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“Can’t complain, wouldn’t do any good if I did!” This seems to be the consensus of generations past who were less expressive about their emotional life. In a way, this sentiment has been reaffirmed by self-help books which explain that negative thinking attracts negativity into one’s life and that life is mostly in one’s perspective. When these ideas are interpreted inflexibly this can become quite counterproductive.
com·plain (km-pln) 1. To express feelings of pain,
dissatisfaction, or resentment...
Three Inner Battles; Destination vs. Direction (part 3)
Peace of mind boils down to whether we are moving “Confidently in the direction of our dreams” (Henry David Thoreau). Too often we assess our lives by how close we are to reaching our next goal. I will be the first to admit that I have fallen into the trap of “It will be so wonderful when…” But happiness is not in the accomplishments, not at any destination. We continuously set new goals. Therefore as soon as we arrive, we are no longer there. As Steven C. Hayes suggests in “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life,” it might be more useful to gauge our lives by whether we are moving in a direction which we value (2005). Hayes compares our values to the directions on a compass...
Dude, Where's My Drive?
Recently many of my clients have expressed unsettling feelings related to lack of motivation in resolving an issue, creating change or simply moving forward. This month I want to discuss this motivation dilemma. Our motivation, without a doubt, ebbs and flows. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as an optimal experience during which our motivation is intensely focused. He describes flow as an experience of spontaneous joy and energized alignment with the task at hand. Who wouldn’t prefer flow, right? ...
Interoception; Getting to Know Your Sixth Sense
“The heart and intestine (whose surrounding cellular structures mimic those of the brain) function as organs not only of circulation and digestion, respectively, but also of perception— hence the literalness of the expression ‘heartfelt feelings’ and ‘gut reactions’” (Wallin, 2007). Neurologists and psychologists dating back to the 1800’s have argued that interoception is the neglected sixth sense by which we construct our reality. “This sixth sense would include balance and proprioception — knowing your position in space— as well as the sense of hunger and thirst and internal signals from muscles…the feeling of your viscera, such as heart, lungs, and intestines—would also be included here and has been called ‘enteroception.’ Taken together, knowing the internal world can be called ‘interoception’” (Segal, 2003)...
Brain and the Breath
28,800 times each day we breathe. Our life depends on it, though most of us rarely pay it any mind. Perhaps we should reconsider. Simply paying attention to our breath provides numerous benefits for our physical, intellectual, emotional and behavioral health. At the most basic level, on inhalation the breath oxygenates our blood which then distributes this oxygen to all of the organs in our body, including the brain. On exhalation the breath expels carbon dioxide, which is toxic to our body. This miraculously happens without giving any attention at all. The benefits intensify greatly when we focus attention on our breath and exhalations become longer and more complete. Joseph Pilates describes this process as an internal shower in which proper blood circulation flushes the toxins out and leaves organs nourished with life-giving oxygen...
This month’s newsletter has been inspired by a client who recognizes the importance of movement in stabilizing mood and sleep patterns but has little to no time. You may see a stability ball in the office environment these days as a substitute for the office chair. I love this idea and I love the stability ball because it is an inexpensive (I found them for less the $10 at Ross including the pump) and versatile piece of equipment. So this month I give you some moves, and the mindset that can be squeezed into the tightest of schedules. Most of these moves can easily be done without the ball, so don’t let that stop you. The ball does add a fun, playful component that can also be beneficial to improving quality of life. Try it in the morning, midday, in the evening or all three! Have fun!...
Beyond the Roseto Effect
I’d like to share with you about an Italian-American community which gained a great deal of attention in the 1960’s. While the neighboring town reported 79 cases of heart disease in a decade, Roseto reported 9. There seemed to be no alcoholism, addiction or suicide and very little crime. Two researchers at Oklahoma University decided to investigate and concluded that it was not the high fat diet and wine that protected the community from these physical and mental health ailments...
Social Connection and MindBody Health
Our social environment is a powerful force, which we are learning impacts even the expression of our genes. Should the social dynamics within a population of the African Cichlid (freshwater fish) be altered by the removal of the dominant male (bottom), the second dominant male (top) will increase in size by 20%, the color markings will change (check out the bottom fin) and within 24 hours it becomes the dominant male (bottom)...
