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Wednesday
Oct172012

CH-CH-CH-Changes

One thing we can count on in our lives: Change is inevitable.

A little over a year ago, something happened in my own life that made me take notice of that statement.  I realized how quickly, even in a matter of seconds, that life can change or take a different direction.  Sometimes, we get so comfortable in the life we are living, good or not so good, that we continue to keep doing the same things.  Even if it's not working out well, we know it, we know what to do with it--like a comfortable, old sweater.

When I considered the title to this blog, the song by David Bowie, "Changes," kept coming to my mind, so I typed it in.  After looking at it, I realized that the way David Bowie sings it has a ring of truth--it's the hesitant way of trying to get the word out, ch-ch-changes.  It reminds me how much we fight change, barely able to get the word out of our mouths, so to speak.

Change is uncomfortable.  What we have always done brings a sense of comfort, despite the fact that it may be a dysfunctional way of behaving.  The old way is familiar and we know how to act, even if it causes us a lot of distress.  We all do it at times--we continue to do the same things over and over again even though we know it is destructive and unhealthy, either emotionally, socially, or physically, depending on the behavior.

Life never remains the same.  Once we accept that life is going to have bumps and turns and potholes, we can begin to let go of our "normal" way of handling life and move on to rolling with the obstacles and being more creative in the way we navigate through life stages.  Think about life stages--the way we are in our teens, moving through a career, ups and downs with our partner, aging, illness--I could go on and on.  We can not expect that the same way we handled our lives in one stage is still appropriate for any new stage we are embarking on now.  

So, in the words of David Bowie: "Turn and face the strange."  Change is scary and feels uncomfortable, but one thing to remember:  you will get past this point, it is temporary.  So go ahead, give change a try, but go easy on yourself.  If you fall back into old behaviors, accept that it happened and then try again!  Don’t let setbacks end all your efforts.  It will be worth it in the end.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.  – Maya Angelou

Wednesday
Sep052012

4 Ways To Feel Sexy In The Skin You’re In

Discovering the Beautiful You

Have you ever found yourself thinking about how your body looks while you are having sex?  According to research, when women are having sex, we are thinking about everything under the sun, including what our bottoms look like in that position, or if we have saggy breasts, or, heaven forbid, that roll around the middle that we are sure is way too obvious if the lights are on.  Instead of stressing about the things you can’t change right this minute, toss caution to the wind and enjoy the moment!  Your partner will be in awe of this confident, sexy minx that just pounced on the pillow.

  • Do things that make you feel sexy. For some women “sexy” might be just after a shower, the scent of a favorite candle, the feel of your naked body on a freshly made bed, or a piece of silky lingerie. Play “mood music” that moves you and appeals to your sexy self.
  • Embrace your appearance!  Focus on the things you like about yourself and play them up. Worrying about what you don’t like tends to cause you to neglect the fabulous, positive aspects of yourself. If you feel like you have great legs, try showing them off a little more.  This puts the attention on the parts you find attractive about yourself. Remember that even though you magnify the things you don’t like so much, other people probably don’t see those things the way you do.
  • Get some attitude! Being sexy isn’t all about the body—when you feel good about yourself; other people feel good being with you. Show others the positive side of yourself and try not to be so concerned about the flaws.  People see what you allow them to see, so if you focus on your great traits, so will they!
  • Be mindful.  Mindfulness is the practice of being in the moment, paying attention to sensations and letting go of judgment. Pay attention to the way you are being touched, what is the pressure like on your skin?  Notice the smells in the room—the smell of your partner. Look at your partner and notice the curve of the nose, the shape of the lips. Taste your partner’s skin, notice that sensation. When thoughts happen in, calling attention to the negative aspects of ourselves during this time, simply notice them and get back to the sensations.

No one is harder on us than we are on ourselves.  It’s time to put aside the self-condemnation and enjoy ourselves and our bodies.  Give it a go!

 

Tuesday
Aug142012

Connection....

"Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, "I'm enough," then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinding and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves."  --Brene' Brown, excerpt from the "Power of Vulnerability"

A few weekends ago, as I was avoiding the things I should be doing like planning my upcoming classes, I decided to spend the morning watching TED videos--after all, they're educational, right?!  So, I settled in with the remote to my Roku box and started browsing the psychology category.  I came across one that seemed interesting, "The Power of Vulnerability," by a woman who proports to study human connection. Sounds good and still in line with my avoidant justification to watch educational videos.  I knew within the first 30 seconds of Brene' Brown's talk that I was meant to avoid and tune in.  Not only was the video entertaining and funny, but her message on connection, shame, and vulnerability was priceless.  

Spend 20 minutes with this video and you won't be disappointed.  

 If you are as moved as I was, then tune in to her follow up video titled, "Listening to Shame."  Click here to watch.

Tuesday
Jul242012

Life scripts

We all have a story--a narrative that we have written that describes our past and defines the meaning we allow that story to have in our lives.  The story always has a cast of characters, moving from scene to scene in a way that can either leave a trail of negativity and resentment, or a more positive outlook based on life lessons and growth.  

Most of us can say that we have struggled in our lives--with varying degrees of pain and suffering.  Sometimes, it seems as though the script the characters were following was completely out of our control.  Even though we might not be able to change the script, we have the ability to decide how we are going to react to the scriptand the meaning we want to give to the actions.  We can decide whether we want to write our story from a perspective full of victimization and blame, or from a different perspective of growth and empowerment.  

Be creative and write a new narrative--seeing yourself as empowered and moving forward, despite the old script that has been running the show for years.  Taking responsibility for how you interpret the events in your life can give you a new way of finding meaning and allows you to define what role you want to play in the story.  As the author of your own story, treat yourself with the kindness and generosity that you always deserved.  Rewrite your narrative based on resilience and compassion, remembering to cast yourself as the star of the show, instead of a supporting actor!

Friday
Jul202012

Being Mindful

I often talk about mindfulness and the benefit it has to our wellbeing.  If you are in the Springfield, Missouri area, this is a great opportunity to learn more about what it is and how to become more mindful.  Check it out!

Ever heard of Mindfulness Mediation and wonder just what it is and how it could be helpful to you?
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. It is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and being present for the richness of each moment of our lives.
Mercy Integrative Medicine
 invites you to join us in
“A Moment of Mindfulness Meditation”
with
Dr. Maureen Hall
Saturday, August 11, 2012
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Located in Mercy Health Plans Building, 3265 S. National, 2nd floor conference room
Please bring a sack lunch and drink.
 There is no charge for the session but donations for Dr. Hall will be gratefully accepted

To reserve your space, email Terri Driver at Terri.Driver@Mercy.net or call 417-820-3342
 Space is limited so register today!

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