How Do You Talk To Yourself?

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A person can easily be much more negative towards themselves than anyone else could.  The human mind is built to try to solve problems, to notice when things are not right to remember negative outcomes.  People have do a lot of very critical thinking in order to feel safe.  Unfortunately this and lead to talking to oneself in a harsh way.

Accepting that this is true is the first step toward being nicer to oneself.  Most self-criticism is overblown or unnecessary and is often the result of a lifetime of programming.  For instance, if your parents said you were not good at math repeatedly, this idea will bob up in your mind every time any sort of transaction involving math comes up, which can be several times a day.  Even if you are actually adequate in math, you would still habitually believe otherwise.

Learning to replace negative thoughts with positive ones is a process that can start immediately, but which usually takes time.  This is ok - trying to change overnight often leads to relapse.  Practicing letting go of one's negativity with rational, positive thought will eventually win the day. 

Blessings,  Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

Are You Lucky - or Do You Create Your Own Luck?

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The instructions to become lucky are simple.  However, the will to follow them can be weak due to fear and inertia.  So decide to embrace them with hope and firm belief that you have volition over your thoughts.  Here goes:

To find more luck, see what is right in front of you with optimism and gratitude.  Live in the present moment, not the past or future, and make your luck there.

 If you see something that looks like bad luck, decide that it is a precursor to a new direction, a clearing out of presumptions about the course of your life.  Misfortune can easily lead to positive growth.  

Good Luck Today!

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

What Does it Mean to Be Independent?

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I do not believe being independent is the opposite of being dependent.  I think it is acting from one's deepest sense of self.  This means giving up the inner negativity that can dwell within a person's mind throughout a lifetime, starting with one's earliest caretakers all the way up to one's current friends and colleagues.

Peace and joy can be found in independence that cannot be bought with money, status or worldly power.  What's more, anyone can access it with persistence and patience.  

Warmly, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

Patience

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As I get older I hold patience with more and more respect. Patience is a virtue connected to many feelings, such as hope and forgiveness, and a lack of it is evident in frustration and despair.  It is the antithesis of reactivity and self-sabotage.

Patience is something anyone can practice anytime, because patience saves time and energy. It enhances one's relationship with oneself and with others. It is a sign of self-respect. Practice patience in the smallest things you do today, and you will have a better outcome all week long.

Warm Regards,  Cheryl Deaner, LMFT#36764

 

How Thought Stopping can Help Change You for the Better

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Thought stopping is the habit of watching one's own thoughts and deciding when they are helpful or not.  If they are not, you can literally say to yourself "I chose not to have this thought" and then actively think other thoughts or change what you are doing. Try it!  

A lot of people feel they cannot do this simple thing.  But it is not true in most cases.  Habit is behind a lot of painful and intrusive thoughts.  You can chose not to pay attention to a particular thought that wants to play in the field of your mind.

Unhappy thinking occurs with your mind is in a rut. You know you are in a rut with your thinking when there is never a clear answer to a problem, and when your friends and family are not as sympathetic or patient as they once were.  But just as you got into a rut through repetition, refusing to think certain thoughts can get you out of it in most cases.

Finally, not all problems can be solved through a technique like thought stopping.  If you have a problem that is so painful or disturbing that you are not able to stop thinking about it, you may want to try counseling or therapy.  A supportive trained professional can give you the tools to move much more quickly through hard or intrusive thoughts.

Regards, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

Unwanted Change

Change is often unwelcome even after it has settled into being a long-term guest in your life.  Change can cause one to feel helpless, confused and unprepared.  But the voice that says you cannot face it is the voice of fear.  You absolutely can do what needs to be done, although it is much harder if you try to do it all alone.

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Victor Frankel, the great psychiatrist and survivor of a Nazi death camp, once said:

"Even the helpless victim of ha hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself and by doing so change himself."

I believe that all change can be transformed if you are willing to work for it.

Feel free to call me anytime,

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT#36764

Everyday Choices

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We each have thousands of choices to make each day.  If each choice we make is like a drop of rain, over time those choices become the streams, lakes and oceans that determine the course of our lives.  It is really that simple.  What we do today creates the flow of our lives, and there is always a right or less-right choice to make.

