Monday, March 7, 2011

Update

It's been awhile since I've posted. Life has kept me away from blogging. I've spent a great deal of time preparing to open my private practice, which I will officially do this Wednesday. There is still much to be done, but I wanted to take a few minutes to give a little update on my spiritual journey.

My husband and I are talking more about our spiritual concerns in an open way. This has been a lovely thing. We can finally be a support for each other in this area. When I first began my blog, it was very hard for him to read it and we certainly weren't discussing it!

I am increasingly at peace. I have books unread that I will still read, but I don't feel the need to keep up the frenetic pace that I was maintaining. I am talking to more people about where I am, and have felt comfortable speaking up in Bible class and being candid with my book club about where I am.

I continue to have serious doubts about Christianity as THE TRUTH and yet, I still find myself drawn to the spiritual. I have found it necessary to make the decision to stop attending church on Sunday night and I generally find reasons not to attend on Wednesdays. However, I am more comfortable again engaging my children in spiritual activities at home, such as prayer and discussion. My husband and I have also talked about reinstituting our "family fun night" where we teach some higher principle using an object lesson and fun activities. I am not motivated by a sense of duty, rather, I feel energized again about directing these activities and doing more explicit teaching to my children. I had avoided it, feeling dread about teaching something I wasn't sure I believed. Of course, I am still not clear about everything I believe, but I do think my values are becoming clearer and I can teach them mostly from a Christian framework, but I also feel free to use other frameworks as well. I feel a sort of freedom to move and to question, but also a freedom to be rooted in what I value.

Our book club just reviewed a book I found quite helpful and I look forward to bringing up several points from it in the coming days. Hopefully, I'll get a bit of a break in the work load again soon.

27 comments:

  1. I'm happy for you that you've found some peace in all of this and even more happy that you and your husband can speak more openly with one another. It's inspiring to know that this can actually build intimacy and that doubts of your faith don't necessitate division. Congratulations on opening your private practice! That's exciting. I look forward to seeing how this all unfolds for you no matter where you end up.

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  2. Blogger ate my comment! :-)

    Just wanted to say that I can sense the peace in your post. Lots of positive things happening. All the best with your practice...and all things family related too.

    ... Zoe ~

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  3. I echo what dma and s.wings have said! Okay crying child...gotta go!

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  4. thanks to all. Not sure how long this period of peace will last, but I'm enjoying it.

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  5. Glad to hear things are breaking loose for you finally! Looking forward to hearing more about this book you mention!

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  6. I agree with secularwings—your peace flows through your writing. I also concur with D’Ma—I am happy for you.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if you maintain more peace than lose it. Life fluctuates—life always moves—so no one maintains complete cacophony or utter peace at all times. Grab the few moments it does and enjoy the peace while laughing at the chaos. My philosophy.

    I use the term “deconvert” more broadly than most. Many define the term as only being a person who ends up non-theist. I see it more as a person who takes a radical shift in their theistic belief. It may not swing to agnosticism or atheism—rather it swings them to the point of being empathetic with others of differing theism.

    You would be surprised how much peace arrives when one comes to terms with not being required to have ALL the right answers ALL the time.

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  7. DagoodS,
    I like your philosophy: Enjoy the peace. Laugh at the chaos. That would make a good bumper sticker. I appreciate your encouragement.

    You know, it's interesting the way you use deconvert. Because this has been such a long process for me, I sometimes feel like I haven't changed much. However, if I compare a snapshot of me from 2 years ago, I think there has been a radical shift in my beliefs.

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  8. Dagood: Ha - as I was chopping up veggies today I was thinking to myself trying to think of what I would say to a psychologist, ...I would mention that I think my problem now is that I have too much empathy. It hurts to see people talk about hell nowadays.

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  9. Psst. Secular Wings is me, Zoe. You all can call me Zoe, okay? *grin* BTW, I moved my ACS blog to a new URL, so if you want to keep linking to me, you'll have to change your link in your blogroll. I'm closing my ACS blog soon. Will be thinking about you tomorrow. :-)

    Save the the moments of peace to help you through the moments of chaos. (Zoe thinks to herself, heh, I should try that.)

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  10. I wish you well on your first day in the office. Transitions into a new place seem to be your mode of life right now, figuratively and literally.

    I read a book in seminary, "The God I Don't Believe In" which addressed the difference between losing one's faith and rejecting a concept of God. The book is probably pretty dated but the concept is still helpful. I am reading Dark Night of the Soul. It is a nice reminder that God is really bigger than our theologies. Peace

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  11. Jeff
    Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll add it to my list. Yes, transition is a good word for me now.

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  12. Just thought I'd let everyone know that my first day in the new office went well. All my clients who followed me from my old office really liked the new space. I did have one goofy experience, which is how my life goes. If you ever watch The Office, you may have seen the episode where Duane gets motion sensitive lighting to save on expenses. I thought it was funny when everyone in the office had to stop periodically and wave wildly in the air to get the lights to turn back. Yeah. Part way through my first session, you guessed it, the lights went off. Thankfully I had 2 lamps and a window, so we weren't in total darkness. My waiting area also went dark once, so when a client came in, there was a brief moment before the light came on when she thought she had come to the wrong place. We don't have our lamps in the waiting area yet. I have to figure out those light switches tonight. There are a couple of buttons on them, so hopefully one keeps the light on, depite lack of motion!

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  13. sensitive
    wave wildly
    lights out
    dark
    total darkness
    wrong place

    Sounds like one of my sessions. And it has nothing to do with "lighting." LOL!

