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coping

what are you saying

What Are You Saying?

Have you ever thought about what you are saying? Word are meant to communicate things, but what are you communicating? Words help us exchange information, create connection, or change status or mood (either up or down). Exchanging information is useful. If you want directions, feedback, instructions on how to do something, you have to ask questions of people who have answers. Exchanging information helps people be more efficient, grow, and become more capable. This is a head centered way of speaking. Using words to create connection is a heart centered way of speaking. These words are usually sweet and caring and open the door to engaging in the relationship. Without this type of communication, we don't have meaningful relationships, a sense of community, or intimacy. It's not just the words that make...

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30 days no contact

When To Go “30 Days No Contact”

There are times when you just need to take a break from your relationship or you family. For those times, there is "30 days no contact." So, let's talk about what that is and why and how you do it. What is 30 Days No Contact? 30 Days, No Contact is just what it sounds like. It's a planned time out of 30 days that involves no phone calls, texts, emails, or visits. You can't drop lunch by outside the door. You can't send messages through third parties. There is no checking up on them to make sure they are okay. Your friends or family can't do that for you either. This is time for you to focus on you, not them. Why Do 30 Days No Contact? 30 Days, No Contact is...

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no closure

Moving On When There’s No Closure

Moving on when there is no closure is hard. This can happen when: someone diessomeone ghosts youwhen there is a bad relationship break-upthere is a sudden disappearance (runaway, kidnapping? sex trafficking?) where a crime is suspectedyou're unexpectedly fired Closure is important so that we can understand what happened. When we care about a relationship, we need answers to help us make sense or things - whether we like those answers or not. It allows us to accept so that we can move on. When we don't have closure, it can feel traumatizing. Life can freeze frame in that spot. It's like we have no hope of ever resolving our conflict, getting the approval we need, being forgiven, ever feeling the way we did at our most amazing again, achieving our...

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new beginnings

New Beginnings Are Often Disguised As Painful Endings

Full moon eclipses are times of massive upheaval. They can dredge up old, forgotten stuff or things you've been avoiding. It's Nature's way of giving us a push to get on with it. The things to remember about times like these is that "New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." ~Lao Tzu So we can focus on where we've been and what we're leaving behind, or we can focus on where we are going. The ride tends to be more enjoyable if we look ahead. Everything in life ends: kindergarten, labor pains, toothaches, first kisses. Positive or negative, nothing lasts forever. We experience endings and beginnings all the time and survive them. When we realized this, it may make the next one easier. It may not make the experience less painful,...

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bend, not break

How to Bend, Not Break

Most people endure at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes. Some have many. If you work in a high stress environment, like a hospital mental health care, the police force, or an incarceration facility, an overloaded nervous system could happen on a daily basis. So what makes some people bend, not break? The key to understanding this has to do with orientation towards time. Positive Relationship to the Past People with a higher level of resilience have a healthier relationship with the past. Although their past may not have been totally rosey, they reminisce, have more positive than negative memories, and feel that some good came out of the bad. People with a positive relationship to the past are more likely to honor traditions, eat with their families, have long, strong...

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leaving an abusive relationship

What You Need to Know Before Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving any relationship is not easy. When the relationship has been abusive, there are special emotional considerations that don't come with your run-of-the-mill breakup. Here are some things you need to know before leaving an abusive relationship that may make the break more bearable. It's Not Your Fault Your partner may have a habit of blaming you for things that go wrong. You may be wondering what you could have done differently to make the relationship easier. Whether your partner is blaming you or you are blaming yourself, let that go. It's not your fault. Abuse is a maladaptive way of relating that is hurtful and unhealthy. Nobody makes another person behave that way. It's a choice. You Can't Change Your Partner Along with shouldering the blame for the abuse, many victims say that...

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what does safety feel like

What Does Safety Feel Like?

If you grew up in a chaotic environment, you may not know what safety feels like. How do you cultivate something when you don't know what it is? It's like trying to describe chocolate to someone who has never smelled or tasted it. Nothing else comes close. It's something you have to experience to really get it, right? Here are some tips to get you there. A Calm Mind Depression is about focusing on the past. Anxiety is about highlighting the potential future. Safety isn't in either of those places. It's in this moment. If you are someone whose mind is always going, going, going, it may be hard to be here. So try this. Look at one thing that is within your view right now, or one thing that you're feeling...

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healing toxic shame

How to Heal Toxic Shame

Shame happens when we perceive we have done something wrong and someone else witnesses it. Instead of seeing the behavior is wrong, we believe that we are wrong, bad, defective, unworthy, or don't deserve love. Unlike guilt, shame requires a witness to exist. For example, if I believe that stealing is wrong and take something that doesn't belong to me, I will feel guilty. I won't feel shame unless and until someone knows I've stolen. Toxic shame puts us in shadow. We forget, if we ever knew, that we're creative, brilliant, worthy, amazing, daring, trustworthy, good, sexy people. Nothing can convince us otherwise because when we look out into the world, all we see is proof of our depravity. Stop the Crisis The first step to healing from anything is to...

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what causes toxic shame

What Causes Toxic Shame?

Sometimes I get clients who are really nice people, they seem honest, and really want to feel better, but they just don't budge. Almost always the underlying reason is toxic shame. They have a deep belief that they are bad, and they don't deserve to feel any better. That's utter nonsense. Everyone has a beautiful light inside. Sometimes we let poor choices overshadow it and we forget to let it shine. Or sometimes we grow up in invalidating environments and the people around us throw so much shade that we don't learn that it's there. Whatever the reason, we don't have to live with it. Every day is a new opportunity to have a different life. We just have to choose, then stay the course. Sometimes that's easier when we...

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