When you give a girl a pair of cleats....


Love this piece, give it a read! : https://www.theodysseyonline.com/when-you-give-girl-pair-of-cleats

I, too, was once this girl. In the beginning, my cleats felt awkward, too small, too big, I didn't move like the "other girls" in their cleats around me. I wasn't "athletic", I didn't feel fast or agile. But I had coaches and I had people who let me figure it out and encouraged me to keep going. There were others who were not so encouraging, but they didn't matter, because the one who believed in me kept buying me cleats and giving me high fives. They came to all my games and gave me a hug after, no matter what the result was. Whether it's cleats, a paintbrush, a pencil, a keyboard, an instrument, or leotard (the list goes on),  it truly is the foundation of character, courage, and relationships that will last forever. 

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.

Process Group for Personal and Professional Growth Group

If you are interested in:

  • Improving interpersonal relationships
  • Learning how to set and maintain boundaries
  • Reducing codependency
  • Finding your voice

This mixed gender process group (ages 18+) is for people navigating through interpersonal struggles, trauma, codependency and anxiety. It is also appropriate for those who are examining their relationship with food, exercise, drugs and/or alcohol.

When: Wednesday evenings 5:15-6:30 pm

Where: Groups will take place at Center for Behavioral Medicine, 25 E Washington Suite 1025

Cost: Groups are $50. We also accept Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Aetna
Contact Anne Carter, LSW, CADC at anne@chicagocbm.com or (603) 667-1471 with questions or to schedule an appointment to discuss group.


Our Book List

Self Help books can be difficult to navigate. Sometimes they repeat themselves, or after we read them we don't really feel like we have gained any super helpful tools. And then sometimes, it just seems like a daunting task to have to face our vulnerabilities in a book... 

SO! Here is our list of favorite books. The books that actually make you feel GOOD, and NORMAL, and like there is a way to apply change, mental shifts, increase happiness, and feel like you can be "your best self". There certainly isn't a "one size fits all" to being happy, rich, less anxious, BUT these are great sources to start making the shift!

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (ALL of her books are great!)

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

Mindfulness for beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn

How to Wake Up by Toni Bernhard

How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness by Toni Bernhard

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

We will continue to update this list!


Beginners Philosophy!

This weekend, Serena will be offering a workshop for all at Room to Breathe. She will be teaching how Yoga can be used for all - shapes, sizes, backgrounds, beliefs, goals- and how you to wrap your head around, what is, the most ancient and effective practice for healing and development. 

Beginner’s Philosophy:
Working With the Body To Clarify the Mind

with Serena Brommel
Saturday, January 14, 1pm to 4pm

How do the physical practices of yoga postures and breathing techniques relate to the deeper work of resolving emotions and inducing mental clarity? This workshop aims to demonstrate the clear linkages between the primary tools of breath-centric yoga and the foundations of meditation.

Join Serena for an exploration of techniques and a discussion of the theories that drive them. Develop a deeper understanding of what you’re doing on the mat that will help enrich your personal practice and build momentum for deeper, more effective yoga.

Through our practice and conversation we will:
+ Learn how breath-centric yoga develops concentration
+ Explore energy from a yogic perspective
+ Look for stillness through opposing movement
+ Conceive the mind as a field of movement that we can actively influence
+ Discuss common misconceptions that may impede our growth

This is not an advanced practice; all techniques we explore will be accessible to newer students. A little prior yoga experience will be helpful, but it is not required. Wear comfortable clothing for gentle movement, and a pad and pen in case you want to take notes.

From Serena:

One of the cornerstone ideas I'll present is yoga as a systematic process for growth and transformation. This, to me, is the essence of yogic philosophy. Yogic philosophy, including what's presented in the Yoga Sutras, provides us with the roadmap for HOW to make this work, practically speaking.

Here's a great quote from Gary that we'll use as a jumping off point:

“Life is inherently stressful, and the effects of that stress cause suffering. The ancient yogis understood this very well. Although it’s hard to imagine what daily life was like for them thousands of years ago, what is clear is that they created and handed down a systematic approach for overcoming the effects of stress on the mind and body: [this is] yoga.”
– Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute

Measuring Up

A blog on the pressures of being "good enough"

Written by Ryan Shuda

This painting was done by Polish contemporary artist Igor Morski.

There is a secret hiding in this photo, a secret that a growing number of teenagers and young adults can relate to. Even though they can relate to the secret, few people want to acknowledge it. Can you figure out what I am talking about yet? The secret lies in a constant feeling of being unable to “measure up” and questioning “Can I even do this?” These perceived expectations come [somewhat unconsciously] from a child’s parents or siblings, teachers, coaches, peers, and images and messages in society as a whole. What we don’t always recognize as parents, grandparents, friends, coaches, peers, and members of the community is, the message and standards we are communicating are leading to extreme pressures on the next generation leading to extreme measures to be “good enough.”


As adults, most of us take technology for granted, whereas for most teens, technology is their life and social realm. “Do your homework,” now means “Get your Ipad/laptop.” “Call your friends to see what they are up to” is now “I’ll text them and start a group chat.” “Spending time” with friends is now messaging them on Facebook, Skyping with them, or playing video games online together. In this case technology, right or wrong, can help people who are shy open up and make friends easier. Unfortunately though, young kids use technology so extensively that they may receive mixed messages from major support figures in their life like parents, coaches, and even loved ones. The teenager may hear the suggestions and turn them into “rules” or “expectations” of how they should act or be acting. Today’s teens though have a drastically different skill and comfort level than we do. Inadvertently, these well intended suggestions frequently end up turning into more thoughts that the teen is not “measuring up” or doing what is expected of them.


Personally, I see a number of teenagers and young adults being treated more and more like adults. No longer is it good enough for children to just go to school, get good grades, and maybe participate in a sport or club. Instead, teens are put into multiple sports or extracurricular activities which take away significant time from their academics and overall social growth and development. Children are also being asked to do more and more to get into a “good” high school, and even middle school. The application process for some high schools require teens to go through an interview, application, essay, and even an orientation. That was required for me to get into college, not high school. More and more children are pushed to do more to get into a school only to still have the risk of saying “We regret to inform you but our enrollment has met its capacity,” but what children read and hear is “You weren’t good enough.” Children are no longer just allowed to participate, but they have to “succeed” and “measure up” to others, when the reality is that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.


On top of using technology to build relationships, having extremely busy schedules, being exposed to a lot of high pressure situations, consider another role technology plays today.  Not only is the constant exposure to be “cool” plastered all over Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and Facebook but these “cool” things get put next ads that are sexually suggestive, promoting the use of drugs and/or alcohol, and even sometimes extensive ridicule from other people.  Again, this sends mixed messages that reinforce the idea of not “measuring up” to what other people their age are saying and doing.

So, adults, specifically parents, coaches, grandparents and loved ones, what can you do to help the teens and young adults in your life? The first suggestion I have is for you to understand and recognize how your teens world is different from the world you grew up in. Next, I want you to take a look at your child’s schedule and find your child’s “downtime.” If you can not find any time where they are not involved in extracurriculars, doing homework, or any other type of “work” then your child needs some! Downtime is supposed to be just that, time that they can do something that THEY enjoy (age appropriate of course). An additional suggestion I have is to help your child identify his/her values by asking them about situations they see on social media regarding the people or pop icons they follow. Lastly, and most importantly admit to making mistakes. Everyone, yes I mean everyone, has their own strengths and weaknesses and admitting our own mistakes will help shrink those thoughts of being “unable to measure up.”