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Staying Grounded During a Time of Challenge

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As we look in our rearview, 2020 was quite a year. It was a year filled with worry and angst about politics and the pandemic and a time that challenged us to our core as we engaged issues of racial equity. As we welcome in a brand-new year, it is safe to say that everyone is hoping that 2021 will be a year that welcomes back some sort of normalcy to our lives and perhaps gives us an opportunity to become the best version of ourselves. It is often difficult to discover the best version of yourself when we are often times triggered by the raw emotion that was 2020. This world has been chaotic, and in order for us to be the best version of ourselves, that is, to approach life from a grounded space so that we can make the best choices, we need to sift through the chaos and remain at peace. We asked three Capital Region women whom we admire to share their wisdom with us as to how we best find our peace during these challenging times and be the best version of ourselves in this New Year.

Julie Purdy
Intuitive Life Coach

Julie Purdy is an Intuitive Life Coach with a passion for helping others. She uses many tools to provide insights into life’s most important questions. Julie specializes in helping people heal relationships, improve their imagination, reconnect with themselves and their loved ones in spectacular ways; she has a natural gift of seeing a whole new perspective that can truly transform your life.  

Her Advice to Us
“The challenges of 2020 have given us a chance to look at life and re-evaluate. It has pushed us inside literally and figuratively and given us a chance to look at how we have lived life,” Julie explained. “It has brought to the forefront what needs to change, aroused people’s fear, shown diversity, but also made us keenly aware of all the common needs we have as humans while realizing we’re all in this together. Has this been 2020’s true purpose?

“Through the contrast of a pandemic, racial equality issues, politics and people being isolated, it has brought clarity to what we all want out of life. We all want to be loved. We all want to be heard. We all want a sense of purpose. We all want health. We all want to feel safe. We all want freedom. We all want food, clothing and shelter. We all want Mother Earth to share her resources for generations to come,” Julie continued. 

Some people think that social media is horrible and that we have seen the worst of people based on their interactions with social media. Julie sees it a different way. “The gift of social media is that technology has bonded us together even as we’ve been separated. Utilizing it in a positive way, we can support one another, share ideas and how-to’s, and be encouraging while giving and receiving.”

Julie also reminds us about the untapped power we have inside of us and explained, “The mind of you is very powerful; be careful what you feed it. Limit your time on mass media and social media or skip it all together. If it doesn’t feel good, you know it’s time to turn it off and redirect the mind to an activity that feels better.

“Stay in the NOW. When you reflect on the past or project into the future, it’s easy to feel anxiety, depression or fear. As you stay in the present, right NOW in this moment reassure yourself that everything is okay. If you give whatever you are doing your full attention, there won’t be room for stress.”

And Julie unabashedly brings up the four letter word L-O-V-E. “Make the choice today to change gears and instead of letting the logical reasoning mind lead, allow your heart to guide you. Do an activity or hobby you love, reach out to someone you love, or smile at a stranger with love. It will make you feel good and the other person, too! After all, what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

“Take a walk and connect with Mother Earth. She is supporting you through it all and can gift you with peace. Relish the strong tall trees, beautiful landscapes, grounding energy and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. The best part of all, it is free!”

Her tips to keeping your peace
“Watch that internal dialogue. The mind of you is very powerful and always looking for somewhere to go. Then when the emotions jump on board, they have a party together and drive you crazy. The two partners in crime can determine whether you have a good day or bad day. Focus your thoughts on what feels good and let the rest go. I always think of it as putting a leash on your mind so you’re in control instead of your mind being in control of you. 

“Start a gratitude journal. First, write a list of all you’re grateful for. Each day pick one item from that list and journal about its positive impact on your life and how it made you feel. The more feel-good mojo you’re pouring out, the better you’ll feel today.

“Take the path of least resistance. Know we’re along for the ride and no matter how much you stress about 2020, it’s not going to help matters. Instead, focus your energies into doing something positive. Be kind and patient to yourself and others, check in on your neighbor, donate to the food pantry, and know you are making a difference. The way we change the world is one step at a time and it starts with you today.

“Be compassionate and understanding to you. Think of this as making a choice: living in fear or embracing yourself with love.

“Meditation and stilling the mind can be quite helpful. Think of it as just being quiet and creating the space to hear. Do you ever notice that when you’re calm, inspired ideas come to you easily and effortlessly? This can make all the difference.

“Take deep breaths while consciously choosing to inhale love and exhale fear, ten times over. It sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Then the brain sends a message to the body.  

Julie emphasized that it’s also important that people seek help and talk about how they are feeling. “Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out for help. You’d be surprised how many of us grapple with the same issues. The story line might be a little different, but the issues are many times the same. It’s easy to get caught up in your own head and worry about what’s happening, when will it ever end, and am I going to be okay, as the mind becomes a runaway train with the what-ifs. Someone on the outside of your life can be more objective. They can help reframe what’s happening with a positive perspective and you can walk away feeling a whole lot better,” Julie encouraged.

“Another saving grace is joining together with like-minded people, and the internet makes that easy. Friends from around the world can be positive, uplifting and bring new ideas to the table. As we move forward into the future, communities and building meaningful relationships will be a Godsend.”

Dr. Supriya Blair
Licensed Clinical Psychologist 

Dr. Supriya Blair is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and founder of Dr. Blair Psychology, LLC. She serves clients across New York State who are interested in mental health therapy, mindfulness training and spiritual counsel. Having a holistic telehealth therapy practice allows her to serve a wider population throughout the state and help clients tune into their mind-body-spirit health and wellness. 

