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When You Feel Powerless

Note from Hannah: This post is being republished post-election after many people reported feeling hopeless and powerless. I hope it is of some help.  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     . . . read more

The Surprising Thing Authentic People Do (That You Probably Don’t)

Amongst people at dinner parties, networking events, and behind the closed door of my office, I hear, “I don’t want drama. I want honesty. I dislike fakey-fake.” Then invariably I hear this declaration from one of the people I just described, in response to some interpersonal issue they are having: “You know what the problem is? I’m just too nice!”  My response to this statement depends on the audience. If you have the misfortune of being my friend, I drop a (loving) truth bomb on you. Otherwise, I make my point a little more gently and in time. If you’re my blog reader, I’ll tell you like this: No, you are definitely not too nice. You can’t be too nice. What you are actually talking about is being dishonest, cowardly, and part of the problem you say you want to avoid.      . . . read more

The Overwhelm Cure: Using the Positive Power of No

I truly could not be more excited to be offering this workshop, The Overwhelm Cure: Using the Positive Power of “No”. It is designed to make a profound and immediate impact on managing stress and increasing joy by knowing how, when, and why to say “no” (while still being kind). Here are the details:  The Overwhelm Cure: Using the Positive Power of “No” Tuesday, May 24th from 5:30-8:30pm 203 Anderson Street, Portland Feeling overwhelmed by trying to do it all? Wishing there were more hours in your day? Checking all the boxes and still feeling unfulfilled? It’s time to find your confidence by saying “no” without apology.  Don’t wait another day to create time for things that truly matter.   This workshop is right for you if: You say “yes” to things that bog you down and end up feeling resentful.     . . . read more

Love, Process, and Letting Go: What I Learned as My Daughter Made Valentines

“It will take one hundred years!” I said a bit (okay, a lot) immaturely to my 5 year-old daughter mimicking her usual phrase. She wanted to trace, cut out, decorate, and write names on 19 homemade heart-shaped valentines for her nursery school classmates. Wanting to avoid the time, imagined tears of frustration (hers and mine!), and perceived stress, I proposed I at least cut them out. I pictured hearts made with nice smooth scissor edges. That proposal was shot down. I hung out cleaning the kitchen instead, until it was painfully obvious I was not needed at all. Sometime later that afternoon, I was proven totally wrong. Those 19 valentines were done. My heart felt so full seeing them on the table after watching her plug away undaunted by the task at hand. These pieces of paper, which I doubt     . . . read more

Is Striving Keeping You from Thriving?

Do you hold yourself to high standards? Do you value quality work and good follow through from others? Do you expect the same of yourself? I can relate. I spent much of my life through early adulthood gripping white knuckled to these values. What were supposed to be the glory days of college carried a lot of extraneous stress and pressure to perform well academically at the expense of enjoying the experience as a whole. I found that there is a cost to the pursuit of perfection. Holding yourself to the highest standards all the time creates a great amount of stress and anxiety. Perfectionism can quickly lead to self criticism and difficulties in accepting and valuing yourself just for being you. It can also lead to difficulties in relationships. Ever notice that you hold those you care most about to exceptionally high standards as     . . . read more