Tag Archives: counseling

Do this when you feel icky

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“What Science Really Says About Negative Emotions.

Pretending unwelcome feelings don’t exist isn’t helping. Here’s what to do instead:

by Shelby Lorman.

Source.

Ever been told to smile when you’re feeling down? While there’s science to support the idea that forced positivity can temporarily boost your mood, convincing yourself that you’re always happy may do you more harm than good, according to an insightful piece on Quartz by Lila MacLellan. Research suggests suppressing your less-than-pleasant feelings can harm your psychological well-being, and that accepting them is a better option.
Acceptance isn’t about making peace with your negative emotions: the “magic of acceptance is in its blunting effect on emotional reactions to stressful events,” Brett Ford, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, told MacLellan. Ford added that over time, acceptance of negative emotions can lead to “positive psychological health, including higher levels of life satisfaction.”
How and why this happens isn’t exactly clear. But Ford’s recently published research (in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) offers some insights. The research is from a few years ago, when Ford was a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley. She and a few other Berkeley researchers designed a three-part experiment in hopes of learning more about the link between acceptance and psychological well-being. The participants were from various socioeconomic backgrounds and races, and included people who had dealt with major and minor negative experiences (think the difference between losing a job and losing track of your keys).
Ford and her fellow researchers found that people who were more accepting of negative emotions (MacLellan calls them “habitual acceptors”) like anger or anxiety had reduced feelings of ill-being, something backed up by previous research, and were more likely to have better well-being. MacLellan notes that “accepting dark emotions like anxiety or rage won’t bring you down or amplify the emotional experience. Nor will it make you ‘happy’—at least not directly.” Instead, acceptance is linked to overall “better mental health when it’s used in response to negative emotions, not positive ones,” MacLellan writes.
Ford hopes her research can improve future mental health treatments, which “currently rely on some approaches that fail people,” she told MacLellan. “When something happens and you try to reframe it like, ‘Oh it’s not such a big deal.’ or ‘I’m going to learn and grow from that,’ it doesn’t necessarily work,” Ford said.
Bad experiences are inevitable. But if we only let in the positive emotions, we’re less equipped to deal with the rollercoaster ride that is just part and parcel of being alive. “People die in our lives, we lose them, if we have only been accustomed to being allowed to have more positive thoughts, then these realities can strike us even more intensely when they happen—and they will happen,” according to Svend Brinkmann, a psychology professor at Denmark’s Aalborg University quoted in the piece.
Part of the challenge of acceptance is that it runs counter to our culture’s expectation to be happy all of the time. We’re living in a “cultural age that’s decidedly pro-positivity,” MacLellan writes, which makes the “pressure to suppress or camouflage negative feelings” all the more pronounced. In the West (especially in the U.S.) “happiness and positivity are seen as virtues,” MacLellan notes. Ford told her that “some companies want their customers and employees to be delighted all the time. That’s unreasonable, and when we’re faced with unreasonable expectations, it’s natural for us to start applying judgement to the negative mental experiences we have.”
This probably isn’t helped by the fact that social media today is awash in well-curated and filtered frames of positivity. While a quick mood boost might feel great, continually suppressing our own negative emotions in favor of feel-good things only sets us up for a “striving state of mind,” according to Ford, which is paradoxical to finding peace and acceptance.
The good news is that acceptance can be learned. You can start by thinking of “your emotions as passing clouds, visible but not a part of you,” MacLellan suggests. Next time you experience a negative emotion or feel pressured to smile when you’re really not feeling it, remember that, as Ford explains, “acceptance involves not trying to change how we are feeling, but staying in touch with your feelings and taking them for what they are.”
Read more on Quartz.

Astro Report for mid October

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The Full Moon in Aries last Thursday is now behind us, and it was one of the more challenging moons we’ve faced in a long time. Uranus (sudden changes) on the Full Moon, squaring Mars (aggression) and Venus (relationships) created a tense and chaotic atmosphere in many areas of our lives. I’m sure many of us are feeling exhausted and bewildered from the sudden events. Last week illuminated our compatibilities and differences, as well as the road  to creating an authentic harmony.

This week starts with more tension with Mercury and the Sun squaring Pluto. Avoid conflicts and social squabbles and instead focus on regeneration and what’s most important. These are the best ways to use Pluto’s cathartic energy! This planet brings up toxic thoughts from under the surface that need to be purged and healed. You can help the process by focusing on your goals. Remain peaceful and avoid angry situations or people.

Jupiter moves from Libra to Scorpio on Tuesday. This planet expands all it touches, and the energy shifts from relationships and art to sex, power struggles and the unearthing of secrets. Much more on this later! Let changes unfold instead of forcing solutions.

As always,try to keep the focus on improving your own life conditions rather than imposing your will on others. Practicing gratitude, getting a good night’s sleep, having some good food or a chat with a trusted friend are the best things for us in October.

 

Astro Weather

Happy Labor Day everyone! Good news, we are starting September off right with two planets resuming forward motion 🙂

Mars and Mercury are doing an odd dance right now. Mercury (in Retrograde) is barreling towards Mars (Direct) in the last degrees of Leo. Remember the eclipse a couple weeks ago?

The American eclipse on August 21st occurred at 28 degrees Leo. Mars will be ON that degree tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 2nd! This transit inspires us to put our eclipse insights into motion and TAKE ACTION! We also have a Mars/Uranus trine (positive aspect) tomorrow! Expect the unexpected… revelations abound and the desire to be free and independent will reach a fever pitch.

