The risk of not being seen

The risk of not being seen

The risk of not being seen

Today marks a significant occasion as Brittney Griner, two-time Olympic gold medalist in Women’s basketball, was released from custody after nine months of detention in Russia. CNN analyst Brandon Tensley states:Griner, a Black queer woman isn’t the only American to be detained in Russia. But her predicament stands out for how it has directed attention not only to the fact that US society undervalues professional women’s basketball, but also the ways LGBTQ people in the US and Russia are differently marginalized.Griner had the courage to stand up and be seen in a country that was intolerant of gender diversity. And she paid a price. A similar theme of intolerance arose recently in World Cup Soccer, serving to increase global awareness of this important issue.For those military members and first responders who have been injured in service, a stigma exists within many institutional cultures regarding injury, particularly if the wounds are invisible. Members of minority groups within the military and first responder communities often face additional challenges in that they are doubly marginalized due to race and gender. It may seem easier to disappear.Although we still have a long way to go, it’s good news that increasing numbers of people are speaking up and being seen and recognized. A member of our community has done so recently in a big way and finally received a well-deserved promotion. Well done!Standing united in the desire for everyone to be seen and recognized with respect and inclusion.Warm regards,

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.Executive Director, Landing Strongp.s. Keep in mind group enrollment for a wide range of programs starting in the New Year is happening now. If we get a few more people, we’ll be offering an online Emotions programme in addition to our in-person programs. Please feel free to give Julie a call or drop us a line if you’d like to sign up for any of our programs.

Live long, Laugh, and Prosper

Live long, Laugh, and Prosper

Live long, Laugh, and Prosper

This Halloween, I was scheduled to attend a lunch time meeting at King’s-Edgehill School. Traditionally, the school makes a very big deal of Halloween…EVERYONE dresses up. Wanting to be part of the fun, I decided to wear a costume. Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that the school had their dress up day the previous week.

Imagine my dismay when I found myself in full Star Trek costume surrounded by a sea of students in uniforms.

I too was in uniform, only it was from wrong planet.

Somehow, this wasn’t the way I imagined this would play out.

The incidental bonus to the day is that I realized everyone I encountered was eager to join the fun. On seeing my costume, Lezlee and Jen, our Office Admin staff, ran out to Dollarama to get fun costumes and a treat bowl. Everyone smiled when greeted by a witch and a cat in the reception. Clients greeted me in the lobby with the traditional Klingon hand signals and greetings.

As the day progressed, I forgot that I was in costume, but the smiles and jokes from others reminded me that we all enjoy an excuse to laugh together.

When people feel joyful, they break into spontaneous play.

Small acts of fun truly do spark joy.

Maybe that’s the take-away from my day. Live long, laugh and prosperWarm regards,

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

Dismantling the shame shed

Dismantling the shame shed

Dismantling the shame shed

There’s an old shack in the bottom of the garden.  Dilapidated and broken.  Perhaps you know it? 

We’ll call it the shame shed.   A place where it’s oh so easy to go. I’ve spent many a rainy Saturday afternoon there.  It beacons, inviting… 

It has no real use, except to keep us trapped in a Groundhog Day of regret.   

I invite you to dismantle it.   

Let us help you take out old habits to make way for the new. View the world through a different perspective.  

Fall is a great time to sow the seeds of change. Take a peek at the programs we have lined up.  We invite you to plan ahead by giving us a call and/or dropping Julie a line to let her know which programs you’re interested in.  

Identity and Transition: Knowing who you are once the uniform comes off 
(Starts September 9th)

Navigating the Cultural Divide: Mastering how to fit into civilian life 

Creating Confidence & Clarifying Strengths:  Be the best version of you. 

Monthly Maintaining Health Programs: Heath boosters designed to keep you strong. New content each month 
(This program usually runs online, but will be held in-person on July 14th and August 18th only) 

Warm regards,

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

What do we regret?

What do we regret?

What do we regret?

Looking back on my life, there are definitely things I wish I’d done differently.  Had I known up front the consequences of some decisions I made, I may have chosen another path.   

Hmmm…would I have chosen to work in the federal penitentiary?  That’s a big one. 

The thing is, I like who I am now.  I understand people’s struggles because I too have been there.   

I’m the bi-product of all decisions made to this point in time, good and bad. I’ve survived even my most human moments. 

Maya Angelou stated: 

      I can be changed by what happens to me.  But I refuse to be reduced by it. 

Instead of having regrets, let’s choose to celebrate the wisdom we gain from our experiences. Cherish our scars and the stories they tell.  

With forgiveness, and acceptance, we rise together.

Warm regards,

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

What is love anyway?

What is love anyway?

It’s hard not to ask the question, especially at this time of year. The following answers were offered by young children in response to a survey by the Couples Institute regarding the question “What is love?”  

Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your fries without making them give you any of theirs
– Chrissy age 6

Love is what makes you smile when you are tired
– Terri, age 4

Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day
– Noelle 7

Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken
– Elaine age 5

Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day
– Mary Ann age 4

You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it,  But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget
– Jessica age 8

 
Perhaps the best example of love wasn’t something that was said, but done. Leo Buscaglia shared this special moment he witnessed:

A four year old child had an elderly gentleman as a next door neighbour who had recently lost his wife.  Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.  When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said “Nothing, I just helped him cry”.

For me, love is an action.  It’s about moving toward rather than moving away.  It’s about staying present, even when it’s uncomfortable.  It’s about patiently waiting through silence, until emotions can form.

Love is what keeps us whole, allows us to heal, giving the walk forward meaning.

Warm thoughts and lots of love on this Valentine’s Day,

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