My last blogpost was published on September 5th, 2015 (wow) and so much has happened in my life since that point that it is hard to even know where to begin as I sit to bring my thoughts back to the page. But, to have a new beginning, you have to start somewhere and so I am choosing to show up and turn over a new leaf.
In June of 2015, I made the bold and somewhat unconventional decision to retire from my 15-year career as a public high school teacher to pursue my Masters in Counselling Psychology with the goal of building a private psychotherapy practice. I called this my #midlifeopportunity because it came on the eve of my 40th birthday. This major shift in direction certainly accounts for much of my absence on the blog. Primarily because completing my Masters in a compressed timeframe meant reading and writing copious pages and that necessary focus used up every ounce of my thinking and writing energy. But that formal academic writing left a vacancy for me. I missed being here. I missed the creativity. I missed the reflection. I missed the part of me that found expression through writing freely.
Today, I am returning to this space after having studied, researched, learned, developed, and ultimately graduated and achieved all the requirements to become a fully licensed Registered Psychotherapist. For now, suffice it to say that it was quite a journey, fraught with many challenges to overcome and joys to celebrate. It is with a great sense of accomplishment that I look back on the last three and a half years and realize how my life has changed for the better.
As a part of fully conceptualizing my practice, I have renamed it (and, consequently, this blog), “A New Leaf”. This name encompasses so much about what this next chapter in my life represents both professionally and personally. Professionally, I am committed to offering counselling services that help individuals and couples envision and implement a new way of living that brings greater integration and health. Personally, I realize that I have turned over a new leaf and am showing up to a life that, until recently, I had not fully imagined for myself and my family. From a writing perspective, I am reconnecting with this passion and pleasure as part of my own new leaf journey. I believe in the power and potential of a blank page and know that each day – each moment – is a fresh opportunity to write a good story.
I know that writing is good for my soul. I know I need it to be part of my life again in a more consistent and thoughtful way. So, I intend to make space to re-prioritize it and to see how it shapes and brings clarity to my life again. I hope you will visit from time to time and be encouraged or inspired by what you find.
I’m not much for new year’s resolutions (I am into the #oneword movement – more on that later) but I do think a changing calendar naturally invites us to reflect on our past and look into our future. Perhaps you are thinking about a fresh start? Do you have a #newleafpractice? Can you identify one thing that helps you take a step towards greater wholeness in your life? How can you begin (or return to) something that feels fresh and invigorating even today? Comment below and let me know how you are turning over a new leaf.