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Doctors that we need!

Here is a list of the 7 doctors that we need in our lives.

I love this list! it was posted on sun-gazing.com I gave this list a good bit of thought before I added it to the blog. I realized that all seven of these things make me feel so much better. They help with depression, anxiety, weight, and my overall being. http://www.facebook.com/sungazing

Think about it, don’t you feel better, happier, and less stressed when you are out in the fresh air and sunshine? I enjoy walking, so I get the exercise, sunshine, and fresh air all at once.

I read a book years ago, Eat Right For Your Blood Type, https://dadamo.com/. When I follow the diet that is right for my blood type, I feel amazing! It’s crazy, but there is a difference. I have more energy and feel less sluggish.

We have heard all of our lives that laughter is the best medicine. And it is!! So laugh today. Get outside in the sun and breath in the fresh air. Walk your dog. Drink some water. Eat how you know that you should and get the rest that you need.

Have a wonderful day!

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I just need me time.

I just need me time. Just 5 minutes alone would be wonderful. The day was stressful. The bills are due and money is low. The dog puked, again and the male cat marked his territory on pictures on my grandfather that just passed away. I need just a few moments to calm down, regroup, and breath.

But the dogs are barking and wanting to go outside. The husband needs to talk about his day and the stress of his job. The youngest is wanting to know what’s for supper and the oldest one is wanting to talk about his girlfriend and moving out. On top of all of that the phone is ringing and my best friend is crying.

I want to scream! What about me? Can I not have just a moment to myself? There is only one of me and so many of you! I feel like a juggler who has to many balls in the air and they are all falling.

Am I alone? Does anyone else ever feel this way? I love my family and my life, but somethings I feel overwhelmed because everyone needs me at the same time. Years ago I would let this get to me and I would end up ill with everyone and everyone would end up with their feelings hurt or mad.

How did I change?

So I changed my way of thinking. I realized that I have been away all day and that they all love me and need my attention. I realized that this is a blessing and I end up smiling in the chaos. After they have had my attention for however long they need it. As a result, I am able to have a little time for me. I have come to understand that I am the foundation of my family. They need me. They need me to listen to them. Once I started looking at it from this angle, I realized that I am blessed to have a family.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-introverts-corner/201406/what-say-when-you-need-some-alone-time

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Women

I love the meaning behind this. In many ways it explains the heart of a women perfectly. Whatever we are given, we will make it greater. Whether it is love, compassion, a house, or a hard time. Women will go out of their way to make more of what we are given.

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Anxiety and Depression

https://beatingtrauma.com/

I would have to say that this is the most accurate description of anxiety and depression that I have seen. Often times you are so tired. It’s more of an emotional tiredness than a physical tiredness. You want to be productive, but either fear of failure or the tiredness stops you. It’s wanting to be with your family and friends, but the thought of being around people makes your anxiety go up and you start to feel overwhelmed. You want to be alone, because it feels safe and you want to feel loved. It’s wanting to close yourself off from everything and everyone and needing a hug from the ones that you love.

People who have never dealt with anxiety and depression don’t understand the constant battle.

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It didn’t happen for a reason

Source https://www.facebook.com/theadversitywithin/

Often times people will tell us that “it happened for a reason” to try to make us feel better. However, sometimes it just pisses us off. When I loved one dies, it happening for a reason, does not make the grief any easier. It belittles our feelings and our grief. The greatest love is also the greatest grief. Share that with someone and let them express their love/grief for the one that they lost.

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Good Grief! The pain of loving our children

Clair adopted Jane as a baby. Clair never had any other children and relished pouring all her mothering into Jane. Clair did everything “right;” sent Jane to all the best schools, fed her all the healthy foods, exposed her to all the right people, and provided her with all the love and care she possibly could.

Even so, Clair never felt fully connected to Jane. Jane seemed odd and distant. Clair got Jane the best psychological care she could find and continued to raise Jane with all the love in her heart.

