Our Wild Storm: Seeking Balance is an Ongoing Project

Our Wild Storm: Seeking Balance is an Ongoing Project

I’m currently watching the docuseries “One Strange Rock,” narrated by Will Smith, on Netflix. Since I was young, I’ve been fascinated with the human project of space exploration. I even have memorabilia from several shuttle launches, which I was fortunate enough to watch in person. I was interested in both the science of space exploration as I was fascinated by the unknown and uncharted, and the kinds of hypotheses that could emerge from confronting the unknown. My creative spark often gets ignited when I’m faced with endless possibilities, like the expanse of space, the depths of the ocean, or the ever-shifting processes of the human psyche.

After all, as Carl Sagan has said, “We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

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Facing your inner oppressor

Facing your inner oppressor

Charlottesville. Ferguson. Orlando. Neo-Nazis. Police brutality. Racism. Classism. Fear. Fear, hate, and Othering have a figurehead now, and people who were once hidden in their hate are now empowered to come forward. As a white person who gives a shit, it is painful knowing the reality that this kind of hate is on the shoulders of marginalized people day in and day out, when it truly should be the burden of white folks such as myself who are complicit in systems of stolen* status and privilege.

So if you’re one of the many white folks asking, “What can I do?”, I suggest you consider the words of my friend and colleague Lily Sloane: “You have to fight your inner Nazis before fighting the outer Nazis.” 

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Power, Contact, and Transformation Through Radical Psychotherapy

Power, Contact, and Transformation Through Radical Psychotherapy

One of the most important and meaningful things in my work is making contact with each of my clients. Without relational contact, whatever work my clients and I do together becomes irrelevant, indigestible, insoluble, and fragmented, which can be traumatizing, re-activating, and particularly harmful on micro and macro levels. That’s not to say rifts and miscommunications don’t happen, even when we are aiming for contact. In fact, that’s often the life blood of our work together, as these inevitable rifts let us know that something is feeling missed inside of you, and therefore there is something that needs to be found and contacted.

So how can you and I make contact, even when you may be feeling an intuitive skepticism and mistrust of what I represent, or even what the vulnerability of emotional contact represents?

I think it has a lot to do with how both of us understand, and can speak to, power, privilege, and hegemony. If I don’t recognize and own my power in the therapeutic dyad, then it is more likely to be misused or enacted without resolution.

In service of a truly transformative experience for my clients and society at large, I aim to stay alive and awake in my radicalism even while maintaining a kind of therapeutic neutrality that is important to my work.

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Caring for yourself is necessary. Please keep showing up.

Caring for yourself is necessary. Please keep showing up.

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." –Audre Lorde

Showing up can mean a lot of things.

 It can mean marching in the streets.

It can mean donating to local groups dedicated to lifting up the lives of people in marginalized communities.

It can mean sleeping in when you are tired.

It can mean supporting good journalism by subscribing to newspapers and magazines who prioritize unbiased reporting.

It can mean reading books, poems, and speeches by revolutionaries who have come before us, and those on the ground working to make sure our hard-won rights are not stripped from us and the ones we love.

It can mean hosting friends at your home who are willing to talk about the hard stuff.

It can mean less visible ways of showing up when staying home is necessary.

It can mean honoring the process of grieving, taking the risk of loving, daring to make space for your voice and the voices of those at risk.

There is room for all of us in this.

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Work-Life Balance: What It Is (And How To Do It)

Work-Life Balance: What It Is (And How To Do It)

Do you believe your work takes priority over your self-care? Are you an activist bringing work home with you because of the imperative that "racism never sleeps" and "the system keeps working and so do you"? (Both true, except for that assumption at the end there.) Are you a tech professional who prefers to do the spreadsheets at home because you can concentrate better on the couch than you can at the office?

It makes me wonder if you might have been taught to value productivity over emotions. I also wonder, did you get the message that if you put your needs and your health first, you're selfish and weak? Were you told that the end result is more important than the path you take to get there? Complying with these messages might have served you in surviving your childhood, but they're probably also taking away from your enjoyment of adult life. If you're fixated and focused only on the deliverables, you will have a hard time letting play and relaxation into your life.

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