How to See the Truth in the Mirror — And It Doesn’t Hurt

When you look in the mirror, do you shy away from the image of the person you see? If so, you’re like the way I used to be. Fortunately, through therapy and meditation and much self-reflection, I learned how to increase my self-esteem, build my confidence and greet that mirror image with joy that spreads throughout the day.

These tips helped me and they may be useful to you.

1. Treat yourself like you would a good friend.
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What’s More Important: Speaking Your Truth or Maintaining Safe Relationships?

We often hear that it’s important to speak your truth -- to express your honest feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. But how often do we create rifts in our relationships following this dictate too rigidly?

We want to be true to ourselves and live with authenticity and integrity. We don’t want to be codependent and conceal our true feelings in order to protect or placate others. Intimacy cannot thrive in a climate of emotional dishonesty and inauthenticity.
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Anxiety and Panic

A Practical Tool for Putting the Kibosh on Stress

It would be nice if we had sensors programmed into our human bodies, like the technology programmed into many of the newest cars, to tell us when we are becoming too stressed, or too angry, when we need to take a break, replenish or refuel.   It used to be that we just had sensors on our cars when the fuel tank was low.  Now newer cars have sensors for everything from alerting us when we are swerving out of our lane to letting us know when we are becoming too close to the vehicle in front of us.  These warning signals help to keep us safe and in control and avert problems.

In essence, we do have these signals and sensors within our bodies and brains.  The problem is that we are often disconnected from these sources of information, or we ignore the signals that are there.  We are also often not taught how to pay attention to these inner signals and how to “read” them.
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Getting Over the Hurt of an Affair

Your partner was unfaithful and now you are trying to get past all the hurt it’s causing you. You may be experiencing a number of different emotions including embarrassment, shame, guilt, anger, and sadness. You are probably going through a rollercoaster of feelings; loving and hating your spouse, all at the same time. Maybe you are wondering if this incredible pain will ever go away and end.
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Why Go on a Honeymoon?

At a recent party, a guy was talking about how disappointing his honeymoon had been.

It rained. The rain went on for six of the seven days he and his bride were in their tropical paradise. They didn’t get to go snorkeling or on the hike they’d planned. They were quickly bored by the attractions of their resort hotel.

Thumbing through old National Geographic magazines they found in the lobby just wasn’t what they had had in mind. They were disappointed and cranky because they had saved for a year to get there and they felt trapped indoors. More to the point, they were disappointed because their preconceived ideas of what would make their honeymoon memorable kept getting in the way of just being and living and loving -- the stuff that a honeymoon is really about.
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When Your Mate Touches a Nerve…

How do you talk to your partner about a sensitive topic? If he or she says something that makes you uneasy, do you feel tightness in your throat, chest or elsewhere? Forget to breathe?

Maybe you change the subject? Call the person selfish, unreasonable, or inconsiderate? Or withdraw?

Reacting means doing or saying what first pops into your mind. If you routinely do whatever you’re asked to do when you’d rather not, you’re likely to build up resentment. If instead of yielding, you belittle or stonewall your partner, you can expect ill will and conflict to increase.
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Grief and Loss

To Succeed in Marriage, Clear the Decks

Do you have unfinished business? Most of us do. It’s important to gain a sense of closure about a past relationship in order to succeed in a new one.    

Closure, in the psychological sense, means “the state of experiencing an emotional conclusion to a difficult life event.” 1 Typical situations that call for closure are the loss of a romantic partner, spouse, or parent. Another can involve grieving the absence of a healthier home environment in which one was raised.  
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Grief and Loss

A Practical Tip for Developing a Stress-Resilient Life

“Your dad’s had a heart attack.”  

My own heart shot into my throat, hearing my mother’s garbled words a thousand miles away.

“He’s going to be okay, but maybe you could fly out?”

It’s been almost two years since my father’s heart attack and he’s made important changes that have improved his life quality considerably. Both my grandfather and grandmother died of heart disease. They experienced immense socio-economic challenges and faced more stressful life situations than I could possibly imagine.

However, this part of my own family history has inspired me to explore ways to reduce stress in my own life and the lives of my clients. Today, I would like to share with you one idea I find incredibly useful in building a stress-resilient life.   
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The Fun Police

“He took a vacation,” they whispered in hushed tones. “What will his colleagues and supervisors think?”

I smiled. Actually -- correction -- I smirked.

In an era of unlimited vacation time (but not actual vacation), too many of us are shackled to our office chair. We dream of that European sojourn.
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The Cost of Not Paying Attention, and How to Come Back into Balance

Sometimes, when we are not paying attention or attending to what is in front of us in our lives, we throw ourselves out of balance. I was reminded of this last summer when I realized in a moment of panic that I had forgotten to turn the water off from the hose outside that I was using to add some water to our pool. Instead of letting the water run for a half hour or so, I had accidentally let it run for about 24 hours! This was a big mistake on many accounts, with consequences such as overflowing the pool, wasting precious water, potentially draining our well, during a drought no less, not to mention throwing the perfectly balanced water out of balance, as evidenced by the cloudy, murky color that it began to turn!
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Grief and Loss

Making Room for Change

Change is unavoidable and the part of life we all dread. Change can be hard and uncomfortable. The ways we navigate change are often a reflection of how we have experienced change before. Change can be threatening, inspiring and/or encouraging. Ultimately, the more room you can make for change in your life the easier time you will have dealing with the change when it comes.

How do we prepare for change? What can we do to focus on the positive aspects of change? Luckily, there are some things you can put into place for yourself that will help you effectively manage the changes you confront in your life.
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Bullying, Incognito: Deliberate Social Exclusion

When we think of bullying, a picture of aggression is typically conjured -- the taunting, name-calling, and physical abuse. Beyond the playground in the adult world, however, bullying often takes place masked in more insidious forms. Deliberate social exclusion can manifest in many ways across situations, occurring in the context of university, work, or within a group if people not connected by their field of study or job.
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