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Allowing Ourselves to Feel

Note from Hannah: I’m pleased to feature this guest post by Jennifer Barbour of anotherjennifer.com as part of the New Perspectives Series on mental health, wellness, and just being a human. Enjoy! I could feel my eyes start to sting as I fought back tears. Should I be crying? Is this professional? “Denise” read a letter from her then nine-year-old son, begging her to stop taking drugs so that they could be a family again. It was heart wrenching to hear. The three of us spent the day shooting a video for the treatment facility I worked for. I glanced at the filmmaker. He was concentrating on the shot. And while he was visibly affected by the content of the letter, he did not flinch. Earlier that day, Denise told me how she would bring her twin girls to the     . . . read more

Practice Makes…Better

Note from Hannah: This is a guest post by Emily Caswell as part of the popular New Perspectives Series featured on this blog. The goal of this series is to shed new light on mental health, wellness, and just being a human being. For more posts in the series, click here. “Have you practiced your flute?” is a common question in our house. My son, finishing up the second year with his instrument, always says yes. He’s developed a great habit of practicing every day, something I wanted for him (and for his sister) from the time they were little. I know, that sounds like a strangely specific thing to wish for your children: “Please make them healthy, happy people who practice.” But there are reasons for my wish and those reasons have nothing to do with that other “P”     . . . read more

New Perspectives Series Updates

Have you been following along with the New Perspectives Series? I know many of you are enjoying it since my readership has nearly doubled since featuring this series! If you haven’t been reading, here is what you’ve missed so far (but don’t worry, it’s never too late to catch up!). James Day Leavitt, a writer, musician and occasional painter, wrote a reflection titled Holding Shadows: Forgiveness and Acceptance of the Past. This piece inspired this series of guest posts by other writers weighing in on their perspectives about emotions, health, and being a human. Guest writer, David, wrote a post called Looking Way (Way) Back: An Evolutionary Perspective for Modern Mental Health. This has proven to be an extremely popular post, and I can see why. I like how David uses the big picture view of evolution to understand why life can     . . . read more

Emotions are Information

Being a truly well and self-satisfied individual rests on the ability to understand the information that emotions give you and to be able to skillfully utilize and respond to the information. Unfortunately, most of us are struggling with our emotions. I think this is because emotions have been vilified in our culture. Often clients come in asking to get rid of feelings or to “manage” them. This isn’t wrong or bad necessarily, but it represents the type of relationship we we have with our emotions: we see them as a nuisance, something that “gets in the way” of our lives. They are to be controlled or eliminated. This is an unhelpful stance. Emotions are not negative or extraneous, but rather an important aspect of being human. Emotions give us information that is impossible to perceive in any other way. However,     . . . read more

Emotions and the Binge- How I Learned to Sit With Discomfort

Note from Hannah: This is the latest installment from the New Perspectives Series. This post was contributed by Dawn Clancy (and do yourself a favor and check out her blog and radio show, Growing Up Chaotic). When I set out to write this article, I pictured myself creating it from a peaceful and reflective place. With a mug of coffee to my right, and my computer snug in my lap, my fingers would breeze across the keyboard, breathing life into the ideas gently fluttering in and out of my consciousness. However, where I find myself at this very moment, makes even the roughest of seas on the show Deadliest Catch look like water in my bathtub. I am in the midst of an emotional shakedown and sitting with discomfort has never been a strength of mine. Whenever I feel anything,     . . . read more