Tag Archives: self love

The Journey of Personal Transformation

moving-on-from-a-cheating-partnerPersonal transformation is probably the single most challenging and rewarding activity we as humans can ever take on. If you’ve ever found yourself riding the high of freedom from a lifelong concern, only to wake up the next day in the midst of an emotional crisis, then you will have some idea of what I’m talking about.

 

People wind up on the path of personal transformation for different reasons. Some can no longer stand to live with the pain of childhood trauma. Others live for many years with an inkling there is more to life than what meets the eye. Just like everyone, those “on the path” of transformation are motivated by the desire to live happier, more empowered and meaningful lives. However, those who walk the path of personal transformation have consciously chosen to acknowledge the inner obstacles to happiness. They have chosen to turn their relationships with themselves upside down until they’ve come to peace with every last part – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

During the process of personal transformation, step-by-step we trade the old, outworn cocoon of the personality we inherited from our parents, siblings, babysitters, teachers, authority figures etc. for our unique and irresistible authentic selves. As the process unfolds we experience a continual stream of new possibilities for meeting the challenges and opportunities of life, which are accompanied by a rush of excitement and renewed sense of purpose. We begin to catch glimpses of peace, joy, and bliss more alluring and gratifying than any we’ve ever experienced, and as time goes on we experience these states more and more.

Sounds amazing, right? It is, except for all the personality traits that make up our old cocoons. Make no mistake. We have invested a lot of energy and time – several decades in some cases – in pumping up these parts of ourselves in order to get by in life. We have become so reliant on these parts or our personality that whenever they want something we bend over backwards to give it to them. And since our relationship to these parts is more intimate than any other, they know how to hit us where it hurts the most every time.

The good news is, we are free to choose change in every moment, no matter how slowly it seems to occur sometimes. And by surrounding ourselves with an environment that supports us on the path of transformation, the old parts of us can gradually come to see that they no longer have to work so hard to ensure our security. In the meantime, it helps to remind yourself of the wise adage “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself”. And give yourself permission to sit back and enjoy the ride.

By: Kelly Pritchard

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Are you a Therapist? Why Self-Care is Even More Important for You

I-Love-Me-written-in-sandThe practice of psychotherapy is unique, creative, and multifaceted. Although therapists are trained to care for others, we often do a poor job of care for ourselves. Self-Care is defined as the integration of a therapist’s emotional, social, physical, and spiritual health. In essence therapist self-care encompasses understanding and attending to the needs of one’s self; balance in one’s life; the quality of one’s life; serves as protection against burnout; influences client care; and is related to connecting to social support systems.

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Creating a daily/weekly self-care plan would be a great way to start giving attention to and managing your self-care. Take some time to ask yourself what you need on a daily basis to refuel and reset in order to operate at your apex in your clinical work. However before you do that, please take a few moments to explore your current thoughts and practices about self-care.

Therapist Self-care Self-Assessment

1. How important is self-care to you?
2. What do you need to refuel and refocus daily?
3. What shifts do you need to make to meet your self-care needs?
4. How would your clinical work be influenced if you were attending to your self-care?
5. How would your personal life be influenced if you were managing your self-care?

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The practice of self-care is an intentional, ongoing, and advantageous practice. Although the above-mentioned statement may seem obvious, it is easy to fall into a routine of daily life which may deny the energy needed to attend to caring for the self. Caring for ourselves deserves to be looked upon from the perspective of resource management. Likewise, therapists must continually develop and cultivate their most precious resource which is ultimately themselves.

By: Tequilla L. Hill

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Spring Is A Chance To Re-Vamp Our Closets – And Our Confidence!

1Finally, we can see the light at the end of the cold, dark tunnel that we call winter here in Canada! After what feels like the longest winter EVER, this past Friday officially marked the first day of spring!

I do not know about you, but the freezing cold winter that we experienced this year really put damper on my mood, and my wardrobe! By the time that February rolled around, I felt like I was in a style rut that consisted of base layers, sweat pants and winter boots.

Since the days are lasting longer and the sun has finally made an appearance, I have felt inspired to kick my wardrobe back into high gear. Getting back into the groove of dressing well after such a slump can be a difficult task, so I have rounded up 3 outfits that are sure to boost your confidence and put a little spring in your step!

