I was recently contacted by the moderator of LoveEvolveandThrive.com to write about how to attract healthy love. Many therapists, counselors and coaches contributed, and you can find my take on the subject by scrolling down to entry #18. In it, I write about Challenging Your Fears of Showing Your True Self as a gateway to attracting a healthy relationship. To read the article, click here. Let me know your thoughts and what has worked for you!
Do you ever find yourself awash on a sea of emotions? Does it ever seem like your feelings are taking over, and that you are not in control? Many of us have the experience, from time to time, of being caught up in an uncomfortable mood and not sure what to do about it. We can find ourselves doing mental gymnastics trying hard to feel better and heaping on self-criticism in an attempt to “just snap out of it.”
Earlier this week, I found myself in what I’d call a “blue mood.” There wasn’t anything tangible that was wrong, per se, but I noticed that I had dipped a bit below my comfortable baseline of contentment. Once I realized what was going on internally, I was able to step back and take an observer’s view. In my head, it sounded something like this: “Ah, it looks like I’m a bit down. I wonder what that’s about. I know that I won’t stay in this emotional place forever, but I’m here now, and that’s okay.” I recognized the feeling, my internal thoughts about the feeling and accepted that it’s where I was at that moment. I didn’t try to flee from the emotion; it was a tolerable one. The paradox is, of course, that it soon dissipated once I did the work of acknowledging it. This may sound counterintuitive. Just noticing and letting it be, it actually provides a return to equilibrium? The answer, more often than not, is yes. What’s been your experience with noticing and acknowledging your moods?
Today's the first day of spring. What a wonderful opportunity to take pause and consider the changing of the seasons. It's a time that signifies rebirth and renewal.
We can get so caught up in everyday details, rushing from task to task, appointment to appointment. Why not take a moment to slow down and set an intention for the new season? Setting an intention doesn't need to mean making a resolution for a specific accomplishment, although it can if that's meaningful to you. I'm looking at it more from a mindset perspective; setting an intention in more psychological terms. One thing I'd like to remember is to bring my restless mind back to the present moment and drink in life as it's unfolding.
What's an intention you'd like to set? I'd love to hear your ideas.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of pausing. Reflection. Mindfulness.
Many of us lead busy lives, and we like it that way. Being always on the go feels good, like something is being accomplished. We feel energized, productive. But to what end are we racing?
I recently reached a big goal in my life that I’d been working to achieve for nearly seven years. My finish line had been so concrete, so unwavering. I saw it and kept moving in its direction, step by step. The clarity of the goal served as motivation, and helped me continue on what was an often-frustrating path filled with obstacles. And what did I do when I finally reached this self-imposed finish line? I just kept on running.
A few days afterwards I came across a post on Facebook. A woman posted photos of her stove, with a bubbling pot of stew atop, and her dog curled up on the kitchen floor. The scene looked cozy and nurturing. She commented that she’d just passed a huge test that had taken months of study and preparation. Now, she wanted to spend some time in the subsequent week cooking, just for the pleasure of it. It struck me that this woman had had the self-awareness to pause, appreciate her accomplishment, and turn her attention towards self-care.
As a therapist, I’m a huge fan of self-care. But reading the Facebook post made me realize that there was room for improvement on that front. While I may not choose to take a week off to cook, I can find time each day to pause and to appreciate where I’ve been, where I’m going, and, most importantly, where I am in the present moment. If we make life all about reaching endless finish lines, we may never notice each step along the way.
How do you practice self-care? How do you incorporate mindfulness into your life?
Marnee Reiley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with couples and individuals in Irvine, Orange County, California.