I have been thinking about you and this mailing throughout one of my favorite months, described appropriately by Anne of Green Gables, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Yes! This October was unusually packed full of good and demanding endeavors. I’m appreciating a bonus fifth Sunday to allow me to connect with you–even though it’s later than I’d like.
One of the aspects of being Self-led is to be a more astute, compassionate Parts Detector—both within ourselves and towards others. Noticing what responses, feelings, reactions are present in this moment. No right or wrong. Nothing to do but notice, name and try to welcome. And if you can’t, that’s useful information, too!
My Sunday mailings offer opportune nudges to notice my own parts. Oh joy. 🙂 October provided a lively dance between a conversation that went something like this:
“Just send this morsel out already; it’s good enough.”
“NOOOO! Wait ‘til you have the narrative completely formed. Don’t waste their time!”
Meanwhile, the events accumulate, overwhelm an indecisive system and nothing is finalized or sent. Today, I strive NOT for perfection but to offer a morsel of connection and welcoming of parts–even at this late hour. That I can do. And I reassure my parts that it’s totally fine even though I had much higher expectations for my special October mailing. I decided to focus on what is relevant only for October, and we have plenty of yummy news to look forward to in November. There’s a theme here about patience, trust and not forcing things.
(As always, I hope you’ll display images, as they serve as the backbone to my mailings.)
Our neighborhood Autumn Angel was particularly stunning this year, growing ever more colorful throughout the month. Stepping towards the intersection facing our home, she offers her quiet blessing before releasing her leaves to the shorter, colder days of winter.
Halloween, all Souls Day and Día de los Muertos remind me of how our Lutheran family spent this holiday at our church’s All Saints Party dressed up as Saints of the Bible, bobbing for apples and playing creative games to keep us out of trick or treating trouble, I guess. I have parts still sad I missed out on that portion of childhood, so I hope you all are able to make the most of the creative, playful and childlike possibilities this colorful holiday offers us!
May we remember and honor our ancestors and loved ones who have passed. May we celebrate their memory, recall their presence and the blessings and heirlooms they have given us.
The photo below is a nearby magical flower and rock creation by our neighbor and her artistic partner to honor Día de los Muertos. (with my border collie buddy, Bridger, who I am often graciously loaned!)
And an open-hearted Skelly I met on a bike ride giving us his October blessing!
Since my last mailing, five Monthly Consultation Groups commenced with over 30 IFS colleagues convening each month across time zones from Hawaii, across North America, to England, the Netherlands, Australia and Asia! My parts that love travel, languages and cultures celebrate the international representation online gatherings offer.
IFS Healers from all over the world are connecting, building trust, community and helping one another to be more Self led, inclusive and proficient embodying IFS in their lives and work. What a gift is this work and the colleagues with whom I get to spend 2 hours each month! I’m infinitely grateful for students’ trust, courage, vulnerability and honesty. Good stuff is already happening, and we’ve only met 1 or 2 times! More on those themes in future mailings.
This is the first time I’ve taken a leap of faith and offered separate groups based on one’s IFS Experience Level. I was concerned that I may not get enough registrants to do this and was thrilled to receive enough interest to launch 5 different groups, with another to start soon! Students connect at a similar stage in their IFS learning process–bringing in a myriad of resources from other modalities and specialities.
This is also the first time I have offered groups lasting two hours. (We take a 5 minute break halfway through.) My brain stamina was limited to just 30 minutes when I first started leading Zoom groups back in March 2020–my free weekly Pauses for Calm and Connection the first year of the pandemic lockdown.
This was an intimidating venture I felt totally unprepared for. What helped relax my critics was that the bar was low at that stage in the pandemic so why not give it go?! Turns out that experience gave me more comfort and confidence in what gradually evolved into building online consultation groups for IFS Professionals. You never know how one endeavor may inform the next. It still boggles my mind and makes me smile over what opens up for us if we’re willing to step into spaces of discomfort. You can do it! Don’t give up!
We’ve come a long way from the first Zoom AAMFT supervision group I ever participated in as a student back in 2014. I nearly dropped the class after logging in that first day, seeing a screen full of 6 faces and bursting into tears from visual overwhelm. I had to minimize my screen for months until it got easier to view.
I’ve gradually increased group meetings by 15 minutes every few months. Little by little, bit by bit. It’s a miracle and a testimony to perseverance, patience, flexibility self compassion and the plasticity and possibility for brain healing, None of this was easy, but when a challenge you never thought possible is realized, it’s an overwhelming treasure. I am full of gratitude and appreciation for so very much. Thank you to so many of you for your role, patience, graciousness and encouragement in my healing journey.
For current students and those interested in a Consult Group, I’ll be sending out a mailing soon to current Consult Group members with additional details and updates.
If you’re an IFS Professional with an active caseload and want to join a Consultation Group, please review dates and details here and add your name to the interest list right away! I will contact you if there is space available in an existing group.
And to close, here’s a favorite Halloween card, as a Parts Work Group Therapist.
Happy October and all of its gifts! I look forward to more connection in November.