My cactus plant waited years to bloom, so I’m capturing it to share a Valentine’s Day reminder that
YOU ARE LOVED
and YOU HAVE SOMETHING THE WORLD NEEDS!
I hope you can tell your hard-working parts what they long to hear.
You don’t have to wait for a card, a holiday or another person to give you those words (although I am the first to admit it sure feels good to receive them from another!)
Ask yourself, “What do I need to hear in this moment?”
Tap into your infinite source of love and acceptance, and whisper those words with tenderness and confidence.
My commitment and passion for Internal Family Systems as a resource for healing and transformation hasn’t waned in 14 years, because this framework for relating to ourselves and one another is based on the simple and endlessly complicated human experience of LOVE!
The IFS life practice is about cultivating and embodying qualities of LOVE, like
gentleness, patience, kindness, grace, non-judgment, curiosity and inclusion.
How can I offer these qualities more to myself and to others?
(Scroll to the end of this mailing for a link to one of my favorite song writer and leader. Heather Houston’s timely, a capella song, “You Are So Loved”.)
Hello, Pause for Calm Community!
It’s an unseasonably warm and sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, making the cyclists happy and the skiers cranky. The weather, like so many things out of our control continually provides an opportunity to work with what IS, rather than resist, and use the detour as an opportunity to find pearls and possibilities.
Life keeps reminding me it’s about adaptation, flexibility and relinquishing control…
In a recent Facebook/Instagram post, I shared that the past few weeks have unexpectedly included the best of times and the worst of times. My system has been overwhelmed and my heart broken open with love and grief and the range of emotions that accompany it.
I try and hold my responses tenderly, try to stay curious, patient and kind. Trying to let be what is and what needs to be.
We live and embody polarizations each and every day, a reality that is often bewildering and tough.
Our work lies in acknowledging our diverging responses, asking them not to overwhelm us so that we can be with them, ask for a little space and
Pause. Breathe. Listen.
Often easier said than done, right? Especially when life’s momentum doesn’t stop for heartbreak, illness and tragedy. We keep going in whatever imperfect, clumsy way that we can.
Before any longer delay…the exciting news!
Our ’22 Winter Consultation Group Set commenced three weeks ago, welcoming 38 enthusiastic IFS Professionals–from Hawaii to Canada, Mexico, throughout the US and across the pond to the UK, China, Australia and the Middle East!!
Wow is right! I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and anticipation for the time we get to share learning and growing together.
Colleagues are connecting from around the world to validate one another, tend to hard-working caregiving parts, curious learner parts, Unblend, increase Self energy, fluency and confidence in embodying this life practice! As IFS Founder, Dick Schwartz likes to say, “This stuff works!” And, it helps us be more energized and effective with our clients.
There are a few seats left in 2 Monthly Groups that continue next week!
Reply right away if you want in!
If you’d like to join us for a future Consultation group, be sure to Apply (No Fee) to be the first to hear about registration, dates and deals.
Next set of BiWeekly Groups runs late April-June
Next set of Monthly groups resumes in September – January.
This photo from a year ago popped up in my memories–with a heart full of gratitude for our Pause for Calm Community and the sacred time we shared together each week throughout the first year of the pandemic. Our Zoom gatherings helped carry us through while we isolated in our homes. I carry this gratitude for connection and openness each time I open a new Zoom meeting and welcome beautiful colleagues from around the world.
As promised, I’m finally sharing our last Pause for Calm meditation. I have apologetic and embarrassed parts that it took so long, but I reassure them that it’s ok. Let it be a Valentine’s Day gift from my heart, to yours. Thanks for your grace and understanding. We edited out the group share (to protect confidentiality), so you’ll just see and hear me, no other participants.
The content is still relevant, given that we’re still living in a pandemic world. The meditation is about 20 minutes and you can access it anytime on my YouTube Channel (Pause With Laura)–where I’m now posting videos from outdoor adventures, updates and meditations. I’m relieved and excited to have finally figured out how to share more goodies with you.
Final Pause for Calm & Connection Guided Meditation 20 minutes
Here’s a favorite, unexpected IFS demo from an early morning moving cows this past Fall at my cousin’s farm in Vermont. Grateful to Lynne von Trapp for her shared excitement in allowing her smart pup to be our teacher!
Watch Brill, the Brilliant Border Collie work with Protective Parts!
I love finding natural examples of the beauty and effectiveness of our protective systems.
Brill tries herding this cow a few times. When the cow refuses, Brill leaves him alone, then returns and approaches from a different angle. This is a great example of working with Protectors. We engage them gently and if they resist, we honor that, leave them alone, and return to them a little differently than the first time. Brill shows us how it’s done–respectfully, smoothly and effectively! Enjoy!
Tragically, a week after Kim’s death, her father, too, lost his life to Covid. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this tragedy, while in isolation myself (until Saturday) having tested positive for Covid that same day, 3000 miles away. Fortunately, after inconvenient but successful quarantining, I tested negative 8 days later and thank my 2 vaccinations and booster for my relatively mild symptoms and quick recovery.
It’s all so surreal. One day at a time. One moment at a time. Let’s break this down into workable bits, because sometimes the big picture can become so overwhelming.
Here are a few photos of sources of love, connection and comfort that soothe and restore my parts, when my heart is heavy.
1. I have the privilege of borrowing this loving, handsome, energetic border collie, Bridger, when my adventurous parts want some company He’s been a godsend the past year during some really tough heartbreak.
2. There’s nothing like a purring cat to soothe your parts, even when their proximity stirs up allergies and disrupts sleep! I tease my husband that he’s a softie. I don’t let her get above my shoulders. 🙂
3. A snowy outing 3 weeks ago to soothe my grieving heart, that ended up giving me Covid from riding in the car with a friend who didn’t know they were positive.
4. If you don’t hear right back from me, I’m heading out to my friend’s primitive off the grid cabin in Idaho for a solo retreat (with Bridger) for a few days. The last time I was here (at the beginning of the Covid lockdown), another friend had just passed. My spirit welcomes this space to heal.
Here’s a beautiful, appropriate song for today with song writer and leader, Heather Houston, and her Yala Lati women’s choir from Santa Cruz, CA. “You Are So Loved”, recorded just before the US began locking down in 2020.
Thank you for your love, participation and support, as we continue to navigate this unpredictable journey called Life.