Well – we made it! Against popular belief we did. Congratulations on completing another year here on earth as we bear witness to remarkable events, some experienced it in different contexts and some not yet experienced it in many of our lifetimes.
- A global pandemic
- Division between fellow humans based upon beliefs
- Unearthing over 6000 unmarked graves nationwide on the sites of historical Residential Schools
- Climate change in action: wildfires, floods, loooong arctic air being pushed through (British Columbians will understand)
- Trying to manage daily in life
That is a lot to have happened in one year, let alone all the experiences you have had in your own personal life this past year.
So let me ask you this… given we can’t change what is happening in our ‘outside world’ – that which is outside of us – how can you change your ‘inside world’ to make your experience more in alignment with how you want to live?
“Oh goodness Kelsey, it is early. Can you please not counsellor-speak and speak English instead?”
What do you want the rest of your life to look like and how can you move closer towards that?
“Kelsey, I said it’s early. You are starting with such a whopper!”
Can you take some time to reflect on the intention behind your goals for the next little while? Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution or two, how about you connect to an intention and then revise it later to see if it is still working?
Curious about how setting an intention could impact your world? Check out my freebie download or check out my video How To Set Intentions for 2022!
With only 3 days to go, we are here to help with your last minute shopping Downtown. Supporting local shops has never been easier, with many stores offering in-store and delivery options. Here are some hot spots to check out this upcoming holiday season.
A gift boutique, bringing specialty curated items to Kamloops. They are an inclusive brand, and support other Canadian brands, especially female-led, founded and owned businesses.
Providing Kamloops with an extensive array of hand-chosen brands for all, their goal is to reflect new trends while creating an experience for clients to best suit their clothing preferences.
Instincts have been a trusted local spot for professional piercing and high-end body jewelry for Kamloops and the surrounding areas. Arwen’s Apparel holds some fantastic local finds in the same store, many of which are designed right here in Kamloops. Check out all of the local bamboo clothing and handmade jewelry.
Stocks a thoughtful mix of handmade Canadian brands for your home and lifestyle. They work with local artisans, vintage collectors, and makers to offer a sustainable and unique lineup of items perfectly designed for treating yourself or someone you love.
Providing the highest-quality work footwear, accessories, care products, and service. A great visit if you or someone you know needs boots as we’re settling into winter! They are committed to customizing your experience to ensure you leave with the best fit, as well as aftercare and maintenance to get the most out of your shoes.
For more inspiration follow Downtown Kamloops
*Photo Credit: Olsen Imagin
Experience Downtown Kamloops this holiday season! There’s sure to be something for everyone. Here’s a snapshot of what you can find Downtown:
Tree Lights Along Victoria Street
The first and most easily accessed thing to check out this winter is the tree lights along Victoria Street! Stretching from the 200 block to the end of the 400 block, the tree lights create a festive atmosphere whether you’re in and out of shops, out for food, or even just grabbing a coffee. Our team worked hard to make the lights look great this year, so we hope you take a moment to appreciate them!
Next, check out the 2021 Downtown Kamloops Storybook Village! Returning after its debut in 2020, the Storybook Village is a new way to experience classic Christmas stories such as How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and more. Each story has pages featured at a Downtown Kamloops business whose windows have been decorated to reflect the pages! For a full list of stories and businesses participating (as well as a map!) visit this link.
The Kamloops Film Society at the Paramount Theater has some holiday classics lined up! Family favourites such as Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are playing this December. Visit their website if you’re interested in buying tickets.
Local Craft Breweries
Breweries have been a mainstay of the Downtown Kamloops experience, and this year is no exception! Red Collar Brewing has their classic Dubnog (half Dubbel and half egg nog), as well as specials going on for their 12 Days of Christmas! Alchemy Brewing’s latest event is Appetizer Saturdays, where you can try brand new appetizers created by their head chef and kitchen team. Come down for a pint and a fresh bite!
After undergoing renos and rebranding, the Underbelly By The Pig has been open for about a month! Located in the same space as Forno on 5th, Underbelly is the other side of The Pig. Its high-quality food and drink menu reflects that. Underbelly is hosting a New Year’s Eve event featuring a 3-course meal from a specialty menu! If you’re interested in booking a reservation for this limited event, give them a call at 236-425-1977.
Running until December 31st, the Kamloops Art Gallery’s latest exhibit is Whose Stories?. This exhibit shares the work of six artists of Asian descent and reflects on the experiences and narratives of “others.” Artists Diyan Achjadi, Load na Dito, Naoko Fukumaru, Tomoyo Ihaya, Mark Salvatus, and UJINO convey personal histories woven across generations and told within a community of artists through video installation, photography, animation, print media, drawing, collage, and restored ceramic works.
