also called the practicum office and found out that I can drop my paperwork after hours to the head of the office and she gave me a very specific spot to put the paperwork and I can go do that tomorrow.

I’m fine.

Everything is fine.

And.

Holy Toledo!

My sessions!

My clients!

Wow.

Two whole fucking hours of actively listening to someone else, not a thought in my head of my own crap, just showing up in the room, in the field, being there, being empathetic, being of service.

Mind blowing.

I left my internship walking on air.

Or fog as the case may be.

But really.

Lifted, elevated, and completely turned around.

Ah.

Therapy you devilish thing.

So good to know you.

Grateful that my day ended on such a high note.

Relieved really.

And having some nice clarity around what I need for myself and how to get it.

That helps too.

Getting through the week.

And grateful so grateful that I am on the path I am on.

I feel graced with so many gifts, its astounding when I stop and enumerated them.

My life is full of this grace and joy and beauty.

Strength and resilience.

Hope.

And.

The most amazing.

Bountiful.

Infinite.

And

Ever expanding.

Love.

Bubble Wrap

July 4, 2017

And it’s being razor bladed off you.

Sometimes my supervisor has a way with words that astounds me.

I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps having a bit of a way with words, at times, I am definitely wayward, so there is that too.

But.

Man.

He knocked it out of the park today.

“It’s like this, you’re a brand new therapist, you’re still being taken out of the bubble wrap and they are razor blading it off you,” he paused, “you are getting overwhelmed and you need time to acclimated all the things that you are getting from your clients.”

He paused, straightened the hem on his pants, a tic sometimes that I’m not sure he’s aware of when he’s collecting his thoughts, like someone taking off their glasses to polish them when they want to find the right words to tell you you’re about to get fired.

Then he continued, “you are getting a lot from you clients, you are having some extraordinary insights, I’m not going to deny that, but you need some boundaries around it so you can assimilated all the information.”

I know what he is saying.

I was surprised last week when I got tossed as many clients as I did.

“Hey!  I’m new! I don’t have the chops yet!  Wait a minute, please,” I remember thinking and I also called into my person who tagged me out.

“You are overwhelmed and they are giving you too much and you need to push back,” he told me, “I can hear it in every message you are leaving, it’s great you’re a therapist and you’ve got skills, but you are absolutely overwhelmed.”

He was right.

And.

By grace, by God, by luck, what have you, I was granted small reprieves here and there and pockets of time that I was able to fall in, be held in, like the big oversized European chairs in my employers house.

Sometimes when I get a break, when the kids are not around, when the baby is sleeping, when the mom is off at her office or running errands and I am not in class and needing to catch up on my reading, I will sit in one of the chairs and stare out the big plate-glass windows of the back wall–it’s an entire wall, ceiling to floor (and it’s a high ceiling over twelve feet, probably fourteen foot high) of windows, one side of the house to the other.

I can see the entire downtown skyline.

I can see the Bay Bridge.

But most of the time I look at the tops of the trees, the scudding clouds, the blue of the sky.

Sometimes I will listen to music.

Sometimes I will just sit quietly.

But I always look at that sky and it replenishes me, the blue, the depths of it, the calling of calmness that comes over me.

I feel serene and there have been times, rare, but they have happened, when I can sit for a half hour.

Most of the time I get five, ten minutes.

And a lot of the time.

I don’t get any at all, not since the kids have been out of school.

The baby and I hang out more and more, oh my God his smiles when he sees me, melting.

I joked earlier today with the mom that it was the warm smell of baby that was the reason my clients are re-booking with me.

Re-booking.

I have three clients now that all have had more than two sessions and are continuing to schedule with me.

And the one client who has requested me.

I haven’t been assigned to him yet, so I don’t know the outcome, but my peers in group supervision seemed very positive about it.

If I have hours available, which I do, and the client request me, I let the assistant director and the director know and hopefully I will get that client.

It was actually that specific client that led my supervisor to put down his foot.

We had only gotten to discuss two of my cases and when I got into the details of what this new client was going through I thought for a minute he was going to throw down his notepad and call up my internship and scold them.

