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.

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.

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

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

Resiliency isn’t a bullet proof vest

Resiliency isn’t a bullet proof vest

Resiliency isn’t a bullet proof vest

How do you define resilience? Many might think of a titanium vest that deflects bullets or adversity: a protective shell that protects from harm.

Recently, I have come to understand resiliency as something softer, sweeter.

It’s the ability to work through emotions rather than shutting them down.

To be able to slow down time when the world around us is speeding up.

It’s about making space to really talk and listen to the people who are important to us, asking for what we need and learning to be emotionally present without judgement.

The work of resiliency happens behind close doors, in sharing circles.

Injured Veterans and First Responders often complain that they are too quick to experience sadness. They view it as evidence of injury since they used to be able to “turn their emotions off.”  Me, I view it as a sign of recovery.  Emotional availability is resiliency starting to take shape.

A wise First Responder recently shared a Thomas Edison quote with me that captures the notion of resiliency quite succinctly: Most people miss opportunity and look over it because they don’t recognize it looks like overalls and hard work.

Together, we ‘ll strap on our coveralls and not be afraid to stir up some dust. Ultimately that’s what allows clarity.

But it’s not all about hard work. We also need to have fun. We’re excited to announce the launch of our new program Date Night. It’s a chance to reconnect with the fun, playful side of yourself and enjoy a stress-free evening with a close friend or partner. Join us for an evening of creativity, conversation and connection. The first Date Night starts on Thursday, October 13th from 6-9 pm. Thanks to the support of Employment and Social Development Canada, there is no fee for this program. Light refreshments are provided.

We are also registering participants for our second round of Creating Confidence Clarifying Strengths, scheduled to start November 1, 2022. This feel-good program is receiving rave reviews and has no fee thanks to the generous funding of ACOA.

Call (902) 472-2972 or email info@landingstrong.com to register.

Warm regards,

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