HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!!
I'm dedicating this blog to all of the amazing woman out there who are a huge reason why this world keeps turning. They are the emotional backbone of the family, the cheerleaders, the peacemakers, the monster-in-the-night slayers, the boo-boo fixers, the finders of all lost things, the homework helpers, the homeschool teachers, the advice givers, the schedule keepers...and the list could go on all day!
I thought I would bring up the topic of 'self-care' in this blog in hopes of giving us all a healthy reminder that taking care of ourselves physically and mentally is just as important as all the things we do for everyone else. I've learned a lot about practicing self care over the years and have tried to apply it to my day to day life but all too often it gets forgotten about and it just falls by the way side and then I have to stop and try to re-prioritize things.
Does that sound familiar to anyone? We live in such a chaotically busy and demanding world and we've come to believe that it's normal to be constantly frazzled and in a rush. and that if we aren't racing from one thing to the next, maybe we aren't doing enough or we're falling behind. So we continue to drive the tank with the low fuel light on because we don't take the time to stop and fill up and then before we know it the engine light comes on and the vehicle stops moving all together.
I think we'd generally all agree that incorporating self-care in our worlds is a good thing. So why don't we do it? Why is it so easy to forget about it or put it so low on the priority list?
Well, in some cases we weren't taught how important and essential taking care of ourselves is as children, so as adults the concept of self-nurturing is rather foreign causing us to put other life commitments above our health. And for others unfortunately self care is associated with selfishness...that taking care of your own needs equals being selfish. That's just simply not the truth. Think about when you're sitting on the airplane getting ready to takeoff and the flight attendant says, 'should the cabin lose pressurization an oxygen mask will drop from the overhead compartment. Please put YOUR OWN mask on BEFORE helping those around you.' Makes sense! What good are we to the person sitting beside us if we cant function properly ourselves?
Taking care of others equals taking care of others. Recognizing our own self-worth is imperative especially if we want to teach our children to do the same.
In many recovery settings the acronym HALT is used as a way to check in with feelings/wellbeing. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired then you are in HALT and need to do something about it to take care of your needs. Take the time to prepare a healthy snack, take a nap or call a friend.
Or how about this one...the art of saying NO. Are you the person who is always saying yes? Of course we want to be helpful and be there for others but finding that balance of when to say yes and when to set a boundary can be pretty important. Otherwise we'll just end up becoming resentful because we are doing all kinds of things we didn't want to do in the first place because we weren't able to say no.
Everyone of us could probably find an area of our lives that we could improve upon when it comes to taking care of ourselves and even the smallest things can make a difference. It could be drinking enough water to stay hydrated which can increase energy too. I'm famous for trading water intake for caffeine! Maybe a 15 minute walk in the neighborhood or pulling some weeds in the garden. What about that yoga class you've been wanting to join but haven't gotten around to it? Or those craft supplies you bought but never got around to doing? The laundry and vacuuming can wait...do the crafts! Sometimes it's good to put fun first!!
There are lots of ways to practice good self-care and ultimately we all have to figure out what works for each one of us. But I hope that this blog has been a good reminder to do a little self-check in once in a while and to be good to yourself! Fill your heart and soul with joy, kindness and fun and do it often..:) And you deserve it!
Wishing you all a beautiful and Happy Mother's Day!
In good mental health,
I hope everyone is having a great week! The clocks have been changed and spring is upon us!! Loving that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day..:) So good for the mind!
In this blog I’m going to share my thoughts about a new therapy process that I discovered here in Nashville. It’s called microneurofeedback. In a nutshell it involves applying small sensors to the head and neck that send pulses/signals to the brain to reset and reorganize itself. It’s used to treat anxiety, depression, ptsd addiction, pain management, dementia as well as a huge list of other ailments and is bringing people relief and healing quicker than just using talk therapy or medication alone.
You might be wondering why I’m familiar with this process and it’s because I’ve been taking my 11 yr old daughter for treatments to help with her adhd and anxiety. Young people do especially well with these sessions.
