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Best of Our Blogs: February 24, 2017

I'm taking Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting: A Wholehearted Revolution. I wish we all grew up with parents who had the foresight and resources to parent the way she teaches in the online course.

In the first exercise, she asks us to create a, "You always have permission to..." painting.

If you could recreate your own childhood, what would you add to that list?

In your current family, would you include "make mistakes, express your feelings, and be yourself?"

What would your life be like if you grew up in a household that included all the components you needed to make you feel safe, loved and accepted?

What could your home be like if you held to these rules?

While we cannot go back in the past to redo our childhood, we have the power to control our own families.

Now imagine applying this new way of thinking to your current relationships including the one you have with yourself. Can you create a permission list for your own life? Would it include the permission to forgive yourself, grieve and let go of relationships that are not serving you?

Ponder your own self-permission as you read our top posts this week.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 21, 2017

At one point, every one will face it. Some will have to endure more than others. Some will suffer from it. Others will suffer through it.

It doesn't take grand acts of heroism and courage to survive. It simply requires getting through this moment and then this moment.

In Love Warrior, author Glennon Doyle Melton created this to help her overcome difficulty.
“What I Know: 1. What you don't know, you're not supposed to know yet. 2. More will be revealed. 3 Crisis means to sift. Let it all fall away and you'll be left with what matters. 4.What matters most cannot be taken away. 5. Just do the next right thing one thing at a time. That'll take you all the way home.”
If you're struggling with the unknown right now, her words, a meditation exercise, help for those with ADHD and tips on warding away negative thinking may be the balm you need.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 17, 2017

We're so busy these days. There are five minute workouts and quick and dirty cleaning tips. We try to fit in all in under the clock so we can live balanced, whole lives. But we can't treat happiness and joy the way we attempt everything else. Fast, easy and minimal effort doesn't equate into a meaningful life.

All the really good stuff in life like love, growth and happiness requires work.

Before I had my first son, I naively believed labor would be easy. All I had to do was let go and my body would take care of everything. I soon learned that was far from the case.

When I was willing to commit to the work, I was rewarded with a brand new baby.

I realized that part of the joy in life was the risk and work I took to gain it.

If you're ready to roll up your sleeves and re-engage with life, the payback will catapult you into the life you really want. Read our posts to get tips on therapy, and a refreshing take on happiness and relationships. We're all about living life with all the pain and heartache. No fast food living here.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 14, 2017

It's the day most of us dread. We're either alone and can't stand the roses and chocolate reminders or we're coupled and can't stand the pressure.

I think Valentine's Day represents something we all struggle with. Rejection.

A slight whether professional or personal is a multi-layered sucker punch to the soul. There is, of course, the initial disappointment. There is the underlying recall of past disappointments, which usually stem from childhood. And then, there is the fear of what this rejection means for our future.

In a moment of despair, one rejection can feel like a reminder of our past failures, which could threaten our future happiness.

Yet, it could also be a really downer moment that in the near future could be the best thing.

Years later, it could be the day you changed something for the better and altered the course of your life-in a good way. Although we don't know the way our lives will unfold, we can control our attitude. Through resilience, we can let the rejection teach us like an old wise friend who's not afraid of telling us the truth. If we listen after we've healed our egos a bit, we might just empower ourselves to turn rejection into victory.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 10, 2017

With all the stress these days, I wonder how much time we all devote to this.

Simple joy.

I'm not talking planned spring vacations or special nights out. I'm talking impromptu meanderings, feeling the steam from a hot cup of tea, or carving out time for pleasures you stopped taking part it.

When we're super focused on what's not working, we get depleted. Ironically, it's surrendering that opens us to answers.

It's quiet that speaks solutions.

It's pause that invites insight.

It's stillness that is healing.

If you're stuck in your daily frustrations, inquire within. This week, we have journal prompts for self-reflection and posts to prevent burnout. Read it and then find your happy place.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 7, 2016

What if you could resolve all of your problems by working on yourself?

Could disconnection and isolation, for example, derive from a sense of self-abandonment?

Could your inability to accept others have to do with an inability to accept yourself?

Could anger at your partner's demands stem from a neglect of your own needs?

