Tag Archive | therapy

Let Go

Learning to let go can be one of the most difficult things humans attempt. We hold on to feelings and events and let them take over our minds. We give them a place to live and keep them alive. We continue to let them affect us long after the things that caused them are gone. The inability to let go causes us most of our daily anxiety, depression, anger, and suffering and we do it all to ourselves.

When I work with clients, I use the visual of clouds as a metaphor for letting go. Almost everyone has watched clouds moving in the sky. They never remain still. They are constantly coming and going and so it should be with the thoughts that come into our minds that we need to let go. See these thoughts as clouds, see the words of them on the clouds, see them come into your mind, and see them go out. When they go out, let them go, do not think on them further – they are gone. Let go of them. Replace them with clouds that say something positive instead, something uplifting, something freeing.

Another way to practice this is through meditation. Using meditation along with the visualization of the clouds reinforces letting go, reinforces concentrating your thoughts in a more positive, focused way. I use the meditation app Headspace with my clients. It is a free app that offers guided meditation that is easy to use and can help you retrain your mind to let go of things that negatively impact your daily life. Meditation allows you to also allow thoughts to come and go and practice improving that skill with daily mental exercise.

Most of the issues we face are caused by our inability to let go. Holding on to negative emotions and experiences builds up emotional and mental toxins in the body that come out as anxiety, depression, anger, and sometimes even physical illness. Bringing these things back day after day only reinforces these negative feelings. Learning to let go can free us of the weight of all we continue to carry that weighs us down on a daily basis. It’s like unpacking a suitcase we refuse to stop carrying. Imagine how much lighter you will feel if you let go of the weight.

Let go.

Until next time,
Deborah

If you feel you could use some help in learning how to let go of the things that weigh you down, please call to schedule a FREE initial consultation 406-413-9904 or email mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com

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Always Do Your Best

When someone says do your best, what kind of images does that conjure up for you? For those in school, does it make you feel as if you have to make all A’s? At work, does it mean continual advancement in your job? In relationships, does it mean giving more than your partner? For parents, does it mean giving your kids everything they want? What does always do your best mean to you?

Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements states that the fourth agreement is “Always Do Your Best.” In his book, he talks about what that should mean to us and how to apply it to our lives. Always do your best is different for every person and it’s different every moment of every day.

Sometimes, your best may be to just wake up in the morning. Sometimes, your best may be to get out of bed. Sometimes, your best may be getting dressed. Sometimes, your best may be not wanting to harm yourself. Sometimes, your best may be thinking one positive thing about yourself or your life. Your best is whatever you can manage to do, think, or feel that day that may make your life even one atom better.

We constantly beat ourselves up for “not doing our best.” This best that others put on us or we have put on ourselves by making agreements that this is what the best is and only this. Anything else and we feel less than, we start to place blame on ourselves, we start to talk negative to ourselves, and we do not see anything else as our best. Because we believe the agreements we have made about what is actually our best.

If you have been staying in bed all day due to depression or illness and you get up out of the bed today – that is doing our best – in that moment and you should be proud of that, be positive with that, allow that to be okay. If you have been staying in your house every day due to anxiety and you decide to walk out onto your front porch or steps – that is doing your best – in that moment. Take possession of that, make agreement with that, be positive with that and allow that to be okay.

Always doing your best will change from moment to moment and situation to situation. If we can stop putting the past agreements we have made with others and ourselves onto every choice, we can start to feel better about our best that moment, start to be more positive about our best that moment, and those moments will happen more and more often until everything we do is always our best and we agree with that changing our lives for the better.

What is doing your best in this moment? Make that agreement, feel that positivity, change your beliefs, and step into always doing your best and being okay with that, whatever it may be.

Until next time I wish you peace,
Deborah

If you feel you need help accepting your best, managing your emotions, or coping with your life issues, make an appointment for a FREE initial consultation for counseling by calling 406-413-9904 or emailing mindfulmontanawellness@gmail.com

Be Impeccable

In Michael Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements the first agreement is Be Impeccable With Your Word.  It is first because it is the most important and the one that is necessary to be able to accomplish the other three.

To understand this agreement, it is necessary that to understand the definition of “word” in this context.  The Word (capital W) is a force that we create with and includes all that we express.  Not just spoken words, but emotions, actions, thoughts, and attitudes. All of this is the Word.

