PT 360 November 2019

Getting you back to the life you want to live.


N ovember 2019

In Touch

R eally T hankful


Shelly Coffman

Walking around the grocery store and seeing “Thankful”and“Blessed”signs does not trigger warm fuzzies for me. Now I know there are MANY people who will defend to the death that #blessed is their true state of mind. For me, though, it takes some deeper reflection, and a whole pile of“not-blessed”to feel it. When I first moved to Portland, I took a job with a well respected outpatient physical therapy clinic. I was stoked (the ‘90s version of #blessed). Then, I quickly came to realize that I worked for the employer version of Voldemort. I was constantly belittled, criticized, thrown under the bus, and felt beaten down and downright unhappy. As I had just moved to Portland, I didn’t have a good support network and didn’t know what other options were available as a new grad, and I at least wanted to get a year under my belt. So I hunkered down and survived. What I came to learn about myself that I didn’t know at the time was that all of this negative talk coming at me produced an inner counter-voice. A strong one. Believe it or not, I had been kind of meek and shy in my youth. I didn’t stand up for myself often; I stewed. But the constant barrage of day after day misery in this one job birthed a newme, one that to this day, I consider the authentic me. Once that version of me showed up, I realized a new day was ON. It was glorious when I quit. The negative talk came at me, and I batted every comment back like they were fruit flies. I took a new position and was so happy to work with really nice people. My new boss enjoyed my enthusiasm and was a little baffled by my candor, particularly as a young woman. I was not going to hand anyone some misplaced authority over me again, and I haven’t since. As miserable as that first job experience

was, I was, and still am, thankful for the person that came out of it, which would not

have happened without the pressure cooker of misery.

In the above photo, you can see my daughter on the first day of school. I can’t remember exactly why she was so mad. She’s crazy anxious. Things weren’t ”perfect”for her first day, but I still wanted a photo. As her personal stylist, she was mad at me and felt she was punishing me by not smiling. I posted this photo on Facebook, and it blew up with likes. She was a little mad at me for posting it, until I explained: When our outside skin matches our inside experience, people are able to meet us where we are and appreciate that the“real” us is there to meet their authentic selves too. Those authentic folks are the people we want to spend time with and lean on. If we show something that is not what we are feeling, then it’s not us, and we’re just pretending. She understood and followed up with her own Tik Tok to post on my page:“Be who you are.”I am hoping this understanding sticks a little bit through the teen years. While I may not feel #blessed while my daughter is yelling at me because she’s struggling with her outfit or while I’m juggling a new disaster at work, I knowmy day will always work its way to a better note. I spend time with great people, patients, and coworkers, and I adore my family. I’m lucky as hell to do what I do and enjoy the crap out of it, even when there’s some static. I know if I show up both to listen and be heard, good things will come. #optimist.

D o T hanksgiving D ay L ocavore S tyle

On Thanksgiving Day, tables across America creak under the weight of platters of cranberry sauce, green beans, rolls, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie. Above it all towers the day’s crown jewel: a steamy turkey, fresh from the oven. As much of an institution as that turkey is, many of the people divvying up the meat on Thanksgiving have no clue where it came from. Home cooks can usually offer a grocery store and brand name, but that’s about it. This blind spot says a lot about the American food system, which often prioritizes convenience and annual earnings over flavor and environmental impact. Over the last few decades, a grassroots movement of chefs, foodies, scientists, animal advocates, and environmentalists has sprung up to convince Americans it’s time to pay attention to where their food comes from —Thanksgiving turkey included. Members

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