Every time I think of celebrating, these words pop into my head…..
Take time to celebrate.
Celebrate your successes, your growth, your accomplishments. Celebrate you and who you are.
For too long you have been too hard on yourself. Others have spilled their negative energy—their attitudes, beliefs, pain—on you. It had nothing to do with you! All along, you have been a gift to yourself and to the Universe.
You are a child of God. Beautiful, a delight, a joy. You do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything you are not. Your beauty is in you, just as you are each moment.
When you have a success, when you accomplish something, enjoy it. Pause, reflect, rejoice. Too long you have listened to admonitions not to feel good about what you have done, lest you travel the downward road to arrogance.
Celebration is a high form of praise, of gratitude to the Creator for the beauty of God’s creation. To enjoy and celebrate the good does not mean that it will be taken from you. To celebrate is to delight in the gift, to show gratitude.
Celebrate your relationships! Celebrate the lessons from the past and the love and warmth that is there today. Enjoy the beauty of others and their connection to you.
Celebrate all that is in your life. Celebrate all that is good. Celebrate you!
Today, I will indulge in the joy of celebrating.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
Let me give you some back story. For years when I was a family counselor at the Meadows we would share this excerpt every week at family graduation. I remember hearing it the first time and thinking about how beautiful it was but by the 100th time, it wasn’t as earth shattering to me. I had become numb to the power of the words.
But now that I have had some distance from the words because I have worked there for a number of years, I am able to once again see the beauty. It is so powerful if we are able to do what the excerpt says and celebrate our growth and our accomplishments.
I have recently been talking to a lot of my clients about this. Often times our growth comes on gradually and if we are not intentional, we may miss out on noticing the growth and celebrating it.
It is crucial to celebrate any growth, big or small.
If I am honest with you, I sometimes struggle with this too. As I am writing this, I am reflecting on the last year. I have expanded my private practice, created an online course (and ¾ of another course), started a blog and have a social media following. Those are BIG things for my business but if I am not careful, I can easily downplay my successes and instead focus on what I didn’t do or that my impact was not as big as I wanted but that will not serve me nor my business.
But, when I am able to step into the celebration of my growth and accomplishments, I am able to take a breath and get recharged for what is next. I am able to remind myself why I do what I do and the impact my business is having on others.
Personally, when I am able to celebrate a win, my joy has a ripple effect on my whole family.
Plus, more is caught than taught.
So, if I am celebrating my wins, I am teaching my kids to do the same, for themselves and others.
My oldest is currently learning how to read. When he is able to read a new book or tackle a big word, he is so proud of himself and celebrates that win. When his younger brothers see him accomplishing something new at school, they also encourage and celebrate his growth. We have fostered an atmosphere of celebration for one another.
So, what are some things you want to celebrate today?
Maybe you got out of bed and showered and that is a win for you, good job! Perhaps you reached a goal at work or for your fitness, awesome! Celebrate that. It doesn’t have to be cake and streamers (though it can) but find ways to celebrate YOU today.
You are worth it!
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I thought I was doing okay. Sure, the pandemic had caused me to lose a lot of the social connections I used to have but hey, I am an introvert, I don’t need people.
I really thought I was okay and that the isolation didn’t impact me.
That was until I walked into MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and started to tear up.
See, I was recently scheduled to speak at a MOPs meeting about depression and anxiety. I was once a part of this same group until it was shut down with COVID in March of 2020 and had decided not to re-join once they resumed. I had maintained a few of the relationships through Facebook and the occasional text but for those most part, had lost connection with many of them.
It wasn’t until I started catching up with old friends and making new ones, that I realized how alone I had felt in motherhood.
I had friends that I would hang out with but few that were in the same stage of life as me.
Being with a group of women in a similar stage of life as me with similar faith beliefs chatting about our experiences, struggles and joys filled a gap I didn’t know I had.
We all need community. None of us our immune to that. Not even me, the introvert who loves being alone.
We need people to share life with. Not just the small talk we have with the other moms at soccer practice or the casual acquaintances we occasionally catch up with. Not just text buddies or pen pals (does anyone even write letters anymore?).
