Three Communication Mistakes to Avoid for a Peaceful Family Thanksgiving

As we prepare to get together with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, feelings of anxiety and fear is normal. Being with family is not always a peaceful happy time for some.  

It may mean having to sit with someone who you would rather not be with;

Fear of criticism, judgement, and lack of acceptance starts to kick in.  

Maybe, you are going to be with someone whom you have a fractured relationship with and you are trying to heal it;

Fear of another family argument can cause increased anxiety and even depression.

Maybe you are confused as to why a family member or friend always ends up getting angry at something you said, and you feel like you are walking on eggshells every time you see them;

Fear of being blamed for “someone else’s problems” creeps up.

To help you reduce the risk of a painful and stressful family get-together, here are three communication mistakes to avoid: Read more

The Rock of Self-Compassion. The Dangers of Self-Esteem

As a child, I remember my mother teaching me this song:

The foolish man built his house upon the sand. The foolish man built his house upon the sand. The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and the rain came tumbling down.

The rain came down, and the floods came up. The rain came down, and the floods came up. The rain came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the sand went “splat!” (clapping our hands as loud as we could as we would sing “splat”.  This was my favorite part of the song!)

The wise man built his house upon the rock. The wise man built his house upon the rock. The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the rain came tumbling down.

The rain came down, and the floods came up. The rain came down, and the floods came up. The rain came down, and the floods came up, and the house on the rock stood firm!

I had forgotten about that song, until last year when I attended a training on Therapeutic Mindfulness. The speakers included Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. I was surprised to hear, for the first time, that pursuing self-esteem does not work and can actually be dangerous.  Read more

Reaping What You Didn’t Sow

Has anyone ever told you, “you’re reaping what you’ve sowed”?  It’s true that some things that happen to us are a direct result of something we have done. However, that is not always the case. There are also times when we reap what we do not sow.

Those who know me know that I like to garden. I have a vegetable garden. This past year I saw the leaves of a tomato plant sprouting in the garden. I began to cultivate it, and for the past three months my husband and I have been enjoying the sweet juice of delicious yellow tomatoes. pexels-photo-209565 I have no idea where this plant came from. I didn’t plant it. Was there a loose seed in the soil of another plant I purchased? Did a bird drop the seed from a neighboring garden?  I don’t know where or how it got there, but I do know that I reaped tomatoes I didn’t sow.

In addition to good, we also, unfortunately, can be the receivers of  pain, sorrow, and agony that we don’t deserve.   Read more