Our Moments of Shift

I’ve been reflecting on some key moments of shift for me. You know that time when someone said you couldn’t do it and you said .. wait a minute, I think I can!! When we stop and make that shift for ourselves it becomes empowering.

I write about a couple of these moments in my book: Look up, move forward. I share an experience where I was challenged if  I could be a social worker. The Department head had questioned my abilities due to my eyesight. “By the time I got on the bus, though, my confidence had rebounded enough to reimagine the interview. In the new version, when I fumbled for the chair, I asked for assistance without apology. My answers to his questions were concise and decide. I cowered less, and asserted more, assuring him that I was ready for the coursework, that I understood the rigors of graduate school, and that i knew I could be an effective counselor.”

“But being rejected galvanized my desire to become a counselor. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I couldn’t give up but the path of least resistance had been blocked.”

Years later, I can appreciate this moment of shift.  I recognized that I didn’t need to believe his negative assertion about me and my capabilities.  As clients come into my office and I briefly share with them, I am blind – that’s my guide dog in the corner and we move forward with what brought them to counseling, I think how little this matters that I don’t see their face.

As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better. — Steve Maraboli

Look up, Move Forward

Oh, It’s fun to start blogging again.  Looking forward to sharing my thoughts about life as a therapist – author – speaker – woman who is gaining vision and insight while losing eyesight to retinitis pigmentosa. 

Why the name? Look Up, Move Forward?  It’s a mantra that I believe we continue to do in life as we navigate life’s challenges and joys. Here’s the story behind it (also the title of my first book: Look Up, Move Forward — my journey of finding my vision while losing my eyesight.  

The story goes as follows: 

After a busy morning at work, cricket my guide dog and I stepped out of the office for a walk. We had just got our stride when my cell phone rang. The call was from one of my colleagues and so I picked it up. My colleague was going through a difficult time. She needed to talk and I was happy to listen, hoping I could support her in some way that would help. I slowed down as we talked and cricket sensed that I was preoccupied. She slowed down too and then got distracted herself, sniffing along the edge of the sidewalk.  Hoping I could redirect her without interrupting my friend I whispered “cricket hop up. Move forward.”

My friend said, Becky what did you say? 

“ Oh sorry, cricket was just off focus. I told her to “hop Up and Move Forward.”  I thought you said “Look Up, Move Forward.” My friend Melanie said. That’s exactly what I need to hear.”  She heard a gift in my instruction to cricket a bit of wisdom that has stuck with both of us. Cricket gets all the credit for the insight that day and for teaching me a lesson I treasure. 

So often were encouraged to just move forward during difficult times or press on through challenging circumstances. The frequently prescribed remedy is to get moving again or to keep moving through pain. Obviously I believe in movement – I love movement. Moving forward does play a role in healing. But just like I asked cricket to “hop up” or “look up” first real progress requires a period of refocus, a sort of pause in our lives. 

For me looking up is often seeking spiritual help, but it can also be taking a moment to look for silver linings, or to bask in gratitude for the silver lining, or to bask in gratitude for the beauty in my life. It’s the quiet moment of contemplation or the consideration of my values and how to incorporate them into the challenge. When I take that moment to refocus and reflect on my motivation and desires, I feel the strength to move forward with purpose and determination. Then moving forward really does make sense.

Share your thoughts on Look Up, Move Forward.

Becky

Becky Andrews, LCMHC

www.beckyandrews.info
www.resilientsolutionsinc.com
www.oasiscenterforhope.com