What Occupational Therapy Means to Me by Meghan Markson

What Occupational Therapy Means to Me

As an Occupational Therapist, my job is to help people navigate daily life with more ease to enhance their health and wellness.   My focus is to equip people with tools for life organization and stress management.  

With that perspective, I see people as feeling confident, successful, and fulfilled when three factors overlap positively: the person, their environment, and the occupations (activities) they engage in.   

For the person factor, we may identify personal values, set goals, look at barriers and how to overcome them, or determining the state of the physical, sensory, mental, emotional, and spiritual or energetic self. 

When addressing the environment factor, we may work on modifying the person’s surroundings so that it works better with their sensory preferences.    

With occupations, we may try body tapping, weighted blankets, time and energy management strategies, meditation or mindfulness activities, Craniosacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Reiki, Healing Touch, Spring Forest Qigong, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or other strategies. 

All in all, my goal is to help you shed some layers of stress and to find more clarity, peace, and organization in your life. Contact me for an initial consultation: meghan.markson@gmail.com


What is Liminal Space?

Liminal space is that place between what once was and what is waiting to happen. Unforeseen life changes, restlessness, or stuckness can be signs that you are in a liminal space. It may feel unsettling. The temptation is to cling to what is familiar. John Welwood writes, “In trying to fit new situations into old formulas, we lose the presence and stillness of mind out of which new insights emerge. Once we let go of old preconceptions, the next essential ingredient is a willingness to let ourselves rest in a state of “not knowing” for long enough to allow new solutions to come forth.” Stillness or a willingness to wait, is how we catch the numinous, that which is beckoning to us. Your deepest desires may be inching toward the surface of your conscious knowing. Dreams, journaling, spending time in nature, poetry, art and photography are tools to explore that which is beckoning you. In Liminality, the Soul not only becomes free but also awake. Is there an awakening inside you? Book an appointment today! www.healinghousesaintpaul.org

The Adult Task of Loving Self

Self-compassion and self-love is a necessity for the world.... here's why. When we refuse to love ourselves, we unknowingly give that task to others around us. When they do not love us in the way that we need, then we deem them unsafe and even, the enemy. Thus, the hostile disdain we actually feel for the self becomes too painful to bear and then is projected onto someone else. Now, our inability or refusal to love the self becomes a burden we have placed onto those around us.

We must pull back the projection and take on the adult task of loving ourselves. This takes practice and attention to the voices that sneak in to tell us we are unlovable. To not collude in the self-attack, takes courage and conscious intention. The brain can be reprogrammed for self love and compassion. This is the ONLY way to have real, healthy relationships.

Chronic self-attach is an epidemic in our culture. The Dali Lama was once asked about this concept of self-hatred, to which he replied, "I don't understand what you are asking me." There is no concept or Sanskrit term for self-hatred. If each person could learn how and commit to accepting and loving the self, we would not see enemies at every turn. We would not need to protect our psychological well being by projecting the self disdain onto others.

Self compassion is not just a nice idea, it is an absolute necessity. Please, take on the adult task of self-acceptance, love, and compassion. Do not make that someone else's job. Release those around you of this burden to bear.

Courage to Pursue Happiness

It takes more courage to be on the look out for goodness, what enlivens us, and makes us more whole. Its actually easier to stay stuck in what isn't working. To pursue one's unique sense of happiness may require something of you that you're not willing to give or give up. If you feel stuck in what you once thought should keep you safe and produce happiness, you may need some encouragement. "En-courage": to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. Take a step toward the direction your deepest knowing, Soul, may be luring you. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear but allowing the natural sensations of fear with compassion and moving forward. Set up an appointment today. Move toward happiness and your deepest longings. Click here to meet with Laure Schwartz, MA, LPC, Psychotherapist and Spiritual Director.


What is Wisdom?

Wisdom is obtained through the unpredictable, through risk, and through one's passions. Wisdom is not a way to keep "bad" things from happening. Wisdom is from the deeper places of the Soul and Heart that do not see the world as black or white, right or wrong. Wisdom often knows something that my conscious mind cannot yet see. Wisdom claws its way to the top, to my awareness, when its given a safe, non-judgmental place to be seen and heard. Wisdom is seldom focused on the practical. Wisdom demands courage. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage feels all the human state of being with curiosity and compassion. Wisdom is truth. Truth is wisdom.

In the work I do and the approach I use, the client's wisdom will always appear in any given session. When given the respect, validation, and slowing down the pace, one's wisdom is at the ready, waiting to be heard. To listen to your wisdom, consider setting up an appointment with me, Laure Schwartz, at this link. Book Now.

Yes, You Are Creative....

In my private practice, I use mark-making, contour drawing, abstract imaging. At first, clients might be reluctant to take the charcoal and trust themselves, fearing the old messages of "I'm not creative. I can't draw." But once allowing the hand to move, the feel of the paper, it is mysterious and wonderful what is revealed. D. Winnicott once said, "It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and its only in being creative that the individual discovers the Self." We access the Soul, the Self, when we stop judging long enough to feel the sensations of freedom, expansion, and truth. I have found that the creative process itself has been one of my truest guides. When I am feeling lost or under self-attack, I find my Self/Soul again when I stop to create something that has never been there before. Even if it is an orange liquor cake that I've never made before, or writing a blog, exploring a new class to teach, painting the bathroom door. It can be anything!!