Jane found alcohol in her early adulthood and plunged head first into a life of substances. She married a few times and had a few kids. She smoked weed and drank alcohol everyday. Jane blamed Clair for her problems while refusing help that Clair offered.

Clair came to me originally because she didn’t want to feel the pain caused by her relationship with Jane. We worked through finding Clair’s intent and only taking responsibility for that. We practiced Clair speaking her truth with conviction while keeping her intent at the center of her mind.

Clair became proficient at recognizing the difference between what she can control and what she can’t. Clair realized that she cannot control how her daughter hears or responds to the love and care that she offers. She recognized that she cannot make her daughter feel better.

Shortly after learning and practicing this skill, her daughter was driving drunk and had a terrible accident. Jane had a brain injury and broken bones and had to learn to swallow, speak, and walk again. After 6 weeks in the ICU and a grueling decision about whether or not to take Jane off life support, Jane’s doctors took her off some of her medications and Jane began to improve.

Clair took Jane home from the hospital, and as mothers do, Clair reorganized her entire life around caring for Jane. Jane still wanted nothing to do with Clair and refused any help that Clair offered, unless it was cash money. After only two weeks of being home, Jane left and went back to an abusive boyfriend, drinking, and smoking; leaving Clair to pick up the pieces of her broken heart.

We love our children like no one else in our lives. If you never have children, this kind of love is impossible to fathom. We don’t even know it exists until we have a child of our own. Parental love is unconditional and it doesn’t exist anywhere else. Unfortunately our children don’t always love us unconditionally. And that imbalance can be extremely painful.

The pain the Clair would feel when thinking about Jane was emotional and physical. Clair’s body would react to her grief by clenching her throat and stomach. Her breath would catch and her shoulders would seize. Sometimes it felt as though the love she felt for her daughter was strong enough to kill her. Sometimes, in the dark moments, she even wished she would die.

We are at the beginning of this new wave of grief that Clair is experiencing. She will need time to talk about it and sort through the different parts of herself: the part that is angry, the part that is sad, the part that is resentful, and the part that will always, without question or reservation, love Jane unconditionally.

We will get through this together and Clair will feel less heart ache as she works through her grief. It’s good grief because the love we feel is worth all the pain.

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Gut Instinct

What is Gut Instinct?

Gut instinct is defined as:  gut instinct or intuition, is your immediate understanding of something; there’s no need to think it over or get another opinion—you just know. Your intuition arises as a feeling within your body that only you experience. … Because of this, trusting your intuition is the ultimate act of trusting yourself.

But is there a difference in our gut instinct and our intuition? To me, gut instinct is more of our bodies way of telling us something. Our primal wisdom or voice. Our intuition, to me, is more of a connection in our mind or a spiritual wisdom or voice.

Pay Attention to your Gut Feelings!

I believe in paying attention to your gut feeling. Here is one of my stories when I listened to my gut and I was glad I did.

Years ago when I was about 18 or 19 me and my friends hung out in Gainesville on Friday and Saturday nights. This particular night a car went up the road passed the parking lot we were all hanging out in. (Bare in mind this is where every teenager was at that time. We were cruising!) I looked at my boyfriend and I said “we have got to get out of here. That car is going to come back and they have a gun. It’s my gut feelings again.” Luckily, my boyfriend knew how I was with my gut feelings and didn’t ask questions. We jumped into his car and were at the top of the driveway when sure enough the same car drove by on the say side of the street that we were all on and fired they a few shots. No one was hurt.

What Feelings to Listen to.

1 – I am in danger or someone else is in danger. When you “feel” that you are in danger or someone else is in danger, listen to your body. Your primal voice is telling you something. Your body knows something that your mind doesn’t yet.

2 – This is not the right choice for me. Sometimes you don’t know why something is wrong for you, you just feel it. Listen, and take time. If it is the wrong choice you will be glad. If for some reason it is the right choice then it will come back around to you.

