Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I found this great webinar that might be helpful if you are struggling with depression. Let me share the information below which I have cut and pasted directly from the website:
Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness, Compassion and Play
A CE Webinar with Dr. Elisha Goldstein – When most of us think of the word “anti-depressant,” we think of a pill, but Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. shows us how science is now discovering that that’s not the only natural anti-depressants we have. As we intentionally practice tapping into these natural anti-depressants, we begin to form an anti-depressant brain and uncover a more enduring sense of resiliency and well-being. This treatment model has been inspired by some of the most current research on neuroscience and depression as well as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), created by Zindel Segal; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), created by Jon Kabat-Zinn; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), created by Steven Hayes; and research by Brene Brown and others.
In this Webinar, you’ll learn how to nurture the brain’s natural antidepressants, provide clients relief from symptoms of depression, improve emotional resilience and give guidance on how people can protect themselves from depression. Conference participants will gain the following skills, drawn from uncovering happiness – aka Mindful Compassion Cognitive Therapy (MCCT):
- Utilize mindfulness to lay a foundation for the antidepressant brain.
- Discuss how self-compassion can be used as an antidepressant technique.
- Apply meaning, compassion and purpose to develop a deeper understanding of resiliency and well-being.
- Recognize how making happiness a habit can reclaim play in your life and how play can be mastered to bring about natural antidepressants.
- Describe what mindfulness is and how it helps interrupt the depressive loop
- List three practical, formal ways to integrate mindfulness-based theory and practice when working with clients
- List three current neuroscientific studies showing the relationship between mindfulness and depression
- List and practice key self-compassion practices to use for self-care and to practice with clients in creating healing and forgiveness around pain
- Describe the anti-depressant effects of compassion, play and learning
Price: $15 90 Minutes
The link is here to register.
Some people hated mother Teresa, or Oprah… Goes to prove you can’t please everyone. You can’t control what people think of you and you can’t have it control you.
Whether it’s an opinion, a life choice, the way you dress, the music you like, the religion you follow or don’t follow, there will always be someone who disagrees with your chosen path. It is well known that many famous people and pioneers, initially were not well liked. People don’t like change, don’t like “different”. It makes them uncomfortable. Change requires people to stretch a little and not every one is ready to do so. Some people may criticize your choices out of insecurity because it forces them to question their own choices or the status quo.
It takes courage to go against the flow, to make unpopular choices that people attempt to force you to justify. What if her or his choice mean that my choices are wrong? Can often be the underlying insecurity.
Some people go through life being people pleasers at their own expense. They make other people happy, they avoid conflict or rocking the boat, but at what price. Over the years, people pleasing takes a toll on an individual, and it is not uncommon, years later, to see these people in my office, suffering with depression, anxiety, have pent up anger and resentments, etc. To later realize they’ve compromised their choices because they were scared of what people might think. And then to be resentful of the same people they attempted to please because they chose to not care what people thought of them.
When dying people are interviewed, one of the wishes that keeps coming up is that they should have lived the life they wanted to live not the one people wanted them to live.
So live your life fully, do no harm, and remember that what people think of you is really none of your business. You can’t make everyone happy and not everyone will like you. That’s simply a fact, deal with it, and carefully pick the ones who will have the privilege of being part of your life.
And remember this, trying to please everyone, in a way is a very selfish and controlling act, as you rob people of the freedom to respond to the real you, you are doing impression management, and in no way is this an authentic way to live life!
Image courtesy of num_skyman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I came across a few good quotes from one of my mentors, the late Debbie Ford. I thought I would share with you her words of wisdom and encourage you to stop and reflect on these.
- We can see ourselves in living color by taking note of what we observe in other people. (Note: this is a defence mechanism called projection)
- Notice what happens when you choose to embrace rather than reject each feeling that arises within you today.(Note: What you resist persists. If you allow feelings to just pass, you dont linger in the negative feeling and thus you suffer less)
- Not only do we allow our own thoughts and guidelines to dictate our behaviour, but we also project onto others what we believe they want for us. (Note: This can be at the source of great conflicts that could be avoided as they blossom and live in our minds only and may not be based in fact)
- Turning our dreams into realities means learning how to transmute the negative and turn it into the positive.(Note: A “negative” experience can be a blessing in disguise if you choose to look at it this way. Rejection is protection and often unanswered prayers are leaving space for better outcomes)
Most of us don’t recognize that there are two distinct elements to who we are : the thinking self and the observing self. We tend to bunch them up together. Haven’t you ever thought or felt: “I can’t stand myself”? This statement shows the separation between thought (my in myself) and self (I). Thus when you say I, you are the observer of the thoughts or feelings or sensations or state that you are in, that you can’t stand.
The good news about this, is that you can change those thoughts and thus change your state. The way you perceive a situation greatly impacts how you feel, and the above quotes show you a glimpse of how you can do that.
Start paying more attention to your thoughts and how they impact how you feel. Become an active observer instead of living your life on automatic pilot. By doing this, you will reduce your suffering and experience more joy and bliss in your life. Try it!
As you master this skill and you see the positive impact on your life… teach this to your children. It is one of the many beautiful gifts you can pass on!.
Here is a good read if you struggle with your negative thoughts or feelings : Get out of your mind and into your life!
You might think: “What does self care have to do with parenting skills” ? Well it has everything to do with it. As I’ve mentioned probably several times by now, we teach our children mainly by what we do, more than by what we say. If you want your kids to take good care of themselves in your absence, you need to do it for yourself as well.
