LIFE

LIFE

“CHARACTER-REVEALING MOMENTS” GO TO THE HEART OF WHO WE ARE I have often heard the saying; “Character is defined as what you do when no one is looking.”  Character reveals a person’s deepest intentions toward another human being. We ask ourselves, “Will this person be helpful or hurt me?” Knowing someone’s character provides important information about how the person is likely to treat you. The strength of a person’s character also determines how well they follow through on plans, goals, commitments, and values.  Reading the obituaries offer rich information about a person’s character by summing up a person’s life by describing their legacy and impact on the world. I read a great example about this recently because one particular obituary really caught my attention! It started “George….has left the planet!”  I thought to myself, “Wow, I wonder what George was really like, I

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WE INHERIT THE SHADOWS WE CARRY INSIDE OF OURSELVES

WE INHERIT THE SHADOWS WE CARRY INSIDE OF OURSELVES

Shadow-making happens in families and makes us who we are. It leads us to shadow-work, which makes us who we can become. Families define who we are; we are born into families, contained in families, nourished by families, and cherished by families. At the same time, we are neglected by families, betrayed by families, and witness violence in families. In the end, we die among family. The family holds so much power, the source of all good, the defense against evil. It ties each individual life to its fate, imprinting it genetically, biochemically, and psychologically with blessings and curses. To imagine life without family is to imagine life without a container, without a ground on which to stand. Our Family Image In the last thirty years, as a society, we have come to realize that our image of the family is just that,

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ME AND MY SHADOW

ME AND MY SHADOW

TRACING THE ROOTS OF OUR PERSONAL SHADOWS It is difficult to accept that all of us sell ourselves out, sacrificing our complexity and authenticity in an effort to feel safe, earn money and win love. We trade off peace of mind for persona, building up a large debt to attain symbols of external status. We trade off authentic relationships for hot anonymous sex or an appearance of purity. We trade off lifelong struggles of soul-searching for the temporary pleasures of an addiction. We do make these pacts unconsciously, without knowing the sacrifice involved: the loss of vulnerability, intimacy, authenticity, imagination and soul. But, at some point we wake up to the cost of the bargain. We previously believed that by sacrificing ourselves we would avoid suffering; we would not have to acknowledge our own darkness. We discover we have committed the ultimate betrayal:

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Discovering Our Authentic Self by Meeting Our Dark Side

Discovering Our Authentic Self by Meeting Our Dark Side

The secret is OUT: all of us, NO exceptions, have qualities we won’t let anyone see, including ourselves—our shadow. If we face up to our dark side, our life can be energized. If not, there is a price to pay; our true selves will be buried forever. If you are ready to seek greater self-knowledge and tune into the voice of your soul this topic is for you! My hope is to provide an accessible exploration of the mysterious dark side of human nature and provide tools for a more authentic way of living. A quote by psychotherapist Carl Jung; “What we resist; persists.”  How true! We have a difficult time exploring our unconscious forces and acknowledge or hidden negative traits like jealousy, impulsivity, self-centeredness as well as our under-developed traits which hold our creative talents and have tremendous healing abilities. How are

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LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER.. IN OUR JOURNEY CALLED LIFE

LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER.. IN OUR JOURNEY CALLED LIFE

“Everyone wants to live on the top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.” ~ Andy Rooney I thought this quote was perfect to describe how our lives have been full of so many challenges lately and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel feels like we will eventually enjoy the view after such a long climb! All of us could use some positive words and a good source of inspiration as we head into the spring; so, I wanted to share with you a book I recently read called “The Mount of Olives” 11 Declarations to an Extraordinary Life”, by Michael V. Ivanov.  We should never quit searching, never settle, and never stop seeking our greatest purpose in life. It is in the struggle during our search that our purpose will

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TURNING THE PAGE ON 2020

TURNING THE PAGE ON 2020

The time to celebrate the end of a very challenging year is RIGHT NOW! Everyone has been through so much and the one thing we hopefully can look forward to very soon is being able to reconnect with our friends and family thanks to the brilliant scientists who have invented a vaccine for all of us! It has been quite a roller coaster ride this year with emotions and events that take us up summits and on dives, complete with loops and curves, hand-gripping moments, and finally a little bit of relief! Many of us carry a great deal of anxiety that we usually cover up and distract ourselves from, through work, relationships, going to a restaurant, watching television, exercising.  Some of these are good things to do, but they can also function as a way of diverting our anxieties. There were fewer

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UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMOTIONS

UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMOTIONS

UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMOTIONS and HOW TO APPLY EFFECTIVE COPING SKILLS Suppressing feelings takes an emotional toll and when letting them out may not be a good option, there might be healthier ways to cope.  Making sure you remain your authentic self is the first step by setting appropriate boundaries by asking yourself; “What is okay, and what isn’t okay that works for me?” HOW TO COPE: Name Your Emotions:  So many times, we do not know exactly how we are feeling and what is rarely acknowledged is that courage and fear and not mutually exclusive. Most of us feel brave and afraid all day long at the exact same time. When you have a strong emotional reaction to something try and identify what the trigger is and reflect on what is causing the problem instead of unleashing on another person. Be Honest with

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TEENAGERS AND DEALING WITH EMOTIONAL DUMPING

TEENAGERS AND DEALING WITH EMOTIONAL DUMPING

Emotional dumping is when someone verbally offloads intense frustration or fear onto someone they think should care and fix it NOW. Chances are that if you are the parent of teenagers or tweens, you have gotten dumped on. Especially in this crazy time we are living in! A good book for parents to read about dealing with their teenagers and tweens is called “Getting To Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens” by Laura Kastner and Jennifer Wyatt.   For more than 30 years, Kastner has helped parents and children work toward a calmer home environment. This book describes the hormonal aspect as well as gender differences and how parents need to learn how to keep their emotions in check. She states obvious tools: Stepping outside for a moment. Taking a deep break. Thinking of mindfulness or Zen. But more importantly, it

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RELATIONSHIP BUILDING WITH YOUR CHILDREN

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Role modeling what you expect from your child is difficult for every parent, but one is expected to try their best, at least most of the time right?  If a child sees his parents day in and day out behaving with self-discipline, restraint, dignity, and with a sense of orderliness in their own lives, then a child will come to model these same values with every fiber of their being and learn to live this way.  Unfortunately, if a child does not see these qualities than the opposite of this is also true! Remember that wise old saying we always need to “Practice what we preach.” But, one thing that is even more important in building a healthy relationship with your child is love. Even in chaotic and disorderly homes, if genuine love is occasionally present, children can become self-disciplined people. It is

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HE HAS THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

HE HAS THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

Remember the song, “He Had the Whole World in His Hands”? We need to restore our faith in our fellow human beings and it reminded me of a story I heard recently: A well-respected physician was being interviewed one day and was asked if there was a pivotal moment while he was in medical school; he paused for a moment and thoughtfully mentioned it happened in his gross anatomy class. He went on the explain how students were assigned a human cadaver and the tremendous amount of respect he had for this 87-year-old woman who donated her body to science. Her decision was selfless and what a gift she was really giving all of us as she continued to teach a future doctor long after she had left this earth; for all of should be grateful. The physician went on to say something

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