I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season, the season of giving. I know this time can be stressful, even painful at times due to long to do lists, obligations, past disappointments related to the holidays or simply missing loved ones we wish were still with us. In the midst of this consumerism frenzy, I hope that you all find the time to connect with family, friends and/or neighbors and co-workers. I also hope for you to take time to connect with yourself and to receive during this season and the year to come.
Endings and New Beginnings
Spring is a time for new beginnings. Beginnings are inevitably endings as well. Even when a change is for the best, it can be frightening. Change brings up inner conflict about our sense of self and our identity. Recently, I have discontinued my services at an Assisted Living Facility and am now operating at our Midtown office full-time. I struggled with the decision to make this transition for over a year. A dear client, whom asked that I share her statement with my readers, stated during her last session “Meeting with you is the closest I’ve come to living” (since she lost her partner, mental health and ability to work 8 years prior)…
As spring approaches, it invokes images of new births and new beginnings. Have you gotten the Spring cleaning bug yet? That urge to get rid of all those items you have collected that no longer serve you? You keep them around just in case you need them. This month I say toss ’em! This month’s newsletter focuses on one item that is certainly best left out on the curb, judgments of ‘ others that can cause us to feel separate or angry or sad. Allow the rain showers to wash judgment away, it makes room for beautiful flowers to blossom.
With Love, Melissa…
In the Flow
What is being “in the flow”? To me, being “in the flow” is reaching a point in life where one finds themselves joyfully living out their life’s purpose. It is a state of authentic living in which an individual is able to make a living, or live out any other personal goal, doing something they truly enjoy and desire. When one is “in the flow”, circumstances and people begin coming into your life that are in alignment with your goals, values, and dreams. The pieces of your life start to fall into place. This happens once one overcomes feelings of resistance and enters a state of allowance. Many times we set goals for ourselves and try to force them into happening to no avail.
Three Inner Battles; Growth vs. Gratitude (part 2)
This is a battle in which we route for both teams. Recently a client reported feeling he has not mastered gratitude because he wants more than he has. A desire to grow and expand is human instinct. Without this tendency to make life better, we would not have made advancements in medicine and technology, you may not have sought that promotion or education. Without the desire for growth, life can become stagnant. We are stuck with the same problems (see battle 1). Yet when this instinct is not balanced with gratitude we can loose enjoyment in life and feel perpetually unsatisfied…
Three Inner Battles; Desire for Change vs. Resistance to Change (part 1)
“I want a better job,” “I want a closer relationship with my mother,” “I want to be free of my depression and drinking,” “I want to make healthier food choices,” “I want my children to behave…” Despite what on the surface appears to be a desire for change, advancement & personal growth, we intrinsically refuse it. The single most common barrier to individuals reaching their goals is their own resistance to change. Good or bad, change often challenges our very identity. The same rules apply whether you are struggling with resistance to change yourself, your children, employees or clients. I have to thank my clients who have provided me with endless insight related to change, which I often apply to my own life. Here are some things I have learned to consider when wondering “Why is this change thing so difficult?!?”…
5 Tips for Navigating Divorce
Divorce is hard. It’s messy. It is earth shattering. In the past year I’ve witnessed friends, family and clients do thier best to cope with this confusing and emotional experience. Most people will be affected by a divorce in some way, whether it be their own, their parents’ or that of close friends/family. Whether the divorce was agreed upon or not, ambivalence and grief are almost always inevitable.
When navigating this major life transition, there are a few bits of knowledge that help make the process slightly less earth shattering…
4 Steps for Effective Communication
Communication for Strong, Authentic Relationships & Emotional Health
Many of my clients tell me they have difficulty communicating effectively with friends, supervisors and significant others. The steps I have outlined below have proven very effective for my clients. Feel free to contact me if you have difficulty using them.
1. Own your Feelings. Prior to communicating, figure out how you are feeling and why, to the best of your ability…
Get by With a Lil Help
June/July 2012 by Jodie Gonzalez
I am so glad I do not ALWAYS have to do it on my own. Did you know that one of the most common reasons female run business fail is because they don’t get assistance from others? A common obstacle we tend to put in our own way is meeting the needs of other and not allowing anyone to help meet ours! This month has been tough but thanks to Jodie, the Grow Heal Love newsletter still delivers this month. Remember help is not a bad word. Allow the people, places and things to help and inspire you this month.