The Lighter Side of Transformation

with Lisa Wessan, LICSW

My Butternut Bonanza, side dish or dessert

You asked, so here is my most recent discovery in the kitchen…

Butternut Bonanza (side dish or dessert)

Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Team WW = 4 points (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked butternut squash (or canned pumpkin)

Liquid Stevia to taste (usually four or five drops are enough, approximately half a squirt)
Cinnamon to taste
Salt to taste

½ c. Unsweetened apple sauce

¼ c. granola (my favorites are Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Fruit and Nut, or KIND Maple Quinoa Clusters)

My husband doesn’t like butternut, so I prepare this just for myself. I usually roast one whole butternut in four sections, good for four meals. But I add ingredients to only one section at a time.

First, I give it a good scrub down, to be able to eat the skin because the skin is loaded with nutrients. Second, scoop out seeds and discard. Cut in half, and then into quarters.

Spray your pan with Canola or other spray oil. I like to use a large CorningWare pan for this.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (or longer, if it’s a bigger squash). For average sized squash, 50 minutes will be enough.

Take one of the quarters and with a fork mash up the squash within the skin adding Stevia, cinnamon and some salt. Return to shell of skin. Then top with applesauce, and  granola (think of a stuffed baked potato). If you have time, you could put the one piece back in the oven for 10 minutes to warm up the applesauce and granola, or eat as is. I think the warmth from the squash warms up the applesauce enough.

For the remaining 3 portions, definitely reheat each piece as needed, then mash with Stevia, cinnamon and salt, add applesauce and granola. It seems to taste freshest this way.

I hope you enjoy this savory side dish or yummy dessert!

Onward and Upward,

Lisa Wessan

Leave a comment »

One of my favorite dialectical quotes…

#DBT du jour:

“Love tells me I’m everything. Wisdom tells me I’m nothing. And between the two my life flows.”

– Sri Nisargadatta

What does dialectical mean?  Learn more HERE.

If you are challenged with depression, anxiety, social issues, relationship troubles, impulse issues or addiction, DBT skills will help you become healthier, stronger and more capable of coping with your emotions.  DBT is a Solution Focused therapy that gets effective results, and quickly!

Up Next:  Mindfulness and Interpersonal Effectiveness skills training in Westford, MA starts 11/06/19. Learn more HERE.

Fun fact: when you worry about the past too much, you become depressed; when you obsess about the future, you become anxious.  Learning to live in the present moment, aka practicing Mindfulness, can reduce 90% of your depression and anxiety.  Yes, you will still need to learn better ways to solve your life’s issues, but if you learn to stay in the  present  you will be so much more peaceful and useful.  Learning Mindfulness skills helps you get there.

If this speaks to you, please visit lisawessan.com and complete the CONTACT FORM.  I will contact you within 24 hours to discuss joining our next DBT group or working together individually, whatever you need.

Onward and Upward,
Lisa Wessan

Four leaf DBT

 

Leave a comment »

Good food, good mood! Fabulous Zero Point Tuna Salad 

Prep 10 min
Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ cup beans

½ cup corn

6 oz. tuna packed in water

2 T. Salsa (scan your label, make sure it is zero point salsa)

2-3 T. chopped onion (I like red onions for this)

1 clove garlic

Optional: 

Add some chopped parsley (@1/2 cup)

½ of a jalapeno or habanero for extra spice

1 red pepper

 

Drain and empty tuna into a bowl.  Mash it up a bit.  Add the beans, corn and salsa.  Mix it up.   Add the chopped onion and garlic. Add the optional ingredients.

Serve as is, or use red pepper or cucumber slices to scoop it up (instead of crackers).  YUM!

Enjoy your zero point tuna salad!

To your best health,

Lisa Wessan

 

 

Leave a comment »

9/11 Memorial in NYC: 10 Tips for the visit

 

This visit to the 9/11 Memorial required some serious planning, you cannot just walk in and expect to get in.  Since a few of you expressed interest in my visit last year, I’m sharing my notes for all to see, so my good research is not wasted!

1. Definitely book tix ahead online – then you will have no wait to get in.

2. We loved the 9/11 Memorial app, very useful inside the museum. Robert DeNiro narrates it! He was excellent. It’s free, and big MB, so download it before you go(took about 15 Minutes to download on my phone). Don’t waste time downloading it at the museum. 

