by currantdesignsllc | Oct 13, 2016 | Acceptance, Emotional Healing, Growth, Healing, Processing Thoughts and Emotions, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help
In my line of work, I repeatedly help people identify their emotions. For some, a lifetime of shoving emotions away in an attempt to avoid pain creates the belief that they don’t have emotions. Then I come along and challenge that line of thinking and completely rattle their world. A person enters my office because something isn’t working. It’s possible a spouse, family member, co-worker or friend may have suggested they seek counseling but no matter the why, the person has voluntarily entered my office (I rarely work with court-ordered clients). They embark on a journey that has twists and turns, rocks and ravines, steep hills and eventually a place of inner peace and integration. Life doesn’t necessarily get easier, just more manageable. The person has healthy tools to navigate the challenges that will inevitably come.
Integration means the person will now feel the full experience of life rather than run away from or try to bury the emotions they don’t like. At first this is unsettling because it’s unfamiliar. After time, as feelings become more understood, they are easier to accept, acknowledge and process. Now the person experiences inner peace and the confidence to be fully present in life.
I know this journey! I learned to stuff my emotions because I thought only happiness was acceptable. I cut off so many emotions. When I was challenged to fully feel, I had no idea what I was doing. It took years of therapy, coaching and participating in safe groups to get to the integrated place I experience today. I am not saying I have it all together, just solidly committed to this journey of healing and relishing the freedom I experience today.
Do you want peace, confidence and freedom, too? Get help! We cannot do this on our own. Find a therapist, coach or group that will guide you toward understanding and integrating your emotions. Check out Psychology Today or Theravive to find a therapist/counselor near you. If you live in the Denver/Boulder area you can contact me 🙂 Journey Forward
by currantdesignsllc | Oct 22, 2015 | Acceptance, Emotional Healing, Growth, Healing, Recovery, Relationships
There’s a voice in my head that sometimes tells me I’m not good enough. Do you ever have that voice? I’ve spent many years working on this piece. Its many facets seem to show up in different areas of my life. I have been working on healing this negative voice facet by facet. In my journey, I have found three keys that, when implemented, propel me toward success in my quest to heal, grow and move forward.
Anytime you want to create change in your life, a few ingredients must be present for you to succeed. This is not an exhaustive list, just the three I consider the most important.
Consistent – You must have consistency. If you are working on stopping an established habit or belief, you will need a plan that is carried out on a regular basis. Maybe one of your strategies for change includes starting each day reminding yourself of your goal, the reason you want to change the habit or belief, the good you will get out of it. It’s up to you to be consistent and look at your goals every day.
Transparent – You must be honest with yourself and others about what’s really going on for you. If you are trying to hide the very part of you that you want to change, you are not likely to have success. Get honest, get real and be transparent with trusted people, which leads to the next key:
Support – You will need people around you who are for you. These are not the people who you like to hang around because they tell you everything you want to hear. These are the kind of people who tell you the hard things, the truth. They also have your best interest in mind but not in a care taking, it-depends-on-them way; they care about you, they like you, they are willing to journey with you. Some of your support people might come in the form of a counselor, coach or mentor.
I can tell you from first hand experience, change is possible and it is incredibly rewarding!
I’m cheering you on! Karen
by currantdesignsllc | Jan 22, 2015 | Acceptance, Growth, Relationships
While watching the Seahawks/Green Bay game last Sunday, a thought hit me. These guys are the best in their division. They train nearly every day to be the best. They eat, sleep and breathe their profession. Wouldn’t dedicating themselves to football result in perfect or nearly perfect games? The obvious answer if you watched that game, or any for that matter, is no. So, why do we expect perfection of ourselves when the professionals in any given field are not perfect?
Perfection is actually an unattainable achievement and yet we get really down on ourselves when we miss the mark on any goal or expectation we have. Does beating yourself up help you do better? Generally the answer is no. There are always exceptions but eventually the exceptions implode.
So what is the goal or expectation you have missed that you are now beating yourself up? Evaluate the goal or expectation. Is it realistically achievable? If you’re not sure ask a few trusted people what they think. It might help to get some outside perspective. If it is achievable, what is keeping you from reaching your goal? Is it a negative belief about yourself along the lines of “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t deserve to do well,” “I never reach my goals so why should I think it will happen now”? Start by challenging the negative belief when you notice it.
Are you trying to reach a goal alone? It usually helps if we have others either joining us or encouraging us along the way. Back to those trusted people in your life. Invite them to be a part of your “team” cheering you along or maybe even joining you. Don’t have trusted people in your life? Find them! We were not designed to live life in isolation. Get involved in a group and find people you connect with and, over time, can trust.
Be gentle with yourself in this process. We can be so hard on ourselves, expecting perfection, and when we miss the mark we berate ourselves.
If you are hitting walls in this area, meeting with a coach, counselor or support group could help.
by currantdesignsllc | May 23, 2013 | Self-Help
Sometimes we experience moments when we wonder if we matter. I was thinking about that as I gazed at a banana tree. I noticed freshly unfurled leaves, unscathed by the tropical rain and wind. As I looked closely I noticed a progression of sorts. Emerging leaves, full leaves, slightly frayed leaves and leaves that resemble palm tree fronds – tattered and torn giving in completely to the swaying breeze. Every leaf is important in the cycle of this tree. Then I thought about us. We are all valuable to humanity. It doesn’t matter if we are shiny and new or old and withered. Every single person has a purpose, value and worth!
by currantdesignsllc | Jul 11, 2012 | Self-Help
When I started blogging my goal was to post at least once a week. I achieved my goal, until last week. It has now been two weeks since my last post. In my suffocated-by-perfectionism state I would have berated myself for my failure. I would have gone on a flogging tirade with comments like “What were you thinking starting a blog? You’re not going to stay with this. Besides, hardly anyone reads it, why bother. You aren’t good at writing. You should quit.” I “would have” said those things to myself but I didn’t, still haven’t.
I recognize that I didn’t make my goal but it is simply a realization of the truth, “Yup, I didn’t make the goal.” I am aware of the reasons why. Two weeks ago I started taking a class, one semester of a master’s level Child Psychology course condensed into 6 weeks. To say that I’m overwhelmed is an understatement. I am under the pressure of textbook and journal reading as well as numerous research paper deadlines. I understand the reality of my situation. I know that I have not blogged because blogging has not been a priority for me lately. I work at my private practice and have a family. I found it difficult to make the time to blog without the class. These are not excuses. They are reality. Looking at my life and understanding why things are the way they are right now gives me a realistic perspective. When I expect myself to run seamlessly through life, I am looking through a distorted lens. It’s the lens of perfectionism. Perfectionism, at least for me, does not embrace reality it sees “shoulds” with no room for my limited humanity.
I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve my goal and I understand why. I’m giving myself grace to let go of the goal, at least for now. I have three more classes to take after Child Psychology so it might not be until after December that I get back to my weekly blogging goal. That’s OK with me, for now. I was given the opportunity by my alma mater to take four classes for free. They increased the degree requirements for the Master’s in Counseling program and I get to reap the benefits of more education. The cost is some sleep, free time, and blogging. I’m willing to pay that price, at least for now.