It is in your soul as a creative person to make meaning in your life. You could go along with the normative milieu, status quo, and live a low maintenance life- but I’m going to bet that this is not you. Most creative people feel a deep drive to life authentically, meaningfully and purposefully. It is when they are living in this way they are truly happy and feel they are truly living. If you know this about yourself, Creative, this naturally begs the question, how will you make your meaning? What will be your purpose? What does your soul need this to be? Like the North Star of your creative soul, you need a purpose to be your creative direction, to guide the decisions you make in your life. One way to do this is to take the time to author your own creative life purpose statement.
A creativity coach whose philosophy I greatly admire, Eric Maisel, in his book “Coaching the Artist Within,” (a read I also highly recommend), describes a process for generating a life purpose statement, which he states generally has six main elements:
“- making use of your innate talents and abilities, your heart, mind and hands
In his book, Eric Maisel goes on to recommend creating a statement that incorporates these components into a single statement that will guide the decision making processes of your life. This is not easy and will take a lot of brain power to accomplish. You will need to write down your statement and likely revisit it often over a period of time to finalize it. When I wrote mine, I looked at it again a month after I had written my original statement, only to realize, the second component of what I thought was how I wanted to pilot the purpose in my life, was what I had defaulted to but not what to me was truly meaningful. This is in fact the reason you want to do this work.
Your statement may not include all six of these components but focus more deeply on a select few. Take the time to closely check in with your emotional needs and desires for your life as you think about your life purpose. What has brought you happiness? What has drained you of energy vs built you up? Are you feeling resistance towards any aspects of your desired life purpose (e.g. I “should” or “shouldn’t” include certain things?) This is all part of your process.
When you have finished your statement, you need to take the time to memorize it. To put it in a place of full recall, that you can spout off to anyone who asks you, at any time, anywhere. You want to be able to bring it to the front of your mind on demand when making any decision, big or small. After all, this is going to serve as your guiding light, keeping your life on course, pointed in the direction of your choosing. So go ahead, Creative, as I so often joke in the Creatively offices- stitch yours on a pillow.
With love and wishing you clarity in finding your North Star,
Happy Mindful Days
The Holiday Season is quickly coming upon us and with its arrival we need to revamp our mindfulness. In this spirit, next week I will vacation from my blog, newsletter and website- so feel free to take the time to reread some past posts or take your own mindful break!
By now you have had some introduction to what mindfulness is and some ways to use it in your life. Mindfulness is beautifully simple and uncomplicated. When we are mindful, we are quieting the mind and focusing on our present experiences. Even those of us that feel seasoned and successful in mindfulness practices can get diverted from this state of being during the Holiday Season.
Part of the problem with the Holidays is we want them to “be” something. Therefore, we have expectations for them. We compare out and feel pressure to deliver certain things to those around us. Usually these are with the intention of giving the perfect Holiday Season to others. This year, I give you permission to be a little more selfish. Ask yourself what makes the Holidays memorable and special for you? Of the list of things you “have to do” for your Holiday Season- why do items make that list? Let’s make mindful choices this year for how and why we celebrate. Try this simple exercise (as always I advise not to do these exercises without the guidance of therapy sessions- so let’s schedule one of those, too!):
Make a list, drawing or representation of your choosing of what you plan to do for this Holiday Season. If that is already too overwhelming (hmm) then choose one holiday for the exercise. When you are finished, go through each thing you plan to do and “mini-meditate” on it. Consider it. Scan your emotions, scan your body. As you consider this thing, how does your body react? With tension? With warmth? What are your emotions associated with this thing? Stress, joy, something else? Ask yourself, why do you do this thing during the Holidays? For yourself, for others? Allow your mind to consider and hold this information as you think about this first thing. Your goal this year is a peaceful, mindful, happy Holiday Season. Does this thing fit into that picture? Continue the exercise as you go through all your plans. Amend them to take away or add what brings you closer to a more peaceful and enjoyable Holiday Season. Allow yourself to feel the anxiety of eliminating things you might be accustomed to doing from your list. Give yourself permission to do something different.
So often when there are big calendar events like during the Holiday Season, we become so focused on outcomes and making them “perfect,” we miss enjoying them for what they really can be: peace, happiness, family, love, fulfillment and more. This year your new Holiday Tradition is yourself: create a more mindful Holiday Season.