3 – I need help. This one, to me, can be a wide range of ways that we need help. This can be when you feel like you are in danger, when you are sick, or when you feel that you need help and need to talk to a therapist. There are times when we simply feel that something is off with our bodies, and we need to seek help.

This link https://lonerwolf.com/gut-instincts/ has a list of 7 gut feelings that should not be ignored.

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National Find A Rainbow Day

April 3rd is National Find A Rainbow Day. https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/find-a-rainbow-day/

Why do we have a day for Rainbows?

The objective of this day was to bring out the awareness of the colors and above all the world is full of beauty and colors. This is the idea behind a day devoted to rainbows, because you can‘t help smiling when you see the bright, cheery bands of color.

What are Rainbows?

 Rainbows Are Optical Illusions. Similar to a mirage, a rainbow is formed when light rays bend, creating an effect that is visible, but not able to be touched or approached. For rainbows, light is reflected and refracted through water droplets, separating white light into the seven colors of the spectrum.

What do Rainbows mean?

Many cultures believe that rainbows are a symbol of hope, promise, encouragement, good fortune, and new beginnings. For some reason we see rainbows as a “sign” that they have been looking for. Sometimes they see it as a sign for a change (new beginning). Some people believe that a rainbow is a loved one saying hello or smiling down on them.

https://paranormal.lovetoknow.com/about-paranormal/spiritual-meaning-rainbow

To me, rainbows are the promise after the storm. After a storm in my life, or a long, hard struggle, I often see a rainbow. It fills me with hope that better days are coming my way. They fill me with encouragement that I am a survivor. Rainbows remind me of God’s promises and love.

When I see a rainbow I feel loved. I get a sense of warmth and I always smile. I don’t feel lonely when I see a rainbow and I often find myself saying hello to someone that is no longer here with me.

What do you believe rainbows mean? How do they make you feel inside? Do they make you smile? Let’s go out and find a Rainbow Today!

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Seeking Therapy

Remember seeking therapy means that you are working on you! You are working on being the best version of yourself.

https://www.facebook.com/cptsdandme/

There are times when all of us need to work through something. Sometimes we just need to work on ourselves. There is no shame in talking to a therapist. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you, it just means that you are a work in progress. But, hey aren’t we all!

Check out SkyeHelps facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/skyehelps

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Spring – Rebirth – Growth – Changing Me!

I love Spring!  My allergies hate it.  But there is something magical about seeing mother earth wake up and the plants, trees, and flowers being reborn.  There is something enchanting about watching the honey bees dance and birds playing and singing in the trees. 

Spring, to me, is all about rebirth and growth.  I do not make New Year’s Resolutions, I tend to make my changes (to me) in the Spring. This is when my heart is full.  Changes do not have to be big, I don’t plan on losing 20 pounds before bathing suit season.  No, my changes are small and heartfelt.  My changes are changes for me, about me, and better me.

A few of my changes.

Here are some changes that I am trying and doing that I would love to share with you.

1 – I have fallen in love with yoga!  I can have an hour with quiet time, learning my body, stretching my body, and focusing on me.  I get to re-center myself. https://www.facebook.com/yogaroad.withblair/

2 – With warm weather, I am walking the trails, roads, and parks again!  Fresh air fills my lungs, birds sing to me.  I can think and sort out problems.  This is when I can make a plan. I also get to meet people and pet amazing dogs. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/georgia/lake-zwerner-aka-yahoola-creek-reservoir–2

3 – Teas!  I know this one may sound a little crazy, but I have discovered hot teas and cold teas.  (I’m used to Lipton sweet tea)  I am loving our little tea shop by our office.  I have tried four different teas now (without sugar or sweetener) and they are better than my sweet tea.  https://www.myvintagegypsyteas.com/

4 – New skincare treatment.  Yup, today I went and updated my skincare routine and got new products.  Sadly, in 2020 I did not take care of me or my skin.  Right now I have a healthy glow and I feel beautiful.  