    Good to hear it went well. Now, when can I book a session? *grin*

    ... Zoe ~

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  14. In my first session with my therapist she opened the door to her office and there were wrought iron crosses covering one wall, no overhead lighting - only a lamp and a window - votive candles flickering, and a water fountain. I thought I was in the wrong place. Maybe this could be good, a two-for-one. Do massages come with this package?

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  15. A water fountain?! Yikes. Pee break. ROTFLOL!

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  16. Ya got that right, driver!!! How can you make it a whole hour with that going?

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  17. So, no water fountains then? :) They seem like they would create a soothing atmosphere. Never thought of the increased bath room breaks! Hee hee. I tend to have brighter rooms with less "spa" like atmosphere because I work with alot of kids. I think they'd be freaked out to enter a half dark room with candles and crosses.

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  18. zoe and D'Ma,
    I'm still adding to our office and getting it completely decorated and ready. As you obviously have ideas about the whole therapy atmosphere *grin*, what suggestions do you have for anything you think is particularly good and/or bad to have or not have in the waiting area and office? Aside from water fountains :)

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  19. Oh, D'Ma, we're decorating now. I'm so excited! Warning: Remember, you asked. (Zoe figures she'll never ask again.) LOL!

    I'll be back.

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  20. LOL! Yaaay! I love to decorate! Let me doe some thinking and I'll be back, too. Maybe Zoe and I can put our heads together on something. *hehe*

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  21. Lighting - Not too bright, not too dark. If client has to face a window, be sure a curtain can be closed or blinds can be shut.

    Sound - Music, if piped into waiting room, not too loud.

    Sound proof - Be sure clients in waiting room can't hear the discussion in your office if both are close together. By sound proof I don't mean actually sound proof your room as much as I mean, make sure privacy is secure. My therapist runs a low-level air-filter in his waiting room to be sure one can't hear the client/doctor in session. He actually turns it on from his office when he hears the next client come in. He also has a buzzer on his door that notifies him that the next client has arrived. Great for helping the therpaist wrap up the session. :-)

    Temperature - if client is menopausal, forget it. You could keep it like a freezer and she'll still sweat. LOL! Otherwise, moderate temperature, no drafts.

    Decor - Sparse but comfortable. Uncluttered. :-)

    Unbreakable in the waiting room. Glass photos/pictures on the wall can cause a glare depending on where they are positioned. The pits for clients who suffer from headaches &/or migraines that are easily triggered.

    Misc. - Determine your policy regarding cell phone use inside your waiting room and office.

    Assuming you have a no smoking policy. :-)

    Offices here are requesting clients to consider not wearing strong scented perfumes, colognes etc. for those suffering from enviornmental allergies/asthma. Sometimes very difficult to control but the average clientele will catch on.

    Enough for now. I'll be back if I think of more. :-)

    ... Zoe ~



    Mats for wet boots and shoes. Determine if you want a policy that all shoes come off at the door. Offices here are providing disposable slippers &/or actual slippers. :-) I take my own slippers.

    Many offices here no longer provide toys, books, or magazines in their waiting rooms. Apparently to cut down on the spread of colds and flu. They recommend you bring your own toys for children and or your own reading materials.

    Provide a waste basket in the waiting room.

    Never run out of toilet paper in your washroom. :-)

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  22. If you work with a lot of kids I might suggest:

    A hand sanitizer dispenser in the waiting room, a few toys for them to play with or maybe some children's books to keep them entertained should they have to wait. (I get what Zoe is saying, but most parents don't do that and then the other patients have to sit there and listen to screaming children.)

    Everything Zoe said above is great, and maybe my therapist uses the fountain for the same reason hers uses the air filter. It is soothing and relaxing, but I really did need a pee break by the time we were done. :-)

    Soothing paint colors, muted shades of green are great.

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  23. I like seeing framed photos of local photographers in the waiting rooms. Generally, I'm not picky about a waiting room. New/newish magazines of different varieties and if you see kids, toys are a hit for my kids. It is interesting to note regional differences from secular wings, b/c our area waiting rooms usually have toys. I like to see toys that are newish/clean that are wipeable, as opposed to stuffed animals and such.

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  24. I know you're probably impossibly busy. I hope your practice is a huge success!

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  25. Thanks Zoe, D'Ma, and LikeAChild,
    I have been very busy and will likely be so for the next couple of weeks. I'm trying to do yoga to keep down my stress level, but I'm afraid I'm accumulating physical symptoms of stress instead of reducing them!

    I appreciate the suggestions. It's interesting about the shoes, Zoe. No one here is asking people to take off shoes. People really don't even do that in homes here. We don't wear shoes at our home, but we don't even ask others to take their shoes off when they come to our place. It is a good idea though. At least no one smokes in most public places now, even in the south!

    I do put toys in the waiting room to maintain everyone's sanity. They are the cleanable variety, though.

    Hand sanitizer is a good idea, I'll get some for the waiting room.

    I hadn't thought about framed wall decor causing glare. I'll have to look into non-glare art! I also like the idea of local art, I hadn't really thought of that.

    I believe in lots of trash cans!

    soundproofing has been an issue, but we're getting that resolved. We are getting some soundproofing for our doors. Right now I just have music playing in the waiting room. I also need to get a sound machine.

    D'Ma, We just happen to have sage green waiting room walls! The office is a muted, creamy yellow. As of now, Zoe, the decorations are definitely sparse! We're still in process. I don't believe in clutter either, and with child clients, it wouldn't work. Everything has to be child proof in my office.

    We're still working on those silly motion sensors on the light switches. The architect said he'd put them on the longest setting, but I'm not confident they will be long enough. I'll just have to move around alot during the session! Either that, or get a hamster with a wheel for my office. :)

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  26. Glad to be of service. :-)

    Does this mean you're too busy to fit me in? LOL! ;-)

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