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When You Feel Powerless

Powerless. Helpless. Stuck. These are some of the very worst, most unpleasant ways to feel. Too often people experiencing these emotions are hesitant to get counseling, or even talk with friends, because they feel it will “do nothing.” This is based on the belief that the event or circumstance needs to change in order to feel better. The thought at the core of hopelessness is: The thing that’s already done must be different or else I will never feel better. This is not true. Getting unstuck is about navigating your responses and feelings more effectively- not changing external events. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I think it’s essential to our well-being to cultivate healthier ways to react when these gut-wrenching feelings strike. The following are some of my thoughts, that are on the surface quite simple, but take an     . . . read more

What Could You Gain by Becoming Effectively Frank™?

What if you had the ability to say with clarity, kindness, and confidence the things you really need to say? How would your life be different? How much easier would it be? How much time, energy, and frustration would be saved? I believe that we can all do better with our communication, but it takes effort and new skills. I’ve set out to create a better way to communicate. It’s called Effectively Frank™. What is Effectively Frank™? It’s saying things in straightforward way, without offending. It’s speaking respectfully AND being crystal clear. I’ll be offering a series of workshops around Portland, Maine in the coming months. First up is Effectively Frank™: Authentic Communication Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs at the Women’s Business Center at CEI in Portland on June 20 from 8:30-10am. Click here more information and to register (only $25!).     . . . read more

Compassion Fatigue and Tai Chi

This is a guest post by Celia Grand of the Riverview Foundation. Many thanks to Celia for sharing this information! compassion fatigue (dictionary.com) fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities: compassion fatigue experienced by doctors and nurses. Many of us work in high stress jobs, have too many personal responsibilities and little time to balance ourselves. Stress is a force that interferes with mental clarity, stability of emotions and physical ease. In addition to life stress, as caregivers we are susceptible to compassion fatigue. We take in volumes of overwhelming emotional material. Our bodies, mind and spirit strategize to cope with all that we hold outside of our conscious awareness. For example: our adrenal glands may pump out extra adrenaline to get us through the day while cortisol rushes through our bodies to try to bring it back into homeostasis. This taxing of our adrenals causes problems with sleep or may lead us to over eat to keep our energy going. Exercising may not energize     . . . read more

Parenting: Are You a Fixer or a Guide?

It seems to me that well-meaning parents lean towards one of two strategies (but often do both): being a fixer or being a guide. Neither is wrong. Like I said, these are what caring parents do. The trick is getting the right ratio of guiding to fixing, and knowing the limits of each. Guiding is teaching, explaining, validating, comforting, supporting, discussing, asking questions, and encouraging exploration. Fixing is about taking charge and changing a situation. These are very different strategies and both should be used intentionally. Guiding Guiding helps children learn lessons and skills that they can take with them their whole life. It is a process that takes time. It embraces life as a journey and kids need help along the way. Guiding is appropriate for situations where safety is not an issue. It’s for when a child is     . . . read more

My Work/Life Teeter-Totter

I came home to a mountain of dishes tonight. Okay, a small hill. I wasn’t shocked, because I left them there, saying, “One good thing about it still being cold is we don’t have to worry about bugs!” The dishes were congregating in and around the sink not because I’m lazy, but because something else was more important the evening before. In this case, it was going to the gym and then, with what little time I had left, relaxing with my husband. So, they sat until the next day until I got home from work because the house and family time was the priority then. This is how my life is: an ever-present tension between things that are important to me. A clean house, a healthy body, connecting with my husband, positive attention to my daughter, bills that are     . . . read more

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