Talk to you again in two weeks (unless I see you in my therapy chair- go ahead- schedule something!)
Happy Mindful Days!
(c) 2019 Creatively, LLC
Hello, Creatives! This month on the Creatively blog I want to talk about dreams and dreaming. We have been exploring energetically this November the actualization of creative visions and goals into reality and our dreams can be an important part of this- so let’s talk more about what they can tell us:
There is a variety of dream theory out there to glean through but for our purposes today we are going to borrow from two major camps: biological dream theory and psychodynamic dream theory. We will label biological dream theory as what is happening neurologically to create dreaming, and we will call psychodynamic dream theory what the creative brain is doing to attribute meaning to these processes to string the events into the story while dreaming and again when recalling a dream while awake.
Loosely described, events that happen to us throughout the day are thrown into the “junk drawer” of our brains, aka, our short term memory. At the end of the day- oftentimes while we are sleeping- we need to clean out the junk drawer and file all the contents away into our long term memory. Biological dream theory generally says that dreams can be explained by the neurological activity that occurs during this filing process- that when we open different drawers in our long term memory, the contents from these filing cabinets may also be accessed to form our dreams. This can account generally for the content of our dreams.
Psychodynamic dream theory has many names and is what you may be familiar with as dream analysis. This is generally more of an art than a science but what is important here is we all have our own individualized thematic system of meaning making both while dreaming and when awake recalling a dream. This can impact how we recall dreams and even how we experience them as they happen to us. Rather than the idea that each part of our dream has a standardized meaning, I believe that the meaning is individualized to the dreamer.
Let’s take these concepts together. Imagine your junk drawer is full of stressful moments from a stressful day that are getting filed into long term memory as you sleep. Your dreams may offer you content like driving with impossible directions, riding in an elevator that is out of control, packing boxes that are never packed. They will have imagery from real life experiences but content from associations that are from your thematic system of meaning making: stress/anxiety. These ideas/concepts will come together to form your dreamscape. The dream will evolve into greater meaning when you remember it and try to make sense of it later while awake.
What does this have to offer your creativity? When you wake you remember packing endless boxes. You feel stressed thinking about the dream. Creative people often report to me recurring thematic dreams like this- “packing dreams” “elevator dreams” “driving dreams” etc. What are these dreams telling you? Cook it back to the biological explanation. It is telling you your system is under stress. Not a recurring dream? What emotional content can you identify? What overarching themes can you identify? What can you connect that generally to in your life? In this way, dreams thematically can connect us with relevant content on our overall state of well being that we might be missing when we are awake and distracted by the literal noise of the day.
We are always more creative when we are emotionally healthier and dreams can be another tool to help us understand and meet our individual needs. They are more pieces of information to help us get to know ourselves and care for ourselves, better. Creative people regularly dream, and dream vividly- so good, bad, or ugly- this is another gift of your creative soul- use it to create your best life!
Want to learn more or struggling with difficult dreams or sleep? I am here to help. Go to the “contact” page to get started!
(C) 2019 Creatively, LLC
I have been so inspired lately by reading the work of Eric Maisel and today I want to discuss one of the themes from his work about creating holistically. This idea has such a beautiful tie in to creating well, and wellness in your life. The overall fluidity of the concept is so simple and lovely.
Let’s start where we left off: with the idea of duality and embracing both sides of dualistic forces. If you remember from last month’s Creatively blog we explored common dualistic pairs: polarized thought traps artists can get stuck in (process vs product, idea vs expression, discipline vs flexibility, being vs doing and so many more!) We explored our tendencies to over-invest in one aspect of these pairs and by so doing neglecting the other. By recognizing that each of these pairs had an opposite, we were able to understand that both of them were equally valid and important parts of the creative process and that both may be called upon at any time.
Working holistically is the logical next step from here. To work holistically we are essentially shucking the concept of duality altogether. We are rejecting any type of nomenclature for our work- instead we are being open to the moment, exactly as it is, exactly as we are- asking ourselves simultaneously- “what does my art” and “what do I need in this moment?” To work holistically, we are requiring of ourselves to be present, open, and mindful in our work. Sound familiar?
