Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Awakening!

Looking at this week's forecast all I see is rain. Last week was about the same. I should not be surprised as this is April and without the rain Spring cannot bloom, bringing with it new life and new beginnings.

As my internship with The Awakening Center and my undergraduate career wind down, I feel like I am in a stage right before bloom like the season. Reflecting upon my last year it has been one of tremendous growth for me. I have accomplished more than I imagined both in my personal life and with The Awakening Center. As I prepare to say good-bye to this past year as an intern and undergrad, I also am giving myself a much deserved pat on the back.

Reflection can be a powerful tool to harness along our journeys. Through reflection we can learn from our past ways and move forward with clearer vision. Providing us with insight, we can pick out patterns that can lead us to successes in dealing with an array of situations. More so, reflection can give us strength in knowing that we made it through something. There may have been struggle, but we did it and some form of celebration is in order! We often can fall into a cycle of focusing on our faults, yet acknowledging our successes can help build confidence that can be invaluable. Most of all, it just feels good to acknowledge the awesome things we have done!

Journaling is a great way to help reflect upon the day, week, month or whenever you feel like it. Writing it down can help you physically see how something came to be. It can help be a way for you to recognize your achievements you may have missed. More so, you can brag how awesome you were without anybody judging!

With the awakening of spring (finally!) I am going to take a moment to look back upon my last year with The Awakening Center and my undergraduate career and give myself acknowledgement for everything that I have accomplished. I will also take this past year's personal growth with me into my new beginnings as a blossoming adult. I encourage everyone to take a moment this rainy week to take a moment to reflect and give themselves credit for any success they have recently had. With the coming sunshine and spring bloom you have yet another opportunity to begin fresh with greater confidence.



Katie Infusino is an undergraduate intern from DePaul University and enjoyed her opportunity to be an intern at The Awakening Center this past year. She co-leads the Tuesday Night Drop-In Eating Disorder Support Group.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Flowers and Growth

I was drawing a flower the other day, when I decided this flower needed to be pelted with large black and blue raindrops. Feeling relaxed after doing so I began to thing about my image. Flowers, especially in April in Chicago, get a pretty intense share of rain, and sometimes hail and snow, sometimes bending or breaking their leaves or shoots. Despite this abuse they still manage to use this precipitation to elicit growth. In fact, with out it the flowers would not be able to grow. Thinking about it some more, the growth of a flower became a clever metaphor for growth in general.

Growth is beautiful, it’s the lessons, issues and situations which often force growth that, to be honest, usually suck. Ok, may be that is a little harsh, I normally try to be the one to find the good in all situations, but there are times you just have to focus on making it through the hour, day, week, to get by. However these situations are forcing you to adapt and grow. They make you stronger, more complex, and more beautiful.

It is important to take time during and after the struggle to look back at what you have done. This feeling of pride in the growth you have achieved, and depending where you are at in you journey a huger sigh of relief. You are making it through and blossoming into your self in the process.

As a student who is getting close to finishing grad school, I can tell you there were plenty of times I just wanted to fast forward to the end because the stress of the situation was so uncomfortable, but looking back The discomfort lessens and I am beginning to recognize my growth and cherish it. I am weathering the storm and coming out on the other side. What ever your struggles may be I know that you too can make it through, growing into something beautiful on the other side.



Kira Redig is the Awakening Center’s art therapy intern and leads the Thursday night Art Therapy Group from 7-9pm. If you are interested in group or individual art therapy please contact her at

(773) 929-6262 ex 13