To express ourselves impeccably means to express ourselves in the direction of truth and love including love, respect, and acceptance for ourselves.  The emotions of jealousy, envy, sadness, and frustration are not impeccable.  The emotions of anger and fear are also usually not impeccable except in the case of having to fight for your life.  If you lose your job something you have worked your whole life to have and are angry and fearful, these are emotionally painful, but your life is not in danger therefore these emotions are not impeccable.

The direction of truth does not include someone speaking “my truth” or “their truth”.  Those kinds of truth are only someone’s opinion of the truth, not necessarily the truth and are viewed by others under the lens of their own truth.  Because someone believes what they are saying is the truth doesn’t mean it is THE truth.  It is an opinion that can be filled with judgments and hard emotions.  When you are impeccable you do not need to defend what you say as the truth.

Another part of being impeccable is to be without fault or blame.  Truly one of the hardest things to accomplish.  It has taken years for us to form the agreements we have made with ourselves and others regarding our own fault, the fault of others, and the blame we have placed for every situation in our lives.  Being impeccable means to refrain from criticism, judgement, or finding fault with yourself and others not just in the words you speak but the thoughts that you think.  This single change allows us to take total responsibility for our own lives.

Being impeccable also leads into the second agreement Never Take Anything Personally.  For example, if you have 100% faith in your intelligence and someone calls you stupid and you feel hurt or offended, you have allowed yourself to take that personally and believe even a tiny bit of what they said is true.  You give them the power to change your faith in yourself.  Be impeccable with your Word to yourself.

Being impeccable means to be truthful, honest, and kind in what is spoken, what is done, what is thought, and what is felt.  It sounds easy, but it is difficult to undo the years of learning to use our Word to be dishonest and unkind to ourselves and others.  Learning to be impeccable is a one moment at a time journey that requires thinking before talking to ourselves or others, doing to ourselves or others, thinking to ourselves or about others, or emotions we place on ourselves or others.  Will you be able to be impeccable always? No – but you can keep trying in each moment of your life and by doing so the happiness and love for yourself and others will only increase.

The Four Agreements:

Be Impeccable With Your Word

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Don’t Make Assumptions

Always Do Your Best

 

The Four Agreements

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

The Four Agreements written by Miguel Ruiz is a wealth of life changing information. Miguel Ruiz was raised by his mother and grandfather in Mexico. His mother was a “healer” and his grandfather was a “shaman” in the Toltec Indian culture. Miguel had a life altering car crash that moved his path back towards his cultural heritage and out of that came this wonderful book.

Ruiz writes that from the time we are born we are making agreements. Agreements with our parents for what we learn, what we eat, how we live, and about who we are. We make agreements with everyone we come into contact with through our lives – people, social media, television, music, etc.. Some of these agreements can be positive and uplifting such as “you are smart, you are loved, you can succeed.” Some, however, can be negative such as “you are stupid, you can not succeed, you are worthless.” It is in these agreements that we form all the things we believe about ourselves. Over years and years of making these agreements, it becomes very difficult to break them.

It is because of these agreements that we judge ourselves, find ourselves guilty and punish ourselves. We abuse ourselves more than anyone else could ever abuse us. If we abuse ourselves very badly, we can tolerate someone who beats us up, humiliates us, and treats us like dirt. Why? Because in our agreements and beliefs we think “I deserve it. This person is doing me a favor by being with me. I’m not worthy of love and respect. I’m not good enough.” We have the need to be accepted and loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves.

There are thousands of agreements we have made with ourselves, with God, with society, with our parents, with our families, with our friends, but the most important agreements are those we make with ourselves because they define our beliefs about who we are, what we feel, what we believe, and how we behave. One agreement is easy to break, but thousands are very difficult.

In order to find joy and fulfillment in life, we must find the courage to break these agreements that are fear-based and claim our personal power. If you adopt these four agreements and have a very strong will, you can begin to live your life with these agreements creating personal power to break all other agreements and transform your life.

Click the link in the right hand column to read more about this book and start on the path to transforming your life. I incorporate this book into many of my therapy sessions. If you think you could benefit from counseling with this as part of the process, please contact me to set up an appointment.

Until next time, I wish you peace…

Deborah