This week I won’t get to dance with a dolphin. That was 3 years ago. But this week will surely hold some great and unique experiences – maybe moose sightings! All next week I’ll be helping out the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) on their Project Odyssey retreat – this time in upstate New Hampshire.
Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) began when several veterans and friends, moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they transition back to civilian life.
I learned about WWP via my work with GiveAnHour. GAH is a innovative and compassionate program offering free mental health counseling to any returned veteran and to their family members. GiveAnHour and WWP both realize there is no way the Veteran’s Administration (VA) is able to handle all the needs of all the veterans who have served in the recent (let along previous) conflicts/wars. Having worked at the Boston VA for 5 1/2 yrs in the late 90’s up till August 2002, I saw the toll that war has taken on our veterans and their families. And being a total wuss and massive pacifist, I could never do the work those in the armed forces do– so this is my way to give back.
Next week I will help at a couples’ Project Odyssey (PO) retreat. PO is a unique opportunity that helps warriors overcome combat stress via outdoor, rehabilitative retreats that encourage connection with nature and their peers, along with WWP staff and counselors like myself. Basically, they get vets (“warriors”)together, which helps them have connection, and challenges them to participate in experiences (all involving the outdoors) that often times are new for the warriors and always seem to open their hearts and help them start healing. I have to say it is the most unique and fun way I have ever provided counseling (for instance, while playing with dolphins then later fishing and snorkeling off the coast of Key West, while horseback riding and zip-lining in the woods of Alabama, and while river rafting or hiking around geysers in Wyoming, just to name a few of the non-traditional counseling spots I have been in ).
I have always been deeply moved by the experiences of the warriors and deeply grateful that I have something to contribute to those who have done so much by sacrificing for our country. Next week I will be teaching the warriors & their partners how they can further help their own healing by using EFT/Tapping– every time I have taught that I have been thanked so much! The great reception to my teaching Tapping is partly why I started offering Tapping Workshops. EFT/Tapping is so easy to learn and such an effective tool to reduce stress. I will also be doing some yoga with them and definitely some breathing and guided meditations.
Please keep all those who serve and have served our country in your prayers. And I look forward to seeing and talking with you when I return.