It takes effort to arrive at a place where we can work holistically. It takes knowing and understanding what our knee-jerk processes might be when we create, including avoidance tendencies, preferences, and motivations. Do we choose the same subject matter or materials out of safety? Do we use the same inspiration out of fear of failure or changes? Working holistically requires us to say we have no preferences and come to our work fresh and able to give it and ourselves whatever is necessary and best.
There is important work to be done here. What fears do you have about your creativity? What excuses or avoidance are holding you back? What dualities do you default to? In a recent create well minute cast (#37 if you want to listen) I called you to an exercise- let’s expand upon it:
Get yourself a piece of paper and pen. We are going to make some lists:
1) If I were to tell you to go create in this very moment (right now!) why can’t you? Why won’t you? What is preventing you? List everything. Logistics. Money. Tools. Abilities. Everything you feel is in your way from doing something creative right now. Hold nothing back. When you are done, label this list “avoidance/excuses.” (#realtalk!)
2) If I were to tell you to go take your work public (to a show, open mic, gallery, publisher, friend, etc- keep going through opportunities until you find some resistance) why wouldn’t you do this? List all the reasons holding you back. Include internal reasons like feelings, self esteem, value statements about self and work. Take your time to be thorough. When you are done, label this list “fears.”
3) What absolutes and values can you identify about your creative process? For example- “I am process oriented,” or “my work is figurative,” or “I value technique highly,” or “my work is non-commercial,” etc and so on- make a list describing what absolutes and values define your work. This is a tough one so give yourself time to think it through. When you are done, label this list “dualities.”
You have just identified for yourself three major categories of obstacles between you and holistic creating. Good job! Once you know what your obstacles are, you can identify yourself gravitating towards these old patterns and choose a different path. It takes time and repetition to train your brain towards new behaviors, and starts with recognizing old behaviors so you can not choose those.
The power of working holistically is creating your best work and living your best life, because you are creating and living on life’s terms, not yours (and flexibility is a psychological and creative super power!) It is liberating because you are giving yourself endless options and freedoms. Unsurprisingly it starts with knowing that creative brain, your personal creative self, and a healthy dose of mindfulness.
(C) 2019 Creatively, LLC
This month’s blog post is about a concept introduced to me by Eric Maisel (and if you haven’t read anything by him, I highly recommend!) A concept that I am getting to know and experience more- and the more I do the more I grow clinically, personally and creatively- and so want to take the opportunity to introduce it to you: it is the concept of dualities.
Dualities exist all around us in life. Opposite end-of-the-spectrum forces that naturally oppose each other and create tension. Philosophers are no strangers to discussing them- Heraclitus’ theory was based on constant change between opposing forces as the source of all movement and natural existence. He said, ““All things are in flux; the flux is subject to a unifying measure or rational principle. This principle (logos, the hidden harmony behind all change) bound opposites together in a unified tension, which is like that of a lyre, where a stable harmonious sound emerges from the tension of the opposing forces that arise from the bow bound together by the string.” The important concept for us as creative people is recognizing the value of dualistic forces in our own lives and embracing them fully: that neither part of these pairs of power is more valuable than the other.
If you get thinking about it there is no end to the pairs of dualistic forces at work in our world, and really what we are doing is operationalizing concepts so we can talk about them (which is fine- it is what language is for!) But of course, as a creativity counselor, what I am interested in specifically are two categories of forces in your lives- creative dualistic pairs and psychological dualistic pairs. Some of the classic pairs in creativity are process vs product, technique vs idea, flow vs stuck or block etc. In psychology they can be emotional pairs like happiness and sadness, anxiety vs peace. Some even blur the categorical boundaries between psychological and creative pairs such as struggle vs success or perfection vs imperfection. Take a moment to consider what sorts of dualistic pairs have presented themselves in your creative and psychological lives.
Just like step one of the process of creating your best life at Creatively is to know your creative self, knowing what forces are at work in your mind and heart and motivate you are important. If you know you regularly struggle with perfectionism, perhaps you can take time to try to accept imperfections. If you know you struggle with sadness, perhaps there are opportunities to find small moments of happiness. This is the type of room for work recognizing these dualities can give you.
The concept of dualities is pretty simple: both parts of a dualistic pair are equally important and powerful parts of your life story. In fact- in your life you will constantly experience and oscillate between these forces. To value one over the other is to deny important experiences and parts of self and life. As Heraclitus famously said, “It is in changing we find purpose.” And so, Creatives, it is with this topic today I propose to you recognizing areas of resistance in your life- places where we can learn to live our lives more fully and authentically, the way your creative soul was meant live.