5 – I cleaned out my closet!  I got rid of clothes that I do not like, that do not fit, and that I have not worn in a year or more.  Why do I keep that shirt thinking I’ll wear it one day when I haven’t worn it in a year? That thing has got to go!

6 –   I am taking the advice of prior posts! Yup, I am taking my own advice.  I am protecting my energy.  There are calls that I am not answering.  I am telling people what I want and need. ( they can’t read my mind).  I am following my dreams even when others want to rain on them and discourage me. I am taking time to be alone.

7 – I am learning and practicing positive self talk. (More on this later).  I am paying attention to my thoughts and when I realize that I am using negative self talk, I acknowledge it, and change it.  https://cynthiakane.com/how-to-communicate-like-a-buddhist/

8 – Letting go of guilt.  Wow, this is a hard one to do.  But, I feel guilty about things that I literally have no control over and had/have nothing to do with.  I am changing and I won’t allow myself to feel guilty with my positive changes if that means leaving someone who is toxic behind.  (Before I would feel guilty for not being friends with someone even when I knew that they were toxic for me).

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7 Common Expressions of Self-Talk

Overreaction

1 – Overreaction – is negative self- talk such as “Everything is wrong” or “everything is awful” According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with overreaction are “Everything is….. Every time I….. This is the wrong thing……”

I thought about when I use overreaction negative self-talk. Mine usually is directed towards my eating habits and exercising habits. One great example was just the other day, for the past few weeks I had been really focusing on what I was putting into my body. I was eating better and was cutting out the sweet tea. Then BAM I ate the large peanut butter cookie with fudge drizzle from the sandwich and bakery shop. After I ate the cookie the voice in my head said “well stupid, you just ruined everything that you worked for the last few weeks.

In reality, that one cookie didn’t undo EVERYTHING I had been working on. It was a setback. Or, maybe I deserved that one cookie! The next meal I was on track again.

Personalization

2 – Personalization – is the negative self-talk taking responsibility for everything or the situation at hand. According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with personalization are “It’s my fault that… I’m responsible for…”

I feel like as a wife, mother, and employee, I use this negative self-talk a lot. I use it on large and small scales, anything from being late to family arguments. One that came to my mind was my oldest son missing an appointment. I told myself that it was all my fault that he missed it because I didn’t call and remind him an hour or so before. I felt back all day and I owned that responsibility.

When I step back and look at the situation I know that it was not my fault. First off my son is an adult. Secondly, it was on the family calendar. Third, I reminded him of it the week before, the day before, and sent him a text that morning.

Absolute Language

3 – Absolute language– is the negative self-talk when we allow ourselves to take a description and make it apart of who we are. According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with personalization are “I am… I am not…”

I think we have all said to ourselves, “I’m not good enough” or I am fat.” Others that I say are “I am ugly” “I am dumb” “I’m not enough.” We need to look at it and express it to ourselves in different ways. I am not dumb, but sometimes I simply do not have the answer. I can however, look it up and find it.

Assumption

4 – Assumption – is the negative self- talk when we assume that we know what someone else is thinking and it is a negative thoughts in regards to us. According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with personalization are “They think… They feel… They did this/that because.

Holy cow!! Man I am GREAT at assuming. My husband and I have really had to work on assumptions in our marriage. (and we have had to learn how to talk to each other.) Just yesterday my husband woke up grumpy (he works nights). He was quiet, reserved, gave short answers, you name. So may assumptions went wild. He is mad at me. I have done something wrong. He doesn’t want to be here. I forgot something. What did I say?

When I finally asked him what was wrong, he told me that he had gotten to bed late and was tired. his back was also hurting him and had been hurting him all day.

