Archive for the ‘self help’ Category

When I am Happiest

March 16, 2009

 

I’m happiest when I’m creating. I am totally present. It feels like God flows right through me. Peace and energy simultaneously! What could be better than that??? Pure joy! I honestly feel that both physical and spiritual healing continue to take place in me, the more I allow my creativity free reign. Poetry, jewelry designs, decoupage, photography- all of it. I’m working on a new jewelry design which i will show you later. I went to take photos of what i’ve done to show you guys but my battery was dead on my new camera ūüė¶

Anyway, just thought I’d share a happy mood for a change. ¬†By the way, the photo is not me but my sister and dearest friend, who shares my joy as described here…she’s an incredible mixed media artist so we are starting a business together. God I love her.

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Constructive Criticism

January 22, 2009

peanuts-higher-criticismYou know you’ve been hit when you feel ¬†stung, shot right between the eyes, express hurt, and the shooter retorts: “What’s the matter? I was just giving you a little constructive criticism!” This is their defense posture because now they’re feeling criticized by your reaction to their criticism. ¬†It’s supposed to mean they were ¬†“only trying to help you”. ¬†

In the first place, if you’d wanted their opinion you would have asked for it. These people have never learned the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” ¬†Worse yet, these are often the very same people who once taught us this very thing, but they think that because they’re our parents they somehow have an exemption.

Criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone based on perceived faults in them or their behavior. So constructive criticism is an oxymoron.

Destructive Criticism :

That haircut makes your face look chubby, dear.

Didn’t anyone ever teach you not to make disgusting noises when you eat, sweetheart?

Have you noticed that your gut is beginning to hang over your belt?

Honey, no offense but you sing like a baboon.

When are you going to learn that not everyone is interested in your long, boring stories? 

You really over indulge that child.

You’d better stop feeding her so much or she’s going to turn into a whale.

When I raised my son he got his underwear ironed.

Why are you wearing so much makeup? Did they have a sale down at Macy’s?

Most of us have been victims of such remarks at one time or another. ¬†But you don’t have to stay a victim. You can have an a ready response in your arsenal should a shooter appear disguised as a friend or loved one.

The obvious one that I started with was “If I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it.” ¬† But that doesn’t fit everyone’s personality style. Others might include:

“Thank you for your kind, gentle, and ¬†sincere help.”

“You can withdraw your fangs now, I get the message.”

“I have a headache tonight. And I’ll have one tomorrow night too.”

“You’re beginning to sound just like my mother.”

You get the idea. Disclaimer: I’m not talking healthy communication responses here. ¬†I’m talking good old fashioned getting even. Because once in a while, lets be honest here, it just feels good to take a shot at the shooter.

Lupus vs Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

December 28, 2008

You know, from what I’ve read, there is much similarity in symptoms of lupus and fibro flares. ¬†I’ve been diagnosed with both, so I find it confusing to know which is which when I’m flaring. My doctor, quite honestly and to his integrity, I might add, also finds it to be confusing.

Would you mind  identifying your diagnosis and symptoms? I will then compile them and make a front page, unifying post out of your comments. Then you, me, and everyone else who suffers from these diseases can benefit from your input.

Thank you.

Even White Girls Get the Blues

December 3, 2008

That title has nothing to do with my post. Its just a play on words of an old book called Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I don’t know…that’s just where my brain went… Anyway, what I really wanted to mention as a P.S. to the Calling All Racial Minorities post about needing more money for lupus research is this:

¬†I specified minorities because that’s the majority of people who get it. But not all. I, for one, am Italian American. ¬†My neighbor who has it is a platinum haired Norwegian American. ¬†Just want to say that all the rest of us need to be heard too.

The end.

CALLING ALL RACIAL MINORITIES! No New Lupus Drug in HALF A CENTURY???!!!!!

December 3, 2008

What does “No New Lupus Drug in 50 Years” mean to you? Do you have lupus? Do you love someone with it? Did you love someone you lost to lupus? ¬†What can you do?

And WHY has there been such a shameful lack of research??? Interesting that the majority of victims are minority women…blacks, Asians, Hispanics…. I can’t help wondering how much faster they’d be moving if the majority of victims were white, upper class men… The YouTube I’ve inserted here talks all about the difficulties of research due to the complexity of the disease and the genetic variations of the patients. But still…you have to wonder…

The Lupus Foundation of America invites you to share your story with Congress. FIGHT for more money for research!

Share photos, personal stories, put faces and details on the stats they don’t even have.

God helps those who help themselves. LET’S ALL DO IT! LET’S FIGHT FOR OURSELVES! Go to the LFA ¬†website (link below) for details on how to make your voice be heard in Congress.

