Why I stopped watching The Walking Dead

We began watching the very popular TV show when it was aired in Oct 2010. We loved the intrigue of it with all of the twists and turns. Then something happened, by Oct 20, 2014, Season 5 episode 2 I stopped watching half way through the episode.   It began to be too real for me: I couldn’t take it anymore.  It wasn’t so much the zombies that got to me, rather the real life stuff, men eating men. It was no longer enjoyment.  It made me anxious and sick. Even as I write this I’m experiencing the stir of anxious feelings in my gut and wonder if it might be a bad idea to write this piece. (more…)

Grief and the Enneagram

As a Type 7 on the Enneagram, I’ve practiced avoiding pain and discomfort most of my life. In fact, you could say my whole makeup is organized about this strategy.

Lately, I’ve noticed this exhausted strategy no longer works. I can no longer push down or ignore the pain and heartbreak of seeing both my parents enter the stage in their life where they need help. Admitting that they are getting older. While this is of course part of life, seeing this change in both my parents is heartbreaking. The thought that keeps tumbling around in my head is did I miss the briefing session from my aunt and uncle letting me know what to do and how to handle it?  (more…)

12 Things to Know When a Parent is Diagnosed with Dementia.

Part of how I deal with my mom’s diagnosis of dementia is by listening to a Podcast hosted by two very smart female comedians. It’s called GUYS WE F****D: THE ANTI SLUT-SHAMING PODCAST. It’s a great distraction, especially when driving home from spending time with my mom, which can be one of the most heart-wrenching times to be alone. Before I found the podcast I used to cry all the way home. It’s a welcomed distraction and very educational. 😉

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Don’t let Ikea Instructions or A 15 ft Wall get in your way!

Taking one of Brene Brown’s course’s means looking at how I am with putting myself out there / taking chances and failure when it doesn’t work out ( in her words, when I’m Daring Greatly and Rising Strong).

 

Through her research as a Shame and Vulnerability expert, she discovered there are ten elements to the Physics of Vulnerability; The first being:

“If I am brave enough, often enough, I will fall;

this is the physics of vulnerability.”

 

In her course, I was reflecting on how I got up after a fall/failure and wrote the following words:

“I haven’t experienced many (I’ve had some) failures. They happened early on in my working career, and I got smart in how to avoid them.” (more…)

Protecting What is Important to You

The Big Rocks story is a great metaphor for Steven Covey’s priority matrix. That is, making sure all the Important but not yet Urgent ( #2) activities are in your calendar first.

I’ve used this strategy with many clients, and they have discovered that we, (yes including me) typically spend most of our time focusing on those things that are Urgent and Important (#1) instead. Usually, this results from a lack of planning and the inability to say no and/or manage interruptions. Sound familiar? (more…)

I’M A WRITER – 10 Strategies to Overcome Self-limiting Beliefs

This Summer I’m writing a book! I’ve heard it over and over again – if you want to be considered an expert in your field write a book. Since I started my business, I’ve been saying that I’m going to write a book. The funny part was I never related to myself as someone who is a writer. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I could think back to the multiple incidents in elementary school where I began relating to myself as dumb, stupid, and incompetent in writing and reading, but I don’t think that part matters. We all have our self-limiting beliefs, what’s important is becoming aware of them and determining if they serve us well. The “I’m dumb” limiting belief not only interfered with what I want in life, it was having a devastating impact on my self-confidence. Something I’ve noticed about living with mental illness is anything that erodes away at one’s self-confidence, does not serve the prospect of full recovery or good mental health. (more…)

Why Self-Awareness supports your Mental Health

“Sure thing. I can help you”.

 

It’s easier for me to help another than help myself. It so easy for me to DROP what I’m doing and support another person, however I’m not sure I’m driven by the most purest of motivations.

I feel so bad sometimes I just want to hear someone else’s shitty story to feel better about myself. Compassion is a Bitch! I use someone else’s pain and suffering to manage my own, instead of exploring my own pain. It’s a numbing technique that on the surface seems to be fulfilling, as long as I don’t look at what’s under the hood…I do this to cover up my own pain, this might be as harmful as numbing out for six hours in front of the TV eating candy. (more…)

How Exercise & Sleep Supports Mental Health

By Allison Smith, Guest Blogger, Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Enthusiast

Depression runs in my family. Both my mothers’ parents took their own lives when she was a teen, and died herself by suicide recently. As difficult as it was, I was motivated more than ever to help others in pain. And so I was honoured when Leslie asked me to speak to her group Professionals Working Well about the importance of exercise and sleep for our mental health. (more…)

Peer Support for Professionals – Mental Health, Toronto

Is it possible to experience a mental health challenge and be effective and succeed at work?

Many wonder if it is indeed possible for a person living with a mental health challenge to work effectively, accomplish goals, reconnect with self and others, and recapture meaning and purpose in life.

 Peer Support for Professionals builds local community and connections among working professionals who have experience with a mental health challenge. (more…)