He collected himself and then talked to me about being a brand new therapist and how I was still opening and learning and how it shouldn’t be forced.

I shouldn’t be getting razor bladed out of my protective wrapping quite so fast.

I felt a mighty respect for the man and his consideration of me and my abilities but also in his protectiveness.

It also means that there was nothing wrong with me feeling overwhelmed last week.

I was.

Simple.

There have been times though when I have been all, “I got this,” and maybe I do and maybe I’m faking it until I make it, but generally I do pull it the fuck off and I do well and I am a good therapist.

I mean.

I am learning like fucking crazy, my instincts are really good and I’m able to track my clients and what they are sharing really well.

I know I surprised my client today with my recall of our session, and also that I was able to build some trust, I’m listening, I’m there, I’m empathetic.

I also don’t want to be overwhelmed and I want to show up and be of service.

I have a routine that works really well for me now that I know how long it takes for me to get from work to my internship.

I get done with work, use the bathroom, refresh my lip gloss, step out of my nanny shoes, literally, put on my therapist shoes, today a pair of Fluevogs, my “Leader” black stacked heel Mary Janes, and collect my bags and my files and hop on my scooter.

I get to the internship, lock down the scooter, take my basket bag out of the basket, key into the building and take the elevator.

I pray on the way up.

I breathe.

I open my office door, depending on what day of the week it is I am in a different office.

I pull my client file, review my notes, look over my supervision notes, tidy the room, hang my jacket, secure my purse and then pray again, to carry the message, not the mess, to be of service, to be helpful to be a good therapist.

I look at my phone and make sure that the volume is turned off.

And I put it away.

I always make sure that I have five minutes to breathe and sit and be settled in my chair.

The phone rings.

I buzz in my client.

I give them a minute to get to my floor, I put the Please Do Not Disturb, Session in Progress, sign on my door and go client my client.

And like that.

I’m a therapist.

Sometimes overwhelmed.

But mostly.

Vastly.

Amazingly grateful.

To be doing this work.

To be of service.

To serve.

I am so grateful.

Even when I am overwhelmed.

It passes and the gratitude washes over me and I know.

I am held and carried.

God didn’t bring me this far to drop me on my ass.

I don’t think so.

I’m just beginning.

There is so much to learn.

Just one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.

Living in this present.

The gift.

My gift.

This thing that keeps giving.

This love.

This grace.

This life.

It is not mine to command.

But only to serve.

May I do so with continuous grace.

And no small amount of humility.

May it be enough.

As I know.

Know.

That I am enough.

 

Exhilarated

July 1, 2017

Holy shit.

That was an amazing session.

And.

It was just a consult.

But it was more than a consult, we got into it.

My client, see, I am already calling the client mine, requested that we work together moving forward.

I do have openings.

But as I don’t know the exact way the internship assigns clients I’m not sure if I request the client or that the client does that to the assistant director and the director, who decide who works with whom.

The client and I definitely made a connection and as I mentioned it went beyond just an initial intake and the hour flew by.

I was surprised that I hadn’t even once looked at the clock, it just was so full, the session.

I did tell the client that the assistant director would contact him within two weeks with the therapist that had been assigned to him.

I hadn’t even entertained the idea that he was going to ask to work with me.

But he did.

I told him I did have availability and that he should contact the assistant director as she’s primarily responsible for calendaring the clients.

I also left a note in the chart and put it in the director’s files.

So.

Yeah.

Full week of work, plus overtime and five clients seen.

Not too fucking bad.

Sort of amazed actually.

The week whipped by.

I have a full and busy weekend too.

I have packages to pick up at the post office, framed prints to grab from Cheap Pete’s, I need to do a little more grocery shopping–I managed to sneak in a foray over to Gus’s Community Market before seeing my client–and pick up a couple of wardrobe additions and get a mani/pedi/wax.

I have to go to group supervision tomorrow at 2p.m.

It does throw my schedule a bit having that chunk of time in the middle of the day on a Saturday, but so it goes.

I signed up for a yoga class in the morning before my day gets off and running.

I am hoping to do the post office and the print pick up before I head into my internship.

I will be hanging out with my fellows and doing the deal in the NOPA at 7p.m. so I have a few hours I can run errands after the internship.

