I feel the need to grow (things)

I feel the need to grow (things)

I feel the need to grow (things) 

We are well into spring, and with it, a chance to plant seeds, prompting the earth to give birth to a wonderous assortment of flowers and vegetables. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction digging my hands into the rich soil, enjoying the warmth of the long-awaited sun on my back. I know that my intentions are taking root.

Things take time to grow. We can’t eat the fruit that we planted today. In some cases, it may take years. It starts with an intention, followed by a period of nurturing, and care. This is not unlike any desired change in our lives. With patience, commitment, and gentle care, growth is inevitable.

It’s easy to get frustrated if things don’t feel quite right at a given moment. I hope that we allow ourselves the same grace as we might to the seeds that we plant, being patient as we allow ourselves to grow.


Warm thoughts,


Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

 

 

Do your actions reflect your values?

Do your actions reflect your values?

I feel the need to grow (things) 

We are well into spring, and with it, a chance to plant seeds, prompting the earth to give birth to a wonderous assortment of flowers and vegetables. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction digging my hands into the rich soil, enjoying the warmth of the long-awaited sun on my back. I know that my intentions are taking root.

Things take time to grow. We can’t eat the fruit that we planted today. In some cases, it may take years. It starts with an intention, followed by a period of nurturing, and care. This is not unlike any desired change in our lives. With patience, commitment, and gentle care, growth is inevitable.

It’s easy to get frustrated if things don’t feel quite right at a given moment. I hope that we allow ourselves the same grace as we might to the seeds that we plant, being patient as we allow ourselves to grow.


Warm thoughts,


Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

 

 

We All Need A Place Where We Feel Welcomed

We All Need A Place Where We Feel Welcomed

We all need a place where we feel welcomed

My mother used to own an antique store in Rosseau, Muskoka.

Things pretty much shut down during the winter but as spring emerged, so too did the seasonal cottagers who invariably popped by her store for a quick “hello”.

What seemed like a chance encounter really served as an opportunity for them to announce that “they’re back”.

I realized that her store was so much more than a place where old things were sold. Antiques are about people’s stories, lives and histories. My mother’s role in this small village was to bear witness to her customers’ stories but also to serve as an informal welcoming committee for cottagers returning and opening up for the spring.

We all need a place and people who welcome us; someone with whom we can share the trials of winter as well as joining to celebrate the warmth and light of spring. We hope to create that experience for you here at Landing Strong.

Whether you’re attending our programs or you’re a friend who pops online to read this blog each Friday, know that you are an important part of our community.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

 

Holding on to what is dear to us

Holding on to what is dear to us

Holding on to what’s dear to us

On a recent trip to Tanzania, I had an unexpected encounter with a bird of prey. I was sitting quietly enjoying a long-awaited lunch when a Verreaux Eagle swooped down and tried to grab the chicken wrap I was eating right from my grasp. What I failed to mention was how hangry I was. Belinda versus Falcon. Who do you think won? Needless to say, I don’t back down when things are important to me, I rose from the tug of war victorious!

I proceeded to gobble down the sandwich thrilled with my spoils of war only to reflect on the many disgusting things the bird likely had his feet in before trying to make off with my lunch. Yet, it did nothing to diminish the satisfaction of having won.

I tell you this story with a smile because in many ways it reflects the work we’re all doing here. You are all part of this community because deep down there is something that you really want that you’re not willing to let go of. Forces of life or nature may try to pull it from your grasp, but I know you’re not letting go of the things that are dear to you.

Today is a special day at Landing Strong as we recognize and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of veterans and first responders who continue to work on their health through program involvement. We call it a ‘Celebration of Unsung Heroes’ because the heroic efforts often come after the traumas. Courage takes the form of being willing to be seen and giving voice to experiences that have long been kept silent. This work is indeed worthy of recognition and celebration.

Warm thoughts,
Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

 

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is very real; we’ve all experienced it at some point. It’s that general feeling of self-doubt that creeps in silently, right when we’re expected to perform our best.

I was considering taking a risk recently, something that is a bit outside of my comfort zone.

I drafted a proposal to speak about a topic that interests me, on a subject matter that would stretch my abilities. I felt a wave of Imposter Syndrome wash over me. I had spent the weekend researching and working on it and submitted a proposal that I was rather proud of. What was that nagging voice in my head that challenged me, I wondered?

Then I realized the truth. Imposter Syndrome was simply a sign that I was pushing myself to grow. Venturing out of the land of predictable or ordinary, I dared to try to do something that scared me. There is the possibility I might fail. But then again, I might grow.

When you first started your profession, I bet that you struggled with Impostor Syndrome. Even if you are injured or unable to work, you might feel as though you haven’t earned the right to be off. You are used to caring for others. Caring for yourself might just feel wrong. Please know that this is the norm, not the exception.

