Posts tagged thoughts
A Therapist's Open Letter to Parents & Caregivers: I Believe You

Dear Parent or Caregiver, 

I see you as you sit across from me in my office. You are talking to me for the first time, for the tenth time, or maybe for the fiftieth time. I’m glad you’re here to talk. Truly, I am. 

I see you. You are a parent, a friend, a sister, a brother, a child, a boss, a partner, an employee, a co-parent, a human. The cleaner of the spilled milk (literally), the helper of the homework, the packer of the snacks. The juggler of the schedules and carpools. The overworked and in need of rest. The there all the time, the there sometimes, the there. I see you as a person who has your own story, your own history, your own needs. I see you as a parent who cares so much, even if you feel so lost, and wants what is best for your child.

I hear you. I hear you as you talk about your frustration with not knowing how to help your child, with wishing you had an answer. I hear you when you say that you are lost, confused, and maybe even annoyed. I hear you searching for an answer on how to show your teenager how much you love him, on wanting to support your little one as she struggles to stay in her seat at school. I hear you when you say want to wrap them up in your arms and protect them. I hear you when you say want to see them learn to be more independent. I hear you when you say want everything for them but also need your own alone time, too. 

I wonder. I wonder if you’re thinking I’m judging you. I’m not. Really. I’m not shocked when you say you’re at your wits end. I’m not surprised when you say you just don’t know what else to do. I wonder if you realize that when I make a suggestion, that is all I am doing. Yes, I want you to follow through. Yes, I really do think it will help. No, I don’t expect you to do every single thing I say perfectly. I wonder if you think I’m a robot, that I don’t make mistakes both inside and outside of this room. I do. Trust me, I do. I wonder if you think I believe you to be this three eyed, fire breathing, raging monster outside of my office. I don’t. Even when your child complains to me for the one hundredth time about your tyranny when you ask that dishes go in the dishwasher not the sink, I never argue, and I hear them and empathize. But, I still don’t judge. It’s just not my place. 

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Set an Intention (Not a Resolution) for 2019

The New Year - the time to reflect on the previous 365 days and start to think about the next - is coming. I am on a list-serve for people who are looking for sources to write articles for them, and I have seen so many requests for ‘attainable goals’ and ‘resolutions people should actually set’ for next year. I have a different idea: set an intention not a goal or resolution. 

So, why trade the check boxes for something more abstract? I’ll tell you why. Where your mind goes, your actions will follow. What is the quote - you become what you think about all day long - right? So, if you wake up and you set an intention for your day, that thought is cemented in your mind. With that thought in mind, you may catch yourself acting in line with your intention during the day. You may also catch yourself acting in ways that do not align with your intention, too, but my guess is that you may have not noticed those actions had you not set your intention, and now that you notice them, you can choose what to do about them. Make sense? 

What is an intention? An intention is a guiding principle, something that we have purposefully chosen to try to incorporate into our lives. In my mind, an intention is set to grow something (often within ourselves) rather than obtain something (like a slimmer body or a fancy new car). Our intention drives where our will goes, and where our will goes, so does our action. More simply: our intention is the purpose behind our action. 

Why set an intention rather than a goal or resolution? If you read this last paragraph and your eyebrows raised and you thought about just hitting the back button right now, look, I get it. When I first started hearing people talk about intentions and desires and manifesting, I was ready to quietly back towards the door, too. I was all about checking things off of my list. If I could set a goal, I could accomplish it by paritalizing and knocking off those to-dos one by one. I either succeeded or I failed. It was black and white. An intention isn’t like that. An intention isn’t so cut and dry, and it is isn’t so tangible. That is a little weird and scary when you’re not used to it, so stay with me here. 

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Letting Go: What Does It Mean to Let Go and How Do We Begin?

Confession: I am a yogi who sometimes really doesn’t like being told to “just let it go.”  The practice of non-attachment goes right out the window when I have something on my mind. After I take a few steps back from the situation that is causing me to death grip my feelings, I am usually able to begin letting go. But in that moment - when I am venting and brainstorming all the ways I am going to change the frustrating situation and my zen husband is passing along words of wisdom - there is nothing I want to hear less than those words: let go. How does one even ‘just let go’? I have heard myself say. What does that even really mean? 

The practice of ‘letting go’ is exactly that. It’s a practice.

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