Image result for there is a fountain inside you

What do you think about yourself?  That’s more important than what others think of you.  A great person once said, “As you thinketh, so it is.”  Be careful what you think.  You  are the sum total of all your life experiences, behaviors, thoughts and feelings to date.  How can that be empty?  That’s your starting point.  The empty bucket means you’re hoping to fill up from the outside.   Discard the bucket.  Let your waters flow;  be your self!  Know that you are enough!  You can engineer your future!  Choose wisely!

Peace, John

We now have 3 guest blogs in the hopper.  Look for them soon, mid-week.  You too can be a guest blogger.  Help us build our stash! Find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you. Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.   Peace,  John  

 

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Image result for “Sometimes I forget putting myself first isn’t selfish, but necessary”

I don’t know about you but I’ve been working on this one recently – sometimes with positive results, and sometimes falling short.  I’m working on it!  My occupation is prone to putting others first and I am frequently reminded of my need to balance those priorities.  Both are important; frequently the scales tip too far in one direction, not so much in the other.  I have to be mindful and ready to rebalance, add weight to the side that is out of balance.  I know there will never be perfect balance – it’s a process, constantly rebalancing.  It’s okay to be selfish at times.  I’ve been known to tell clients, “Would you rather be selfish, or selfless?”  Something to think about!  In the meantime, take good care of yourself and get used to rebalancing!

Peace, John

In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

 

 

“Life isn’t fair. If it were, then this would be heaven and not life!”

This little quote came from the Connecticut Post, Dear Annie column on 12/5/18.  It takes us back to expectations.  Many of us expect life to be fair.  We work hard and expect others to work hard.  We obey the laws and expect others to do the same.  We expect life to be equitable, fair and for those who work hard to succeed better than those who are lazier.  Those are our expectations.  Life isn’t fair – I’m sure if you think about it, you can come up with several examples of unfairness.  The person who gets promoted that you don’t think deserves it.  The person who gets a lesser punishment for breaking the law than you did.  “It’s just not fair,” you may say.  And you’d be dead-on accurate.  Where did you get the notion that life was going to be fair?  And what do you do when it’s not fair?

Key question: who determines what’s fair?  I suspect that we usually do it – so it’s fair, according to our rules.  But, who died and left us in charge of the universe?

I suggest we change our thinking.  Life isn’t supposed to be fair; true justice is the realm of God.  We can strive to be fairer but we’ll never be perfect. Remember, “God has a monopoly on perfection and he hates competition!”  If we can make that shift and accept what is, and not how we think it should be, life could get easier.  And, we could have less agita and get a bit closer to heaven.

 

Fellow bloggers, I took a couple of weeks off during the holidays but am back blogging. Please send me any comments or suggestions you have on our blog as I evaluate how we’re doing and plan for 2019.    Peace, John

This is an actual quote I used several years ago with a client. I still use it frequently when it’s appropriate. A lot of us work toward perfection as if we are actually going to achieve it. We beat up on ourselves when we fall short (100% of the time!) When I find myself falling short (i.e. imperfect), I remind myself that God isn’t finished with me yet! I prefer to think of it as “CANI,” “Constant And Never-Ending Improvement!” I think it’s easier, and more productive, to work toward that, don’t you?

 Peace, John

 

Image result for "The only people who are mad at you for speaking the Truth are the people who are living a lie. KEEP SPEAKING THE TRUTH!"

It sure has taken me a long time to have the courage to speak the truth especially when everyone is believing the lie.  I was taught to lie at age 7 and carried that lesson way in to my 50’s, but NOT today.  I speak up because I know what it feels like to hold my tongue when I know something is wrong!  I speak up for the person who won’t or can’t speak the truth!  I speak up because, if I don’t then I am part of the problem and NOT the solution.  Speak up and find your truth; there is power in numbers. 

Thanks a bunch 🙂    Barbara P  Be the light, the love, the kindness    

Thank you Barbara, all the way from Utah, for your shared wisdom in this blogpost!  I invite you to become a guest blogger.  Yes, you! Find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you.  Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.   Peace,  John

 

 

  

This quote helps me understand why it is so difficult for many people to make changes.  Not changing protects the comfort zone until the comfort zone begins to fall apart due to emotional pain.  Not changing is like water building up behind a dam.  The dam is only so strong and, at some point, the pressure breaks the dam and floods the valley.  Do you want to wait until that happens or would you rather open the dam a little bit, reduce the “pressure,” let some water through and still have some sense of control?