Probably won’t try to cram getting my nails and eyebrows done in that time.

I like to enjoy the relaxing and not be stressed about getting to the next thing.

I have a lady I’m meeting on Sunday here at the house to do some work, but Sunday afternoon looks pretty free, which is nice, since it’s my one official day off a week.

I’m probably going to do some clothes shopping.

Having clients has definitely pushed me to flushing out my wardrobe.

I often can make what I wear to my nanny gig work for my therapy gig, I bring an extra set of shoes, typically one of my pairs of Fluevogs, and I take off my nanny shoes when I get done with my shift, and put on my therapy shoes.

It really helps me get into the role.

I have been less and less concerned about my hair or my tattoos, being well dressed, I mean, not fancy pants dressed, I did wear jeans in my session tonight, underneath a Michael Kors dress with polka dots that I scored at Crossroads, but I am polished and I think that offsets the tattoos and besides, it’s fucking San Francisco.

As a dear friend once said to me, “my therapist has pink hair and tattoos, you’ll fit right in.”

He was totally right.

I am fitting in.

It feels good to walk the halls and I am getting more and more ideas about how I want my own space to look like.

I got the pleasure of being in the best office tonight.

Really.

The best.

The director even told me that it was the room everyone wanted to work in and I feel pretty damn lucky that I get to have it, considering that I am so new at the internship.

Then again.

I have night-time sessions and I think that makes the difference.

I also don’t get this particular office all the time.

Just once a week.

But man.

It gave me some ideas.

I have been taking ideas with me from my own therapy sessions, things that work for me in my therapists space and things that don’t.

As well as from my supervisors space.

And also now from this particular office.

The director told me the woman who works out of the space used to be an interior director before she got her MFT licence.

Yeah she was.

It was fantastic.

A beautiful Eames brown leather chair.

And.

A big warm brown leather couch.

An antique globe, steam punk lights, vintage books, brown wood bookshelves, antiqued window frame mirror, big brass lamps.

She had pretty throws, big pillows and a soft sage green afghan over a low slung brown leather and kelly green fabric bench.

It was inviting and warm and generous.

I wanted to meet her after I walked in.

There was great wallpaper, black birds in bare limbed trees on brown paper.

It was just a great space.

Somethings didn’t work for me, but it gave me some ideas and I do so look forward to when I get to have my own space to practice out of.

I left the session feeling so exhilarated that I zipped home and spontaneously cooked up a batch of homemade soup in conjunction with making my dinner

It’s nice to have the smell of soup cooking in my house and also to have the week laid to rest behind me and a nice, albeit full, weekend in front of me.

So grateful for this life.

For these opportunities to serve.

To be available for it all is such a gift.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Two Down

April 30, 2017

One to go.

I finished my Trauma paper today.

It was a big deal.

I am super happy and grateful it’s done and I’m also glad to let the material rest, it was challenging material, traumatic stuff you might say, and I am happy to let it be for a while.

I will still have to go back and dip back into the material as I will give a presentation of my paper in the class next weekend.

I can handle that, oh, I’m sure I will cry, it was a day for tears.

But also a day for laughter and much joy.

I just got back from a big dinner get together and fellowshipping and I am so awful glad I went, it was just the perfect break from homework and I got to be connected to people and see people and talk to people.

Like.

Real live people, not just social media interactions.

I also got asked out on a date!

I was not expecting that.

And yes.

I have a date for tomorrow.

That will definitely give me incentive to write my last paper.

I am also speaking at a spot at 6p.m.

I will have my paper done by 5:30 p.m.

That was the promise I made to myself.

So when I was asked I was actually able to say that I could go to dinner tomorrow night after my service commitment, because I already knew that I would have my last paper written by the time I went to cover the commitment at 6p.m.

And now I damn well better.

I don’t want to have a paper dangling over my head.

It’s interesting.

I could tell immediately that he was attracted to me and I was intrigued, and also a tiny bit cautious.

I don’t date guys in early recovery, sort of rule of thumb and sometimes when I meet a guy whom I haven’t seen around before I get cautious.

Turns out he’s from out-of-town.

