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Best of Our Blogs: December 9, 2016

Are you wrestling with a decision? Are you struggling with a difficult situation? Are you fighting with a friend, partner or parent?

It's a frustrating place to be when you feel stuck. Nothing you say or do seems to be moving you in the direction you want to be. Instead you're here feeling depressed, angry and hopeless.

Surprisingly, the one thing that will move you forward is the thing you've been avoiding.

Acceptance.

Acceptance doesn't condone bad behavior or a difficult situation. On the contrary, when you stop fighting the present moment, you gain the energy to change.

Resisting what is won't shift your situation. Responding without pause won't permanently fix your emotional state.

When we learn to accept that we're here unhappy, confused and wanting to be anywhere, but here, we're acknowledging where we are now. Acceptance takes away the added stress of resistance.

You're here afraid of your next holiday gathering, angry at a controlling friend, grumpy about the holiday season or stressed out as a mom. It's awful place to be. Hopefully, you'll find acceptance in our posts this week.
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Best of Our Blogs: December 6, 2016

One of the reasons we dread family gatherings is we can't forget what happened last year. Your uncle's insensitive remark. Your mother's judgmental words. And that hurtful thing your cousin said.

Part of you is still seething. Another part is afraid of being hurt again. After all, one of the reasons why you fear intimacy is because of experiences like that.

It's so tempting on a daily basis to be defensive, and not risk sharing ourselves.

But while being vulnerable to toxic and insensitive people is not the wisest thing, closing up is not the best either.

While you're attending events and going through your day, remember this. Everyone you meet has similar fears than you. Most people desire the same things you do. And all of us, just want to be heard, accepted and loved.

This may not be the secret recipe to cure your holiday family hangover, but let it at least be a balm. When painful words are spoken, be kind to others and most importantly, be kind to yourself.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 29, 2016

It's Cyber Monday. As I'm going through hundreds of sale emails telling me what I need, I'm reminded about what really matters.

It's not finding the best deals or presents even.

Connection is what we're truly after.

Anger, disappointment and grief often comes from fear of disconnection. I used to think we learn more from being alone than we do in partnerships. But I was wrong.

On a path towards joy, happiness and self-growth, we need both, time by ourselves and time with others.

As you get lost in holiday errands, decorations, and shopping, remember that you'll be happier and enjoy the season more if you devote time to both.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 25, 2016

As I write this, it's Thanksgiving morning. There is havoc in my two kid household. But that is normal. The sound of crying, whining and meltdowns (which could or could not be coming from the grown ups as well), is not the peaceful gathering we dream of. Some days, I think longly of the time before kids when I could sleep in, have time to daydream and waste time as I saw fit. And then I remember.

We all so easily throw away what we have for the idea of something better. We see an update on Facebook, a blog post or an email, and all of the things we thought were beautiful, seem not good enough.

As you read this, it will be the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe you're braving the malls for black Friday or you're bracing yourself for the upcoming holidays. I hope that you can appreciate the preciousness of this moment.

Let us all remember gratitude, not for anything big or momentous, but for the ordinary things that we take for granted like being here.

Thank you dear readers, whoever and wherever you are, for reading this post. I am grateful for you.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 22, 2016

Somehow the holidays snuck up on us again. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you may have spent some time thinking about who or what to be grateful for. Gratitude is never wasted. But when sending thank you notes or preparing your Thanksgiving menu, have you neglected the one person who needs your appreciation most?

You.

As you get slammed with all the gatherings and expectations that come with the holidays, don't neglect yourself. Don't get lost in the gifts and the things to do. Don't get swept up in the idealism of the holidays, the need to look or appear perfect, and to please other people.

You need yourself more than ever. Don't neglect yourself the way others have neglected you. Practice gratitude for the gifts of resilience, strength and courage you've cultivated. Be thankful because it's brought you here.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 18, 2016

Shame is a relationship killer. When you can't own your own shame pain, you are likely to pass it on to others.

Feel bad that you can't be there for your friend who is suffering? You could choose to share your feelings of inadequacy and discomfort or you could shame them for not being able to handle it. The first way connects and opens your heart, the other closes it.

It's not just relationship with other people that's harmed. When we are full of shame and don't acknowledge it, we can ruin the relationship with have with ourselves. This comes in the form of self-sabotage, unhealthy eating habits, and self-criticism.

Before you shame someone for being passive aggressive, having ADHD or test anxiety, embrace your own fears and insecurities, and inform yourself on what it's like by reading our posts below.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 15, 2016

Many people are still in shock over the election results. You may have in fact, stumbled here for the first time looking for reprieve.

When life hands us a different story than we expect, it can throw us off course. It brings understandable disappointment. But also grief. If things are not the way we hoped, what can we depend on and trust for the future?

You may be tempted to distract with food, games and even anger. Short-term these can help us cope. But the key to growth, resilience and empowerment comes from attention and awareness, not your numbness.

This week, read our posts on narcissists, self-sabotage, and the ways we can all reunite as a country. Staying open, not closed to the inner and outer struggles is the only way you can heal your life.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 11, 2016

I was just getting comfortable with my personal grievances when yesterday rocked my world. While everyone was reeling from the election results, my son had a medical emergency. It was a difficult day. Later that night when he was safe and I had time to reflect on both situations, I felt drained, fearful and hopeless.

But I woke up to a healthy baby and sense of renewed hope and gratitude. The air feels fresher. Our house feels warmer. And I realized no matter what happens outside, I retain sole control of my internal world.

It's easy to get caught up in the negative. It's a relentless vacuum, a pit that's difficult to crawl your way out of. We have to resist the draw of the shadow or we'll miss all the good in the world.

Today is Veteran's Day. Let's not forget the people who served this country. We have a lot to be grateful for.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 4, 2016

In  episode 202 of author Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons, a photographer named Anne describes life with a brother battling addiction: "Having a family member with an addiction, it feels like it never ends like you have so much hope and then the relapse."

The thought of a loved one being hurt, injured or dead is so excruciating that all our energy is spent worrying about, or helping and supporting them. But even when they are okay, we're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. If we are little when a loved one is suffering, we grow up feeling like we are responsible for everything.

How do we lessen the reigns of control and embrace acceptance so we can return happiness, joy and freedom back to our lives? Read our top posts this week.
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Best of Our Blogs: November 1, 2016


We often talk about exercising compassion for those with mental and physical illness. But there are others that rarely get, but deserve our attention.

My friend has a sibling suffering from mental illness. She was conflicted. She was angry at her sibling for causing so much emotional havoc in the family. She was hurt by the things this person said. But having these feelings made her feel guilty and ashamed. How could she be upset when the person she loved was in so much pain?

You might experience the same resentment for your parent, partner or a co-worker. You might be tired of carrying their weight. You're exhausted from being the only one to say, "I'm sorry." You're emotionally drained because you're always expected to be the better person.

Know this. You have a right to your feelings. You deserve to take time out. When you are self-compassionate and take care of yourself, whether that means spending time alone, going to the spa or seeking therapy, you will be better able to lend a compassionate ear to your loved one.
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