I have two kids. Yes, two kids. They used to be babies. I think they were babies yesterday, but then time tells me it was years ago. I used to be told that life goes by very quickly and to pay attention as time passes. In some weird way, I thought maybe that time would go by fast for others, but that I would always have time. I remember being in college and dreaming about my bucket list dream to move to NYC and go to school there. It came and went and I remember having thought about that dream so long, I was so used to thinking about it and nothing else. I remember when I was at graduation and so excited to have crossed that item off my “to do” list. But, I also remember being uncomfortable because I had NO IDEA what I would think about now. And, I realized that I had lived my life so much for that moment, that I hadn’t actually noticed the process and though I had wonderful moments along the way, I was so focused on “One Day When I Graduate”, that when it happened, and it was truly only a moment, I had missed out on participating in so many moments along the way. And, I wasn’t ever going to get my NYC journey back or my college years back. It took a long time to practice new thoughts about my future, but even more practice paying attention to the present moment.
Many people I see in my office have plans for the future. And, there is nothing wrong with having plans for the future. Actually, it’s necessary and healthy to have goals to work on and plans to look forward to. We get very cautions when people aren’t “future-oriented”. Even so, I see many people who get stuck on their one goal and live their life ONLY for that goal and get stressed out when the one goal they are set on isn’t happening fast enough. Yes, it is stressful when you can’t live until your plan happens. And, if your plan is a few years out….well, then you’re kinda missing out on a lot.
It looks like this: “I will spend more time with my family when I’m making more money.” “I will feel happy when I finally get promoted.” “When I am making so much money, then I will be able to relax.” “When I finish school and have a job, then life will be okay.” “When I move out of my parents, I can finally get settled.” “When I get that new job, my stress will go down.” “When my kids are older, I will work on taking care of myself.”
The problem with “One Day When” is that we forget to live now and spend our lives consumed with a fantasized picture of what life should be rather than practicing acceptance of our current life, practicing helpful thoughts, and making the time good in the now. We won’t be happy one day when if we haven’t practiced being happy or thinking helpful thoughts now. That doesn’t just happen. Chances are pretty strong that if we’re practicing One Day When thoughts now, when we actually get that new job or more money or whatever, we will still be thinking about one day when. And, at some point, we will run out of life.
I really started to embrace this when I realized that my children would just keep growing and that if I focused on something down the road, they would be older and I would miss out experiencing each precious phase of childhood. But more than just our children, we may miss out on opportunities to see and fully experiences phases of our own existence. If you are a “One Day When” thinker, I challenge you to open your eyes to the moments of today. Notice what is in your life today that may be gone someday and sit with it, enjoy it, and be grateful for it.
Until next time,
I have absolutely felt honored these last few months as I have met some amazing people who have come to me as clients. When I was in graduate school, we often talked about “therapy gifts” or those moments where your client begins to be vulnerable and share something that perhaps they have never shared with anyone or allowed him/herself to be vulnerable with someone who is pretty much a complete stranger. I bow to those who come in my office and have the courage and strength to seek insight, to reflect, to glance in the mirror, and to embrace change. Daily, I feel greatly blessed to have heard your story and felt of your human-ness. Every day, you remind of the power of human connection. So much research has emphasized at the important of the relationship when someone comes to therapy. I do an internal “jump for joy” when I sense that we are going beyond the superficial and are building connection and I continue to be honored to have the chance to know people in this way. So, dear client, you may be seeking help for your relationship, you depression, your insomnia, or your negative self-dialogue, and while we will work to find answers for you, know that I feel of your strength and my belief that human connection is a powerful healer is reinforced as I, too, continue to be renewed by you.
Until next time,
Food for thought.
“You don’t have to get stuck in a negative experience. You don’t have to be a victim to external events, or internal emotions. You can use your mind to take charge of how you feel, and how you act.” – Daniel Seigel (Book: No Drama Discipline).
We are so excited to announce the beginning of our seminar series. Our first seminar will focusing on managing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. We believe that gaining essential skills is necessary to to having a a Good Life. We built our practice with the vision of getting out into the community and teaching necessary skills to manage symptoms, mental, emotional, and relational health.
If you or anyone you know struggles with anxiety, worry, feeling overwhelmed, has down days, can’t seem to get going, or struggles with negative thoughts, please consider joining us.
We will be hosting our first seminar on November 14th at 10 am-1pm. We will discuss in depth the cycle of depression and anxiety, how to manage worry, how to overcome procrastination, and how to challenge negative thinking.
The cost is $99 for early registration until Oct 31st, and $149 after that. Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come, first serve basis. This class is not eligible for insurance coverage.
On many occasions, individuals will come into my office for help with setting limits and having boundaries with people in their life. Whether it is saying “no”, not enabling their family any more, not allowing themselves to be taken advantage of or manipulated, or getting out of a toxic relationship, there are many who need to stand their ground. For many, they are tired and exhausted of explaining their limits or why they are setting boundaries. And, they come to me not understanding why their friends and/or family members won’t listen.
Well, maybe they did listen. But, unfortunately, actions will always speak louder than words. Always. If you tell someone that you can’t help them anymore, and then you continue to help them, no amount of words will make a difference. If you want to get out of a relationship, but keep engaging in the relationship, the relationship will continue as is. If you tell someone you need some space or time for self-care, but then you continue to say and not take time for self-care, you won’t get self-care.
For so many, they are waiting for their family members or friends to “get it”. This CANNOT happen when I am giving mixed signals and saying one thing and behaving another. In order for change to happen in relationships, BEHAVIORS have to change.
Take a look at your boundaries. Are they verbal only or do you actually follow through with your words with your behaviors? If you are feeling like your boundaries continue to be invaded, ask yourself if your behaviors match your words.
Until next time,
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