Books

An Emotional First-Aid Kit for Navigating Life’s Storms

When I used to struggle and go through tough times, I didn't really know how to handle it. I didn't know what to do. Because what do you do during a painful situation?

Years ago, I'd try to eat it away. I'd berate myself for having certain feelings and get even more upset. I'd withdraw and spend a lot of time on the couch, flipping channels and feeling empty. I'd also feel hopeless and helpless and alone. I'd feel restless and lost and very uncomfortable in my own body.

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Books

A Beautiful Way to View and Process Our Emotions

We tend to look at our "negative" emotions as a nuisance at best or with anger at worst. We judge ourselves for feeling sad or lonely. We judge ourselves for feeling anxious. Often we just want these feelings to go away. Often we pretend they don't exist in the first place. This is understandable. Maybe we weren't taught to process our emotions. Maybe we'd simply rather feel good instead of heavy, weighed down and hurt. Again, totally understandable.

And that's hard. Because these feelings don't dissipate. They don't go away.

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General

Savoring Simple Pleasures Every Day

An important part of taking compassionate care of ourselves is to focus on simple pleasures. Which totally depends on you. That is, you get to decide what a simple pleasure looks like. Savoring simple pleasures is especially helpful when there's a lot going on in our lives---deadlines to meet, hard work to accomplish, errands to run. Making time for simple pleasures helps to prevent burnout. Simple pleasures help us to refocus on the sweet small moments, which helps us to cultivate joy and welcome a boost of energy.

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Body Image

Dear Girl Who Hates Her Body

Dear Girl Who Hates Her Body,

You look at your body in the mirror and grimace. Ugh. It still looks like crap. You touch your body in disgust. You spend hours in your closet trying on every piece of clothing you own. And still nothing fits. Nothing looks good. Everything is wrong. You feel wrong.

You wake up at 5 a.m. when the world is still dark and drag yourself to the gym. You don't want to be there. But what other choice do you have?

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General

Giving Others the Gift of Our Sight

So often what we want most when we're overwhelmed, afraid, exhausted, lost, a foreigner in our own bodies is to be seen. To be heard. To have another human being understand, really understand, what we're going through, where we're coming from. To have another human being listen, without texting, without looking around, without criticizing. To look at us directly, to look into our eyes. To be present with us wholeheartedly.

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Body Image

How to Catch Yourself When You’re Falling

There is a beautiful quote from Baal Shem Tov: "Let me fall if I must fall. The one I will become will catch me."

Which always reminds me that we have the power to catch ourselves, even if we don't think we can. That is comforting and empowering, because all of us will fall. We may fall from the sky, a very long descent. We may fall out of a second-story window, closer to the ground but still potentially bruised. But, again, these falls are OK. Because we can handle this. Because we've got this. We can be our own superman, swooping in when we've been thrown from a building.

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Body Image

More Mantras That Might Resonate With You

This week we talked about creating mantras that we need. Today, I'm sharing other examples of mantras. Mantras can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be a single word or a single sentence. They can speak to all sorts of subjects. Again, it depends on what you need---whatever brings you comfort and calm, whatever inspires you, whatever serves as a powerful reminder.

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