We need people in our lives that we have deep conversations with about real life. The good, the bad and the ugly. Like in person conversations, not online. People we regularly meet up with and share life with.
For my mom, that community is her knitting group. Each week these women get together for hours and have walked along side each other for decades. They share in one another’s pains and celebrate successes with one another.
For you it may be friends from high school or college, friends you have at work or church.
If you do not have that community, find it!
You may not think you are missing out because you have friends. But if you do not have people in your life that are in the same stage as life as you, you need to get some.
Trust me….I am coming from a place of head knowledge and experience on this one.
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We all have ways that we tend to show love and ways that we receive love best. However, what demonstrates love for you doesn’t always mean love to me and visa versa. With that said, Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages and many other books, compiled research that shows that most people fit into one of 5 categories when it comes to expressing love.
Let’s break each one down. Note, they are in no particular order and one is not more valuable than the other.
First are words of affirmation. This love language is based on encouragement, I love you’s and atta boys. When your love language is words of affirmation, your cup gets filled by having people compliment you, encourage you and say nice things about you and what you have done. This can be verbally, through a written note or even hearing that nice things were said about you to someone else. You know you are loved when people lift you up with their words. Words mean a lot to my husband. When I thank him for the ways he services our family, compliment him on what he does and tell him consistently how much I love him, he feels so loved. However, because words of affirmation are important to him, when I share negative or hurtful things, they impact him more negatively as well. Basically, whatever your love language is, when it is given to you it impacts you positively but when the opposite happens, it hurts more.
Next is physical touch. Keep in mind physical touch does not mean sexual touch, though it can. With physical touch, someone’s bucket is filled when they receive hugs, pats on the back etc. This is definitely my son Hayden’s biggest love language. He cannot get enough cuddles, hugs, kisses and pats on the back. He will even come up to me and tell me, “Mommy, my cuddle tank is empty. I need cuddles”. He is very aware that is how he receives love and he is great about asking for it, even at four years old. Studies show that people need an average of 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance and 12 for growth (see Forbes article here). That is the minimum and someone whose love language is physical touch will probably need more than that to feel loved.
Quality time is another one of the love languages. For the person whose love language is quality time, they feel loved when people are intentional about spending time with them. For most people who value quality time, this is more than sitting next to each other on the couch watching a movie (though it can be), this is intentional face to face, not distracted time. They value the attention and connection that happens with time. My son Hunter definitely has this love language. He values quality time and what I perceive as quality time is not always quality time to him that fills his bucket. For instance, I could be taking him to the zoo or to a park and be with him all day but if his brothers are around or I am not actively engaged the entire time, it does not mean much to him. However, sitting playing video games with him, watching his show (without looking at my phone) or playing legos with him one on one does wonders for helping him feel loved. And when I don’t spend that intentional one on one time with him, it is evident in his behavior and connection with me.
The next love language is acts of service. This one has become more important to me as I have gotten older and had kids. Acts of service is anything done to help the other person. For instance, when my husband takes out the trash, my grandma watches the kids or my dad helps me with a task, I feel so loved. I felt seen by them and the fact that they want to help me by using their time and talents means so much. When you offer to take someone’s kids so they can have a break, help them with a daunting task or cook a meal for them, those are all acts of service.
Lastly is gifts. For someone with this love language, you feel most loved when someone gives you a thoughtful gift. Most often is isn’t anything that shows you are loved but something where someone was intentional about picking the item or making the item for you with your likes and preferences in mind. My son Hudson is definitely starting to develop this love language in the way he shows love. When he knows a holiday or birthday is coming up for someone, he scours his room and looks for the perfect toy or item in his room he wants to give someone to show he loves them and knows what they like. The other day I was talking about my birthday coming up and he went into his room and got a stuffed animal horse and put it in a bag for me to open because he knows I love horses. His heart for wanting to fill other’s tanks through gifts warms my heart so much.
Now it is important to know that sometimes what fills you up the most and what you naturally show to others may be different. For instance, I naturally use words of affirmation and gifts to show love to others. However, what shows love most to me is acts of service.
