The Lighter Side of Transformation

with Lisa Wessan, LICSW

UP NEXT: 14-week Dialectical Behavior Therapy Group (DBT) starts 08/31/22

🌀 ENROLLMENT IS OPEN UNTIL 08/19/22 FOR UPCOMING

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Training

“Mindfulness & Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills”

14-week DBT program

(age 21+)
August 31 – December 14, 2022

7:30 – 9:00 PM EST

·DBT FLYER FOR AUTUMN 2022

I’m excited and delighted to be continuing my DBT Skills Training Group into the Fall semester, starting 08/31/22. (We are having great success on Zoom, and will continue to meet on Zoom indefinitely.)  

There are currently two spots open, and I’m hoping to be complete with all registration forms, fees and one-time intake sessions by 08/19/22. 

If this is not for you, thank you for sharing with those who could benefit from this excellent skills training. 

Onward and Upward🌀

Lisa Wessan

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the Light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen

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Free Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Group offered at the Cameron Senior Center, Westford, MA

I am delighted to be sharing this learning opportunity with you. May this program serve you well💙

As part of a six-month program, I am presenting Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training in person at the Cameron Senior Center in Westford, MA.  

To learn more, go to page 6 of this newsletter: 

20220701Newsletter (westfordma.gov)

TO REGISTER:
Generously funded by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, even though it is free to attend, you must pre-register by calling this number: 
(978) 692-5523

WHEN:
You can still attend the last two sessions:
1 – 3 PM on both August 12 and September 9, 2022.
You can attend these two workshops out of sequence and still gain value.

WHERE: 

Cameron Senior Center

20 Pleasant Street, Westford, MA 01886 (free parking)

Please do not contact me – I am not involved with registration!  They have a limited seat count, but plenty of room.  CALL NOW to reserve your spot!

Onward and Upward✨

Lisa Wessan

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LIFESPAN: Why We Age, and Why We Don’t Have To, by David Sinclair, PhD

Video Comment: (3 min) https://youtu.be/pGSuysVYo2Y

FUN FACT: “The number of centenarians – people in their 100s – is soaring worldwide as life spans continue to grow. In 1990, there were about 95,000 centenarians, but by 2015 there were 450,000, according to United Nations estimates.  By 2100, the U.N. projects, there will be 25 million.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES [quoted in THE WEEK, 14 MAY 2021, p. 16]

To that end, here is my review of LIFESPAN: WHY WE AGE, AND WHY WE DON’T HAVE TO, by David Sinclair, PhD (2019, Simon and Shuster: New York):

“Aging is a disease…and it is the Mother of all diseases, the one we all suffer from.” David Sinclair has evidence that there is a cure for aging. This is the basic hypothesis of this work.

The good news: fresh from the labs of Harvard, MIT and many other top research institutes around the world, Sinclair shares the very exciting and hopeful reports which indicate that our life expectancy is about to grow — the average person will live to 150 years soon, and possibly much longer…

The less good news: there is quite a bit of resistance and kickback to this longevity work which creates research funding issues. People have economic, philosophical, religious and ethical issues about longevity. Tampering with our genes, reversing cell damage, increasing strength and brain function results in an increased life expectancy.

The first part of this book is highly technical – Sinclair enthusiastically deconstructs his research and his peers’ work on gene editing and other relevant experiments.

Approximately the middle third of this book is about longevity techniques, treatments, prevention, and ways to stay healthy. We learn more about intermittent fasting, cold plunges, dietary suggestions, and possibly useful supplements (surprisingly few). There is no true “Magic Bullet” here. Yet.

The last third of the book explores the implications of increased longevity, and how it will affect our culture (and Social Security questions). Sinclair successfully resolves dozens of serious conflicts and considerations that have been thrown at him – and this part was both interesting and annoying at times. The worst case scenarios are all addressed with positive extrapolations for the mutual benefit of all humans – so there is no reason not to send billions of dollars to these researchers to unlock the secret code to aging successfully.

