Beating The Back-To-School Blues: A Peaceful Living Approach

Beating The Back-To-School Blues: A Peaceful Living Approach

Three steps to survive back to school. Try Not To Overreact, Set Boundaries, and Take Extra Good Care of YOU.

I don’t know about y’all, but back-to-school time is always a humdinger in our family!  Don’t get me wrong, I am always grateful to have my little lovelies go back into the care of those sainted teachers. But…

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A Peaceful Living Recipe for Hard Times

A Peaceful Living Recipe for Hard Times

The mindfulness and other practices discussed in this blog are not meant as a substitute for licensed clinical therapy or medication as recommended by a medical doctor. If you are seriously depressed it is very important that you seek the advice of a licensed therapist or medical professional. If you are feeling at all that you may harm yourself or someone else, please call 911.

 

My son recently said to me, “mom, I wish your business was not about all of the peace and love stuff.”  – Spoken like a true 14-year-old! LOL

 

My response to him went something like this:

AJ, my business is all about peace and love, joy and happiness, because I had so much depression and anxiety earlier in my life. And, I had to learn to heal myself so that I could live with peace and joy.  Now I share that with others.

 

He seemed to understand and accept that. But, he brings up a good point. 

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Living Through Grief – A True Story Of The Process.

Living Through Grief – A True Story Of The Process.

“I have found that mindfulness, self-acceptance and meditation have given my daughter and I the strength we needed to get through the darkest of days and emerge blinking into this new life we have found ourselves in.” -Liane Richardson

It wasn’t until my recent experience with the death of my late partner, that I really realized the true darkness and pervasiveness of grief. It was if a light had been extinguished, the raw fear of realising that your life, complete with all the hopes and dreams you had together, was over. The support that I had so often taken for granted, gone in the blink of an eye. It has been fifteen months since his death, and I marvel at how resilient our daughter and I have been, faced with the lack of his physical presence in our life. It’s no time at all really, not in the grand scheme of things, but it sometimes feels that he has been gone forever. We have overcome all the major milestones for the first time and the rawness of our loss is fading.

 

There isn’t a one size fits all aspect to grief. In fact, it is quite a selfish emotion, we grieve for the loss of something or someone in our life, be it a person, a pet or a lifestyle. As such it is something that can overwhelm and, if we let it, consume us. That said, it is perfectly normal to grieve, and there isn’t a time limit, however, don’t let it be the sole focus of your life. Life comes at us pretty fast nowadays and change is something the majority of people shy away from. No-one chooses to wallow in grief, it really isn’t healthy, BUT it is an essential part of the process of momentous change after a loss.

 

I did a lot of research on grief and the grieving process after his death, especially trying to find a way to help our daughter live with her loss. Children deal with loss completely differently to us adults, my daughter needed to be with friends, to do normal things, not be whispered around or treated differently. Which was just as well because I nearly fell apart! It is true that one really finds out who your real friends are when the chips are down, and I was blessed to be surrounded by many people who softened the blow of his passing.

 

There is a general consensus amongst psychologists that there are stages to the grieving process:

 

  • Denial. We can’t or won’t accept the loss and what it means for our future.

 

  • Anger. With them for dying. With others for not saving them. With ourselves or a higher power.

 

  • Bargaining. “Don’t let them die, please God, if you let them live I’ll do X.” Or in the event of their death ”if I do this God, will you bring them back to me?”

 

  • Depression. This is the one that, if you allow it to take hold, will take you down with it. You dwell on the unfairness of it all, the lack of their presence in your life and the “what ifs” and “if only’s”. To be depressed as a result of the situation is a normal reaction to a loss and it is a necessary emotion to be able to heal and move on. To allow the depression to take hold of you is another thing altogether.

 

  • Acceptance. The acceptance of your new reality.

 

There is no defined way that we will experience these emotions, indeed some of us won’t face all of them, although I did, to a lesser or greater degree. Ultimately the final stage is the one that will allow us to move forward in our new altered reality, because, like it or not, we can’t turn back the clock.

