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Holding Shadows: Forgiveness and Acceptance of the Past

Holding Shadows: Forgiveness and Acceptance of the Past

I’m pleased to offer this piece by guest writer, James Day Leavitt. (photo credit: Siobhán Butler) I imagine my past as a long hallway, with doors along each side of the corridor. Behind some doors are my difficult experiences. Things I don’t want to see anymore.  Regrets, mistakes, animosities, hostilities, hurts and lost loves. I don’t want to replay these things. They are uncomfortable to see. I am embarrassed and would like to start fresh, new, and unencumbered by the past. That’s why re-birth, and absolution of ones sins is so popular a concept. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy (memory energy) going back and checking the doors to make sure they are secure, locked, or at least mostly closed. I get scared they may come out and poison what I have made or are about to make     . . . read more

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

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

What Does it Mean to Be Self-Assured

What Does it Mean to Be Self-Assured?

Can being self-assured help us to go boldly into unknown life territory? This is a question I’ve been thinking about lately. But what does it mean to be self-assured? To me, it seems like a very desirable quality, something to cultivate in oneself and in our children. In my curiosity, I did some research. According to Merriam-Webster Online, the term means “sure of oneself: self-confident.” It says that related words include: vain, egotistical, pompous. I partly agree, but I have some issues with this definition and with the “related” words. I guess this begs the questions: Who am I to take issue with the dictionary? Am I self-assured or really pompous after all?! In my mind, being self-assured means having a sense that one can make it through what life throws our way. It means cultivating helpful self-talk and being     . . . read more

FAQ on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

FAQ on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a very interesting, highly effective type of therapy. I’ve been working hard lately to spread the word about its usefulness. If you’d like some background on this well-researched therapy that is effective with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, phobias and many other issues check out my recent interview on Growing Up Chaotic and my blog posts here and here. I promised I’d follow up with any questions I received, so here I go (please note that this is for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. If you believe you are suffering from a mental health disorder, please talk with your health care practitioner for diagnosis and treatment information). Question: Is EMDR only for big traumas like combat, assault and serious car accidents? Hannah’s answer: No! While these examples are experiences that     . . . read more

More Info On EMDR and A Big Thank You

More Info On EMDR and A Big Thank You!

I want to thank Dawn Clancy for having me on her terrific show, Growing Up Chaotic.  Her program is all about overcoming issues related to growing up with addiction, abuse, and overall chaos. I’m inspired by her empowering message and her willingness to share of herself to help others. It was truly a privilege to be part of what she’s doing! You can listen to episode on demand here. I talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and EMDR. For listeners and interested others I’ve compiled a list of resources. I’m also taking questions and will be writing a post answering these questions next week. Here is a great article by Francine Shapiro, founder of EMDR, answering questions from NY Times readers: “The Evidence on E.M.D.R.” A very comprehensive resource for all aspects of EMDR is the EMDR Institute website at     . . . read more