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

 

 

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

Express yourself

Express yourself

This week my husband Joe and I set off on an adventure to Tanzania in a leadership expedition with 21 high school students.

We will be doing community service, going on safari, and hopefully summiting Kilimanjaro.

One of the things I most value about travel is having an opportunity to gain perspective, and viewing our lives through a different lens.

In the Ethiopian airport, I met a woman en route to Kenya, who made me smile. Her diamond-studded glasses caught my eye, even across a crowded airport. No matter what uniform or customary dress we wear, our personalities can’t help but shine through.

I wonder how your personality shines. What small forms of expression do you have to allow people to see the true you?

 

Warm thoughts,

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

Gifts from the Universe

Gifts from the Universe

This month has been a bit challenging for me. My father’s health is declining, and as a result, I’ve made a few extra trips to Toronto in recent weeks.

On the last flight to Toronto, I wasn’t feeling particularly chatty. I sat beside a polished young woman. She was well-coiffed, armed in high heels, a white designer bag and immaculate make-up.

She didn’t make much eye contact, so I took it as my cue that we wouldn’t chat. I developed an internal story about who she might be based on her appearance. As we got up to leave, she stood and with her perfectly manicured hands passed me my bag from the overhead compartment, even though she did not have one of her own.

This thoughtful gesture prompted me to revise my initial appraisal of her. We chatted as we stood in line for our bags, and I learned that she holds a doctoral degree in genetic engineering and is dedicating her life working to develop drugs to cure hereditary illnesses. She was passionate, thoughtful, and inspired. My superficial impression proved to be very wrong.

This brief interaction encouraged me to be more open to the idea of getting to know people before judging them.

On the flight home, I felt exhausted, after five days in the hospital at my father’s bedside. An elderly woman, was sitting beside me, scribbling furiously into a journal. Her notes were organized and meticulous. Remembering my earlier vow, I threw her a line, asking if she was a writer. It turns out she holds a master’s degree in divinity and has spent the latter part of her life on a spiritual quest.

The next three hours proved to be a fulsome conversation around topics of Buddhism, consciousness, spirituality, quantum physics and mysticism. She writes under the penname Augusta. The conversation was good enough that I ordered two of her books. I left the plane feeling grounded, calm and appreciative.

I am grateful to the universe for sending both women my way. I wonder how often people of potential importance in our lives are sent to us, but we miss the opportunity to benefit from them because we are closed off or not looking.

I am renewed in my commitment to being open and receptive to what the universe has to offer. I hope you will do the same.

Warm thoughts,

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

Relishing our time together

Relishing our time together

Relishing our time together

Last week I was speaking with Jen Whalen who shared that she recently made relish with her Mum Ann, who many of you may know through our sessions at Maker’s.

They use an old recipe card that has been lovingly handed down. It is worn, stained and the cursive writing makes it look more like an old love-letter than a recipe. Jen’s Mum thoughtfully chooses the produce from local farmers and her own garden and together they wash, peel, chop, and grind, while mason jars steam on baking racks to prepare for preservation.

Together they reminisce about childhood, and each year learn more about one another. With a smile Jen secretly admitted to that she’s not actually a huge relish fan. But she does love to share it with those who are. Finding a pretty label attaching a hand-written note, securing it with twine and handing to a friend is a simple activity that brings her great joy.

It’s all about the little things, opportunities to connect, giving to others. When we take the time to notice what small seemingly insignificant things bring us joy, we can intentionally set ourselves up for more.

Warm thoughts,

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