Grief of Absence
March 9, 2022
It’s been roughly a month that I’ve been on my “grief of absence,” also known as a sabbatical. For those of you who don’t already know, my mother passed unexpectedly in October. As a gift to myself, I’m taking three months off to process the grief, explore some new hobbies, take a few therapy trainings, read A LOT of books and heal a nervous system that’s also been frayed by the past couple of years. I guess you could call it a life reset. One of my goals during this sabbatical is to start something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now but have never given myself time to work on: a newsletter!
My hope for this newsletter is to provide a space to communicate some of what I’m learning in trainings and books – mostly around neuroscience – in a concise way that allows you to apply it to your own life using experiential exercises. So much of what I’m learning is really important, but it often gets lost in the shuffle or isn’t communicated in our time together in session, and it’s so helpful! It can also be incredibly hard to get through reading the neuroscience, and it’s taken me years to figure out how to apply it in an experiential and practical way.
All that to say, I want this newsletter to be a quick tool and something to read when you feel curious, or to look back on when you feel triggered. The newsletter will also be a space to communicate updates in my practice and trainings, to announce upcoming therapy groups, and to share things I’m doing to feed my right brain. Creativity is a HUGE part of our mental health, so this won’t be all neuroscience. You have to feed the whole brain!
A giant foundational figure in my work, and someone you may have heard me reference often, is Dan Siegel. His nine levels of integration theory, which he outlines in the book Mindsight, is one of the foundations I use to assess whether a mind is well integrated. It helps me understand where an intervention would be beneficial to create more integration, and therefore greater psychological health. Siegel’s book, an outline of the nine levels of integration, and interventions you can do at home to help increase that integration, will be the focus of my first newsletter next month.
I also want to share another project I’ve been working on with the wonderful people at DesignGood: I’ll be launching a new website to coincide with the official launch of my newsletter around on March 1!
On a personal note, I want to thank all of you for being so supportive during this time. I’ve never felt more loved and cared for in my life, and I’ve continued to feel that during this time off. In addition to revisiting old hobbies – reading for fun, cooking and painting – I’ve introduced some new ones, like baking! I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and process the loss of my mom, a process that absolutely happens in layers – something the late, great Joan Didion and The Year of Magical Thinking are helping me be with and move through.
With love and gratitude,