Her Advice To Us
“2020 has been an incredible year in every sense of the word. We have witnessed a racial pandemic, a medical pandemic, an economic pandemic, and arguably a political pandemic,” Dr. Blair explained.

“I have found 2020 to be a dichotomous year personally and professionally. Amidst the chaos, we have seen leaders emerge. We have heard muted voices elevate. We have seen the interactions between love and fear within the streets and also on the largest political platform to date. We have seen an unfathomable number of people die from COVID-19. We have also seen people birth new ideas, businesses and social justice initiatives. We have seen solidarity through the divisiveness.” 

“Align with your values. If you value family, make unapologetic, uninterrupted quality time for family. If you value your time, spend it wisely. 

“Establish a morning routine and a nightly ritual. Morning routines help prepare us for the day ahead. Morning routines could include a form of exercise, making a healthy breakfast, and outlining priorities for the rest of the day. A nightly ritual helps one say goodbye to the day he/she/they leave behind, and could include an evening prayer, warm bath, lighting a candle, and use of a gratitude journal. Striking a harmonious balance between structure and flexibility is important in remaining grounded and structured, yet open to the inevitability of change. 

“Refrain from taking things personally. This is a tough time for most people. Remembering that everyone is going through something difficult could help us remain objective to that fact. 

“Meditate. My meditation teacher says, ‘Meditation is the environment you create for your Self.’ Meditation has been proven to have significant impact on brain, behavior, and emotional regulation.” 

Her Tips to deal with stress
“It’s important to ask yourself why you are feeling stressed. Most people are aware of the what of stress. However, when you ask yourself why, it can open up the pathway for possible resolution.

“After figuring out the why of the experienced stress, what are some possible solutions to address that stress? Is it reaching out to a friend or family member, asking for help, delegating a task/responsibility, hiring someone, saying no, saying yes, better managing time or taking a class. Once the solution is determined, it’s important to try it out in order to avoid feeling stuck. After all, awareness without action does not get us very far.

“Another exercise to try is simply writing down your thoughts. Writing is multimodal, utilizing our senses of sight, touch and audition. Instead of remaining in the hamster-wheel-of-thoughts, writing can be a useful tool to work through certain thoughts.

“It is crucial that people talk about how they are feeling and/or seek help if needed. We all have mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. We are at an inflection point, at which mental health could have the potential finally to be seen as ‘regular’ or ‘normal’ as seeking out physical health care. One of the biggest barriers that prevents someone from seeking help is his/her/their own view of help-seeking behaviors.

“One fascinating thing I’ve learned from being in this field is that people from all walks of life find themselves in the therapy room,” Dr. Blair reflected. “No matter one’s age, race, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation, ability-status, nativity, etc., people do attend therapy and might find a good fit with a professional who could help them process thoughts and feelings, move toward problem resolution, and align with their own moral or value code. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!”

Nikki Rogers
Yoga Consultant

Nikki Rogers is a Yoga Consultant, mom to two boys and a graduate of Siena College with a BA in psychology and owner of Lifted Vision Community Yoga Services. She often consults on trauma yoga for police departments and is a yoga teacher/practitioner and advocate of approaching life through mindfulness. She is a big believer in crystals, the law of attraction, journaling and proper nutrition. She considers herself a yoga activist; she’s involved in many community causes and believes that guiding others into self-awareness, self-respect, self-monitoring, self-empowerment, and self-care is an infinite exchange of true love.

Her Advice to Us
“2020 offered us the beautiful gift of being slowed down,” Nikki reflected. “It is as if we were escorted to our seat in a theater and emotionally-charged surprises played out before us one after another on the stage of life. We discontinued ‘busy-ness’ and instead of being physically present in our usual external arenas, we were invited to discover ourselves more deeply. As a nation, we witnessed deep historical wounds rip open and were invited to examine our own biases and beliefs about ourselves and others. Tolerance that should have evolved into acceptance, genuine humanity and unconditional love had been stalled; incomplete healing was evident in the toxicity that swirled around the internet and news media.”

One thing that is constant is change and Nikki also acknowledges that fact. “Change is always happening and our capacity to adjust was challenged and tested repeatedly. The opportunity to observe, pause and respond rather than react was presented over and over. Some of us surrendered to the flow with trust while others dug into fearful resistance as new and unforeseen realities unfolded.

“I was continuously supported by the wisdom that discomfort is the condition that fosters growth. We do not reach our greatest potential and become the highest version of ourselves unless we are tested, tried and shown that we are not victims of the circumstances that surround us. We are, in fact, products of the choice to be victim of or victor over heartbreaking, blood-boiling, fear-inducing moments.”

Similar to Julie Purdy’s s emphasis on the power of our thoughts, Nikki also feels it important to mind your mind. “Empowering ourselves with the decision to infinitely improve the quality of our thoughts is crucial,” she emphasized. “How do we do that? Breathe, appreciate, take good and loving care of you primarily, then intentionally focus on what you want to see expand and lend your time and talents to creating a beautiful world.”

As each tiny grain of sand near the ocean is washed to and fro, so are we as human beings. Together, we are like sandcastles, firmly clinging together. Alone, we are at the mercy of the wind and the waves. 

May the sun shine on your world during these times, and know in your heart that we are all in this together!

If you are interested in a session with Julie Purdy, contact her at; or with Dr. Supriya Blair, contact her at If you are interested in yoga sessions with Nikki Rogers, you can contact her at