Monday, February 28, 2011

Are You At Your Best?

When I was a counseling student, my professor, Dr. Kahn, presented the process of change to the class by way of an activity.  It went something like this:  Consider how Man/Woman is at his/her Best.   Below are my personal reflections.  Before you read mine you may want to make a list for yourself.

I like to think people are at their Best when they are relaxed, hopeful, optimistic, accepting, aspiring, goal-setting, and forward moving.  Also, when one is self-aware, maintains objectivity and has a developed sense of belonging.  Of course, I am at my best when my sense of humor is intact and there is an easiness to my laughter.  And something else which I have found to be very important, for me, is to be able to tap into creativity and possibility.

Next, he continued, think how Woman/Man is at their Worst.  Again, jot down your own list before reading on.
At their Worst, I find people are anxious, irritable, inflexible, and clenched.  Further, when they posses an external locus of control, are full of duplicity, in a state of chronic dread or apathy, and a naysayer.
To complete the activity,  Dr. Kahn had us ponder Change:  What makes it ripe to occur?  What nudges us in order to allow Change to take place?  What gets you from here to there, from Point A to Point B, from unhappy to happy?

For me, the answer to this is open-mindedness, using trial and error, being diligent, and having perseverance. In addition, I find change is more apt to happen by having a coach or mentor, working/socializing in a collegial atmosphere, as well as surrounding myself with like-minded or open-minded people.  Lastly, of course, there is love.  The ability to feel the love of others and express love to others can move mountains.

How are you at your best?  How are you at your worst or most unbecoming?  What gets you unstuck and how does this happen?  Think about it and let me know how the process of change works for you.
Personal Note:  To this day, Dr. Kahn has a strong pull on how I pursue the Art of Being a Counselor.  He was big on the ABC's of counseling.  I think there is a blog post about this in my future.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Books That Inspire Me

Check out my Books To Inspire link over to the left.  In it I include three books that serve to motivate me, keep me current professionally, and nurture me on This Counselor's Journey.  One will be for Professional Development, another a KidLit, and one will be a Personal favorite. 

With Pitchers and Catchers reporting to Spring Training how could I not include a baseball book as my personal choice.  Besides, you can never go wrong with David Halberstam.  For KidLit, One is a must-have for your bookshelf.  It is illustrated in a simple, yet brilliant style and the message is spot on for young people.  Laslty, all I can say about Malcom Gladwell is that I always learn new stuff through his writing and he leaves me pondering long afer I finish his books.  If you have not done so, you must read Outliers.

I hope you find Books To Inspire to be worthy and that it helps you to help others.

Please know this is a place to share, so do pass along any books you find especially inspiring.  Play ball!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Change of Scenery

I was blogging over at WordPress.  Now I am making the switch to Google Blogger.  I look at it as This Counselor's Journey 2.0.  Hopefully, I'll try it and I will like it. If not, what is the worst that can happen?  I just switch back. 

So, now seems like a good opportunity to re-post my piece on Change. 

Here is an old joke:  How many counselors does it take to replace a light bulb?  One, but the light bulb must really want to change.

Change.  Sometimes it is so confounding. We can be resistant and contrary, holding it at bay with all our might.  Then, at other times, it is welcoming and desired, like a breath of fresh air.

Change.  It can bring out the worst there is to offer-- wracking the body with stress and clouding one’s better judgment and perspective.  Or, it can bring us a restful night of sleep and a sense of abiding peace.

Change.  I plan to write more about this topic.  But, for now, I want to hear from you.  What makes change arduous for you?  What is it that makes it simple for you?

This is my first post to this blog.  I am excited by the opportunity.  As time goes by I hope to write about nurturing confidence, developing coping skills, becoming mindful, and fostering respect, just to list a few.

I will also share lessons learned from the students I have encountered, as well as the many people who have influenced this counselor’s journey.  Occasionally, I will address issues which affect all of us in the school community.  Always  from a counseling perspective.

I am hopeful that I will hear from you, too, and look forward to your comments as I continue along This Counselor's Journey.

In the meantime, good luck changing your light bulbs…