Welcome to Fall

Welcome To Fall!

by B. Imei Hsu, RN, LMHC, RYT, Artist

Fall is a great time to enjoy the outdoors before the weather changes significantly. A trail into the woods is perfect! Turtleback Preserve (Orcas Island). Photo by B.Imei Hsu, taken with a iPhone 5s.
Fall is a great time to enjoy the outdoors before the weather changes significantly. The greater Puget Sound region boasts hundreds of miles of wide and single-track trails in beautiful forests. A trail into the woods is perfect! Turtleback Preserve (Orcas Island). Photo by B.Imei Hsu, taken with a iPhone 5s.

 

Welcome to Fall!

During the last weekend of August, Mother Nature clearly let people in the Seattle area know that it is now Fall weather season! We had a windstorm with rain that knocked down trees, took out power, and claimed the lives of two people. It was quite a contrast to the unusually hot and dry weather we have had during the summer.

The Seattle area usually receives a bit of a more gentle nudge with the change in seasons as we near September — the morning air has  a crispness to it, the evening light fades earlier, and Starbuck’s advertises its Pumpkin Spice Lattes in October (ha ha). Not this year! As I packed up my camping tent at 6 am in the middle of a downpour, I was laughing. A 50% chance of rain really means, “Yep, it’s gonna rain!” I could feel it in the air. Fall has arrived.

I can feel a lot of other things in the air too. The beginning of Fall, with the obvious signs of a change of season, is a fun-tastic time to assess how things are working or not working for you. As I was reading Tara Gentile’s Quiet Power Strategy on my solar-panel powered Kindle reader, the author quoted another author who is oft asking her clients something I have asked my clients each time they encounter a “stuck point” while using the same tactics, strategies, and mainstream solutions they have always used:

How’s that working for you?

When you hear yourself respond to this question with, “Not very well,” perhaps you are ready to change how you are looking at the challenge, problem, or frustration that you are currently facing. Why continue to throw the same solutions at the same problem, expecting a different result?

You are the one who knows when something isn’t working. Stop. Just stop. And then, clear your mind.

One of the ways I clear my head is to go for a trail run. There is something about being in nature, focusing on the technical trail with its rocks, roots, and shifting ground, and a higher level of exertion that makes me look at things differently after I’ve completed my run. I’m panting like a dog, my legs get covered with dirt, all I can hear is  my breath and the sound of my soft footfalls on the ground.

The open trail, like the one pictured above, narrows into a single-track that requires my complete attention for the next couple of hours.  Later, when I’m showered and dressed for the day, I find that my mind can wander back to the complex situations of my clients, as well as my own personal, professional, and creative challenges. I have then gained an ability to see the problems from multiple directions and pathways, mindfully aware of suspending judgment and setting aside fear.

Are you ready for Fall? Are you ready to go beyond your answers when you discover things aren’t working the way you had hoped or envisioned for yourself? Would you like to try another pathway to explore the possibility of a different outcome than the one you have come to expect?

At SDC, we welcome you to Fall, and we welcome you to explore the pathways you will discover through counseling with one of us. While you don’t need to become avid trail or road runners like we are, we recognize that there are many tools that help the mind and heart to enter a place of self-discovery, courage, grief, growth, and emotional/social intelligence.

In a few days, you’ll see my next post about the subject of ghosting [Edit: something came up and I will be delaying that post to make room for a more emergent topic]. My Fall challenge involves sharing with you about many difficult topics, such as death and dying (and elder care), ghosting, surviving a difficult breakup, handling unpleasant and painful memories, as well as complex skills many of us need to develop to thrive in the 21st century, such as pathways to building your Emotional Intelligence, and recovering from with workplace trauma.

All I know is this: to write about these things with any amount of vulnerability, candor, and thoughtfulness requires plenty of trail running!

Happy Fall!

Five Ways to Text With Love

by B. Imei Hsu, RN, LMHC
Ever thought about how much time and effort you spend texting your main squeeze? Find out how to be super smart about love and texting.  And watch where you're going!
Ever thought about how much time and effort you spend texting your main squeeze? Find out how to be super smart about love and texting. Don’t text and move around, OK?

While walking from the office to my bus stop, I watched a young woman texting someone as she briskly walked towards a busy intersection. She was engrossed in a text conversation, furiously tapping on her virtual keyboard, and three steps away from walking against a red light. When she was ready to step into oncoming traffic, I yelled, “Stop now!” and touched her arm. She looked up at me with a startled expression, oblivious to what almost happened to her, then turned her attention back to her phone without removing an earbud of her headphones.

The two other witnesses standing nearby shook their heads and smiled. It’s like we knew what the other was thinking. Next time, she won’t be so lucky.

Isn’t that awful? What is so important in that text that a person would risk her own life?

Let me share with you five things I’ve learned about texting the one you love, so you can become super smart about making the most of your mobile device while not getting tripped up (no pun intended) on the curbs of modern love foibles. It’s one thing if you get hit by a truck (and I really hope you don’t!); it’s another if you throw your own relationship under the technology bus.

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Life Transitions Therapy Group Starting February

Group Therapy Feedback Life Change Counseling

What life transition are you experiencing? New therapy group is forming in February 2015.
What life transition are you experiencing? New therapy group is forming in February 2015. Photo credit: Sid Mosdell on Flickr Creative Commons. 

Around this time, I typically write a blog post focusing on relationships. New Year’s Day triggers an evaluative mechanism, where people question whether they are getting the most out of their closest relationships and routines.

Let’s mix it up a bit, shall we?

We came up with something we haven’t offered through our services at Seattle Direct Counseling since I first opened my doors for business in 2006. On February 11, 2015, right before Valentine’s Day, we’d invite you (Seattle people only) to consider being a member of our first therapy group, Life Transitions.

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