Outfit #1: Flower Power

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If there is one thing that I love about spring, it has to be the all of the new life that blooms around us! From flowers to butterflies, there is nothing quite like the feeling of spring in the air. Why not celebrate that feeling everyday by incorporating blooms and butterflies into your wardrobe with a pair of printed shorts! There are so many great options in stores right now, but this pair from Joe Fresh especially caught my attention because of the longer length and flowy shape. When pairing a top and accessories with printed shorts, pull from colors that are in the print. The bright yellow top, reminiscent of the sun, will instantly brighten your mood. A mint clutch and statement necklace adds some interest and really ties the colors together. Top it off with a wide brimmed hat, and neutral sandals that are both stylish and comfortable!

SHORTS: https://www.joefresh.com/ca/Categories/Women/Shorts/Print-Soft-Short/p/WS5B170012_309

WEDGES: http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/womens-sandals/espadrilles–wedges/sophie-0016-sophie–24

YELLOW TOP: https://www.jcrew.com/ca/womens_category/shirtsandtops.jsp

HAT: https://www.joefresh.com/ca/Categories/Women/Accessories/Straw-Hat/p/WS5C490035_103

CLUTCH: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/rebecca-minkoff-leo-clutch/3855772?cm_mmc=$(vendor)$-_-datafeed-_-women:bags:clutch-_-857815&cm_ven=Linkshare&siteId=QFGLnEolOWg QJf0g3WFxuPlhi8.KOBziA

NECKLACE: http://www.baublebar.com/floralia-cabochon-collar-mint-gold.html

Outfit #2: Pastel Weekend

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During the spring and summer months one of my absolute favorite things to do is wake up early and head to the local market. The weekend is always a good excuse to dress casually, but causal does not have to be boring! A pair of pastel pink skinny jeans adds a light pop of color to the look and will put you in a loving and caring mood. Instead of a plain t-shirt, opt for something with unexpected detailing like a graphic print, or this one with a feminine scalloped trim. Finish the look off with a light cardigan, fun bejeweled flats, and an oversized tote to hold of your fresh spring produce.

JEANS: https://www.joefresh.com/ca/Categories/Women/Denim/Slim-Colour-Jean/p/WS5B161620_172

CARDIGAN: http://www.zara.com/ca/en/woman/knitwear/draped-cardigan-c358007p2590022.html

T-SHIRT: http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/clothing-427/tops-443/t-shirts-2290019/scallop-frill-tee- 3088069?refinements=category~%5b256506%7c208524%5d&bi=61&ps=20

FLATS: http://www.thebay.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/thebay/shoes/reece-raffia-slingback-flats

TOTE: http://www.hm.com/ca/product/56133?article=56133-C

BRACELETE: http://www.jewelmint.com/pages/jm-categories-allinone/?view=bracelets&filter=show_jewelmint

Outfit #3: Spring Fling

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Whether you are heading out on a date with your significant other or getting gussied up for girl’s night out, a sundress is a sure-fire way to boost your mood and confidence. Pastel yellow looks amazing on every skin-tone and represents all things positive and cheerful, which is exactly how everyone wants to feel on a night out. A pretty pair of floral print kitten heels literally puts spring in your step, while a skinny belt helps create that feminine, hourglass shape. Finish the look off with a bright bag, drop earrings and vintage looking cat-eye sunnies and you will be ready to take on the town!

DRESS: http://www.zara.com/ca/en/woman/dresses/striped-dress-with-skirt-pockets-c358003p2604022.html

HEELS: https://www.joefresh.com/ca/Categories/Women/Shoes-Boots/Floral-Sling-Back-Pumps/p/WS5F505034_968

BAG: http://www.katespade.com/cedar-street-large-monday/PWRU4078,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_PWRU4078_color=685&cgid=ks-handbags-cross-body#start=20&cgid=ks-handbags-cross-body

SUNGLASSES: http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/bags-accessories-1702216/sunglasses-468/sophie-cateye-sunglasses-4027743?bi=1&ps=20

BELT: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Skinny-FeatheredBelt/WB00073,default,pd.html?cmp=AFC_CJ_ShopStyle.com_Brooks+Brothers+Product+Catalog&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_source=cj&utm_campaign=2178999&cv
osrc=affiliate.cj.2178999

EARRINGS: http://www.hm.com/ca/product/88484?article=88484-B

By: Kaylee Giffin

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Surviving a Quarter Life Crisis

2009-09-cover-puzzle_tcm7-84442The first years of adulthood or “real life” is often a time of excitement and thrill. We are trying to become established and individuated. We are making big life decisions. We are out on our own for the first time. These are supposedly the best years of our lives, but what often gets overlooked is just how difficult this period of time can be for a lot of people. Alongside the thrill and excitement are often feelings of inadequacy, confusion, and anxiety as we move through the transitory phase. Rest assured, if you feel this way you are not alone. Many twenty and thirty-somethings will face this quarter-life crisis where there is a seeming disconnect between what is happening in our lives and what we want to be happening in our lives. Here are some tips to help survive this transitory phase:

Create Your Own Path and Stop Comparing Your Life to Other People

We develop ideas about the type of relationships we have, the stage of our career we should be in, and the commitments we should make based on societal pressure and norms that have been developed in our family and social circles. It may seem that everyone around you is excelling in their career, falling in love, and utterly satisfied with their lives but that doesn’t mean you need to be in the same place. If these are goals that you have then by all means strive for them, but try not to let the accomplishments of others be injurious to your own self-esteem. Life is not a competition. It’s okay to feel unsettled and unclear on what you want. Clarify your own hopes, dreams, and needs. Decide what will make YOU happy, and go for it.

Set Goals and Make and Action Plan

Set goals for yourself relating to all areas of your life (career, personal, relationships, etc.) and break them down into specific ambitions for short, medium, and long term (think – 1, 5, 10 years from now). Ask yourself what specific actions need to be taken in order to reach each goal. By making small sub-goals you can make things manageable and stop you from feeling overwhelmed. Creating an action plan will make you feel proactive in control, and accomplished. BUT…

Don’t Get TOO Caught up On a Timeline

We face a lot of pressure to accomplish things in our lives within a certain time frame and when we miss that “deadline” we are left feeling like we have somehow failed. We need to make plans for the future in order to stay motivated and excited about our lives but it’s important not to get too focused on time. You may have decided that you want to be set in your career, own a home, and be married by the time you’re 30, but if you’re too rigid in that timeline you’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t work out that way. Or worse, you may make decisions that are consistent with the timeline but not necessarily consistent with what truly makes you happy in life. Draft a personal and reasonable timeline for the goals that you have but be flexible if you encounter bumps it the road. You don’t need to have your whole life figured out by the time you’re 30 (and in all honesty, you probably won’t). Things will happen as they are meant to happen.

Talk it Out

It’s common to feel alone during this transition phase of your life so make use of the connections you have to other people. Opening up to friends, family, or a mentor about your struggles and you may find they’ve experienced similar crises in their lives.  It’s okay to have doubts or be dissatisfied with this period of your life. But it’s important to figure out what isn’t working for you in order to make positive changes in your life. Sharing your problems with others may lead to a wealth of advice and support in a time where guidance can be paramount to success. If you’re feeling really lost, it may be helpful to speak to a therapist to help you establish what you want out of life.

Define Success in Your Own Terms

Many of us have come to equate success with status and money. Instead of letting that be the sole definer of success, think about all the ways you can measure your own success. Perhaps it’s the feedback you receive from peers and colleagues, the difference you make in the lives of others, or the fact that you live a well-balanced life. Your definition of success should be reflective of all of your values rather than just financial gains. Acknowledge all of your achievements, past and present, to remember you have a number of things to be proud of.

By: Catherine Kamel

counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapy

Emotional Sunburns

purple-beach-sun-setWhat is an emotional sunburn?

Think about your last trip to sunny Miami!

There, you are soaking in the sun, partying and having the time of your life.

Then, you arrive back to cold Toronto with a painful and blistering sunburn only to have to cover up in layers, long pants, turtlenecks, extra sweaters, boots and long down filled coats.

Your friend greets you at the airport and in his excitement to greet you after your trip, he gives you a big bear hug. Ouch!!!

Not realizing that you have a sunburn on every part of your body, you scream and push him away.

What did he do? How does he feel? How do you feel?

He had no intention of hurting you and did not realize what was covered up underneath your bulky winter clothing. Yet his hug still caused you to scream and pushed him away.

Most people are walking around weighed down with their emotional sunburns. These are individual areas of sensitivity. They are our bruises from our past. They come from past negative experiences; experiences with our family, friends, and lovers.

Many people do a great job of covering their bruises up. Often, no one can see them on the outside and no one knows about them except for you. Sometimes you may not even realize how the past is affecting you in the present.

Your partner doesn’t know about all your emotional sunburns and how they are affecting you today. Next time you have a strong emotional reaction of anger, sadness, anxiety or any powerful feeling to a situation that doesn’t seem to warrant it, take some time to question your reaction and determine if your response is triggered by the present situation or perhaps if it is triggered by a past experience or relationship. Stop and think of the reasons pushing your reactions and identify your emotional sunburns.

