Best of Our Blogs Articles

Best of Our Blogs: October 24, 2014

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Something we all struggle with or have struggled with is self-worth and self-love that’s not conditional on external circumstances.

And it’s not just loving yourself despite your depression, mistakes and imperfections. It’s about loving the whole of who you are and realizing you’re worthy of love regardless of the things you haven’t quite figured out yet.

It’s not easy. But we are all works-in-progress. If you find yourself being particularly critical these days, try to remember the following:

You are worthy just by nature of being born.

Celebrities, famous people and even therapists are not more worthy than you.

To be less critical and judgmental of others, you must first start with yourself.

It’s okay to love who you are even though you haven’t found your calling, stick your foot in your mouth, mess up on a daily basis and know people who tell you different.

It’s not about racking up the most accomplishments, being problem-free or even perfectionistic in increasing your self-worth and self-esteem.

It’s about acknowledging where you still have to go and working toward loving yourself whether or not you’ve mastered anything.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

If you have ever forgotten to hit save on a document and lost hours spent on work you can’t recover, you understand the horror, shock and astonishment of accepting what feels unacceptable.

If you have ever lost precious, photos, your wallet or phone, you can relate to the anguish of not seeing something again.

If you have done something untraditional and nonconventional, you get what it feels like to be different.

If you understand that, you have a small glimpse into the world of someone who is struggling with illness, discrimination, or loss.

We often think we can’t understand what others are going through because we haven’t experienced it. But pain, hardship and loss are universal.

You can connect with others through empathy and compassion by reading our post on living with obsessive compulsive disorder. You can also do so by going inward, building up your own mental strength and cultivating compassion for your own struggles with criticism and self-doubt. The key isn’t to find the perfect thing to say, it’s about connecting, compassion and communicating as best as you can your love, understanding and support.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 17, 2014

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Right now I’m angry. It’s been an hour since I’ve tried to get my son to sleep. He also didn’t sleep the night before. I’m tired. I have a ton of things to do and I’m frustrated. But as I sit here, breathe and really connect with my emotions, the energy fades.

Sometimes burning off steam through walking or talking with a supportive friend helps. And it’s not always easy. But I know if I can ride the wave of my emotions and not react to it immediately, I will be okay.

Emotions can be scary, uncomfortable and even intolerable. At times, we need professional support to help us experience them safely. But it’s important to know that we all have permission to feel what we feel. When we allow ourselves the space to feel them, we don’t need a cookie, a drink or a shopping spree to fed them off. We only need to acknowledge their existence, listen to their message and then let them go.

Need support on how to cope with those difficult feelings? This week’s list of posts will teach you everything from walking meditation techniques to journal writing ideas to soothe you back from havoc to harmony.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 14, 2014

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

What drew you here today?

Was it an illness, relationship issue, health question? Most likely you’re coping with a problem you’re anxious to resolve. That sense of urgency, the need to know, is an affliction that befalls all of us problems big and small. Here’s the answer you weren’t expecting.

No matter how much research you do, people you ask, or posts you read, you will never receive the solution you’re looking for. The answer lies not in overthinking. As this post says, all that energy you spend thinking, obsessing and worrying actually hinders your ability to solve a problem.

While you may need to seek information and resources to make an educated and informed decision about your life and your health, the real answer comes when you let go and listen.

This week if you’re struggling with an illness, a parenting crisis, or your ability to stay strong and cope with an unsolvable problem, know this. You might not have the answer right now. It may not be the right time to make a decision anyway.

Do something else. Rest. Relax. Distract. Your problem might still be there. But giving yourself space and time to accept things as they are, unresolved or not, can do wonders for your energy and ability to eventually resolve what’s got you unglued.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 10, 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014

I bet what your struggling with isn’t your greatest challenge. It’s learning how to accept the situation for what it is.

It is a simple concept, but an excruciatingly difficult one to practice.

Within each of us is an ideal perspective of how life should be. We have a vision of the way our parents should treat us, how our boss/employees/co-workers should act, or the attitudes and behaviors our kids should exhibit. But life isn’t that way. We are the directors of our own life story, but have no control over others.

This can leave us miserable, powerless and resentful or it can teach us how to surrender and grow in the knowledge that while we cannot control everything, we have the power to control ourselves.

For example, maybe the reason why your friend’s insensitive or compulsive behavior is triggering you is that it’s shedding light on your own issues. This week instead of focusing your energy outward, these posts will teach you how to accept, be more mindful and cultivate greater peace within yourself.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 7, 2014

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Wish you had more time in the day to do everything? It may not be your time that needs managing, but your energy.

We’re all buzzing around doing and accomplishing. In fact, sharing all the things you have to do is accepted, validated and even envied by others. The desire to fill time with “stuff” and not necessarily important stuff is a symptom of dis-ease within ourselves.

In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle says, “Many illnesses are created through fighting against the cycles of low energy, which are vital for regeneration. The compulsion to do, and the tendency to derive your sense of self-worth and identity from external factors such as achievement, is an inevitable illusion as long as you are identified with the mind.”

Maybe you don’t need a better planner, organizing system or time management program. Maybe what you really need is to stop thinking of things to do to fill your time. Instead refocus your energy on what really matters. Stillness. Quiet. Peace. Let our posts on happiness, stillness and transformation this week start you on the right path.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 3, 2014

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Sorry this post is late. Our family is recovering from the flu so it’s taken me longer to return to my laptop.

Like anything challenging in life, it reminded me of an important thing. Illness is a great teacher. Priorities shift. Appointments need to be cancelled. Assignments, tasks, to-dos are put on hold. Rest is the only thing you can do. While your mind may stay stuck in what you should be doing, your body only desires one thing. Healing.

