I very much enjoyed the opportunity to engage in a hope-filled conversation with Dr. Leslie Cole to discuss her work and philosophies in regards to opiate addiction and her hope-inspired book, Quit Pain Pills: Without the Withdrawal. Thank you, Dr. Leslie, for sharing your personal story regarding your food addiction and your work helping others along their healing journey from addiction to triumph.
“Leslie Cole and her husband, Tim, are from Nashville, Tennessee. She is a physician specializing in addiction medicine and is the author of the new book “Quit Pain Pills without the Withdrawal. How to Break Free from Your Dependence and Finally Wake Up Feeling Normal.” She is very interested in the role that attention, hope, kindness, and safe community can play in the healing of people, having experienced healing herself. You can learn more about her book at www.quitpainpills.com where you can find her contact information.”
Grab that journal or note pad and let’s get our positivity on! This month we will address the following two Positivies of Persistence areas together:
What does persistence really mean?
How do we define positivities?
So, what does persistence really mean?
By definition: “Persistence, as used in psychology, refers to a personality trait that causes a person to persevere in a task despite obstacles or frustrations rather than simply giving up. This trait, often associated with stubbornness and perfectionism, is a prime ingredient in success in many pursuits such as athletics, academics, business, etc. One common example of this is seen in sports where a player continues to play the game despite injuries, rather than abandon the game and their teammates” Persistence. (n.d.). In Alleydog.com’s online glossary. Retrieved from: https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition-cit.php?term=Persistence
My sister once told me I am the most persistent person she’s ever met. I consider that one of my most treasured compliments to date. Considering my trauma history it’s miraculous I found the gift of persistence. Or was it?
While some scholars may attribute persistence to a need for control, I like to take the stance with those who look at persistence as a will to not give up. More and more research is emerging on resilience and its positive impact in off-setting ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) even learned resilience skills in adulthood. My opinion is that persistence is fueled by resilience. Thankfully, my persistence trait was forged from the resilience instilled in me by supportive relationships in my childhood (my grandmother, my best friend’s parents, and a kind-hearted teacher).
Think about your own life. Would you consider persistence as a trait you hold? If not, do you believe you can develop it?
Exercise: Write down THREE ways you have demonstrated persistence in your life. Then choose ONE of those and write yourself a one-page (or more) thank you letter.
Next, let’s look at positivity . . . what is it?
“The state or character of being positive: a positivity that accepts the world as it is.” Positivity. (noun). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/positivity\
Considering my nickname is “glitter-shitter” . . . I can probably talk this one up! However, it really is a work in progress and took some self-esteem work to reach this status of looking at life from a rainbows-and-sunshine perspective (most days).
Practicing positive affirmations (see my website for a scrolling list of heart-shaped affirmations I created for myself), mindfulness exercises and focusing on being present in the NOW, along with concerted efforts to look for the gift within difficult moments, all contributed to this positive state of being.
Do you consider yourself a positive person? If not, are you willing to take steps in order to create a more positive outlook?
Exercise: Make a list of ways you have demonstrated positvity in your life. Your list can have 1, 10, 100, 1000 examples. Whatever you feel compelled to write. Then examine ONE of those more closely, writing down as much detail as possible about that particular positivity event.
Coming up next month: A checklist of positive outcomes and Habits and hurdles.
What a hope-infused conversation with Jim Ellis and Dr. Sara Gilman regarding the soon-to-be-released educational film, Keeping the Peace.
“A 30-minute educational film – titled Keeping the Peace – will be gifted to police agencies across San Diego and then the nation for in-house training of officers. The purpose? To bring awareness to the stresses and traumas experienced by officers and law enforcement personnel while on duty in order to empower them to normalize their emotional and mental responses to on-the-job experiences and to take action in alleviating, diffusing and treating the symptoms of trauma (PTSD), so that they can retain wellness in all areas of their lives.”
James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright and reporter who owns Legacy Production, a San Diego production company that in 2012 produced the acclaimed “Indoctrinated: The Grooming of our Children into Prostitution.” An author of eight books and producer of 100 video presentations, Ellis is now working on a new educational film “Keeping The Peace” supporting law enforcement officers in their mental and emotional wellness.