 

I have found that mindfulness, self-acceptance and meditation have given my daughter and I the strength we needed to get through the darkest of days and emerge blinking into this new life we have found ourselves in. He would be so proud of us and how well we have coped with his passing.

 

So we’ll keep on keeping on knowing that as each day passes the pain will slowly get easier to bear. I liked a quote I once saw on Pinterest, it said; Grief is like a stormy sea, the waves crash over you incessantly, gradually the storm, and the waves will subside and where once there were huge engulfing waves, there remain just tiny ripples and you can edge forward into your altered future.

 

With love and light,

Liane

xoxoxoxo

 

 

Liane Richardson is a mother to four amazing children and a perpetual optimist bobbing around in the Sea Of Life.  Her mission in life is to give others a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. She is a strong believer in laughter being the best medicine (and chocolate!).  What we think, we attract, so stay positive. Receive more goodness from Liane on her website: Liane Richardson

 

Three Ways To Transform Your Money Mindset

Three Ways To Transform Your Money Mindset

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-you’re right.”                                                                                         -Henry Ford

 

When I started my journey to becoming financially fit, just a little over a decade ago, I had no idea where I was headed. I knew I needed to make some serious changes in my relationship with money because I was nowhere close to where I wanted to be, where I dreamed of being all my life. I knew I had the drive, I knew what I wanted my financial future to look like, but I didn’t know why I just couldn’t seem to get ahead and reach my goals of being financially free.

 

So what was stopping me? My money mindset!

 

Now some of you may be thinking, what in the world is money mindset and why should I care? I get it, I had no idea what it was until I started searching for a way to dig my way out of the $25,000 of debt I had got myself into because I wasn’t aware of the somewhat toxic relationship I had with money. I was living paycheck to paycheck and I wasn’t paying attention to where I was spending my money. I knew how much money I had in my bank account and when it was gone, it was gone. By the last few days of the month I’d be eating ramen noodles and driving around on the fumes in my gas tank hoping I’d have enough to make it to the bank to cash my check on payday. I was MISERABLE!

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How “Bear Necessities” Enhanced Our Life

How “Bear Necessities” Enhanced Our Life

While growing up, Disney movies and Nickelodeon were keen influences on my way of life.

One of my favorites still rings true today

Disney’s version of “The Jungle Book.” Its catchy song “Bear Necessities” has given me a few “ah-ha!” moments while replaying it in my head.

“Look for the bare necessities, The simple bare necessities. Forget about your worry and your strife, I mean the bare necessities, That’s why a bear can rest at ease. The simple bare necessities of life.”

Yes! The simple bare necessities of life and the ability to live with little and be grateful for what you have now — this is what I often find myself inspiring students with, and for good reason.

After a devastating house fire in 2011, my husband and I were left with nothing but the clothes on our back. We were graciously sent donations from our fantastic Beaufort community, and I learned quickly what it was like to live with bare necessities.  Food, clothing and a hotel room for shelter were what we had. This experience quickly shifted our definition of what was necessary and what was important.

People, not things, were most important now. (more…)

It’s Possible to Quiet the Mind:  Here’s How to Do It

It’s Possible to Quiet the Mind: Here’s How to Do It

“A quiet mind is focused on the task at hand.  It is calm and helps us to appreciate our lives from peaceful moment to peaceful moment.  With a quiet mind, we are happier people overall.” -Diane Webb

 

It was an early morning and I was a fatigued, busy, working mom.  The sun was not up yet, but my six-month-old son and I were.  He was wide awake, and I was trailing behind in a sleepy stupor.  All I could think about was coffee.  The smell, the creamy taste, and the heavenly shot of energy that would come from that dreamy cup.  I looked down, at to my dismay I was scooping my infant’s formula in the coffee filter instead of coffee grinds! 

