The Traveling Therapist

This summer, not unlike most summers, I will take to the road with my family to get out into nature, to breathe in a different rhythm to our usual, busy, movin’ and shakin’ urban lifestyle in Chicago. We embrace (more often than not!) the seemingly endless hum of striving to balance career, family, kid’s school and activities, friends, playdates, city culture, and everything in-between. That balance only exists in the abstract. This is why, for us, getting into nature, whether it’s a local conservatory, a short tri-state trek in the Midwest to hike, ski, find a beach, or simply see more trees, is vital to our overall well-being — as I’m sure would be for you. It seems ever-increasingly important to take that smart break and reduce the tech reliance and dependency – despite the many ways technology has been a gift (especially in the last couple months); we cannot deny the challenge to source authentic connection from behind a screen. Being in nature simply does wonders for our souls and restores our connection in ways that sometimes can getaway in our ‘normal routine,’ especially this ‘abnormal, normal routine.’ Over the last couple of months, I’ve witnessed my kid’s normal cheerfulness and genuine smiles turn slowly yet noticeably glazed over and distant: the need for attention and connection becoming more acute. Despite, intentionality and creativity.

Like many families, our 2020 summer is being curated by the perfect storm that COVID-19 has brought: the ask to keep a smart distance and limit exposure, the subsequent lack of childcare, the ability and gratitude for telework and the necessity to find a solution to our urban quandary: how do we stay healthy, engaged and maintain our sanity?! Our solution: we’re taking to the road and venturing to see as many National Parks as we can, to find solace and comfort in the known calm of nature and the unknown excitement of the open road. Along the way, we’re intentionally banding together with friends and family to conquer summer together, to make memories and get through this chapter of our lives.

I will be a traveling therapist this summer, as well as a Roadtripping Mom who’s taking time for her school-aged kids to get away from their devices and learn the things you simply can’t from a computer. My sincere hope is that I will continue to foster in my kids the sense of wonder, exploration, kindness, respect, and value in making connections, whether it be sharing a knowing smile with a stranger at a rest area, experiencing the awe-inspiring limitlessness of a mountain top or visiting beloved family and friends who are welcoming this weary bunch from Chicago, who, perhaps like you, have been sheltering-in-place for about 75 days as of this writing.

From my family to yours, I wish you comfort in this unsettling time, peace, and more aliveness as we all strive to find creative and safe-enough ways to maintain our health and well-being in a time where collective spiritual healing seems abundantly needed.

I’ll be working with clients remotely, sometimes from under a beautiful tree or on top of a majestic mountain. I cannot guarantee good-hair days or excellent cell-phone coverage, 😉 but I can almost certainly guarantee more carefree kids and easy smiles, that no doubt will be just the contagion our family needs to get us through this unusual summer of 2020.

This link will take you to our scheduling app, if you’d like to work flexibly together this summer:

https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/NMKM6T

With love and light, we are better equipped to combat the darkness. One of my favorite Brene Brown truths: ‘People are hard to hate close up.’ When you lean in, get close and listen to someone’s story: the only appropriate response is compassion. EVERY time, I’ve listened to someone’s story, I’ve been able to see them and appreciate them. The sign on my office door, ‘Tell me your story,’ invited clients to do just that. 20 years of ‘holding the space’ for your stories – a couple plain truths emerge: people are infinitely kinder, better, and more loving than whatever fear-based lens you could look through and might have you believe. People want to do better, not only for themselves but for the people they love, yet they don’t always know how or may have challenges that are hard to understand. When human behavior is looked at in its context and normalized vs pathologized, people feel understood and healing tends to happen.

Here’s to everyone finding their unique way through 2020. Sending hugs and love.

Nicole

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