With lynell weiss
Welcome to Living Well — our bi-weekly spotlight on different women that we admire and find fascinating. Our goal is to share an intimate peek into these women’s lives by asking them the questions that allow them to open up about their imperfect truth, whatever that may be.
I am thrilled to introduce my first participant, Lynell Weiss, the Founder of Whole Human Healing. Lynell is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in Art Therapy — a form of therapy that integrates traditional talk therapy with the creative process. Her goal is to create a space for her clients to work through life’s challenges while accepting and embracing their humanness. I was fascinated by this approach to explore and express internal feelings, beliefs, and somatic sensations in a non-verbal and non-threatening way.
I am so grateful that Lynell has taken the time to sit down with my questions and answer the ones that she was excited about, with no pressure to answer them all. Without further ado, enjoy the Living Well feature with the inspirational, Lynell.
If you've done the Values Deck exercise, what are your top five values? Tell us how one of them manifests in your life. What is a decision you’ve made using it to guide you?
Acceptance/Self-Acceptance, Beauty, Authenticity, Gratitude, Mindfulness
What does a life well-lived look like?
A life well-lived to me looks like being present to the beauty and magic of my life, no matter what season of life I find myself in. To me, a life well lived will always include being surrounded by a deep sense of community, creating a home that feels like a sanctuary for our family, feeling fulfilled in my marriage, frolicking in nature, cultivating a compassionate and caring relationship with myself, and continuing to navigate life with a child-like sense of awe.
My version of success is…
Living a life filled with meaning and love, as well as the ability to stay present in the face of both uncertainty and joy.
What is one way that you are different today than you were ten years ago?
Ten years ago I would have struggled to prioritize my needs and boundaries if it meant upsetting someone else. I no longer carry that narrative with me. I attest so much of my growth and evolution to my ability to accept and tolerate the reality that not everyone will like, understand, or even respect my decisions. As long as I respect my own decisions, that is enough.
Setting aside modesty for a moment, what are you excellent at?
I am going to write down the very first thing that came to mind when I read this question, which was: finding joy and delight in the mundane. I also happen to think I'm a pretty damn good listener.
Whose life perspective and way of moving through the world teaches you something about who + how you want to be?
Glennon Doyle and Brené Brown have been two of my greatest teachers over the last several years. They have both taught me the power of owning our imperfect, real, brutal, beautiful, messy lives, and the freedom that comes with leaning into our pain rather than away from it.
IS THERE A QUOTE OR MANTRA YOU ALWAYS COME BACK TO?
Whenever I find myself needing a moment to ground, I repeat these three phrases to myself while engaging in deep breathing: "I am here, I am safe in this body, I am listening." This practice helps me slow down and drop into my inner observer rather than automatically reacting to whatever is happening around me.
I also find myself coming back to this question time and time again: What is the invitation at this moment?
Can you share a book, podcast, or article that changed you in some way?
Untamed. This incredible book taught me a tremendous amount about parenting, intuition, love, grief, pain, etc. What I find myself reflecting on most often is the idea that as women, it is imperative that we question which institutions may be benefitting from keeping us insecure, small, and in conflict with ourselves.
What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful for the work I am privileged to do in this world. I am grateful for my clients, for their trust in me, and for my ability to create a safe and supportive space for them to be witnessed as they are.
Lynell is a licensed marriage, family, and art therapist. She offers clinical art therapy consultations and works 1-1 with clinicians looking to learn more about Art therapy and ways they can integrate art therapy into their practice. Connect with her on her website or on Instagram @wholehumanhealing.