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“A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad.” ~ Robert Wagner

Hello friends and colleagues,

What a whirlwind of a month! (More about that towards the end of this newsletter.)

~I’m launching a new webinar! It is a synthesis of my own journey through trauma, grief and loss as a former child refugee and an adult child of refugees. Growing up without role models, I had to forge - to pioneer - my own way through life. My hope is that my me-search (via this course) may help you and your clients to navigate healing terrain that is under-represented, under-researched and unrecognized in most therapy circles. Visit my website to learn more about this new program. 

Learn more & register
~On November 10th and 11th, PESI UK are hosting their 3rd Annual Women & Trauma Summit. Not only am I excited to present, I am eager to learn from some of the most important voices in the field of trauma treatment.
Learn more & register
~I’m looking forward to sitting on a panel with my esteemed friend, Darrel Toulon, who is a world-recognized choreographer and music director. His passion projects, however, have involved working with adults who were conceived as a result of wartime atrocities. His latest project was documented, and will feature in the Trauma Research Foundation’s upcoming Film Festival. A link to the trailer of The Wound is Where the Light Enters is here.

~Thank you to CIIS Public Programs for hosting me for Healing the Legacy of Historical and Transgenerational Trauma. What a joy to slow things down and provide space to write, draw, journal, sing and grieve together!

~I was honored to serve my local school district about the science of addiction and the impact of addiction on families at their annual staff in-service day. Thank you to the Education Support Staff Association of Fairbanks, Alaska for supporting their community - our community!

~What a joy to present at the Safe and Sound Conference with the Polyvagal Institute and Unyte! I was b-b-b-brave and invited the audience to engage in interpersonal attunement through song. I also got to meet people !!!in real life!!! many of whom I’ve only known through their pixelated image on my computer screen ❤️
Pictured: Angela Lin (CEO of Collectively Rooted), Janina Fisher, me, Araminta Jonsson (CEO of Mint Creative Marketing), Alex Van Derlyke (Program Manager at Collectively Rooted), and tall boy in the back is Benjamin Frye (founder of Khiron House).
~It delighted my heart to present at the YWCA Greater Austin 3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium. Grief, in my humble opinion, is non-negotiable self-care for social activists and mental health professionals.

~It was wonderful to return my roots to share some of the jewels of Buddhist philosophy and practice that have been life-changing for me, framed alongside trauma-informed mindfulness at The Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health Program at New College of the University of Toronto.


I returned from my travels with a bug.....

When I am sick, I want to hide from the world. The last thing that I want to do is to have other people see me while I'm repulsively sub-optimal.

So, here's what I did:

  • I noticed and named the automaticity of the moment: hide while you are weak and vulnerable.
  • Whenever there is automaticity, there is a pattern.
  • That pattern is based on what I over-learned in order to survive.
  • I offered myself some compassion around this.
  • And then I did something new. (Gotta shift the pattern!)

Now, any change is a stretch for the nervous system.

You want to stretch the nervous system, but not stress the nervous system.

And you gotta do this, many~many~many times, until your nervous system learns a new pattern.

Fortunately, I've already been seeing a wonderful integrative medicine practitioner for intravenous nutrition and neurofeedback to bolster wellness and improve sleep (stress depletes the body on so many levels). So it wasn't too much of a stretch to go and see her while feeling icky-poo-terrible.

So, those changes that you've been wanting to make for yourself but you don't need to right now? Do it right now, so that when you need to, you don't default back to an automatic pattern.

Set boundaries when you're feeling great! So "no" just to practice saying "no"! Share your most vulnerable feelings with a Buddha Board - not when you're feeling lonely and sad - but rather, when you are feeling nurtured and connected.

I'm kinda proud of myself for what I did today. It's the breaking of a lifelong survival-driven pattern. And it's taken years.

Big moments happen as a result of lots and lots of small steps! And I send you encouragement to take that one little itty bitty small step, over and over again.

"I believe in you," says Buttons!

~I’m excited to be re-visiting Kathy Steele’s work by attending her Complex Trauma and Dissociation Skills and Supervision Group, where we discuss how to recognize when clients are displaying behaviors such as psychological defenses, re-enacting trauma, idealization and complex transference and how to respond appropriately. If you ever get a chance to learn from Kathy Steele, I highly highly recommend her work and her wisdom when it comes to working with complex cases.

Learn more here

~A long drive earlier this month perfectly coincided with a very engaging and inspiring  NPR show, the TED Radio Hour. The link is here, and then scroll down to "Changing Our Minds", where they interview three TED speakers who changed their minds / had their minds changed:

  • Bob Inglis, a 12-year Republican congressman for South Carolina, who did a 180 on climate change.
  • Adam Grant (a brilliant organizational psychologist) talks about how to change someone's mind.
  • Loretta J. Ross, a Black woman, who helps folx who leave the KKK to unlearn their hate - and has her mind changed in the process.
Jamie Marich’s book, Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma-Focused Care, has just been published in Spanish by fellow REAT Irene Rodriguez with new content from their Spanish-Speaking students!!!! 

To learn more about this project, watch this!!

You can purchase the book here en Español or in English (click the image!): 

With all the travel that I’m currently doing, I am trying to keep myself grounded…

I travel on Alaska Airlines and they have two full seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race

Drag queens remind me to boldly embrace who I am, authentically, loud and proud. Without shame. Without hubris. This segment of the show, featuring half-Iranian Canadian queen, Jackie Cox, spoke to my heart around representation and belonging. She wears a red and white striped kaftan with a blue hijab adorned with 50 stars - symbolizing the flag of the USA and redefining what it means to be American.

I'll leave you with these clips from the episode:

In love,

Copyright © 2022 Linda Thai, All rights reserved.

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