If your current relationship is healthy, strong and safe, start sharing your experiences with your partner and work together to help to see how your past is affecting your current relationship. Your partner can become more sensitive to your reactions and you will begin to realize that what happened in the past in not reoccurring again in the present and slowly you will be able to let it go.

Keep in mind emotional sunburns are more painful than your bad burn at the beach last summer!

If you are experiencing an emotional sunburn, especially one that isn’t healing, you may want to invest in working with a therapist to help identify and work though these past hurts. This might enable you to live with renewed emotional equilibrium, without being pulled back into the past.

By: Ilana Brown

IB

Join Kimberly For An Interactive Twitter Party!

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Are you tired of this freezing weather?! When the the sun is only an occasional visitor and the temperatures have us running for the indoors, we often just want to be at home. Home fills us with those comforting and cozy feelings of welcome and warmth. We can cuddle up on the sofa with a book, light candles and sip tea in front of a crackling fire place; an escape from the harsh real world. Home is where our loved ones gather and together we can feast on home cooked meals in an elegant family dining room. Our bedrooms provide us with a safe haven for rest and sweet dreams. Have you created a “nest” for your family? Need inspiration? Look no further than Urban Barn!

To help everyone create their own perfect nesting space and to celebrate the re-opening of the revamped Urban Barn Leaside which is opening on Saturday, February 21st, Kimberly is having a Twitter Party!!

We hope you can join Kimberly as she will talk all kinds of tips and tricks to making the most of your family time as well as one-on -one time right at home!  Of course, what would a Twitter Party be without prizes!!  So much fun!  Mark your calendar right now – this party is happening this Thursday night and we’d really like to see you there!

Here are all those details again so you don’t miss a thing!

Date: Thursday Feb. 19th at 8 PM EST

Follow: @urban_barn, @KimberlyMoffit & @SassyModernMom

Hashtag: #UrbanBarnLeaside

Please RSVP using the linky below.  See you soon!

*Please be sure to enter your Twitter Handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and your Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the Link Field*



7 Things He Wants You to Know About Dating

keep-an-open-mind-101-happy-quotes-and-tipsDating can be fun, frustrating, exciting, and miserable all at the same time.  After failed attempts to
make it to relationship status, we often ask ourselves, “What are they thinking?!” Ladies, fret no more, here is what he wants you to know about dating.

1. “Playing hard to get is a turn off to a mature man and like a crack addiction for boys.”

My dad always told me, “Men value what they earn.” Although true, it sounds like we need to make sure we give them the opportunity to earn it.  One man explained “We like the chase but don’t forget you agreed to meet. Don’t be afraid to show some interest.”

2.  “Give your honest opinion about date ideas.”

Many of the men I asked shared their frustration with women either not helping to provide date ideas, not having opinions on their date ideas, or giving too many date ideas. One fellow reported, “If a guy asks a gal’s opinion on date options, be honest.  It’s hard enough to guess what she likes, let alone what she could be allergic/scared of”.

3. “It’s just a date.  Lighten up.”

This seems like something we all know but with so much pressure to “find the one”, all your friends walking down the aisle, and the goal to not hit geriatric pregnancy age by the time we are ready to have kids, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to hook the guy.  One man wanted to remind us, “We already like you (thus the date).  We’re asking questions because we are interested in more than your looks.”

4. “Don’t talk about your ex.”

One man explained “On the first date, only bring up history if we ask.  We don’t really care at this point about your ex or dating history.”

5. “Less is more”

Trends tell us we look best with long flowing hair (hair extensions), thick bushy lashes (lash extensions), tan skin (fake tan), and perfect skin (foundation).  But keep in mind that trends that women enjoy are different than what guys necessarily find attractive.  I guess he isn’t just sweet
talking you when he says you are beautiful when you wake up.

6. “Ask us questions”

Guys said they know the importance of asking questions on a date, especially to keep
conversation flowing, but that it can be a turn off if ladies spend the date only sharing about
themselves.  In fact, some men reported a ladies’ interest and ability to ask questions is a turn
on.  So ladies, try to make that convo 50/50.

7. “An offer to pay goes a long way”

Men agreed that women should offer to pay, but also that you should only let them pay if you
are interested.  They also recognized that more women are practicing “casual dating” than in
the past and if that’s the case, more power to you, but transparency is appreciated prior to
letting them fork up the cash.

By: Ashley Callahan

A.C

Coming Out to Family & Friends

Getting Over BreakupWow!

Congratulations on making this decision!  But isn’t it terrifying too?! Every experience of deciding to tell your social circle you are gay, lesbian or bisexual is different. It is also unpredictable. You may assume it will be okay because you have an open-minded parent, BUT there is a difference between being open to anyone else being LGBT and your own child. This can be a challenge for any parent.