I think it’s fair to say that stress makes us sick. Any perceived threat , real or imagined, triggers our stress response center in the brain known as the ‘fight or flight’ response causing sensory and immune hyper vigilance. This can stir up stressful brain chemicals and hormones as well as a mitochondrial cell danger response. Recovery from this happens when the threat response goes back to a calm and tranquil state. Sometimes the brain gets stuck and will ‘freeze’ in that fight or flight place and isn’t able to bring itself back to that calm state. Thats where microneurofeedback can be helpful.
The sensors applied to the head/neck release gentle impulses of electromagnetic energy into the brain to unlock the ‘freeze’ state. It’s really quite miraculous!! Ive seen first hand with my daughter how amazing it is. There’s been great improvement with her anxiety and an overall sense of calm in her behavior. After her first session I asked he if she felt any different and she nonchalantly said, ‘No, but I can see better’. I thought , you can see better?? Wow!!!
Usually people see improvement within 3 or 4 sessions depending on what you’re dealing with. Kids often move along quicker in their healing since their brains are younger and are more adaptable.
There have been amazing results for people with PTSD and addiction especially when combined with cognitive (talk) therapy.
MNF is fairly new in the world of medical science and isn’t widely known and shouldn’t be confused with neurofeedback which is a different treatment. But I believe this could be a game changer for many who have been suffering with mental health or physical health issues! And maybe speed up the healing process for people because it gets right to the root of the problem. I don’t think it will be long before this type of treatment will be commonplace and will be the go-to option for a recovery path choice.
If you want to know more about micro neurofeedback you can go to this website. This company is located in Nashville, Tn
With hope for good mental health,
Thankyou so much for the messages that some of you have sent telling me that you are enjoying my new blog!!! I am so thrilled to hear that! I'm always happy to hear your feedback and how some of these topics relate to you..:)
I'm making some headway on the official launch of my Song Therapy page and can't wait to share that with you! I have to say it's been quite a process putting all the pieces together. Me and computers have a love, hate relationship going on...ha! A simple cut and paste of a paragraph is like trying to figure out a university level quantum physics equation for me. Geesh! It's ridiculous how long these things take me. Give me a pen and a piece of paper and I'm good. Anything beyond that and it gets crazy! I could probably dedicate a few blogs to just this issue but let's move on...
I'm going to share another Song Therapy testimony with you. This one is from Cassandra Smith. She's from Vancouver, BC, Canada and is also a singer/songwriter. This is what she said about her experience:
" I did song therapy with Lisa to deal with the ongoing trauma of having my only sister block me out of her life. It has been a hard seven years trying to make better between the two of us. For whatever reason, she has chosen to not have me in her life. This is a choice I have to accept to move on, but for me to heal, I need to let go of any further pain that does not serve me...I need to forgive her. As an artist I have tried many times to attempt to work on this in various media without any success. I was very intrigued when Lisa told me about her Song Therapy idea. Sure enough, as we worked through the process, I let alot of my happiness fill my heart and let so much of my animosity and pain go and instead celebrated what we did have in the past and opened up to possibilities in the future. Lisa was easy to work with and being able to connect with her on this matter has helped me grow. I am so very thankful to her for this! I will forever cherish this experience, especially every time I sing the song."
Here is a verse and chorus of Cassandra's "Soul Song'...
Bare back ridin' in the open fields
You held the reigns and we'd fly
Special days took us to the white sand dunes
It was just my sister and I
Boat rides pullin' that old tire tube
Findin' lost coins that\s what we'd do
Can't remember when I felt so safe
What happened to the magic of those days
I wanna go back there, back to the time
When love took the lead in both our lives
Where the wildflowers grew by the waters edge
And the lessons of life hadn't hit us yet
And if you ever feel like you wanna clear the air
I'll meet you there
Cassandra followed up with me a short time after our session and said that she stepped away from the song for about a week. When she listened again after getting away from it she felt like her eyes were opened up to some things she hadn't thought of, things that could possibly be her responsibility to look at in the relationship with her sister. Wow! How awesome that she's been able to go even deeper with her healing!
