Journey to Positive

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Today, I just wanted to check in and encouraging my readers to find the positive in life.  Throughout our lives, we embark on many changes that impact our thoughts and perceptions.  It is common that once we encounter a negative experience, that it has the power to shift our thinking into a negative state of mind causing us to see several following events with a negative lens.  Meaning that, regardless of the positive nature of a following event, one may only see it from the negative view.  It is as if a person’s vision has been blurred making it difficult to see a clear picture.   

When this happens, it is helpful to challenge ones view and perception about a matter.  The process of challenging those views, include identifying why one may have a negative perception of a situation.  The process also means that you have to find the positive, the good, and the highlight of what one is experiencing.  It is actually the power of reframing. Reframing is the ability to take a negative thought and change it into a positive one with the changing of our thoughts, our behavior and our words.  The words we speak have power. So, I encourage you to change your language, change your thoughts, and think more positively.  Challenge yourself today, you will not be disappointed. 

-Selah

The Benefits of Journaling

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As a teenager I can recall begging for a journal with a lock and key. This meant that I could write my deepest secrets and then lock them away so that my family could not read them.  Once I got the journal, which is exactly what I did. I wrote, and wrote and wrote some more, then locked it and hid the key.  This was my time to get my thoughts onto paper, thoughts that I did not feel I could share with anyone.  Well, over the years, I would get a new journal annually. It became so important to me that I started buying and gifting journals to friends, family members and church members with their names engraved on them with a scripture or a positive quote.  Even then, I saw it as something so personal, not realizing that journaling had the ability to meet needs in other areas of my life. 

Fast forward to the 2000’s. I still cannot walk away from a pretty and colorful journal.  Maybe, I no longer get them engraved, but journaling is still a big part of my life.   It is also a major part of the interventions I introduce in private practice.  As a clinician, I have the opportunity to meet with men and women who are diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and adjustment disorder.  When I hear that they are unable to sleep at night, feel as if their thoughts are unorganized when stressed, and that they do not feel like they are able to focus during the day, I begin to assess what their coping skills look like in regards to how they manage themselves.  When I ask about journaling, I often get the response, “yeah, I have a journal but I do not use it consistently.”  This right here is where I issue the challenge to journal. 

In 2018, we have come a long way. Journaling can be done by writing, typing or audio recording. So, there are options that I present to clients when I issue the challenge to journal for one week straight.  I make no promises that this works for everyone, because it does not. However, for many it has increased their ability to function. 

Here are 4 things you should know about journaling:

  1. It can be cathartic meaning stress relieving. When you write you are releasing stress and allowing your body and mind to come to a place of relaxation and calmness.  This can also be done with crocheting, drawing or even painting.

  2. It can be considered the Data Dump of your mind by choosing to journal about your events, stress, dreams and goals.  Imagine turning over a basket filled with paper and other unwanted items into a larger can.  This is what happens when you begin journaling you are getting all of your thoughts, worries and ideas onto paper. A place that can properly hold it.  The key to this is not seeing it as garbage, but as a place holder for your thoughts in case you need to go back and review as needed. You do not have to hold it all in your head. 

  3. It can be daily, every other day, or even weekly. Whatever you choose remember to be consistent.

  4. Knowing when to journal is very important.  It can be done at any time during the day, but it is most beneficial to do it right before going to bed.   It is your late night data dump if you will, allowing you to begin your sleep journey with a clear mind waking up more refreshed.  If there are no struggles with your sleep pattern, then journaling at any time during the day would be fine for you.  However, if you find that you struggle with falling and remaining asleep due to flooding of thoughts, then journaling right before bed might be the best solution for you. 

As a result of journaling consistently, you will find that it impacts your emotional and physical well-being.   The process of journaling can improve sleeping, concentration, mood and mindset.  So, you can see that it is more than just getting your thoughts on paper (under lock and key), it is about releasing the stress and flood of thoughts that impact functioning.  Journaling can be whatever you need it to be, but know it is a super gift to a better way of addressing symptoms and stress.  I encourage you to take the challenge as well in hopes of an improved way of doing things.  Make a commitment to your health and see the benefits for yourself.  Selah.  

Disclaimer: This blog on journaling does not in any way imply that journaling replaces medication management that one may need to assist with addressing other symptoms. 

Watch Out for Feelings!!!

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Good Day!!!! Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up feeling like  you can conquer the world and have a plan to do so? Well, it is was kind of like that for me yesterday morning. However, as the day passed, I noticed my spunk and my joy kind of settling way beneath the surface as if they were going into hiding.   Around lunch time, I sat in my car and began to reflect on what these feelings meant.  Hey, I am a therapist for therapists so I think I know when I need to assess what is actually taking place within.  Be honest, have you done that or felt like this? I have which means this is the not the first time. 

During my time of reflection is was not so much about my feelings, but the fact that I was allowing my feelings to dictate my reality.  My reality is that I am in a great place in my life and have made great strides to reach many people.  My feelings wanted me to think and believe that I had not made any traction in my life, my career, or whatever...you name it. This does not happen often, but when it does, it comes quickly and fast enough that I am unable to recognize what is taking place within.  