Expectation

5 – Expectation – is the negative self-talk when we don’t look at what we have achieved only at the higher expectation that we set. According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with personalization are “This isn’t how I wanted it… I am supposed to be… This isn’t how its supposed to be…”

I use my oldest son as an example on this one. He is 22, works a full time job, pays his bills, has a lovely girlfriend, great friends, and he still lives at home. He doesn’t look at all he has accomplished already, but he says I’m supposed to be out on my own by now. I shouldn’t be living at home. We have to stop him and make him look at what he has and what he does. He has many years to live out of his own, but he can take advantage of being at home and saving money so he can move out down the road.

Comparison

6 – Comparison – is the negative self-talk that we don’t measure up. According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with personalization are “I wish I could be… Their life looks better than mine…They have way more that I do…They always look so put together.”

I experienced this one yesterday. I went to see a friend who sells skincare products. She is beautiful, young, energetic, and always put together. She looks like she wakes up and can be on the cover of a magazine. Oh and she is amazingly sweet!! It is every easy for me to compare myself (in a negative way) to her. I am not as young, energetic, or beautiful. And most days I am far from put together. So I can feel inadequate to her.

As we were talking and laughing she admitted that she was a little jealous of me because I have great skin. She went on to say that she wished she had skin like mine. Image my surprise when the one I compared myself to was comparing herself to me.

Regret

7 – Regret – is the negative self-talk is simply beating ourselves up over things we did or didn’t do in our past. According to Cynthia Kane the catchphrases with personalization are “I never should have done… That will haunt me for the rest of my life… If that had never happened, I would be…”

One of my biggest regrets is not finishing college when I was just out of high school. I have said, “If you stayed in school, you would not be broke now.” (which by the way has regret and expectations.) Paying for my Master’s as an adult is difficult, but when I think about who I was and who I am now, I realize that I am on the right path now. Back then I don’t think that I would have made the right choice in my education and career.

Where to find it

If you want more information on how to silence your negative self-talk and exercises to practice, click on the link below. The book that I am currently reading and learning from is Talk to Yourself Like A Buddhist.

https://cynthiakane.com/how-to-communicate-like-a-buddhist/

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Spring!!

Since the Daffodils are in full bloom, I thought this was a good Poem to start the day. I hope everyone wears their crown today.

THE DAFFODILS

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, 1770 – 1850

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/poetry/chapter/1-poems-about-spring-renewal-rebirth/

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We Are All Like a Tree.

Our branches:

Like the branches on a tree, our paths, choices, rights, wrongs, decisions, our own negative thoughts about ourselves and mistakes spread out over our lives.  They can cast shadows over us or they can allow the sun to shine in.  But these are things that we can change, like a branch, we can cut them off.  We can change our path or our decisions. We can remove people or cut them out of our lives or allow negative people to stay in and cast shadows over us.

Our trunk: 

Like the trunk of a tree our bodies absorb whatever we allow to enter them.  Positive or negative, good or bad.  We can “feed” it healthy thoughts and feelings or we can “feed” it junk and crap and negative thoughts about ourselves.  But, in the end, we can still “cut down” or change the trunk of our tree.  We can even go as far as to dig up the stump if we cut our tree down.

Our roots: 

Oh but the roots – our true selves!  That’s where the magic is in our tree.  You can’t change or remove all of those roots or our true self.  Think about the root system of a tree, the roots can go for yards and yards. You can’t dig all of the roots up, you just try to cut through them.  Your roots, that’s your true self, that’s who you really are.  The loving person, the compassionate person, the responsible person, the honest person, the nurturing person.  This is the person who cries in Old Yeller, the same person who feels empathy for others and the person (roots / true self) that the world can’t change.  

So embrace your inner tree.  Cut off branches that way you down. Get rid of the branches that don’t like the sun in.  Feed your trunk positive self-talk, healthy thoughts and feelings.  Feed your body all the good stuff.  Let your roots run wild!

 https://blog.tentree.com/10-life-lessons-you-can-learn-from-trees/

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Mindfulness in Minutes

What is mindfulness? We hear so much about it, but do you know what it is? Mindfulness is a type of meditation.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/

It allows you to focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.

Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

Mindfulness can be achieved in just a few minutes. You do not need an hour to meditate. In the book Mindfulness On The Go, author Padraig O’Morain gives wonderful ideas on how to practice mindfulness in just moments and they fit into your busy life. https://www.padraigomorain.com/mindfulness-on-the-go-book/

Some of the benefits of mindfulness are:

– it lowers stress

– it lowers anxiety

– it can lower the risk of depression

– it allows you to handle anger in a different way

– it allows you to handle resentment in a different way

– it allows to you accept things that you can not change

– it can boost your creativity

One exercise that I personally like to do with my son, he just turned 12, when he is feeling overwhelmed and anxious is what I call the rule of 5. He has to close his eyes and tell me 5 things that he can hear while taking deep breaths. He has to tell me things that he smells (this is usually less than 5) and he has to tell me 5 things that he can feel.

Usually the conversation goes something like, “I hear the car passing on the road, the neighbors dog barking, the bird singing, the air/heat just turned on, and my breathing. I smell the simmering pot, I feel my clothes, I feel the air on my skin, I feel the cats fur, I feel my breathing, I feel the blanket…..

By the end of the exercise he is calmer. He is more relaxed. This is just mindfulness. It brings him back to a center and then we can talk about what was going on to cause him the stress in the beginning.

Check out Padriag O’Morain on Twitter talking about mindfulness. https://twitter.com/PadraigOMorain?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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Trauma, Yoga, and Healing

Therapeutic yoga supports your journey of  healing from trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, pain, stress, and other obstacles the we all face in life.   Therapeutic yoga teaches us how to listen to your body and what it is trying to tell you.  You will also learn how to connect your mind,  body, and spirit. https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Body_Keeps_the_Score/vHnZCwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 In chapter 16 of book The Body Keeps The Score the author, http://Bessel van Den Kolk, MD talks about learning how to inhabit your body with yoga. One of the lines in this chapter that struck a cord with me was:

“Yoga is about looking inward instead of outward and listening to my body, and a lot of my survival has been geared around never doing those things. ”

Yoga is a powerful way to learn and apply Mindfulness. Research shows that yoga helps us reconnect our minds with our bodies and get “unstuck” from patterns of anxiety, depression, traumatic memory, or behavioral disorder. Yoga is an Accessible Practice. Everyone can practice yoga, no matter how old or young, mobile or limited, flexible or stiff, active or sedentary. Therapeutic yoga focuses on specific and individual needs. You can do it, no matter where you are starting from. If you’re looking for a way to deepen your recovery, or simply improve your quality of life, yoga is a gentle and effective method. 

If you are interested in more information on  Yoga classes that supports your journey of healing from life’s hardest stuff: trauma, anxiety, depression, grief, pain, etc. link on the link provided. https://www.facebook.com/yogaroad.withblair/ Blair can offer you information on her classes and her teaches techniques. (She is Amazing ya’ll!)

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Random acts of kindness.

When I am having a bad day performing random acts of kindness puts me in a better mood.  It honestly makes me feel better and even makes me smile.  So today’s blog is ideas that you can use for random acts of kindness.  The best part, some of them won’t cost you a dime.

