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Your Most Important Relationship Is With Yourself
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What Is Love?
Today’s word is love. A lot of conflict happens because people have different definitions to this simple word. Most of the time, I think those definitions are wrong. So what is love? After all the poetry, music, books and movies on the subject, you’d think we’d have this one down by now. Here’s some ideas of what I think love is.
Love is like my garden. When I look at it, spend time out there, I have a number of feelings and behaviors. I admire it, I praise it, I share peaceful moments with it. Those satisfying feelings are not love. Love is not a feeling. So if it’s not a feeling, what is it?
To know what love is, let’s first turn to what it’s not. In my consulting room, one of the most common definitions of love is admiration. When people fall in love, they form a mutual admiration club. That’s not love. Neither is the lust they feel. Falling in love should be called falling in lust. You only lust for people you want to...
Ever get to the end of your day and think,"that was a perfect day!" If so I'm glad you did but what made it "perfect?" Was it the weather, the company you kept? Maybe what you accomplished or maybe you had a good meal or two? Maybe a combination of all of these! One key ingredient that makes for a "perfect day" is the idea of being aware of yourself and what you do during the day. To me this means setting mini goals and sticking to (at least most of) them. It also means a certain amount of play time-exercising, family fun, going for a walk, etc. It means not worrying about the past or the future but truly being present (and enjoying if possible) the moment you are in. Now that is my idea of a perfect day.
I celebrated my 52nd birthday yesterday. It was a nice day as I got several calls from friends and family wishing me well. My sleep last night was not quite as nice. I tossed and turned for about 2 hours. Like many who are my age, my mind wandered while I thought about everything from finances to little things like finding my cell phone charger. I'm guessing anyone over 25, especially those with a house and a family, go through the same thing as I did. What I am working on is training myself to focus on only the positive. I am am utilizing Reiki, EFT and Hypnosis to do this (even in bed in the middle of the night!!). I know it may take time and effort but that in the end I will trade my current habit, nighttime worrying, for peaceful meditation. Even just the act of writing it out helps me to make it real. What about you? What habits would you like to trade?
Confidence is a strange thing. What exactly is it? Why do some people seemingly have it and others don't? First of all we all are confident in something. Maybe you are a really good artist. You might stink at plumbing or carpentry but boy, can you paint and draw! True confidence actually starts with a vision. First you picture yourself as confident (seeing feeling hearing, etc) in whatever it is that you want to be confident in. That's right it's just a vision... at first. Then, with time and practice at your given "confidence," you, and everyone else, starts to believe in you. So to summarize, true confidence is merely a function of time, effort and most importantly, belief in yourself.
I am a Southerner. Born and bred in the South, I have spent my whole life in either Tennessee or Georgia; I have rarely left the South except for a little travel here and there. One of the mainstays of being a Southerner is the ability to be polite in the face of almost any stressful public situation. Many of us do let our guard down when we find ourselves in the comfort of our own homes or spending time with close family and friends. Even when letting our guard down, we still usually find ways to be tactful: "bless her heart" or "I don't mean to be rude, but..." I am sure that people from other areas of the country do not really get why we so often go out of our way to maintain tactful phrasing and polite tones of voice. It's just how we're raised, basically.
Although I wanted to establish the foundation of my politeness, my point in this blog post is not that I am a Southerner. I try very hard to be polite to family and friends, including my own husband. It is very important to say ...
You may be one of the folks out there who think that a fulfilling relationship is based on mutual support and selfless giving. Setting boundaries is not necessary because you want the other person to know that you care and will do anything for them.
But while this works and feels good through the first stages of a new and exciting relationship, a fulfilling relationship has to be constructed after the honeymoon ends and all those responsibilities you let go, the friends you’ve ignored, or the exhaustion of being out of your normal rhythms kicks in. You’ve been saying ‘Yes’ to everything this wonderful, new person asks of you because, well, they’re wonderful and you want them to be happy! But at some point you feel a shift. The excitement is gone, you feel more and more that you CAN’T say no, especially if they really need your help.
If they are struggling with something, it upsets you and you want to be there to help them out. Because you care for ...
So I recently noticed that whenever my wife is driving I automatically try to help her whenever she is getting upset with careless drivers.
I do this by pointing out: “Honey, you really don’t have to get sooooooo upset with other drivers’ recklessness. !” (I have attended a lot of Mindfulness Meditation Retreats over the past)
Or ” Honey… just step back from this experience and just see it for what it is”
Often she does not hear my suggestions and so I have to repeat them.
(Usually in a louder voice)
Almost predictably she refuses my help and is still verbally angry with the other drivers.
I add more emphatically: “HONEY ! , this really doesn’t help your blood pressure”… !!
(Good medical advice doesn’t seem to help her at all !)
For some reason she is now upset and annoyed with ME. (?)
She is so stubborn when i provide such sage advice.
I, too frequently, have improved this...
I’ve noticed some trends among people who say, “I want to be taken seriously,” or ask, “How can I be taken seriously?” People who feel like they aren’t taken seriously typically:
Are people pleasers
Don’t hold firm boundaries
Are not consistent
Don’t speak up for themselves
Don’t ask for what they want and need (and sometimes are not aware of what they want and need)
The steps, then, to being taken seriously are to:
Take the time to think about and feel your wants and needs
Ask for what you want and need
Speak up and share your thoughts and opinions
Be consistent (easier when you are speaking your truth, using your values to guide you, and listening to what you want and need)
Draw boundaries according to what makes sense to you (Give y...
(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Check it out to see more)
I was recently preparing a presentation for men who are training to become registered massage therapists – men being, until recently, a minority in a profession largely staffed by women. The idea was to discuss societal gender stigmas and the myths which arise from them (one, for example, being that “men are better at deep tissue massage than women” – not true).
Here are my thoughts on the matter, when it comes to choosing a psychotherapist:
First: There are always going to be personal preferences. Given the potentially long-term and intimate nature of the profession, if a client seeking a psychotherapist prefers the company of a man or a woman to seek help from, whatever that selection is based on is not mine to judge. From where I stand, for anyone seeking help, the freedom of having that choice is sacred. For some clients, being able to to make that choice is an important first step.
(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Check it out to see more)
Short answer: I can’t.
Longer answer: this question has been asked many times and in various forms (exchange “friend” for “wife”, “husband”, “child”), and each time I’ve been unable to accommodate the request. Why? Part of seeing a therapist is the idea of will and choice – the will to investigate something which we feel is bothering us, and the choice of whom to see for this service. If I were to go ahead and contact someone at the behest of a friend or relative, I would be imposing myself upon that choice and that will (symbolically at least).
Even if someone I contacted ended up never-minding my intrusion (and their friend’s intervention) and became a regular client, that initial lack of choice and will would probably linger in the therapeutic space. It could prove disruptive to the extreme, especially as they become more and more attuned to ...
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