How do we make a difference when the problem feels so big?

How do we make a difference when the problem feels so big?

How do we make a difference when the problem feels so big?

Over the past few weeks, the very foundation of our country has rocked with the discovery of 1,323 bodies of First Nations children at various sites across Canada.  It’s believed that there are many more yet to be found. 

I’ve hesitated to write about this.  It’s incredibly important and I don’t want to get it wrong.  How do we possibly come to terms with this level of atrocity?  The genocide of a generation of our First Nations children: are we glimpsing the ugliest part of humanity? 

I’m reminded of a discussion I had many years ago following news of the tragic shooting at Montreal’s École Polytechnique where innocent lives were taken.  During a National conference of 1000 psychologists, we sat in a room together and asked ourselves the question: How to we respond to such atrocity?  How can we prevent such horrific acts of violence from reoccurring?  There were no quick answers.  We all felt powerless.  Eventually one of the speakers stood and spoke in a tentative voice:

“I don’t have the power to change the world, but I certainly can have a significant impact on my immediate circle within my community.” 

Others chimed in:

 “If each of us has a voice and speaks out, we are 1000 strong in this room alone.  If we all speak to 100 people that’s 100,000 minds that we have the power to change.  We all have an immediate circle of influence.  If we all commit to being part of the solution, demanding change, that has to have an impact”.  

I don’t pretend to have the answers.  Nothing can make this right.  We can’t go back and undo the harm that has been done.  I was taught that Canada is a mosaic woven of many different colours and fabrics.  I believe the diversity is what provides richness to our Country. 

We don’t heal from our past by looking away.  If there is to be hope for a version of Canada where all are treated with dignity and respect, we need to witness even our nations darkest periods.  

Ignoring pain does not allow for healing.  It prolongs it.  Let’s strengthen our circles, making sure the steps forward are meaningful and lasting.

This is news that needs to be felt.  Only then can we ensure it never happens again. 

Warm regards,

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

Noticing the tiny perfect things

Noticing the tiny perfect things

I recently watched a charming movie on Netflix called A map of tiny perfect things.  A young couple, caught in their own personal ground hog day, struggle to find meaning when every day seems a repetition of the previous one.  Somewhat like waking up each morning to hear the COVID report. They hatch an ingenious scheme to devote themselves to finding tiny perfect moments that exist within the fabric of each day.  

I love this idea.  Instead of focussing on things that can’t be controlled, I want to form my own list of tiny perfect moments.  It’s easy to miss them.   Sometimes we have to look very closely to see.  

I’ll share one from yesterday.  A young man in his late teens is at the Big Stop struggling to get his debit card working. He’s filled his gas tank, but can’t pay for it because his card won’t work.  The cashier mentions that she is supposed to call the RCMP in such a circumstance.  Immediately a woman in line steps up and says “don’t do that, how much is the bill?  I’ll get it for him”.

Embarrassed that I didn’t think of it, I offer to cover half.  Turns out the bill is only $20.

That could be the end of the story, but it isn’t.  As I am pulling out of the station I see the young man waving his arms and running after me.  He explains that he got his card working and wanted to give me back the $10 I had chipped in, insisting that I take it.  He was articulate, thoughtful and appreciative.

What a beautiful tiny perfect moment to start this week’s collection.

In group we have the opportunity to witness many tiny perfect moments.  Moments when people listen to one another without judgement.  Notes of support that are offered after a difficult share.  Celebratory cheers when there has been an accomplishment.  Or simple quite head nots of understanding when a group member shares something they are struggling with.

There are still two seats left in our Healthy Living Group starting next week.  It’s a chance to ensure the life you are living reflects the person you want to be. Give us a call today if you’d like to join.

Warm regards,

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

Home isn’t always a place

Home isn’t always a place

Anyone who knows me also knows I love sappy movies with predictable happy endings. I love the feeling of knowing that, in 90 minutes, no matter what challenges are faced, everything will be okay in the end.  I think in many ways it’s my philosophy of life.  If we keep on journeying, eventually we’ll get home.  

Home isn’t always a place is it?  It’s often a feeling.  Sometimes it’s just being:  Listening to music with friends, having a heart to heart over coffee with a friend, or walking in nature with your dog.

Home is a feeling that starts with being comfortable with ourselves.  Whatever challenges you may have faced on your journey, we can overcome them together.  Join us for a group program, and make your home a supportive community of peers who may have walked similar paths.  

Warm regards,

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

Being there for one another the best way we can

Being there for one another the best way we can

“I got you a delicious cake,” said the mole
“Did you?”
“Yes”
“Where is it?”
“I ate it,” said the mole
“Oh”
“But I got you another.”
“Did you? Where is that one?”
“The same thing seems to have happened.” 

-The Boy, the Mole the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
 

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to show up for someone even if we might not know what to do.   Or maybe we try to say something and it comes out all wrong.  

Many people are hesitant to join group because it can be scary. 

“What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don’t belong?”  Or even worse, “What if I say something that injures someone?”  

Being in group is about meeting people where they are at.  Everyone starts in a different space, and goes at their own speed.  We aren’t supposed to all be the same. We don’t always say or do the right thing. But somehow we work it out.

I can promise you one thing …we won’t eat your cake!  Give us a call and join us for a group program this spring.

Warm regards,

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

The bravest thing you’ve ever said

The bravest thing you’ve ever said

“What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” asked the boy.
“Help” said the horse.
“When have you been at your strongest?” Asked the boy
“When I have dared to show my weakness”

  • The Boy, the Mole the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

 
I used to belief courage was about doing things that involved incredible risk:  Running into burning buildings; putting oneself into the line of fire; more recently caring for those with contagious diseases.  

These are indeed acts of courage.

What I have learned to appreciate though, is a quieter more invisible form of courage.  It’s the force that motivates us to speak when it’s easier to remain silent.  To stand up and be seen when we can blend in or remain invisible.  To ask for help when in many ways it’s less effort to simply carry on.

Asking for help may be one of the hardest and most courageous things we can do.

Warm regards,

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

Quiet Connections

Quiet Connections

Every Christmas Day I know two things will be true: 

  1. I will likely eat chocolate for breakfast
  2. I’ll spend time connecting with people I love.  

This year, although I’m fairly certain a Toblerone bar will make its way into my stocking, I also know the way I’ll connect with others will look different. With some people, I’ll connect with by phone, others by computer.  

The largest community, though, I’ll hold in my thoughts. 

When people are thinking about us, we often feel it.  Even when we may feel alone, our community is still there.  The connection is simply quieter… but not forgotten.

Know that each and every one of you are in our thoughts.  

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season and looking forward to connecting in the New Year.

Warm regards,

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