For more inspiration, follow Downtown Kamloops
*Photo Credit: Olsen Imaging
Transforming Our Fears Into Courage. Ya’ll know Brene Brown right (she said with her best Brene Texan’ twang and a smirk). You know, the woman that made vulnerability trendy. The woman who was courageous enough to talk about her own vulnerability.
Brene Brown openly shares with millions that as she was researching and preparing to present on vulnerability, she encountered her own vulnerability and was called to remember how challenging it is to be vulnerable.
If you don’t know her, you should most definitely check her out! Here is a link to her Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability?language=en
I have recently been working on my Fear To Courage workshop and realized I am having my own version of a “Brene Brown” experience. In counselling, amongst counsellors, we talk about how we often teach what we too need to learn. Counsellors are proponents of healing for others and ourselves! If you find a great counsellor who seems to “get it”, chances are they have done some of their own work.
Imagine you were going on a trip into the Amazonian jungle. As exciting as it would be, it would also be appropriately scary. I would want to ensure that I hired a guide that knows the Amazon very well, to ensure my own safety. I wouldn’t want a tour guide who has never been there before and had just read books and watched some good documentaries about where to go! The same goes for counselling. How can I trust a counsellor to guide me through healing if they haven’t done their own work?!
Even though I believe all this and live it, I was still surprised as I was facing my own fears whilst working on the Fear To Courage training. I probably shouldn’t have been though!
As I have been working on this course, I have been bumping up against hidden fears and being called to do “the work” as I grow courage. I have been called to transform my fears into courage and be my own alchemist. It has been a while since I have had to face fear in this way and a humbling reminder of how hard it can be.
Alchemy is not easy!
Transformation is not easy!
Facing fears is hard work!
To all you amazingly brave and courageous humans out there, keep going! To all you who are transforming fear to courage, keep going! See what happens when fear doesn’t stop you but instead inspires growth and overcoming.
See what happens when you befriend our fear! Learn more about my brand new course here: https://www.kelseythecounsellor.com/fear-to-courage
Every day we address questions to avoid risking the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones.
Do I have enough gas to get to work?
Is my child dressed warm enough for school?
Did I turn the oven off before leaving the house?
When we arrive at our workplace, we expect our employer has done the same for us to ensure that we feel comfortable and safe in the office environment. However, there are various office security risks that business owners must consider on a daily basis. Not only does this include external threats, such as thieves and cyber attacks, but it also includes internal threats, such as understanding who your employees are.
Below we have listed 5 office security tips to help you reduce your business’ risks while boosting your employee’s morale.
5 OFFICE SECURITY TIPS TO REDUCE RISKS
1. BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY
Just as it is important to have both evacuation and ‘shelter in place’ procedures, it is as equally important to conduct periodic drills so new staff are aware of them. The front entrance should be quickly lockable and interior doors should also be lockable from the inside in caseworkers need to shelter in place.
An important office security tip to always keep in mind is to not block your emergency exit. A blocked exit can put your life, as well as others, at risk.
2. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR TO THREATS
Have an access control policy in place and commit to it.
The types of thieves who target businesses are not usually drug addicts or homeless people. Rather, these individuals blend into office environments and have well rehearsed stories to explain their presence. Trusting your policies is your best bet to prevent them from infiltrating your workplace.
Be aware of people asking ‘probing’ questions, such as open and close times, locations of cameras or critical infrastructure, and information on security schedules. Answering these questions can help them gain knowledge that will aid in their future attempt of breaking into the location.
3. KEEP TRACK OF ACCESS EQUIPMENT
Keep your keys and access cards on you at all times and have a policy in place for rekeying and auditing cards. Do not issue master keys unless absolutely necessary. Also, don’t forget about your temporary badges – it is important to keep those properly secured at all times.
Change all alarm codes at regular intervals, particularly after an employee has left the organization. Additionally, check your door locks for tampering on a regular basis. Tissue paper stuffed in a door latch is a common tactic for thieves, as it allows them to return later when the site is closed down.
4. KNOW YOUR STAFF
Always conduct background checks on new hires, regardless of the position. For sensitive positions, consider using an agency that specializes in these investigations. Social media and Court Services Online are both easy and free ways to learn more about the person you are considering hiring.
Be aware of personal issues that may spill over into the workplace, particularly those that involve a workplace violence dimension. Examples include difficult divorces, unresolved grievances with co-workers and supervisors, or stalking-type issues. If you are concerned about a possible escalation to workplace violence, obtain a specialist’s help.
5. BE CYBER AWARE
- Use a secure password and change it regularly. Hackers can defeat dictionary-based passwords in less than five seconds. Phrases work great, especially when combined with numerals and symbols.
- Do not leave your device unattended. All devices should auto-lock after 60 seconds of idle. Any data stored on a USB or external hard drive should also be encrypted.
- Do not use public WiFi for business. WiFi is a gateway into your network and is frequently the source of cyber attacks.
