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Laura Giles, LCSW

How to Meet Your Emotional Needs

Just about everything our soul needs can fit into these categories: safety, connection, novelty, significance, growth, and contribution. When our top two emotional needs are met, we tend to be pretty happy. When all of our needs are met, we are living our passion. Sounds great, right? But do you ever wonder how to meet your emotional needs? Most of us look outside of ourselves for this. We either try to find a person who fills us up or find it in our work. When those things are good, we’re good. This works for a lot of people a lot of the time. The problem is that it puts control of our happiness in the hands of someone else. There is actually a way to meet your emotional needs that puts you in...

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How to Combat Loneliness

Loneliness is crippling. It’s a component of depression. It certainly impairs health. There are studies now that say that it is the root cause of addiction! Fortunately it is something that can be remedied with these two steps. Enjoy Yourself Everyone needs time with others. Humans are social creatures. Being social is part of our design. We need people for stimulation, growth, to help acquire resources to live, for entertainment, sex, breeding, and to feel connected. Everyone also needs alone time. That is also part of our design. We need alone time to rest, reset, get centered, and do solitary things. Many people feel the key to combating loneliness has to do with being with other people. If you’ve ever felt most separate and lonely in a crowd, you know that it isn’t. One...

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How To Talk to People

There are a lot of people who don’t know how to talk to other people. It’s true. Sometimes it’s due to anxiety. Maybe it’s about shyness. It could be that they were bullied in school. Sometimes it is the fear that they will be boring. Or maybe they just didn’t learn how. There are all kinds of reasons why people have a hard time speaking to others. If this is you, take heart. Like most things, all it requires is a little skill. With practice you will soon realize that it’s something anyone can learn to do. Here are some verbal and nonverbal tips to make it easier. Invitation An invitation is an offer for the other person to speak. It is generally a question like, “How are you?” or “Is this seat taken?”...

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Three Keys to Wholeness: Love, Service, and Wisdom

People have been searching for wholeness for a long time. In recent years the trends for finding it have been through rebellion, escaping through drugs and alcohol, pursuing success (buying things and gaining titles), and living your passion. The key has never been, and never will be, somewhere out there. It’s always inside. You don’t need a guru to find it. You don’t need years of practice to obtain it. I will give you the three keys to wholeness right now. They are love, service, and wisdom. Love Unfortunately, we have a lot of ideas about what love is that have nothing to do with love. We confuse it with obsession, possession, insecurity, jealousy and other things that aren’t particularly lovely then blame love when it hurts. Love is none of those things....

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Eight Tips to Boost Your Courage

We all need courage. Courage is what takes us from where we are to heights unknown… or maybe just the next step. If you find you are lacking in courage, here are eight tips to boost your courage. Adopting just one strategy will create some change. Try incorporating more than one and see how your life expands. Acknowledge Your Courage Courage means feeling the fear and acting anyway. You are already more courageous than you know. Think of all the things you’ve done just in the past month that you’ve done that you did despite fear. It’s like the lion on the wizard of Oz. Once someone acknowledged his courage, he began to see it for himself. So see it in yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Once you know you have it,...

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Challenge the “Find Your Passion” Nonsense

If you are like me, you get a solicitation for a “Find Your Passion” workshop at least once a week. It’s a hoax to make you think that you’re missing out on something if you aren’t skipping to work and coming home with a pile of cash every day. These types of myths are responsible for so much misery. They feed people two lies: 1) Everyone can make lots of money doing what they love and 2) Anyone can be happy if they just figure out what they are here to do. To that I say it’s time to challenge the “Find Your Passion” nonsense. All Work Has Value The “Find Your Passion” programs usually promise that you can do whatever you want and make tons of money doing it. This can...

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How to Develop Connection

When I was a dance teacher, I focused on teaching dance as a performance art. My students danced both as soloists and as an ensemble. One day while practicing a group number a student said, “I’ll just practice at home. I mean, it’s this same thing as dancing alone.” Whoa. I thought, “If that’s what she thinks, I have failed as a teacher.” Unfortunately, this type of thinking is common now. I am not sure why it’s happening – maybe it’s because of the perpetual face in the iPhone instead of actually interacting with other people. Whatever the reason, lots of people don’t feel connected and don’t know how to connect. They occupy the same space at the same time, and may even interact while doing it, but they aren’t connected....

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Rearing Healthy Children

It's more and more common for me to see adults whose often well meaning parents just killed their spirits. These little people don’t get to grow up to be healthy big people. If I had a dollar for every potential client who tells me a childhood story of how their child self was killed, I’d be a millionaire. We need to stop murdering our children. Carl Jung first popularized the idea of archetypes. Archetypes are these human energies that exist in all cultures throughout time. We all either experience them directly or indirectly. He said that we all start out life as the Child. This is the light hearted, creative, innocent side of us that needs to stay alive inside of us throughout life so that we maintain connection to our inner...

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Boiling Mad? Schedule an Anger Date

When it comes to anger, there seems to be two types of people who get all the attention- those who have no problems spewing anger everywhere and those who feel it’s best to never display anger. I have a suggestion for the second group – schedule an anger date.  What’s an Anger Date? An anger date is a scheduled period of time where you talk about in all the things that make you angry. You could do this alone, with another person, or with a crowd of people. However many are participating, you just let it rip. Yell, scream, cry, be demonstrative. The only restrictions are that you can’t hurt yourself or anyone else, you can’t take your anger out on anyone else, and you must stop when the time is up.  Let’s...

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What’s Your Mental Diet Like?

We hear a lot about how important our diet is. We are encouraged to eat clean, reduce sugar, and eat in moderation. Most of us know the benefits of watching our diet, but what about our mental diet? How much attention do you pay to what your mind consumes? What are you feeding your brain? What Are You Watching? How much television do you consume? Is it uplifting programming? How much nudity, negative language, and violence do you consume? Do you feel keyed up, fearful, or negative afterward? Are you learning anything from what you view? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself. The answers can be used to shape your mental diet. Remember, you are what you consume. In this case, it’s what you’re watching. If you watch  lot of violence, it’s easier...

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