3. We did the tour for outdoors, the Memorial aka The Void (their term). Our guide was terrific, learned a lot about those pools and the surrounding area. Lots of secret codes, roses, things happening that are curious. The guide breaks it down nicely. Suggestion: take the outdoor tour early in day before you enter museum. Once you go in, you cannot exit and return. (Too bad about that, we would like to have taken a break and returned later. )

4. Films: they show THE FIRST PITCH film only once a day at noon. Make sure you arrive in time to get in there, it was fascinating…we watched all three special films in main auditorium from 12-1:15. 

5. Don’t miss the REBIRTHING film, it plays all day in a different theater.

6. The museum café was pricey and not up to par IMHO, sorry I didn’t pack lunch. So definitely bring lunch, snacks, whatever you need for a 4-6 hour day.

7. And finally, it was NOT as emotional as I thought it would be – the upliftment comes from seeing ALL THE GOOD that people did to help each other…that made me ferklempt. The exquisite levels of giving and sacrifice were ASTOUNDING!   I learned so much, even though I was living and working in NYC when this happened.

8. Easy access from the 4/5 Express train to Fulton St, grateful for the NYC SUBWAYS! They are awesome!

9. After another marathon of walking, we went up to Chinatown for soothing foot massage. I have a great place at 107 Mott Street, clean, great value and they are awesome. You can just walk in, no reservation needed.

10. Lunch or Dinner suggestion: Right near the foot massage place, we had a delicious dinner at Little Shanghai, 144 Mulberry St. Yum. No reservations. 

The trauma of 9/11 still cannot be grasped – I realized after the 5 hours that it is just impossible to imagine what it’s like to run from an exploding building while chunks of furniture, restaurant trays, other debris and parts of airplane are falling out of the sky on your way… this horror was just off the charts. 

Yet there was SO MUCH BEAUTY in the recovery and “rebirth” process…which adds to the mystery of the need for contrast, paradox and tension in this Universe.  

 Triple OY! Loved it, lots of contrast, deeply moving, ultimately inspiring. Highly recommend! 

Onward and Upward,

Lisa Wessan

Source: Notes from my journal 10/01/18.

 

 

Leave a comment »

I ran my first 5K race in Woodstock, Vermont!

My husband and I were planning a trip to Woodstock, VT, so I was looking to see what’s happening up there August 2-4, 2019…

When I saw that there was a 5K race Saturday morning, 9 am, I knew I would be there. Plus, the race took place at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park, so this was a no brainer for me.

8/3/19 was a perfect weather day for this race, at 65 degrees, no humidity, no bugs, yes, it was exhilarating! I felt light as a feather!

I’m going to run many more 5Ks as I get ready for the next level…so grateful💕

Other highlights of the weekend included visiting the alpacas…

I love these alpacas, such sweet faces!

 

Woodstock has many charming nooks and crannies. Favorite dinner: The Daily Catch. Sublime seafood! Favorite stores: the Unicorn, and Simon Pearce in Quechee, where you can see fascinating glass blowers at work on lower level of the store, plus upstairs there is a nice lunch spot next to a waterfall!)

After brunch, Gary assisted an elderly woman with her plants✨

All along the streets of Woodstock are gorgeous flowers!

Woodstock and Quechee are so warm and welcoming, I’ll be back🐾

Leave a comment »

Summer travels…from New Lebanon, NY to North Adams, MA

My sister and I have enjoyed many wonderful forays into the Berkshires. This summer we visited North Adams and Williamstown, MA.  There are many buried treasures here, including  MassMoca, The Birdsong Gallery (for whimsical clothes), dinner at Grazie, and other fun spots…

Favorite piece at MassMoca by Kapoor.

Visiting dear friend Alex Fisher in New Lebanon, NY (next to Williamstown,MA).

Admiring Amy’s new eyeglasses💕


Loved to visit MASS MOCA!

Seen in New Lebanon NY during morning hike near Shaker Village and Museum.
Loved this tasty vegan burger, thanks Alex & David💕

So refreshing to visit friends and family in the Berkshires this past weekend💕

Leave a comment »

“Free Fun Fridays” in Massachusetts

 

Gender Bending 1
I loved this exhibit on Gender Bending Fashion!

Gender Bending 2
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Gender Bending closes 8/25/19)

Heads up to local residents of the Commonwealth and all summer visitors…this is a great opportunity to visit sculpture parks, museums, presidential libraries and other cool places for free this summer…visit Free Fun Fridays to learn more (extends through August 30, 2019).

