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Reflecting Back on a Year of Change...

Originally published February 3, 2020

It has been a while since I wrote here…but there has been so much happening. Today I want to talk about reality, hope, goals, failures and dreams.

In sessions, there is a particular type of therapy strategy I love to work with, it is called CBT. Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In layman’s terms it is changing the thought or the feeling to bring about a different behavior and/or belief. My life for the last 33 months has been similar to this therapy. I have learned by leaps and bounds about my strengths, what holds me back, what my core values and beliefs are and taking risks that I really had not done before all of this.

Let’s talk about reality. What is your reality? How do you see your reality? When I ask a client this question, they may immediately go to the bad stuff, the negative and what isn’t working. Here is where my curiosity kicks in. Why is it that you see your reality this way? What feeds into your lens? For me, my old stories play into what I choose to see in my reality. I had decided to go to school at the age of 45. Many people do it, many have succeeded at it. What was the worst thing that could happen? That I would fail. Would I fail, what would keep me from failing? A belief that I was older, hadn’t been to school in many, many years. I would be close to retirement before I could really help someone with what I learned from school and maybe I wouldn’t ever be good at it. Wow, hard stories/beliefs to stomach. But I had one thought through all of this…I wanted to help parents with children/youth in addiction. This was my motivation, my passion, my drive. I wanted to share my experiences, my thoughts, my knowledge, what worked or didn’t work for me. My passion took over and this motivated me to have hope.

What I have to offer has value, which means I have value. Hmm…value? My perception tells me value equates to me having valid information to share, wonderful qualities that allow me to be compassionate and empathetic. I learned that I could not let my passion go and I started to put my stake in the ground that, damnit, I have value and what I have to say is useful!

Okay, reality…check. Hope…definitely a check. How was I going to get to where I wanted to go? Well I had to define where I wanted to go so I knew how to get there. I decided I wanted to provide assistance, counselling or group work to those who need or want what I have to offer. This is where I had to really believe in my value. So confidence won me over and I started to manifest what it would look like to get where I wanted to be. Deadlines started to appear in my mind. It was time to bring all this in my head down onto paper to make it real. This is where goals started to take shape. One of the goals was to keep everything moving after I graduated. So I saw a life coach who was simply amazing in her approach. What stuck with me was that I was confident in my value, but my stories played the ‘what if I don’t really have what it takes to deliver’? She said it was time to challenge that belief and had me, at the top of my lungs, claim that I was a counsellor and that what I had to offer, people were waiting for. Of course, this took a lot of effort and numerous tries before I got out of my chair with fists pumped in the air, project loudly that I am truly a counsellor with value and that I am on my way!

Life seemed to change after this proclamation. I suddenly felt uncomfortable at my place of employment as I knew that I wanted to do was much different then what I was doing. I would complain and stay uncomfortable until finally I decided to take a giant leap into the unknown. The unknown of moving and establishing myself was scary but super exciting. For some people, this is just not something they do. For me, it was about saying yes to opportunity and going as far as I could with it. I left my employ of 10 years and ventured out into a different city and decided to try my hand at a new career. Lo and behold it was well received, but income was not coming in. Programs I tried to run on my own with my company completely flopped and I felt like a failure. I left a good job to pursue a dream that clearly wasn’t coming about. F…A…I…L…U…R…E. So now what?

Here’s where that “failure” became my dream. I joined an organization and became a team lead in a few short months where I could use my administration and my counselling skills. I asked for what I wanted, where I couldn’t do that only months before. My dream was to run my program, I didn’t know how, I didn’t know when and I didn’t know where. But this was my dream and by God, it was going to happen! I worked extremely hard for 3 months to weave through a new dimension of community, work and expectations in a place I was not familiar with at all. But I have value and my dream was and is still alive. A thought came to me, sometimes one has to reach out to ask for help. As a relative unknown in this new community, who or what could help me with my dream and my purpose? I approached a learning institution about what I had to offer and they were very open to running my programs. Not one, but two. I was completely and utterly silent. After all the paperwork, back and forth emails I waited patiently to see if my programs would actually make the cut. Then one day there they were. Both listed on a website. These were MY programs, I wrote them, I will deliver them and holy crap…they were out there for the world to see! My dream became my reality. The failure I perceived having actually was a blessing. I may not have been ready, the community may not have been ready, and the delivery maybe needed to come from a different source.

All in all, my reality, my hope, my failure and my goals all lead me here to realize and live my dream. I truly feel that if we don’t fight the river (words from my Uncle John) we will eventually, with hope and hard work, flow right into where we need to be. There will be ripples, tidal waves and rocks that may hinder us temporarily, but these can be used to direct our strengths and learn new ones to put us back on our intended paths.

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting… – Paulo Coelho

I hope you can look back at 2018 and acknowledge the hard work, the triumphs and the small things that were great in your life and celebrate them. For these make our lives move toward more greatness.

Let the beauty of what you love….be you!

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!




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