Back in the day before electricity lit our lives up year round, fall’s longer nights and cooler weather prompted us to move indoors and spend less time engaged in the hubbub of daily life. It was a time of rest and restoration. Harvest was ending and families huddled together preparing for winter’s onset.

Today we’re often too busy to even notice the leaves turning but we can change this. This week, take 15 minutes to go outside in the morning to smell the fall air. Notice the the trees, their leaves, and how effortlessly they let go. If you live in the city, pay attention to how outdoors feels different than last month. Stop to reflect on nature slowing down.

Then choose another day to write down what you’d like to let go of. Put each on a  slip of paper. Maybe it’s guilt over a mistake or pushing yourself too hard. Just write whatever comes up without judging or censoring. At the end of the week, take all you’ve written and burn them one by one, releasing them from your soul. Fall is an excellent time to release the old to make way for the new.

You can also do this with your family/friends. Give each person slips of paper to note what they’re ready to discard and burn them together. Reflect and reconnect with yourself and others, creating space for what you do want to enter your life like the trees shedding their leaves for new growth.

This week’s mantra: “I can shed my outworn beliefs and let go of what’s no longer good for me.”

Something Fun to Start the Week

Guess it’s been a while since we’ve posted. First, we wanted to put up something fun to start the week which my daughter led me to last week. It’s called “Kid President” and it’s on this wonderful site/blog TV called SoulPancake. For everyone who’s a mom, this one’s for you-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ4Rnba85o8. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Next, on a more serious note. This Thursday Oct. 10 is Mental Health Awareness Day and we’re having a blog fest hosted at #ForMiriam-https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-Miriam/696976256999035 dedicated to Miriam Casey the mom who lost her life to mental illness this past week in Washington DC. Perinatal mental health experts across the country will be posting about what we can do to ensure that pregnant and postpartum moms get the treatment they need to get and stay well.

We’re giving mental illness a voice so that women can let go of the stigma and shame they feel to get the help they deserve. Help us out by sharing your comments and posts. Remember, life is filled with joy and sorrow, losses and gains but our connection with each other heals.

Namaste.

Have a Good Day

Today was a good day. It started this morning after a restful night’s sleep and having a warm, soothing cup of Zen tea. I spent some time online, looking for phones for my new office, did laundry, and watched “Income Property” during my excellent lunch of chicken wild rice soup my husband made. Yum.

Then I ran errands, went by my new office and bribed my sister to join me there with a container of my husband’s soup. She said she’d come by a week ago but hadn’t. It was good to have another set of eyes to look at how we’re finishing the space. We had a good laugh about how OCD we can be over furniture positioning, then went on our way.

(All readers who live in and around Saint Louis, are welcome to drop by my new location, the Midwest Mind Body Health Center at 501 N. Lindbergh on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 9-5. Call ahead to make certain we’re in-314-991-5666).

When I got home the sun was shining as I sat on my beautiful front porch sipping my Starbuck’s Pumpkin Latte. Even better, I got to do yoga and meditate outdoors. Finally, my husband Steve and I fixed dinner together and now I’m writing this blog. A fine ending to a good day.

This week, notice what you do that feels good, no matter how small. Remember, most good days are filled with smaller, enjoyable moments. Savoring life’s goodness decreases stress and improves health and well-being.

Enjoy your week!

Web Therapy: New Options for New Moms

If any of you have seen Web Therapy starring Lisa Kudrow on Showtime, then you know that this type of interaction is possible (though we hope no counselor is as awful as Kudrow’s character). Therapy is indeed coming into the 21st Century, with resources available to folks that may have had none before.

Regroup Therapy is one such example of how resources are reaching out to new moms instead of them having to research, coordinate and get to a therapist’s office. Regroup offers both group and individual sessions from the comfort of your own home or office. Each group and session is led by a licensed mental health professional with extensive training in the field of perinatal mood disorders. Clients just need a computer with a web cam, a microphone and head phones or earbuds, which most modern machines come equipped with.

This service is useful in many situations. Folks who live far away from any resources, moms who may be just too depressed to get to an appointment, new moms who want a group experience where no groups are available, and even moms who like the less personal interaction with a therapist on the computer screen can all benefit from Regroup’s services.

