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THE TRUTH…

IMG_4965How are you evolving? What is itching to come out? What is calling your soul’s purpose?

The reality is that our world and every single one of us are in a constant state of evolution. Whether we like to accept this truth or not.
Most of us like to pretend and settle for a particular type of truth that will be “acceptable”, “consistent”, “predictable”, “expected”, “ego-based”, “fear-based” and quite honestly downright boring.
We pretend to have our act together only to feel threatened by those around us that we perceive as having “arrived”, who are “successful” or who seemingly “have it all”.
But the reality is that NONE of us actually have “arrived” or have our lives together, and if we do, most likely we are bored and unwilling to admit to it.
Well, I’m tired of all that crap!
The fact that we are imperfect, evolving and changing, IS what makes us unique and beautiful. 
In order to keep evolving, we need to keep challenging ourselves, listening to our heart, pushing our comfort zone and taking leaps.
We need to give ourselves, and each other, permission to claim our brilliance, embrace our dreams and have the courage to pursue them.

 

You may have noticed that a few things may be changing around our center. You probably have noticed that I am travelling quite a bit and therefore I am a bit less available.

 

Well I am here to share my truth. I want you to know what is happening and how this may impact you.
For some time now, I have felt that solely, providing individual therapy to our clients is NOT the most effective way to serve you. We have developed many of our wounds in the context of relationships and therefore we need to heal in the context of relationships.

 

I have observed over the years that my clients who overcome adversity, heal their health, and learn to love themselves are those who are courageous enough to participate in group sessions.
Groups bring about a corrective emotional experience, allow for the transfer of skills and decreases the development of dependency on therapy.
Ever since I struggled with an eating disorder I was on a mission; purposeful and passionate about healing and helping all those struggling with eating disorders.
Over the years, I have attracted an incredible staff of clinicians trained and experienced in treating the often complex presentations of eating disorders, ADHD and relationship concerns, among many other things.

 

Yet after my accident 3 years ago, I felt a strong urge, a strong calling that I needed to do more, reach more people and impact more lives.

 

It became abundantly clear that doing 1-1 work is important, but that I needed to expand this scope to create greater transformations and reach a larger number of people.

 

Like the rest of us, this calling felt scary, intimidating and downright terrifying. I finally felt comfortable leading our center and continuing my work. However as it is true with soul callings, these only get bigger, pushier, and become a continuous nag.
I have spent the last 3 years learning many things on how I can use the amazing technological advances we have been given to make this happen. I also have been preparing myself physically, mentally and spiritually to fully step in the service of human-kind and that calling.

 

And just like many others, I have kept my dreams and aspirations close to my heart, as it is vulnerable to share. It is scary to be open to criticism or judgment. However, I CANNOT continue to encourage you to be genuine, real and courageous if I am not willing to do the same. 
So I am sharing my truth, my dreams, and aspirations in hope that it can provide you with inspiration to do the same, to understand the magnitude of it all and hopefully to continue to have your support.

 

For over two years now, we have been searching for a place to become “HOME” for our practice, to allow it to unfold into the vision I have held for over 15 years. A place of gathering, healing, creativity, innovation and empowerment for everyone that comes to our center.
A place where we not only provide therapy, nutrition & coaching, but an Integrative and Holistic place of transformation, where our clinical services are only a portion of what we do, and we expand to provide personal growth trainings, classes, retreats, workshops and community.
Where we can cook together, dance, do yoga, expressive arts, nature based approaches and training to help you come back to yourself, to help you appreciate, and love yourself. Where you can become a fertile soil in which your brilliance has permission to rise to the surface and be honored, appreciated and multiplied.

 

My dream is that our center becomes a place of gathering where people can become infused with healing, positivity, inspiration, education and skills to go into the larger world and be brilliant beacons.

 

I feel inspired and called to write more, speak to larger and larger audiences, create transformational programs and classes, deliver state of the art services and continue to push and train my staff to become even better at what they do.

 

Through years of working with people, I have arrived at the simple conclusion that we are more alike than we are different. That our diagnosis, though helpful in determining treatment, keep us separate and therefore stuck in believeing that there is something fundamentally flawed with us.

 

The reality is that at the bottom of all of the suffering, of all the addictions, of all the anxiety, depression, shame and guilt  is this internalized self- loathing, self- criticism and self-judgment that keeps us separate and sick.
This is not to deny that many of us need to take medications for biologically based conditions, but that at the core, we are all imperfect in one way or another, and when we can learn to love ourselves we will create the biggest healing, the greatest transformation towards bringing the life that we most desire.
When we allow ourselves to let go of all of the boxes, and expectations that we have been trained to have about ourselves, our abilities, our skills, what we ought to or not ought to do, we finally open up and expand into our FULL BEINGS. Where love can fill and expand and guide us towards that which we love, towards our full expression and full creation capabilities.

 

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At the core, I believe that learning to love ourselves is one of the hardest and most powerful things we can do towards healing our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits as well as contributing to workd peace.
So know that our re-focusing of our practice is not in moving away from eating disorders and the like, but rather an expansion of our core mission and purpose. It is a re-orientation towards our evolution in serving you and serving others in multiple capabilities and bringing to you more resources.

 

I am delighted to share that last summer we found a building that we have been slowly remodeling to house our new center. I will include a few pics do you can see its progression. As it is in all new endeavors it is evolving and unfolding in its own time. We hope to move by April, but we will keep you posted.
This will also open up all kinds of programming that will include more groups, cooking, yoga, fitness, expansion of our expressive arts program as well as online programs, workshops, retreats and seminars.

 

As I vulnerably share my passion and dreams, I want you to think of all the things that you are dreaming about, but are holding yourself back from, or that you have been scared to share or verbalize for fear of judgment. Give yourself permission to own them and share them.
I have been called “crazy”; and are often greeted with a “you are either very naive, very courageous, or downright crazy, and I’m not sure what that is”, type look. I have learned to accept that this comes with the territory when we decide to do something audacious and bold.

 

Yet I remind myself that the only people who have changed the world are the people crazy enough to believe they can!
I had a dream and a vision to change the world from an early age and I am not about to give up on that dream!
The HOW will continue to develop and transform as I evolve in my path, in the same way you will evolve in yours.
However, the greatest sadness of it all would have been to stay small, hidden, and not trying for fear of failure, judgment or criticism.

 

I am taking a bold stand, sharing my truth, in hopes that it will inspire you to do the same; and that you will stand behind me in making our world a better place in whichever way feels aligned for you.
I want to expand people’s capacities to love, to evolve, to grow into their unlimited potential to create the results, the life and the world that they desire!
In love and light,
JGratz-2014-08-09-6489 Elena 1 cropped

 

Elena Estanol Ph.D., M.F.A.
Founder & Executive Director
Synapse Counseling LLC

 

HERE ARE SOME PICS FROM OUR NEW BUILDING REMODEL….(This has included, adding windows, doors, tearing the entire inside, adding walls, rooms, etc….). Slowly starting to take shape…

 

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