Charm City

Feeling “Othered” in a Heteronormative World

Feeling “Othered” in a Heteronormative World

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, heteronormativity is defined as “Of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality”.  Essentially, I’m talking about straight culture. Now, you may be thinking something along the lines of… “But gay people are totally accepted these days”. It’s true that progress has been made. However, there’s a difference between “acceptance” and real visibility. Heteronormativity touches far more aspects of our lives than simply marriage. I think that most people, myself included, make well-intentioned, yet ignorant assumptions based on the heteronormative society we live in.

The Road to Worthiness is Paved with Imperfection

The Road to Worthiness is Paved with Imperfection


In the moments when we most need a little tenderness we quickly become our own worst enemies. Instead of recognizing and acknowledging our inherent goodness, we turn our words into weapons with messages of failure and defeat. 

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could instead treat ourselves with the same kindness and understanding we so readily show others? In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, leading researcher and storyteller Brené Brown examines what gets in the way of accepting ourselves as we are and living from a place of authenticity, gratitude, and whole-heartedness.  

A Holistic Approach to Healing

To suffer is the most human of conditions, but so too is to heal.
— Chani Nicholas

The healing journey is far from linear and it is also far from uniform. Every person has their own winding set of experiences, responding to emotions as they emerge and doing the best they can along the way.

Therapy can be invaluable in this work, and it can be supportive to tap into the body’s wisdom in other ways as well. In this blog post, we will explore a variety of holistic approaches that inspire full-body wellbeing.

Photo by  Emma Simpson  via Unsplash

Photo by Emma Simpson via Unsplash

Acupuncture

Stemming from the practice of Chinese Medicine and developed over thousands of years, acupuncture supports balance in the mind, body and spirit. Perhaps you’re having a difficult time sleeping and are waking up at the same time every night or maybe your appetite has been off. Acupuncture could be a supportive treatment for you. Amongst other things, acupuncture can be supportive if you are experiencing anxiety or depression.

You can learn more about what to expect from an acupuncture treatment through the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Want to try it out? Mend offers affordable community acupuncture in Remington and at Quarry Lake. Additionally, Maryland Community Acupuncture in Patterson Park offers sessions for as low as $20.00.

Sometimes with the most painful of processes all we can do is learn how to be with it, refusing to leave ourselves because of it.
— Chani Nicholas
Photo by  William Farlow  via Unsplash

Photo by William Farlow via Unsplash


Naturopathic Care

Naturopathic medicine is built around six principles:

  • the healing power of nature

  • identify and treat the causes

  • first do no harm

  • doctor as teacher

  • treat the whole person

  • prevention

 
Photo by  JWlez  via Unsplash

Photo by JWlez via Unsplash

 

This modality of care is centuries old and practitioners are trained in physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy and hydrotherapy.

If you are wondering how to support your mental health while using your body as a starting place, naturopathic care is a potential modality to explore.

Dr. Emily Telfair, ND of HeartSpace Natural Medicine is a local resource for patients who are ready to open this door of their healing journey. In her words, she offers “support with connecting the dots between your physical symptoms and how they relate to your life experiences”.


Here in this body are the sacred rivers: here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places...I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.
— Saraha

Herbalism

Photo by  Vero Photoart  via Unsplash

Photo by Vero Photoart via Unsplash

In many ways, herbalism invites you to “stop and smell the roses” (or lavender, or raspberry, or that plant poking up between the sidewalk cracks you always thought was ‘just a weed’). The earth is bursting with plant allies if you know where to look. As you begin this journey, Zensations is the perfect first stop.  


Bodywork

Photo by  Christin Hume  via Unsplash

Photo by Christin Hume via Unsplash

Bodywork can take many shapes: traditional massage, craniosacral therapy, and nervous system regulation (amongst others).

Are you curious about what your body has to say about what you’ve been feeling and experiencing? Ladan Nabet and Metta Integrative Wellness Center are supportive Baltimore resources when it comes to unpacking your body’s voice.

