Holiday Pain and Gratitude

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If you’re like most people, there’s probably an element of pain, dread and/or overwhelm as we enter the holiday season. The rush to consume, the pressure to feel joyful, and the expectation of experiencing perfect familial bliss set against a Normal Rockwell backdrop is enough to send any human being under a gray cloud. Add to that being a highly sensitive person that can veer toward anxiety or depression and the recipe for implosions or explosions is laid out on the holiday table alongside the turkey and cranberries.

Holidays, birthdays, and transitions are a set-up for disappointment and pain. Whenever we expect to feel one certain way (i.e. blissful, connected, happy), the other emotions inside clamor for attention until we break down in some form. We simply balk in the face of expectations. And the expectation itself for pure joy is, in a word, ridiculous. Why do we put so … Click here to continue reading...

The Power of Gratitude

One of the sweetest things my son says to me is, “Mommy, how can I help you tomorrow?” We’ll be getting ready for bed and he’ll look up at me with his sea-blue eyes, his face as fresh as rain and his voice like spring, and he’ll ask these words in his sing-song way. My heart melts every time, and I almost always respond by saying, “You just did.” I look at him with a smile of wonder during these moments, marveling at this sweet soul that I have the privilege of mothering, and feeling the frustration, impatience, worry, or heartache that may have punctuated my day fall away. I can literally feel the prickly sensations softening and dissipating in the wake of the goodness of his offering.

I’ve mistakenly thought that I was the lucky one in those moments, to be the receiver of such purity and generosity. But, … Click here to continue reading...

“Real Love Is Only What You Give”

I don’t recall how I first stumbled upon Recipes for a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty, but most likely it came from a recommendation from a member of the e-course message board. I remember intially feeling put-off by the title as anything that contains the word “perfect”, especially in connection to weddings or marriage, produces an immediate allergic reaction in my psyche. But because I trust my wise and thoughtful audience, I purchased the book and was stunned to find the words that I espouse to my clients every day transposed into a rich and meaningful novel.

I recently re-read the book to make sure that it has withstood my ever-evolving understanding of real love and marriage. My 2011 review: it’s nothing short of brilliant. It’s the only novel I’m aware of that presents an authentic, realistic window into what it means to love and be loved. It’s the … Click here to continue reading...