Monthly Archive: April 2015

Grateful Appreciation

Have you ever had moments where you feel invisible? Unappreciated or under-appreciated? Dave Isay in his TED talk on personal interviews, emphasizes how the simple act of appreciation of another person can change their life, and your own.

There are things that each of us love to do; if nobody else noticed and acknowledged what we did that we loved, some of us might continue regardless.  But even if we continued, we would feel great if our efforts were genuinely acknowledged and appreciated by another. We are social animals and need the mirrors into our soul that only others can provide.

The intimate moments of sharing that Mr. Isay lets us see are moving, even to tears, not because they are sad moments, but because they are genuine and open-hearted. It really drives home the fact that the only really important thing in life is our relationship to others. At the end of life, many of us want to say four things to those we care for –Thank you. I love you. Forgive me. I forgive you.

Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear

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Quote of the Week

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. -Voltaire

Are You Burnt Out?

tired at workI find it amazing when I speak with people who are in burn out denial.  These are often women who are trying to rule the world without taking a moment to be still. I’m of the belief that knowing where you stand within your environment is truly the best way to become self-aware, perhaps that is the Gestalt therapist in me coming out.

Anyway, these women (some men, too) are working 8-12 hours a day, taking care of kids and pets, cooking or picking up dinner, dealing with ordinary stress, dealing with in-law stress…… it goes on and on and on. Where is the time to even become self-aware? And yet, if you were to ask, they have convinced themselves that all is OK and they are not burnt out.

As a result, I’ve created 5 questions to ask yourself right now as a way to discover if you’re truly burnt out. If you answer ‘Yes’ to 3 or more…. you are! I’ve created a FREE 7-day audio program specifically to introduce people to the concept of not only burning the candle at both ends, but how to truly regain control of stress. You can download it here: https://joyofliving.leadpages.net/7-day-meditation/

Questions to ask yourself:

1. Is everyday a bad day?

2. Does the subject of “extra time” to simply sit on the couch seem foreign or ridden with guilt?

3. Are you exhausted no matter what you do?

4. Is the majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming?

5. Do you often feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated?

I offer personalized help, even over Skype. So, if you feel like you need or want more than the free 7-day program, contact me. I have an array of services at different price levels available. Yes, all sessions are HIPAA compliant.

 

 

Self Sabotage

Notice when you’re getting close to finishing something important that it’s harder and harder to get there?  Or how you suddenly get an unbelievable urge to check out just when things are finally going great?  If you’ve experienced something like this, then you’re normal.  This is one of the things that happens to all of us whenever we go beyond our own limits.

In Stop Self-Sabotage With This One Vital Step Marie Forleo talks about how this works and what we can do about it.  She’s referring to what Gay Hendrix calls the “Upper Limit Problem” in his book The Big Leap.

We have what Hendrix calls an inner thermostat that sets the amount of success we let ourselves have.  Then, when we go over that inner setting, we end up doing something that returns us to the old and familiar place of security.

How do we sabotage ourselves?  According to Psychology Today the most common kinds of self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury (such as becoming accident-prone, getting sick).  Even though they hurt us in the long run, they make us feel relieved and secure.

We can adjust our Upper Limit and change our self-sabotage in the process.  Tapping into both Hendrix and Martha Beck, here’s how:

  • Learn to identify the signs – Take a good look at what happened before you self-sabotage.  What triggered you?  How were you feeling at the time?  How did you physically feel – tense in your shoulders, upset stomach?
  • Change one thing – once you know what your current upper limit is, and how you typically react to it, deliberately change one thing.  For instance, wear a silly (or serious) hat.  Do some small incidental thing that changes the circumstances and breaks the pattern.
  • Retrain yourself – once you identify that you are self-sabotaging, go back to the thing that triggered it and calm yourself retroactively.  Remind yourself that you are adjusting your upper limit. Eventually you will become aware when you are going into the pattern and able to stop it before it happens
  • Appreciate what you’ve accomplished – you’ve altered your inner Upper Limit, and can do this any time you find yourself self-sabotaging.

How to get all of our selves in line

Quote of the Week

I think that sometimes love gets in the way of itself – you know, love interrupts itself. We want things so much that we sabotage them. – Jack White

7 DAYS OF MINDFULNESS-BASED MEDITATIONS – FREE

Do you ever feel that you’re burning the candle at both ends? Many of us feel this way but fail to speak up. Well, let me first say that you’re not alone. Many people feel this way- especially women. We live in a 24/7 news / event society. We wake up and check our cell phones. We go to bed right after checking our cell phones. Work never stops sending emails. Kids are kids. And, as if this wasn’t enough, there are many social and emotional challenges that all of us face daily. Our minds are racing, our hearts are pumping, and we think we can keep up on the hamster wheel until it breaks.

Don’t spin your wheels any longer. I can help you to stop burning the candle at both ends before those ends meet! Now, I wouldn’t offer you something without knowing that it could be accessible to everyone reading this post. So, as a result, I’m giving away online access to my Free (yes, free with an “F”) 7-day meditation course. It is an audio course that you can listen to and guess what- you can do this from anywhere!

Here’s the link: http://thejoyofliving.co/7day-meditation

7 day 3

If you feel passed the 7-day Free course and want more information on my in-person or online full course that deals with burning the candle at both ends, you can access more information here: http://thejoyofliving.co/programs/ You’re not obligated to buy this course first or after your free 7-Day meditation course. That meditation gift truly is from me to you and goes without any pressure or obligation to seek further services.

Life can be hard. I can help you to stand still for a second and understand the true benefits of both meditation and self-awareness.

GET FREE ACCESS TO MY 7-DAY MINDFULNESS BASED MEDITATION AUDIO PROGRAM

Gestalt Therapy At Work!

I was recently asked if there is a Gestalt method for dealing with stress at work. Well, yes and no. The best way to understand the environmental factors- and their impact- is to work with myself to really grasp the stress and your reactions using Gestalt therapy. This said, sometimes we need a little R&R “Gestalt” moment at work when things get a bit out of sorts.

lime

I recommend using a lime. Yes, a lime. I tell people to bring a lime at work and either keep it in their pocket or on their desks (or related area) as a reminder to consider their environment as things heat up. If someone questions you about the lime, it is easy to say it is there for drinking water or lunch, etc.  The color of the lime is calming too.

As stress builds within your environment, glance at the lime. You can say to the lime (out loud or not), “let’s address this.” The next thing to do is pause and really consider not only what you are feeling but why you’re feeling it. The lime isn’t a replacement for therapy but it is a visual reminder that there is an issue and it gives you a quick respite to consider what is really going on and the best way to move forward during moments of stress with all things considered.

The lime exercise is a lot like the classic chair exercise in Gestalt therapy.

Have more questions? Want to work with me? Click the contact information tab above and let’s get started.

Wholehearted Living

Wholehearted living is not a onetime choice. It is a process. In fact, I believe it’s the journey of a lifetime. – Brené Brown

Sometimes when we live wholeheartedly, we inadvertently step on other people’s toes.  It’s inevitable because not everyone is on the same path we are on.

I ran into this problem when I had an idea that would benefit both my clients and a group who promoted stress-reduction.  I saw the potential value in this and couldn’t wait to talk about it.  In my excitement to connect with a leader of that group, I jumped to my hoped-for conclusion without really explaining the steps I knew were required, or did I really explain how it would be of benefit.

I was well aware of my tendency to take off with an idea, and that this tendency often scares off others.  Should I have ignored my own style for the sake of protecting others?

Probably not a fair question:  if I want others to listen to me, I need to present my ideas in a way that attracts rather than repels people.  On the other hand, not being myself won’t work either – my brand of enthusiasm will always be there.  In the end, I was able to reconnect and clarify, and I came away from that experience with some positive lessons, one of which was to be myself and be open to the response of others.

Martha Beck in her article 10 Lessons You Should Unlearn” basically says: relax.  Whatever happens, as long as we are true to ourselves in our maturity, adds to life.

Here are 5 things to always keep in mind:

  • Problems – aren’t bad.  Problems imposed on you suck, but the kind of problems that drive us mad lead to wonderful inventions and creations.  Real problems, as Martha says, are wonderful because they carry the seeds of their own solution.
  • Happiness – comes and goes. We don’t actually have to be happy to feel good, and forcing ourselves to be happy all the time means we need to ignore real feelings, which will ultimately lead to chronic stress, and true unhappiness.
  • Imperfection – we are all imperfect and all have a part.  Our past doesn’t have to get in our way; we can question beliefs that don’t work, and re-educate our brains to new and better beliefs.
  • Working vs Playing – Play, not work, is the key to succeeding in life. We naturally learn by playing, by doing what we enjoy.
  • Success and Failure – two sides of the same coin.  We succeed because we try, fail and then learn.  Worrying about making mistakes will only shut us down.  So relax and allow yourself the space and luxury to be yourself.

Be Yourself – Alan Watts

Quote of the Week

There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Developing Awareness 101

I help people develop their own personal awareness in my therapy sessions. It is part of my Gestalt therapy rooted applications and process when helping clients grow.  This said, however, I was recently asked if there are any Gestalt rooted practices someone could do at home to help develop their own self-awareness. Well, of course, there are!

What I really like people to start with at home is a concentration technique.  There are four steps to this process, which are as follows; First- start with maintaining the sense of actuality. This means you concentrate on your here and now.  Don’t disassociate to stress or daydreams. If you’re sitting in a quite room, try to remain (mentally) in the quite room and not lost in thought.

Next, realize that you are living the experience – acting it, observing it, suffering it, resisting it.  If your mind keeps wandering away from the quite room, understand this is happening and then ask yourself why your mind keeps trying to leave the room. Will it suffer from being in the present? Will it resist it because you may be forced to deal with the stillness of the here and now?  The follow-up step to this is to attend to all experiences, whether internal or external, the abstract as well as the concrete, to those that you ‘wish’ for and to those that you deliberately produce. It is key to take responsibility for them all, including your blocks and symptoms.

The final step is to verbalize what you are feeling out-loud and to yourself. Try something like, ‘Now I am aware that I can’t keep my mind still and in this room, I realize that I am overly stressed about money. I can’t stop worrying about it. Money is causing me to stress and causing me harm. I’m going to take action now by……”

Of course, all this takes practice. I can help you. Make sure to click and connect with me for personalized help and deeper work.