Celebrate The New Year With A Memory Jar

Memory JarNow that Christmas Day has passed, we are in the period of time when everyone is looking toward the New Year.  Once again there is hype and an exaggerated focus on parties, fun, resolutions and having the “perfect” person or activity with whom to share the celebrations.

In short, it is another opportunity for elevated expectations and disappointment.

A friend of mine gave me a great idea for beginning the year. For the last decade, she starts New Year’s Day with a cup of coffee and her Memory Jar.  She settles into an easy chair and reads the small pieces of paper contained inside.

Continue reading

7 ways Self-Compassion Can Help Make Your Holidays Better

Self-compassion and the holidaysAt this time of year, many people are asking themselves how to make it through the holidays. One way to help yourself through the season is by practicing self-compassion.

What is self-compassion?

Kristin Neff, the most well-known self-compassion researcher at the University of Texas-Austin, calls it “a healthier way of relating to yourself.”  It is a tool to help promote psychological healing, well-being, and better relationships.

Rather than beating yourself up, you extend kindness and understanding to yourself. It is a caring attitude, where you can encourage yourself and realize that being human means things can go wrong. Continue reading

Conflict During the Holidays, an Idea that will Help

Drama TriangleThe holidays bring families and friends together. Along with the joy and fun these gatherings bring, they also increase the opportunities for tension and misunderstandings. Often, these issues  can be avoided if we take time now to learn more about the reactions in ourselves that can be triggered at these events, and how they snowball in our own minds.

The Drama Triangle is a model of dysfunctional interactions, created by Steven Karpman. It happens both with internal thoughts, and with external relationships.  Each point of the triangle represents a common and ineffective way to communicate and solve problems.

Continue reading

Basic Needs of Children, Part 1

Basic Needs of ChildrenYou may wonder why there are times when you become upset, seemingly “out of the blue.” Or why the Harsh Inner Critic chimes in to blast you unexpectedly. At times, the explanation can be found by examining how your basic needs were not met as a baby and/or as a child.

These unmet needs lie dormant in your unconscious mind, and can be activated by events or interactions with others.

Continue reading