Luckily, one of the choices we also have is to not always have to make those choices alone.  Life has many great teachers, leaders, friends and well-wishers if we are open to them.   If we are willing to accept the support of others when we aren't sure what is best, we will go far.

Good Luck, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764  

Comparing Yourself to Others

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A friend told me at breakfast today about her amazing charitable work in the world - it was global in scope and when she left I was tempted to compare it to my local daily life and find mine wanting.  This is a very common theme for many people I see - how one's sense of worthiness can be internally challenged by news of other people's stories and events.  

Lucky for me, another friend at the table and realized how I was feeling.  He asked what it was that I did do with my time, and as I explained it, I was able to focus on the positive activities I do everyday but find easy to ignore. 

It is so easy to compare oneself to others!  I will never be able to keep up the globe-trotting pace of my friend, but what I do, including offering my support to her activities, affects many.  

We all have a place in the interconnected web of life.  It is our job, our dharma, to maintain our own thread of the web.  Think of all the things you DO do in the world, not what someone else does, and you will feel a lot more comfortable with yourself.

Warmly, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

Why Do People Start New Ventures?

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I believe all people have an innate need to create new ventures.  Some ventures result in communities and families, others in businesses, and still others bring the arts to life.  To create - to express something unique in oneself - is to become aware of a capacity for life that one may never have known was possible.

New ventures also expand what is personal into a positive connection with others.  Ventures are almost always helpful to humanity, not just to those who created them.

Creation is often not easy. Don't give up!  Ventures worth pursuing are challenging, but bravery and commitment can provide access to the wide open sea of potential that lives deep inside everyone's being. But most importantly, ventures can reveal a deep and satisfying sense of having been one's best self. 

The very best of luck to you in whatever new venture you may be considering right this very moment!

Warm Regards, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

 

 

Isolation Doesn't Bring Peace of Mind

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Isolation is unhealthy – particularly over time. Just listening to the mind day after day is not the same as meditation or contemplation.   A person who isolates is more likely to have depression and anxiety.

Do you isolate?  For how long?  The dubious luxury of ordering your world to your exact  specifications may seem appealing for awhile, but this is how grumpy people get their start!  Also, isolation doesn't just make relationships rusty. One can begin to feel crazy just listening to one's own head! 

Reaching out to one extra person a day, doing a favor for someone, calling an old friend or meeting a new one can make all the difference.  So can talking to a therapist, volunteering or seeking out a spiritual community.  It may feel awkward at first, but it will help keep you from developing states of mind worse than awkwardness.

Regards, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

 

 

Letting Go of Harmful Secrets

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Secrets kept out of fear, embarrassment or other negative feelings are acidic to the psyche and color how one sees others in the world.  Whether a secret is shoved under the rug or even denied, the effect is the same.

Revealing a painful secret to a trusted person or even a professional can be liberating!  Secrets create isolation and anger and can victimize the holder.  It is said that we are only as sick as our secrets.  This is true.  Talk to someone safe today.

Warmly, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

 

"The only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself."

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- Richard Bach, Illusions

When one is true to oneself, the losses and gains of the world are secondary to one's peace of mind and purpose.  Being true to oneself is the ultimate security in an insecure world.  

Living with one's eyes open to one's inner truth takes effort, courage and conviction for most.  But in the end, a life well lived is a priceless treasure.

Best Regards,

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT#36764

Today is the Day to do Something Differently

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Change can happen so suddenly, so innocuously.  You have a thought, follow it through and life suddenly unpacks you into a totally different direction.  Here are some examples of how simple such thoughts can seem:

"I would like to walk down a different street today. . .I wonder what it would be like to go to therapy. . .I's like to check out that free yoga class. . .what if I told them what I really think. . ."

Seemingly ordinary thoughts can lead to life changing events.  So go through life thinking well of yourself!  Do the thing that feels a little challenging, or that piques your curiosity.  If nothing else, you will gain insight.  And sometimes, that little thought put into action can permanently change your life for the better.

Warm Regards, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

April is the Cruelest Month

"April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers".                     