  1. The simplest act of kindness is to SMILE at someone.  Smiles are contagious. You smile at someone and they smile back.  
  2. Hold the door open for someone.
  3. Let someone with a few items go in front of you at the store. 
  4. Give out sincere compliments to people.
  5. Buy someone else’s coffee.
  6. Buy the person’s breakfast behind you in the drive thru line. 
  7. Donate your gently used clothes and toys.
  8. Leave money in a gumball machine for children.
  9. Send someone a card in the mail.
  10. Send someone a gift for no reason.
  11. Leave a large tip for a server who was amazing.
  12. Donate dog/cat food, toys, blankets, or towels to the animal shelter.
  13. Volunteer at the animal shelter.
  14. Leave a sweet note in your child’s or spouse’s lunch.
  15. Put money in someone else’s meter.
  16. Give yourself a compliment.
  17. Plant a tree or flowers.
  18. Volunteer to read to children.
  19. Sing at a nursing home. 
  20. Visit an eldery person in your neighborhood.
  21. Cook dinner for a sick friend or a new mother.
  22. Buy people’s ice cream on a summer day. 
  23. If you own a business, have a bowl of water for dogs that people are walking.
  24. Tell someone a joke.
  25. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  26. Learn CPR.
  27. Help someone who is struggling with their grocery bags.
  28. Buy a gift card and hand it to someone on your way out of the coffee shop.
  29. Leave a coupon next to that item in the grocery store.
  30. Hold the elevator door for someone. 
  31. Send someone flowers, just because.
  32. Mow your neighbors lawn.
  33. Give up your seat on the bus or subway.
  34. Buy from mom and pop stores or buy local.
  35. Leave a positive note inside a library book when you return it. 
  36. Give someone a hug.
  37. If you see someone taking pictures of their family, offer to take one with them in it for them.
  38. Say Thank you and mean it. 
  39. Praise someone in front of their boss or co-workers.
  40. Tell the manager about wonderful service given by a waiter or waitress. 
  41. Donate blood.
  42. Paint rocks with messages and leave them lying about the park for people to find.
  43. Rescue an animal from the shelter. 
  44. Go to a free concert and leave the performer(s) a generous tip. 
  45. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  46. Have a cookout for the neighborhood.
  47. Pay for dessert for the table next to you.
  48. Donate your books to the library. 
  49. Help someone cross the street.
  50. Wave at your neighbors.
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National Hug Your Dog Day

March 10th  is National Hug Your Dog Day.

This is National Hug Your Dog Day!!!  Ok, I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a special day to hug on my fur baby.  I hug and love on them all the time!

 Let’s look at the mental health (and physical health) benefits to having a dog. 

Research supports that being around dogs (and cats) puts you in a better mood and offers stress relief.  They cut down on anxiety and depression. 

The actual act of petting a dog can lower your blood pressure. 

Oftentimes, we are more active because of our 4 legged friends.  We find ourselves out for walks, maybe even a jog.  Even if we just take our pooch to the dog park, we are getting vitamin D from the sun and that boosts our moods. 

When we are out in public with our dog, it increases our social interaction.  People are going to smile and we are going to smile back.  People are going to stop and ask to pet your dog and strike up a conversation with you.  In fact, if you walk your dog around the same time daily and in the same area, you are bound to run into the same people. 

Dogs offer us unconditional love and companionship.  They love to greet us when we come home and lavish us with love and affection. They cuddle with us and keep our deepest secrets.  They even warn us of people we should stay away from.  My dog has even been known to wipe away my tears.  

My dogs are my best friends! 

So Hug your Dog Today!

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EMDR

EMDR 

EMDR is Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.  It is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  EMDR therapy requires you to briefly focus on the trauma/event/memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation.  The stimulation is usually side to side eye movement, but it can also be hand tapping. 

With EMDR you are not hypnotized.  You are in control the whole time.  You are first asked to focus on the memory and a negative belief associated with it. Then you follow your providers finger.  You then work towards a positive belief associated with the memory and work your way, away from the negative belief.

The question is, does it work?  YES!!!!!  I was sceptic the first time I ever had an EMDR session.  I didn’t understand how it worked and had my doubts that it would work on me.  It worked! 

Here is my story…..

I was 15 when my uncle committed suicide.   Prior to his suicide, his last words to me were spoken in anger, maybe even rage.  The uncle that I loved and adored, broke my heart.  Then before we could make up, he took his own life.  I had so much guilt.  I felt that I was to blame.  I felt ashamed.  I felt unworthy. I even felt that my family blamed me in some ways.  That was so much for a 15-year-old to carry.  The pain would overwhelm me at times.  When I thought of my uncle, hate and anger surfaced. I felt cold inside. 