I just LOVE this process and I'm so grateful to Cassandra for writing this song with me. It takes alot of courage to be this vulnerable and honest and what a privilege for me to get to watch the healing unfold!
Best job in the world..:)
Hello my SoulSongblog friends!!!
Well Nashville has recovered from the ice and snow storm and now it seems that Mother Nature is throwing out temperatures like a powerball machine...30, 65, 14, 72, 36...geesh!! That's fahrenheit not celsius my Canadian peeps. We go from winter boots to flip flops, gloves then t-shirts...I'm so confused!! But at least we can get the vehicles down the driveway...yay!!!
So this is blog #3 (you can go back and read the other two if you missed them at lisabrokop.com/soulsongsblog). The first two talked about my concept of song therapy and how I came up with the idea, what a 'soul song' is and also my good friends testimony from her song therapy session with me. I have another testimony to share in my next blog but first I'd like to share a bit about what I'm doing to be a certified mental health coach.
Formal education for me has been somewhat limited in my life. I graduated from grade 12 (barely) in Surrey, BC, Canada and never went to college or university. Some of you already know that music has always been my focus and I was recording and releasing music to radio and touring across Canada by the time I was 16. So anything beyond highschool was definitely not on my list of priorities at that time! I chose to go with the 'street smarts' approach if you will...ha! But I'm finding that during this part of my life I have a strong desire to learn more, to gain knowledge and perhaps study something new. Learning more about mental health has definitely been at the forefront of those thoughts so I prayed about it, wondering what direction to go in. But as I prayed I felt like God was saying to wait...don't strive. And then not too long after that prayer I received a call from one of my church leaders who told me that they had just been contacted by the Amercan Association of Christian Counselors about their '2020 Dare2Care Initiative'. The AACC was inviting our church to join with 750 other churches around the country to offer training to some of our members to become Mental Health First Responders. Funding was already in place so the course would be offered free of charge and she wanted to know if I might want to participate. I said ABSOLUTELY!!! It seemed like perfect opportunity!
As of right now I'm about halfway through the course. Everything is online and I am able to work at my own pace and within whatever schedule works for me. The main goal of the course is to learn how to 'recognize, respond and refer' as we come along side someone who may be with mental illness. Often people come to their church first before seeking treatment anywhere else so we will be trained to respond in a way that will get them the treatment they need. We are NOT therapists. We are coaches. We will be there to listen, encourage and help direct them to the places and people who can truly get to the root of the problem.
I think it's important to emphasize the difference between a coach and a therapist. From what I understand, a therapist will focus on past traumas and issues to change self destructive habits and work through painful feelings. A coach will work with a client to clarify goals and identify obstacles and problematic behaviors and help create an action plan to achieve desired results. A coach will work with a clients current starting point and go onward from there where as a therapist may need to go deeper into the subconscious to find resolution and is trained to do that. A coach is not. Knowing the difference and understanding where the boundaries lie between these two is extremely important for the emotional safety of the client.
I'm so grateful that the AACC has offered this because I believe the need is going to grow exponentially now that we have gone through almost an entire year of living in a pandemic. Anxiety levels, addiction and suicide numbers have risen dramatically since March of 2020. We have all witnessed immense societal change including quarantining, zoom classes, endless Netflix shows and separation from family and friends. For some, the effects of the pandemic have created new problems, for others this pandemic has just added to an already existing problem making it seem insurmountable. Financial stress, job loss, failing grades for our children/teenagers, isolation and loss of community are all taking their toll on us.
