Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: August 2, 2016

What's harder than struggling with your own problem? Sometimes it's seeing someone you love suffer through it.

That explains why we often try to solve their problems.

We get caught in an invisible dance. They're trying not to upset us by pretending to do what we say. And we're trying to find creative ways to get them to do what we think is best.

It's a cycle that doesn't end until we realize we can't change others. More importantly, our happiness shouldn't be dependent on their well-being.

In truth, we must always return to ourselves. If we're stressed, feeling unworthy and unloved, we're focusing our energy on the wrong person. Before we help anyone, we must first help ourselves.

This week, start the process of self-healing with our tops posts on improving your self-esteem and self-worth.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 29, 2016

You're here to learn how to cope, deal, or manage a problem. You might be stuck in the thick of it and trying to feel your way through. You've dealt with this your whole life or maybe this issue is new.

You're focused on finding a solution. Sometimes you beat yourself up for not figuring things out. But of all the things that filter through your mind, I bet you don't think about this. But you should.

Everyone has problems. But you're not just reveling in it, you're searching for support and solution. That makes you, dear reader, a warrior.

It's not easy to deal with what you're going through. But instead of burying or denying it, you're here. That takes courage. As you read our posts on handling a narcissistic parent, ADHD, or depression, remember that. It's okay to give yourself credit for wanting to better yourself and your situation even if you haven't got it all figured out just yet.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 26, 2016

With social media and reality television, there's been an explosion of exposure. To be worthy, we all search for external validation with likes or retweets. Over-sharing is the norm, and being ordinary equates with being unimportant.

I worry about younger generations. Youth who don't spend adequate time building their own reservoir of self-love will grasp onto other things when they feel depleted. Compliments and recognition are fleeting. When you need acceptance and affirmation from others, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. For someone who is already sensitive, this can be severely damaging to their self-worth and self-esteem.

One thing I want to instill in my children is a sense of self that is not dependent on accolades and outside validation. It's a difficult task especially in our society. How often do you hear parents respond to anything their kids do with, "Good job!" ? Children grow up dependent on other people for validation and motivation.

I think a lot of our problems stem from this need to do the "right" thing, make someone else happy or succeed professionally because we believe we have to make others feel good so we can feel good about ourselves. In comparison, this week's posts show that focusing on who we are and what we need can help us build a strong inner life.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 22, 2016

"Nothing has ever come easy for me, and I think that's a really good thing." - Zooey Deschanel
With my birthday coming up in a few days, I'm mentally running through the same list of what I've done, have yet to do and acceptance for the things I will never do. There are things that are particularly hard like getting to a place of forgiveness or accepting that certain things and people will never change. Yet, there's peace in floating in the river of what is instead of fighting against the current.

Every decade pushes me forward. It shapes and molds me into who I'm supposed to become. The process isn't painless, but it's necessary for the evolution of my soul.

At every milestone and hidden within every moment is a chance for growth. If you listen carefully, you will hear it ask, "Do you see me? Will you forgive me? Will you love me?"

Those that keep themselves busy won't hear it or if they do, they purposely bury it under things, people, and drama.

Will you take this post as a sign to change? Will you read our top blogs this week on relationships, plagiarism and inter-generational trauma and see it as an invitation to start paying attention? What will you do?
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 19, 2016

There's something we can do to bring peace back to our lives. In fact, most of the time we're creating our own havoc and crisis without realizing it.

If you've ever spent a day mulling over a friend said or what your mom did, then you could benefit. If you've ever spent too much time searching for something in your home, then you should try it. If your kids have developed a sense of entitlement, this could help too.

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne with Lisa M. Ross, reminded me that a lot of our heartache is due to overcomplicating our lives.

When we bring in too much stuff into our home and mind, we create unnecessary struggle in our lives.

Simplifying by eliminating what we don't need (e.g. toxic relationships, broken trinkets, and negative thinking) helps us bring value and energy into what we do.

It's definitely not easy. But emptying out what's bad for us will clear the way for the things that really matter like love, time and happiness.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 15, 2016

Death is an obvious reason to grieve. But after reading, "3 Kinds of Grief Nobody Talks About," I was reminded of the less discussed sorrow we go through.

There is the loss of the person you knew before mental illness and addiction. There is the grief that comes from realizing your parents were not there for you the way you needed them to be. There is also the loss of the you before your diagnosis.

Although we don't give attention to these changes, they deserve to be mourned too.

Whether you're grieving a toxic relationship, your anxious child or a recent diagnosis, take time to process how you're feeling. Be compassionate towards yourself. Life is difficult, but even more painful if we don't give ourselves sufficient time and space to grieve.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 12, 2016

Everything going on in the world has amassed a feeling of unrest. Anger, even. When anger is thrown at us professionally, personally and at a societal level, we often respond with more anger.