If they see you always prioritizing other people’s needs before your own, you are teaching them to place others’ needs first at the expense of their own…. People pleasing, does that ring a bell (read more)?
Our unhealed wounds are passed down from one generation to the next, when we live and parent unconsciously. All too common are women raised with the principle that putting their needs first equals being selfish. Other childhood or past wounds lead to lack of proper self care. And if you struggle with this, delve deeper into your issues, and work through them. This will greatly change the way you parent your child, for the better.
Adequate self care starts with setting healthy boundaries, which goes hand in hand with self respect, and self respect fosters healthy self-esteem. If your self esteem is healthy, the greater the chances your child will develop a healthy self esteem as well (read more and here).
In the midst of attachment parenting and conscious parenting, there is still space to take good care of yourself. How will your child learn self love if you don’t have love for yourself. You teach people how to treat you, and it starts with your family. If you send conflicting messages between your actions and your words, trust me, your children will follow your actions.
I have seen it too many times in my practice, parents asking me to heal their child of an ailment which is only a mirror image of their own suffering. But like most moms, and I have been guilty of this on many occasions, sometimes we show more love and dedication to our children than we do to ourselves.
We always put them first, at the expense of our own health and wellbeing. But I learned the hard way that if I did not heal or take care of myself first, then I am not a good teacher to my daughter.
It is important that you create for yourself rituals of self care, set clear boundaries for respect of mommy time: practice your favourite hobby, socialize with your friends, have date nights with your husband or partner, workout, do yoga, meditate, read, etc. Whatever brings you joy and peace. It is important that you have time for yourself only.
Step 1: Do make a point to make yourself happy once a day for the easy doable things, and regularly for bigger ticket items. Here are a few examples of what I like to do for myself on a daily basis : read a book at bedtime, meditate, yoga, write my book, listen to my favourite radio station when I cook or walk the dog or drive. Here are examples of things I like to do for myself on a weekly basis : meet with a good friend, go out for tea or coffee in my favourite café and write, have a nice long walk with the dog, take a nice bath with candles, work on an art project, take time alone in my healing room, light a few candles, put soft music, and read special passages in various books (or inspirational cards) that I have, or just sit there in silence and gratitude.
Step 2: Create a special space in your house or apartment for yourself. It can be a whole room or a section of a room. If your space is small you can use a divider or the architecture to create an illusion of a separate space. You can create a non-religious altar where you keep special items in that area (on a table or bookshelf). It can have pictures of people you love, special stones, books, candles, crystals, incense, essential oil diffuser, a Himalayan salt lamp, or any inspirational object that has special meaning to you (example 1 of altar, example 2 of altar; beautiful pictures of altars) . You can add a comfortable chair or cushions to sit on, a music player to relax the senses, etc. Your space can have a theme, a colour, special decorative items, etc. The sky is the limit when it comes to deciding what you make of that space. The important part is that when you enter that space, immediately it shifts you into a positive state of mind, and thus will relax you and help you disconnect or unwind, and bring you peace and joy. I recommend that you give that space a name. I call mine the “healing room”. Retreat to that space in those moments of self care.
Step 3: Self love and self care involve loving your imperfections and doing so out loud. Show your kids that it’s OK to not be perfect and to make mistakes. Forgive yourself and be kind to yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself and such a perfectionist, as this is what you are teaching your kids to be. Instead of paying attention to your perceived flaws, pay attention to your strengths and assets, and highlight them and be proud of them. Teach the same to your kids. Even super models hate parts of themselves, no one is perfect! If you catch yourself berating yourself or your appearance, correct yourself as you would correct your child. Tell that mind of yours to take a hike!
You need to embrace your mistakes and imperfections, they are gifts. If you don’t, your child will not only mirror them back to you, but how do you expect them to embrace their own imperfections ? Lead by example or you will be perceived as a fraud by your kids. Start by practicing this simple technique called “Mirror Work” as taught by Louise Hay (see here for instructions) and change the way you talk to yourself (more here). What you keep affirming becomes your reality. So make sure you affirm good thoughts in your life.
Step 4: Develop a gratitude practice. Once a day, at least, reflect on what you are grateful for (you can even write it in a beautiful journal). It is especially important to do this on difficult days as it will put things in perspective. Psychology research has shown the positive impact of keeping a gratitude journal (e.g., better sleep, better mood, fewer illness, more happiness – read more articles on the impact of gratitude). Read some tips on keeping a gratitude journal. Do this gratitude quiz to see how grateful you are :-), it will give you a great baseline measure. It is well known, that an attitude of gratitude leads to greater life satisfaction.
Step 5: If you have unhealed wounds, invest in a good therapist. YOU are worth it. As you heal your wounds, and take care of yourself, naturally your child will benefit. You will then parent more consciously and thus be more present emotionally to you child’s actual needs, and you won’t project your own issues on him or her (Watch videos here on being a conscious parent).
“When mama’s happy everyone is happy”. This saying bares so much truth. Take the time to pamper yourself, it’s well worth it.
Action Step: To practice self care and self love, requires a bit of introspection. Start by deciding what you value in life and what brings you joy, carefully ponder on this. It may take a few days. Look at your schedule and see how, on a daily, and weekly basis, you can make time for yourself. Develop those rituals that show how much you love yourself by working through the 5 steps mentioned above and start seeing positive changes in your life and your family’s life. Keep me posted below!
For more on self-care, read this good book by Cheryl Richardson (The Art of Extreme Self-Care). Designed to complete one chapter a month.