But not so far from out-of-town that he’s untenable to date.

San Rafael.

That’s not too bad and actually it’s an easier bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, for someone to navigate from to me as I’m so far in the Outer Sunset.

Just blocks from the beach.

The beach that I didn’t think I was going to get to go to and was feeling a little sad about that today when I walked out the door to yoga this morning.

It was glorious today.

When it’s warm in the Outer Sunset at 8:45 a.m. it’s going to be a nice day at the beach.

I was happy to get to yoga, so I had no thoughts about also trying to squeeze in beach time, I had the paper to write and I also had to meet a couple of ladies at Tart to Tart from noon until 2p.m.

I was glad to be out in the sun but had no beach expectations.

I got back to the house at 2:30 made some lunch, sat outside on the back patio and soaked up some rays and then sat down and cranked out my paper.

I was done by five p.m.

I started the writing at 3p.m.

Thank God for the time that I had this week at work, I had all the material ready and it was just a matter of following the guidelines for the paper and writing it.

I wrote an eight page, 2,300 word paper.

I was done by 5p.m.

It was still sunny and I didn’t have to be to the spot until 7p.m.

I decided to walk down to the beach and get some sand under my toes.

I threw on my flip-flops, grabbed a bottle of water and had a glorious 45 minutes of chill time, then walked up to Trouble Coffee and grabbed a treat cafe au lait.

I sat outside in the parklet and enjoyed the feeling of being done with my paper and knowing I was going to go see some friends tonight and hang out and go out to dinner.

I got the paper done, I got to go to the beach, and I got asked on a date.

Fucking not bad for a Saturday.

“Have fun, be flexible,” she admonished me.

This happens a lot recently when I meet with my person and she’s right, I can get buried in the doing and the going and the moving and the shaking and I can and do get isolated.

It felt so good to be with my people tonight.

And.

Yes.

Flirting with someone certainly did not hurt.

He actually asked for my number before going out to fellowship, so that made fellowship even more titillating.

I felt very alive.

I still do.

I am grateful that I get to do the work that is going to help me be a good therapist, but also have a full, well-rounded, happy life, is also a huge part of being a good therapist.

I get to model a good life, a life that I would advocate for my clients, I get to lead my own happy life, and being connected to others is a huge deal for me.

Grateful to get to balance it all out and rather awed that it worked out so well today.

Oh sure.

I had some anxiety.

I had some push back on sitting down and doing the work.

But.

I have my routine.

I said my prayers.

I did it anyway.

And two hours and eight pages later I was gleefully printing off my final paper for Trauma class.

It was an accomplishment.

I also couldn’t have done the work that fast if I hadn’t already done so much of the background work on the paper.

The same kind of work that I did for the paper that I will write tomorrow.

I have hella incentive now.

I’m up to yoga in the morning, back here, shower, breakfast, morning pages, then I’ll plunge in.

I hope to have four to five pages done by lunch time.

I’ll take a lunch break and then kick the rest of it out by 5p.m.

Just like today.

And I’ll celebrate by doing some service.

Going out to dinner.

And.

Making out after.

I can’t eat sugar, but that doesn’t mean a girl doesn’t like something sweet once in a while.

Heh.

It’s The Weekend!

April 1, 2017

No it’s not.

I mean.

Technically, yes, it’s Friday and tomorrow I will get up and go to yoga as I have been doing on the weekends, but instead of having the day to do with what I would, I will be working.

I’m ok with it.

Not thrilled.

But.

Ok.

First.

Let’s be frank.

The extra money is nice.

I just paid rent and I’m not skint, not be a long shot, but I am short and since the whole out-of-pocket dentist deal, I’ve been a little more paycheck to paycheck then I would like to be.

Overall.

There’s nothing to worry about.

And hey.

I just applied for some more student loans!

Yay.

Gah.

So, there’s that.

I decided that I will not sabotage my holiday plans to Paris, I have been saving up for this and I have been holding onto my tax return specifically to go to Paris, to have my ten days and eat them too, drink the cafes, eat the art, walk the streets, wander through the arrondissements, walk the parks, sit and watch the Parisians go by, I deserve this vacation.

