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Five Self-care Strategies during Grief - After the Election and Beyond

Five Self-care Strategies during Grief - After the Election and Beyond

This past week has been especially hard on our country. Whether or not you were happy with the results of the election, I think that we can all agree that it has been a time of great emotional turbulence.

For many, it is a time of grief. Indeed, internet searches on the topic "stages of grief" have gone up exponentially in the last few days, as you can see from this graph:

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Four Mindful Practices for Making Peace

Four Mindful Practices for Making Peace

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Often, that is easier said than done.

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Five Surprising Benefits of Drumming

Five Surprising Benefits of Drumming

Rhythm is contagious. It isn't hard to imagine why. Our earliest life experiences are linked to the comforting beat of our mother's hearts.

The word rhythm comes from a Greek word, rhythmos, meaning movement and flow - that which creates order, shape and symmetry to our lives. Every culture has its own way to articulate this flow, and to express it in ways that bring the community together. Drum circles are one ancient tradition that is becoming increasingly popular in our modern world.

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Five Ways that Mindfulness Strengthens Relationships

Five Ways that Mindfulness Strengthens Relationships

If you haven't noticed, mindfulness has hit the mainstream!

Although different versions of the practice have been around for centuries, it is a relative newcomer to the western world. Mindful awareness might have been viewed with some suspicion in its early days, but over time research has proven its physical, mental, and emotional benefits. 

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How to Build a Better Conversation

How to Build a Better Conversation

This high-tech age that we're living in allows incredible ease in communication. Sometimes too easy.

We are probably more effective when we pause and are mindful of our communications. Perhaps we shouldn't overindulge in so much upsetting or useless information. Maybe we shouldn't fire off the first text or email response that comes to mind.

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Four Ways to Listen Powerfully

Four Ways to Listen Powerfully

Are you a good listener?

Many people would say that they are, but in today's busy world, new communication patterns are giving us fewer opportunities to maintain good listening skills.

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How to Get What You Need

How to Get What You Need

As I sit to write this, I can hear that old Rolling Stones song going through my head — "You can't always get what you want...But if you try sometimes, you just might find — you get what you need."

This week's message was inspired by several friends who, after hearing the story about my ER visit (now eight weeks ago) asked me to share more information about how I was able to advocate for myself in that situation. It's a great question.

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Four Steps to More Compassionate Communication

Four Steps to More Compassionate Communication

As social creatures craving connection, our relationships can be sources of great joy, as well as frustration and stress. Feeling appreciated, heard and understood greatly enhances our sense of connection and well-being. Likewise, when we feel unheard and misunderstood — or when we don't understand or are disconnected from those who are close to us — we may experience sadness, anger, or anxiety.

In my work helping people develop self-care mastery, the area of relationships and communication can often be challenging because it is not something that anyone can control. This area always involves at least two people! Learning to negotiate our relationships in ways that honor our needs as well as the needs of others is an important part of self-care.

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Six Ways to be a GREAT Accountability Buddy

Six Ways to be a GREAT Accountability Buddy

These days most of us have a lot on our plate. When we have multiple commitments, it can be challenging to consistently invest in all the things that are important to us. If we're not careful, we can fall into a reactive mode where we are constantly dealing with things that seem urgent, and not finding the time, energy, or focus to be proactive in the areas that aren't being "squeaky wheels" — at least until they reach urgent status too!

The trouble is, some things that are important to us aren't going to squeak as loudly. The commitments that we have at work, for example, are supported by all the structures that promote their fulfillment — weekly meetings with supervisors or team members, timelines, deadlines, evaluations, etc. — keep these things front and center. For many other areas of our lives, however, we have to build our own support structures.

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The Power of a Mirror

The Power of a Mirror

I have always loved to dance, and over the years I've had my share of dance lessons. Most of them were ballet, and they occurred in locations that looked very similar. There was a large empty room with a wide expanse of floor, a barre attached to one wall, and a mirror on the other wall. The expansiveness of the room created a clear space where students could move freely. The barre was there to help us with balance. The mirror was there to reflect the way our bodies looked as they moved or stood still.

The mirror was an important tool as we developed deeper awareness of our bodies. When we could see what we were doing, we could decide if it matched the aesthetic we were trying to create and adjust our positions accordingly. Over time, we learned how it "felt" to be a dancer. After many rehearsals with the mirror, we could recreate that feeling on stage – confident that what we were now able to perform would faithfully represent the vision of the choreographer.

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