(C) 2019 Creatively, LLC
Hello, Creatives! The Summer has truly swept me away in the best possible way- the warm air, butterflies and lightening bugs, soft breezes, sounds of cicadas and frogs, and bright sun green through the filter of leafy trees have taken every moment I can spare- but it does feel good to take a moment to sit and write to you again. I am both excited about today’s topic and inspired by the sensory experiences of Summer- today we will discuss sensory sensitivity in Creative People (say that five times fast!)
Like many of the gifts that our creative personalities give us, this, too, is a gift with two faces. We have explored in blog posts past (or if you have been on the Creatively couches, in the workshops, or in the groups) ad nauseam about the Creative Person’s expanded emotional capacity. The new information: with expanded emotional capacity comes an expanded sensory capacity. These two things together are what allow you to tap into and translate your experiences into your art form. Usually your senses are especially sensitive in the same lane as your preferred artistic expression: dancers are kinetically and tactile-ly more sensitive, musicians auditorily more sensitive, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, painters are visually more sensitive, chefs and culinary artists may be more sensitive to tastes and smells and so on. While specifically more sensitive in a specific area, you are in fact more sensitive in all 5 senses overall as a creative person, generally speaking. This is logical because this is where our emotional experiences also occur- in the body. We experience and sense the world around us very strongly therefore our real-time input channels are powerful.
This means a couple of things for you, Creative. It means that you need to feed these channels in order to stay well. It means you need to be refueling your sensory channels often because your fuel tanks for these are necessarily bigger because your input levels are stronger, so your responsibility to keep those tanks full requires more regular work and attention (read: regular mindfulness practices and regular creative practices!!) It also means that when you are sensorily deprived, you will not feel well and you will notice. You will feel depressed, disconnected, low energy, like you aren’t experiencing life, poor self esteem, blocked from your creativity, and generally not like yourself (read: regular mindfulness practices and regular creative practices!!) The final thing it might mean is irritability. Let me explain:
Do you ever notice it is really difficult for you to get pulled away from a task, project, experience or moment? This can be pathologized as something else, and maybe in your life it was. Imagine a person without what we are calling a creative personality, someone with normal levels of creativity (after all, all people are creative) looking at a beach scene. Imagine them connected to their experience by 2 hooks. The hooks represent how much attention is invested by absorbing the scene. Someone calls out to them for their attention, and it is fairly easy for them to disconnect from their experience. The same situation repeats for a creative person, except imagine this person is connected to their experience by 12 hooks. This is much more difficult for them to disconnect from. It requires more effort and strain and can generate irritability which might even be misdirected at the person calling to them.
Let’s imagine this same situation again, except now instead of hooks the creative person is holding a bucket, which is already full of water. The person without a creative personality is in the same situation with a bucket half full of water. The bucket of water represents how saturated the person is sensorily in their experience of the scene. Now imagine a lifeguard drives by on a loud ATV right in front of the scene. This adds 4 cups of water to each bucket. Non-creative personality’s bucket can withstand the volume. Creative person’s bucket overflows, again creating irritability. When you are more sensorily connected to your experiences as a creative person, added sensory information can more easily overwhelm and irritate you than a less creative person.
So I said we would bring this back to mindfulness. After all, isn’t that what we are saying by default, that a creative person should also have an increased capacity for mindfulness tools? To be present? Ultimately, mindfulness is the perfect natural tool to harness this gift of increased sensory sensitivity to our experiences, whether they are outside of us in the world, or inside of us in our feelings and reactions to the world. Mindfulness helps us with the element of choice when processing and receiving this information.
Intrigued in learning more and jumpstarting your own creativity and mindfulness program? I am here to help you learn how.
(c) 2019 Creatively, LLC
I am announcing what has now become my yearly Summer blog schedule change!
I am a Summer person and this time each year the outdoors calls to me so loudly that I must heed the summons and scale back on my indoor commitments. It is part of my mindful self care- it means a better me, a better artist and a better therapist! It also means (for now) less blog articles for you. The Summer blog schedule will be: monthly. Released with the newsletter (last week of each month). But- never fear! There is so much blog content- now that I have been posting since 2017- that there is plenty for your #summerselfcare! So read away and check in at the end of each month for something fresh. Since I already posted articles for this month (check them out below!) the new schedule starts in July.