To find out what your love language is, Dr. Gary Chapman has a quiz to help that you can find here.
To figure out which love language you most often give, reflect on your life within the last few weeks. When you want to show someone you love that you love them, what do you do? Do you give them more hugs, buy them a gift that made you think of them, be intentional about spending time with them, write an encouraging note or text or help them in some way? Noticing patterns will help you learn more about yourself and what your default is.
Why is all of this important to know? Great question! When we know the way we best receive love, we can communicate it to those around us so that they know how to best show us love. When we know what those around us need to feel loved then we can show them in the way they best receive it. I know that Hudson and my husband need lots of words of affirmation, that Hunter needs quality time and Hayden needs physical touch. Because I know that, I can be more intentional about filling them up in those ways instead of trying to fill them up in the way that I naturally do that may not speak to them.
You know me and how I always want to give the whole picture so there are some things to keep in mind. Just because someone has a default love language does not mean that is the only way to ever show them love. My go-to is acts of service but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate physical touch or words of affirmation. In fact, when we are able to show children all of the 5 love languages, they are more well-rounded at giving and accepting love and do better in relationships.
If you want to learn more about the 5 Love Languages, I highly recommend Gary Chapman’s books. He now has a 5 Love Languages book for every season of your life and relationships. The top two I recommend are The 5 Love Languages and The 5 Love Languages of Children.
Until next time friend!
I have people ask me all the time, how do I choose a therapist. So, today I am going to share with you my answer. You see, finding the right therapist is a lot like dating.
First, you have to find someone. Then do some internet research to see if you have similar philosophies or beliefs. If you aren't sure what yours are, find out theirs to see if it clicks for you.
Then, ask for a 10-minute consultation. This is like a first date. You ask questions to get to know their therapeutic style and to also make sure they work with what you are seeking treatment for.
Then when you get off the phone, you check in with yourself. Did you feel heard and cared about or were you just another call? If you feel like you have therapeutic chemistry after the call, schedule an appointment. If not, keep looking.
Once you have found a therapist and start seeing them, you should continue to feel validated and supported. If you are not getting what you need out of the relationship, just like dating, you ask for what you need. Even therapists can’t mind read and your side of the street is to clearly communicate what you want and need out of the relationship.
If the therapist can't give you what you need then you break up with them and start looking for a new one. You don't have to stay with a therapist just because you have been with them for a long time but as a functional adult, it is your job to ask for what you need and then communicate if your needs are not being met. Please, do not just ghost your therapist without having a conversation about why you are discontinuing services. While uncomfortable, this will give you a great opportunity to be assertive and direct while also allowing your therapist to get some feedback about ways they can grow.
See, it is a lot like dating ;).
If you want to dive into this more, I have created an amazing resource for you. This PDF includes 4 aspects to consider when choosing a therapist, questions to ask when interviewing a therapist and questions to ask yourself after the interview. To access this Free download, click here.
Hi friend! I hope you are ready for some tough love today because I am going to dish it out. See, regardless of your past trauma, experiences or dysfunction, it is your job to grow… even if others don’t.
Yes, it would be great if others owned their side of the street, apologized for their wrongs and made amends for their hurts. But even if that doesn’t happen, it is still your job to grow.
You see, as adults it is our job to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. Even when those actions and struggles are because of choices someone else made.
I was recently talking to a client about her frustration that she was having to do so much work to heal from the actions of her partner. He had been in an addiction for a long time and she was working on healing from decades of infidelity and lies. She was overwhelmed by the ripple effect it had on every area of her life and the wounds that were exposed from her childhood that she did not realize were still there.
Here's the thing…. I get the frustration of having to do really hard work to heal from something you had no control over. It is frustrating, enraging and sometimes overwhelming. But I challenge you to reframe the way you are thinking about it (just like I challenged my client to).
Instead of considering yourself a victim to your circumstances or hurts, think of yourself as a conqueror of your demons. There is something empowering about being able to rephrase the narrative to something that puts you in control and having the power. You may not have had the power or choice in your trauma, but you have all the power in your healing.
Which goes back to the beginning, it is your job to grow. No one can do it for you, not even your therapist ;). Even if the person that wronged you does heal, make amends and change, it does not magically heal your wounds or hurts. You have to be the one to do it.
And let me tell you something, you deserve to grow! We all deserve the opportunity to learn, grow and heal. It doesn’t happen overnight but here are a few tips to start the healing journey-
However you begin your healing and growth journey, always remember that you are worth healing.
I am so glad to be back writing to you once again. I have taken time off to recharge, focus on what is important and reflect on what I want this year to look like. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and are excited for the new year.
If you have followed me for a while, you know I love a good season change. It provides an opportunity to reset, mentally and emotionally and create new routines, habits and goals.
Last year I started a 21 in 21, which was 21 goals I had for the year. Surprisingly to me, I actually met most of those goals. Some of them included taking my vitamins daily (I rarely missed a day all year), going on a monthly date night with my husband (we went above and even went on a weekend getaway one month) and knocked off a few items that I have been procrastinating (getting a new travel ID driver’s license, servicing my vacuum cleaners and going on a mom-cation). Some that I was a bit less successful with were reading 12 books (I only got to 9) and walking/yoga 6 days a week (well let’s just say that was my least accomplished on my list….).
As I reflect on my year, I am proud of what I did. My business grew, I gained more clients, started an online course and conquered some really big fears. And while I did not accomplish everything I wanted; I am still happy with what I did.
This year, I am going to do 22 in 22. I am going to add back to my list those that I was not entirely successful with (movement and reading) along with a few new ones (booking a cruise for my 10-year anniversary in 2023 and remodel guest bathroom).
In my business, I will be more intentional with regular emails as well as providing more quality content on my blog as well as social media. I will also be launching a course on anxiety, which will be full of practical, tactical tools to beginning utilizing with a holistic framework.
Now, enough about me. As you reflect on 2021, what were some of your highs and big accomplishments? What are some things you would like to change in 2022? It doesn’t need to be big, little things can also add up to big changes.
Here are three steps to help you achieve your heart’s desire in 2022.
Of course, there is more to be said about goal setting but these three tips provide a great foundation. I would love to hear what your goals are for the year so drop me a DM and share. See you soon friend!
A lot of relationships take some time apart and to be honest with you, I really need a break. In this instance, it isn’t from my husband or my clients but from the blog.
For the month of December, I will be taking off from the weekly blog posts.
Why? I am so glad you asked.
Honestly, I really need to focus on what I want my business to look like, I want to ensure I create quality content and not just page fillers and most importantly, I want to ensure that what I create actually speaks to you and fills a need you have.
While those have always been my goals, I want that to be on the forefront of my thoughts when writing and posting. Which means I may be making some changes. In all honesty, I don’t know what the changes are or if I do change anything but taking a month off from blogging (and most likely less social media presence) is going to allow me the breathing room in my schedule to do that.
Which also means, January 1st I will be busting at the seams with excitement to bring you new content of value and relevance.
I love the new year as it brings such a great vibe of change, being intentional and an opportunity to create new routines and rhythms and I want to support you in that season of life.
So, what do I need from you? I would love to hear your thoughts on what you love about the blog and social media content and what you would like to see changed. You are who I do all of this for and I want it to meet your needs/wants in any way I can.
So, will you do me a favor?
I would love if you completed this short survey for me (click here). That would help me know exactly what you are looking for so I can better meet your needs.
Don’t want to take the survey? DM me on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas, thoughts and opinions.
The Social Dimension of Wellness
Any extroverts out there? Then you probably thrive in this dimension! How about my fellow introverts, how are you doing with social connection? Does even the thought seem overwhelming to you? I can relate.
The social dimension of wellness is all about connection with others. This is being intentional about pouring into friendships, scheduling outings and connecting with like-minded individuals. This involves sometimes getting out of your comfort zone to meet new people or try new things with your tribe. It also means being vulnerable and authentically connecting with others.
