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Chart a course to fulfillment

I wasn't always so quick to admit this, but I’m notoriously bad with directions. My friends joke, “if you don’t want to get there, ask Barbara.” Once on a driving trip to Atlanta I looked up to find myself far past the mark…in Savannah. In my defense, it was pretty dark. The problem isn’t only that road and street signs are, unfortunately, displayed in the smallest possible font, it is also that there is something about driving that causes me to “zone out.” When I get behind the wheel I’m on auto-pilot - I don’t devote the attention I should to the road or route. Some of us live in much the same fashion. Not surprisingly, we lose our way. If you’ve been there you know it usually goes somethi

Letting go of past hurts and resentments

Begin with a journal exercise With pen and paper close by take some quiet time to let a past resentment or hurt fully bloom in your consciousness. Notice how you feel – is your body tense, has your breathing become more rapid? Now pay attention to what you are telling yourself about what happened. You might hear something like, these things always happen to me or what did I do to deserve that or why is life so unfair? Write down exactly what happened along with all of your questions and feelings. (If you begin to feel overwhelmed, try paying attention to how your body is making contact with the surface supporting you or to the sights and sounds around you). As you allow yourself to explore f

Why we say yes when we want to say no

Often, we say yes when we want to say no just to avoid the experience of discomfort. When we respond in ways that fail to honor our own boundaries we usually delay, rather than completely avoid, discomfort. It is inevitable and your relief will only be temporary. The choice to avoid discomfort now will almost surely lead to discomfort later. It has been said - She who trims herself to suit everyone will soon whittle herself away. What can you do instead? Search within for the courage and patience to sit with your discomfort. Learn not to judge or avoid it. Let it instruct you. Decide to notice how it shows up. What is it's feeling, location, shape, movement? How do you experience the pressur

Manage anxiety with self-compassion

Anxiety is the “check engine light” on our psychophysiological dashboard. It should be fairly obvious that when we’re not taking care of ourselves—when we’re not sleeping, eating, or moving our bodies adequately—this creates imbalances that contribute to anxiety. Similarly, when we behave unethically, these actions stir our minds and bodies with the muddy raw ingredients of anxiety. Research suggests part of the path forward relative to this aspect of anxiety. A 2010 study examined the levels of reported self-compassion, rumination, worry, anxiety and depression in 271 nonclinical undergraduate students. Results suggested that people with higher levels of reported self-compassion are less li

Being with your disappointment

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” Theodore Isaac Rubin Difficulties and disappointments are a normal part of life. When we are experiencing difficulties, it does not mean we are being punished, that we are bad or that we have done anything wrong. Everyone, without exception, experiences problems at one time or another. This is normal. Likewise, challenging or unpleasant emotions are a common and normal response to difficulties. When you are having this experience, remember, you are not alone. Contrary to the way it seems, the challenge doesn’t lie in the feeling itself but in our degree of willing

Meditation for challenging times

Listen on Insight Timer Disappointment is a normal part of every person's life...including mine. When I am facing a problem I can take care of myself by remembering that I am not being punished. Even good people have bad times sometimes. I take a deep breath and remind myself that I am equal to the challenge. I have the wisdom, the energy and the strength to get through this. I know that I will be okay even though I may not know yet exactly how this situation will be resolved. I trust myself to look for and find each next best step. I have within me the drive and determination to change what I can, and the courage to accept what I can't. I stay focused on where I am going, reminding myself

Heal what hurts

Sometimes we use pain as a shield or as an excuse not to live up to our potential. Stuck here we are so busy dealing with pain we have no emotional energy left to fuel our dreams or nurture our highest vision of ourselves. Part of healing what hurts involves forgiving and letting go. It is often being in this place of holding on and unforgiveness that we spend too much money. This can happen when we do not take the time to meet deeply rooted emotional needs. Instead we go for the band aid of relief that spending provides. Know that you can buy temporary relief but you cannot buy contentment or joy. Unplanned spending does not relieve stress, in fact it leads to more stress and a cycle you wi

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