After a long hiatus, we are relaunching! First with our blog and early 2017 with a brick and mortar location in the DC Metro Area.
When I initially started writing Envision-ings, my goal was to empower and educate lay people about mental health issues. I wanted to provide education about how to recognize common psychological problems and where to get help, while creating a space that was safe for people to ask questions and share their experiences with one another. Before I could fully realize my own Envision-ing, I got an incredible opportunity in the Spring of 2014 to provide counseling and education to other Americans living in Japan.
What I thought would be a few months of solid work in a brand new place, quickly morphed into an extended period of travel and work not only in Japan, but in Europe as well. I love to meet new people and places, so I thought working and living abroad would suit me well. I was absolutely correct about how wonderful an experience this would be, but my rose colored glasses kept me from seeing the ways in which I would change and grow during my time overseas.
For every new friend I made, there was a friend I was missing at home. For every culinary delight I tasted, there was a plate of my Dad’s barbecue and my Sister’s Macaroni and Cheese that I longed for. How could I know that bobbing my head to a five-piece jazz band on the riverfront in Seoul, Korea would make me nostalgic for the outdoor concerts at Carter Barron Amphitheater that my Mom and I attend every summer?
I never predicted how I would expand as a clinician from the challenge of giving to others, while creating a new version of my own support system. I had no clue how much I would miss being a part of my community at home, while I found community in new places and people with whom I shared only the common language of a smile and an open heart.
Like so many of you, I have also been challenged by events occurring at home in my absence. During the time that I have been away, I have heard of the deaths of more of my young brothers and sisters than I can comprehend. I have witnessed the protests demanding the value of Black lives be recognized, not just in the US, but in the streets of Tokyo. From my bed in Japan, I have cried tears of outrage reading the Department of Justice’s report on the state of policing in Baltimore City and tears of joy watching the Simones (Manuel and Biles) swim and flip their way to gold in Rio on the same day.
The last few years have been an amazing tour of discovery and service, as I have traveled and worked across the world. Seasons change and in this season, I am preparing to leave Japan, bringing a renewed sense of myself, both personally and professionally.
Although my original aim is still at the core of Envision Therapeutic Services and this blog, my personal growth and bearing witness to the joys and challenges of my brothers and sisters from a far have influenced a new way of seeing my commitment to my psychotherapy clients and the community in which I will return to. During the time I have been away, I have learned so much more about how to use what I have been blessed with to care for my community and the people in it.
My hope is that my renewal will translate into a psychotherapy and community service practice that empowers and spurns growth for those I am privileged to help. I hope that you will join me for this journey, realizing your own Envision-ings along the way.
What a wonderful blog, For the love of self! Inspiring and much needed! Thanks, Aziza! So proud of you!
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I pray that my work will be a blessing to all that encounter it.
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