Let’s be real, those of us who were strong in this category were also most likely the ones that had group Zoom calls and social distanced lunches on the patio during COVID quarantine. Those of us who struggle with this dimension probably were not fazed by the social isolation until we looked up and realized we hadn’t seen anyone in a year.
I think this more than any of the other dimensions has been greatly impacted within the last few years, for everyone. Some of you realized the great community around you and how connection can be made in many ways, others struggled because you need physical connection and were not able to get it while others realized just how alone you were in your life due to your lack of social engagement.
So, now here is the real question. Based on your findings from social distancing, how can you improve (or maintain) a healthy level of social wellness?
Let’s remember, social wellness is not the frequency of social connection as much as the quality of the connection. You can be the most popular person in the world but if all of your social outlets are surface, this area of your life will probably still fall short.
Now, how do we create strong social connections?
First, we need to evaluate whether or not the people in our life are safe to share with. When we share something with them, do they keep it in confidence or go tell everyone about it 10 minutes after you leave? If it is the later, they need to remain surface level friends (or better yet, not friends). If you have someone that you feel safe with and that will keep your trust, perhaps you can start sharing with them more vulnerable parts of your life. I often recommend to clients to share something personal but not too personal. If the person demonstrates trustworthiness for that then next time we share deeper and deeper, proving they are trustworthy or getting confirmation that they are not.
We also need to create networks of people with similar interests. Maybe you are a new mom and you join a MOPS group. That was such a healing time for me to connect with other moms in similar stages of life with similar struggles. Or perhaps you join a knitting group like my mom, where she has made friendships that have lasted decades. You could join a small group at church or a hiking group on the weekends. This is a beautiful way to seek connection from people you may not have met otherwise who may be different from you but none the less you are able to accept one another wholeheartedly.
Now, I am speaking to you introverts who may be asking yourself why you need to connect with others because it seems like a lot of work that won’t be worth it.
Honestly, not all social connections are worth it which is why you need to explore which ones are. Even introverts need to feel connected, a sense of belonging and of being wanted. Those are not needs unique to extroverts. When we are connected with others, we are reminded that the world is bigger than us, we are not alone and our struggles aren’t our own. Having strong social connections allow us to lean on others when we are struggling and also be able to lift others up when they are having a hard time.
Like the song goes “Lean on me, when you are not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on. For, it won’t be long till I am gonna need, somebody to lean on”.
Okay, cheesy I know but I know you were singing along.
I want to hear from you, what are some ways you are going to enhance your social wellness? Comment below, DM me or email me and let me know!
Ready for an intellectual conversation? Okay, let’s do this!
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
What is the meaning of life?
What conspiracy theory do you think has the most truth to it?
Well, that was fun (or maybe it wasn’t, depending on your personality). While intellectual wellness may have aspects of asking deep, thought provoking questions, it is also about learning, growing and sometimes being uncomfortable with the conversation because it challenges your beliefs or ways of thinking.
My undergraduate degree is in psychology with a minor in anthropology so naturally one can assume that I enjoy learning about others, how they think, their beliefs and personalities. So for me, intellectual wellness involves learning more about other cultures, ways of behaving and thinking. I also enjoy learning about various political views and the origin of the stance.
However, am I going to have a political discussion with you? Probably not. Why, you ask? Because in many cases, people enter into those conversations with guns loaded, ready to attack any opposing thought or viewpoint. However, intellectual wellness means being able to have a conversation with someone of an opposing viewpoint from a place of curiosity and not condemnation. It means sharing your ideas, actually listening to the other person’s and accepting the differences.
Intellectual wellness also involves continued growth. Whether that is reading a book, taking a photography class or pursuing a degree, we never stop learning when our intellectual wellness is strong. It could mean having a conversation with someone different than you and genuinely being curious about their experience and beliefs.
Whatever way you choose, I hope you continue to work on this area of wellness (and the other 7). I hope you have enjoyed the last 8 weeks of discussing the 8 dimensions of wellness as much as I have and more importantly, that you take the quiz discussed a few weeks ago and implement ways to enhance each area. You are worth it!
Jocelyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and course creator who desires to help clients heal and grow into who God created them to be.