I have been working my ass off.

I decided to apply for the summer financial aid that is being offered for my program instead of dipping into my travel fund.

It’s school.

It’s not cocaine.

So.

I don’t want to hear it.

Plus.

My student loans are the only debt I have, I don’t have credit cards or anything outstanding on my scooter–bought that in cash–I have no debt of any kind nor have I in some time, I’m ok with taking out a little more.

I’m paying for it either way and I also realized that though I am ok with paying the therapy once a week out-of-pocket, it would be nice to throw some of my financial aid at that as well, since technically I do have to do it for my degree.

Anyway.

The long and short of it is that I’m not going to live in financial fear, I am going to take care of myself, and the money that I will get for working over the weekend for the family will be nice.

And

Yes.

In cash.

No taxes taken out, thank you very much.

I’m also happy to do it to help out the family, the mom has been so appreciative of my help and flexibility with them, especially with dad traveling for work, that it doesn’t seem that much of an imposition.

Plus.

I have done my school work and I’m pretty much prepped for next weekends classes.

Unusual to have it all done, except for a bit of reading I’ll address next week, and not to have any papers I have to write the weekend before, for which I’m really grateful.

I also know that I will be having fun adventures with my charges, I’m going to get them out of the house and either off to the Academy of Sciences, the Zoo, or the Exploratorium.

We will not be going to the Upper Noe Valley Rec center, as lovely as that can be, we will be having a field trip.

And it’s going to be good weather.

And I will get to yoga before work and go do the deal afterward.

The time will pass and I won’t be doing super long days, just six hours.

I am a little tired, I won’t lie, but I have also paced myself well this week, gotten out to do the deal every night, seen folks, spoken, shared, did service, took care of what needed to be taken care of, shared experience, strength, hope, and got decent sleep all week.

Not bad.

I even got flowers from the mom today at work for doing such a nice job for them this week.

I was totally not expecting that and it was so sweet and touching, I teared up a little.

This job is such a gift.

I am a very lucky girl.

I got smiles from the baby today.

Snuggles from both the older kids.

I got to see my former charges at school pickup.

And.

Ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles (not for me, but for the kids) from Bi-Rite Ice Creamery.

Vicarious joy.

I had an amazing afternoon start with the mom and solo time with the baby I wasn’t expecting, it was the first time I was left completely on my own with the baby and it felt like a really nice thing, an affirmation of my abilities, but also a trusting and that was nice.

Things are good.

Life is full.

The days are longer, full of sunshine and I feel brighter too.

Certainly more accepting of myself and my process with my job, where I am at with the internship, the fact, god damn, the fucking fact, that I have all the paperwork signed and turned in, that I navigated this deal since December and have it ready to go and that I’ll be starting in summer, a full semester before I need to, that I get to start accruing my hours really soon.

Like.

In two months.

I start my internship May 22nd.

The day after I get back from Paris.

That date is actually for the paperwork, my supervisor looked up at me, pushed his glasses up his nose and said, “well, let’s just put the 22nd down for your start, but I think we’ll start you on the 23rd, give you a day to get over your jet lag.”

Much appreciated.

Damn.

I’m 3/4s of the way through the semester, two weekends of work left, three papers, a bunch of reading, but really, I’m getting there.

Then.

Paris.

So happy I bought the ticket.

My life is a dream.

Especially when I see it through the perspective of the service I get to do, just by showing up and letting others bear witness to my process and journey.

So many gifts.

Life.

Lived.

Moment to moment.

In.

This.

The.

Present.

Ratchet It Down

March 31, 2017

I’m trying to get mellow.

It has been a long day, much was done, much accomplished.

Biggest accomplishment was getting out to do the deal at a spot up in Potrero Hill that I don’t get to very often anymore since it’s an 8:30 p.m. gig and I’m trying to not be out that late on ‘school nights’ but, I knew when I was watching the lights of the city come up as the sun set that I needed to go and get my connection on.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a while and get reconnected and get some good hugs and see some sweet faces.

Always a plus.

And now I’ll be able to go into work tomorrow and be a kind, tolerant, generous person, the kind of woman I want to be.

I told myself it was going to be a long weekend.