I invite you to step forward into self-compassion.

Consider making space for yourself to grow. Whether through individual counseling, or group work. I’m willing to take a bet on you…are you?

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Beneath the shell

Beneath the shell

I recently visited someone I love in a dementia ward of a care facility.

I took a deep breath as I walked in the door. It was suppertime and a large group of seniors were gathered at tables awaiting their evening meal. Some were talking quietly; a number were staring into space.

I joined one of the tables and learned through a caregiver that one of the seniors spoke French. Trying it on for size, I threw them a line in my best attempt at bilingualism.

The man to whom I had aimed the comment suddenly sprang to life, his eyes lighting up and he blurted out a lengthy response to my simple question.

As though a sleeping clock had suddenly sounded, all the members of the table perked up and a second person joined the conversation in French, only to be followed by a third…and then a fourth.

When I commented on how impressed I was by their fluency with language, one exceptionally charming elderly man turned to me and said, “My dear, it’s one of the four languages I speak.”

With the prompting of their caregivers, I learned that two of the five people at the table had published books. I congratulated them on this accomplishment of publishing a book. Again, the stately gentleman gently corrected me letting me know he had in fact, published three.

One member at the table was a retired psychiatrist, another was a former CEO of an international corporation. I never got to learn what the women that didn’t speak French did, because she insisted on speaking to me in Italian
After lots of teasing and laughter, I left the facility with my heart full.

I am reminded that though at times, we may seem to be only shells of our former selves, inside each of us lies a passion and a rich interior. The fact that we are no longer practicing it, makes it no less interesting.


Warm thoughts,


Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Breaking out of hibernation

Breaking out of hibernation

Spring is synonymous with renewal, growth, and the promise of new beginnings.

The days are longer, the landscape is becoming more colourful, and it’s hard to resist the desire to go outside and simply enjoy what nature has to offer.

If you’ve been hibernating this winter and not feeling up to much social interaction, we understand. We all emerge from our safe spaces only if, and when, we feel ready to do so.

On your terms, and your time we welcome you.

If you’ve yet to try our group programs or have been away for a while and want to try something new, our Creating Confidence and Clarifying Strengths program may be perfect for you.

It begins May 7th and it’s not too early to get your name on the list now.

Warm thoughts,


Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Feel the fear and do it anyway

I grew up in a big old house in downtown Toronto. In the garden there were flowers, in the basement there were monsters. I was sure of it.

I remember reacting with dread anytime I was asked to go down to that dark, spider-filled place. I would retrieve whatever I had been asked to get, flicking off the light and sprinting up the stairs as fast as my six-year-old legs could carry me.

Somehow I knew that if I could just move fast enough and leave enough distance between myself and the things I feared, I would be okay.

When we are injured and isolated, our monsters multiply. In an effort to protect ourselves, we naturally pull back from forces that threaten to harm us. The challenge with this is the more we avoid the things we fear, the bigger they become.

We all have things we may be afraid to do, the question is, are we able to find the courage to try it anyway?

Our upcoming program Healthy Living is all about giving new things a try. Give us a call to learn more.

The mornings take place here at Landing Strong, and the afternoons are at Maker’s Studio.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I faced those monsters in the basement years ago.

Warm Regards and Happy Easter,


Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

Meet my friend Mayan

Meet my friend Mayan

Following injury, many veterans and first responders are faced with the dilemma of whether they will return to their former occupations.

During my trip to Tanzania, in a remote community on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, I met Mayan, a local goatherd. Even at the age of seven, he understood his destiny.

Shy at first, he quickly warmed up when he saw his 40 goats surrounding me in an attempt to snag my bowl of afternoon popcorn. Grateful for his assistance I rewarded him with half of the bowl, and we happily sat on a large rock, watching the sunset, sharing the crunchy treat.

I can’t help but wonder at the vast difference between our two worlds. The choices we have in comparison to the predestined fate of the Maasai people.

I’m grateful for our choices, but appreciative of the simple and happy life they lead.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

A day at the market like no other

A day at the market like no other

This week I had the opportunity to meet some Maasai women living by the plains of the Serengeti who were selling their beaded handiwork.

After the expected amount of haggling, I struck a deal with one of them and purchased a few bracelets. Pleased with the exchange, she spit in her hand and held it out for me to shake.

Naturally I accepted her offer and shook back, knowing it was a mutual sign of agreement and respect.

Knowing the local customs sometimes takes a leap of faith. Like those who are transitioning out of military careers, understanding the norms and nuances of civilian life can come as somewhat of a culture shock.

Allowing yourself patience and grace is an important part of the journey.

Warm thoughts,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong