I'm going to start this blog post with a quote from a book called Attached, "The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent and daring they become". Attached is a wonderful resource that I encourage you all to read, it's written by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller.
Now, back to the quote! "Effectively dependent" are the key words, co-dependency is a different thing that we will cover in another post! Effective dependency looks like good communication, trust, and healthy boundaries. We want to be able to depend on our partners, to be there, to support us, to listen to us. Being able to effectively depend on our partners is the crux of a good relationship. In our current society it's taboo to need someone else, we are constantly reading and watching messages saying "independence is important" and "depending on a partner is weakness" when in actuality it is the exact opposite. Being able to depend on your partner requires vulnerability, yes, but it will create more independence when you are able to depend on your partner. When you can confidently say, "I can depend on and trust my partner to be there for me" it then gives you the confidence to be independent in your actions. You can go do the things you need to do and be sure that when you come back you have a partner who supports you.
The question then becomes "how do I cultivate this in my own relationship?" The answer is vulnerable communication, trust, and healthy boundaries. When you have a problem with something pertaining to your relationship have a discussion about it, talk about how you are feeling and possible solutions, or, if there is no solution let your partner know that they don't have to fix it for you. If you are having trouble trusting your partner when they leave to go do the things they need to do make sure you are taking care of yourself too, only once your own self is filled with love and trust can you extend that to your partner. Lastly, healthy boundaries, if you are needing some time alone make sure you explicitly tell your partner, make sure your boundary and the reason behind your boundary is clear, there needs to be no confusion. Confusion or unsaid expectations leads to hurt feelings.
As always, if you or someone you know is struggling with this concept feel free to message me directly to set up a coaching session.
Alright readers, it's Election Day and today we're going to be talking about loving ourselves because today it's one of the best things you can do for yourself.
There are two main ways to love yourself, the first is by loving how you look and the second is by loving who you are. Now, you might be thinking that one of these two ways is more important, right? Well, let me tell you a secret, they are both equally important, so I'm going to give you some starter tips to get you going on each.
Loving how you look.
1. When you are in the bathroom/in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and find one positive thing about your body, your physical being
2. When you have a bad thought ie "My thighs are fat" I want you to stop, take a second, breathe and then rewrite that thought. Something like "I am beautiful", "I am strong", "I am handsome", anything that brings you back to a loving self.
3. Don't repeat other peoples comments to yourself, they simply don't deserve your attention. If you find yourself thinking about what another person said about you I want you to redirect that thought. "yes, and" statements are really helpful here. "This person said _____ about me, yes, AND I think ______ about myself"
Loving who you are:
1. See number one for the previous section, EXCEPT I want you to come up with statements that apply to who you are, ie characteristics and statements such as, "I am capable", "I am compassionate", "I am brave".
2. I want you to let go of the fact that you have to be perfect, in every situation that you find yourself striving for more when you don't have to I want you to stop, take a breath and then let it go.
3. When you have a negative thought I want you to accept it. If you think to yourself "I did terribly on this project" I want you to counter it with acceptance, 'yes, I did, AND I am still worthy, I did everything I could do with the knowledge, information and resources I had at that time and next time I will do better"
As always, if you have any questions or want to work with someone on this topic feel free to contact me to set up a coaching session. Make sure to give yourself grace with this topic, it's not going to get better instantly but every time you do one of these things you are moving yourself towards more self acceptance.
Taking criticisms can be really taxing. Knowing what to say while being criticized can be even harder. Most of us aren't taught what to say or do to take criticism well. Instead, we have to learn it. In this weeks blog post we will discuss different tips and tricks to taking criticisms, deciding if they are serving you, if you want to change or if you want to let them go.
Obviously, listening is the first step, we all know that we are supposed to listen when people are talking to us, discussing their thoughts and feelings. So why is this so hard to actually do? We all know about it and yet, turning off the defensiveness switch and turning on the listening ears is much harder than it should be. Here's the tip, instead of listening to respond, listen to pause. This is the first step in active listening. When you are listening to pause and let comments wash over you it is much less stressful both for yourself and for the person giving the criticism. It also helps the other person feel heard and as a bonus you get a second to think.
Step two is actually responding, after you pause and gather your thoughts make sure you consider the best way to represent yourself. Being genuine is the best way to go about responding, if you genuinely didn't know you were coming across in a certain way, say so. If you genuinely are apologetic, say so. The best thing to respond with is what you are actually feeling, seeing or understanding. Another tip, if you disagree with the criticism you should not stifle your own opinion to make someone else happy, try starting your sentence with "From my side, it feels like _______". That way the disagreement is not an attack of the other person but more of a perspective shift.
Lastly, own it and ask questions! If you don't understand what they are referring to or how to "be better" communicate that and see if they have any ideas. Maybe the other person has struggled with what you are struggling with and they could offer you some advice.
Remember, the most important part of taking criticism is being authentic, genuine and true to your own feelings and needs.
Alright guys! We're going to talk about the power of words in today's blog post, specifically the words "have to" vs "want to". As most of you already know, words hold power, the way you talk to yourself and others matters. When you are talking about future things you "have to do" take a breath and think about how that affects you. When you say "I have to do ..." does that bring positive tones? Probably not, right? So how do we change our feelings about something? Well, first, we change our words, at first you'll think about something in terms of "I have to do ..." and then correct yourself to something closer to "I want to do ...". Eventually, as you get batter at catching yourself you'll just start the conversation with "I want to do ...".
What this does is it changes your mindset completely. You'll find yourself thinking positively about doing "everyday" things and more likely to choose to do those things rather than procrastinating them. Changing your life and your mindset is all about the small steps, the little "tricks" you can pull on your brain to be more connected and productive.
Remember, if you or someone you know needs help creating a healthy work/life balance, more positive self talk or just changing your inner monologue in general feel free to get ahold of me for a complimentary discovery call.
Alright readers, since the entire NW of the United States has been on fire for over a week now I've decided to cover the different types of rest in this blog post.
With everyone helping everyone, whether that be evacuations or hosting evacuees it seemed the most fitting to cover the different types of rest and what that would look like. Helping others can be very stressful and energy draining. It is super important to consider replenishing your energy storage when you start to feel yourself getting low. It is very difficult to help others when you, yourself are not fully functioning.
The 9 Types of Rest:
1. Time Away
2. Permission to not be helpful
3. Something "unproductive"
4. Connection to art and nature
5. Solitude to recharge
6. A break from responsibility
7. Stillness to decompress
8. Safe space
9. Alone time at home
Now, the thing about these types of rest is that they are all very specific to YOU! The only important definition is your own definition and that might look differently from someone else's. Generally speaking, number one is all about being away from the "routine" things in your life, the chance to see new things and take a break from "normal" life. Number two is giving yourself permission to not be involved, if other people in your household are being productive it's the permission you give yourself to not be helpful in every way. Number three is about something you are doing just for you, it can be watching a show, creating some art, playing a game, etc. Number four is all about connection, going to a museum, going on a hike, etc. If you are a person who has a hard time just "sitting still" for a day this might be the best type of rest you can give yourself. Number five is all about being with yourself, maybe that means some meditation or journaling, whatever being with yourself and solitude looks like to you. Number six is a break from all the things you have to do, letting your responsibilities go for a day can be very freeing, a tip for this one to really let go is write down all the responsibilities for the next day so you know you're not missing anything. That way you don't have to keep all those "responsibilities" in your head during your rest day. Number seven is all about stillness, the stillness within and in your environment is very important here, this is another one where meditation or hiking in the stillness can be very restful. Number eight is all about building yourself a safe space, this might mean connecting with people who are going to give you a safe space, it might also mean making that safe space for yourself. And finally, number nine is all about being with yourself, another one where meditation or journaling might really help you take in everything that you are and be at rest and at peace with yourself.
As always, if you need help deciding what type of rest is for you, what these mean for you or even how to let your stressors go for a day feel free to reach out. A balanced life is all about figuring out how much of each piece of your life works for you.
Let's talk about being uncomfortable, I'm not talking about the kind of uncomfortable that is telling you there's something wrong. I'm talking about the kind of uncomfortable you feel after making a decision or going down a path. The kind of discomfort that comes with life choices, difficult conversations, endings and new beginnings.
Now, what does being uncomfortable mean?
It means that there is something you are supposed to pay attention to. There is some lesson or understanding you should have. If you are uncomfortable about something that has happened, ask yourself, "what can I do to make myself comfortable?" Maybe you need to clarify, or ask for what you need, maybe you need to set some clear boundaries, voice an opinion or concern.
When you are uncomfortable with something there is a lesson to be learned. Did you need to speak up? Take up more space? Ask for what you need? Voice a concern? Set up a boundary? Do your morals and values need to be taken into concern?
When you feel discomfort with a situation ask yourself these questions and really think about the answers. Decide what you need and want from the situation, what is your discomfort teaching you about yourself? Remember, we cannot control what others do or don't do, we can only control how we show up, what we bring to the table and how we advocate our own needs.
This week I want to encourage you to take a look at a situation that is giving you discomfort and examine the reason behind it. What small step can you take to make yourself more comfortable with the situation? As always, if you need help working through these questions feel free to reach out to me for a coaching session, I would be more than happy to help!
Let’s talk about “the gap”.
The gap refers to a state of being, you’re not where you were but you’re not where you want to be. Does this sound familiar?
It should! We’ve all been in the gap before. If you haven’t been in the gap then you haven’t lived. The gap shouldn’t be feared, it should be celebrated! It means you’re making progress. Now, the gap may seem scary and dark but in reality there is light, there are moments of happiness, there are things to be grateful for.
when you find yourself in the gap it is best to do these three things:
1. Be Grateful! Everyone has something in their lives to be grateful for, even if it’s simply the breath you take.
2. Feel your success! Being in the gap means you aren’t where you used to be, that is amazing success.
3. Remind yourself of your destination! You are going somewhere, you have a goal, there is something you want to accomplish, if you aren’t there yet, that’s ok! It’s all about the process.
