Archive for May, 2011

Is It Addictive Relating or Is It Subconscious Fear of Intimacy?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Addiction seems a paradox, as psychologist and author Dr. Brenda Schaeffer pointed out in a ground-breaking book published in the late 1980s, titled Is It Love or Is It Addiction, a frantic attempt to get control over our life that, instead, relinquishes control to some substance, activity or person.

It is also a cheap substitute for authentic living, and an ineffective and potentially lethal option at that.

At best, addiction offers quick-fix doses of relief that merely hide, mask or numb the pain of deep unfulfilled emotional expectations, a heaviness lugged around, day after day.

  • Addiction is a behavior pattern we cannot stop despite evidence of its harm and increased problems in our lives.

There are many types, some widely known, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or spending, and others less so, such as sex and love, angry outbursts, fault-finding, pornography, hoarding, and so on.

Your Brain, Mindful Presence and Five Practices to Energize Your Relationship, 2 of 2

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Emotions of love and compassion give meaning and purpose to life. The brain is wired with circuitry for caring and empathic connection.

It is “a relationship organ,” as described by researcher Dr. Daniel Siegel. It can be said that all experience in life is relational. Your experience of self is always in relation to self, other persons, to life itself, for example.

Your deepest strivings are for love and meaningful connection to life within and around you. This explains why responses that convey love enhance your sense of security – and why some of your greatest fears, as rejection or abandonment, have to do with a sense of loss of love or connection.

In Part 1, we discussed the power of what emotion, either love or fear, you choose to energize at any given moment. In this post, we explore five mindful presence practices to energize your relationship.

The link between your health and key relationships?

It’s not surprising to learn, therefore, to learn that when your key relationships are off balance so are many other aspects of life. In other words, your physical, mental and emotional health are affected by the quality of your relationship.

The Five Freedoms of Becoming More Fully Human – Virginia Satir & Mental Health

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

In celebration of mental health, today’s post honors family psychotherapist and social worker extraordinaire Virginia Satir.

Recognized by many as “the pioneer of family therapy,” she developed her own approach, conjoint family therapy, in the 1960s, later known as the human validation process model or the Satir Change Model as applied to business organizations.

She had a great impact on the practice of therapy in general (and was a huge influence on yours truly!).

Virginia Satir introduced many transformational concepts, among others: an emphasis in the role that love plays in therapeutic processes; the human need for personal space and validation; the difference between what people intend to say and what they actually say; and the importance of healthy relationships and self-esteem in mental and emotional health and well being.

The Power of Presence and How You Relate – Love or Fear? 1 of 2

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

When you own your ability to create happiness, you feel personally empowered, and effective in your relationships, as a partner, parent, colleague, leader, and so on.

Your ability to choose iss power. You have a built-in ability to create happiness in your life and relationships, and the quality of your presence is the substance that builds trust.

Power here is defined as a choice that shapes actions and outcome – by energizing emotions rooted in love or fear.

Actions that stem from being present convey a sense of connection to your self and those you love. Perhaps more importantly, presence sends a message that affirms your commitment in a relationship, energizing good feelings that cause the brain to release Oxytocin, a hormone linked to felt sense of safety, love and connection.

Julia Ward Howe and the First Mother’s Day Proclamation, 1870

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

The first attempts to establish a Mother’s Day in North America began with groups of women who came together to promote peace. More specifically, it started with a Proclamation written by a prominent activist, Julia Ward Howe, who had authored The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier.

The proclamation was written in response to the death and destruction of the Civil War that Julia Ward Howe had witnessed.

She worked with widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides, and became distressed when she realized that the devastating effects of war go far beyond killing soldiers in battle.

Inspiring Quotes in Honor of Mothers and the Gifts of “Mothering”

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

In celebration of mothers around the world, all who have played the role of mother, and for what “mothering” itself symbolizes in our personal lives and relationships, here is a list of inspirational quotes, in gratitude, for the priceless gifts we have received.

What are some of the gifts of “mothering”?

The gift of security, a sense of safety:


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