Starting the season of giving

Starting the season of giving

Starting the season of giving

This week a news report spoke of the challenge many people are having making ends meet.  Food banks are being accessed at record levels, and countries around the world are feeling the impact of global warming on food supply.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Instead, I chose to focus on appreciation for what I do have, the ability to extend some of that abundance to others.Inside the entrance of Landing Strong, we’ve planted a magic giving tree.  Under it, are placed a few donations for the local food bank.  It’s our hope that these few items will multiply to the point where food spills out into the lobby.  We invite you to contribute to its growth.  When the world feels too big, just remember how small efforts can create a ripple effect of positivity.Happy December,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.Executive Director, Landing StrongPS. Please don’t forget to enroll now for upcoming programs: Date Night Thursday, December 8 from 6pm-9pmMaintaining Health Thursday, December 15 from 9am-3pmStop Faking Good Start Feeling Good: Emotions Management          Co-ed group starts Wednesday, January 11 and runs for five weeks          Women’s only group starts Friday, January 13 and runs for five weeksCreating Confidence and Clarifying Strengths          Starts Tuesday, January 10 and runs for five weeksManaging the Cultural Divide          Starts Thursday, January 12 and runs for five weeks All programs are being offered in person. Please let us know if you have interest in on-line delivery for any of our programs and if we have enough people we will offer on-line as well.

Love letters to our veterans

Love letters to our veterans

Love letters to our veterans

This is a hard week for many veterans and their families. During training exercises, deployments and times of conflict, unspeakable things take place that are not readily shared. Although others may not know the exact details of what happened, please know that there is an acute awareness within the community of the cost of service, both to you and your families.This week, Kristy from Serenity Acres brought in a bundle of letters written by students from the West Hants Education Centre for members of our Veteran community. We have included excepts below, copied exactly as written:“Thank you for your service for our wonderful country. You are the reason I am able to find happiness and security in my life! I wish you the same happiness and security because you deserve it.”“We see you. We hear you. We thank you.”“Thank you for your serves!”“I hope you know we care. We understand that you have sacrificed your lives for us and we are so thoughtful for what you guys and girls did for us. Lest we forget.”“Thank you for allowing everyone to live in peace without too much risk of war. I want to let you know that you are not alone and there are support programs you can join to talk to for support.”“At West Hants Education Centre, we have educated students about the sacrifice and service you have given for our country. You are an important part of our history and our current society today.”“Students and Staff at West Hants Education Centre want to thank you for your service. Your unmatched sacrifice is why many people are able to live the lives they lead. Thank you, WHEC”I am told that leadership is best exemplified through service. Our veteran community stands as a strong example of this, its members having unquestioningly put themselves at risk so that others might be safe.  We thank you for the powerful positive role you have played in shaping this country.Today we remember military members and veterans, both past and present.Thank you for your service,

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

Paying attention to what’s working

Paying attention to what’s working

Paying attention to what’s working

It’s often much easier to notice what we’re doing wrong, rather than what we’re doing right. Military and first responder roles rely on critical analysis of potential shortfalls in order to maximize safety. 

Even when our actions are not motivated by the desire for recognition, it’s always satisfying to know when we got it right or that our efforts are making a difference. 

The problem of focusing on our missteps and passing over successes, however small they might be, is that is fosters a bias to overlook the good when we are confronted with challenges.

I like to think of the person who came up with the idea of building the first boat.  They may have thrown many items in the water and examined what made them sink, but chances are they spent more time examining what made things float in order to come up with the winning formula. It can often be easier to focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. But how much healthier would we be if we mastered the habit of noticing what we do well?

How might your day be different if the focus was on all the little things you are doing that are having a positive impact?  Can you identify three in this moment?Warm regards,

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

Triggers or glimmers? It’s all a matter of attention

Triggers or glimmers? It’s all a matter of attention

Triggers or glimmers? It’s all a matter of attention

PTSD is a condition where our central nervous systems are constantly scanning for potential threats. It’s our brains’ way of keeping us safe. The problem is, it’s easy to miss the good stuff. By hyper-focusing on danger, we overlook signs of safety.

We may have a good sense of triggers, those are the people, places or things that create a sense of danger or unease.  In contrast, Trauma Specialist Deb Dana introduced the term glimmer to describe experiences that foster a sense of safety.  Glimmers are small moments that help shift our system towards calm. 

This month in our Maintaining Health group, we worked on recognizing Glimmers. It’s really about intention. Noticing both sides of the equation.

Hurricane Fiona created challenges for many. It also brought out the best as communities bonded together to help one another. A tree may have fallen on my veranda, but the plentiful rain produced the best crop of carrots I have ever had. I’ve never seen such abundance. That’s my glimmer.

If you catch yourself focusing on the threat or problem, take a mindful moment to balance the equation. Notice the simple things that bring you peace: the crisp fall air, colourful leaves, or pumpkin people dancing on the lawns of Kentville.

Don’t forget to enjoy the glimmers.Warm Regards,

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

An evening to remember

An evening to remember

An evening to remember

Last night marked the launch of our first Date Night series. Can I take a moment to tell you how wonderful it was sharing the evening with twelve wonderful people who jumped in to be led by Kara Lister Wade as we created shadow boxes of favorite memories. What a treat to meet the significant others of our Landing Strong community. We were offered glimpses into people’s favorite moments, sharing details of positive experiences. Twinkle lights, delectable treats and candlelight transformed the space, rounded out by laughter, creativity and good company. Special thanks to Mackenzie for her beautiful charcuterie boxes and assorted sweets. Most remarkable to me was the distance people travelled in order to attend. Two couples drove from three hours away, one couple drove 90 minutes to be there, a few were an hour drive away and one lived locally: such was their commitment to attend. I can’t help but reflect on the specialness of the evening, and the residual warmth I am experiencing as a result of it.

Next month we’ll be having Chinese food. Please let us know your favorite dish if you are planning on coming. Kara will lead us through a new journey of creativity. These events are for couples, partners or close friends.

Wishing you all a restful and rejuvenating weekend.

Warm regards,

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

No risk no reward

No risk no reward

No risk no reward

Often the things that are the most rewarding involve challenging ourselves. It’s through pushing the limits of what’s comfortable that we discover our strengths: whether it’s through signing up to race in the Valley Harvest Run or allowing ourselves to be seen and heard within group. Taking small risks, while scary at first, ultimately allows us to become more confident healthy versions of ourselves.

What challenges might you look forward to this fall?

Are you willing to lean out of your comfort into an area of new growth

What could you tell yourself when that little voice in your head threatens to get in your way?

We still have spots in the on-line Identity and Transition program if this speaks to you. We’re a community that supports each other as we take small risks aimed to improve the quality of our lives.

Anything worth doing likely has something in it that’s hard.

Warm regards,

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