I hope one or more of our billionaires get word of this book and send over a few billion dollars to Sinclair and his buddies so they can finally nail down the aging disease and, dare I say it, CURE AGING!

What was annoying to learn here was how people’s ignorance and fear blocks this work! Basically, if Sinclair and his tribe can slow down and even reverse aging, they will also be eliminating cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more chronic diseases which all arise from the aging process.

I agree with Sinclair, this is NOT a moral or ethical issue. Increasing our longevity is part of our natural evolution and is a natural next step.

IN SUM, there is a solution to aging, and when we find it, it will help our species and benefit all of mankind in amazing ways.

On a personal note, I have been affirming that I am going to be a Super Centenarian (110+) for decades already…so now, I’m correcting that and plan to live to at least 150 years or longer. I always knew I was going to peak in my 60s…so I’m not even halfway through this awesome adventure in living!

Sinclair has inspired me to ramp up my longevity activities – the one thing I have resisted is the cold plunge (the Wim Hof method). I’ve been aware of Wim Hof’s works for years – so for a while I was going to a cryotherapy tank every week and taking the cold plunge inside of -260 F tank for 3 minutes. That was very useful and I loved it.  

In addition, my teacher Tim Ferriss has discussed and explored this work on his podcast to the point where I feel like a fool for not doing it regularly. (Ferriss takes ice baths regularly). My version of the Wim Hof method is to walk outside in cold weather wearing a light coat or vest and NOT bundling up all the way. (I wear a hat, scarf and gloves to avoid frostbite.)

So I’m excited about the possibility of living WELL at 150+ years of life, and to empower others to do the same. Yes, it’s the TEAM WORK that makes the DREAM WORK!

May we all age well together🌟

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There is no bad weather, just bad clothing. – Yiddish Proverb

The winter storm of 1/29/22 dropped almost 2 feet of snow in my area north of Boston. I enjoy the freedom of experiencing the weather as long as I’ve got the right gear!

Gear includes warm hat, neckwear, gloves and MicroSpikes on my boots. The MicroSpikes are fabulous for walking, running or hiking on ice.

For my Walk and Talk Therapy clients, if they want to walk on trails in the winter they are required to wear MicroSpikes (or other cleats) for safety. No exceptions!

Good health is wealth, go for it💕

The joy of fresh powder!

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UP NEXT: Winter/Spring DBT Skills Training January – April 2022 (on Zoom)

Once again I am delighted to be facilitating a new semester of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills training.  Here is the DBT flyer for the next group on Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation:

DBT Flyer for Winter-Spring 2022

Fast Facts:

  • All 90-minute groups are $65/Week (self pay, no copays.)  
  • Students pay in full prior to start of group. Personal checks, money orders or PayPal are used for fees. All fees and registration forms must be completed by December 30, 2021 to gain entry to this group.
  • My students are 95% well mannered, high functioning and convivial.  For those who occasionally tend to demand more attention, want to give inappropriate feedback and/or act out in any way, I do have a strong “Respectful Communication Policy” in place and several useful group rules which help to maintain a safe, harmonious and cohesive group atmosphere.  All are welcome, but there is no allowance for rude or harsh behavior.
  • Group members will continue to process their unresolved traumas in their individual therapy, not in this group. This is a therapeutic psychoeducation program. (It is NOT group therapy.)
  • Group size ranges from 6-12 students.
  • Student Reviews.

May this serve you or your loved ones well🌟

Onward and Upward,

 Lisa Wessan

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Feeling Blue? Try donating your blood

Giving blood can be surprisingly uplifting. I donate every eight weeks or so because it feels so good to make that immediate positive impact.

From my personal and professional experience, I have come to understand that searching for happiness is a somewhat bleak cause. Happiness can be fleeting, flimsy, fast. Instead of searching for happiness, searching for ways to feel useful and peaceful are much better drivers for feeling good, which can lead to more joy — which is long lasting and not based on external stimuli. Feeling useful and peaceful is the foundation for all good things in my life.