There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if only we can come to our senses and feel it.
— Elizabeth A. Behnke

This blog is intended to serve simply as a snippet if what holistic healing may entail; there is truly no end to the healing work that can be supported by each of these modalities. As you review the modalities discussed, ask yourself…

What have been your doors to healing?

Which doors are presenting themselves to you now?


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Meet Erin

Erin Bowman is one of Space Between Counseling Services’ newest graduate interns.  Upon her Graduation from the University of Baltimore’s counseling psychology Master’s program in 2020, Erin plans to seek licensure as a LCPC.

Erin is also a cyclist and enjoys exploring Baltimore’s parks by bike. When she’s not riding through the city, she can also be found reading science fiction and getting lost in bookstores.



Tidying Up (Part II) - Tidying Up Your Relationships

Tidying Up (Part II) - Tidying Up Your Relationships

In this second part of of our two-blog series inspired by the teachings of Marie Kondo, we will apply the KonMari method through simple activities designed to help you better tidy up your relationships. We hope this blog will inspire the courage and intention you need in order to facilitate nourishing relationships into your life.

Tidying Up (Part I) - Tidying Up Your Life

Tidying Up (Part I) - Tidying Up Your Life

In Marie’s book, tidying up refers to applying a set of principles to de-clutter your home. However, in this two-part blog series we’re going to talk tidying up your life (Part 1) and your relationships (Part 2) by applying principles based upon Marie’s method. 

12 Ways to Start Being Your Own Best Friend

12 Ways to Start Being Your Own Best Friend

When our life circumstances change, our friends often change with them. Cross-country moves introduce us to new social groups; coupledom expands our inner circles; and parenthood fosters additional bonds. Gone are the days when our closest confidants were just a short drive away. Now, get-togethers are planned months in advance and frequent flier miles are racked up with regularity.

But what about being a good friend to ourselves? We put heart and soul into our sisterhoods (and brotherhoods!) but can forget that it starts with being kind to the fresh face we greet in the mirror each morning.

Self-compassion or treating yourself with the same kindness as you would a close friend, can radically change the way you relate to yourself. Check out these 12 tips for doling out some serious self-love.

Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2018

Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2018

Coupleship: 2018- Year In Review.

This series of check-in questions is designed to help you invite structure, flow, play and secure connection into 2019. After the rush of the Holiday season is almost over, but before you ring in the near year, we hope that you can create a holding space for one another. Just being together and enjoying each other is great, but once again Space Between Counseling Services has an invitation for you that will help make your relationship stronger in the year to come.

“Secure Functioning” is being in a relationship that is fully collaborative, fully mutual, + based on justice, fairness, and sensitivity.

— Dr. Stan Tatkin

Perhaps you completed the Coupleship Year in Review around this time last year.  Hopefully it provided you with the opportunity to reflect on your relationship, togetherness and growth both as individuals and a couple during 2017.  This year the Space Between Counseling Services team has re-invented the review. You may notice some similar questions, as well as some new ones during this year’s review.

Food, Body Image, & How They Shape Us

Food, Body Image, & How They Shape Us

We live in a society with brilliant advertising for nearly every product or idea imaginable. Simultaneously, we are constantly bombarded with images of unrealistic and unhealthy ideals of beauty. It’s no wonder that people feel conflicted about what to eat, and how to live up to the status quo, especially during the upcoming holiday season.


Are You Feeling The Weight of Allostatic Load?

Are You Feeling The Weight of Allostatic Load?

Allostatic load refers to the “wear and tear on the body” that accumulates when we are exposed to repeated or chronic stressors.  These stressors can be internal, external or both. 

SOME EXAMPLES OF INTERNAL STRESSORS INCLUDE:

  •      Illness

  •      Fear

  •      Poor Nutrition

  •      Physical Strain

  •      Hypertension

  •      Lack of Sleep

  •      Autoimmune Diseases

  •      FOMO (fear of missing out)

SOME EXAMPLES OF EXTERNAL STRESSORS INCLUDE:

  •       Life Changes

  •       Bills

  •       Job / Work Related Issues

  •       Pollution

  •       Relationship Issues

  •       Screen Time

  •       Anxiety

  •       Depression