For 30 years I carried all those negative feelings with me. I would beat myself up. Can you image how all those negative feelings affected my life and my relationships with others? I never realized that at 15 I had no control over what a 38-year-old man did. 

I ended up seeing Skye at SkyeHelps. I was seeking guidance on how to help my son through a traumatic event that he had recently been through.  In one of my sessions the whole story of my uncle spilled out. At that time, I agreed to EMDR.  If it worked, awesome, if it didn’t, I wasn’t out anything.

When we started, I focused on my uncle and his death. The negative belief was it was all my fault. The positive belief was that he loved me. When I was asked where I felt it, I felt it in my heart.  It was crushing.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I was crying so hard that I could not follow her finger, she tapped my legs for the side to side movement.  I honestly don’t know how long we checked in to see where I was on a scale of 1-7.  I have no idea how long it took for me to get to zero.  What I do know is the end results.

When we were done and I thought of my uncle, I felt warmth.  I felt love.  I smiled.  I felt like he was hugging my and I was happy.  I had no guilt.  I knew that I wasn’t to blame for his actions.  I knew that my family did not blame me.  I had no shame.  All I had was love and warmth. 

30 years of negative feelings are completely gone.  30 years of blaming myself for something that I had no control over, is gone.  If EMDR can do that for me, it can you it for you.

What do you have to lose? Nothing.  What do you have to gain? Everything.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Therapy.

When I was first asked to write about how to get the most out of therapy, I thought that this was way out of my league. Yes, I have been in therapy and I knew what worked for me, but to tell other people what worked, that was another thing. Then I sat back and I thought about it. What if what I thought just made sense, opened someone else’s eyes and helped them during their sessions? So I decided to give it a go.

The first way to get the most out of therapy is to SHOW UP! Yes, we all have days where we don’t want to go. We don’t want to face our issues, our fears, our failures, or ourselves, but that’s what therapy is all about. Therapy will not work if you don’t show up. I have found that the days that I don’t want to go are often a break through day. These are the days that my emotions are running high and I need the outlet. I may not want to talk, but I NEED to talk.

The second way to get the most out of therapy is to communicate with your therapist. Be open. Be honest. They can’t help you if you hold anything back from them. Say whatever you feel. Don’t censor yourself due to fear of being judged. Don’t hold back emotions. Be willing and able to show your emotions. If you feel like you need to cry, cry. It’s ok. If you’re mad, then be mad. The goal is to work through whatever is causing the emotion. Let your therapist know what you need or why you are there. Let them know what you want to talk about. Let them know what’s on your mind. I know this is hard, I’ve been there. I’ve held back and not been open and I only cheated myself. When I open up I get so much out of the session.

The third way to get the most out of therapy is to do the work outside of our sessions. Make a conscious effort to practice what you learned in your session when you are not in a session. If you learned how to change your thinking from negative self talk to positive self talk during your session, then pay attention when you fall back into negative self talk. Think about what you learned and apply it. If your therapist gives you homework, do the homework. It may seem silly, but it is to help you and reinforce what you talked about during your session.

Another thing that is helpful to get the most out of therapy is keeping a journal. Write about how you feel, what you’re doing, what changes you have made, and the progress that you have made. This is a great tool for when you are having a bad day, you can look back and see how far you have already come.

I also recommend setting goals with your therapist. Set small goals, this way you can achieve them in a shorter time. Set long term goals so you have something to focus on. These goals can be something like planning an outing with a friend, having less negative self talk, or whatever you want them to be.

Remember when you are in a therapy session it is your time. It’s all about you for that session. You can make the most of it. You can open up. You can face those demons and fears. This is your time! Embrace it!