I know I will. ¬†C’mon guys. We are all we have. Lets stick together and do this together. Look what Rosa Parks, one woman, was able to accomplish with a single act.

From the LFA Website:

November 20, 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of the last time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a treatment for lupus. Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) Medical Director Dr. Joan Merrill and LFA Medical-Scientific Advisory Council Chair Dr. Gary Gilkeson discuss this urgent issue and what LFA has been doing to bring down barriers to lupus drug development.

Great Parenting DVD

October 29, 2008

A couple I’m working with blew me away with a DVD they have of a pediatrician who teaches mirroring to young parents. Mirroring is literally just that, imitating the communication of the child so that he or she feels you’re speaking their language. The toddler then ¬†feels understood, and cooperative. ¬†He is Dr. Harvey Karp – the DVD is The¬†Happiest Toddler on the Block.

Among other things he teaches mirroring of facial expressions,¬†body language¬†and sounds. His basic tenet is don’t talk to toddlers like they’re little adults because they’re not; their language skills are far more primal. ¬†You have to literally¬† get down to their level. He also has another one, The¬†Happiest Baby on the Block¬†which I have not yet reviewed.

The results looked startlingly effective to ward off and/or stop tantrums.  His website is www.thehappiestbaby.com. I can tell you one thing for sure. When my kids present me with grandchildren, this will be one of the first gifts I give them.

Here he is in action:

 

The Present for You

October 17, 2008

 

Here is a present for you:

Focus solely on the present below, thinking of nothing else but the image of that present…the colors….the shapes…focus for as long as you can…and then, when you’re ready, open the present and see what you find…

 

 

In ¬†doing this exercise you are already practicing being present…experiencing peace and release from worries about tomorrow.

What did you find when you opened your present?

Staying Present- A Life Lesson

October 14, 2008

Copyright Jupiter Images 2008

“Look not back in anger nor ahead in fear, but think of now with awareness.” Author Unknown¬†

I chose this quote for my high school yearbook. I have no idea how it surfaced through the years to my conscious memory, but wow!  That 18 year old girl must have had some precognition that the quoted lesson  would be one I so needed to eventually learn (and teach my future clients).

¬†And learning it I am. Even more aware of the beauty of nature than I’ve been all my life (if thats posssible),seeing it, smelling it, feeling it on my skin, ¬†melding with it, morphing with it, feeling it in every inch of my body and soul. Its a beautiful autumn here in the northeast…

How long are YOU able to stay in the present moment? Have you thought about that? Have you thought about the fact that when you are TRULY in the present moment you can’t worry or feel anxious because that’s about the future? Are you letting the simple joys of the present moment slip away into tomorrows that may never come?

What are your favorite ways of staying present? Staying in the present is a present you give to yourself.

5 Years From Now Will This Matter?

October 11, 2008

That’s all I have to say regarding whatever you’re so anxious about today…

 

What Do You Do When You Can’t Sleep?

July 10, 2008

Me?  I: 

1. Reach for my laptop.

2. Catch up on reading other people’s blogs.

3. Try to write a post of my own. Can’t. Creativity is still sleeping.

4. Attempt to clean out my mailbox. Realize I have a serious email hoarding problem.

5. Pick up that boring novel I’ve been reading, then wonder why on earth I’m still reading it if its so boring. Do I have to know the ending? Will the world stop if I never find out?¬†

6. Listen to the birds begin their morning chirping and wonder, really cranky now, what on earth there is to to sing about when you’re up at 5:30 a.m. ?

7. Write a silly list like this which actually IS putting me to sleep – and probably you too…

8. Keep pushing because it just feels like there should be ten things here…

9. Notice my two cats snoozing happily at the foot of my bed and, not for the first time, feel jealous of the life of a cat. At least, my¬†pampered cats. Though, on second thought, I wouldn’t want to have to eat their stinky cat food. Ew.

10. Consider learning more about my new mac, which is so easy that its hard, and decide I’d rather be sleeping…

What do YOU do when you can’t sleep? ¬†

Nite all…No, correct that to Good Morning….

Abuse & Disease: A New Spin

July 1, 2008

Chronic illness feels like an abusive relationship. I should know, I was in one. 

I only just made this analogy ¬†yesterday. A friend was talking about a controlling relationship which her daughter, M., ¬†is stuck with until M.’s child turns 18. Every time she gets thru one crisis with the father of her child, who feeds on her angst like a shark feeds on a flailing, tasty human, calm returns and for a while she feels some semblance of normalcy. ¬†

She goes on living as if no further emotional assault will occur, and is truly re-traumatized each and every time. ¬†How could this be happening again????…..the raging powerlessness I know she feels as he uses their child as a pawn between them, a pawn in a game she cannot win.