Dr. Gilman, is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and has a doctorate degree in Psychology, with a certification in Sports Psychology. In 2017, her doctoral dissertation focused on the effects of cumulative traumatic stress exposure in first responders and the use of EMDR as an early intervention. For the past 32 years, she has specialized in the areas of Traumatic Stress, Addictions, and Peak Performance. She is the co-founder and President of Coherence Associates, Inc., an individual & family counseling corporation, with offices in Encinitas & Rancho Bernardo. The CAI team of counselors is dedicated to expanding human potential through the coherence of mind, body & spirit through clinical excellence, integrity, and compassion. Additionally, Dr. Gilman holds certifications in EMDR Therapy, CISM, NLP, Hypnosis, Coaching, and HeartMath.
She is a former Firefighter/EMT and served on the San Diego Critical Incident Stress Management Team for over 10 years. She was awarded Fellowship status with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress for her extensive work in utilizing EMDR with first responders following critical incidents. She was elected to serve on the EMDR International Association Board of Directors, is a former EMDRIA Past-President, and contributing author in 2 books addressing treating trauma in 911-Telecommunicators with EMDR Therapy. Sara is an invited speaker nationally and appears on radio and TV discussing the topics of stress, trauma, addiction, and mental toughness. Counseling for Individuals, Families, Couples, Children Peak Performance & Mental Toughness Training; First Responders, Athletes, Performers
Sara G.Gilman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., President/Owner www.CoherenceAssociates.com
I am grateful to have had the chance to sit down with Joyelle Brandt to discuss her mission of helping those who are parenting with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Thank you, Joyelle, for sharing your personal story and the beautiful work you are doing helping others along their parenting and healing journey. What a gift for those families and the children who will benefit from the steps their parents are taking to heal.
“Joyelle Brandt is a self care coach for moms. She specializes in working with mothers who are survivors of abuse, to help them develop a personalized self soothing toolkit for stress management. As aspeaker, mothering coach, and multi-media creator, Joyelle works to dismantle the stigma that keeps childhood abuse survivors stuck in shame and self-hatred. She is the author/illustrator of Princess Monsters from A to Z and co-editor of Parenting with PTSD, the groundbreaking anthology that breaks the silence about the long-term impact of childhood trauma so that parents can break the cycle of abuse.
When she is not busy raising two rambunctious boys, she is most often found playing her guitar or covered in paint at her art desk. You can keep up with Joyelle at www.joyellebrandt.com“
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful conversation with Suzie Gruber regarding the utilization of NARM (Neuroaffective Relational Model) and Somatic Experiencing, both non-intrusive approaches to healing traumatic events and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), her personal history with these approaches on both personal and professional levels, along with some joyous laughter throughout.
Bio: Suzie Gruber, M.A., SEP., holds advanced degrees in chemistry & psychology. She spent 15 years in biotechnology before returning to her first love: inspiring people to transform their lives. A Somatic Experiencing and a Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) Practitioner in private practice in Ashland, OR Suzie also leads seminars that teach people about complex trauma and the imprints it leaves behind. Additionally, Suzie is the Research Director for the NARM Training Institute and assists NARM practitioner trainings.
From Suzie’s website:
“My deepest passion lies in helping you improve your life today. You have an innate drive towards connection, aliveness, and success, a primal urge that gives you the strength and courage to change, regardless of what you face along the way. I’m here to help you do that.
I came to this place in a kind of circuitous way. After earning undergraduate and graduate degree in Chemistry (Harvey Mudd College and then Princeton University), I spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry working in Operations for start-up companies. Although I was quite successful in my career and I enjoyed the never ending, high energy challenges of start-ups, my first career never quite fit the deeper me. I had to honor my own primal urge to do what I love, help you come alive.
When I learned about peak oil, environmental issues, and the instabilities in our economic system, I knew I had to listen to my own deeper voice. I decided to completely rebuild my professional life from the ground up, first getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology and then becoming a Somatic Experiencing® (SE) practitioner and most recently training in the Neuroaffective Relational ModelTM. I offer a combination of these two modalities because they changed my life. I moved away from feeling crisis-driven on a daily basis, to instead experiencing each day with greater aliveness and success and enjoying more satisfying relationships.”
I want to share one coping strategy a month. These are strategies I use (or have used) in my own life as I travel the healing journey. I hope they bring you tranquility, as well!
STOP AND BE
This is a strategy I utilized along my own healing journey. STOP AND BE. At first it was . . . well . . . terrifying. Trying to simply allow and notice the panic symptoms was difficult for someone, like me, who has a propensity for avoidance of feeling scared, anxious, or uncomfortable. Learning to feel comfortable in my own body was a challenge. But, I used my learned coping skills and very quickly developed the skills necessary to simply “stop and be”.
