Please join us for our next A Better Normal: Practicing Resilience episode, a live Zoom event! In A Better Normal we imagine and create a PACEs science-informed world together. In Practicing Resilience we fill up our own cups with healing practices for ourselves.
Witnessing Ourselves: Grief & Self-Care in Times of COVID-19 Transition
Thursday, June 17th, 2021 | Noon to 1pm PDT
Live on Zoom | Hosted by Gail Kennedy and Lara Kain
Guest: Sandra J. Valdes-Lopez, MDiv, CA, TCTSY-F, RYT
The COVID-19 pandemic has witnessed many stories—stories of courage, strength and community care; stories of people fighting for equitable access to healthcare and for just treatment by our civil institutions; stories of fatigue, confusion, compounded harm and uncertainty. Now that many communities are outlining plans and changing policies in support of opening businesses and shared public space, people are confronted with the looming question: how do we carry our pandemic selves into re-opened space and relationship? For those in the care and advocacy professions: how do we mindfully find ourselves in this transition, coming from a year of tending to so many and in a context for so many of us of changed, blurred work-personal life boundaries? Importantly, how do engage sensations and thoughts of urgency that transition often ushers in?
This talk considers these questions by exploring how this time of transition can powerfully function as a witness of where are our bodies have traveled, what remains with us, and how this time can serve as a collaborative site to imagine ways of working that honor what we have survived and are surviving. Trauma sensitive embodied practices and a pastoral care framework are introduced and offered as compassionate partners that can support us in getting curious about the grief imprints our bodies are holding and curious about strategies that can help us honor ourselves and others in this transition.
Sandra J. Valdes-Lopez, MDiv, CA, TCTSY-F, RYT is a trauma-informed care partner, working at the intersection of chaplaincy, crisis intervention, psychological first aid and somatic resourcing. She brings to this work a belief that the best care practices evolve from relationship contexts that are culturally humble and honoring of the multiple wisdom traditions people access in times of stress, distress, and harm. Sandra has worked as a care partner in multiple institutional contexts in the U.S. and Abroad over the last 12+ years. She has been privileged to partner with extraordinary, resilient humans in community, working to make a way alongside their experiences of pain. Sandra has worked for NGOs, non-profits, and higher education institutions. She completed her undergraduate studies at Pepperdine University and completed further graduate studies at Yale University and Boston University. At present, Sandra works as a Clinical Support Specialist at two National Crisis Support Organizations focused on Sexual Assault Response Care & Suicide Prevention. Sandra supports local crisis organizations in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties as an Advocate, Counselor, and Consultant. She joins us today with admiration and gratitude for our work at PACEs Connection.