I am proud to be a part of Regroup, and ask that you spread the word to anyone who may benefit from a service like this. Please take a look at our website and stay tuned for exciting new things to come! Therapy can be a very vital part of self-care, and with Regroup, it can be much easier, too!

 

Regroup: We Bring the Support to You

Introducing the Midwest Mind Body Health Center

After many weeks of uncertainty about my new office, I can finally announce that on Oct. 1, the Midwest Mind Body Health Center will be open for business. In addition to the counseling services I’ve always provided, we’ll be offering weekly classes and multi-session workshops in mind-body practices including mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Research has shown that these practices can help reduce stress, depression and anxiety and improve health and well-being.

I could go on for hours, but instead check out the new website at www.mindbodystl.com.  And remember, “Self-care is like chocolate; you can never have enough.”

Namaste.

Buying “Stuff”: Necessity or Luxury?

I think we all can agree that our American society is more consumer-oriented now than ever before in history. Whether you call it “keeping up with the Joneses” or “retail therapy,” the things that used to be luxuries are starting to be perceived as necessities. Cable TV used to be something wealthy people had when I was growing up. Now, if you don’t have cable, you must live in a cave! One of the biggest problems with this attitude is that many people are sacrificing their financial self-care for buying “stuff.”

I was reading last week’s People Magazine and came upon a blurb about purses. Apparently a designer named Jil Sander took some plain brown paper bags, stamped them with her name, and put them on boutique shelves with a price tag of $290.00. Guess what? She can’t keep them on the shelves because they are selling so well! These are brown paper bags, people! They are the kind we pack “sack lunches” or carry our groceries in! Consumerism has obviously gotten out of hand.

Jil Sander’s $290 paper bag “Vasari” purse

It is difficult to find someone who is debt-free these days. Some debts are just necessary, such as a mortgage, school loans and even car loans. But if you’re paying off a $290 brown paper bag purse, you are neglecting your financial self-care! There are so many financial advice gurus out there that I’m not going to attempt to explain any remedies for debt. I am, however, going to encourage you to really think about each purchase you make on your credit card(s). Stop and look closely at the item, then ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” This simple process can help keep those credit card balances down to a reasonable amount.

When we talk about self-care, many people get mental pictures of women getting manicures and massages (which is great if you can afford it). But there’s so much more to self-care than that. You can apply it to every area of your life, including your financial responsibilities. So, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses (or Kardashians) and live within the parameters of your/your family’s individual situation. No one is in your exact situation, but modeling fiscal responsibility sure can make them want to keep up with YOU!

This Too Shall Pass

Reading Stacey’s post last week, reminded me that life is full of joy and sorrow, loss and gain. These shifts occur in a day, week, months or years. How do we keep going? Here’s what I decided to do.

Monday I discovered my colleagues leaving the practice I started and will be maintaining, sent marketing info out which prompted a nurse from one of the groups I work closely with to call and ask if Women’s Healthcare Partnership (my practice) was breaking up. I was worried and distressed. But, I had a cancellation the next hour so I phoned the group’s office manager to tell her Women’s Healthcare Partnership was not breaking up and arranged for them to visit my new location. I felt relieved. The same day, I got home to discover these colleagues had sent an e-mail with both their pictures on it after one of them told me she didn’t know anything about it. I felt angry and upset. However, Wednesday I signed my new lease and can finally move ahead with my plans to open the Midwest Mind Body Health Center on Oct. 1. Yeah!

How did I cope? I reminded myself of the story of King Solomon’s ring. As the story goes, King Solomon heard of a magical ring that had the power to make happy people sad, and sad people happy so he sent his minister out to find it. He was about to abandon the search when he came across a wise jeweler who said he’d heard of such a ring and would make him one. Taking a plain gold band he engraved four words in it. When the ring was delivered, King Solomon recognized the simple wisdom it contained, for engraved in the band were the words, “This too shall pass.”

Life is constantly changing. This is the hard and promising truth. Light becomes dark and dark turns to light in a single day.  Next time you face adversity, stress or just unpleasant feelings,  remember “This too shall pass.”