Could judgment toward a co-worker be about your inability to established healthy boundaries?

What if every conflict, struggle and disappointment out there in the world is a reflection of what's going inside of you?

Change can only happen if we're ready to work on ourselves. If you're looking for ways to do that, you've found a great week to read our top posts.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 3, 2017

If you ever felt more alone after you spoke to a loved one, it's probably because they were not able to be there for you in the way you needed.

In Insights at the Edge, author and therapist Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, says, "we get wounded when we're with people who can't be with us, and we heal when there are people who can be with us."

And it's not about saying the "right" thing to solve our problems. But being heard, held and listened to with nonjudgmental presence.

This week as you learn about some of the most challenges issues like suicide, addiction and emotional abuse, see if you can practice this nonjudgmental presence with each post. And then, bring it to those you love.
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Best of Our Blogs: January 31, 2017

Are you waiting until your relative "gets" you, employer appreciates you or the political atmosphere to calm down before you feel better?

We often wait until external circumstances change to change us. But real power comes from creating our own life rafts.

Let our top posts on self-soothing and self-discovery inspire you to prepare your own self-care kit. Some things you might want to consider are a candle, journal, pair of warm socks, and an afternoon with yourself or hike with someone you love. Think of things that feel good to you and neglect the obligatory tasks for awhile.

When you are feeling ill or unwell, you can turn to this treasure trove of goodies to lift your spirits and nourish your soul. Armed with inner strength, you will feel empowered to survive anything.
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Best of Our Blogs: January 27, 2016

The other day I glanced at a photo of someone's home. It was beautiful and uncluttered. Instead of leaving it at that and going on with my day. I stared for awhile. I looked at my own home. My eyes zoomed in on all the piles of stuff everywhere-the toys, mail, dishes. It was a sight!

But I didn't stop there.

I started to compare, criticize and judge myself. I looked past everything I loved most about my home and saw failure, mess, and not enoughness.

Comparison to others perfect picture whether that be of their homes, kids, jobs and life experiences, robs us of joy and happiness. It also takes away our ability to experience gratitude for what we have and admiration for others.

While self-kindness, compassion and acceptance are not easy things to practice. It is the key to everything we genuinely want in life-authentic relationships, love and opportunities.

If you need a head start on getting there, our top posts on self-awareness, making conscious choices and self-motivation will steer you in the right direction.
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Best of Our Blogs: January 24, 2016

I know a lot of people who feel better and then quit their medication or don't start it. Sometimes it's not medication, but meditation, seeking therapy or simply confiding in a friend. Suddenly, when we are well, we stop doing the things that made us that way.

We think we don't need it anymore.

It feels good to not be dependent on anyone or anything.

It feels like we're "normal" like ordinary people who can live without worry, fear or needing anything.

We might feel permanently cured.

But there is nothing shameful in needing to take care of yourself. It's not only okay to ask for help when you need it, it's a sign of courage, maturity and growth.

The strongest of us are the ones who know when they need help and seek it.

This week, you'll learn why you're fearful of seeking help, why you really hurt yourself and the real reason why you haven't found the right person yet.
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Best of Our Blogs: January 20, 2017

I heard health coach and author Amy Kurtz say something that changed my worldview of healing and health. On Insights at the Edge, she said, "Healing is a journey, not a destination." Although she was talking about chronic illness, I think anyone struggling with their health can appreciate that statement.

What if we were to view health not as some perfect, unattainable goal, but something that teaches us to be kinder, gentler and caring to ourselves?

Can we perceive our pain and struggle as insightful friends? Can we view it as messages highlighting areas of our lives that need exploration and tending?

It's changed the way I view my own illness. Along with our posts this week on control, narcissism, stress and relationships let it bring hope to all who feel hopeless.
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Best of Our Blogs: January 17, 2017

As I write this, it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. With the state of the world today, let's all take time to exercise and practice the promising dreams of a hopeful and powerful leader. On The King Center website, his wife Coretta Scott King shares the best ways we can do that.
"The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit."
Continue to celebrate with our posts this week which will enrich your relationships and change the way you think about church, compliments and codependency.
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