Present-Centered Therapy is a non-trauma focused treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapy modality is called “present centered” as the goal is to focus on the client’s current/present life while recognizing the connection between PTSD symptoms and current struggles. All the while doing this without focusing on past traumatic events.
There are a host of therapy options when it comes to treating PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms and they reside under different treatment umbrellas: medication treatment, trauma-focused therapy, and non-trauma focused therapy.
I have utilized all three! When I was first experiencing severe panic attacks (but, not yet given a C-PTSD diagnosis), I was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. I eventually requested to be weaned off of all medications and challenged myself to learn coping strategies while continuing “talk therapy”. I began psychotherapy with a licensed practitioner in 2013 and we started the process of shining a light on my trauma history. This counselor suggested EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as an alternative and I moved into that therapy practice. It was there that I started the deep-dive back into my trauma history, reliving traumatic events throughout my sessions. I participated in ninety-eight EMDR and brainspotting sessions which spanned a four-year period.
The goal for YOU (or anyone in your life seeking therapeutic support), is to find what works best for you and your needs. You know YOU best. The key is to research your therapy options, then research therapists who specialize in the treatment you have chosen for yourself. Continue your self-care journey by reading the latest research on brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change) and evolving therapies.
* Honestly, this was a difficult interview for me to conduct due to my trauma history and propensity for avoidance. Definitely a tough subject to discuss. Particularly when it came to the subject of “hope”. I am a hope-filled, hope-inspired, hope-flinging soul. Listen in as Dean discusses his book The Impossible Conversation and upcoming book/workbook release this spring. My question to you is . . . #whatishope
Join me in this deep and thought-provoking conversation with Dean Walker about his upcoming book/workbook release (coming spring, 2019), his mission, philosophies, and more!
From Dean’s website:
“Welcome to our Living Resilience website. Founded by renowned author, speaker and life coach, Carolyn Baker and author, resilience coach and transformational training designer, Dean Walker – Living Resilience is an alliance of authors, journalists, health professionals, concerned global citizens, scientists and artists.
What we all have in common is a mutual concern that humanity has conducted itself in such a way (primarily for the past one hundred years) that has landed us in a Twenty-First Century confronting not only vexing problems at every scale of life on Earth, but, more importantly, a set of predicaments that show no sign of relief or solution.”
What Dean has going on at the moment …
The book, released last year, The Impossible Conversation: choosing reconnection and resilience at the end of Business as Usual.
A new batch of online support content, self-paced on demand courses, resilience coaching for individuals, families and organizations, online focused advanced practices.
Safe Circle: An online, free support group that meets on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Tuesday of every month, sign up for the Zoom video call invitations on the website, www.LivingResilience.net.
Podcast: The Poetry of Predicament Podcast – a YouTube channel
Lastly, and by far the largest project at the moment, a new book and workbook combination, due out early in 2019. These two books are intended to be far more practical for the person who is grappling with finding meaning, purpose and reclaiming agency and right-relationship – in a post-truth, predicament-laden world.
This series will focus on the benefits of being persistent along your healing quest. I will, again, be speaking from experience. Some practical advice mixed with sprinklings of raw truth (those “This sucks and I really want to give up” moments).
This will work best if you have a journal, pad of paper, or Word doc dedicated to this exercise as I will be asking you to keep notes which you will need to refer back to as we progress.
Subtopics will include:
What does persistence really mean?
How do we define positivities?
A checklist of positive outcomes.
Habits and hurdles.
Encouraging one another.
I look forward to embarking on a Positivities of Persistence journey with you!
I was honored to have Dr. Greg Williams join me for a powerful conversation about his upcoming book release “Shattered by the Darkness: Putting the Pieces Back Together After Child Abuse”, his mission, personal story of triumph, and more!
Per Greg’s website: “Dr. Gregory Williams has written a new book that chronicles his lifelong journey of child abuse and its aftermath. It has taken Dr. Gregory more than 30 years to begin unveiling the horrors of what happened to him throughout his entire childhood. His book recounts the sexual exploitation he endured at the hands of his own father for 12 years.” https://shatteredbythedarkness.com/
Be sure to check out these articles, highlighting Greg’s story, posted in the ACEs Connection community: