This month, I’m happy to share my sixth interview with a mentor that inspires me everyday with her foraging finds, creative fermentations and stories of her life journey. There are many that challenge us to understand ourselves, grow our spiritual practices and cultivate our lives. This series is to share with you a few of my own personal mentors that whether they are aware of it or not, have made a huge imprint on my life, love and world.
My nutrition is much more than the food on my plate. Over the years, it has expanded into everything I choose to consume, which led me to a beautiful collaboration with SEMAP (Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership). I presented at several of their community conferences, where I met Briget Bride. She was a front row student that became another rich ingredient in my nutrition practice as she nourished my life with a friendship filled with lots of food talk, inspirational recipes, foraging adventure stories and eating emotions. I should mention she is a psychotherapist and expert food preserver. Two of my favorite things!
Briget has had a successful practice serving Boston, the South Shore, The Cape and the Islands for more than 20 years. She is a compassionate therapist who teaches people new ways of perceiving themselves and their problems in order to bring about a higher quality of life. We have curated an Eating Emotions Therapy Group in Hyannis at Delicious Living Nutrition.
What has been your journey into what you do?
My decision to pursue becoming a Psychotherapist happened shortly after I found a therapist who would listen and engage with me in a deep and meaningful way. Until then, I had only found counselors who didn’t really listen and didn’t seem invested in me. For the first time in my life I felt hopeful that I might feel happy one day. This discovery fueled my wanting to share this with others, so many like myself who suffer quietly inside from such deep distress and sadness. I enrolled in school and opened my first office in Quincy in 1992 and I began.
What have you cultivated along the way?
Basically myself. I realized through the therapy I was engaged in, when I cultivate the things that I need in my life, I am happier.
Such as: therapy, it was a crucial process to help me connect with myself and learn kindness toward me, investing in my marriage and good friendships. Reconnecting with nature by spending more time outside, curiosity about art in many formats, clay, sewing, singing, gardening, and currently, nutrition, cooking for my health needs and fermenting food. All of this has helped me be a happier person who has more to offer all of the important people in my life.
What inspires you?
Again, and again I am amazed at the resilience and generosity of people and nature. I am also drawn toward how everyday, common things are so beautiful if we stop to look, allowing that moment to linger. In these moments, I am at peace, and at the same time filled up with possibility. Sunsets always remind me to see art in everything.
What are the biggest things you’ve learned?
I have learned I need people. I am a better person for letting people in and having them affect me, and me them. Learning the art of connecting with others, while being strong and vulnerable is a lifelong pursuit.
Do “it” anyway. When I want to explore something new and many thoughts and feelings overwhelm my mind, I go forward anyway. I have learned to sit with the discomfort that comes along with stepping out of my current role, whatever it may be, to enrich my soul.
Being strong is being kind, thoughtful, vulnerable, direct, working through problems, and being open minded.
Make myself happy first. When I can keep this complicated concept, present in my thinking, my relationships with everyone and everything improves.
NOTHING IS AS SIMPLE AS IT LOOKS OR SOUNDS.
What is your relationship with food?
My relationship with food is complicated and long. Originally I was taught consuming food for others was love. This was pricey throughout my childhood. I knew in my twenties that I needed to learn more about nutrition and how to eat healthy. Since then I have made it part of how I live my life. Seeking out people who grow my food, connecting myself again to nature and being curious about what food grows without our help. Foraging has filled my soul so much. Nature, curiosity, connecting, healing… I used to think healthy food couldn’t taste very good, You have helped changed that distorted perception. Currently I am learning that the most delicious food is usually the best for me, go figure!!
What’s your favorite meal to create?
I love opening my or anyone’s refrigerator and seeing what is available to create with. It seems to me that having an open mind toward what is available and how to utilize it. My husband and friends often comment enthusiastically on this talent. I love making vegetarian patties, they are easy to make and can help use up many small amounts of leftover foods. They are a healthy quick meal when I am on the go.
My last impromptu meal was greens picked from the garden, a mango vinaigrette made from my mango jam, sprinkled with chive blossoms and mint. AMAZING flavor.
- 2 heaping Tablespoons of Stoneledge Gardens Mango Jam (try this with any full flavor jam)
- 1 t dried mustard
- ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ Good quality Olive Oil
- pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Toss all in a mason jar, shake well and use on salads, brush on fish, I also used this on smoked whitefish my husband make last week. I think it would also be a great dip to have on hand for impromptu gatherings this summer.
Who are your favorite teachers? why?
My longtime therapist Deborah Bohnert, has been a steadfast presence in my adult life. By example she teaches compassion, valuing people, reassurance, and strength. these were all things I was unable to see in myself when we started our work together. I still remember when she asked me to take a leap of faith and trust her. I’m glad I did, some of the best things have come from learning I can trust new people. Also that we don’t have to be perfect to be loveable. The more I garden the more I learn from nature. Gardening has a way of teaching us patience and tolerance. I have never been a fan of insects, Now I have come to value their place in helping my garden survive. My cats teach me to stop and be.
What is your vision board for 2017?
Opening my new office in Hyannis has been exciting. I am looking forward to discovering and connecting with the Cape Cod community. Spending more time with my husband enjoying our home and gardens we have created. Slowing down, picking quality social events over quantity. Adding yoga to my world. That seems like enough, haha.
What’s your favorite book and why?
“James and The Giant Peach” When I was young this book gave me a lot of hope that there is a better world for me, I could go off and create a new life, and I did.
How do you balance your life?
I don’t think I am successful at this all the time, it seems unrealistic to think I will be able to do this all the time. That being said, Balance to me is a process of learning to see what is most important at that moment and figure out how to achieve what we need done in our world. I stop throughout my day, check in with myself to see how I am feeling, and if I need to tend to any feelings. Depending on what I find, I will make adjustments. This is not a tool, this is a way of thinking about how to run one’s life.
How do you practice mindfulness?
Again there are times I am more successful at this than others. I try to start my day quietly, watering the garden and listening to birds and movement around me and thinking about what I want in that day. Lately I haven’t been able to meditate, but when I can, I feel more grounded.
What are some thoughts you’d love to share with others?
Pushing past the given parameters of your life, on a regular basis, helps develop your inner and outer world.
Connect with Bridget:
Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, TBD. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other!
Eating Emotions Therapy Group: a weekly group
Briget Bride – Psychotherapy Expert
Nicole Cormier, RD, LDN – Registered Dietitian
YOU! – This is a group therapy structure.
Tap into your relationships to food and how it distracts your from life and connecting with others.
Learn how to focus on feelings instead of mindless food decisions.
Connect your own realizations and how to help be kind to yourself as you continue forward.
Please email Briget to register: Briget.Bride@gmail.com