None of that is productive, and can be destructive. To get to the real issues, we need to quench the fire and work from a place of love and stillness. I read this passage from Whatever Arises Love That by Matt Kahn and thought it could quell some of the fire we're feeling right now:
"I no longer fight with those who insist on fighting with me. I acknowledge anyone who fights as only fighting for the grace of their own loving attention...By speaking to others in a tone and manner that suggests how much better they deserve to treat themselves when not in my presence, I help raise the vibration of the planet. I know full well that my path cannot be defined by how others treat me but only how I choose to respond."
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 8, 2016

"Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children perform better, we must first make them feel worse?...Many believe that punishment is the best way to motivate children to do better. They really believe that in order to make children do better, they first have to make them feel worse." - Jane Nelsen, Ed.D. from Positive Discipline
The passage is talking about child discipline, but I don't think we're immune to the belief in adulthood. How many of us buy into that "No pain, no gain," motto?

We berate ourselves for finishing off that pie. We shame ourselves for snapping at our kids. Instead of resting when we're tired, we push ourselves to work even harder.

The idea that self-punishment is necessary for desired behavior is a hard one to shake. Yet it dictates our relationships with others and ourselves.

As you'll read this week, our parents, the people we surround ourselves with and the media all play a role in shaping how we perceive our world. The way to break free is to practice self-kindness. Encouragement and self-compassion lead to long-term positive change. Punishment and criticism short change us because we're motivated purely from the fear of being unloved.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 5, 2016

I caught a recent post on our Facebook page and it brought the seriousness of your daily struggles to light. While many struggle with issues with family, work or self-criticism, some are in dire need of support. Some feel all alone.

Depression and suicide are two very real concerns for many of us. It's not if it affects us, it's how it affects us and what we can do about it.

As someone who has suffered with depression as a teenager, I understand the heaviness, the dull pain and belief that nothing will ever get better. But I wish that anyone who felt depressed realized that life always gets better. And not just a little better, but it really does feel like a rainbow at the end of a long dark tunnel.

While you're stuck in it, there is no shame in grasping onto life jackets in the form of therapists and friends. Life is difficult. We are not meant to go through it all alone. If you are reading this and need help or know someone who does, please
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 1, 2016

With 4th of July just around the corner, I'd like to revisit the word, "freedom." What does it mean to you?

Since having children, the word seems elusive. But I realized there are a multitude of ways we can feel imprisoned. Our job, relationship(s), or an illness can all prevent us from feeling carefree. Even our thoughts and beliefs can chain us to misery.

The desire is to flee. But all things that feel like imprisonment has the potential to free us if we decide to take control and empower ourselves.

Whether it's untrue thinking or a wrong relationship that's got you feeling stuck, our top posts this week have the power to be freeing.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 28, 2016

We can start to fear discomfort. Trips, jobs and relationships can all be potential disappointments. Even superficial disappointments can remind us of deeper childhood pain or future goals we have yet to attain. Over time, comfort feels like safety, but prevents us from experiencing new things, which can later stunt our happiness and self-growth.

While the key isn't to jump in the deep end right away, it helps to flirt with the idea of discomfort. Maybe it's staying open when meeting new people. Maybe it's experimenting with a new restaurant and being okay if it turns out to not be your favorite place.

As we get older, it's tempting to want to control everything to avoid discomfort. But I think our purpose isn't to build walls so we don't feel. Instead what if challenges were created to help us grow?

Do you need help with disappointment? Dig into our posts this week. It may finally reveal where your inability to handle discomfort comes from.
Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: June 24, 2016

Wordpress was wonky this week so I haven't been able to do my usual post. It was a great reminder to me of how things have the potential to control you, if you let it.

How much energy are you spending on things you have no control over like the weather, your co-worker's insensitivity, your relative's lack of compassion or other people's success on Facebook?

Your mind is like a magnet attracted to what needs fixing. It steals away energy from the things you can control like how you are with your kids, husband and yourself.

When you are consumed with fixing instead of accepting, you rob yourself of the present moment. You steal away precious time from what really matters.

The next time you feel yourself getting sucked into jealousy, worry or anger, stop. Remember your thoughts are just thoughts. The stories you tell yourself about what happened are stories, not reality. You don't have to choose to get lost into them. You can choose to be in this moment right now.

To help you get centered, practice presence when you read our posts this week. You'll learn some of the consequences of things you haven't spend energy on, but should, like your boundaries, childhood or child's anxiety.
Continue Reading