Bring your friends, families and favorite co-workers!

Enjoy,

Onward and Upward,

Lisa Wessan

PS – for DBT students, add to your Pleasant Events List!

 

 

Leave a comment »

Summer Update: Outstanding Media, Accolades, Articles and New DBT Groups

CONTENTS 

I. Outstanding Media: Articles, Podcasts, and television/streaming offerings that are useful, inspiring, motivating and usually entertaining.

II. Accolades, Awards and Recent Articles.

III.  Upcoming DBT workshops in Westford, MA.

IV. Quotes I am pondering


I. Outstanding Media

we-all-have-secrets (2)

  • Listen to Keeping Secrets from TED Radio Hour in Podcasts. This is an engaging talk about secrets, how we keep them and use them. It asks us,  “How many closets we are in?” Oh what a good question!  Yes, coming out the closet is not just for the LGBTQ community, many more closets exist and there is a new freedom and happiness in getting out of our closets! A worthy task…
  • Edith Eva Eger, PhD, at 90 years of age just published her book, The Choice. This is an incredible story of how Edith and her sister Magda survived Auschwitz.  It took 45 years of therapy for her to start talking about her experience. She was recently on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah (Season 9, Episode 5. This should still be on your TV “On Demand.” Also available in podcast). Edith shared so much wisdom, insight and stories of nearly impossible resilience. So many pearls!  I love her deep levels of compassion and wisdom concerning recovery from trauma, which applies to all of us.  This was one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen on moving from trauma to transformation.

II.     Accolades, Awards and Articles –  Wessan in the News… March – June 2019


III.        Upcoming Summer and Fall Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Group (DBT)               in Westford, MA

dbt-skills

  • New Adult (18+) and Teen groups (14-17) starting July 17, 2019 and in the fall. Click HERE to learn more.
  • DBT MasterMind Group starting in August 2019, for advanced students and graduates of the one year program.

IV. Quotes I am pondering…

  • “The first Truth, probably, is that we are all connected, watching one another, even the trees.” Arthur Miller, Playwright, 1915-2005 (as heard on the HBO documentary, “Arthur Miller: Writer” 2018).

 

  • “God loves things by becoming them.” ~ Richard Rohr, Franciscan Monk, Author, Teacher.

 

Copyright © by Lisa Wessan 2019. All rights reserved.
www.LisaWessan.com

Leave a comment »

Culture Vulture Highlights and Good eats over July 4th Staycation

We decided not to travel this year and instead enjoyed the local culture and fare of our greater Boston area.

Overview for Friday 7/5/19 at the Museum of Science in Boston: We saw the new “Great Bear Rainforest” IMAX show (reviewed below), then visited the “Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life” exhibit featuring plastinated human bodies. These are real people who donated their bodies to science for this display! Learn more at http://www.mos.org

Yikes. It was difficult to process these deeply impacting visuals at times. There were embryos on display from 1-24 weeks, quite shocking to see up close. My husband kept saying, “This is so strange…” with a look of bewilderment and revulsion on his face. (He has a huge appetite for science fiction, fantasy and biological curiosity and can usually tolerate all sorts of shocking alien visuals).

Yes, this BodyWorlds exhibit  is an awesome visual presentation of  the human developmental process from week to week and of our health and aging process. 👍

We then saw the “Great Bear Rainforest” IMAX film, which had a lot of close ups of bears. At first, it was fun to watch them catching salmon and herring  (similar to what you see in Alaska).  But after a while it was repetitive and kind of slow, with not much happening. There were very few jaw dropping helicopter shots or amazing views. I love when IMAX films allow me to see vistas I normally can’t see on my own.   In sum, the rainforest of British Columbia, Canada, where this took place,  was NOT featured with great detail. 👎

We also stayed for the 7:30 PM Hayden Planetarium light show, The David Bowie Experience.  That was disappointing, too, on many levels. I love Bowie’s music, but the person who designed this one (every night there’s a different artist, sorry I did not get her name)  gave only a couple of beautiful fractal displays, and there were way too many long pans of a pseudo Earth just floating in space.  Lazy!  It’s supposed to be around 40 minutes (7:30 – 8:10 PM).  But this person had doors open late AT 7:30 PM,  gave a brief bio of her career, and then finally started  to roll at 7:40 PM, and ended at 8:10 PM!  This was just under 30 minutes, a bit of a rip off  IMHO. 👎

Good eats worthy of mention:

This Ahi Tuna Tartare at Seasons 52 (Burlington, MA) was extraordinary. It’s delicately seasoned with ginger, sesame and spices. The guacamole is punched up with wasabi! Oh yes, this appetizer is a home run! Good to share it, for it is very rich.  👍

Another sumptuous treat was had at Smokey Bones (Tyngsboro, MA).