Happy Summer, Creatives!
Yours in Creativity,
Hello, Creatives! This week is about the delicate balance between the input and output if your creative energies. The concept directly applies to the three-parts to “creating your best life” theme for the month of June- the third really to all three parts- knowing your creative personality, the relationship of creativity to wellness, and your daily creative practice.
An important part of your creative personality is the drive to create. As related to your wellness, this both requires and generates energy. This is why I emphasize so much a daily creative practice- to maintain a regular source of creative energies to sustain the energy it takes from to create (circular, you see.)
In other words, we are roughly talking about a personalized equation of creative input and output to sustain your overall wellness as a creative person. This balance is important and unique to you and your health in a long term way.
Also important to note is your equation does not exist in a vacuum- the forces of life regularly change the variables and their weights. Once you establish the basic parameters of your equation it will require regular checking in and adjustment with the stressors of life. I want to reference here as a system for setting this up for yourself a previous blog post article on mindfully listening to instincts. Keeping in mind the concept of finding your creative balance, consider the tool of tapping into you innate instincts as described in the previous blog article below:
Listening to your instincts
Today I want to tap into what I affectionately call in session “the lizard brain” or petting the cat: the natural, organismic, animal part of you. This is the part of you where instinct and body knowledge live, untampered with by your mighty prefrontal cortex. It is a set of natural drives and signals that most living things live by, and in many ways we have evolved away from. For better and worse, we bring in the “intellectual committee” when making decisions, sometimes overriding our organismic needs. There are certainly times for that. There are also certainly times when it is less useful. Ideally, I want you to be able to identify both your natural instincts and your “committee” decisions, and make a choice as to which you need to follow. Since I think human beings are evolved and accomplished at doing the latter (“the committee”) I want to dedicate this blog post to the former (“the lizard brain”). So- let’s take some time and space to check in with yourself: how are you at listening to your instincts?
You may connect with this notion of instincts by one of its many names in today’s society- body knowledge, Mommy instincts, protective instincts, gut feelings, initial reactions, first impressions, etc. It is a visceral screaming of “yes” or “no” inside you. If you have to “decide” about something, then that is probably not your instinct about it.
I was listening to a book (still listening to Caroline Casey) who quoted a zen master on this very topic- she said this zen master described the concept of zen to her as “when I am hungry, I eat, when I am tired I sleep.” What a basic and beautiful example of meeting simple organismic needs. Yet- how often do we neglect to do this? We eat when we aren’t hungry, we don’t sleep when we are tired- yes, I know there are many reasons why- but we can’t deny that the overall effect is neglecting our animal self.
When we neglect our animal self, or “basic needs” in hierarchy of needs psychology, there is a fall-out. One of these is that we lose sight of and connection with that part of ourselves. If we aren’t giving our body what it wants, eventually we stop listening to what it is asking us for, until we finally block it out altogether and aren’t even sure what our instincts are. Another cost of this behavior is- we are in a contestant state of alarm or stress. If, again, you think about an animal without regular reliable food, water, shelter, safety, routine, structure, exercise etc, what you get is a stressed out, unhappy, neurotic animal. For human beings it is the same. When we neglect our basic needs we are constantly plagued by an undercurrent of anxiety and stress.
I want to take a minute and address the difference between instincts and hedonism. In other words, needs vs wants. All livings things also have a survival instinct that drives us to excess (hedonism). It says- “this is good- more!” and is not the same as meeting basic needs. This is something for you to keep in mind as you tease apart what your natural self is asking you for- for now, remember that these two things are not the same.
I said earlier that one of the modern-day society names for these instincts is “body knowledge” and in fact this is a concept touted in psychology (especially related to trauma). Essentially what it means is- your body stores experiences and knows what you need on a visceral level. This means you can trust that your instincts. If you are listening to them correctly, they are giving you an accurate picture of your needs. Instincts know when you are suffering, when you are well, and what you need to stabilize. Your body stores your own individualized instruction manual for the recipe to your peace and happiness. Sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t it?