What took place in my car yesterday after I realized what was happening, what nothing short of amazing.  I realized that I had to remind myself of who I am, who I belong to, where I am and where I am going.  Even if I was not in a great place, it would be just as important to do the same so that I do not remain stuck.  Feelings (and thoughts) will trick you and cause you to believe that things are terrible.  Knowing that your reality is the true story, is the boost you need to gain strength to fight those feelings.  

Remember, that things and situations will come to test you, but rest assured, your reality will either jolt you into your next phase in life, or will give you the strength to fight to get out of any situation that seems too difficult.  Watch out for those feelings! We all have them! Keep pushing, keeping striving, and keep that spunk even when you don't feel it.  Happy Saturday!!!

Mindset is Everything

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Walking into this week I was truly aware of the growing mound of work that awaits me.  Being a business owner and formerly having a leadership role, I understand the nature of this work...it never stops. 

For a long time, many people would comment on my organizational skills and my ability to multi-task.  Others found it to be a mirror of who they wished they could be. 

In order to be effective one must have an effective mindset. According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, the word effective means, "producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect" while, mindset means, "a mental attitude or inclination; a fixed state of mind."  When you marry these two together, it simply means that you have decided to walk in a mindset that ensures that you see a task through to the end resulting in success.  

This is not an unattainable goal. I get it, some people are not as organized as others. However, when it comes to achieving goals, you owe it to yourself to shift your thinking in order to take on that tasks ahead of you. You owe it to yourself and your dreams to accomplish your goals.  This can be done by creating "To-Do" lists, checklists, timelines, and identifying accountability partners (this means friends and colleagues you trust to hold you to task when you find yourself slipping). 

Tasks are the just the steps to help you move towards your goals. The most important part of this process if your mindset.  Think bigger, Think greater, Think success. Remember that failure is not an option and you possess the power to make success happen.  Please believe in you and watch the magic happen.  

-Selah (Pause. Reflect. Revive)

REFERENCES

Effective. (2017). In Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effective

Mindset. (2017). In Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mind-set

Self-Care is Contagious!!

Happy November!!! 

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This is the time of year where Halloween has come and gone; and miraculously there is Christmas music playing everywhere you go.  For many, the theme of the holidays is about love, gifts, and cheer. For others, this time of year can be extremely stressful with the  thought of giving gifts, financial obligations, workplace issues and family concerns.  

In meeting with several people over the past two weeks,  I noticed a common thought pattern; a mindset; that people do not believe they are allowed to take care of themselves and that everyone else comes first.  This leaves the door open for others to pull people every which way creating lack of regard for their own needs.  Their mindset is that they DO NOT MATTER.

My message to my clients, friends, family and to YOU reading this, is that YOU DO MATTER!!!!

Let me repeat, YOU DO MATTER!!!!   

Let me give it to you this way, however you choose to treat yourself, is often how others will treat you.  Basically, you are teaching people how to treat you on a daily basis. Your message to those in your circle has to be solid. It has to be grounded in truth and the belief that you come first.  You cannot be effective in your giving if you have nothing to give.  If you are depleted of strength, wisdom, love and compassion, none of these things can be shared or given to another.   

It is my belief that Self-Care is Contagious.  I said this to a client recently and her eyes got big as she realized that she was responsible for how others saw her.  I took the time to explain my statement to help her understand the importance of self-care.  Here are my points to help you understand further:

When you model how to care for yourself, you are teaching people the following:

1. Your importance

2. How to value your time 

3. How to be sensitive to others

4. How to do the same for themselves in regards to their other relationships

Imagine if your life and your level of self-care became a powerful message to those around you.  Imagine if those around you began to do the same for themselves becoming more self-reliant, self-confident and empowered.  Imagine instead of giving all you have, giving a message of growth and strength.  When you begin take care of you, people begin to see you different. Although a few may be bothered that they can no longer suck you dry, many will be happy for you and will catch the bug to follow suit.  Self-care is important!!!! Self-care is contagious!!! This is a good bug to have, let's infect others!!!  Please take care of yourself!!!

-Selah (Pause. Reflect. Revive). 

The Push!!

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Good Morning Wonderful People!!  The sun is shining and the breeze is just right on this chilly morning. I am sure that someone is not feeling 100% at this moment and may even feel like the world is slowing down.  Honestly, I felt like that for a minute, just a minute.....and then I remembered the message I told myself yesterday morning...."Failure is NOT an option."  

There are two things that can happen when you are feeling overwhelmed, slowed down and stuck:  You stay in that place or you push through.  We all have choices. If you stay there then you do not have to deal with any of the tasks at that moment.  I thought about just leaving some things undone, but then I realized that by doing so, the overall outcome will not be what I desired.  Therefore, I searched deep down for the strength and encouragement to push through.  

Keep in mind that your success it not about your feelings, it is about your vision and the ability to push through to see it through.  Find the strength within, remember your goals, your mission and your purpose.  The results will be long lasting and not temporary. The Push is necessary!!! The Push is everything!!!!  Remain Focused!!! 

-Selah (Pause. Reflect. Revive)