As counselors, we all want to be able to live our lives the way we help others to live. Being a walking example of a mindful, open and vulnerable human being can somtimes be tough, but if we ask our clients to do it, so too should we. At Minds in Motion, we feel it is necessary, or even crucial to walk the walk, and practice what we are facilitating with our clients. I want to highlight Denise about this very thing, as she went through spine surgery last June, recovering enough to do her lifelong goal of trekking alone in India in October, only to find out she would need a knee replacement in December.
Sometimes life can surprise us with medical issues that we may not be ready for, and this was what happened with Denise. As she was planning for her big trip to India, she made sure she took care of herself to have spine surgery, but the knee surgery soon after these two big events was a big pill to swallow. Denise hasn’t been in the office very much the last few months and now that she is back full time, I asked her how she got through her time of body surgeries and big adventures. Here are the gems that she shared when life requires resiliency:
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Whether she was navigating alone abroad or stuck in bed with a new knee, she was sure to ask for what she needed. She was sure to say no when necessary and vulnerably ask when it wasn’t offered.
WATCH YOUR OWN STINKING THINKING
When she would get hard on herself, she would notice her dialogue and gently bring herself back to the present moment, trying to be kinder in her self narratives.
I’m glad Denise mentioned this one because it’s my personal favorite. We should have self compassion for our running dialogue of self negative or critical thinking processes. However, when resiliency is required, we also need to have self compassion surrounding the ripple effect of other consequences from our primary problem. For example, having compassion for herself that she wasn’t able to work as much due to her knee surgery, and being more isocially solated because of the icy winter and requiring crutches.
PATIENCE AND TOLERANCE
Whether traveling abroad alone or working through pain on your own couch, having repeated patience and tolerance to unexpected circumstances was crucial for Denise. Trying not to judge the pain or other people’s reactions, she practiced having patience for not knowing what was ahead or how long the pain would last.
Denise is back and ready to get back into her full practice again, if you have seen her and are missing her, or want to schedule with her, she would be happy to see you! you can schedule her here:
I feel honored to work with all the Minds in Motion team who tries to live lives of mindful, compassionate and kind lives. We aren’t perfect, but we all know this is a continual learning process that is about the journey and not the destination.
Angela Melzer, LCSW
Owner of Minds in Motion Clinic