Weekly Theme: Returning to the Present

Weekly Theme: Returning to the Present

Returning to the Self and the Present concept - tree roots

Sometimes you hear a pull to return
Like a fish out of water hears the waves
Or a falcon hears the wind
“Come back, come back”
And return to the life
You are meant to live
And remember
There is no shame
In uprooting yourself
From the garden
That shunts your bloom
To return to a garden
That nurtures your roots

– Rumi

 

Rooting Your Self in Your Goals

The theme for this week is “Return.” I can relate to the need to uproot myself from what is familiar to try something unknown. Fourteen years ago, I packed up my truck and took a solo journey from Northern Michigan to Long Beach, California. And because I felt safe and supported in my new home, I stayed and allowed my roots to continue to grow. I’ve felt like I’m returning to something forgotten by coming to work at the Barn this year. Although it’s been unfamiliar and unknown, I’m beginning to recognize where my roots can grow.

This has taken me time, lots of observation, making sure coping strategies are accessible, and connecting with a sense of safety. Every time I took a risk to seek out something better, grounding exercises have been helpful to remind me that I am rooted in my goals to support people who are seeking support. Laying down new roots in a place that is nurturing has helped me face the unknown.

 

Grounding Your Self in the Present

Some of us will have the desire to return to old patterns as the holiday and new year approaches. It’s enticing to come back to what is familiar even if it is hurtful or destructive. And returning to something forgotten is uncomfortable and uncertain. So where can we return to if the old calls to us and the new scares us? We can return to self, to the present, to breath, to our own sense of home. Maybe your new home is a quiet place where you can be yourself. Alternatively, it can be taking some time to enjoy new connections you’ve made. Noticing these places, breathing, and remembering your purpose might help your return to the unknown feel easier. And soon it can feel as natural as a fish in water, a bird in flight, or a tree in earth.

 

Tools for Your Journey

Whether you will be returning to familiar places or returning to something new, it’s helpful to have accessible tools to get you through. Here are 30 grounding exercises to quiet distressing thoughts and return to the present.

Weekly Theme: Family and Accountability

Weekly Theme: Family and Accountability

Family and Accountability

The Value of Family

Family – a word that can carry such pain and yearning yet also warmth and purpose. Barn Life practices the value of “family.” Our actions are guided by this value often. “Accept everyone!” is our beautiful marching tune. We want everyone who walks through the gates to be treated as if they deserve a place at our table. No one should be invisible. This is part of the Barn Life magic. Part of caring about someone is holding them accountable. Holding them to the notion that we see more for them than what’s in front of them right now, and that we believe they are capable and deserving of a better life and sense of being. We remind them of their goals for joining the Barn Life client family.

 

Listening with an Open Heart

We want them to get the most out of being here and being “a part of” because they are deserving of it. None of us act as islands at Barn Life. In a healthy family dynamic, we must channel humility and openness when considering one another’s feedback. We are an eclectic bunch of unique, intelligent, and strong individuals who need others just like everyone else. Families either turn toward and unite in chaos or they turn away or even against each other. Let us all strive to continue turning toward.

 

Meeting the Needs of Others – and Our Own

For most of us, there are many things we’d leave behind with our families or like to change about them. However, we must not allow that to dictate our narratives or roles in our chosen families. We now have a chance to meet the needs of others in a healthy way. Additionally, we are permitted the opportunity to get our own needs met – needs which we wish our families had dutifully provided us – for security, for belonging, for intimacy, and overall, for safety. We have choices now! We didn’t as children. Let the pain of what never was turn into a dull ache. You’ll feel it sometimes, but not all of the time. It no longer needs to dictate your life or your identity. You can get your own needs met and invite people into your life who are actually capable of meeting your needs.

 

Some Things to Think About

Ask for the hug from the warm father figure. Receive soothing words of encouragement from the mother figure. Let them ground you in calm security. Tell yourself you will be okay. Fearing and trying to predict and control are all old blankets that are unnecessary now. Thank the family member who was a responsible constant in your life. Express appreciation for those around you and allow yourself to be seen. You can and will create a new sense of family for yourself.