Through the Woods

Over the hill & through the woods… It feels like 2020 brought us some new different sort of woods that we were unaware & unprepared for. The climate has been unpredictable..frightening…forceful… it could put us in awe.


The twists & turns… we’re unsure of the stops… the lights are both red & green. Our hearts beat faster, our anxiety higher, the loneliness more apparent. The changes….. in finances, jobs, schools, businesses, dots on floors, plexiglass up, wash, wash, wash your hands, sanitizing, signs of new hours adjusted, new hours worked, lay offs, hunger…And still more change as we Zoom; commute through our homes… if we are blessed to have a home & the technology to do so.  


And still….we age….grow….live.  


We now may stop to consider the ramifications of giving and receiving a hug, a handshake. Our faces are covered so the baby can’t see our smile….the stranger behind the mask.


There are so many firsts….haven’t those generally been a good thing, a goal to work towards? How many days has it been since I saw a movie in a theater, watched a live in person performance, played soccer, or planned a trip that included an airplane?


Somehow it seems like a break up we didn’t see coming. I didn’t know that was going to be the last kiss, the last day I would walk into school, the last day of not thinking about… 6… feet.  


The list of to dos before I leave my home…..mask, hands washed, sanitizer, temperature checked…..and the question… do I really need to leave?  Is this worth the risk?


With all the pain, sorrow & grief…the grief of not attending a memorial, a graduation, a wedding, the grief of not getting to be with family or friends at all or…. the same way. People are dying alone… more than ever before.


And still….. there’s light, the unexpected. A vaccine becoming available at a pivotal time, new leaders preparing to take hold of their part of the reigns, past leaders teaching us tales we can learn from. Perspectives have changed….. some things can no longer be taken for granted. 


And still…… we are human. Flawed, beautiful, unique beings living amongst one another. Trying to turn on the flashlights in the darkness, to show one another……that despite distance, despair, sorrow, conflict, war, and trauma…..that there’s still the genuine, kind gesture. A laugh, a masked smile and joy in a moment to share if only brief…..


It lights up a day.


~Jasmine Rose Penter, LCSW 12/20/2020

Happy New Year

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As I reflect on 2017 I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring.  I’m beyond honored to have welcomed new clients as well as continue to support some who have been with me since the start (September 2013 to be exact).  What I’ve noticed this year is a deeper understanding of the complexities of grief.  Grief has been one of my specialties – one of those topics I’ve always been comfortable thinking about and in my adult years have pursued looking at how to talk about when my own personal grief shook the very ground I was walking on.  I find the research on healing and trauma fascinating and continue to learn about the neuroscience behind this work (which I fell in love with as I completed my last stent in school).

This last year I put on my first Young Women’s Empowerment Class where I introduced gratitude jars, vision boards, and journaling as ways to pay attention to hopes and dreams, as well as barriers and challenges that get in the way of those very same hopes and dreams.  In February 2018 I’m putting on my first Young Women’s Retreat which will incorporate some of those same ideas however in a different setting~ at the coast in a cozy house where I find healing comes more naturally with the ocean air, the sound of the waves, the quiet, music, creations, and a whole lot of laughing.

So thank you, to everyone walking alongside me as we journey through this thing called life.

With Deep Gratitude,
Jasmine

 

If you can make the world a little better, then you have accomplished a great deal.

Summer is in full swing and things at Ignite are going well.  The Young Women’s Empowerment Class completed last month and they liked it so much we are going to continue monthly check ins!  I’m hoping there will be more interest in this class to start a new one this fall.  Here are our final vision boards: 18556764_973500899419846_3954842052511610983_o

I’ve welcomed some new clients recently who are looking for support as they transition out of unhealthy relationships, as well as some couples who are trying to find healthier ways to communicate.  Stress can impact our relationships, how we communicate, as well as how we make progress towards our goals.  Self-care is a must as we manage day to day responsibilities as well as find ways to address the grief and loss in our lives.

One of my favorite subjects is gratitude.  Finding ways to pay attention to what we have rather than what is missing can really make a difference in our frame of mind.  Gratitude jars were a hit in my class as well as many of my clients are tracking gratitude in their journals.   Right now I have a couple more spots open for new clients; I hope that if you or someone you know could benefit from counseling or a life coach that you will contact me!  17635441_925114810925122_5231406512144647996_o

August Update

My summer travels included visiting the Yaquina  Bay Lighthouse

My summer travels included visiting the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Summer is coming to a close, school preparation is starting and fall is just around the corner. I have been busy this month with several new YouTube videos covering PTSD, Epilepsy, creating boundaries, recovering after surgery, body image, and grief and loss. Four of these topics were suggested by Ignite’s Facebook contacts, I welcome other topic suggestions as well! I am accepting new clients right now so please feel free to send my information along to friends or family if you feel they would benefit from counseling or life coaching. Clients include adolescents, adults, couples, and families who might be experiencing depression, grief and loss, low self-esteem and confidence issues, divorce, job loss, or help with reaching certain life goals.

I hope you have had a safe and happy summer and look forward to providing you with more content in the months to come!

Take Care,
Jasmine

Living with Grief and Loss

This week’s video covers grief and loss, another topic suggestion someone asked me to highlight.  I discuss the variety of feelings you may be feeling, how you might be coping, stages of grief, as well as tips for healing. I hope you’ll subscribe, comment, and send more topic ideas.

Coping with Grief & Loss Over the Holidays

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Photo Credit: Gabriel Schouten de Jel

While the holidays are a time of celebration and excitement, they can also bring about feelings of sadness as we feel the absence of those we have lost.  Here are some things to consider as you cope with grief and loss this holiday season:

  1. Keep things simple; eliminate unnecessary stress; don’t expect yourself to do all you might have done from past holidays.  Allow yourself some time and self-care and communicate with your loved ones your intentions.
  2. Find a way to honor the life of your loved one.
  3. Spend time sharing stories of your loved one; take time to process your feelings around this loss.
  4. Create new traditions. This could be as simple as lighting a candle or donating a gift in that person’s memory or a more involved project like a memory box, preparing that person’s favorite meal, or a quilt.
  5. Nurture those relationships that are most meaningful to you.
  6. Find ways to share your time, talents, and skills.
  7. Allow yourself all the feelings of the holidays. Expect joy, sadness, love, laughter, and be generous with yourself.

There are resources to support those who might want professional support from individual counseling to bereavement support groups.  I found one online community that has articles, forums, community groups, and ways to create an online memorial for your loved one at www.hellogrief.org.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like referrals.  It is important to remember we all grieve in our own ways and there is no right or wrong way. Most important is to remember to take care of you during this time.