The Kindness of Strangers

compassion Apr 02, 2017

Have you seen this popular quote floating about lately?

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
                                                                                                 - Brad Meltzer

 

I’ve been thinking about it over the past few days. I wonder if people who spread that quote really mean,

I’M fighting a battle YOU know nothing about. Be kind to ME & MINE. Always.”.

 

Here’s why it’s been on my mind. A few days ago this relatively innocuous venting popped up in my Facebook feed on a community board:

 

“To the jerk in the white Mercedes SUV who honked three times at the school bus that was waiting for my...

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Let the Music Move You

self care Mar 29, 2017

There’s are reason that movie soundtracks are in a category of their own at the Academy Awards. Music has the ability to enhance every film scene. From award for the best original score to the best original song, music has the power to communicate through sound and incite emotion in the audience. It can scare us and soothe us. Uplift or distress—Music makes the moving pictures brighter and enriches the story. Turn off the music in a movie and you lose the nuance, the essence, the emotional wallop.

Do you have the music turned up LOUD in your life?

My own memories are laced with soundtracks—Goingto T-ball practice (AKA cartwheels and dandelion picking in the outfield) with the Bee Gees wailing Night Fever. Perfecting teen angst to New Order and John Hughes film soundtracks (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club). Long walks to and from campus in my undergrad days loving that The Smiths and The Cure understood me. Enveloped in the energy of concerts by the Tragically...

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New Baby? Exhausted?

New Baby? Exhausted?

Psst. Hey you…. I have the secret to help you navigate the madness that is parenting.
Oh ya, you heard me. OK, actually I have TWO secrets to help you get through it.

Before we get to the fixes, let’s set the stage.

You’re exhausted. Not just any kind of exhausted, thebleary-stinging-eyes Exhausted. The “I-need-an-intravenous-coffee-drip” Exhausted. The “I-fantasize-about-sleep-instead-of-sex” Exhausted. I totally get it. Some women say you forget the pain of childbirth (nope, not a chance of forgetting it, but it was worth it). Even the L-O-N-G-E-S-T labour doesn’t compare to the night after night exhaustion that sleep deprivation can bring. I clearly remember my daughter’s first birthday—She was beautiful and cherubic, smooshing her cupcake and exuding that kind of delightful starry-eyed wonder that one-year olds are so good at. I was wildly in love. And I remember thinking “This marks exactly...

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The Honest Truth

The Honest Truth: I’m a hypocrite.

There, it’s out. I’ve said it and now you have the truth (cue to red hot flush of embarrassment).

This is a very bitter pill for me to swallow, but in the name of transparency and vulnerability I am going to be open with you about why you should do as I say, not as I do. Recently I was watching a video by the brilliant Marie Forleo and she said,

“We can have it all, we just can't do it all”. She then linked it back to her own blue collar family background and I felt the emotional equivalent of being hit on the head with my cast iron frying pan. It wasn’t a light bulb moment so much as an earthquake moment.

Over the past few years, my practice has grown exponentially. I love what I do and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over the feeling of being so fortunate to have such an exciting, fulfilling career. My clients feel the love, my referral sources know I provide top-notch service and as a result...

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Postpartum Selfie

I thought I would be an ace in the hole having babies, being a mamma. I had three degrees, one of which in child psychology. I was a child and adolescent therapist. I’d worked with kids in clinics and hospital. I’d circled the globe traveling and lived and worked abroad. Moving to other countries? No big deal! Trekking in the Himalayas? Bring it.

I was never under the illusion that I’m a genius (believe me, I’m not), but I was confident that I could Figure Stuff Out. People have obviously been rearing kids since the dawn of time. How hard could it be?!

I had visions of tossing baby in the sling and off we’d go for leisurely afternoons at galleries and museums. I planned lazy, unplanned mornings drinking coffee and reading, and time to catch up on films. After all, what do babies do all day? Sleep. Eat. Poo. Rinse and repeat. Easy peasy. My biggest worry was being bored ...

Let’s just say that it didn’t exactly go down that way and I did not...

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Horrible Things.

boundaries optimism trauma Oct 28, 2016

Today there was another tragic news headline. It doesn’t matter where the story was, or what the story was. We know that tragedies strike in big towns and little cities, without warning, leaving communities in shock and anguish. It is hard to make sense of, but I hope you’ll consider this as a game plan.

Tragedies occur, this is true. It is an indisputable fact that awful things happen, especially to women and children (hey, and we know women can also do horrible things). Don't rush too quickly to look for the good in the world (although there is an abundance of it, it's just not usually headline news). But rather than enduring the low grade pain (like a low grade fever) or trying to block it out, expand the pain and amplify it, examine it, and honor it…

- It is heart wrenching that people are abused, belittled, and even murdered.

- It is heartbreaking to know that children become incurably ill and suffer violence.

- It is unbelievable that some little kids in...

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Two Styles of Lonely. One Remedy.

 

‘tis the season of Norman Rockwell. You know what I mean; at this time of year every ad and commercial, every movie and song tells you it’s time to be surrounded by family and cuddled up with a loved one. Everything from jewelers to coffee companies lambaste us with the message TogetherTogetherTogether. Commercials sell us images of one big love in of compassion, caring, and connecting.

But for many, it’s a very lonely, isolating time of year.

 

Type No. One: Lonely in a Crowd

I suspect you think I’m referring to people who don’t have a partner or those who aren’t surrounded by family. Nope, ironically, some of the loneliest people I work with do have a partner and are surrounded by family. The feeling of loneliness is every bit as searing as for those who are truly alone. To be part of a couple and not feel connected is one of the most isolating experiences we can have. It is accompanied by sadness and longing, feelings of rejection...

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