This weekend while you’re getting ready for the start of the holiday seasons, preparing for your kid’s fall break or getting over an illness yourself, it’s imperative that we remember that now. Before life sweeps you up into tasks that appear to be more necessary than they are, take the time to take care of yourself.

Whether this means 5-minutes of quiet time, a walk outside to enjoy the change in seasons or being grateful for your present health, give yourself time this weekend to unwind, rest and indulge in this moment. Do it even if your mind says you are wasting time and should be doing something else. Do it because you won’t ever have enough time, money or perfect circumstance to do it later. Do it without the interruptions of your phone, computer or TV, so you can thoroughly enjoy your weekend!

{photo from here.}

{photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Every difficult person, the rude cashier, the ungrateful relative, and the draining friend could be excuses for your bad day, maybe even an unhappy life. But they could also be like the sound of your fan blowing in the background-simply white noise.

What you choose to zoom in on and what you relinquish your power to is an indication of what needs healing in your life.

When petty matters cause huge flair ups threatening your stability, and mental health, it’s time to refocus your energy within.

Since life will always be chaotic, difficult and upsetting at times, the key is to cultivate a sense of inner peace. As you’ll read in our posts this week, this may mean embracing whatever you’re feeling or challenge you’re currently going through, or it could mean making a positive change by adopting a new mindset.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 26, 2014

Friday, September 26th, 2014

When we are confused, we want answers.

When we are lost, we so want to be found.

When we are lonely, we want to fill our moments with the chatter of anything, the television, the internet, with others.

When we feel empty, we want to fill the holes in our selves with food, alcohol, drugs, drama, etc.

When we are ill, we spend all our energies on wishing we felt better.

It’s difficult to sit in discomfort. It’s hard to accept the reality of what is. But while things generally resolves itself if we let it, it takes time.

“Care of the soul is not a project of self-improvement nor a way of being released from the troubles and pains of human existence. It is not at all concerned with living properly or with emotional health. There are the concerns of temporal, heroic, Promethean life…We care for the soul solely by honoring its expressions, by giving it time and opportunity to reveal itself, and by living life in a way that fosters the depth, interiority, and quality in which it flourishes.” – Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

As Moore eloquently writes, by not judging our paths or focusing on the means to an end, we give ourselves the time, space and ability to let things unfold. And that’s where healing, growth and nourishing the soul takes place. It’s not in trying to cure or solve or fix, but in acceptance, forgiveness and realizing that whatever you’re feeling is right for the moment you’re in. It’s about letting things be.

Reading our posts this week may not fix what’s ailing you. It may not relieve you of your suffering. It may only temporarily minimize your discomfort. But through reading the experiences of our bloggers in the midst of their own struggles, perhaps you’ll remember that there is hope, support and purpose in the most difficult of moments.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I started the day with a deluge of problems, worries, and criticisms leftover from the weekend.

It’s the things I said I shouldn’t have said, the errors I made I wished I didn’t make, and future events I’m anticipating that hasn’t happened yet.

It’s all those and more. And it’s just the start of the week.

If I’m not careful, ruminating over the past and worrying about the future could waste away my present.

What I’ve learned through experience and in this week’s posts is that healthy distraction, gratitude and paying full attention to the present moment can act as a dam, blocking unwanted chaos and suffering from overtaking my life.

If you need motivation to persevere through a difficult time or just want to divert your attention away from your own inner struggles, keep reading. It’s amazing that no matter what I’m going through, our posts always seem to come at the right time, delivering exactly what I need when I need it.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 19, 2014

Friday, September 19th, 2014

At the heart of every issue lies a painful truth.

It’s the reason why an impersonal comment can devastate you.

It’s why you ruminate over a conversation you had with a friend.

It explains why you can’t let go of a transgression, are sensitive to any slights and can’t seem to shake off criticism.

Early on you got the message that you’re not a good person and nothing you ever do will be good enough.

Sensitive folks are especially vulnerable to it. Rooted in every external hurt is the internal belief that there is something profoundly wrong with who you are.

It explains why we don’t do the things necessary to care for ourselves. We’re so busy trying to prove we’re worthy that we miss the boat when it comes to truly living our lives.

One way that we worsen our situation is through self-judgment for what we feel or don’t feel. Whether you believe you’re too sensitive or emotionless, our posts this week teach us that to start the process of self-healing we need to embrace what we’re feeling right now.

Eventually, when we learn to find the beauty in all of our emotions, we will realize guilt and shame for how we feel is unnecessary. We’re all good enough and we’re doing the best that we can.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 16, 2014

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

My greatest heartbreak came after the end of a 11 year relationship. She came into my life at the cusp of my youth just as I was beginning to shed my sheltered teen years and discover my true self. There were moments of spoiled, rotted, rebelliousness during that decade, and unlovable, bad behavior. But that’s what made her death even more devastating.

Those who had or have a pet know.

Whether dog, cat, bird, or rabbit, our furry families sometimes are the sole beings in our lives who get us. They ask little, but give so much in return. Through their unconditional love and acceptance, they have the power to change our lives.

On every, “Dear Santa” letter, I asked for her. Seventeen years later, when that tiny black, white and brown menace finally came into our lives, I temporarily doubted my decision. But my inability to initially accept her after years of wishing for a dog wasn’t nearly as surprising as the huge impact she had on my mom. One evening while we were mourning her death she said, “Thank you for bringing her into our lives. She opened my heart again to love.”

Pet owners universally understand the profound impact pets have on our lives. But what we may not be aware of is their potential to teach us. Our top post shares what we can learn from them about mindfulness.

Not a pet lover? You’ll still reap benefit from our other posts. Scroll down to learn how to find more meaning in your life, cultivate a stronger relationship, and be happier.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

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