Pros: These wings have no flour or breading, and are grilled in open wood fire stove. They are fabulous, and I appreciate having good leftovers.

Cons: On Weight Watchers (WW) Freestyle program, eight wings from SmokeyBones have 26 Smart Points! This is wildly surprising because they are not fried or breaded. I guess they are super high in fat?

Nevertheless, worth every point! I calculated the points into my day and used a few rollover points for the kickass Bloody Mary and roasted corn.

For those of you who don’t know WW, it’s not a diet. WW encourages you to eat savory meals and snacks. You just need to track everything, which is super easy with the WW app. (At this writing I’m down 40 lbs with WW.)

If you are interested in trying this amazing program for free, click HERE, where you can scroll down to the bottom of my post and receive a free one-month trial.  It’s worth giving WW a shake!

Over the holiday I also did one of my favorite hikes at Thanksgiving Forest (Chelmsford, MA). Seen here showing my appreciation for the exquisite beauty of the woods…

On Saturday, we had a delightful visit with friends who moved from New York City to Groton, MA, then to Nashua, NH, and now are living in Brookline, NH.  I’m always inspired by people who can pack it up and MOVE this way.  This downsizing agility is very impressive to me.

To cap off the weekend,  on Sunday evening we indulged in some deep tissue massage.

All in all, quite relaxing and rejuvenating. That’s my greater Boston Staycation!

💖Gratitude Hug to G-d💖 for all these magnificent blessings.

Onward and Upward,

Lisa Wessan

2 Comments »

Many kinds of freedom to celebrate on Independence Day

I am excited about my independence…

Lisa Wessan, Chelmsford, MA

Freedom from the bondage of Food, Fat and Fear!

Freedom from the Three Cs:  Complaining, Condemning and Criticizing of myself and others.

Freedom from needing approval from family, friends, colleagues, clients.

Freedom from depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and all negative thinking.

Freedom from FOMO!

Freedom from the stress of being Here but wanting to be There!

DBT Independent and need help

Freedom from all or nothing, black and white, dualistic thinking.  Dialectic thinking is a cure for recovering perfectionists, and a lot of OCD, obsessive compulsive, harsh thinking as well.

Freedom from Compare and Despair.

Freedom from jealousy, envy, lust, longing and cravings.

The only thing I do crave, however, is MORE FREEDOM!

I love feeling useful and peaceful, which is foundational for a life worth living. I also want to feel light and relaxed more of the time.

I want to feel “Serenity in the Storm,” as it is written:

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.”  (unknown author)

Is my life perfect today?  Hell no!  Far from it!  I need to change SO MANY THINGS – I will spare you the burden of listing my ongoing pain, aggravation, losses, frustrations and deep sadnesses – but the good news is that these things are not dominating my consciousness.

I am not a victim anymore. It is no longer possible. I am 100% accountable for my life.  I blame no one for my difficult situations and expect no one to save me.

Yes, it’s true, with the help of G-d, Wise Mind, Higher Power, and my Army of Angels, I am the one who I have been waiting for! This is totally a G-d Job…turning my defeats into victories, and my scars into stars.  I have finally become bulletproof to the bullies, harsh people, fear and rage around me and within me. As it is written:

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4: 11-13)

🌀With the deep healing powers embedded in psychospiritual treatments anything is possible! 🌀

Yes, I’m excited to share this today – my New Normal – after decades of battling with depression, eating disorders, severe mood swings and more.

If you are still struggling, please hear me when I say HAVE HOPE, things will get better if you don’t give up.

HOPE HOLD ON PAIN ENDS

Learn and practice your transformative behavioral and spiritual skills (DBT or whatever) knowing that you are making progress and that “This Too Shall Pass.”

If I can heal and be well, it can happen for anyone.  I am just another Bozo on the Bus, hastening slowly towards Wholeness and Oneness.

May you have a healthy, peaceful and relaxing fourth of July!

Never give up! 

Onward and Upward,

Lisa Wessan

 

Copyright © by Lisa Wessan 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Leave a comment »