KBR Mom and social worker
Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe, MSW, LCSW
618-616-1235kbradcliffe@gmail.com

KBR Mom and social worker

17 Things for an epic 2017

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 01/26/17

Two years ago, I wrote a post as we looked to a new year. This year, I find myself even more reflective. Embrace this list, make it your own, agree to disagree, but not disconnect ~KBR


1. "To all the little girls watching...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world." Hilary Clinton
2. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway," Eleanor Roosevelt
3. "I've been absolutely terrified, and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do. " Georgia O'Keefe
4. STOP the Stigma of Mental Illness!
5. "Compassion is an action word with no boundaries." Prince
6. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." MLK
7. Trying to understand the behavior of some people is like trying to smell the color 9. 
8. "Hope will never be silenced." Harvey Milk
9. "Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." Prince
10. "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." MLK
11. If you cannot be kind, be quiet!
12. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it. 
13. "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Carrie Fisher
14. Whatever it is you do, do with your whole heart. 
15. There will be those who say you are Nasty... be who and what you are with your whole heart. Stay NOISY, not nasty. 
16. Find your own superpower, don't ever expect it to come from someone else.
17. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

Dear Disorder

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 06/10/16

Sir Winston Churchill once said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." When it comes to mental health and emotional disorders, the sufferer and those who love them often lack the courage to say what needs to be said, to own the scary and to talk back to the part of the sufferers brain that maintains a vice grip on the entire family. 


Empowering any individual to find their courage, as painful as it may be to say or hear, is part of the gift I am lucky enough to give and receive every day in my personal and professional lives. In finding their courage, or perhaps maybe in finding mine, I may use the letter below. It isn't always easy to find the right words or draw a picture to capture the message, but it is most important that we try. 

Dear (insert disorder here), 
I didn't ask to welcome you into my/our life. 
I don't want you here to take over my/our family. 
We hate you, we fear you and we are more exasperated with you every day. 
You are not (insert individual) the person who I/we love. 
We/I have the power to tell you off. 
We/I have to power to tell you where to stick it. 
We/I have the courage to fight back against you.
We/ I have the courage to love ourselves enough to be better. 
We/I have the courage and power to be in control. 
You are not (insert name here), you are a beast we/I will banish.
You are not the boss of me/us!

May we all find the courage. 



Sometimes, it is the little things

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 01/26/16

Recently, I heard Marc Maron express in a podcast, (it is) "good for the soul just to have conversation." I spend my days engaged in conversation with such a wide variety of people that I couldn't be more thankful for the nourishment my mind and soul receive. Until there is one of those confrontations that takes the wind out of my sails and can only be labeled as soul sucking. 


I get it. We aren't all going to like each other, there will always be people with whom we do not get along. The details of my most recent challenge are not important here, except to note I know I had done nothing unprofessional, unethical or dishonest. What is important,for me is that we all  take a minute to ponder how those littlest of moments, the smallest of negative words, can  reduce relationships to mere threads. 

Just as the smallest of negative exchanges can lead to catastrophic damage, the smallest of kind words can treat the soul like a delicious piece of chocolate (if that is your fancy). In one moment, we can make someone else's day by the most seemingly insignificant of gestures. Last night, just when I needed it, I got one of those soul nourishing moments, all while I heard more and more that could have sucked my energy dry. 

Thank you to both opportunities. To the one who derailed and decried what and who I am, thank you for the chance to take a look at myself and ensure I did the best I could. To the one who helped build me back up, thanks for the sprinkles exactly as I needed. 

The end of another year

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 12/30/15

As 2015 draws to a close, I find myself pondering yet another year of this business baby of my own. Sure, the end of the year brings the painful tasks of finances in preparation for tax time; but, it also allows me time to reflect on highs and lows for my clients, take a long hard look at myself to see what I may be able to do differently (both at work and at home), and look toward another year of being invited into the raw emotional lives of my clients. 


For everyone who has allowed me to be part of their journey, I express humble gratitude and thanks. I am human and by no means perfect, but you all sought my counsel, listened to my words and taught  me more than I could ever express. Of course, there were those not so fabulous moments where I may have been cussed out, rejected and criticized, but I welcome those too. If having those moments means my clients are more able to be and live their authentic selves, then I will take that hit! Here's to a new year of roller coaster moments; I am ever thankful I get to do this. 
 
For my family, I know that this job can take it's toll on me and that, in turn, can take a toll on you. Sugar Plum, Little Man and My favorite retiree- I am most grateful for you. 

As we look toward a new year, let me leave you with a few thoughts. Words of wisdom that are not necessarily my own, but ones that I hope can inspire, empower and mean even a little something to all of you. 

"I want to be around people that do things. I don't want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people who dream, and support, and do things." ~ Amy Poehler

"If you can't think of anything nice to say, you're not thinking hard enough" ~Kid President

"Hope will never be silent." ~ Harvey Milk

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Breaking your leg can take you out of a few games, but depression can take you out of life." ~ A client

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." ~ Albus Dumbledore

May 2016 be as amazing, challenging, enlightening, frustrating, and exhilarating as every year before. 
~Kristin 

We all need the challenge

by Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe on 10/14/15


A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to face down a challenge I had set for myself- an Olympic distance triathlon. While I felt firmly entrenched in my active lifestyle, having run a few half marathons and plenty of Sprit distance races, I had known a few months before that I needed something more. I wept tears of relief and joy when I finished well under my goal time, carried over the line by these two amazing kids. I pushed myself in a way that I never thought I could before. It is exactly what I aim to do to each and every person, adult and child, who is brave enough to bring themselves to my office. We all need a challenge to grow, blossom and become a better version of ourselves. I am thankful I had this as one of mine. 


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