No days off for this lady.

So I wanted to be getting the connection in.

I will also be doing the deal all through the weekend, but there’s not much down time for me.

Super grateful I got all the school stuff out-of-the-way.

So much stuff.

I met with my advisor today who is also the head of the department, which is fun, I get to share my experiences and suggestions with someone who has a vested interest in creating positive change in my program.

I’m not quite sure how we got on topic, something to do with the goal of pursuing the PhD and how I will need to do a lot of writing and I just chuckled and told him that my writing is fine, that I have a writing practice that I have been doing steady as she goes for ten years.

And this little blog that I have been doing for 7 and 1/2 years.

I have a practice you might say.

I told him that there are some folks in my cohort who have expressed some jealousy at how fast I can whip out a paper.

But.

That I have a method to it, yes, the practice is super helpful, I mean, fuck, it keeps my typing speed at a maximum I’ll tell you that, but it also is a practice and the more I do it the easier it becomes.

And.

I have a method to my madness when I am writing a school paper and I shared that method with him.

His eyes lit up.

“Do you think you could do something for me?” He asked.

I nodded yes and he laid out his idea for a teaching panel about how to write papers.

He wants me to sit on it and help incoming students with the process of writing papers.

I was very flattered.

And I’m always willing to share my experience with doing the work.

Of course.

It’s work.

That’s the thing, it’s not hard per se, but there is effort involved.

Sometimes when I talk to people about what I am doing or how I am doing I apparently give off this casualness about the work, but it’s work, I show up and do every day.

EVERY DAY.

Twice a day.

And let me be honest.

It saves me, it nurtures me, it is art, it love, it is poesie, it is pretty flowers in my hair.

I can make up the most fantastical amazing things the words and ideas and images I can suddenly be standing on the Trocadero in Paris and be transported to the sound of the Seine and the batobus going by, the cars rolling over the bridge or me, on my bicycle rolling along the bike path headed towards Rue de Commerce to see some fellows and get to down and do the deal.

I can see squares with green grass and gravel paths and benches under beech trees.

Or.

Like tonight.

Riding my scooter home from Potrero Hill the moon, oh the moon, a heavy-handed ladle of butter in a midnight blue velvet enamel coated spoon, the syrup of sweet heady jasmine floating to me through the cool air.

Or.

How that one turn from Fell Street as it becomes Lincoln Avenue and the open swath of green grass that leads into the park proper, how the air there is always cooler and brushes over me like a cat with cold fur from being outside in the night.

Furry and soft and petulant.

Then the over blown smell of cut clover at Keezar Park, a rounded bend in the road and the moon now to my right peeking and booing from in between the Monterey Pines in the park.

Divinity.

I mean.

Shit.

I could go on like that forever.

There is a logic to how I write and there is a rhyme and reason.

Sometimes I can explain that desperate call in my heart and sometimes the words fail.

But.

I keep showing up anyway.

And that is the trick.

“Just breathe and show up,” I told myself this morning as I walked out the door, saying good-bye to my little home by the sea to scooter off to school and jump through the next hoops to do the work to eventually, one day, be a great big grown up therapist instead of a junior baby in waiting.

I jest a little.

But.

It is a long road ahead.

Nonetheless.

It is important that I acknowledge the movement forward.

It is a big deal.

All my papers signed off and turned in.

All the “t’s” crossed.

All the “i’s” dotted.

I even talked with the financial aid department today.

I wasn’t expecting to be in practicum this summer, it just came together that way.

The summer practicum costs about $2200 to do.

Basically $1,098 per credit, was what I was told, with the caveat of “don’t quote me on that, but I believe that will be the cost” from the financial aid admin I spoke to today.

I decided at one point that I don’t want to take out any loans for school this summer.

I have a little in savings from my tax return.

Then.

I  got a financial aid e-mail from the school and I thought, maybe I should, that way if anything happens I won’t have to dip into my travel savings.

I really want to give myself a nice break in May and be able to do all the things in Paris that will make going to Paris all the fun that I need.

So.

Tomorrow.

One more little hoop to jump.

My paperwork is turned into the registrar and it’s official, I am an intern.

