Ann G. Kramer, EdS LPC
Counseling, Coaching, Creating Wholeness
1127 Kildaire Farm Rd., Cary, NC 27511 (part of Long Life Wellness Center) 919 518 3717
Wholeness is an ongoing, growing journey that supports you for a lifetime. The Life Puzzle is framework for creating a whole life and provides the foundation for working with Ann. For an appointment, please call 919.518.3717
Click for an introductory video
In a recent parent/teen workshop, one of the parents expressed the challenge of using wholeness as a framework for the family. A schedule that starts at 7 am with the family heading out the door to school and work and not ending until 7 pm makes it hard to even try to exercise and eat well let alone explore some of the other pieces of wholeness. Others piped in that they too are pushing schedules that leave everyone exhausted. Weekends were busy catching up on chores, getting kids to soccer matches or other extra-curricular activities.
Parents were also concerned that their kids be ‘well-rounded’ with lots of activities that will show up on college applications and increase their kid’s chance at success in a world that has become hyper-competitive. The fear and anxiety were palpable, as these concerned parents felt obligated to run a rat-race lifestyle for themselves and their kids even though deep down inside they wanted off the merry-go-round of this hyperactive lifestyle.
I agreed it is a challenge but it is also a choice to become proactive and break out of the reactive patterns in which most of us feel trapped. As we looked at the Wholeness continuum—it is clear that 85% of people live on the 0-5 reactive side. And the parents in this workshop could see they were too. But they also learned there is another option. Continue reading
The following article was written by Christa Gala, a columnist for the News and Observer. It talks about the Parent/Teen workshop held in spring 2015.
Ann Kramer, a licensed professional counselor in Cary, started her college career studying social work, but soon changed her mind.
“Halfway through I was raising my hand saying, ‘Everything you teach me is how to fix people after they break,’” she says. “‘Why don’t you teach me how to help people not get broken in the first place?’”
Her professors all had the same answer: We don’t do that.
But that’s what Kramer had set her heart on doing, so she switched majors to study psychology and, later, received dual master’s degrees in counseling and early childhood development.
For the past 20 years, she’s been working with teens and their parents to help them learn the framework of what she calls “The Life Puzzle.”
“The Life Puzzle model I created over time working with clients,” she says. “What I found is we don’t really have a framework for what it means to put together a really whole life.” Continue reading
Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, Women, Work and the Will to Lead created quite a stir as it looked at the ways women are held back and even hold our selves back in the corporate world. As a result, women achieve much lower success in the top ranks of corporations and this is a loss for everyone.
Her three points of encouragement—1)Sit at the table—have the courage to see yourself in the top ranks, 2)Make your partner a real partner—create gender equality in home care so that both partners have equal capacity for success in the work place and 3) Don’t leave before you leave—meaning stay fully engaged in growing your career until the very last moment, even though you may leave the workforce eventually to do other things are all sage advice.
Yet as I watched her Ted Talk of 2010, my thoughts kept coming back to wholeness. Continue reading
I was at the gym this morning and a man walked up to me and said “I think you have the happiest face of anyone in this gym. You are always smiling when you work out!”
I laughed and said, “Thanks and that yes, I’m probably one of the few people in the gym who really likes working out. I decided long ago that if I’m going to be here on a regular basis, I may as well enjoy it and I do!” He nodded and said he did too and then walked off.
Then I started reflecting and realized–here it is the middle of December which means in just a little over three weeks the gym will be flooded with people who, once again, are going to try to get in shape, lose weight and live up to their New Year’s resolution. Continue reading
“The Only Security in Life is Insecurity–learn to love it!” This may seem like an oxymoron, but in truth, when you live your life accepting that everything is always changing it is actually an easier way to live! Then, when life does throw you a curve ball–it is not all that unexpected and you can respond with acceptance.
Unfortunately most of us spend our lives trying to figure out the exact opposite–how to get everything secure and safe all the time. We expend an enormous amount of time and energy trying to get control over the world and keep it from upsetting our secure life. But try as you might, the world just keeps on coming! What I’m suggesting is that you let go of trying to get everything perfect and instead, live life as it comes. When you do, you’ll find you have more time to live life in the present moment and the capacity to handle what comes your way. That’s what Life Puzzle making is all about!
It has been a tough month for the NFL. There’s the Ray Rice domestic violence case and now charges against Adrian Peterson for child abuse related to his hitting his four year old child with a switch to the point of leaving significant marks on the child.
All sorts of people have weighed in on this case–some in horror to what was done to this child and others with a shrug as they say “Well, I got hit when I was a kid and I turned out okay”. This is forcing us to confront a huge reality–that we have used punishment as a regular method of child development for a very long time. Some insist it is a good and necessary tool in a parent’s tool kit and others insist it be removed forever.
But here’s the key issue–if we are going to help our children build healthy, whole and dynamic lives, are we going to use discipline or punishment as the way to do this. To discipline means “to teach”. To punish means “to hurt”. Framed in this way–it really asks parents to decide–are you teaching or hurting as your method of helping your child learn how to build their life? It’s a choice that we all have to make. Continue reading
At a domestic violence conference, the crowd sat engrossed in the keynote speaker’s 30 year story of abuse. Not until she lay in the hospital with practically every bone in her body broken was she finally able to leave him. As she told her story, the disgust towards her ex-husband was palpable and when she called him the ‘scum of the earth’, heads nodded.
But then she ended her talk with saying that her greatest grief was that her daughter had grown up to also be a victim of a domestic violent relationship and her son had become a perpetrator. And it flashed in my head “Is he the scum of the earth too?”
As we moved into the q & a portion, I wrestled with that thought until I stood and simply had to ask her; “You mentioned your son had become a perpetrator and as you described your ex-husband as the scum of the earth, I wonder—do you think your son is the scum of the earth too? Or was he just unlucky enough to have been raised in a family dynamic where he was taught to manage his emotions through violence?” Continue reading
In a world where we often feel powerless, the efforts we make to eat healthy, good and nutritious food is a statement of power. It isn’t easy to do this because grocery shelves are filled with lots of processed foods, fast food restaurants are on every corner and our fast paced lifestyles can quickly undermine our best intentions of eating a healthy diet.
The second you decide to own this area of your Life Puzzle, you change your life story forever.
What could be healthier than fresh veggies!
I thought I had it all….
One of the things I noticed when I first began my practice was how many successful people were not really happy.
Often they would say to me, “I have the house, the cars, the kids, and everything that goes with it, aren’t I supposed to be happy now?” Some had even gotten bigger houses and newer cars and a few more kids, but still they felt something was missing. Continue reading
Ran across this TedTalk by Jennifer Senior: For Parents, happiness is a very high bar. Jennifer is a writer for New York Magazine and author of “All Joy and No Fun” which essentially discusses modern parenthood. Her thesis is that parenting has now become burdensome due to the pressures of culture to ensure that our children have these incredibly happy childhoods.
I think she hit the nail on the head when she says that parents are genuinely Continue reading