Good Beginnings


I’m sitting here, thinking about the Ravens winning the Super Bowl, and considering the important experiences in our lives. There are those profound moments that we never forget. Those of us who are Ravens fans can probably remember where we were and how we celebrated their first Super Bowl victory. We remember that experience of excitement that consumed our senses and put an extra spring in our step. We remember the hope of the next year and the pride we took in the victory won for our city.

There are many profound moments in life that deserve that same kind of attention and reflection. There are many, however, that we fail to mark the way we mark events like the Superbowl. For instance, how many of you have marked or remembered a point of reconciliation with a loved one that led to a closer relationship? Or, have you ever celebrated the moment of realizing you matured beyond a bad habit?

There are important emotional markers that are integral to our development. These emotional markers often get overlooked. They come at transitional intersections, where there are important endings and equally significant new beginnings.

In my office, I often talk about the importance of ending well and beginning well. Transitions should be approached with a great deal of mindfulness. Transitions give us cues to our level of maturity, our spiritual development, our emotional well-being. These transitions are worth celebrating. They are the internal milestones that propel us forward and help us to be more maturely engaged in our world.

Consider these milestones for yourself, today. How can you celebrate these experiences and develop gratitude for those in your life who have shaped that maturity in you? If you travel that road, you’ll have a unique opportunity to know yourself and your loved ones more deeply. After all, it’s not just about ending well it’s about the important beginning that unfolds afterwards.

Welcome

Life is layered, complicated, untamed. It’s a passion of mine to understand the layers.

I hope this is a place where we can dialogue together about the many pages, intricacies, complexities of life. Through that interaction there’s room for every one who comes here to experience understanding at an intellectual, physical, and emotional level.

Welcome to a place where life is embraced for all of its messiness. I look forward to learning from you, and I hope you find value as well.

The Storyteller

We all have a story to tell. It’s built into the fabric of our DNA.

Think about your earliest memories and what they say about your developing personality, your caregivers, and your heritage.

Now, think about one of your favorite memories. What does that memory say about your identity, interests, and values? A deep level of emotional insight is developed through sharing your life experiences, your stories, with others.

Storytelling has been an integral part of the human experience as far back as we can observe. The earliest known cultures had their own oral traditions of creation, life, and death, from the Hebrew account of creation to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Sociologists confirm this oral tradition was profoundly important due to the intimacy it created between the teller and the listener, and through the flexibility used by the narrator to tailor the message to the needs of the audience.
The storyteller had to be able to know and understand the audience, and choose what was most important for that audience, with the goal of reorienting their thinking or feeling. Storytelling, then and now, has deep meaning for identity, relationship, and life.

Most counselors don’t describe themselves as storytellers. They fear the descriptor would confuse people and lead them to think the counselor isn’t there to listen, but to talk.

Fortunately, storytelling is infinitely more than talking. A story can be told in a word, or a picture, or a look. It can be a monumental expression through one touch from parent to child, or the message captured in the furrowed brow of a friend. These interactions communicate essential elements of a relationship that deepen intimacy and reflect back to the “listener” valuable information about himself or herself.

Let me invite you to see my storytelling role this way, as a vehicle to communicate how I see you, to reflect back to you the way you see yourself, and to create a desire and understanding for the way you could see yourself. I want to invite you into a more relational experience of your world, one that can be translated to the important people in your life.

I tell a story that invites others to face tension, to see its value and not fear it. It’s a story to disturb and entice people to experience a truer picture of themselves.
We all need storytellers in our lives who are willing to help us see life as it is and point us toward the value of life as it could be. This is an invitation to understand your own story in a new and profound way.

I’ll end with the work of Mumford and Sons, songwriters who approach storytelling well. I hope this song reorients your thinking to the beauty of a journey towards authentic freedom.

After all, what good is a story unless it impacts our lives?

Mumford and Sons, “Sigh No More”

Love; it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be

There is a design, an alignment to cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Who do YOU want to be freed to be?