She will not use Solomon’s sword. He would.

Jump back to me, stuck in bed again¬†with my lupus flare. Like it or not, stuck with it. My body, my life, my work, my marriage, ¬†my family – ¬†all affected by this nasty disease. Assaulted by it. ¬†And I feel powerless, and furious…. so furious…. ¬†a ¬†raging powerlessness in a fight I cannot win. A fight which will probably kill me. An abusive relationship doesn’t get much worse than that.

And then I feel better again, a semblance of normalcy is restored (key word semblance) , until the next assault by the disease.  At which point I feel shocked and traumatized that the flare has flattened me again.  Just like M. feels. 

There’s nothing we can do about it, right?¬†

Wrong, actually. I heard myself advising M.’s mom that M. needs to accept that it is what it is. He will never change. His tactics will never change. I would imagine any boxer would tell you its the punch they didn’t see coming that knocked them out. ¬†So…umm…when are M. and I going to admit to ourselves that she had a child with a power and control freak, and I have a very serious medical condition which does not go away just because I get remissions?¬†

What we both need to do is to see it coming, know its coming, but accept the breaks in between with ¬†the grace, ¬†joy and ¬†wisdom to appreciate the present. ¬†When you know its coming you can have a back up plan. For her it might be disengaging from his game and gathering ¬†the support she needs. Not to detail her victimization but to go out with her friends for a good time, ¬†or treat herself to a day at the spa. It won’t change a blessed thing about the situation, but regardless of whether she suffers or pampers herself while he does his thing- nothing else will change. So since it is what it is, I vote for pampering at such times. Nurturing herself rather than berate herself because she can’t win.

So, as is often the case, in giving my friend advice I gave it to myself. I stopped fighting this flare today and accepted the reality that I need to take a week off from work even though ¬†I HATE canceling clients. I decided to take advantage of the abusive (insert your favorite curse word here) lupus and treat myself. I mean, just because I can’t go to work doesn’t mean I can’t work on my hobbies which I never have enough time for. ¬†I can decoupage, make jewelry, plan craft projects, read, watch movies, all from the comfort of my nice snuggy bed. ¬†It won’t change anything, but…to tell you the truth… I am actually looking forward to my week off now…¬†

It is what it is. ¬†ūüėČ

 

 

Why is Empty Frame/Inner Guidance so Popular?

May 6, 2008

This is one of my highest rated posts, with many searches for it every day, yet no comments are left. Are people finding it to be a disappointment, or or you getting something out of it? Soooooo curious. Thanks.

Internet Addiction Test

May 2, 2008

Are you addicted? Here is a link to a self assessment.

It does give one pause for thought….

 

Couples Clue Phone #5

April 2, 2008

rossetti_dante_gabriel_joli_coeur.jpg

Artist: Dante Gabriel Rosetti

I hate when I hear clients or professionals talking about having to “work at” a sexual relationship. That sounds about as exciting as cleaning the bathroom. Maintaining (or resurrecting) the sexual chemistry in a relationship is an art. Repeat: art. Its about flirting and seduction.¬†

I ask you, does this lovely lady look like she’s working?

10 Ways to Save $ on Food

March 1, 2008

I ran across  this article and thought some could find it helpful:

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/104492/Save-Money-on-Food

Couples Clue Phone #3 by Psychscribe

March 1, 2008

 cluephoneno.jpg

¬†What NOT to say: “Do you wanna go upstairs and fool around?” or “Do you feel like having sex tonight?”¬† Such direct approaches generally yield zip in the bedroom because they’re not exactly a turn on.¬† Better:¬†when you’re feeling amorous, be seductive and romantic. I don’t have to tell you¬†how. You know you¬† remember, and isn’t your partner worth the trouble? Not to mention the money you’ll save on marriage counselors.

Copyright 2008 Psychscribe

Book Review: Fibromyalgia

February 20, 2008

Just passing along a book review I read which sounds good. I hope it helps someone.  Here is the link:

Book Review: First Year Fibromyalgia: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed 

Couples Clue Phone #1 by Psychscribe

February 15, 2008

cluephoneno.jpg

cluphoneNOIntro: I’ve decided to periodically give some very brief tips which may seem obvious to some, but not so to others who are embroiled in a battleground relationship…or at the other end of the spectrum, frozen solid….

