So what labels have you had to deal with in your life? Were you called names by a bully? Taunted with fatso, loser, fag, emo or ditz? Given messages that you weren't good enough or smart enough? Were you defined by your race, skin colour or religion? Black, Indian, Scottish, German? Jehovah Witness, Jewish, Muslim? As soon as I write these things and you read them you probably have associations come to your mind about what those things mean and what kind of people you are likely to meet when you hear those descriptors. But wait.....you haven't met the person yet! The ideas that just went through your mind were taught to you. When you were are born you weren't any of those things. You were just a blank slate with a mind waiting to be filled and a body whose senses brought in the information. You didn't have prejudice. It was all just curiosity based. You felt. You explored. You attached to others and you learned. But you didn't think about a person's weight or skin colour if they were providing you with love. It's time we unlearn the prejudices that we've been taught and get back to being our real authentic selves. Time to stop buying into a culture that promotes judgement and racism. There is an amazing company started right here in Waterloo called 'Unlearn'. It is about learning to remove the barriers that blind us to our authentic selves. unlearn.com I highly recommend that you check it out. Enjoy!
I see lots of people. Lots and lots of people! I love them all. We are all so different and so the same eh? One thing that is fascinating is how some people walk through the door and as soon as they are seated they start crying and others.....well....it's harder for them to figure out what they are feeling about what is going on in their lives. Neither is good or bad, right or wrong......just different. So this blog is about how important it is to be able to figure out what you are feeling because then it gives you information about what you want to do. So if you get in touch with your feelings of being discounted, sad and angry then you might decide to leave that marriage or job.. However, we need to think and give ourselves reality checks about our feelings. If you are feeling discounted, sad and angry and you discover that your husband or employer was distracted because their mother was dying, then you might decide to stay. It's a discipline and a conversation internally to have feelings about your thoughts and thoughts about your feelings. This is the sweet spot where people have difficulty. When people get in touch with their feelings then they sometimes think that it means that what they are experiencing is true. But fantasy can sometimes cloud reality and make a bad situation seem rosier or a rosy situation seem horrific. The trick is to be in touch with both your feelings AND your thoughts and then to focus on what you have control of .....which is yourself .....and make a decision. I hope all of that didn't leave you feeling ......well.....confused!!! Email me if it did. Have a good day!
So this is NOT a New Year's resolution group. This is a 'Living with Intention' group. The difference is that with a New Year's resolutions, people tend to set goals and usually beat themselves up and drop it all together when it doesn't succeed. When you 'Live with Intention', you set up a structure to check in with yourself about the direction you would like your life to trend towards.....knowing that you will veer off course and will need support to stay on course. We will be taking our inspiration from the books 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown and 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron. Please come with your ideas of how you would like to live your life with intention and how the group might support you.
The group will begin on Feb 2nd and will run for 8 weeks to March 22nd. It will be at my office at 163 Binscarth Rd in Kitchener. I will call the City of Kitchener to get special permission so you can park on the road. We will meet from 7-9 pm. The cost is $250. for 8 weeks. Maximum number of people is 10. I hope to see you there!
The Cowardly Lion says "Read what my medal says 'Courage'....Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth?" That was in 1939. And I'm quite sure that we have more people suffering from anxiety disorders now than we ever did then because our society has become flooded with media and the massive amounts of judgement and ridicule that come with it.
It takes courage to deal with anxiety and to develop the skills to make your life different so you don't suffer as much. If it is truly an anxiety disorder then it's not one of those things that goes unnoticed by others, so the feelings of being exposed while your fear hangs out for everyone to see is huge. That is why it is important to remember that it is actually very courageous to face and deal with anxiety. Lately I have been handing out a helpful sheet to people that summarizes very succinctly what you need to remember to calm your anxiety. It's a visual reminder to give yourself a reality check re: how scary the event really is. If it is really and truly scary.....then leave!! Sometimes what people call fear is actually wisdom! If, rationally, you know that it is something that makes you feel anxious but isn't dangerous, then breathe and calm yourself internally. Deep breathing reminds you at a deep physiological level that you are safe and that you are not in 'fight, flight or freeze'. Positive self-talk counteracts the shaming messages going on internally. You can also practice naming things that you can see, hear, and feel in your body so that you remember where you are and that you are an adult who has choices.....even if you might not always like them! For people suffering from anxiety the main skill to be learned is how to feel safe and calm in your body. That is why practices such as yoga, mindfulness and meditation are helpful.
Sorry....no metaphor this week.....just plain ol' useful information! I hope it's helpful.