Giving blood checks off so many boxes, plus according to Tim Ferriss’ research (THE FOUR HOUR BODY), donating blood successfully lowers your probability of getting cancer. This is because when you donate blood, the iron stores within your body remain at a more healthy level. Studies have shown that a lower iron store level in the body is connected to a lower cancer risk. This has several significant benefits for health and longevity.

In sum, giving blood is a total WIN/WIN event…you get a sweet bump up for feeling useful and peaceful plus you lower your odds of getting cancer💙

💥 INTO ACTION? You can easily make an appointment here: http://www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. 💥

Don’t take my word for it, be a good scientist in the laboratory of your life… make a donation and just observe how you feel afterwards.

Onward and Upward✨

Lisa Wessan

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Say Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything, by Viktor E. Frankl

Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything by Viktor E. Frankl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I appreciate the succinct and compact composition of this unabridged audio book. As much as I loved Frankl’s earlier book, Man’s Search for Meaning, this one extracts the essence of Frankl’s Logotherapy (the power of meaning and purpose in life). He provides valuable ideas and interventions geared towards Solution Focused therapy.

I continue to be touched, moved and inspired by Frankl, on ever deeper and more meaningful levels💙



View all my reviews

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Just for Today, by Sybil F. Partridge

1.  Just for today I will be happy.  This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  Happiness is from within; it is not a matter of externals.

2.  Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.  I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.

3.  Just for today I will take care of my body.  I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.

4.  Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind.  I will learn something useful.  I will not be a mental loafer.  I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

5.  Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways;  I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out.  I will do at least two things I don’t want to do as William James suggests, just for exercise.

6.  Just for today I will be agreeable.  I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, nor find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.

7.  Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not to tackle my whole life problem at once.  I can do things for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

8.  Just for today I will have a program.  I will write down what I expect to do every hour.  I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it.  It will eliminate two pests, hurry and indecision.

9.  Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax.  In this half hour sometimes I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective into my life.

10.  Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.

If we want to develop a mental attitude that will bring us peace and happiness, here is Rule #1:

Think and act cheerfully, and you will feel cheerful.

Written by Sybil F. Partridge   1916 and printed in
How To Stop Worrying, And Start Living, by Dale Carnegie, 1951

LW: Whenever you set a new intention, or want to develop a positive new habit, or break an old negative habit, start something new, always remember, “Progress not Perfection.” Old ways are tough to change, but it will get done. Slowly, slowly, you can do it. There is a solution…Never give up💙

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The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment. ~ Unknown

During my morning hike I came across this beautiful field of dandelions…

Weeds or flowers?

I choose flowers💕

The Dandelion Story

A man bought a new house and decided that he was going to have a very beautiful lawn.  He worked on it every week, doing everything the gardening books told him to do. His biggest problem was that the lawn always seemed to have dandelions growing where he didn’t want them.  The first time he found dandelions, he pulled them out. But, alas, they grew back. He went to his local gardening store and bought weed killer. This worked for some time, but after summer rains, alas, he found dandelions again.  He worked and pulled and killed dandelions all summer. The next summer he thought he would have no dandelions at all, since none grew over winter. But, then, all of a sudden, he had dandelions all over again. This time he decided the problem was with the type of grass.  So, he spent a fortune and had all new sod put down. This worked for some time and he was very happy. Just as he started to relax, a dandelion came up. A friend told him it was due to the dandelions in the lawns of his neighbors. So he went on a campaign to get all his neighbors to kill all their dandelions.  By the third year, he was exasperated. He still had dandelions. So, after consulting every local expert and garden book, he decided to write the U.S. Department of Agriculture for advice. Surely the government could help. After waiting several months, he finally got a letter back. He was so excited. Help at last! He tore open the letter and read the following:  

“Dear Sir: We have considered your problem and have consulted all of our experts. After careful consideration, we think we can give you very good advice. Sir, our advice is that you learn to love those dandelions.”[De Mellow, A. (1984). The song of the bird. New York: Image Books.]

