Hi Everybody! I hope you all had a good summer and, like me, I'm sure you are ready for some cooler weather. It was a difficult summer for me as I have been healing from another deep loss in the death of my precious mother at the end of April. Thank you again for all the love and support that you showered on me over the past couple of months.
That is the reason most folks show up here at H.O.P.E. To change something. Change is inevitable and can be very painful at times. Change can also inspire excitement and anticipation. The H.O.P.E program has experienced a great deal of change in the past several months as well. We have lost two long-time and very committed group members, Gayle Hall and Eilene Sheppard, both having died within months of each other. We have also lost our awesome and beloved therapist, Amy, to full-time work, which better served her family. We will find another therapist that we all adore and who is well suited for our group. We know this because we have found ourselves in that position before, where we wondered if we would ever find another therapist that was as well-suited for our program as she was. As most of you know, we ended up finding Amy, who we all just adored, after just such a change!
The best news about change, is that when one door closes, another one opens, or a window opens, or the roof comes off or we dig under the house to get in or . . . . . . Change always provides room for many opportunities, new personal growth, many lessons to learn and a different path on which to walk. Part of the human experience is to experience change. People die, husbands get transferred to new cities, children grow up and go to college and health issues arise. While resistance to change is natural, I learned a few things about change in general when I experienced lifestyle change many years ago. This has served me well as I have recently experienced profound change personally and as the H.O.P.E. program has also experienced change.
* Resisting change seems to be a knee-jerk reaction. It's natural, however once I realize that I am resisting and swimming upstream, I stop trying to control that which I cannot control and I let go and ride the current.
* Support is essential and necessary for me when I am in the midst of change, whether the change was my choice or not.
* Staying anchored to the Truth is super helpful to me. In times of big change, I can get uncertain, anxious, and afraid. This is when some of the "old and dysfunctional" tapes begin to play in my head. If I challenge that racket with Truth, I win. Always.
*Life is messy and I don't need to know how to clean it up. I do need to know how to take care of myself and I do need to know how to use my voice. Both lessons I learned during times of change and both I will carry the rest of my life.
*Being intentional about staying in the moment or at least in the day! I have spent SO MUCH of my life either bemoaning the past or fearing the future. Change requires being in now.
*I must be willing to feel. The more I stuff my emotions, the larger my body becomes. I know that truth, so I must be willing to feel, and with change comes an assortment of feelings!
H.O.P.E. took a break for the summer and we are about ready to start H.O.P.E. for fall and winter 2012. Following is our upcoming schedule. Welcome to the new folks. Welcome to the longtime group members. You are in for some good, challenging and thought provoking curriculum. I am looking forward to experiencing change, lifestyle change, with each one of you. God bless you and I will see you soon!
September 18th and September 25th - FREE H.O.P.E. Open House will meet on both of these Tuesdays from 10:00am - 11am in the Large Conference room. It will be an open house for all the new folks that are interested and for the regulars to get back into group spirit. We will have a group ice breaker and a time of sharing H.O.P.E.'s goals and objectives. For the new folks, you will have an opportunity to see what it is that we do here in H.O.P.E. Some of you regular H.O.P.E. attenders will be awesome at sharing your experience with new folks. I think you all will enjoy what we have planned on these two Tuesdays whether you are new and just checking us out or if you are a regular longtime group member!
October 2nd thru the end of 2012 - H.O.P.E. will officially start back after summer hiatus and will run every Tuesday from 10am - 11am until the end of this year.