Living in the gap is not a scary thing. It’s something to be celebrated, to be excited for, to enjoy. Doing the three things listed above will help remind you to hold empathy for yourself but also to look ahead, to be excited for the direction you’re headed. Even if your journey is not a straight line, which, let’s be honest, none of them are!
Love your crooked journey for what it’s teaching you.
Alright readers, today we're going to tackle emotional pain versus physical pain. We're going to delve into a bit of research and then talk about some details and tips to help with the mental blocks!
There has been new research conducted by Tor Wager out of the University of Colorado in Boulder that says that although physical and emotional pain share a distinct brain "signature" they do not process these hurts in the same way. After conducting a study with 114 young adults, Wager found that the brains response to physical pain versus emotional pain was different, "there's a pattern of response to physical pain, but [it isn't seen] with emotional pain stimuli at all".
Wager also said that the participants feeling emotional pain did register the distress upon seeing the stimuli so the scans likely recorded current pain, not just pain from the past. What does this mean? "That may be why social pain is so painful: every time you remember it, you feel it all over again and that’s not true for physical pain" Wager says.
Now you might be asking, "what does this mean in my life?" Well, it means your emotional pain is very much as "real" as your physical pain. There is no reason to tell yourself "this doesn't hurt as bad as... breaking an arm, spraining an ankle, getting a concussion, etc. All of those hurts are exactly as painful as your emotional hurts. Possibly even less so, if every time we think of our prior emotional hurt we relive it, it can definitely be more painful and more detrimental to our well being than simply remembering a broken finger we once had.
Now, what are the tips? I'll tell you! When you go through an emotional hurt, no matter what it is, don't discount it! You are allowed to feel that pain, it's good to feel that pain, feeling that pain means you are working through it. When you go through an emotional hurt don't let it define you, feel the pain and hurt then let something come from that pain. Whether it's something creative, some self care, a renewed connection with someone, or simply some time to yourself. We can't go through life letting our emotional hurt control us, for us to move on something has to come of it, feeling productive or successful are some of the best small steps. Even if your success is a tiny one it should be celebrated, which brings us to the last tip, celebrate your wins! If your emotional hurt does start to take over find something small you can do and complete so that you can feel successful and/or productive. You deserve to feel good!
Alright, let's talk about resourcefulness! Most of you probably know what resourcefulness means in relation to having a job; overcoming difficulties easily, finding useful tools/ideas/objects. But what does it mean in relation to ourselves? The actual definition is as follows; having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. It's not "why can't I" it's "how can I". Being resourceful is all about changing your mindset, instead of looking at things and seeing the negative characteristics or pieces of the situation it's about finding the places you could fill in, figuring out what next steps to take to fix the issue, no matter how small. Now the question is, how do we do this?
1. Look for ways to be better.
-Before the crisis happens figure out how to be better, more educated, quicker turn around, etc. That way, you are prepared, constantly evolving and have less of an adverse reaction to the change that comes with overcoming difficulties.
2. Make connections.
-Talk to people, find out who is good at what and create relationships with them. That way, when the difficulty arises you have someone you can call on, someone that can either help you or knows someone else who can.
3. Educate yourself
-Knowledge is half the battle when it comes to being resourceful, when a situation comes up it will be easier to deal with you have knowledge about the topic or situation. You will have a quicker time coming up with a solution if you have the knowledge to back it up.
Resourcefulness is not something you are born with, it is not inherent. It is something you learn to be, it is something you do. A person can become resourceful by working at it. These 3 tips will help you get started on your way to being resourceful!
A little background about Rumi before jumping into the quote we are going to process today. Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet originally from Greater Iran, he was known for his work being transcendent of national and cultural barriers.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Let's break this down a little. I don't know about you but when I read this quote my whole body did a knowing "ohhhh yep" in recognition of how important this work is. Truly acknowledging and understanding our own walls and barriers is one of the most important first steps to truly moving through and processing our own thoughts, feelings, actions and emotions. The beginning of this quote acknowledges the act of knowing that you do not have to seek love, love is already around you, it is already there. You simply have to go within and look for the areas that you find yourself resisting, the areas where you think about doing the work and then go "oh no", those are the areas that are most important. Sometimes it is worth it to work through things on our own and sometimes it is more beneficial to work through things with another, either a friend or professional. Once you have found those barriers to love, the ones you thought were in your way, the next step is to recognize that those barriers are not keeping you from love, love is already there. Those barriers were most likely put there to protect you except now they are no longer serving you, recognize them, acknowledge them and then let them go.
As always, if you or someone you know needs help working through this, finding their barriers to love and taking them down, feel free to contact me to set up a coaching session.
I support individuals who find their lives are unbalanced, whether that's from working too much, having unhealthy relationships with themselves or others, or simply needing more from their lives.