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Laura Giles, LCSW

Be Choosey

If you live in the developed world, you’re unimaginably lucky. You can probably get something to eat at any hour of the day. You can eat Mexican food for lunch and Ethiopian for dinner. If you want neon markers, nine inch nails, or an antique lamp, you can probably have it at your doorstep the next day. Doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief – any career path is open to you as well. You can have a house by the water or one in town. It’s all available. For many of us, the ease of acquisition has made us a bit jaded. If you’d like to shake that off, be choosy. Pay attention to how you spend your time and resources. Choose things that matter. Savor them. Let the things in your...

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Who Deserves Compassion?

Who deserves compassion? Can we draw a line separating those who are worthy from those who are not? Are pedophiles worthy of compassion? How about liars, cheaters, drunk drivers, murderers, drug addicts, or rapists? What about people who are lazy, mentally ill people, selfish, stingy, or rude? How do you decide what makes a person naughty enough to withhold compassion? If you want to live a peaceful life, I’d suggest that everyone deserves compassion. Withhold it from no one. Why? Aren’t some of these deeds and habits really horrible and unforgivable? It’s true that any deed can be hurtful and cause horrible consequences. Giving compassion doesn’t mean that you release someone from making amends or holding them accountable. It doesn’t mean that you have to continue to deal with them. It just...

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I’m Not Supposed to Feel This Way

Do you ever get surprised by thought “I’m not supposed to feel this way”? Do you think that you’ve outgrown a feeling or have healed and moved on only to be sneak attacked by old frustrations? What’s going on? Let’s take a look at some possibilities. You’re More Self Aware Sometimes being more self aware or less guarded means seeing what you didn’t see before. Perhaps the underlying feelings were always there, they were just covered up by busyness, avoidance, not being completely truthful with yourself, or just not being aware. Now that all that is relaxed, it’s easy to see what was once hidden. If you’re more self aware, great! It’s a fabulous time to finally deal with old issues once and for all. You’re Less Self Aware Sometimes we stop using our...

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face it

Face it. Feel It.

Gone With the Wind is a fabulous movie. It’s a timeless look at humanity. One of the strongest scenes is when Scarlett is seen in the arms of her brother in law, Ashley. Her husband, Rhett Butler, won’t allow his disgraced wife to hide. He demands that she go to Melanie’s party and show her face. It’s a great example of how to deal with fear, shame, guilt, humiliation, grief, or anxiety. You just face it. Feel it. Put on your best dress. Do your hair, nails, and make up and stand in your truth. Pain is a great teacher. It can’t teach you if you hide it or run from it. In Gone With the Wind, by facing down the gossip, Scarlett saved her reputation. The gesture said, “I am here!” and...

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Four Stages of Learning

Noel Burch identified the four stages of learning in the 1970s. Knowing these stages can really help you make accurate assessments of your own level of skill. They can also help you see areas that need improvement. Before I get into that, let’s look at the stages of learning. Unconscious Incompetence  – this is the “ignorance is bliss” stage. You don’t know what you don’t know. This can make you feel that there is nothing new to know or perhaps dismiss the value of learning something. Conscious Incompetence – this is the stage where the person understands that skill is lacking. He knows that learning it is useful. He just doesn’t have the ability to execute it very well. Conscious Competence – at this stage, the person is able to execute the skill with thought and concentration. Unconscious Competence –...

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