Self care is important. The act of showing kindness and appreciation for yourself by engaging in an activity that you find soothing or relaxing is a wonderful thing. Often we put pressure on ourselves to be productive and work at full capacity at all times, especially during the pandemic. I know I felt the huge push to learn a new skill or get more done now that I’ve been stuck at home for a full year. Having self compassion means accepting and even embracing our limitations so that we can show ourselves more kindness. Currently, that means accepting that I cannot work at more than 100% capacity during a pandemic just because I spend more time at home than I used to. However, when we’re talking about burnout at work, self care isn’t enough.
I love my job so it’s easy to fall into the trap of not recognizing burnout. I’m a social worker and psychotherapist who also does some consulting work for not for profit organizations. I’m lucky...
As a child of the 1980’s and 1990’s, I grew up in the era of Instant Gratification. Everything we wanted, it seemed we could have. The latest toys, electronics and instant food. The Media was beginning to really take off and we gorged ourselves on it. In this age of newfound freedom and instant gratification, I learned that it was encouraged to look outside of myself for guidance and direction in my life. As I grew up, I based all of my decisions not on what felt right for me but what others told me should feel right for me. I based my self-worth on how successful I was in conforming to those ideals.
Guess what? I failed. Every. Single. Time.
I never could quite figure out how to live up to those standards. I have struggled with my weight since I was 8 years old. My hair is coarse, prone to frizz and what others have referred to as mousy brown. I have worn glasses since I was 11 years old. The cherry on top? I’ve suffered with...
The Grudge That Held Me
In the end I discovered that the joy I was withholding, was causing me my own.
I denied forgiveness, until I realized I was the one that needed forgiving. This awareness changed my experience of life, of myself, and those around me in ways I never would have imagined. Let me tell you how I came to be here.
When I was about 16 yeas old, I went to my fathers first birthday party. Yes, you read that right. His first birthday party. You see it was his first year sober. In Alcoholics Anonymous you celebrate birthdays acknowledging your sobriety. At the party, my father chose a special poem to be read. It is called the Man in the Glass. It is the only thing I kept from my father for over 20 years.
The poem talks about how your life is a mirror to reflect on. The poem's brilliance is that it is not about blame or shame; rather, it is an invitation to accountability. It is a call to...
My grief PIC (partner in crime) as I will refer to one of the closest people in my life (she would hunt me down if I used her name or gave her any credit) and I have always been really open and talked about literally everything. She was always in it with me in every way. Being as close as we are, she told me that she could feel all the different pains I felt, like it took her instantly back to the loss of her own husband 20 years ago…like it was yesterday. I don’t like to use the term “stages” but she felt all of the different levels with me and still is almost 4 years later. I hated that I took her back there and through it again, but soon realized that no matter how much time passed, she was still in it. My situation just illuminated it all again…and if I’m telling the truth (which I promised to do), it was so comforting for me to feel seen and known through that time. I get it too. I think that no matter who is going through...
Art is for everyone, it’s not for the talented, the gifted, it’s for everyone, all abilities.
You’re probably scoffing at me as I say this. “Yea, I can’t even draw a stick figure right” or “sure I can paint nice things or copy someone else, but I am not creative in the slightest” But I want to tell you that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself, it’s time to let go and unleash your creative freedom.
Why don’t we allow ourselves to create freely? Why do we squander our creative processes?
As children we create freely, we are little packages of flowing creative energy and joy. Sometime in our childhood to adulthood we learn that creativity is for the gifted, or our creativity is not good enough as our...
Picture your dream house. I bet it’s not filled with clutter.
Do you ever find yourself ‘wishing’ for more? And then you finally get that thing, you start wishing for the next? Yes? Me too. We all have. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dreaming and growing, and reaching for the stars but these material things sometimes come at a bigger cost than we realize.
I did this wishing and wanting for years. I kept saying, ‘Once I get this project done’ I’ll rest, ‘once we get that piece of furniture’ the house will feel complete, once I have A, B, C, go on X, Y, Z vacations – THEN things will feel right, THEN I’ll be happy, THEN I’ll have time, space, etc to do what I really want to do. But that time never came. . .
I always liked a tidy house but my idea of it all shifted when I read the Magic Art of Tidying up by Marie Kondo, and while her version of super minimalism and extreme...
Everyone has a journey they must travel to learn the lessons they are here to receive. The roads we travel mould and shape us into who we are, who we are meant to become, and lead us to the people who are meant to impact our lives so we may achieve our soul’s purpose.
I would find myself wondering “why do they do that?” or I would question the way they behaved in the world. The funny thing is, questioning others, allowing myself to feel annoyed by others’ decisions for how they chose to live or behave, did nothing to impact them. It didn’t change the way they made their choices or how they lived their lives. What it did do was rob me of my own joy because I allowed myself to BE annoyed.
When I eventually came around to this realization I decided to release my judgments and say to myself, “not my journey, not my lessons”, and I’d wish them well, sending them off with love.
WHEN YOU’RE A RESILIENCY QUEEN THIS PANDEMIC IS BUT A BLIP IN THE FEAR-O-METER.
I like to think that I’m just like everyone else, nothing more, nothing less, but I believe we all do ourselves a disservice when we don’t recognize how truly special we are. I have come to learn we are all masters at one thing or another. We need to share our experiences with others so they, too, can traverse the plains we have walked before them. If you are alive, you have a story to tell that can and will support others; it’s our duty to do that.
I want to take you back in time to roughly 8 months ago. It was a day like any other. I woke up, showered, got dressed and readied my daughter for school. Off she went, neither of us with a care on the horizon. Later that day, the government announced that March break would be extended to two weeks and life as we had always known it would change. In the weeks that followed, as people started literally fighting over toilet paper...
Burnout, a curse and a blessing.
I have been nursing for 29+ years, and if you had asked me if I ever thought I would start to hate it, I would have laughed. A nurse is all I ever wanted to be. When I signed up for nursing, I knew it involved long hours, working weekends and holidays, and that I would deal with death often. But what I didn’t expect was it to slowly, then very quickly beat me into the ground.
When feelings of resentment, emotional exhaustion, and honestly feeling numb to events going on in the work environment surfaced, I pushed them down, way down. These feelings hit me by surprise, and initially, I didn’t know what to do with them. But after years of avoiding my thoughts and emotions, I finally started taking note of how I was feeling and began to ask what those feelings were trying to tell me. I avoided diving into those feelings for years!
Despite thinking I could muscle my way through another challenging experience, the years had beaten me...
The Lost Mom
Some of us, we live happily ever after as man and wife. Some of us live with a man, or a woman, or multiple men or women. Some of us live with a lifelong friend, or a family member. Some of us live with our fur critters. Some of us live in co-dependent relationships and think everything is ok.
Whatever the relationship is, we want to feel love. I myself, I based my worth on the love of others. I based my worth on my spouse of 16 years continuing to call me his wife. I based my worth on being the perfect mom, the mom who carefully attached the beautiful labels to all of their clothing, purchased them the best of the best, and washed their shoes so they didn’t go to school dirty. I based my worth on going above and beyond in my job to please anyone, and everyone, even when I was exhausted. I based my worth on everything, except what I have now learned is the most important to base my worth on. Myself.
In 2018 my life changed overnight, I was suddenly no...