I’ve decided to add another weekly page to this site. I find so many great reads online that I love to share what’s out there. I have no clue what I might discover each week. It may be an article about recovery. Or possibly one about relationships, family, or parenting. However, it could be as random as learning how OK Go made their Zero Gravity Video (seriously, that looked like they had a great time). Feel free to add articles that you’ve liked in the comment section below. Enjoy!
December 13 2017
Ok, another video instead of a blog. I figure, if you’re going to read something for 10-15 minutes, why not watch a video instead? I had a fellow coworker suggest this video about the difference between men and woman’s brains.
Mark Gungor is an international marriage and family speaker. He uses laughter to help teach principles that will strengthen marriages. However, after watching this video, I’ve come to the conclusion that personality wise, my former spouse and I are flipped. I think I have more of the typical “female” brain whereas she follows more of the masculine traits shown in this video. It’s no wonder men and women have a tough time communicating.
December 6, 2017
I really liked this article about grief that I came across this week called The Geography of Sorrow. A lot of my recovery work I’ve struggled managing my grief. The grief of losing my parents and grandparents. The grief of my divorce. The grief of realizing that my life hasn’t turned out the way I had once imagined it to be.
What I found interesting in this article was that it acknowledged that in our western society “we display a compulsive avoidance of difficult matters and an obsession with distraction. Because we cannot acknowledge our grief, we’re forced to stay on the surface of life.”
If you, my Fledgling, is struggling right now, please realize that grief is the way to burn yourself to the ground and to rise again from the ashes. This is a great article to help us learn how to grieve properly so we can grow from our pain.
November 29, 2017
Time. We always say we need more of it. I wish I could stop time. You know, today I’d like to stop time for 24 hours to catch up on all the books I want to read. Then there’s the next 24 hours I need time stopped so I can watch all those movies and series on TV that I’m missing. And of course I need like a week to stop time to catch up on all the household errands that I just can’t seem to get a hold of.
My life has been one To Do List after another. And it only continues to grow. How do I find balance in life when there is so little time?
With Thanksgiving just around the corner I figured it would be good to share a blog about gratitude. As I reflect on this past year and what I’m grateful for I realize a shift. You see, I used to only express what I was thankful for once a year, on Thanksgiving. There was the tradition of stating “I’m grateful for…” during our sit down family dinners. But those dinners, with my career and the amount of actual dinners the four of us had at the kitchen table, were few and far between. However, this year has been different.
I search daily for grateful things. And I don’t wait until I have to share them with someone else (although that’s always nice to do too), but I share them with me. I still find it takes a lot of mindful work. I believe human nature allows us to focus on the negative as the path of least resistance. However, when I truly see how beautiful life can be, instead of allowing myself to get stuck in the ruts of life, I am more at peace.
Remember, just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean you can’t be grateful today or find thanks on Friday (even if you’re battling Black Friday shopping crowds). Make gratitude a daily routine!
November 15, 2017
A little bit different today than sharing a blog. I will share a Ted Talk. I recommend listening to Emotional First Aid numerous times until the lessons in it become second nature.
We sustain psychological injuries even more often than we do physical ones, injuries like failure or rejection or loneliness. And they can also get worse if we ignore them, and they can impact our lives in dramatic ways. And yet, even though there are scientifically proven techniques we could use to treat these kinds of psychological injuries, we don’t. It doesn’t even occur to us that we should. “Oh, you’re feeling depressed? Just shake it off; it’s all in your head.”
Loneliness creates a deep psychological wound, one that distorts our perceptions and scrambles our thinking. It makes us believe that those around us care much less than they actually do. It make us really afraid to reach out, because why set yourself up for rejection and heartache when your heart is already aching more than you can stand?
By taking action when you’re lonely, by changing your responses to failure, by protecting your self-esteem, by battling negative thinking, you won’t just heal your psychological wounds, you will build emotional resilience, you will thrive.
November 8, 2017
I had a friend send me this post about Successful Relationships and absolutely loved it. The post is a little long, yet very thorough. I truly wish there were required classes in High School and College to teach the importance of relationships and how to make them work. I understand we need to learn by experience and sometimes the only way to truly grow is to rise up from the ashes, yet, if we could get it right the first time, maybe we could alleviate some of the shrapnel our kids end up with when our relationships become destructive.
