Check-in – connection and belonging

I am noticing a lot of conversations around maintaining staff wellbeing, and supporting our teams and colleagues through these difficult times. Regardless of our location and the varied degree of “freedom”, all of us have been impacted by the pandemic.

Here’s something we can do, individually, to support our colleagues and friends.

Create a support circle.

It is informal and casual. It is establishing social connection – via chat, phone call or video call, or social media interaction.

I know the people in my circle will contact me if they need/want to. And I do the same with them – a difficult moment requires some “debrief” and a happy occasion is for sharing. That’s healthy.

Set your intention

Start by setting an intention. The support circle does not require us to be counsellors. Create a circle which you and others can belong and connect.

Shared experiences (say, of our workplace, of a particular professional group, or team) engender experiential and intellectual intimacies, and allow for conversations. The circle will be a vault where confidences are maintained. Bring our authentic self into the circle – show yourself and be prepared for candid conversations.

The “logistics”

Be specific and realistic about what we can do. This is after all about wellbeing, and self-care is a priority.

How much time will we dedicate to this, and how many per week? Individual or group interaction?

There is no fixed rule. This is a circle and the “arrangement” is loose. My check-ins are usually 1-to-1. It takes 10-15 mins and I find that’s enough for us. A matter for you how often you can engage with this. If you can manage one interaction a week, that’s good enough. At least one person will have received the generosity and kindness of your time and attention.

Who can I possibly contact? How big should the circle be?

Though not exhaustive, these questions can remind you of someone whom you can include in your support circle.

  • Who lives alone?
  • Who misses their family living interstate or overseas?
  • Who has caring obligations exacerbated by social restrictions?
  • Who is extroverted or sociable yet compelled to live under social restrictions?
  • Who haven’t you heard from in a while?
  • Who may be feeling additional stress directly because of the pandemic for eg. tech support staff who are working hard to enable our remote working life?

There is no “should” in this. We willingly come into the support circle. And if it is a circle of 2 persons, then so be it. Both of you will be better off with the experience.

No, thank you

Be sensitive to the possibility that our attention is not always welcomed or needed. Or someone may be receiving too much contact.

If you are being approached by too many people, then convey a grateful “no, thank you” to some of them. Setting personal boundaries is a resilience skill. Something along the lines of “thank you for checking in, I already have a support circle. Someone else will benefit from your check-in. Perhaps you may wish to check in on others who need support.”

If you are sensing a need for support within your community, and wondering what to do, I hope this is food for thought…and action.

You have the power to make a positive 😊 difference to someone’s day.

As we give, so we receive.

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2021

A grateful year

Surprised by the fruit hanging on the tree covered with maroon leaves, I stopped to consider whether this tree has been there all along. I haven’t seen these cherry-like fruit before. I knew of course that the tree has been standing guard next to the entrance since I moved into this house some 5 years (!) ago. Now I can say I have a purple leaf sand cherry tree :-).

This little incident is much like 2020 – it takes something different and perhaps drastic to make us see what we’ve been blind to or missing.

This year has been a challenging year in many aspects, from adapting to different and often difficult work situations to increased demand in our homes and relationships.

Yet 2020 is also the year for which we can be grateful. This year helped us to

  • acknowledge the importance of stepping off the productivity wagon
  • embrace our capacity to live with uncertainty
  • rediscover the joys, great and small, our family and other relationships bring
  • appreciate the meaning of missing someone
  • reconnect with our passions and desires
  • realise the significance of our solitude and reflection
  • be aware of how little we actually need to be happy
  • reinforce the power of kind words and a smile.

Thank you for your community, the sharing of a common spirit and purpose.

You may wish to light a candle for the year passed and set an intention for the year ahead.

As we head to the final days of 2020 with hope that 2021 will be a better year, I ask myself this:

What does “better” mean? What does “a better year” look like?

Let us resolve to retain the positive changes 2021 has brought into our lives, and usher in a better 2021.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

What’s more than a book group?

I love books, and reading. I love where books take me.

In my psychotherapy work, books and poetry become my tools. 

Yet  sometimes with the responsibilities of home, parenting and work, reading for leisure takes a back seat. In fact, it can feel like a luxury dabbled with a little guilt, as we take time away from the “shoulds” of our lives.

I know (as you do) that self-development or personal growth or “dealing with my stuff” is helpful not just for myself but also to those with whom I come in contact. I cannot give when empty.

I need to give myself permission to grow, to work on being my best self. Only then can I be in  my best self with others.

No better time than now, as we are required to stay home and some of the “shoulds” have been taken from us. Maybe there’s a little time saved from our daily work commute. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to but can’t justify the time. This may not even be at the top of your leisure list but being restricted from the outside world, this is a pleasurable option. 

Come join me, (a psychotherapist trained in group facilitation and an avid book-reader) in an online book group which serves the purpose of leisure and personal development. 

Stories can shape your lives. Here, you may come upon your tribe. You may gather some new insights. You may experience a certain liberation. 

Ready to read books, have robust facilitated conversations, and share insights in a supportive space?  There will be a selection of books which I will curate for the group to explore aspects of living life, which will inspire and motivate you to be better versions of yourself. 

Interested to find out about More-than-a Book-Group? 

Complete this Expression Of Interest (obligation-free) form, and I will be in contact to explore further.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

Be who you are and empowered

What an incredible weekend!

Spending time with my sisters in Law at the Aust. Women Lawyers Conference reminds me of why I chose to be a lawyer. The stories these amazing women told also sadly reminds me of why I left the practice of law. Though I am never far… for I am inspired to create change. These familiar stories are not intended to reinforce “victimhood” rather to make our, and women’s stories in general, visible. They are told in the spirit of recognition, solidarity and support.

They and the many actions women lawyers have taken to stake their claim to their rightful inheritance in the law, and to better the lives of women add to my inspiration and motivation. There was much discussion, and provocative and innovative ideas.

Some key messages (taken from my Tweets as I live-tweeted the event):

Lawyers need to engage their curiosity, be adaptable to change, collaborate, be inclusive, develop business acumen, have great communication skills and to not lose sight of the humanity in law.

These are essential human skills, salvaged from the trench of the “soft skills” label.

I will not be defined by the many labels you may put on me. I am complex.

And knowing who we are and what we stand for, are precursors to being fulfilled in our personal and professional lives, to being successful.

Inclusion and diversity require – in the words of Aretha Franklin, RESPECT.

Respect is a conscious act. What does it look like in practice? How do we do it?

Investing in the future (as was the theme of the Conference) begins with investing in the now, in ourselves.

Do we value ourselves enough to proclaim through our words and actions, “I am worthy”, “I am enough” and thus, “I belong”, feeling comfortable in the space we inhabit.

Sounding much like the work I do in Transfigure to empower professionals. Perhaps this is the reason why I am now more energised than before, to create change by facilitating others

  • to engage with their human skills,
  • to own their true selves and stand tall,
  • to practice compassion and kindness on themselves and others, and
  • most importantly, to take time for themselves for personal and professional development.

Fuelled by the passion of these incredible women, and to quote the AGS AWL Award recipient, the estimable Fiona McLeod SC, I will “get to it”.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2018

To be a great leader, you have to be…

S . E . L . F . L . E . S . S .

According to best-selling author of “Servant Leadership in Action” Raj Sisodia, great leaders possess

  • Strength
  • Enthusiasm
  • Love
  • Flexibility
  • Long-term orientation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Systems intelligence
  • Spiritual intelligence

Check out this article in Inc.com for what each means.