Finding beauty in unexpected places

Finding beauty in unexpected places

Late this past Saturday afternoon, as Nova Scotians were swept in a swirl of snow, Torontonians were bathed in unexpected sunshine.

Moderate temperatures and clear blue skies had coaxed even the most hesitant outdoors.

I was leaving the hospital after a good visit with my father and came upon an unexpected sight; on the slope of a large hill sat dozens of families and couples enjoying picnics. Behind them stood a large crowd of onlookers all gazing across the park below. I wondered if a concert was about to begin and thought maybe it had already started since many people had their cameras out, all pointed in the same direction. I could hear nothing, nor see anyone performing in the natural amphitheater below.

Then I realized what everyone was gazing at: a glorious sunset spreading its last rays over the skyline of the city. Like animals waking from deep hibernation, people had stumbled outdoors, dazed by the beauty of the mid-winter sun.

Even in the greyest of winters, we can find windows of warmth and light.

I hope that now you have dug yourselves out from under, you too are able to pause and catch glimpses of the unexpected beauty that surrounds us.

Warm thoughts in a wintery week,

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

Resurgence of the poinsettia – a story of resilience

Resurgence of the poinsettia – a story of resilience

Resurgence of the poinsettia – a story of resilience

Around this time last year, we were gifted a healthy and vibrant poinsettia. These red flowering plants are a symbol of the Christmas season, and we loved how it brightened the waiting area with a pop of holiday cheer.

Christmastime came and went, and this beautiful plant was moved from its central location on the coffee table to a corner of the waiting room, where it continued to show-off it’s beautiful leaves of red and green… Until it didn’t.

One day, while tidying up the space, I noticed this sad, sickly plant with the foil wrap at it’s base and remembered that I had not once since the holidays given it water!

The red leaves had long since dropped, as had most of the green ones. All that was left were a few shrivelled brown stems. I considered tossing it into the compost, but then noticed the tiniest light-green curled-up leaves beginning to unfurl.

I quickly gave it a good drink and put it into the sunshine of the kitchen. Day after day, the landing Strong team nurtured it. Slowly but surely, fresh vegetation began to appear.

It’s been almost a year now, and we are happy to report that our poinsettia is alive, healthy, and well. Just this week I’ve noticed that the vibrant red is returning! Resiliency is all around us.

Warm thoughts,

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

Those who run together, have fun together.

Those who run together, have fun together.

Those who run together have fun together


It was raining and tempting not to go, but luckily, we did and we couldn’t have had more fun!

In true Nova Scotia style, we kept up the family tradition of running the Valley Harvest Marathon, regardless of the weather.

There is indeed strength and spirit in numbers. Maybe you’ve experienced something similar thinking back to the first time you came to group? You may have sat in the parking lot coming up with a myriad of reasons why you couldn’t set foot in the door, but then, were glad you did. Perhaps you too were expecting rain, but like our family of runners, found sunshine by the end of the day.  Come run with us at Landing Strong.

Warm thoughts,

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

We’re all in the same storm.

We’re all in the same storm.

We’re all in the same storm.

We’re all in the same storm, just different boats. It’s not what happens to us that’s important, it’s the meaning of it within the context of our lives.

Before Dorian, Fiona or our recent flooding, we may have been buying storm chips and dare we say even a bit excited about the possibility of a storm. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Because we are so connected to one another and are aware of the hardships our friends and neighbours have experienced, these weather events take on new meaning.

If you’re looking for support, we’re only a call away. You don’t need to “earn” your spot in counselling or our programs. If you’re ready there is a seat waiting for you. There’s currently no wait list.

Warm thoughts,

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

No storm lasts forever.

No storm lasts forever.

No storm lasts forever. 

Nova Scotians love to talk about the weather. It’s a time-honored tradition, presumably linked to the fact that many residents of the province work in fishing and farming. Their safety and livelihood depended on good weather. We are also a unique province in the frequency with which we experience multiple seasons in the same day.

Over the past few months there has been a shift. Talking about the weather has been less a source of amusement, and more a source of anxiety or concern. There have been good reasons for it, for some of the greatest hardships we have faced recently have been connected to extreme weather.

It is in times when we are being tested that we truly witness the strength of community. Alone in a storm, no-one fares well. Together, we are stronger and better prepared to face what the elements might bring.

When we are connected with others, it is easier to remember that no storm lasts forever.
Find your strength within community.

We have a number of programs starting this fall. New members are always welcome. Fell free to give us a call.

Warm thoughts,

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

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.