This month we are highlighting Dixon Parnell, Licensed Professional Counselor. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Dixon has made his home in Austin. After obtaining a degree in Philosophy and Religion, Dixon obtained two Masters in Christian Education and Clinical Mental Health. Dixon has recently launched his own Private Practice and brings years of experience working with Eating Disorders professionally, a kind, calm, inquisitive demeanor personally. We are grateful to have him on board. I posed a few questions so we could learn more about Dixon.
Tell us about your specialization in therapy and how you chose it.
While my main area of specialization is eating disorders (ED), within mental health overall, I am very, very interested in ways in which religion and spirituality may play roles in folks’ mental health-eating disorder or not. I myself have a religious background (my undergrad degree was in Philosophy and Religion, and in addition to my mental health grad degree I have another from a Christian seminary), so I see everything from a highly contemplative place, asking ‘why?’ all the time. However, I don’t approach mental health issues with the assumption that spirituality is what’s missing, or that anytime someone brings up religion in the counseling office it’s a negative thing. I’ve found those approaches are overly simplistic, and reflect more about my passion for those things than the reality of what a client’s story actually may be!
I got into eating disorders in graduate school after an internship at a women’s clinic, literally around the corner from my mom’s house. Not knowing anything *at all* about ED, I soon came to understand it as the intersection of all that it is to be human. I think of us as people as sort of a cupcake, or a smoothie if you’d rather, that is a function of all of the aspects of a what makes a person-the pure physiological body “stuff,” the thinking/cognitive “stuff,” and the emotional “stuff”-and produces who we see and who they are.
All of those things have to be tended, and the proportions of them are never more clear than when doing ED work. How spirituality or religion may show up in folks’ lives, I believe those things must be unraveled and questioned gently and slowly, as they are very rich threads that run throughout all of the “stuff” in folks’ lives in all sorts of ways, sort of like a color dye.
What is something that may surprise us to know?
At one point, I could read the Bible in Hebrew, Latin and Greek proficiently (Latin and Greek quite well!).
If you were in a different profession, what would you choose and why?
I used to do live concert sound and spend a lot of time around sound systems (speakers, mics, long cables, processors, all that). I’d always daydreamt about touring as a band’s main “sound guy.” I think I’d still enjoy having a standing local gig doing that, even if I know my ears are very out of shape for that sort of precise listening! In a similar vein, I still daydream about being a touring musician in a band. Not the star-just one of the guitarists on the stage whose names you don’t know and whom you hardly ever notice. I’d just want to play with precision and get the job done at the highest level. That’d be enough for me.
What is your Love Language?
If you could go anywhere, where and why?
I read something about someone taking a bike tour around a volcano in Iceland this morning—that sounds like a good way to spend some time right about now!
To contact Dixon Parnell, LPC.
Click here to visit his website
The idea of sacred spaces has been on my mind for a while now. It's one of those things that we all make in some small way without naming it, but when we bring it to our awareness explicitly, the power it brings into our life multiplies.
I first began to contemplate the importance of having a sacred space when I began my mindfulness practice back in, oh, 2007, At the time, we had some space that I claimed where I set up an easel by a window overlooking a beautiful maple tree. It was an easy time to have a space of my own. We had an extra room, I had no children, and my job was not one that carried over to evenings or weekends. Expansiveness was my theme for that period of my life and opening myself to life and reflection was easy then.
Fast forward ten years, add kids, two businesses, and another dog. Suddenly our house was full and it was harder and harder to claim a space as my own. I felt as though "my space" had dwindled to my nightstand. So, that's where I started. I began to collect small things that meant something to me.
A small journal I was given as a place to reflect on my yoga practice which I now use to write one thing I'm thankful for before bed; a Buddha worry coin to help me remember presence, compassion, and awareness; small rocks that my son gathered for me over the course of months (one or two at a time) which he calls my 'crystals'; photos of loved ones ; assorted drawings and sweet notes.
For years my main sacred space was our dining table. When it was time for me to reflect, to write, to create, to slow down... I would light a candle, turn off the lights, and sit at the empty table to give pause and open myself to what would come.
And then... then, I read one of those books that just changes you: "Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives" by Wayne Muller. I read and reread and created practices for my family from his beautiful and simple ideas to instill moments of stillness and clarity throughout the week. With the help of my family we created a small family alter where we all placed objects of symbolic importance, and small offerings, where we gather as a family once a week to reflect on the week, give thanks, and set our intentions for the week to come.
More recently, to support a new place of creation that I am moving into, I bought a small wooden desk from a neighbor to use for journalling, writing, and painting. I have fiercely protected it as my own sacred space where no trinkets or clutter may land. Instead I have slowly found items that bring me joy and calm to look at.
The importance of finding a small sacred space to bring calm and joy to your mind cannot be underestimated. When you create a space intentionally with care, love, and an open heart, you allow yourself access to a calm beauty that it can be hard to find throughout a busy day. Just having a spot to pause near -- it might be a shelf on the wall with a few items, or a end table by your favorite chair -- allows the mind to rest there and slow and linger. A nice excuse to come back to the present and slow your pace in the midst of a busy day.
April 21st Friday
12pm to 1:30pm
Attendees will be able to implement three different strategies for finding new clients to grow their businesses.
Attendees will experience hands-on practice during the workshop to help them implement the strategies taught.
What We Will Cover
During this workshop, we'll explore three different strategies for finding new clients in order to grow your business. Those strategies include referrals, in-person networking, and online presence. We'll also take time to do some hands-on practice with each strategy to give you ideas for how to implement it for your practice.
Leslie Auman is a self-employed virtual assistant who works exclusively with teacher bloggers who sell their classroom creations online, also known as teacher-sellers. In addition to working with her clients, Leslie also provides business coaching and consulting services to other individuals who would like to become virtual assistants serving her niche. Part of her business purpose includes reaching a wider audience of "solopreneurs" and providing them with content that inspires, supports, and motivates them in their business endeavors. You can keep up with Leslie on her website, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.
To Reserve Your Spot Go To www.gumroad.com/launchwellness
I don't mean to brag, but I have been given the title of the "Salad Queen."
I know, you're jealous.
I am sure it is not exclusive, so no need to panic. You, too, can be given that accolade by your significant other. In all seriousness, I love to make salads. I don't plan in advance too often; it is a matter of seeing what I have in the house.
I try to play off moods, season, and pairing. Usually it begins with a green, then some sort of texture (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds), sometimes an accent (cheese, bacon,) and then a dressing that compliments. Dressing is some sort of oil or fat and an acid (lemon, vinegar), salt and pepper, often an emulsifier (Dijon usually) and sometimes a specific flavor (herb, jam, juice, etc.)
This is one of my favorites and it is perfect for this time of year.
Oh my. I enjoyed every single bite.
I paired it with a Rosé from the Languedoc region: 2014 Côté Mas 2012 Rosé Aurore*. The blend is 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah. A beautiful salmon pink, the nose was tart red fruit and floral. A nice amount of acid making it lovely by itself and a great compliment to the food. When I initially tasted it, I found it to lean towards the floral, specifically lavender. With the food, it became silky and the fruit notes awakened.
A great value at around $12, this is one I would drink all summer long.