Next week, Mars and Mercury will “cross” each other in the night sky causing a moving conjunction AT 29 degrees Leo. If that wasn’t enough (and it really is), Mercury is going Direct on Tuesday (Sept. 5th) at… you guessed it… 28 degrees Leo!!

Mercury (mind and communication) will be united with Mars (action and vitality) and you can finally move mountains in the right direction. Creativity, assertiveness and expression will be easy to access. This is an amazing event, and really beautiful. Astrology never ceases to amaze me.

Saturn turned Direct at 21 Sagittarius on Friday, August 25th at five in the morning. It’s the planet of responsibility, discipline and reality and can feel HEAVY. When Saturn is retrograde, things appear less stable in our personal lives and society at large. Thankfully we are now moving Direct, and issues will begin to get back on course. If you haven’t made progress on a project or goal, there’s steady movement now. Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to recommit to our Truth, Beliefs and Goals, and have discipline in our day to day activities.

The August 21st eclipse will be rolling out and affecting us for the next six months. Since it occurred in Leo, so we can look for a rebirth or change regarding our self expression, status, and identity. Art, clothes, music, leadership and public speaking are highlighted. Did you get any insights on your life?

Everyone will be impacted by August’s eclipse in different ways. If you’re interested in how it will affect you, set up a reading with me 🙂 I can give you a huge snapshot of your life story in a 15 minute phone reading.

July Astro

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Astrologically, the first days of July have been emotionally rough, and the best way through it has been to Feel our Feelings. The Sun is in Cancer which is the most emotionally sensitive sign of the zodiac. It directs our attention to unresolved family/home issues that need to be addressed and purged. Also, the Moon has been traveling through Scorpio the last few days – bringing up our deepest psychological knots to be healed. Mercury and Mars have been barreling through Cancer too, adding some extra urgency and heat. PLUS on Saturday, Chiron (the wounded healer) turned retrograde – activating the vulnerable place of old pain each of us carries. I mean seriously!! How much more can we take??!!

Be gentle with yourself this week, and take time for solitude if you need it. I do a lot of journaling during times like these, and often find nuggets of wisdom through reflection and dreams. As a wise friend once told me, “if you treat yourself like a precious jewel, everything will fall into place”. I find the deepest truths can be found in our recurring patterns. Is there something you need to sacrifice in order to release suffering?

 

 

Currently:
Mars opposing Pluto (the warrior faces Death, read this piece by Austin Coppock)
Mercury into Leo 5:20pm Pacific TODAY.
Full Moon in Capricorn this SUNDAY, July 9th (just work all weekend)
Venus in Gemini, Mars in Cancer (not happy) until July 20th.

So basically, next weekend could be the sequel to last… the Full Moon this Sunday is at the same degree as Pluto – so we will have a Full Moon conjunct Pluto which is also intensely emotional – but highly transformational. Pluto wants to help us rebirth ourselves by clearing out toxic sludge; it’s catharsis.

“Catharsis (from Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”) is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. It is a metaphor originally used by Aristotle in the Poetics, comparing the effects of tragedy on the mind of a spectator to the effect of a cathartic on the body.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharsis

From Katie Sweetman:

July 2017 Horoscopes
http://empoweringastrology.com/july-2017-horoscopes

Pluto in Capricorn: Sign by Sign
http://empoweringastrology.com/pluto-in-capricorn-sign-by-s…

 

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“Sirens by the Sea” by Victor Karlovich Shtemberg (1863-1921)

Alanon meditation

ToolMe

The Language of Letting Go” is one of my favorite books of wisdom. Today’s sentiment really resonates with me, and I want to share it 🙂

Happy Monday!

Powerlessness and Unmanageability

“Willpower is not the key to the way of life we are seeking. Surrender is.

“I have spent much of my life trying to make people be, do, or feel something they aren’t, don’t want to do, and choose not to feel. I have made them, and myself, crazy in that process,” said one recovering woman.

I spent my childhood trying to make an alcoholic father who didn’t love himself be a normal person who loved me. I then married an alcoholic and spent a decade trying to make him stop drinking.

I have spent years trying to make emotionally unavailable people be emotionally present for me. I have spent even more years trying to make family members, who are content feeling miserable, happy.

What I’m saying is this: I’ve spent much of my life desperately and vainly trying to do the impossible and feeling like a failure when I couldn’t. It’s been like planting corn and trying to make the seeds grow peas. Won’t work!

By surrendering to powerlessness, I gain the presence of mind to stop wasting my time and energy trying to change and control that which I cannot change and control. It gives me permission to stop trying to do the impossible and focus on what is possible: being who I am, loving myself, feeling what I feel, and doing what I want to do with my life.

In recovery, we learn to stop fighting lions, simply because we cannot win. We also learn that the more we are focused on controlling and changing others, the more unmanageable our life becomes. The more we focus on living our own life, the more we have a life to live, and the more manageable our life will become.

Today, I will accept powerlessness where I have no power to change things, and I’ll allow my life to become manageable.”

It’s not what you think

Fantastic insights depression and the death of Chris Cornell. I also found this study that links addiction to childhood trauma:

http://upliftconnect.com/addiction-is-a-response-to-childhood-suffering/

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING, PLEASE GET HELP. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak, it’s a way of taking care of yourself and the people that love you.

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Chris Cornell, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone.

For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem like this it’s because I’m staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what I want to say. That’s not the problem this time. The problem is I have way too much to say.

I’m not going to sit here and claim to have been a huge fan of Soundgarden. I didn’t dislike them, I just had to take them in small doses. I was a fan of Cornell. I love “Seasons,” the solo song he had on Cameron Crowe’s movie, Singles. It’s a droning acoustic song about isolation and the…

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