Our Own Worst Enemy – Self-talk

We are our own worst enemy.  Do you believe that?  After years of studying human development, psychology, working as a therapist & doing my own personal work I’ve come to believe this as truth.  We tend to save our worst, most hateful words for ourselves, not our enemies and then we wonder why we are stressed, anxious, depressed & isolated.

Think about it…whose voice do you hear in your ear when you make a mistake at work, “screwing up again”?  Who is it that beats you up when you don’t like what you see in the mirror “you’ve got to lose weight & stop being lazy”?  What do you say to yourself when you’re not able to live up to the impossible standards you’ve set for yourself “I really should get it together”?  The words we use within our own minds, our self-talk, matters a great deal more than we give it credit.  Our words have meaning. Continue reading

Andrew Solomon: Depression, The Secret We Share

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”

This is a moving and brilliant conversation about depression and it’s effects on the human spirit.  It’s is an illness, like any other, that impacts all areas of one’s life and ability to function.  It’s not merely just sadness or a bad day but an unrelenting dark cloud that drains away one’s ability to engage fully in their life.  Let’s work together to remove the stigma that prevents so many from asking for help!

[ted id=1894]

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality”

If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with depression, please know you are not alone and we want to help!  Check out our Depression Test to see if you or your loved one may be struggling with symptoms of depression.

Living A Masquerade – Hiding Your True Self

Scarecrows

Michael & I dressed as scarecrows last year

Here is a blog I wrote for Polish: Refining the Details, a summary of my presentation on living a Masquerade…

Growing up I always loved Halloween, I loved scary movies, haunted houses, trick or treating and especially dressing up. I would agonize over my costume every year wanting to have a great one. I still love Halloween and dressing up to go to a costume or masquerade party. There is something very liberating about hiding your true self & pretending to be someone else, rather than who you or who others believe you “should be”.
One mask-maker in California, Carla Almanza-de Quant says “Once you put on a mask you’re cheerful, you’re playful, you’re a more wonderful you,” she says “You become a fantasy character and you interact with others in a more outgoing way.”

What does that look like on a daily basis? What’s the mask or masks you wear when you are hiding your true self from others? Continue reading

The Problem with Normal

What is normal?  What does it mean to be normal?

Merriam-Webster defines it as – not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle; conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

Not deviating from a norm, conforming to a type…

How many ways do we see culture trying to shoe horn us all into preconceived patterns and norms that it deems appropriate?  In how we dress?  In how we talk?  In how we engage in the world around us?  In the clothes, cars and houses we buy?

The problem with trying to be normal is that it’s a mythEach one of us is unique, one of a kind!  There is no other person in the world, that has been or will ever be that is exactly like us.  Even if we work to conform to what the world says is acceptable we will still remain our unique selves.

Fighting our uniqueness is exhausting and unhelpful. You are who you are! The quickest way to peace and contentment is find a way to be ok with the person in the mirror.

Sounds great, huh? How do we do that?

  • Rather than focus on what everyone else is good at, focus on what you are good at
  • Identify your individual and unique gifts & talents
  • Acknowledge your areas of weakness and remind yourself that it’s part of being human, we all have them
  •  Don’t look to material things to fill the hole, it’s all temporary
  • Engage your whole self – mind, body and spirit
  • Get out and serve others, it can provide some well deserved perspective

Self-Esteem: How Our Insides Effect Our Outsides

How does our self-esteem and body image effect our appearance? Does it really matter since what is supposed to really matter is what’s on the inside, right?

Yes, it’s true that what really matters is what’s on the inside but if our insides (our self-esteem and body image) are struggling then our outsides might begin to suffer. Think about when you have a cold, don’t you put less effort into your clothes, hair, and make-up? I know I certainly do!

Our Insides Effect Our Outsides

When we struggle with poor self-esteem or body image, we may begin to dress ourselves in a way to cover up or hide the body we don’t like. You wake up one morning feeling bloated and gross so you wear more loosely fitting clothes. Then you see your reflection in the mirror in the baggy clothes and think, “Ugh, I’m so fat!”; now you really feel bad about yourself on top of the bloat! Then you go to lunch and get the burger and fries b/c why bother trying it doesn’t matter what you eat, you’re just a hideous, bloated, fat cow. You eat the burger and fries then feel guilty for it because, after all, hideous bloated fat cows shouldn’t eat, ever. Maybe this Continue reading

Fickle Eater or Eating Disorder?

The previous two posts outline the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.  This post will explore the signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

There are two types of eating disorders, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.  These are disorders that are considered symptoms of depression and anxiety, they are ways in which teens cope and ways in which they exert control over their life.

Anorexia as defined by the Mayo Clinic is:

“Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that’s far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively.” Continue reading