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Best of Our Blogs: June 10, 2016

All pain culminates with a breaking open of our former selves. To grow into the person we were meant to be, we've got to emerge through like chicks from cracked eggshells.

The type of pain doesn't matter. The heartbreak of toxic relationship, the guilt that comes from saying, "No," or the crippling pain that comes with feeling unloved. While we may experience them in different degrees, all have the potential to stir things up and wake us to the life we should be living instead of the one we have been tolerating.

Let this week's post be reminders that everyone struggles with something. But the hope lies in turning pain, grief and sorrow into strength, resilience and ultimately love.
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Best of Our Blogs: June 7, 2016

Oh the amount of energy I spent and continue to spend consumed with it. All that time wasted when I could be focused on my professional goals, my family on myself.

That's what happens when you're stuck in victimhood. You think everything bad is the result of someone else's doing.

Recently, I discovered the path towards greater growth begins when I redirect my attention. Instead of grieving over what he or she did or said, I've been working with my own reaction to it. Is there a way that I can have compassion for them? Is there a way that I can grow compassion for myself?

Truthfully, we all spend more energy on things we can't control. But doing so leaves us helpless, drained and jaded. As you move through our posts this week on everything from vulnerability to brutally honest people, see if you can shift your attention on how others are treating you to how you can treat yourself.
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Best of Our Blogs: June 3, 2016

We hear about peace all the time. Maybe it's possible for spiritual leaders, your yoga teacher and retired neighbor, but your life seems incapable of the p word. Most times you're the other p word. Pissed off.

From your kids to illness, everything is robbing you of internal peace. Amidst the chaos of your life and in preparation for summer, there is something you can do.

On Super Soul Sunday, Iyanla Vanzant said the biggest obstacle to peace was judgment.

Yes life has kept you busy. But are your quiet moments being eaten up by thoughts and worries over what other people think of you and what you think of others? Instead of constantly thinking about what someone did to you or how others misjudge you because of your illness, focus on quieting the noise with observation, pause and silence. Doing so, may allow you to carve a little space for peace.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 31, 2016

Why do we keep doing it?

If you've ever pushed yourself beyond your limit, you've asked this question before. If you've seen a loved one struggle with an unhealthy relationship or a toxic situation, you've asked it multiple times.

Why do we mold, fit and force ourselves past our capabilities? Why is that we have to hit rock bottom before we stop?

And why is that when we finally make a decision that would not only benefit ourselves, but everyone around us, we feel defeated, ashamed and full of guilt?

I don't think we're meant to do it all on our own. There is power in asking for help.

Maybe the reason why you never learned how to get your needs met was that you were raised by a narcissist. Maybe you remain in that dysfunctional relationship because you're tied together in trauma bond or you haven't yet address your core feelings. If so, keep reading. You may rediscover yourself and the courage you need to heal in this week's top post.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 27, 2016

I'm a lot better than I once was. But when it comes to self-compassion I'm still a work-in-progress.

If you've ever met a tough inner voice with excuses, defense statements and harsh accusations, then you're probably seeking help too.

You can't solve the problem by beating yourself up. You can't get answers with food, distractions and perfectionism. I know because I've tried it. You can't get happy or find peace until you address that deeper issue of self-worth.

There's no fast and easy solutions. Before you set boundaries, help your anxious child and heal your relationship with food, you need to work on this primary relationship.

To create the life you crave, you need to practice being kind to the most important and consistent person in your life-yourself.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 24, 2016

I've been guilty of doing it late at night-staying up to pound through various books, blog posts, and rigorously searching for the "right" way to do things. Anything less than that would cost me unbearable shame and validate a deeply hidden sense of unworthiness.

After stacks of books couldn't "cure" me, I realized the answers rarely rested in those pages. Before I could do any permanent change, I needed to revisit my belief of conditional worthiness. Regardless of what I did or said or accomplished, I deserved love, compassion, kindness, acceptance and forgiveness. If I wasn't willing to first give it to myself, I would never be able to receive it from someone else.

As you peruse our top posts this week, I hope you will do so mindfully. Read each with the awareness that while there may be best ways to approach a situation, making a mistake and messing up does not mean you are a failure. It does not mean you are a terrible person. It means you are human, a work in progress, and on the road to becoming a better version of you.

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Best of Our Blogs: May 20, 2016

I've been a quitter most of my life. I've quit the small things (e.g. diets and projects) and big ones too (e.g. jobs, and friendships). But as I got older, I realized that the really good things in life were worth sacrificing. Besides, you couldn't quit when things got hard during pregnancy, in labor, a long-term relationship or when you have children. You couldn't just hold up your hands, wave that white flag and say, "I give up!"