To strengthen this natural force within you, you need to tap into it and listen to it often. If you haven’t done this much, or even at all, I want you to start by “petting the cat.” Consider your most basic organismic needs (do a simple inventory) and make sure that they are met. Drink enough water. Eat enough good foods. Be physically active. Be social. Get enough sleep. Adhere to a routine. Eliminate toxicity and poisons. Do this diligently for at least two weeks and record your anxiety and stress level as you go. I promise you will feel more grounded, safe and calm. By “petting the cat” you are getting back in touch with your instinctual natural self by giving it what it needs.
A second step: once you are meeting your basic needs, begin to notice when your “lizard brain” is asking you for something. You will begin to notice fatigue when you deviate from a routine, miss a meal, etc. Begin to make the connection with these natural and basic patterns of cause and effect in your body. Strengthen the connections by noticing them and meeting the needs they are asking you for. As you continue in this work, you might add a meditative practice to quiet your thoughts (eg consciously telling the committee to stop talking to you) and access your instincts. Begin to notice the answers to questions like, what “feels right”?
Over time, my goal for you is not to lose you intellectual capacity, but to supplement it with your strong instinctual knowledge. When making decisions I want you to have access to both an intellectual and visceral information source, and when these differ an ability to choose between them.
Did you know this skill enhances not only your overall sense of wellbeing, but also your artistic practice? Give me a call and let’s talk more about how.
(C) 2018-2019 Creatively, LLC
Creatives, I want to take time today to give you a written reference to accompany some of the early advice I give almost every client that comes through my door: to keep a creative journal, aka sketchbook journaling. With rare exceptions I recommend this to everyone, then launch into my explanation of what I mean- so here it is, for your reference: the creative journaling exercise.
Might you, Dear Creative, keep a daily creative journal? To do this you need three key elements:
And so, if you have successfully arranged your elements, here is the process I recommend to you:
Engage in the process of free response process work. In other words, we are going to have no particular goal or outcome in mind and are interested in tapping into the current of what is flowing freely through our brains. The process can include flowing freely back and forth between drawing and writing, or be focused on one or the other. It should have either a time or page limit- not to exceed 2 pages or 15 minutes- whichever is shorter, more or less.
If you are writing, you begin by writing anything- something- maybe “blah blah blah” until you have tapped into the flow of thoughts- then continue to write with them- sloppy script, incomplete sentences and words, free flow of thoughts just to release into content, until you run out of content or choose to stop. If the content is short you can return to your repeat word “blah blah” or whatever word you chose, until you tap into the next current, or you can choose to be done or change to drawing.
If you are drawing, you begin by drawing anything- try to stay away from forms that are too informative and directional like icons (hearts, stars etc) as they can keep you rutted rather than flowing- scribble or doodling are pretty good- until you are into a flow of drawing. If you are a 2D artist you might go back to some of your sketching/drawing techniques like hatching, contour with continuous line drawing, stippling, and so on.
Ok so let’s say you do this. You spend 2 pages or 15 minutes drawing/writing in your sketchbook journal, organically recording images and thoughts, every day. Why do I tell you to do this? The frustrating answer is the more you do it the more you will answer this question for yourself. The more immediate and satisfying answer is both a creative and wellness one: creatively you are generating creative energy by regular creative output and a daily creative journal is an important part of this, and from a wellness perspective you are downloading thought clutter from your brain (scientific terms) which will aid you in being more mindful and decrease symptoms fed by thinking problems like depression and anxiety.
So, Creative, will you give creative journaling a try?
(C) 2019 Creatively, LLC
Creatives: just like all of you my time is compact and any room to be creative is golden. Just like all of you the struggle to find time to do my art is real. Just like all of you I struggle to be mindful of my emotional signs and signals that I need to pump the brakes on my other “priorities” and take care of myself by making time for my art.
Remember that I always say that artists have to create to stay well?
Remember that I always say that your most important way to refuel and be well is to be creative?
Remember all the encouragement to have your own daily creative practice?
Remember all the mental health goals to be mindful of our personal state of well being, and personal and emotional needs?
As you continue to grow in these things you will begin to notice when you have to shove all else aside (and in my case) pick up a brush.
Today I am tired. Today I am spacey and disconnected. Today I am irritable. These are my early signs. Signing off, Creatives, to practice what I preach, because I will be painting.
(C) 2019 Creatively, LLC
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.