All of this say, people are going to need to help. And people need to know its ok to ask for help because we can't do it alone! But I believe every person has the ability within themselves to overcome any obstacle no matter how impossible it may seem especially when we align ourselves with will of God and His plans for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
I never would have guessed in a million years that I would be taking this direction at this point in my life but when I leave it up to God things usually end up being nothing like what I had planned...lol...but somehow even on the hardest day there seems to be more joy and contentment when I don't try to do it my way...just sayin..:)
Well, Mother nature decided to bring the perfect weather for blog writing. Nashville is in the middle of an ice/snow storm and we don't have very many salt trucks so they are definitely not making it out to the side streets and we live on a pretty steep hill so getting a vehicle down the drive is not gonna happen. But lucky for us, when this happens the entire city panics and becomes completely incapacitated and no one expects anything from you..ha! Oh, and we're also in a pandemic so it just makes good sense to stay home ..right??
But lets talk song therapy!! I'd like to tell you about my very first experience with it. Well the truth is, I didn't even know that's what I was doing. I had scheduled a session to write a song with a friend who had a topic she wanted to write about. She's not a musician and had only dabbled with writing a bit and thought it would be fun to give it a try. She began to tell me about the death of someone she'd been in a long term relationship with and what that was like. I began to make some notes and asked her some questions and she had some ideas too and after 2 hours of talking and singing and talking some more we had a finished product and a unique song that was all hers! And she said, "You should be a therapist!" It was then that a lightbulb went on in my head...maybe there's more therapeutic value to this than I realized. And that's how the idea of Song Therapy was born.
Now I do need to make it clear that I'm NOT a therapist and will never pretend to be. Eventually I will have credentials to be a mental health coach. I'm about halfway through the program but being a 'coach' versus being a 'therapist' is really quite different and important to separate the two, but that's another blog. (Coming soon)
Back to her testimony from the experience. She asked to remain anonymous so I've left her name out but here's what she said:
"Going into this experience I thought, well it'll be something unique to do and didn't realize how beneficial it would be. What I got out of it was amazing! I found closure with the death of my significant other through this song. It is a form of art that will stand the test of time and is a beautiful homage to an experience that caused me great pain. I found that Lisa is very easy to talk to and has a way of pulling things out of you in a gentle way. I would definitely recommend it and I would do it again with other issues in my life 100%. During these hard times with covid and day to day life this is a very healing way to deal with things. Thumbs up Lisa!"
This Soul Song was about a small chapter in her life...she has survived and persevered through some huge obstacles from the day she was born. She is extremely brave courageous and I am honored that she allowed me to be included on this small piece of her healing journey. Wishing her love, light and every blessing!!!
This is my new blog!! I’m pretty excited about some new things on the rise and I’d like to share them with you!
I have to say that as strange as 2020 was with everything going on in the world it has been a complete reset button for me and has allowed me to see things from a different perspective and learn some very valuable lessons. And has brought some new ideas to the forefront of my mind.
You might be wondering why I’m calling this my soul songs blog so I’ll fill you in on that. I’ve been working on a new concept I like to call Song therapy which in a nut shell means giving voice to ones story or life experience through song in hopes of finding healing in the process. I’ve always had a passion for mental health and of course I’ve always had a passion for music and I feel like I’m being led in the direction of bringing those two things together in the form of Song Therapy! This is all very new but I have had the opportunity to do this with a handful of people so far and it has been truly amazing and so rewarding to witness the healing that happens when they begin to see their own words/stories come to life in a song!! And that is where the term soul song comes from...it’s the result of a song therapy session...a soul song..👏
I also want to use this blog to share my thoughts on other topics as well. Not so much about my career as a performer etc but about the real life stuff...soul song stuff!!! Like being a mom...homeschooling during a pandemic...how I’m studying to be a mental health coach (yup, I really am) and of course more about Song Therapy!!! And of course, the foundation for all of it, prayer, praise and the Word! In other words..God stuff..:)
So I feel like the ‘SoulSongBlog’ might be a good umbrella for some conversation about things that matter to me and that I hope will strike a chord with you as well!!!
Would love for you to join me on this new venture!!! Stay tuned...
PS- If you’d like to know more about SongTherapy and would like to have your own SoulSong..please message me through lisabrokop.com/contactus