Let me address the elephant in the room. I am not a licensed counselor or social worker. So why do I get to contribute to Sprout Family Clinics blog and who am I, anyway? Well I can't speak to why these therapists gave me the mic (wink wink), but I promise I'll do my best not to lead you astray. I am the wife of an actual therapist at Sprout. I'm also the gal who does the billing, manages the website, orders toilet paper, as well a bunch of other glamorous tasks around here. Most importantly, I'm raising three amazing kiddos ages 5, 4 and 10 months. So, with that introduction and list of fabulous credentials, I'm sure you are excited, dear reader, to hear my perspective on things.
Now, I'm not just saying this because my husband is a therapist and I work at Sprout, but therapy is awesome. Really. It is. There have been seasons in my life when it was absolutely necessary for me. Truth be told, I could probably always use therapy, but I can gratefully and humbly say that right now, I'm doing pretty good-- good enough to use some of the strategies and rituals I've learned through periods of therapy and self discovery.
The primary tool that I’m using right now is having daily quiet and prayer time. For me, it’s best early in the morning, before little feet come down the stairs to ask for milk or to read a story. I know that I need this time, but for me, it’s funny how when I'm doing okay or something else comes up, I easily give up these practices until, suddenly, I realize that something is really missing.
In the last year, I've been lacking my early morning prayer and quiet. With the arrival of our third child last January, sleep became scarce, so the idea of waking up when I didn't have to, seemed beyond ridiculous. And so, 9 months later I could feel it. Something was wrong. When I get that gut feeling that something is wrong, it usually takes me a while to figure out what to do. I'll have a few too many icky interactions with the kids or I'll bicker with my husband. I’ve been known to go on a new job hunt and to have a shopping spree, which is immediately followed by a spending freeze. I may get a new gym membership or reserve a plethora of self help books at the library. (Notice, I didn’t say read them.) You may know what I'm talking about. I try to rework to the whole life scenario for a few weeks. Then I remember the simple things that I need. I need prayer and quiet in the morning. I need it.
And so I began again. I set my alarm. I made the coffee. I lit the candle. I sat in stillness. I prayed. I read. The first day wasn't magical and neither was the second. But, it’s been about a week now of being back in the practice and I feel dramatically different.
I don't have just one thing that I go to when my world seems off kilter, but prayer and quiet is a solid practice for me. Your thing may not be prayer and quiet. It may be running or yoga or coffee with a friend. Whatever it is, I think we need to identify our personal rituals that set our minds back on track. We need to keep them stored in a safe place to remember and return to when we get that feeling that things just aren't right.
Maybe, like me, you need the help of therapy to get started on the path to identifying some practices and rituals. Lucky for you, you've found the right blog.