I will be offering a workshop March 21, 2017 at the McIver Center, The Retreat, Wayazata. The title: Discovering Your Path: The Creative Process. When we feel lost or can't find our true direction, the creative process is a wonderful guide. Click here for more information 

Chronic Self-Attack

What is it? Chronic self-attack is a common thought process that holds many people prisoner. It keeps us from living freely and affects the brain, the nervous system, and our over-all sense of wellness. Are you your own bully? Paul Gilbert, in his book The Compassionate Mind, writes, “Imagine if someone is bullying you – always pointing out and dwelling on your mistakes or things that you’re unhappy with, or telling you that you’re no good and there’s no point in you trying anything, or being angry with you – all this will affect your stress systems and level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body will increase.  [Never escaping from the bully] makes you feel anxious, upset and unhappy because the threat/self-protection system in your brain has been triggered. If the criticism is harsh and constant, it may make you feel depressed. The point is: our own thoughts and imaginations can do the same… and we will be constantly stimulating our threat/self-protection system.” There is no escape or relief from the attacker. This can lead to any addiction that may hold some temporary relief. So, that’s startling. In my work with clients, I use the power of self-compassion, re-imaging in the brain, discovering where this strategy may have originated to keep-self-in-line. I use Somatic Experiencing to help regulate the nervous system and release the toxicity of the self-attack/trauma. You can find freedom and no longer be imprisoned by chronic self-attack. Set up an initial consultation with me, Laure Schwartz, and begin your healing.

Healing Anxiety, Depression, Addiction

Often times people think they are confined to a lifetime of managing anxiety, depression, or addiction. With an integrated approach to healing early developmental trauma, one can resolve that which has been unresolved in the nervous system for years or decades. Integrating Somatic Experiencing, a nervous system based trauma recovery, and repair images, one's Soul  and deepest knowing, it is possible to be free of these conditions. At The Healing House, we help heal the activated nervous system and fear driven brain. Without greater understanding of what happens developmentally, we will conclude "there is something wrong with me." Actually, there is something so very right about you. Your brilliance as a little person put in place a strategy to survive. It may be time to heal the wounds and let go of a worn out strategy. Are you ready to have healthy relationships, a sense of safety in your body and emotional life, and the courage to live your more authentic life? If so, consider a 1/2 hour free consultation with Laure Schwartz, MA, Psychotherapist, Spiritual Director, Somatic Experiencing Trauma Recovery Therapist. You can book online on our front page!


Emotion and Experience

It seems that many people are afraid of their emotional experience, especially if the emotion is deemed undesirable. Or if you have witnessed a strong emotion become hurtful, the promise to self becomes, "I'll never do that. I'll never let myself feel that." When an emotion is resisted, it actually becomes stronger and stronger.  Emotion is actually a necessary part to the integration of your experience. The psyche needs integration and when the emotion goes into the unconscious due to rejection, life can feel chaotic, as if someone else is in charge, calling the shots. Sometimes to the point of "Why did I do that? What was I thinking? Who have I become?" Instead, I teach people how to be with their deepest experience and emotion without trying to judge it as good/bad, right/wrong. All emotion is useful and necessary for making sense of experience. Once validated and honored, the emotion moves through as if to say, "thank you for noticing."

Meditation and Fire

Jon Kabat-Zinn, a mindfulness meditation teacher writes, "There are times when you have to light one fire to put out another. There are no drugs that will make you immune to stress or to pain or that will by themselves magically solve your life's problems or promote healing. It will take conscious effort on your part to move in a direction of healing. This means learning to work with the very stress and pain that is causing you to suffer. Mindfulness meditation does not involve trying to get anywhere or feel anything special. Rather it involves allowing yourself to be where you already are, to become more familiar with your own actual experience moment by moment." No one gets to escape the human condition. While we might try to mask it for a time, our deepest experience will at some point, get our attention. And when it does, it feels like fire. May you have the courage to look into the flames with loving kindness for yourself.

    One of our many back yard bonfires with dear friends who are willing to look into the flames along side us.


One of our many back yard bonfires with dear friends who are willing to look into the flames along side us.

Discover Your Inner Healer

"The person we want most to love us is ourself. ... The sense of unworthiness, it seems, comes out of our being talked out of, trained out of, conditioned out of trusting our natural being. It is the result of being turned away from ourselves, taught to distrust ourselves. ... The more we accept of ourselves, the more fully we experience the world. The more we accept our anger, our loneliness, our desire systems, the more we can hear others and the more we can hear ourselves. When we can surrender into the moment without any attachment so that anything that arises is seen with a soft, non judging mind, we experience our completeness." Stephen Levine, A Gradual Awakening
Dogs know this. Trooper was a big part of my understanding love of self and a glimpse of completeness. Miss you buddy.