Softening Into 2023

1. Can you practice feeling it more? Some things hurt – a lot. This is the most human thing. We never, ever want to, but the best thing for us is to feel through it – caveat, you can’t feel all the things ALL THE TIME. This can be done in teeny tiny morsels with a bunch of Netflix and distraction in-between and that’s ok. Just also make the space to feel. Talk it out. Cry it out. Write it out. Sweat it out. It’s not admirable or heroic to keep it all in – it’s brave to open your heart and let trusted people really, really, really in. Release it by feeling through it.

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30 Books in 2020

Here is my book list for the year! As you will see, it’s a touch heavy on the whole ‘being a therapist’ side of things, as I took the leap into private practice this year, but I think anyone could get a lot out of most of the books I read (especially given the year we’ve all been through). Full disclosure, I’m only halfway through 2 of the books on the list, so it’s really “28 books in 2020” but I needed a win, ya know? So I’m rounding up.

*The bolded books are my TOP 5 of the year, and within each category, I’ve listed the books in order of preference (faves at the top of each section).

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How Can We Foster Meaningful Risk-Taking?

I am a first-time mother of a one-year-old. Over the past year, I’ve had to temper my fears a million times. From the first night home from the hospital when I held my breath as she slept, to letting her eat grapes, to watching her climb precariously on every piece of furniture we own – it’s been a daily practice of managing my own discomfort so that she can live her own “risk-filled life.” It can be hard to remember in these moments, but I do truly value risk-taking. As a counsellor and coach, my career is built around helping others take meaningful risks, and in my own life, I can easily connect the dots from “risks I took” to “most meaningful experiences I’ve had.” Now as a new parent, I have been reflecting on how I have come to appreciate taking meaningful risks.

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The Truth About Piano Lessons

I taught beginner piano lessons for several years. Sometimes parents would attend their child’s lesson, and I would see their distressed faces, the thought bubbles above their heads asking…

“What is even happening in this lesson? It just sounds like banging! It’s moving so slowly… Why aren’t they playing real songs yet? Why are they squirming so much? Is this normal?”

The “results” of beginner piano lessons may not always be obvious, but trust me, your child is getting so much more from their piano lessons than you can see (or hear!). Continue reading

THE STUFF: First 3 Months With Baby

I almost deleted this post because it’s hard to make a list that isn’t completely generic, or way too specific to OUR baby. I decided to post it because figuring out what to get (without getting too much) was confusing, and the lists other people gave me were enormously helpful. Obviously every baby is different, so there will be stuff you swear by that other people find useless, but here’s what worked for us…

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Maternity Favourites

Greg and I welcomed the sweetest little baby into our lives on December 21 – her name is Phoenix Lea Switzer Alsop and we are completely smitten with her. My goal throughout pregnancy was to create a cute and minimalist maternity wardrobe. That said, I didn’t wear maternity clothes until the end of my 2nd trimester so I didn’t want to go overboard with shopping. For the most part, I stuck to affordable maternity brands that offer massive sales regularly (like Old Navy) paired with other non-maternity clothes that I already had and/or could wear beyond pregnancy. Below are the contents of my Maternity Wardrobe as well as my Hospital Bag Packing List – I hope you find it helpful!

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