I remember a pivotal moment when I realized it. I was sitting in my living room, two kids in tow and felt myself starting to self-pity. I was tired. They were sick. I just didn't think I had it in me to take care of them. I wanted to give up. When a wave of discouragement started to crash down on me, I realized I had two options. I could surrender to what is or I could make the situation harder on all of us by worrying, complaining and thinking about all the other things I wish I could do.

The house didn't get cleaned that day. But surrendering to the mess, my situation and the kids by being present and not quitting on myself, changed me. It taught me I had superhero strength. If I was never forced to test it, I would never know it existed.

That's what I believe of you too. Just when you think you can't go on, when raising an ADHD child or dealing with mental illness has got you down, it'll be there, waiting for you to tap into it.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 17, 2016

It's amazing. You could be going along with your business and not even know it. Unconsciously, you're in awe and full of compassion for a friend's struggles. You find yourself gossiping about a co-worker's shockingly distasteful behavior.

You're working the outside world without checking what's going on in the inside. There's a gap there. There's a disconnection. Maybe it makes you feel invincible. But on a deeper level, it makes you feel isolated and alone.

What you don't realize is you play a huge role in what you're experiencing. It took some time until I realized everything that was triggering me-the courageous lady who endured a painful past, the really bossy boss-were all different sides of myself that I hadn't yet acknowledged. Swimming right below the surface, they were begging to be seen.

If you grew up feeling unheard, it may take you awhile to recognize what's missing. Sometimes all it takes is reading someone else's story for it to click. Whether it's your sensitivity or your long lost emotional needs, our following posts on may just help you reconnect and remember.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 13, 2016

You wouldn't continue to take the wrong exit home. If something you ate didn't treat your stomach right, you wouldn't have it again. An allergic reaction would make you avoid it at all costs. But when it comes to your emotional health, you keep running your head against the wall.

If that's you, you're going the wrong way to get the right answers.

Maybe you're doing it out of habit. Maybe it's unconscious. Or maybe the truth, that the person you love is incapable of change or being there for you the way you need them to be, is a hard pill to swallow.

The answer isn't to get creative and think of different angles to get them to change their mind. The answer is to adjust your expectations, learn to accept them for who they are, and find other people who are capable of being there for you.

If you're struggling with accepting your loved one or yourself, this week's posts will give you a reality check. Through learning about their anxiety, depression or alcohol abuse, you might develop compassion and understanding that you didn't think was possible. You may even cultivate self-compassion for that person who wanted so much for their life or childhood to be normal.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 10, 2016

Mother's Day has come and gone. While some relish the day, you're glad it's over.

It's difficult to leave childhood unscathed. Our needs were not always met. We felt like we were parenting our parents. Our mothers were either non-existent physically or emotionally. As a result, Mother's Day doesn't inspire us to run out and buy flowers, chocolate and a sentimental card. It leaves us angry, hurt and feeling scarred.

If you're still recovering from Sunday's holiday, read our top posts this week. Our bloggers are discussing everything from practicing self-love to learning how to be more assertive. Each posts are like individual gifts of compassion, information and understanding you wished you received.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 6, 2016

Your mouth gets dry. Your palms are sweaty. Your bestfriend is going through a tough situation. Your uncle is grieving over a loss. You don't know the right thing to say or do to help them.

If you get nervous thinking about it, here's some good news.

I read here about a 2011 study published in Social and Personality Psychology Compass. The research stated that just being near a loved one can minimize their suffering. While we all want to try our best to alleviate our love one's pain, not having the perfect words needn't stop you from the greatest gift you can give them-just be there.

If you want to go deeper, this week's post will give you information on what to ask a loved one who might be suicidal. You will also learn what not to say to an anxious child and develop empathy for yourself and others who are suffering.

When you love someone and when you've built a trusting relationship with them, your presence and not your advice will be what heals and soothes them most.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 3, 2016

Some will tell you to "get yourself together." Others will dole out advice. A few will pretend like it doesn't matter.

They can ignore it and try to talk it away, but your illness is real. What they have the luxury of imagining doesn't exist is your day to day.

Don't let their disbelief and discomfort become your suffering.

May is mental health month. Share your story, offer a compassionate ear to someone struggling and find others who understand what you are going through.

This year Mental Health America is spreading awareness by tagging social media posts with this hashtag: #mentalillnessfeelslike. I hope you'll join the cause by courageously sharing what it's really like living with mental illness.
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