- Back up your data off-site, and do not store sensitive client or employee information on the computer’s hard drive.
- Do not click on unknown links in your email. There have been many recent incidents of large organizations falling victim to ransomware schemes, which originated through an employee opening a link that appeared to be legitimate.
SECURITY GUARDS FOR OFFICE & COMMERCIAL SPACES
Unsafe office environments can result in lowered employee morale, dangerous situations, and loss of revenue. It is a pricey risk that businesses cannot afford to ignore. However, the presence of security guards will improve security by effectively deterring crime during business hours and after closing.
Security guards are professionally trained to handle any incidents of crime that occur, and Paladin Security’s highly trained guards are essential to your company’s crime prevention strategy.
Discover more about office safety and crime prevention to keep your business, your clients, and your staff safe:
Dr. Murray Bowen created an amazing tool to help us easily map various tendencies in our families, such as patterns in relationships, violence, health concerns, addiction, and trauma. It is kind of like a family tree, but you use it to map the different aspects of your family. In doing so, patterns are often highlighted.
Start with yourself, siblings, partner and children. From there you grow up – much the way you would with a family tree. It starts by looking something like this
Original Template: https://www.mywordtemplates.org/printables/template399.html
Once you have the foundation of all the people you are going to include, you get to add symbols for aspects you notice such as physical or mental health concerns, addictions, relationship dynamics, violence, trauma etc. You can make up your own symbols, or use the symbols suggested here:
As you can see, you can make it as simple or complicated as you want. The interesting piece comes when you start to track the patterns. For example, you might see your grandfather struggled with working a lot and then your uncle also struggled with this. You might have a number of family members that have asthma and also have struggled with depression in their lives. You might notice there is conflict in relationships that threads throughout a certain area of your family. Perhaps immigration or social unrest (violence) impacts roles and relationships. Perhaps your grandmother played a big role as matriarch in your family and now your auntie or someone else has taken on that role.
Keep in mind, you might need to speak with a few relatives to get the stories of family from a generation or two ago. See if you can have an open mind to see the impact of one person’s experiences on the whole family system. If we step back and see the genogram as a map to a family system (as in Family Systems Therapy), it can open our eyes to how we are all connected through these stories and experiences.
You will likely see changes through the generations. For example, if there was violence in the society or in a relationship in one generation (eg. physical violence) – there might be a different version of violence (eg. verbal violence) in another relationship or a form of coping in close by family members (eg. addiction). This is essentially a clear depiction of intergenerational trauma.
Let’s say grandmother was exposed to violence in war growing up. Perhaps her parents (your great-grandparents) were so stressed by the violence they were verbally violent to each other and the children. Perhaps occasionally something was thrown or someone was hit due to the stress and exposure to violence. Let’s imagine the war was over and the pain of that war (trauma) and violence was so difficult one of the parents turned to alcohol to cope. Your grandmother saw the realities of alcohol and swore to never drink. She herself might have yelled at her own children and been quite strict, but this is what she knew and she never threw anything. Grandmother married a wonderful person, but they ended up struggling with depression and leaning on alcohol during stressful times. They yelled at your grandmother and the kids a lot.
Now we have your father, who was raised in that environment. He has a healthy relationship with alcohol now, although he struggled a bit in his youth. On one or two occasions you saw him intoxicated, but this was rare. He has struggled on and off with depression yet he has found a way to channel his stress into work and fitness, albeit sometimes he does work too much. Your auntie, however, took the brunt of the verbal abuse in the home and had to care for the alcoholic parent. She now has a very strained relationship with alcohol, has depression and struggles to maintain healthy relationships. You notice a significant difference between you and your cousins. One of your cousins also has difficulties with their mood and has not found a healthy intimate relationship. You and your siblings, however, are in healthy stable relationships.
There is no one to blame for the difficulties your cousins have. We may want to blame our auntie or the grandparent who struggled with alcohol – and yet we can’t do so accurately because these difficulties are not really their fault. Instead these difficulties are a result of ongoing, unresolved, unhealed trauma. Can we blame the great-grandparents? Can we blame the leaders who chose to engage in war? Leaders too are human and likely have their own experiences of trauma and healing in their family. Blame isn’t helpful or accurate and it doesn’t help us to untangle the mess.
So what can we do…
I believe we can each do our part to heal one aspect of our family’s generational trauma. It might not be our choice to be born into it, and yet it is – I believe – our responsibility to heal one piece of it. We can become ‘change agents’ in our own families’ stories and see the power of change that can come from such transformations. Take note of the ongoing threads of trauma in your family and take note of the change agents. You might notice how the grandmother in the story I wrote, swore never to throw anything or drink alcohol. She was doing her part to be a change agent and heal one aspect of the trauma she experienced for the next generation.
What is something you can do to become a ‘change agent’ in your family story?