Acceptance

As the new year begins, many clients are eager to make changes to relieve their suffering and bring more joy in their lives.  There is an eagerness and sometimes an impatience for things to go faster. One client sadly shamed herself for not being able to do this work on her own and felt weak.  The key to change is first, ACCEPTANCE. Acceptance of what is, how one feels and thinks, accompanied with compassion. Ironically, the more one can slow down and be with the present, the more likely authentic change is on the horizon.Acceptance
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Letting Go?!!! What Does it Mean?

In addition to shame and self-blaming messages, I often hear clients say they need to ‘let go.”  Most frequently, it is in relation to a person…someone who has hurt them; in hopes of severing, surrendering, relinquishing involvement. While it may sound simple enough, letting go is very hard.  It entails exploring one’s attachment to the person, perhaps clinging to memories or clinging to hopes (the past and the future). And if one is not able to ‘let go’  (an action) of thoughts and feelings, one can feel exacerbated bad feelings.  I suggest that is okay to just the let the feelings be…let be!images
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Stillness

Living in such a rushed life with pressures to do and feel instantly, taking time to sit with stillness can calm the anxious mind and heart.  Just stopping to be, to allow one’s inner rhythm to breathe again is essential for mental health and well-being.  Pausing and allowing yourself to appreciate the moment with stillness provides the self to speak your truth.Ram Dass

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Kindfulness

I recently read an article that combined the words ‘mindfulness’ and ‘kindness,’  It suggested the obvious, that to be kind to others required mindfulness of intention and words.  Before long, mindfulness will make into the dictionary and become an ordinary everyday word.  For now, though, the freshness of the word brings a smile and a knowing nod
as to the usefulness and benefit of its meaning. KINDFULNESS!love-gesture
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Expecting Kindness

In my work with clients I continually notice how difficult it is for many who have had traumatic childhoods to expect kindness in their lives.  Having been treated poorly, without respect, in the past, it’s not surprising that many choose
again unloving partners. The “feeling bad” is a normative experience.  To make change to one’s internal template
and and make room for kindness can take a long time. Fostering self-belief along with relinquishing old patterns can free one to welcome the love they naturally deserve.

kindness_art
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Accepting Change

Entering psychotherapy, exploring oneself and one’s relationship to self and others is a challenging process. In the early stages of “treatment” clients express the depths of internalized superego negative messages which translates into beating oneself up coupled with self blame, shame and lack of forgiveness. These are uncomfortable thoughts and feelings to sit with, get to know and accept without judgment. Over time through continued therapy, these negative messages soften and are replaced with acceptance.images-5-1

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Appreciating Each Day

Years ago I read a small precious book by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk, called Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.   It is a series of daily reminders about living more fully in each moment.
One in particular stays with me asI practice it each morning.  It has to do with holding our awareness as we get out of bed and place our feel on the floor:the day begins with 24 hours of life;
gratefulness and appreciation for this small yet significant awareness.lotuswhite_125
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Mindful Walking

I’ve noticed myself being very careful walking the last few days as snow and ice have descended upon Chapel Hill. I wish I was this mindful every day, walking to my car, driving. Mindful walking, or walking as if you have already arrived, is a gift. How often do you pause and notice the pavement and our surroundings with such acute awareness? Safety concerns draws our moment to moment attention and, fortunately, garners our awareness outside ourselves. Nature calls us to notice; to put aside the stream of endless thoughts and worries in our mind. We focus because we have to. Wouldn’t it be nice to focus because we want to!?Unknown-2
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Complicated Lives

People wonder today whether our lives are easier with cell phones, computers, Skype and all the technology. Yes, perhaps, easier in that we don’t have to go down to a river source and wash our clothes on some rocks and we can let Uncle Al know if his brother is ill within seconds rather than weeks or months. However, the more important question is whether people are happier. What do you think? I’d say no. With technology comes increase stress and a change in the natural rhythm of life. I often hear clients say they are overwhelmed. There is too much ‘life’ to juggle and figure out and not enough down time to process. Being mindful of your needs for time is really important to your life satisfaction. P1000089
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PAUSE!

As the new year unfolds, many of us find ourselves in the fast lane on cruise.  It’s a challenge to downshift and take the time for a new speed, a new rhythm, that allows for more space in one’s thoughts and day. What makes taking time to PAUSE so hard?  Is it the fear of bad feelings arising, or feeling bored or lost? Even if the moment is brought with bad feelings; pausing and noticing them, will inevitably change the intensity of the bad feeling…and most probably shift you to a better space.Unknown-1
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