Out of the hundreds of analogies I saw these past few weeks, one stuck with me. A nurse emailed saying that she used to work with a lot of geriatric patients. And one day she was talking to a man in his late-80s about marriage and why his had lasted so long. The man said something like, “relationships exist as waves, people need to learn how to ride them.” Upon asking him to explain, he said that, like the ocean, there are constant waves of emotion going on within a relationship, ups and downs—some waves last for hours, some last for months or even years. The key is understanding that few of those waves have anything to do with the quality of the relationship—people lose jobs, family members die, couples relocate, switch careers, make a lot of money, lose a lot of money. Your job as a committed partner is to simply ride the waves with the person you love, regardless of where they go. Because ultimately, none of these waves last. And you simply end up with each other.
I used to complain about the “ebbs and flows” of my marriage. Instead of riding the waves, I fought them. If you are struggling in a marriage, want to improve your relationship, in a new relationship, or single and want to take a step for your future in the right direction, please read Mark Manson’s Relationship Advice.
November 1, 2017
If you’re looking for a fun, cooking website, Savorbang is the place to go. See, most websites with recipes tell you how good the food is and how the kids gobbled it all up with no complaints (a big feat mind you), but they all kind of sound the same. And, if you’re like me, I’ll search for recipe ideas with the ingredients I have on hand. What can I make with left over [insert food item here]? Yes, I need to make a “new” meal every time because my girls refuse to eat “leftovers”.
However, if I want a little more flavor, and I’m not talking just about the flavor on my tastebuds, but the flavor of stimulating the brain, I’ll see what Sarah has to offer. She calls it Luscious Witty Food. Every dish of hers has a story. And every story kind of goes in a direction I would never have thought possible. Her blog is off the wall, sometimes controversial, entertaining and slowly gets the salvia glands activated so by the end of the reading you can’t wait to jump into the kitchen. Feel free to post your favorite recipes in the comments below.
October 25, 2017
I shared this blog with a fellow friend yesterday. This is one of my all time favorite stories I’ve read, so I thought I’d share it with all of you.
Read her books! Jenny is fiercely open and vulnerable about her life and her personal struggles with depression and anxiety disorder. If she can overcome adversity, we all can.
October 18, 2017
Due to the fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, this past week has been a week of processing my own fears and personal trauma triggers. Whenever I’m struggling over negative emotions, my therapist always asks me, “what are the gifts of that emotion?” And, many times, it’s hard for me to find gifts when I am in the depths of anxiety, fear, or anger. I know it’s important to work on changing my story to help me manage my feelings, but sometimes I just get stuck. Yes, I am human!
I like Karla McLaren’s website that explains emotions on a deeper level. She teaches how to take a toxic emotion “that’s a total drag and turn it into an asset.”
“First, you learn what the emotion is supposed to do and what message it carries. I find that when people know what their emotion is asking of them, they have a much easier time working with it. For instance, if you know that anger is about boundaries, you can look at an overabundance (or lack) of anger and re-frame the entire situation in terms of how you set (or ignore) boundaries. When you know what emotions are for, it’s a heck of a lot easier to work with them.”
This week I worked on finding the gifts and understanding anxiety, fear, and panic/terror. Through my recovery (and the research from my last few blogs) I’m aware that even though I “cognitively” understand my fear, I had pieces that were related to trauma triggers. Not only was I working on meditation, tapping, and prayer, but I needed to also see my therapist for an EMDR session to help process those triggers and help bring me back to ground. Interestingly, this was what I had planned to discuss in my next blog entries. The universe works in mysterious ways.
If you want to learn about different emotions, empathy, and/or empathetic mindfulness skills, the first page to go to on Laura McLaren’s website is: Start Here. Hopefully, you too can find some nuggets that can help when you are struggling.
October 11, 2017
I wanted to share blogs on my Wednesday posts, but with the raging fires over Northern California and the thousands of people who have been displaced, I’ve decided to share an email I received a couple of days ago and a Facebook post.
My heart and prayers goes out to the families who have lost their homes. I pray that those missing will be reconnected with their loved ones. And I pray that as a community everyone can come Together, “make lemonade,” and Heal.
October 4, 2017
“If you judge how lovable you are based on reflections from someone who cannot love without hurt, you will have a distorted and inaccurate view of yourself as a loving and lovable person.”
