Have you ever felt stuck? If you've ever been unable to figure things out and known that you don't have the answers, have you ever said anything like this to yourself...
“I want to change my life but I have no idea what to do. Plus I’m scared. I’m afraid I’ll never be happy/where I want to be in life/balanced/fulfilled.
I don’t have a clue how to get what I want and I don’t even think I can have it.
If you’ve had these thoughts, you’re not alone.
It’s hard to say this kind of stuff out loud.
And…sometimes people go into self-blame mode and feel even worse and then say something like…what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I figure this out? Will I ever get to be happy?
The reason is that it’s hard.
It’s hard when you feel stuck to get yourself out of that mode. I know because I’ve been there so many times.
But we don’t have...
Let’s face it. Life isn’t easy. It’s tough and gutwrenching at times. And we can easily feel overwhelmed. Plus we live in a world that’s chaotic, violent, unpredictable, scary, and more than our brains can handle.
This is why I encourage everyone to reach out and get help when they need it. I’ve been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 30 years and I’ve also been a life coach for 17 years. I love both of these ways of helping people, but they are very different.
If you're struggling in some way right now, or life isn't what you hoped it would be and you're not sure what to do, you may not know exactly what you need.
Therapy and coaching are not the same. It's important to know the difference so you can make the best choice for yourself. To help you to do this here is some guidance on how to know if you need a coach or a therapist.
Therapists, also known as mental health...
2006 on my way to Europe
There was a time in my life when I was fed up, burned out, and stressed. I didn’t really like how my life was going and I was way too busy to figure out what to do about it.
I was working as a psychotherapist in a clinic with children and their families. It was hard, challenging, and emotionally draining work. I’d been at this clinic for eight years and I felt like I made a difference in the lives of the children and their parents. But there was a cost.
Somewhere along the line, I began dreading getting up day after day, driving 30 miles to work in traffic. Some days it was hard to walk in the door because I was already tired.
Even though I felt like I was helping children and I worked with wonderful colleagues who supported each other, I kept hearing that nagging voice inside me say, “you're not doing what you love and this job doesn't really bring you joy.”
I was afraid to let...
I've been privileged to be a mother and now a grandmother. My story may sound familiar and it might sound strange but I tell it to emphasize how mothers can learn so much about themselves and the surprises that happen along the way.
This photo was taken a few years ago when my first two granddaughters were babies. I treasure these very special moments with them.
When I was a little girl, I didn't think about becoming a mother, I just played with dolls and assumed I'd be a mother one day.
The moment I held my firstborn son in my arms, I knew something inside of me radically shifted forever. It was as if fairy dust had been sprinkled over me as I completely and unforgivably fell in love.
Andrew was big ...9 pounds and 4 oz. The labor was rough but I was determined to have this baby naturally. And I did. In fact, when it came time to push, I heard the doctor say, “we're going to have to use...
Writing morning pages is a simple practice that can be an added benefit to not only your morning routine but your day as well.
Julia Cameron, author, and artist, wrote a book called The Artist Way back in 1992. In it, she encourages the reader to write morning pages... three pages of free-flowing thought by longhand.
You are probably thinking, isn’t that journaling? Yes, yes, it is. However, morning pages are done first thing in the morning, and without any premeditation as to what will be written. Mrs. Cameron suggests that we write 3 pages without stopping.
I wrote morning pages without fail for two years straight. And it was a beautiful, insightful ritual that allowed me to start my day and delve deeper into my thoughts and desires as I navigated a huge transition period in my life.
The benefits of this practice are vast. The process will allow you to clear the revolving ideas from your mind, open up to new ways of...
Today is Earth Day!
As you probably know, Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues and the holiday is now a global celebration.
1 billion people on the planet will be celebrating.
What could be more important than taking the day (or the week) to celebrate our earth?
Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Gaia…whatever your name for our planet is,
Let’s honor our planet today.
I’m thinking back today on how I learned to love the earth and nature.
Growing up, I spent every weekend at my grandparent's farm in rural Georgia.
My sister and I built playhouses outside around the farmhouse, free to roam and play outside all day.
We fished in the pond. We walked barefoot on dusty roads, and we rode on the tailgate of my grandfather's truck singing and without a care in the world.
My grandmother had a huge garden, growing all the vegetables for...
I was living in Okinawa, Japan working on a Marine Corps base as a psychotherapist. Our work was demanding and stressful.
Right away, I realized that if I was going to make it, I'd have to do something different than getting worked up over the frustrating and unnecessary hoops we had to deal with.
So every morning as I got in my car and drove away from my home, I started thinking of the things that WERE going right. I started a list of 10 things in my head I was grateful for.
It became a ritual. I'd drive by the ocean on the way to work (which was enough to be grateful in itself) and say 10 things I was grateful for. By the time I drove through the security gate at the base, I was grounded and ready to go to work to help the Marines I was there to help.
Later I started writing those 10 things in my journal every day, and since then I've discovered many things about keeping a gratitude journal since...
It might surprise you to hear that one of the best ways to cultivate a hopeful, optimistic outlook is to practice some radical self-compassion.
Frequently people confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence or even selfishness. But being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others, if not more so.
Being kind to yourself means you can stop that vicious cycle of self-blame and recrimination. It prevents you from ruminating on past mistakes and builds your resilience and confidence so you can pick yourself up and get back on track.
When you are kind and encouraging to yourself, your anxiety levels drop, your mood lifts, and you become more optimistic and hopeful about the future.
Perhaps the best way to start your self-compassion practice is to adopt a more mindful attitude to life. Mindfulness focuses on the acceptance of who you are, and where you...
I was raised by a very strong mother and an even stronger grandmother. They did everything. My mother ran a business with my father, took care of him after he had a nervous breakdown, paid the bills, and parented the kids pretty much on her own.
I don’t remember seeing her take a break except when she worked in our backyard, growing flowers or planting cuttings from someone else’s garden. She was ALWAYS busy.
Her mother, my grandmother, was equally busy but she had a different style.
As a farmer's wife, "MaMa,"(as we lovingly called her) milked the cow, churned butter, washed clothes for our family, prepared special meals for my grandfather, and always baked a cake on the weekend for Sunday "dinner" as well as cooking a huge spread for the whole family.
In addition to each full day, she would drive over to her sister-in-law's house. Aunt Angie was bedridden with rheumatoid arthritis and MaMa would drive to her house to take her a meal, cut her...
When it comes to working on self-care, all of us have different aspects of ourselves that we aren’t fully aware of. It could be personality traits, feelings, or actions.
These blind spots can really hamper our self-care efforts. This is why it's so important to become fully aware of them. Let's look at some of the most common blind spots you may discover with making sure your self-care is in place.
A lot of people hate conflict, but sometimes it's needed to resolve situations. If you tend to avoid conflict, it means you’ll often do or say things you don’t necessarily agree with. This is a common blind spot that can really derail your self-care efforts.
The trouble is, when you give in to others just to avoid conflict, it reduces your credibility. You’ll also find you are frequently miserable due to not standing firm in your own beliefs and values. So, if your blind spot is avoiding conflict, it’s important to address...
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.