                                                                 - T.S. Eloit

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Sometimes it can just feel easier to hunker down against the softening of Spring - the old hurts, resentments and pain can feel reactivated with warmth and nourishment, rain and sun.  The pain is real - but only temporary.  The heart that is hoping to open again and you canwork against the cynicism of memory. Here are three tools to use in opening up:

1)  Decide to be compassionate for yourself instead of being disappointed or angry with yourself.  You would have done things differently if you could have, and in the future you will.

2) Talk to someone safe about your pain.  Get support from a professional if needed.

3)  Notice the pain but don't become the pain.  Your heart is bigger than the pain you are feeling.  You can get past this.

Warm Regards,

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT

When Life Feels Like a Series of Unfortunate Events. . .

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Sometimes life can feel like a chapter out of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events."  There may be a theme to the events, or your challenges may seem random. This rather overwhelming state can appear to be an endless swamp that will entrap you, but in the end this seldom turns out to ttrue. In the meantime though, slogging through the day-to-day drama of it is sometimes overwhelming. Here are three tips about how to get through this kind of time:

1)  Think about other times in your life when you were discouraged.  How long did they last?  How did you resolve things, or did time just sort them out for you?

2)  Detach.  Step back from the fatalistic story about what is going on, even it it is as compelling as a train wreck.  In Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" the most sticky and uncomfortable of journeys were in the end tests that encouraged personal growth in the characters.

3)  Don't do it all alone.  Call friends, see a therapist, go to self-help meetings or follow a spiritual path more closely.  Suffering is often lessened from something as simple as talking to another person.

To you in Your Journey,

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT 36764

Getting Ready to Retire?

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Much is written about the financial aspects of retirement, but not so much one's feelings about leaving the work world behind.  In talking with recent retirees and people who will soon be retiring, I came up with three observations.   What is interesting about the observations is that they are thoughts that can be working in the background of your mind about your retirement whether you have many years to go or this is your last week at work:

1)  When a person retires, they are often stepping out of a pressure cooker.  Don't just step into another one.  Take awhile to unwind and let the mind unfurl so your actions will be considered ones. 

2)  Let go of judgments about what you should be doing.  Let go of guilt, or that feeling that you are lazy if not "productive".  That is an illusion that won't get you far in retirement.

3)  Let yourself have nothing that has to be done.  Practice mindfulness or meditation or contemplation because time is what you have instead of making money.  After all, time is the most valuable thing in the universe!

Happy Monday!

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT

Humility

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Humility is a most precious of virtues.  It doesn't always come easily, and once you think you have it, it is usually gone!  As the saints say "if you want to go through a small doorway, you have to bend down."  Bending can be awkward for any number of reasons.

Just for today, treat everyone as though they were a king or queen, prince or princess.  Let humility dissolve the feeling that you have been wronged in the present or the past, or are about to be wronged in the future.

Humility can dissolve anger and can create a good situation out of a bad one.  Practice finding humility today, and let yourself expand into a state of grace.

Warm Regards,

Cheryl Deaner, LMFT

How to Survive Your Own Mistakes

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Everyone makes bad decisions.  Unless of course you are perfect, and even saints made mistakes before they become realized.   Once you make a mistake it cannot be undone and it frequently becomes easier to repeat  This repetition simply ups the ante for punishment in the end.

The mind is a funny thing.  It can tell you "It's alright. No one will find out, no one will get hurt."  But in the meantime, what happens to you?  Are you still able to feel the same way about yourself?  Do you find yourself having to hide things for people you care about, or fear, or want nothing to do with?

Since mistakes are inevitable, it is usually best to find someone that you can trust to listen to you without revealing your secret.  Try to sort out with this confidant how to resolve your mistake.  You might be surprised that what you have done is not as bad as you think.  Or maybe that there is a guilt that you should learn to live with in order to not hurt a person that is innocent. The main thing is, by not keeping your secret to yourself, you take responsibility for yourself.  You move on.

You are the main victim of your own bad decisions.  If you treat yourself with enough kindness and firmness there is a good chance that you will be able to resolve your mistake with the least amount of hurt involved for everyone.  

Warm Regards, Cheryl Deaner, LMFT