This is a story about Radical Acceptance, and learning to accept the things we cannot change. Radical Acceptance is a lifelong process that you experience each day, in many opportunities and forms. Notice all the dandelions in your life. Some might be close family and friends, others might be strangers. Most important, do not judge your judging – just observe and let it go🌟


	
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Learning to Live in AMBIGUITY with peace, even joy

Voting super early in October…
Here’s gratitude galore to artist Sam Durant (b. 1961 – ), for this powerful piece, Like, man, I’m tired of waiting, 2002. It’s currently on display at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford MA. (The Wadsworth is definitely worth a trip!)

So here is my Cultural Appropriation du jour…I hope Mr. Durant does not mind me borrowing his racial justice motif for these politically toxic times…Mea culpa, mea culpa, I just can’t resist.

I know that learning to live in ambiguity with any measure of peace — even joy — is a clear marker for how healthy I am inside.

To improve your mental state, I ask you to find ways to feel more useful. To that end, I think it’s ALWAYS more effective to replace the WHY questions with the HOW questions. Let me unpack this a bit…

When you ask WHY IS THIS HAPPENING, you never get a satisfying or truly acceptable answer. Plus, no one really knows exactly WHY harsh things happen. Oh yes, there are tons of theories, but ultimately, it’s never quite known for sure. There are too many complicated, multi-dimensional issues to pinpoint “The Reason Why” something – or someone – is in such a negative state.

That’s why I think that asking the HOW questions is going to give you a big payoff. For example, asking “How can I be helpful? How can I be useful? How can I make this better?” in your micro world, at home, work, school, will shift you into taking positive actions. Then you will start to feel as if you are part of the solution, as elusive as it may seem to be at times.

Plus asking “How can I help?” takes the focus off of you…dare I say it? So much mental anguish comes from the Pity Party we have for ourselves. Moreover, too much self absorption leads to the impulse issues being activated, such as drinking, drugging, food binges, shopping, gambling, porn and so on. As I’ve heard it said, “Poor me, poor me, POUR ME A DRINK!”

In sum, compared to sitting and watching the news on your digitals, having a depressing Pity Party, marinating in fear and anxiety, asking the HOW questions is surely a better path.

Here is the beautiful and amazing 5D Flow…Peace in your heart can bring peace to the world. Yes, as you feel more peaceful and useful, you radiate that energy out and it definitely has a ripple effect.

As it is written:

Peace in my heart brings peace to the family.
Peace in the family brings peace to the community.
Peace in the community brings peace to the nation.
Peace in the nation brings peace to the world.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
~ Author Unknown ~

Best of all, when you ask HOW questions, you are no longer feeling like a victim! When you ask “Why is this happening [to me]? ” “Why don’t they just blah blah blah?” You feel powerless, impotent, ineffective and probably a tad depressed or anxious.

Ideally, with good inner work. you could become bulletproof to the news. At your best, you want to feel all the feelings in the grief-rage-sadness spectrum, and then move on quickly to what you love. Why? Because as I have learned from many teachers, what you focus on INCREASES…where your attention goes, your energy flows. If you focus on hate and all the haters, you will feel more hateful and angry. Simple, but not easy.

Finally, you’re probably tired of people reminding you to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, but truly, that is a big part of the solution here. Learning to ask How can I be useful, coupled with a daily — even HOURLY – gratitude list, could carry you a long way during these challenging cockalocka poo poo slinging times.

❤Here’s to learning to live in the WAITING ROOMS of life with more peace and joy❤

Related Reading:

On the myth of closure, ambiguous loss and complicated grief by Lisa Wessan

The Art of Living is the Art of Waiting by Lisa Wessan

Copyright © by Lisa Wessan 2020. All rights reserved.
www.LisaWessan.com

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