The value of having a pet
Until November 9th, I took for granted the value of having a faithful and loyal dog. As a family we made made the decision to say goodbye to our amazingly beautiful Buddha. Buddha was a part of our family for 13 years so to say there is a huge void in our home and in our lives would be an understatement. Buddha comforted us on our darkest days and howled alongside fans and family during our largest celebrations. He travelled the country, hiked mountains, loved us unconditionally and truly was with us every step of the way. We were so blessed to have him. It has made me reflect on the value that a loyal pet can bring to a family. Not only do pets have a positive impact on mental health, they can also help teach responsibility and guide you through many life experiences.
Take a look at this article and see how a pet could change your life!
Learn, learn, learn!!!
I always love reading people's perspectives, book reviews, learning opportunities, etc! So this month I thought I would share some of the learning I have been doing through reading and virtual presentations.
Although we are the teachers, every once in a while you have a student come along that teaches and inspires you. Recently I had a student lend me their book, Gender Queer. It is a graphic novel (graphic in a couple of ways!). It is not a book you would want to leave laying around for young children; which my student warned me about....good thing my children are grown and all over the world now! The memoir is the story of a young person growing up questioning their sexuality and gender. A very informative, candid and raw journey where the author tries to discover who they really are. This novel helped me to understand the inner turmoil that many of our students may be experiencing. I can't thank our student enough for allowing us to be on this journey with them!
On Friday during our Professional Development day, a few of the Notre Dame counselling team sat down to watch Gabor Maté's movie, The Wisdom of Trauma. Wow! Maté is a hero of mine who I had the honour of seeing speak in Red Deer during my first year of counselling. At the time he was speaking on his work on the streets of Vancouver with the severely addicted homeless population. I think I sat open mouthed the whole time then and I can honestly say, my jaw was dropped for most of the movie. In this movie, Maté focuses on trauma informed care. I love his quote: " Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you, as a result of what happens to you". Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey also have a book called "What Happened to You" (which I am currently listening to on Audible!). If you have a chance to watch the movie or read Perry's book, you will start to appreciate and understand the impact that trauma can have on our physical well being and our emotional self.
I also wanted to share a book I read recently. I much prefer fiction or non-fiction that reads like a fictional novel. The book Five Little Indians by Michelle Good opened my eyes to the intergenerational trauma that our indigenous families endure to this day. The novel follows five children who were taken from their families and placed in residential schools. It is a story of tragedy and triumph and the impact the residential school experience had on their lives and the lives of others before and after them. It was most definitely a rich learning experience.
And something a little lighter...but yet a new learning experience! I started a beading club at the school with our division Indigenous Support team. We are working towards making a poppy to be ready by Remembrance day. I love getting to know other students this way! I have found the repetitive nature of beading to be very calming (except when my thread gets tangled!) and I am grateful for our Indigenous Support team sharing this practice with us.
Be kind out there!