I do not say this to scare you, but to prepare you. You will need to have either a trusted person in your life to talk to during this process or a professional to support you. This is especially the case if you come from a faith community or culture in which being LGBT is simply not accepted. It is important to keep in mind that this time is not just about you. Please recognize that you may be changing the perceptions and worldview of the people in your life. This will take time. Please be compassionate but ALWAYS expect and insist on being treated with personal respect.

If you have a family that is willing to work it through with you, you will need to create a safe place for the people in your life to say and ask what they need to in order to take this new information into their spirit.

Examples:

  • Your mother may wonder what she did wrong.
  • Your sibling may feel there is an important part of you they have never known and need to grieve this.
  • Your grandmother may worry about you and you being judged by others.

Yes, there are some stereotypes inherent here and it will be easy for you get angry. However, these are also real feelings and concerns for your friends and family members. If a safe place is created to explore this together, this can be a time to strengthen yourself and your family.

However, if the reality of your family is that it is not accepted, please remember that you deserve love and respect. There is support out there. I wish you love and light!

By: Lisa Shouldice

Lisa Shouldice

 

3 Ways To Get Into A Positive Dating Mindset

a-purple_tulips_cup_of_coffee-1514218After being stuck in the dating scene for a while and probably experiencing some rejection, many people become jaded about the dating process. While dating is definitely not always an easy or pleasant experience, there are a few ways to develop a positive attitude and make dating a bit more enjoyable.

1. Focus on you before the date

Do what you need to do to feel great about yourself. Participating in some self care is a great way to relax and pamper yourself. Try to keep your mind off the date so that you can avoid becoming too anxious. Tell yourself that anyone would be lucky to go on a date with you and take the time to prepare to present the best version of yourself. Get pumped to some invigorating music while you are getting ready and celebrate you.

2. Decide that you are going to have a great time

Having a positive attitude about yourself and the potential of the date is beneficial for you and attractive to your date. Being engaging is key. Ask your date lots of questions, smile and act at ease as much as you can. We might feel like giving up when a date does not meet our expectations, however, you are still spending time with another human being so make the most of that time. Treat even a person you know you will reject with lots of respect and kindness. Have a great time because you are great company even if your date is not.

3. Share with your friends after the date

Talking about a date afterwards can be cathartic and free some of the tension that built up. If the date went horribly, seek the support of your friends and try to think that you now have a new bad date story to add to your list as most people do.

By: Danielle Taylor

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10 Relationship Issues That Can Benefit From Professional Counselling

toronto-couples-relationship-counselling.jpgHave you been having relationship problems with your partner, family, friends or someone important in your life lately? In life, complications between the people we love arise and there are ways to solve those complications through many different ways. There are healthy and appropriate ways to solve those complications and two of the options are through counselling or psychotherapy.

Sometimes we ask ourselves, “Am I the only one having problems with the people around me?” Everyone has different circumstances throughout life, and its common for most people to go through rough patches as well as periods of joy throughout their life. It is important for us to recognize that no healthy relationship can avoid conflicts! Issues are created while having interaction with people but that shouldn’t stop us from having relationships with others.

There are many different reasons to why we may not be getting along with the people around us. Have you gone through any of the following lately?

1. Trust Issues
2. Difficulty Communicating
3. Personality Differences
4. Money Problems
5. Life Transitions (Minor or Major)
6. Overcoming Grief and Loss
7. Dating/Lack of Intimacy/Ending of a Relationship
8. Parenting/Controlling or Needy Partners
9. Coping with Each Other’s Extended Family/Blended Family
10. Household Responsibilities/Toxic or Judgemental Household Climate

Sometimes, all we need is to chat things over with a friend or family member, or even have some time to think on our own about the issue. Other times, therapy is a great option to explore why we’re having relationship issues and work out skills and coping strategies so we don’t end up in the situation again.

In Counselling and Therapy, we learn to:
1. Recognize the problem, treat it and become stable (emotionally and mentally)
2. Develop skills to work out obstacles in a lively and appropriate way
3. Learn to listen, process, and understand others
4. Establish skills to say what you want in a assertive way without being disoriented by emotions such as anger or resentment
5. Develop full capability to realize how the other person feels and what they want

At KMA Therapy we offer different types of services for Relationship Issues, such as:

– Counselling for Relationships
– Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
– Relationship Therapy
– Relationship Management Counselling

If you’re interested in any of these services, please contact us and we’ll be thrilled to help. Have a great day!

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional