I am sitting at the dog park as I write my first blog post in earnest. I have *thought* about writing one for awhile. I have even gone so far as to write a list of topic ideas. But I have yet to put pixel to paper and actually start. Until now. Why now? Why this exact moment? Gratitude. Simply gratitude.
I am sitting at a dog park in the middle of a Tuesday watching my dogs play in the hilarious way that only dogs (and maybe we as children) can. I am sitting at a dog park in the middle of the day because I took a leap of faith and left my steady eddy reliable 9-5 job in order to rebuild my private practice and create more flexibility in my life. I am sitting at a dog park in the middle of the day because so many people have been there to help me grow, to challenge me, to encourage me to be the most self-expressed version of myself. The people like my heroine and professional girl crush, Brene Brown, who are teaching me that, for better or for worse, it’s a higher spiritual practice to “chose discomfort over regret” and to embrace myself in my full authenticity than to keep pretending like everything’s okay.
Don’t get me wrong, some days I label this as “insanity” and experience panic about leaving a full-time job and freak out in fear about how I’m going to make it all work. But, in moments like this, as I am sitting at the dog part in the middle of a Tuesday and the sun is shining on my face and my dogs are leaping over each other in playful mock-attacks, I am so sure this is the right path. So grateful that I am on it.
As I breath into that feeling of gratitude, I am flooded with images of people and experiences who/that have brought me to this exact moment: my sales and marketing experience in the tech field with Scott Duffy at CBS Sportsline and later the incredible women at Women.com – a career that was exciting but not deeply fulfilling and that launched me on a search for a career that would touch me (and others) on a soul level; my first therapist Suzanne Black who helped me navigate an angst filled process of differentiating from my family of origin; my parents who, despite our myriad of differences, taught me an incredible work ethic that continues to push me even when I feel like giving up; my solo backpacking journey through Nepal and Thailand, catapulting me on spiritual quest that I am still ceaselessly pursuing; Naropa’s Contemplative psych program, which demanded that I show up and do everything I would ever ask my clients to do; Jennifer Vitaro at Natural Flow who opened her naturopathic office for me to start seeing clients; my former mother-in-law who opened her home so I didn’t have to pay rent when I outgrew the Flow and it was time to find my own office; Charla & Gary at SOS who took me under their wings as their first hire and gave me the opportunity to help shape the program with them for 7 years while providing me the freedom to build my private practice (the first time); the sweet, now deceased, Garth Neilsen who opened 827 Grant to me and two colleagues to find a more permanent office space; the many MANY clinicians in Denver who put their faith in me as a leader and helped me launch the first ever Denver Metro iaedp chapter; Eating Recovery Center for incredible clinical experience I gained with incredible, talented colleagues while working with IP/RES/PHP patients & for the emotional support I received there as I went through my divorce; my phone girlfriend, Kate, who supported me for HOURS in the most painful part of the post-divorce journey and continues to support me through the ups and downs of discovering myself and my life “after”; my supervisor, Duey Freeman and colleague, Rita Bergland, whom I have been meeting with monthly for TEN YEARS!!!; my Wise Women group who lovingly but firmly push me to start doing “my own thing” instead of taking yet another training, challenging me to bring my spiritual and intuitive orientation my fully into the healing work I do rather than saving it for just a select few.
This barely skims the surface. The list goes on an on and on. Every step of the way, every moment, I recognize that there have been people and experiences and that have contributed to shaping me and helping me grow (sometimes resentfully, kicking and screaming!!) into the person and the clinician I am today. It seems unreal as I look back upon ALL of the people and experiences with which I have been blessed – and I am incredulous. It makes me realize how interconnected we all are: You support me, I serve another as a therapist, they return to their home and maybe interact differently with their loved ones who in turn go into the workplace or school and relate to their peeps, etc etc, etc.
I am so grateful to the mindfulness practices and the meditation trainings that have contributed to my ability to see my life more clearly and recognize the Me in You and the You in Me. For that, I am grateful beyond words.
I invite you to take a moment to slow down, take a breath, and look at all the people who have contributed to you becoming the incredible person you are today…. I think you’ll be amazed and, like me, grateful!