The title of this blog, Why is it So Easy to Hurt the Ones We Love, peaked my curiosity due to my past behaviors. I have learned that the things that bother us about others, what we complain about most, are deep unhealed wounds within ourselves. We are looking at our own reflections.
I hadn’t thought about taking this theory one step further. As Steven Stosny, Ph.D. states, “I’m convinced that we use resentment and anger to punish loved ones, not so much for their behavior, as for our own painful reflections in the mirror of love. We want to attack the mirror because we don’t like the reflection.”
It was easier to attack the mirror, blaming and hurting my former spouse, than it was to see that I needed to work on my own issues and my own pain. “The mirror of love generates energy when it reflects value, just as it depletes energy when it doesn’t.” I depleted a lot of energy in my marriage, not only in my addiction, but through my recovery too.
I’m grateful for separation and divorce to force me to look inward. That’s what I needed to start this process, but I’m grateful I’m learning not only not to attack the mirror, but not to continue to attack myself.
“To improve this cycle, stop viewing emotional pain as a punishment inflicted by someone else. Instead, learn to act on it as an internal motivation to heal, correct, and improve. This leads to deeper self-compassion and puts you more in touch with your deepest values, which will inspire more compassion for one another. You can love without hurt, but only if you use pain as a signal to heal and improve, rather than punish.”
Please take this time to look inward and learn to love yourself. Only then can we truly love another.
September 27, 2017
As I was looking for a blog to post, I found a collection of daily blogs by Kelly Babcock on Psych Central who shares the joys of life to counter the negativity that threatens to always overwhelm us.
“I love the rusty gate hinge sounds that the blue jays make this time of year, the cheery calls of the chickadees, and the always mournful tones of the mourning doves.”
“I love the softness of Autumn’s approach, as if she knows we cannot take the sudden onset of harsher weather. I love her caring ways as she puts the weakened earth gently to bed to rest through the cold, clean night of winter and ready itself to spring back into life fully recharged.”
I love how he ends each blog with: Today I love drinking my coffee in…
September 20, 2017
My former spouse and I both chose an old scale from my grandparent’s estate when my grandmother had passed; the meaning was to remind us to have balance in life. Through recovery I have found that while balance is important, harmony is what we need to strive for.
“Consider the definition of harmony – “a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.” Work-life harmony is rooted in an integrated and holistic approach to life where work and play blend together in combinations unique to each individual.”
“Achieving work-life harmony isn’t easy. It involves trial and error, learning what works and what doesn’t. There is constant assessment and re-calibration of how you’re investing your time and energy, but the payoff is less stress, peace of mind, and increased devotion and passion toward all you do in life.”
September 13, 2017
What act of kindness have you done today? Have you been the recipient of kindness from someone else?
“While it’s true that kindness engenders kindness, the lack of it can be a powerful teacher.”
“That woman gave me a great gift. She reminded me that we all have a choice to be kind, and we are presented with that choice many times a day.”
September 6, 2017
This is something I’ve had to work really hard to change: Defensive Listening. It has been second nature for me to automatically see any critique or complaint, especially something from my former spouse, as a personal attack on my character. Like the spark of a fire, I would easily explode into defending myself, many times at the expense of someone else.
I read/listened to Brene Brown’s blog Recognizing Our Defensive Listening which made me dig a little deeper into learning about how to listen to understand instead of defending oneself.
I highly recommend taking the time to read these two articles:
“As Dr. David Schnarch puts it, “Emotionally committed relationships respond better when each partner controls, confronts, soothes, and mobilizes himself/herself.” This is because the more partners can regulate their own emotions, the more stable the relationship becomes.”
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech that you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce.
August 30, 2017
The idea to share a blog came to me the other day when I read an article posted by Angelia Griffen, better known to the world as The Pilot Life Wife. I really enjoy, not only her blogs, but the Facebook community she’s created. Two days ago she posted a blog on her Facebook page from another site she writes on. The Good Thing Harvey Washed Away is an amazing piece about strength, resilience, courage, and love.
“Do it now–in honor of Texans, love your neighbor fiercely today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter.”
“And Texans, I beg you to remember this day every time you gaze upon your neighbor. If you would go to any lengths to save them today, then let’s go to every length to love them for endless tomorrows.”
Life is all about loving yourself and loving others. My heart and prayers goes out to all Texans. May you rise from the ashes of destruction and become reborn.
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