SLOPE it up

Happy New Year!

Sorry it has been so quiet around here. I guess it’s been so quiet around here  because it’s been SO. NOISY around HERE.  The break was great – two weeks really felt LONG, but a good LONG.  When I had little ones I was very excited for them to go back to school; they were needy and hyper and whiny.  Now, I have big kids and they are fun and funny and still sometimes needy and whiny, but not so much.  Anyhow we had fun, had friends visit, ate out and too much, laughed a lot, cuddled and nuzzled and played and rested.

And, now it is 2014;  alarms went off way too early this morning and the yellow buses came and shuttled everyone away.

I got a really nice email today from an old client.  I have asked and received permission from him to share his kind and insightful words here on my blog.  I feel they are helpful to anyone thinking about therapy and also for all of us who become caught up in our emotions in the heat of the moment:

Hi Laurie-

I can’t believe it has been almost 6 months since my last therapy session with you and I still think about the things I learned with you almost on a daily basis.  I am very honored to tell you that my wife I are doing great and we have improved our communication tremendously.  Our daughter is also doing great.

I wanted to share this with you because after an argument the other day with my wife she mentioned that when I’m in a “panic” or in a situation where I lose myself I don’t listen. So we came up with a “code” word for her to use so that I can snap out of that zone and listen.  The word she created for me was
SLOPE.  As in the slopes of a hill where I go snowboarding 🙂
Slow your pace
Lower your voice
Open up to listening
Process the moment
Exhale
I found this to be EXTREMELY helpful because I have associated this word with an instant snap back to reality and a sign that I’m not doing things right.  I thought about sharing with you in case you have other “loco” patients like me that could make  good use of a code word like this :):)
Thanks again for a wonderful 2013….
_____________________________________________________________________________
I love his word. I have a sticky  note on my bulletin board at my office that says PAUSE.  It delivers the same message as his SLOPE, but is not as creative and thought out. I had written it years ago after discussing the process of PAUSE and LISTEN with a client who was having challenges with conflict resolution.  I found it to be helpful for not only my client, but for myself as well and I put it on the board to remember the importance of the PAUSE.
As we enter a new year with hope and goals let us not forget to PAUSE and SLOPE and pay attention to those with whom we interact on a daily basis – we may find less conflict and more connection as we learn to slow down, listen and process the moment.
Happy 2014 to all!
Who doesn't love this bumper sticker on my bulletin board?

Who doesn’t love this bumper sticker on my bulletin board?

My post-it note

My post-it note


The Calm Before the Storm

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I was able to leisurely take a  wog  (walk/jog) this morning before work since offspring are enjoying their favorite time of the year at sleep-away camp.  As I huffed and puffed along the quiet streets of Fairfax County in early August, I realized that this stillness is short lived.   The vacationers are gone, the office is quiet and I haven’t cooked a meal in weeks!

There are hints that IT is coming; the weather had a moment of coolness, soccer and dance registration are here and we just had no-tax weekend (I always feel that it is TOO early to hit up the school supplies aisle in early August, but clearly, I am in the minority here).

As I revel in this peace, I am aware that it will end with a bang (literally when the kids land in the garage with pounds of dirty laundry) and do wish the transition was more gradual.   I go from moments of boredom when my house is too quiet and actually clean to practice/orthodontists/carpools etc.

So, my dear readers, enjoy the tranquility, the long days with sunlit evenings and LACK OF HOMEWORK.  Good things are upon us although they involve alarm clocks and packing lunches; sometimes it is nice to take a moment and enjoy what is right here in front of us.