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

 

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

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Over the holidays I had the chance to spend time with family and friends. One young fellow, Ewan, captured my heart.

No matter what we did, Ewan was filled with excitement, fully enjoying the wonder of each moment as it unfolded.

“This was the best day EVER!” he exclaimed after jumping from the wood-fired sauna into the ice-cold lake.

“I can’t believe I got to chop down my first tree!” he shouted gleefully as the tree hit the ground.

Even when collecting rocks, he did not complain under the burden of the large, heavy bag he was carrying. His only utterance was “It’s so much better with you helping me carry the load.”

At the tender age of ten, Ewan understands that there are some burdens too big to shoulder alone. This is a truth that we somehow often lose sight of once we hit adulthood.

Having more people does indeed lighten the load. Our group programs exist for this very reason, to make sure no one walks alone. When we’re in good company the load we carry inevitably becomes easier to shoulder.

What better way can there be to start the new year than to join a community of people that understand.

If you have not yet signed up for our January program, Emotions Management, there are still a few spots available. If you’ve already completed it, we look forward to seeing you at our monthly Maintaining Health program on January 18th.

Happy New Year!

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

Finding your inner Cindy Lou Who

Finding your inner Cindy Lou Who

Finding your inner Cindy Lou Who

The snow falls in heavy wet patches on my windshield as I strain to see through the slush that is accumulating.

I grumble under my breath as I feel the wheels of my car swerve on the greasy roads.

“Winter is here” I sigh grumpily in a resigned manner. Arriving home, I trudge up the porch and lug my groceries onto the counter.

I’ve only been inside a few minutes when squeals of delight and shrieks of laughter prompt me to stick my head back outside.

What greets me is a sight for sore eyes. On the soccer pitch in front of our house are thirty Mexican students, their first year in Canada, rolling around gleefully in the fluffy white snow. They dive tackle and hurl snowballs at one another, breathing in the excitement and electric thrill of their first ever snowfall.

What was initially cause for dismay, the first big dump of snow, has suddenly been transformed into something magical. Something as simple as being reminded of the beauty of the season’s first snowfall has served to change my perspective.

Alone, I am the Grinch. Through connection with others, I find my inner Cindy Lou Who.

Group can do that. Alone with our thoughts, it can be hard at times to view things through an alternate lens. With input from others, our world transforms.

We are currently enrolling for our January Emotions management program. If you have not yet taken it, please contact us soon to avoid disappointment.

Stay warm and young at heart,

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

The powerful interesectin of creativity and resilience

The powerful interesectin of creativity and resilience

The powerful interesection of creativity and recovery

Look at what happens when we trust what good things lie within.

Inside each of us is a hidden artist, with a creative spark waiting to be released. It may not yet know how to express itself, but it lies dormant, waiting to be discovered.

As those who are injured begin to get better, they often reconnect with their creative selves. We see it at Maker’s during our monthly Maintaining Health groups; we witness it in our staff team meetings as people’s hearts take watercolor shape on paper. Most recently, this has been revealed in our waiting room, when Fern proudly showed us an incredible piece of her art – a handcrafted, felted, Islandic inspired wool carpet, which she magically produced in just 3 days.

Such is the power when creativity and recovery intersect.

Warm thoughts, 

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

Finding Gold at the end of the rainbow

Finding Gold at the end of the rainbow

Finding gold at the end of the rainbow

Today I walked to work with a skip in my step and a smile on my face.

You see, my office is close to the group room. All week, I had been hearing the animated sounds of connection as participants from three separate programs formed new bonds, shared experiences, and supported one another in their respective journeys of recovery.

I can tell the programs are going well. The warmth and laughter spill across the reception area, like the heartbeat of the building.

On Friday, as I walked to work, all I needed to do was follow the rainbow.  Literally.  It took me directly to Landing Strong.

What a happy way to end a wonderful week.

Warm thoughts,

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