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Beyond Postpartum: The Surprising Benefits of Being a Mom

Writer and mother extraordinaire, Lynn Shattuck, recently wrote a great piece for her blog reflecting on her postpartum experience. It was hugely popular because it hit home for many women. It brought back some memories for me, too. It took me a few weeks to regroup emotionally from having a baby in the middle of a dark, cold winter. In the thick of it, I was more exhausted, anxious, and vulnerable than I had ever been. In my worst moments, I worried about everything from dropping the baby, to falling down the stairs, to forgetting her altogether. Who had entrusted the care of this helpless creature to me anyway? Didn’t they know that I occasionally tripped and misplaced things?! I was worn down like all new moms. In the hardest hours, sparks of worries kept me tired and wired in     . . . read more

Assertiveness

  Assertiveness is… caring about a situation, cause, one’s self, or a relationship enough to speak or take action when needed. preserving one’s integrity, duty, connection, or worth. well-intentioned words or actions for the benefit of truth, justice, fairness, safety, well-being, or connectedness. exercising a human right to set and maintain boundaries, which are the basis of healthy, functional relationships. a respectful exchange of words, ideas, or actions that leads to a productive outcome. validating the feelings of all involved even when there is discord and disagreement. using skillful communication to motivate others to listen and respond appropriately. In short, assertiveness is a way of communicating that allows us to have authentic, connected relationships and a thoughtful, effective response to disagreement, discord, difficulty, and disregard.   Want to learn more about assertiveness? The Women’s Mini-Workshop on Assertiveness is this Thursday     . . . read more

Freedom

Freedom is NOT: pushing down real feelings a stubborn refusal to talk about what’s really going on looking to appearances and perfection to give you worth striving for accomplishment to give your life meaning expecting so much of others that they can’t possibly fulfill your needs pretending things are easy and fine trying with everything you do to show you are deserving seeing every attempt that falls short as a failure                 Freedom IS: learning to tolerate the full range of human emotion opening up to cherished loved ones in times of joy and in need believing in the inherent worth of each person (including yourself) using appearances as self expression connecting with others, yourself, and nature to give your life meaning following your passions to fulfill your needs being real about what’s     . . . read more

I’m Excited

I’m excited. This has been a very common statement towards the end of sessions lately. I work primarily with people in transition. I’ve gotten a lot of energy and joy in helping people find their way through the big stuff: breakups, new relationships, new jobs, long-distance moves, new babies, marriages, divorces, you name it. People come into session overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling stuck. It’s understandable. In time, and with some expert guidance on new skills and perspectives, we can move through the tough stuff. By the end of the session, new thoughts and feelings emerge. Transition is a time of opportunity. Yes, there is stress, confusion, and even chaos. At the same (hectic) time, there is all kinds of room for new patterns, habits, attitudes, connections. Did you realize that out of struggle comes knowledge, self-confidence, and resilience? Yeah, I     . . . read more

Becoming Self-Assured: It’s Helpful, Not Selfish

Being self-assured yields kindness and contentment. This is contrary to what most of us were taught, and yet I’m increasingly sure that it is true. This is why, in my recent post about being self-assured, I questioned the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary about words “related” to self-assured: vain, egotistical, pompous. In my mind, being self-assured means being on one’s own team, with a commitment to working on the skills and internal resources that help us through new challenges. It means having trust in one’s own ability to show up and figure it out regardless of what life throws our way. I think there is a real problem when we equate working on things like positive self-talk, emotional regulation, wellness, and self-care with being “vain” “egotistical” and “selfish.” I hear this quite frequently in my office. Many really nice people think it’s     . . . read more

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