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Category: Monday Musings

Mindfulness: Make Each Day Count

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) used worldwide to improve health and enhance wellness defines mindfulness as “Paying attention to the present moment on purpose as if your life depended on it in a non-judgemental way.”  It is slowing our lives down to notice what’s happening as its occurring instead of worrying about the future or  dwelling in the past. Research indicates mindfulness contributes to improved physical health, greater immunity, less pain from chronic health conditions, shorter recovery times from surgery and many other mind-body benefits including… Read more Mindfulness: Make Each Day Count

Living Self-Care: Let’s Succeed Together

Back in January after our first self-care challenge/contest, Mollee Bauer of pregnancy.org called for a self-care revolution. While we agree wholeheartedly, it’s become clear (again) that as women this is a hard change to make.  Likewise, it’s not something that can be achieved in a week or two or done without serious effort and commitment. In our quick-fix culture, it seems that we’d often rather be entertained or distracted than dealing with our emotional health. At Living Self-Care, we want to have fun but we also want to provide  meaningful content which will help… Read more Living Self-Care: Let’s Succeed Together

What Is A Mother?

As we conclude our Mother’s Day Contest/Challenge, here are some final thoughts about what motherhood means.  One of our favorite poems about mother/parenthood is from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, “On Children.”  “Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. .. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.” Another touching  account of motherhood is found… Read more What Is A Mother?

Wait-Watch-Listen

It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of daily life, we often forget that the answers to our problems aren’t instantaneous like a text message.  Because most women are “fixers,”, it’s challenging to wait for the solution to emerge rather than forcing our agenda.  One of the lessons my younger daughter taught me is to take a break when we’re at an impasse rather than pursuing her doggedly which rarely ends well. Along these lines, I’ve been practicing the skills of “wait-watch-listen” to keep myself from overreacting to situations and build confidence… Read more Wait-Watch-Listen

Surviving PPD: The Princess Who Saved Herself

This past weekend, I participated in a training for Mother to Mother, our free volunteer phone support program for pregnant and post-birth moms in Missouri.  One conversation which stood out for me was how surviving postpartum depression (PPD) can help us become stronger and more confident.  Not that anyone would willingly choose this, but sometimes it chooses us.  Experiencing mild depression after my first baby, took me by surprise.  After completing my doctoral degree, getting my psychology license, and seeing 30 clients a week, I thought I could handle anything.  Certainly, motherhood couldn’t be more challenging. … Read more Surviving PPD: The Princess Who Saved Herself

More Spring Cleaning

Here are some additional thoughts on how to renew ourselves and release old, worn thoughts and habits.  Spring cleaning from the inside out. Discover what’s nourishing.  Just as plants need water and sunshine to grow, we need physical, emotional, and spiritual sustenance.  Start with eating healthy foods, getting regular physical activity, sleeping 8-9 hours, and taking breaks for your mind and body.  Do one thing you enjoy daily, whether it’s phoning a friend, listening to music or walking your dog.  Nurture your spirit through prayer, meditation, or communing with nature.  Let go of un-nourishing relationships. … Read more More Spring Cleaning

Spring Is In the Air: Time for Emotional Cleaning

Spring is in the air.   As the days get longer and the weather warms, we feel a growing urge to refresh and renew our lives.  The blossoming season brings with it the opportunity to release what we’ve held on to mentally or emotionally, which no longer fits.  Spring cleaning indeed. Clearing away old beliefs.  Just like our physical space, our minds are often cluttered with wornout beliefs and ideas.  In cognitive therapy, clients learn to monitor their negative beliefs and refute them.  If someone grew up being criticized, they may have the belief “I’m no… Read more Spring Is In the Air: Time for Emotional Cleaning

It’s Okay to Speak Up, Really (Part 3)

Here are the final four steps in assertive communication.  Hopefully, these will  help with both speaking up and listening. Provide clarification.  If the receiver doesn’t understand what you’re saying, clarify it.  However,  just because you say things clearly, doesn’t mean that’s how they’ll be heard.  If problems persist, make certain that you’re communicating openly and non-defensively and suggest resuming the conversation later if you want. Create a new opportunity.  As long as we’re alive, we can have a follow-up or “recovery conversation” when we’re not satisfied with a prior outcome.  First, all parties must agree to this.  Next,… Read more It’s Okay to Speak Up, Really (Part 3)