It's been a very long time since I sat down and wrote a blog. Truth is, I haven't been writing at all this year. I have my journal and gratitude book by my bed, I have my novel on my computer, I have my blog in the back of my mind, yet I have lacked the ability to put thoughts into words. I've questioned many times why it's so hard to return to something I love so much. I have been judging myself and created a story in my head that there's something wrong with me. Upon reflection of this past year I have learned a very valuable lesson, I need to be more gentle with myself. In accepting the way things are, I feel more alive and free. It also released me from the pressure of thinking I had to be doing something I had no desire of doing. It's okay that I didn't write and it's okay when I decide to start again.
I am a human being. My heart has been broken, my expectations haven't been met, I have been disappointed in myself and others, I have...
Self-care is not a reward. It is a critical component to living a balanced and happy life. Why does it seem easier to take care of everything else and everyone else instead? We often don’t think twice about taking on that meeting, signing the kids up for another thing or ditching the gym for a conference call. The excuses, justification and reasons become second nature, and then we believe them to be true. I challenge you to challenge those rationalizations!
It seems that we have been taught that the harder we work, the greater the payoff. No pain, no gain. I have to give 100%. However true these may ring to you, the pay off comes at a cost. Studies and science have shown that wearing down the body, overworking the brain, not sleeping enough and remaining in a constant state of stress actually is counterproductive to our health.
It’s easy to neglect yourself when you are busy and overwhelmed, so even a small moment of reprieve feels luxurious. If you...
For much of my life I believed that someone was either happy or they weren't mainly based on external factors. I'm happy if I love my job. I'm not happy when it's time to pay taxes. I'm happy when I'm in love. I'm not happy going through a divorce. I was always riding the waves of emotion, until I stopped being happy. I wasn't sure what was getting in my way. Then I learned I had built a resistance to it. I could say I wanted it, but my protective coping strategies where in the background guarding me from it.
What? How does a person become resistant to experiencing happiness or joy? Who doesn't want that all the time? If it's really possible - sign me up everyday!
I learned that I was not being vulnerable with happiness. I built walls and a comfortable fortress around my wounds and pain. I made beautiful fences around my heart, because I didn't want to get hurt again. On my side of the fenc...
There has been a theme in my practice in the last two weeks, and that is the fear of falling apart. It's a strong fear that can drive us into seclusion and feeling alone. It's a fear that has it's own story that goes something like this...
If I fall apart then other people will judge me.
If I fall apart there is nobody to catch me.
If I fall apart then that means I am weak instead of strong.
If I fall apart then I really don't have it together.
If I fall apart it will be too lonely and dark.
If I fall apart then everything will get worse.
If I fall apart it means there is something wrong with me.
If I fall apart then everything around me will fall apart too.
Do any of these thoughts ring true for you? I know I have played several of these belief systems over and over in my head like a broken record that won't stop.
However, what if falling apart was the place where the diamond was being created, under the forceful pressure? There is real wisdom and knowledge to be gained in...
(This blog is about romantic love, the love relationships we choose to have with another person, and not the love between family of origin.)
I did a google search to see how many songs exist with the word LOVE in the title. The number is 1187. I was actually surprised it was that low. But nonetheless, that is still a lot of songs that are in our culture, listened to by millions, that somehow tell us what love is, should look like, feel like or how bad it hurts. There are so many ways that love is taught to us. We get it through Facebook, Youtube, movies, TV shows, greeting cards, commercials, diamond stores, wedding stores, wedding shows and by comparing our relationship to someone else's. That feels like a lot of pressure coupled with a lot of expectation on what love "should" be. After all, what's wrong with you or your partner if you don't get it right?
There is a prevalent belief that relationships are just between two people, who ideally f...
Have you ever thought you believed in something, only to discover later that you really don't know how you feel about it, or possibly feel the exact opposite? Have you questioned why you see the world the way it is? Have you looked beyond the simple answer as to how and why you make quick decisions about people you see or meet?
Two life changing classes for me in graduate school were Multicultural Studies and Gestalt Therapy. Up until that semester, I was very confident I really knew what I believed and how I thought about the world. After all, I'm in my mid 40's with quite a bit of life experience, sprinkled with self awareness, whisked with compassion and a desire to share with others. In many ways, most things made sense to me. All that said, my beliefs were deeply called into question. I like getting to the root of things, so it's no wonder I'm a therapist!
I've noticed in therapy that my client will be talking about something perso...
I spent a lot of time thinking about what quote I would put on my website. I wanted something that represented who I am and where I am in my life. I felt the pressure to offer something that was inspiring and not offensive. In all my efforts to consider how others would react to it, I started moving away from how I felt about it. Then I did something that is starting to become a habit for me, I checked in with myself IN THE MOMENT, the here and now, and listened to my internal self.
The quote for me is exactly about doing this...checking in with my emotions, feelings, resistance, frustrations, doubts or whatever comes up for me in reaction to something. There is so much information to be gathered from doing something so simple. Personally, as I check in more often with my emotional and physical being, I feel better because I'm listening to the internal dialog. Its as if I'm parenting myself and saying, "Hey, you are worthy of...