If you want to be effective in your intimate relationships, your career, etc., you must learn to practice self-care. It may seem paradoxical, but “benevolent selfishness” actually helps you be more present for whatever you are working on (job, relationships, etc.).
Think of it this way: if you want to give your friend a ride to the airport, you need to be sure you have put gas in YOUR car’s tank first. That way you won’t have to stop for gas and make your friend be late for their flight…or worse, miss the flight because you are stranded on the side of the road. Taking time to “fill your tank” is the most effective way to be effective with others.
After publishing my post on Talking to Kids about Tragedy, I had a lot of requests to offer more information on Crisis and PTS(d). The ‘d’ (stands for ‘disorder’) is in parentheses because Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) is NOT a disorder in and of itself; unchecked, it can become more intense, but we should not assume that somebody has a ‘disorder’ just because they show signs of trauma.
Trauma and PTS(d)
When tragedy strikes, it is rarely expected or planned for. ... Continue Reading →
The difference is how you identify yourself.
When you feel stress, it moves through you without getting stuck; it informs you of your circumstances (bills piling up, a sick kiddo on a day that you have a deadline at work, etc.). You are able to leverage it to provide you energy to focus and perform at a higher level, then it dissipates.
When you are stressed (i.e. being stressed), you have taken on the identity of stress itself, which makes it far ... Continue Reading →
Probably one of the most common questions that people have is how to effectively deal with anxiety. The nervous thoughts are bad enough, but the physical symptoms only make things worse as people start to worry that others can see them shaking or trembling, that their face is noticeably red, or that sweat is forming the dreaded armpit stain on clothing.
There are dozens of types of anxiety, but all of them are related to the sympathetic nervous system’s alert mechanism ... Continue Reading →
You probably remember the ‘summertime blues’ from your school days. While most people are aware of the holiday blues, it doesn’t seem to be as normalized. Yet they seem to be far worse for many. There are reasons for this, and in many cases, they compound each other. But there is a way to counter this . . . but first, we need to identify the potential issues (Some solutions are further down in the post, I promise).
A perfect storm
You’re ... Continue Reading →
How can selfishness be healthy? I typically get peoples’ attention with this kind of question. It’s one of those paradoxes that makes perfect sense when you consider it for a moment. Take a minute and see if you can see how selfishness can be a very healthy, and even kind thing to practice.
Benevolent selfishness – When putting yourself first helps loved ones
Long story short, you have to take care of yourself if you want to care for others. In most ... Continue Reading →
Balancing the anger and sadness of an unfair loss can feel impossible, especially in the beginning. First, breathe and understand that this will pass even though it does not feel like it. Before going any further, if you are unsure, please get in touch so we can spend a few minutes on the phone to help get you back on track.
While it feels like no loss is ever “fair,” I think we can all agree that when a 99-year-old ... Continue Reading →
Time time time, they say it’s everything. It can be the trap, and it can be the key to getting you out of the trap.
You come home from a long day at work, and immediately you are showered with questions, “When’s dinner?” “When are we going to plan that holiday?” “Can you help me with my homework?”
All you can think is, “If I only had 15 minutes to slow down and settle in. . .” And there it is, the ... Continue Reading →
Counseling helps you be more “real.” This means that you become more aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. The more real you are, the more self-aware you can be. This sets the stage for lasting change.
Because many of the dynamics that cause our suffering are related to our own issues that are sitting in our blind spot, people often wonder how counseling can help them if they aren’t even sure what’s “wrong.” Part of the ... Continue Reading →
Self-worth has nothing to do with your financial or material worth.
When you value yourself based on your possessions, you’re disowning your most important self in exchange for your belongings. Having lots of money and/or lots of valuable things is fine; it’s mixing up your sense of worth with those valuables that become problematic.
A more accurate translation of the saying, “Money is the root of all evil” is, “Attachment to material goods is the root of all suffering” or even more ... Continue Reading →
We’ve all been there: We had a rotten day and we were at the end of our rope. And when a loved one asks us for an innocent favor, we snap at them only to feel terrible later when we cool off and realize they were not trying to take us for granted. It’s that sinking feeling that is often accompanied by embarrassment . . . regret or guilt. They are closely related.
An unnecessary judgement of self
Words like guilt and ... Continue Reading →
Take a close look at the picture above. You’ll notice that this tree was chopped down, only to “bounce back” by re-sprouting new leaves! This tree cannot be kept down. It is the model of Resiliency.
Why can some people smile through failure? Come through heartbreak stronger than ever? How can I do that? CAN I do that?? Yes, you can. It is a teachable skill . . . a habit to be practiced. We’ve all seen this person . . ... Continue Reading →
Power and weakness are probably not what you think, so let’s look deeper into them. Using Mindfulness based techniques we explore the meaning of power as it relates to your authentic self. This means that you make confident decisions, you ask for help without feeling weak, and show confidence in anxiety provoking situations like a board room or a first date.
I am not referring to the ego based Power Monger mentality here. Power in its healthy state is about ... Continue Reading →
When letting go really hurts it can be extremely difficult to release the attachment fully. Whether it’s letting go of an unhealthy relationship, or letting go of a bad habit, the letting go can seem easier said than done. Very often, this is because we put ourselves in illusory boxes that seem to only have narrow escapes. To succeed in letting go, we need to change our thoughts and cultivate patience and persistence. And to change our thoughts, we need ... Continue Reading →
Discomfort wants you to feel better. But when it comes to not getting things done, we can be extremely creative about feeling good about it. Does this sound familiar, “To be at my most productive, I need some down time, so I’ll just sleep in. . .”?
When you are living life out-of-balance, your mind and/or body begins to tell you with discomfort of one type or another (sickness, soreness, panic attacks, anxiety, etc). Remember, if you ignore an imbalance, you ... Continue Reading →
Practice matters a great deal when we talk about mastery of anything. The more you practice, the more proficient you become . . . this is true of skills like playing music, and personality traits like optimism and courage! Of course, a mindfulness practice is a central component of success in any type of practice.
For most folks, really living life will involve some sort of ‘practice.’ I’m not just talking about the repeat-the-behavior-over-and-over type of practice where you get ... Continue Reading →