Life, Learning, Hope, Peace: Office Opens in Williston, VT

Life, Learning, Hope, Peace: Office Opens in Williston, VT

Living, learning, and gaining hope and peace

Rachel Totten MSW LICSW LADC

I posted this photo on my Facebook page. I was bringing things with me to my new office space. A tradition I have had for many years now. When I worked third shift during the last year and half of my masters program I worked with a man that told me “Don’t forget about where you’ve been when you get to where you are going.” I’ve moved all over the state of VT and then down to NC and here these little mementos appear.

Pipe cleaner Sculpture=Learning

This was from the first training I ever had – ever in the human service field. I learned how to run groups at St. Johnsbury School during an after school program. I was working with middle school girls empowering them to grow and become independent women.   Looking back, I’m not really sure how I landed there, because I wanted to be an English teacher but then at the last minute changed my major to Human Services. My supervisor, at the after school program, became my mentor. She pushed me grow and change. When I didn’t believe in myself she believed in me.


I have so many letters from individuals, couples, parents, and spouses that I’ve worked with. This particular letter, seemed to be lost and not in my usual stack. On the wake of making a transition to a new place, I opened up the letter and I remember. I smile. The letter is filled with hope. Hope for a new future, a new life, and the ability to love herself again.

Tiny Buddha=Peace

This came from a co-worker who had long-term recovery from substance use. One day he handed everyone who was working these little tiny Buddha figurines. While I don’t practice a particular religion, this reminds me of him and his stories. He shared about mindfulness and meditation and that I am particularly interested in—especially in terms of helping those with anxiety. I appreciated his kindness, calmness, and wisdom. Since, I’ve left NC and become rooted in VT, I’ve learned the importance of being still—even if only for a moment.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share these memories with you. Until I blog again 🙂



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