¬†Never try to talk your partner out of his or her feelings. Just last night for the umpteenth time a spouse in my office said¬† “But you really shouldn’t feel that way!”¬†This never works because it is logic speaking to emotion.¬† Totally different languages.¬† You may think what you think, but feelings are feelings and the person has a right to them. No one ever talked a person out of how they feel. They may succumb to your logic out of sheer weariness, but trust me the emotion that follows will probably be worse than the one that is now stuffed. Better to try to understand, and¬†express empathy. Your partner will love you for it, and love is what this is supposed to be all about, isn’t it?

Copyright 2008 by Psychscribe

Predictors of Divorce

February 11, 2008

John Gottman, a leading researcher in couples relationships, studied couples over time and came up with what he calls the Four Horsemen. Couples who used these communication styles were more likely to end up in divorce: contempt, criticism, stonewalling, and defensiveness. What he suggests instead is to speak with respect rather than contempt, to complain about something rather than to criticize (attack)  the personal characteristics of the other person, responding to the partner rather than shutting down (stonewalling) and owning some part of the complaint as valid rather than being defensive. If you see yourself here you may want to work on your relationship or seek professional help.

When to Make Love When You’re Not in the Mood

February 7, 2008

In any relationship, there is always a discrepency in desire between partners.¬†¬†Once the infatuation phase is over¬†and the hazy high clears,¬†it also becomes clear that¬†one partner¬†desires more frequency than the other.¬†¬†This usually leads to tension and sometimes escalating conflict between people who otherwise love each other very much. The higher¬†frequency partner can’t understand¬† why the feeling isn’t mutual, and ends up feeling rejected, frustrated, and perhaps inadequate. Must be something wrong with me if she/he doesn’t want me as much.¬† The lower frequency partner feels pressured, frustrated, and also inadequate. It feels like its¬†just never enough. (I am never enough.) It does not have to be this way. Both partners need to understand, again, that there is always a discrepency in desire between two people.

Here is a solution that has worked for my couples: First, never pressure, sulk, or criticize your partner into having sex with you. You may win the battle but you’ll lose the war. Your partner will resent you and feel turned off by the whole thing and want it even less often than before. Second, never have sex to appease your partner or to keep the peace.¬†¬†You will feel used, resentful, and want it even less than before.

What¬†the lower¬†desire¬†partner¬†can do is to¬†freely choose to initiate sex coming from a place of love and¬†desire to¬† meet your partner’s needs.¬†¬†This can only happen in an already loving atmosphere, where there is no sense of coercion or power struggle going on about it.¬† These are the times when you look across the room¬†and feel¬†warmth or affection or just think how lucky you are to have him or her. ¬†So even if you’re not feeling sexual, you give yourself as a gift of love. What often¬†results¬†is that as you¬†start to¬†make love your body responds and you get¬†a way bigger gift than you realized you were offering. ¬†Not only sexual desire and satisfaction, but connection¬†to¬†your partner and more love that you have made. Both physically and emotionally. A win win situation.¬†

How NOT to Have an Affair

February 4, 2008

When you’re starting to feel attracted to someone else, think but don’t act. Analyze what it is that you’re getting from this attraction or flirtation, then go home and ask your partner for it. Is it attention? Say it! Is it some fantasy of wild or unusual sex? Say it! Does this person boost your ego, make you feel special?¬†Tell your partner that’s what you’re needing. ¬†Do you want sex more frequently? Say it!

Then be prepared to listen. That’s right, listen. Find out what your partner needs and wants. Find out why your needs have not been met, and listen with an open mind. Listen to what your part of this¬†disconnect has been.You might be surprised that you both want the very same things, and you’ll be saving yourself and your family from a lot of¬† grief and pain.

Delusions About Love

February 1, 2008
  • Infatuation equals love
  • If it isn’t perfect it wasn’t meant to be
  • Once love dies you can never¬† get it back
  • Chemistry is all that matters
  • There is one true soul mate for everyone
  • Love conquers all
  • If a relationship is tough, it means you have the wrong partner
  • You can’t rekindle passion
  • If you’re really in love you won’t be attracted to other people
  • If you meet the right person you will live happily ever after

This comes from The Truth About Love by Pat Love, Ed.D – What do you think?

What is the Best Thing That Happened to You this Year?

December 27, 2007

I will be thinking of this as I drive to work this morning, and I hope you will give it some thought as well….It occurs to me, as I write this, that we therapists are always harping on how “you make your life happen” and “you are the agent of your own change” and thoughts like that..And they are good ones, to be sure.¬† But sometimes, well, stuff happens as we all know, that we did not cause…bad stuff…today however I’m looking for the best thing that happened, something wonderful that the universe (or God) threw at you….

Psychscribe Quote #7

December 17, 2007

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot