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Best of Our Blogs: March 28, 2017

I just spent thirty minutes trying to teach my son how to say, "please" and "thank you." It's ironic when signs of disrespect and impoliteness reigns over courtesy and kindness these days.

It's much easier to be rude than civil. It's much easier to ignore race, discrimination and even illness than to openly communicate about it.

I think we're trying to get our bearings as a country. We're done with being pc. But we don't yet no how to communicate in an open, curious way that invites conversation and not judgment.

Since we don't have the privilege of waiting for the world to change, we need to work on what we can change-ourselves.

The theme this week is the impact of childhood on our current lives. Scapegoating and other symptoms of dysfunctional families can raise narcissistic, unhappy and disrespectful adults. These posts will prevent your difficult past from interfering with your life.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 24, 2017

A newish friend and I both shared something vulnerable. We were both struggling with something. Both of us wanting the thing to be different from what it was. There we were sitting in our misery.

It's the test of every relationship with others and our selves. Can we sit with what's painful, hard and uncomfortable and accept it without trying to change it?

Can we let our child cry in sadness without trying to cheer him or her up?

Can we hear our friend suffering and not tell them, "It's fine. Just look on the bright side?"

Can we allow our own pain to unfurl and make us raw and vulnerable without having to stuff it with food and wine?

If you struggle with allowing yourself or others feel how they really feel, you may be suffering from people-pleasing and co-dependency. If so, keep reading. We have the perfect posts for you this week.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 21, 2017

This time of year, many are preparing for spring break. Vacations are a much needed resolve from the day to day hustle and bustle. But gone are the days when you had a mandatory week off. What do you do if you're not going anywhere, but need a break from your life?

Schedule in a day to pamper yourself or go on a staycation. Make a date with a friend you haven't seen in awhile. Finally begin your commitment to meditate or take a class in something you've always been interested in.

R and R doesn't always require a trip somewhere. Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes and the openness to see your life in a new way. Our posts this week on raising emotionally resilient kids and dealing with perfectionism might just help you do that.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 17, 2017

If you celebrate it, Happy St. Patrick's Day! The spring weather also sparks a desire for some spring cleaning. But if getting out a broom and duster doesn't sound appealing, there are ways to clean up the toxic, dusty and cluttered parts in your emotional life as well.

This may mean addressing your inability to express your feelings with your partner, identifying and dealing with a narcissist and determining whether your inability to get rid of things is really a sign of hoarding.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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Best of Our Blogs: March 14, 2017

In my hour and half yoga session, I gained something greater than toned thighs.

My teacher taught me one simple and easy self-care trick I've been using to help me with everything from what I eat to what I say to myself.

Ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing working for me right now?"

My inbox today was filled with two rejections. Last week, I ran into an acquaintance who was less than friendly to me. But that was nothing compared to what my own internal dialogue was saying.

This morning I asked myself, "Is this self-talk working for me right now?"

It wasn't. In fact, it was pulling and putting me down.

Self-kindness, compassion, and a 30 minute walk, however did work for me. I'm grateful for the lesson.

Struggling with your negative relationships? Learn how to handle the abuse whether it's coming from the outside or within. Scroll to read now.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 10, 2017

I expected excitement and enthusiasm, friendliness at the least. But when I ran into an acquaintance, all I got was the cold shoulder. This is sometimes what happens when my thirty-something year-old self runs up against my twenty something past. Conflict ensues.

It's not that I was horrible in my twenties, just clueless. Did my acquaintance harbor anger towards me or had he simply changed?

I never got the chance to find out. But it did make me think of all the people who hurt me. Maybe they weren't the heartless, senseless people I thought they were. Maybe they were apologetic or unaware just as I had been. It helped me have compassion for the people who hurt me in the past. And it made me stop looking for forgiveness from others, and instead work on forgiving myself.

Speaking of relationships, if you're struggling with your own, this is the week to tune in. You'll learn the signs your relationship is in trouble, how to keep your love alive and how to bring in healthier relationships in your future.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 7, 2017

It gets me every time. I build a story about the friend who didn't call or the relative who mentioned the perfect mom next door. Suddenly, I'm entrenched with guilt and envy.

The story feels all too familiar, which makes it difficult to separate fiction from the truth.

But how much of what we feel is due to what's really happening or the stories we tell ourselves about what is happening?

And how much better would we feel if we took our past issues out of what is happening currently?

It's not easy to buy into our own beliefs.

If you continue to struggle, maybe it's not just about the stories you're telling yourself. Maybe like our posts teach us this week, manipulation, narcissism and control require more than following trite rules or changing the way we think. Sometimes we can change our story by changing our thoughts about it. Other times, it requires us to say something, and even stand up and fight.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 3, 2017

The world is so noisy with its dramas, tragedies and immediate need for attention. It's easy to get lured by it and then forget you can only do so much on the outside. Real answers and solutions come from deep within.

We're frantic if we missed the latest newscast or political commentary, but we miss a lot more when we lose connection from ourselves.

It's why I've committed to spending at least five minutes a day in silence. There may not always be easy answers, but sometimes quiet is it's own balm. Silence calms our need to know.

Silence is a good thing unless it's being used by someone else to control you. If you've been too busy this week with obligations, outings and outside turmoil, you might have missed this week's top posts on silent treatment, dating a narcissist and something you need to be aware of if you're a therapist.
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Best of Our Blogs: February 28, 2017

How do you define wellness?

Would it look like an illness-free or symptom-free life? Would it mean the ability to maintain a steady job, exercise regularly, or cultivate healthy relationships?

And how will you get there?

Would wellness entail eating certain foods, taking time to rest, doing things you love or all of the above?

Just like any goal, we need to be clear about what success will look like and what steps we need to take to get there.

We're already at the end of February, how are you doing with your resolutions?

If you need a little boost, the following posts will guide you toward the relationships and emotional wellness you're dreaming of.
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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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