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
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You know that little voice inside you? The one that is talking non-stop to you all day? We all have it. It started talking to us at about age 5 or 6. And it hasn’t shut up ever since!
That voice is a voice of judgment. As young as 5, we begin comparing ourselves to others—and that voice is most often telling us we are ‘less than’ others. In pre-school it can be looking at another kid and deciding they have the better lunchbox and rain boots and that voice convinces us we need those things to be good enough.
I can remember in first grade…a little blonde girl named Susan Smiley. She had the best penmanship, a pony at home and because her last name was Smiley—for some reason I thought she was always smiling and happy. I wanted to write like her (and I practiced very hard), wished I were always smiling and happy too. (I knew the pony thing was never gonna happen!)
Why at 6 years old did that voice start talking to me and saying those things? Why at 6 years old was I so impressed with another little girl’s handwriting—so much so that I wanted to do it just like her? Who was that voice? Where did it come from? What was that voice there for? Why would it start talking to me about these things that were really quite meaningless and yet, once the voice started talking—it never stopped?
Was it me? Or was it not me? Continue reading
As we form a SELF by building the 5 edges–physical, emotional, thinking, sexual and spiritual–we set the foundation for owning our lives and creating Wholeness. The Spiritual edge is the last piece in the formation of a true and loving SELF. We say it is complete when you can operate your life from this perception: “I am greater than no one, no one is greater than me. In everyone shines love and as I see love in me, I can see love in thee.”
When I share this criteria for completing the Spiritual edge–most folks shake their head and say “I live the exact opposite! I think some or most people are better than me and occasionally I”m better than another.” And I acknowledge–this is how most everyone runs their life–and exactly what we’re challenging by bringing forth wholeness and breaking out of the reactive/status quo.
And it needs to be challenged because it is harming us all. Recently I heard Jim Grimsley, author of “How I shed my skin” describe the Southern hierarchy of place. I was blown away as he so succinctly described how we all learn to know our place and accept as natural that some should be deemed “greater than or less than”. Here’s what he wrote–
The primary mission at Triangle Whole, Well and Good is to make “Wholeness” a visible framework that people can use to build vibrant and dynamic lives.
Right now, only about 15% of the population has an awareness of wholeness as a guiding principle for the way they live. Mostly this is because it has only been possible in the last 30 years or so to understand Wholeness as a framework. That means the grand majority of people have yet to be exposed to the concept of Wholeness let alone know how to use it in their lives.
Universal model: Wholeness works for everyone.
The beauty of Wholeness is that it is a “Universal model”. The 16 core areas and 5 edges that create the SELF are a potential within every human on the planet. Wholeness acts as a guide for what’s necessary in order to create a life that is full and satisfying.
What if the entire world of 7 billion people understood and used wholeness as a framework for building their lives?
This may seem pie in the sky, but really stop and think about this. If every person you encountered understood wholeness and used it to guide their life, wouldn’t we have a different world than we do now when only 15% are aware? Yes, we would and that’s the big hoary audacious goal of Triangle Whole, Well and Good–move from 15% to 100%! Continue reading
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