But.

The “course” needs to be paid for.

I will do the application, give myself the gift of a worry free trip in May and get my grad school on when I get back.

Internship begins May 22nd.

I will be ready.

Yes.

Yes, I will.

Slip Into Something More Comfortable

February 13, 2017

Like my bunny slippers.

Yes.

Baby.

Ooh.

That feels so good.

I wore my new Fluevogs today, my interview shoes, all day at school.

Loads of compliments, but they are not quite broke in yet and I realized when I got home, yeah, time to take them off, and slide into my slippers.

Happy feet.

Happy heart.

I got to see my cohort out in style today.

I gave everyone a Valentines Day card.

Felt really good and sweet and I love to spread the love.

I do.

It’s just who I am and I am glad to know it, to have it in my heart, to show it, to accept it when it comes back too.

I also got to have lunch with my friends in cohort, catch up, share stories, be together, be seen and after I got out I ran a quick errand then caught a late afternoon coffee, decaf thank you, with a lady and do some work showing up for each other in honesty and good faith.

Then.

Go speak.

And.

Do the deal.

Then have dinner with another friend who unexpectedly came to the spot and that was a gift, I am so grateful for my friends.

So grateful.

It was really good to catch up with my friend at dinner and we could have hung out for hours more, but ah yes, the work week calls, it’s not quite so siren song.

I mean, I suppose it is a siren song, I can’t ignore it, but I can lament, a tiny bit the end of the weekend the coming of the work.

Though.

I am grateful too for that.

I am.

I really like my new job and it feels good to look forward to work and to look forward to seeing the family, to look forward to helping them and seeing how big the baby has gotten over the weekend and to cook for them.

Such gifts.

So much life.

I am just in a super happy, serene place.

I am also well fed, hydrated, showered and have had sweet, smart company today.

Life.

You could say.

Is good.

Very good.

All life is good I am grateful to be alive.

Period.

If life were fair.

I have said many, many times.

I would be dead.

But.

I am still here, still making a go at it, still learning, and loving and changing.

I have plenty to get ready for this next week, school stuff mostly, I have to get my paper work in order for the next steps in my practicum process, but I talked to my advisor today and was very excited by his excitement for me and for getting placed.

I’m a little a head of the curve in regards to the rest of the cohort, and there is no judgment there, I just knew I needed to be in position to get what I needed to take care of myself.

But I must continue to be proactive and take the next small steps.

I will give myself a day or two to breathe and come down from the weekend of classes before I leap back into the work, at least tomorrow, at least one day of down time, not taking my books to work, just easing into the work week.

Which may not feel easy in my brain since I am going to ask off for Burning Man dates, but that too is just asking a question, I just have expectations.

When I can let go of the expectation though, and just know that I am going to be wherever God wants me to be, usually in a pace of maximum service then I know I am going to be ok.

I ask.

I let go of the results.

Of course.

I want to go so it feels loaded, when ever my wants are on the table it can bring up fear.

I’m not going to get what I want or I’m going to lose something I already have.

I’d rather ask in faith, knowing that whatever the outcome, I’m taken care of.

I’m going to Paris in May for fucks sake, I get to go on vacation, I’ll be starting my internship, I have a job, I have a home to live in, I have nice shoes and clothes, I have my scooter.

I am taken care of.

Heck.

I have a tax return returning.

It’s pretty good, this life of mine, really, superb.

I feel that my little blog is a bit rambling tonight, but I have to give myself some credit, I have gotten up early every day for the last three days, shown up prepared and did the work in my classes.

I did a lot of work.

Lots of emotional work.

Lots of staying in the moment work.

Lots of dyad work.

I may allow myself to be a little all over the place, I just feel so content and blissed out on having gotten to see my friends, both in school and out of school, to have had some social engagement, to feel like life is not just all work and recovery and school, there are these wonderful beings called friends that want to see me and spend time with me and how lucky am I?

Hella lucky.

Hella grateful.

And yes.

Hella tired.

My bed beckons.

I bid you adieu.

Bon nuit.

Bon soir.

Trop gros bisous pour toi.

A demain mes amies!

J’aime toi beaucoup.

xo


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