 

This made me laugh and jolted me awake a little more.  It was a human moment for a mom that was trying to be super-human.  Whether you are a parent, a working parent, a working person, or simply a fellow human being this scenario is all too familiar to you as well.  I’m sure that at some point you have found yourself doing something mindless that left you feeling confused and maybe even embarrassed- such as walk into a room with purpose only to forget why you were there, or forgetting a ‘special place’ that you put an item you didn’t want to misplace. 

 

These moments happen to us humans when we have too many thoughts running in our minds at once.  This is a mindless state of being that creates tension, anxiety, confusion and irritability.  It’s a common issue among all of us, but something we are not stuck with.  If we approach our thoughts in a different way, we can reduce all of the running mindlessness that occurs in our minds and achieve a quiet, peaceful state of mind.

 

A quiet mind is focused on the task at hand.  It is calm and helps us to appreciate our lives from peaceful moment to peaceful moment.  With a quiet mind, we are happier people overall.

 

Some people reading this might only view a quiet mind as a lovely thought, but not a realistic goal.  This misconception could not be farther from the truth.  Running thoughts and mindlessness may be a given of human nature, but it is something that we can improve upon with consistent effort over time. 

 

To learn how to quiet your busy mind, try these strategies:

 

  1. Adopt a different perspective on your thoughts.  See yourself as an observer of your thoughts as opposed to the thoughts being an extension of you are:  It is extremely important that you understand that your thoughts are not you, they are separate from you.  Everyone has hundreds of mindless thoughts throughout the day.  Adopting a perspective as a neutral observer of your thoughts, will help you to navigate through the maze of mindlessness when running thoughts creep up.  As an observer, you can choose what you pay attention to, and what you want to follow up on.  You will learn that every thought does not need attention or action.  This will give you the ability to let thoughts come go out of your mind peacefully.

 

  1. Do not give yourself unreasonable expectations.  Aim for only one or two minutes of a quiet mind at a time:  In the beginning, it will be extremely difficult to quiet down your mind.  After years or even decades of an unfettered mind, you may find it extremely difficult to let thoughts come and go without attaching values or emotions to them.  Reducing mental chatter is a skill that you develop over time.  In the beginning, it is best to aim for one or two minutes of a quiet mind.  With consistent practice, you can increase your goal a little at a time until you are able to create a lifestyle of mindfulness.  As the famous Chinese proverb goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

 

  1. When you are in the middle of a task, try to put all of your attention to it:  Set your sights on being really be present in all parts of your life, including seemingly mundane tasks.  Practice quieting the mind during routine tasks.  For example, when you are washing the dishes you can use this opportunity to tune in and reduce mental chatter. Instead of running a to-do list in your mind, tune in to being fully present for the task at hand whether it’s washing the dishes, taking a walk, or playing with your children.  Use these moments of being fully present to practice quieting the mind so that you can use this skill in more challenging or stressful conditions as well. 

 

  1. Pay attention to your sensory experiences:  When we focus on our sensory experiences (what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell) we are less ‘in our heads’ and more in the present moment.  To help yourself reduce mental chatter, focus attention to those sensory experiences that surround you.  What do you feel in your body?  Savor the flavor and warm temperature of a cup of tea.  Look out the window and focus on the colors you see.  These practices are simple, but in the practice of them you learn how to redirect your attention away from mental chatter and into a more peaceful state. 

 

This is not nearly an exhaustive list of ways to reduce mental chatter to achieve a quiet mind.  However, using these strategies you can get a jump-start on the peacefulness you seek.  As with all things that are worthwhile, the ability to quiet your mind will come in time with persistence and follow-through.  They are not strategies that you do once or twice and write off if they do not work.  They are strategies that need to be replicated over and over again to help us create the skill set necessary to reduce chatter and achieve peace.  I hope they help you live more fully in the present moments of your precious lives!

 

Guest Blog by: Diane Webb, LMHC.  Diane is a psychotherapist in upstate New York that specializes in anxiety reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder, overcoming depression, transpersonal therapy and achieving emotional peak performance. For more information and how to work with Diane, visit: The Peace Journal  Connect via Facebook Here: The Peace Journal Facebook

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