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The moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what it is,you are free of the mind.  You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.-Eckhart Tolle

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.– Lao Tzu

My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations. – Michael J. Fox

Acceptance is often a necessary process for creating change and reducing suffering.  It is a fundamental piece of several proven therapies.  Some include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD., Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy).

Acceptance is a simple concept, and at the same time is really difficult.  Marsha Linehan, creator of DBT, offers some ideas about acceptance.  First, she clarifies that acceptance does not mean approval or disapproval of what is being accepted.  It means acknowledging on purpose without a label of “good” or “bad”. She also offers that in order to accept, one must recognize his or her own willfulness or non-acceptance.  One way to recognize non-acceptance is to listen to your inner dialogue.  If you hear sarcasm or statements implying what should or ought to be different about someone else, a circumstance, or yourself, you are likely in a state of non-acceptance.   .

If you notice these non-acceptance thoughts, do so gently with curiosity and compassion.  In other words, accept your non-acceptance.  This will allow space to notice your thought and decide if you want to work toward change.

Another idea for find acceptance is recognizing this as a state of being and a process instead of a single skill that is achieved once.  Linehan suggests to radically accept something; you must practice turning the mind over and over.

Acceptance of one’s thoughts, emotions, circumstance, and other people seems like a lot of work, and it is.  However, it offers freedom from the suffering that comes with non-acceptance, making it worth the effort.

If you’d like to learn more about acceptance to reduce suffering and make space for change, please contact me.  I can be reached at 706-425-8900 ext .703 or alice@ca4wellbeing.com

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Life based on gratitude, optimism and meaning is presented in this video: http://www.learning2connect.com/node/2074

Under dire circumstances, Alice Herz Sommer kept her focus “where it is good”, knowing that both “bad and good” are simultaneously on-going, and yet consciously choosing to keep her focus toward the good; in that place, everything is a present. And when you see and hear her laugh, you know this is genuine.

From birth she was optimistic and she wanted to have fun ; almost like she’s received the optimist gene at birth and passed it on to her son as well!!

Her love of music seems to be an intrisic part of her life and her love for life. At the time of her life when she and her son were in concentration camps, music, in theses circumstances, was not an entertainment;  “music was a much bigger value: it gave people moral support… The music gave us undescribable beauty”, may be satisfying the need for Inspiration or Meaning, like Viktor Frankl proposes in his book “Man’s Search For Meaning”.

I so enjoy her simple determination and clarity about her focus in life. It appears that she has practiced theses for ever, and I cannot help but believe this comes from the way she was raised, from parents who mirrored her with joy. I’d love to get your feedback about how this touches you. And contact me if you feel inspired and want to explore this further, at: aline@ca4wellbeing.com, or 706 425 8900, ext 705.

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Here, in an interesting article, Keith Molyneaux helps us look at relationships from a different perspective: “Why Men Withdraw Emotionally”, and offers insights about men’s world. It may not apply to everyone, yet it certainly opens space to consider our own reactions: when we withdraw and why -man or woman-, whether it comes from protection and/or frustration, confusion or overwhelming feeling. It also brings more clarity about existing double standards and levels of expectations men have to face. Keith Molyneaux looks into the challenge of 2 partners needing nurturing, empathy, support and recognition at the same time, with one of the two having more experience, in this area, than the other.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/02/why-men-withdraw-emotionally/

Resonating with this article? Open to explore each other’s world in a safe environment? Feel free to contact Aline Robolin, LPC at 706 425 8900, ext 705, or Aline@ca4wellbeing.com.

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of completing my certification in hypnotherapy.  The entire training process was wonderful and enriching on both a personal and professional level.  I have experienced great results in changing my own habits as a result of the hypnosis I received during our training.  I am so excited to now use this powerful tool to help my clients.

In previous training classes we learned how to induce someone into a hypnotic state and make suggestions to effect change on a subconscious level.  So often we know what we want and we know how to get there, but something just seems to be preventing us from taking those steps.  Suggestive hypnosis can be very effective in helping us surmount those hurdles to allow us to reach our goals.

What I learned in our final training class was a more dynamic form of hypnotherapy.  We learned how to communicate with our clients while they are in the state of hypnosis to address past events that have left them feeling hurt, helpless, or in another state of pain or trauma.  We learned ways to address and heal these painful past memories and events.

If you are interested in trying a different way to experience therapy, please call (706) 425-8900 ext 709 or email s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com me.  I would love to talk with you to see if hypnosis might be right for you.

 susanna

I am very excited to currently be in the process of obtaining my certification in hypnotherapy.  I didn’t know much about hypnotherapy when I registered for the course.  I wanted to share my understanding of hypnosis, to demystify it and help people determine if it might be worth a try.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the process of entering an extremely relaxed state, in body and mind, to allow suggestions to bypass the consciousness and flow directly into the subconscious.  This relaxed state is led by a hypnotherapist and utilizes guided imagery.  The client is aware at all times of what is being said and suggested and can stop the hypnosis at any time.

What can Hypnotherapy Address?

Hypnotherapy can address anxiety, stress, guilt, fears, phobias, lack of confidence, poor self-image, negative thought patterns, compulsions, unhealthy eating habits, disordered eating, smoking cessation, and more.

What is the First Step in Hypnotherapy?

An important first-step of hypnotherapy is to have a discussion with the client to learn exactly what the desired outcome is.  From there, I develop specific suggestions and discuss them with the client to ensure that I have a clear understanding of the goals.  It is very important to note that in doing this, the client maintains complete control over the specific messages that will be sent during the hypnotherapy session.

What is the Hypnotherapy Session Like?

At the start of the hypnotherapy session the client can choose to sit or lie down on the couch.  I ask him to close his eyes and take some deep breaths.  The first part of the session is called an “induction” which is simply a way for the client to relax.  It can involve progressive relaxation, with the client focusing on relaxing the body, one part at at time.  It usually includes some guided imagery, focusing on a comforting, relaxing place of the client’s choice.  The goal is for the body and the mind to be in a completely relaxed state, free from the conscious mind “noise” consisting of to-do lists, stressors, repetitive thoughts, etc.

Once the client has reached this peaceful and relaxed state, I incorporate the previously agreed-upon suggestions into the hypnosis.  These suggestions are able to bypass the conscious mind and enter straight into the subconscious in a clear and concise way.

Once the suggestions have been made, it is time for the client to “emerge” from the hypnosis.  There is count-down with assurances that the client will feel refreshed and energized.  My clients have reported feeling wonderful and relaxed after hypnotherapy.  One client described it as feeling similar to the experience of the “savasana” pose in yoga.

How Do I Determine if Hypnotherapy Might Help Me?

Please give me a call at 706-425-8900 ext 709 or email me at s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com.  I would love to chat with you to assess your needs and determine if hypnotherapy may benefit you.

susanna

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Goal setting plays an important role in moving ourselves forward in life.   At the beginning of a New Year, many people choose to make New Year’s resolutions with the intent to improve some part of their life.   I have made many over the years, many of which I had given up by the third week of January.   Also, there have been years in which I have sworn off the resolutions to avoid the feelings of lack of discipline and failure.

This year, after taking the first three weeks of January to consider what I wanted to create in my life, I narrowed down a list of several areas of my life that could use some help. Consistently, they all lead back to one simple basic habit. This simple, but often elusive, habit is crucial for developing and maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit.   It’s the basic practice of getting adequate sleep.  Seven to eight hours of sleep a night for an adult is considered to be healthy sleep.

Sleep affects the mind, body and spirit in numerous ways.  Most everyone has short-lived bouts of insomnia, which is generally nothing to be concerned about.  The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss which include sleeping issues several nights a week or less than six hours of sleep on a consistent basis.  Chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems in areas such as learning and memory, metabolism and weight, anxiety and depression, blood pressure and hormone levels, and the immune system.

Sleep allows the body to do a lot of repair work both restoratively in the body through muscle growth, tissue repair, and growth hormone as well as cognitively in the brain with neural plasticity.   Sleep is a key to keeping your body and mind fit and healthy.

If you have difficulty sleeping, neurofeedback training may help you.   Recently, I worked with a client who had sleep problems for over five years.  After trying many sleep solutions including several prescription sleep medications and not having results, the client gave neurofeedback a try.  Now, he is sleeping through the night for at least eight hours on a consistent basis.

Getting adequate sleep can have life changing effect for health and well being.  Contact Pamela Key at Counseling Associates for Well-Being at (706) 425-8900 or Pamela@ca4wellbeing.com for information on how neurofeedback training can help you.

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I am not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. I find them to be similar to diets in the way they create a setup of unrealistically harsh expectations for one’s self that are bound to fail. However, there is one resolution I would suggest and celebrate for anyone to make, and this resolution improves outlook and mood, health, relationships and all other aspects of life. This resolution would be a commitment in the year 2014 to improve one’s relationship with self. The relationship we have with ourselves is the longest and most important as it forms the basis for how we see the world and make choices for our behavior.

How does one improve that relationship? One way we improve it is by becoming aware of and improving our self-talk.  Many of us have developed a strong inner drill sergeant that seeks to motivate us to “be better” and “do better”.  I would argue that we get a lot further with compassion for self and treating ourselves as we would a dear friend.  Compassion for self does not mean denial or dishonesty, but looking at situations in our lives with the understanding we are human and deserve unconditional emotional support first and foremost.  With compassion and honesty with self, we are more likely to make choices such as better self-care or reaching out for help when it is needed-and we all need help as human beings.

I would suggest mindfully starting with this intention each day.  Take a few quiet minutes to meditate on the intention to be compassionate toward one’s self on a daily basis.  This alone could create quite a lasting change this year.  Contact me at suzanne@ca4wellbeing.com if you would like to work on a new approach to making changes and dealing with challenges. Happy New Year!

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So we just finished the Thanksgiving holiday celebration.  As it happens, my  birthday week falls around Thanksgiving every year. These birthday things keep happening year after year no matter what.  They are often a time to reflect, to take stock. I don’t generally enjoy so much thinking, but this year I thought about what I am thankful for about my advancing age.

I love that I finally can stop wishing that I can one day live up to the incredibly unrealistic physical image of 20 year old super models. I love that the things I now value are so much more important. I actually pause to be grateful that I can walk up flights of stairs or enjoy the beauty of the beach or enjoy a fabulous meal with friends or family.

I am grateful to have time to read even if some days  it is just the newspaper, or the captions under the pretty photos in my favorite magazines. I am grateful  to have some ideas about what I enjoy, and also to still have an abundance of curiosity about what else there might be to discover.

I am grateful that my vision is no longer what it once was. I marvel at the genius of the design that allows me to lose the ability to see clearly the wrinkles that are spreading like fine webs under my eyes.

I am grateful for the realization that painful moments do in fact finally end. When I was younger, it was so much harder to endure things that were difficult when I had no idea that “these things pass.”  I am grateful that there are still so many things to look forward to.   Getting older is getting better and better!  And gratitude is a wonderful thing.

 

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I laugh often. Sometimes I laugh with myself, and I often laugh with other people.  My favorite source humor includes funny lyrics to some favorite songs and children’s jokes.

Since I like laughing and look for reasons to laugh, I wasn’t surprised to learn that laughing can reduce stress and anxiety.  I was, however, surprised and pleased to learn that laughing can be helpful whether or not it’s authentic.  Yes, some say you can benefit from laughter even when there’s nothing to laugh at.

In addition to reducing stress, research also suggests other benefits of laughing:

  • Laughing relaxes the face muscles.
  • It can increase beneficial antibodies which improve immunity.
  • Laughing can distract us from unpleasant emotions.  Overuse of distraction can turn into unhelpful avoidance, but a brief distraction can create needed distance from intense emotion and create space for new perspective.
  • Laughing creates connection.  When we laugh with others, we feel a connected.  When we smile at someone, often the smile is returned.  Some therapies explain the natural human urge that it is part of the emotions silliness, joy, and happiness is to reach out and share.
  • Laughter, easy humor, or smile can also ease an uncomfortable situation.

Most people enter into marriage with dreams of a lifetime of love, partnership, family, security, and happiness.  Many times, it is the loss of these dreams that is the most painful aspect of the dissolution of a marriage.

Going through a divorce elicits a myriad of responses: anger, frustration, confusion, sadness, feeling of failure, exhilaration, worry, hopelessness, panic, euphoria, and guilt, just to name some.  Navigating these can feel overwhelming, especially while negotiating new households, financial challenges, and heart-wrenching custody arrangements.

It is true that a divorce can be one of the hardest, most painful, and most stressful events in a person’s life.  It can feel like a volcano has erupted, burning and destroying everything you have known.  The wonderful news is from that springs an opportunity for tremendous insight, clarity, and personal growth.  After the ash has settled what remains is a fertile soil, primed for the growth of your new, fresh life.

If you are in need of compassionate support during this difficult time and would like to see your way to a happier future, I would love to talk with you.

Susanna Rains Moriarty

706-425-8900 ext 709

s.rains@ca4wellbeing.com

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