To make changes in your life is challenging.  When you begin to get uncomfortable you might think about changing but then “all the reasons not to,” kick in.  Even when you attempt to make a little bit of a change, there is a certain discomfort trying something different for the first time.  The old habits resist the change and the new ways aren’t strong enough to settle into the healthier pattern yet.

My suggestion: start small, be mindful and persist.  Persistence is what pays off.  The easiest way to change a habit is to find an opposite positive habit and keep repeating it until it becomes automatic.  When you’re repeating the new habit you’re not reinforcing the old one.  Soon it will atrophy (fancy word for “waste away through disuse!”)

Now that you have this wisdom, what little corner of your life are you going to start changing today?  You are worth reducing your emotional pain and reducing your fear at the same time!  Two-fers!

Peace, John

In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

 

Image result for “Sorry but we will not be playing pin the tail on the scapegoat anymore!”

“Scapegoat” is just one of many roles played by members of unhealthy families.  Blame is the name of the game when there’s a scapegoat involved.  People in those families do not want to own the responsibility for themselves so, they pick one member to run the guilt trip on.  Frequently many family members join in.  They usually focus on someone who’s different, or who hasn’t bought into the dysfunctional rules.  Frequently the scapegoat tries to leave the family and gain value elsewhere.  If this is a child, usually with a peer group.

In unhealthy families most members are in a lot of emotional pain.  The family becomes enmeshed and the way out is not clear.  Put simply, it’s sick!

Have you been a scapegoat?  What’s the way out?  Hopefully you learned not to play by their rules.  The only way to deal with these kind of games is not to play!  Take the blindfold off, drop the tail and let somebody else deal with the donkey.  It’s no longer your game to play!

Peace, John

If you enjoyed this blog post, I urge you to share it with your friends on social media.

 

“God did not put me here for other

people’s approval.”

 

I love this quote – another pearl of wisdom from one of my clients.

How much easier would life be if we remembered this simple truth?  We run around in our busy lives frequently worried about what other’s think of us.  It impacts what we think, what we say and what we do.

What would happen if, even for a little while, we would think, speak and act based on what it is we approve of, for ourselves?  That’s not to say that we run amok, heedless of other people’s feelings and rights.  But rather, behaving in a way that speaks to our own internal truth, using the Golden Rule as a guide, satisfying one’s own sense of approval.

Often, we are our own toughest critics so, gaining our own approval is a tall order.  Yet to seek approval from everyone else proves to be a moving target at best, and often an impossible task which dooms us to failure and disappointment.

If we conduct ourselves in a way that inspires pride in ourselves, then we no longer need that external validation of our worth.  Absent that need for others’ approval, one empowers one’s authentic self.

A special thank you today to Arden Church, one of our counselors, for her contribution as a guest blogger. In addition to following us on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling). Peace, John

 

 

 

Image result for “The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives.” ~Louise Hay

The key word in this quote is “choose.”  Yes, you do have choice in what you think.  There are only two things in this world you can directly change: the way you think about things and your behavior, which includes what you say and how you say it, as well as what you do.

If we choose negative or dark thoughts, we can have a somber, morose or angry, busy canvas.  If we have more positive thoughts, we produce light, more colorful pictures that tell a story.  If you’re like me, we have different canvases, some more positive and others more gloomy.  I even have some that are mixed in the same frame!  So…… choose what you want to create for yourself, your life.  Get your paints, and your brushes and get to work.  Hopefully you will choose to enjoy your own gallery, and others will as well!  Create the masterpiece that you are!

Peace, John

If you enjoyed this blog post, I urge you to like it & share it with your friends on social media.

 

Image result for Stress happens will when you try to control your life experiences. Relax and remember the only real control you have is over yourself.

I used to say, “Stress is the wear and tear on people over time.”  The above quote definitely clarifies it further.  The key word is “control,” i.e. the business of trying to make things happen according to your expectations.  When they don’t happen that way, usually because you are powerless over something, the result is stress.  People that I have known who have seemed peaceful or serene, have accepted life on life’s terms.  They let go of trying to have life be the way they want it, or think it should be.  Try changing some of your thoughts. Let go of the need to force it to be a certain way.  And this coming Thursday, let the turkey’s tryptophan help a bit!

Have a peace-filled and blessed Thanksgiving!

Peace, John

 

Image result for god & veteransPlease watch the video by clicking the link below:

If you get an ad, you can skip it!

Image result for Veterans thank you

And to their families, a special Thank You for their sacrifices as well.

May God bless each and every one of them, and you on this very special day!

Enough said!

I wish you peace in who you are and in all that you do!  

~John

 

Image result for captain of a shipImage result for pirate“Work like a captain, play like a pirate”

Ever since I heard this quote 2 months ago I feel completely different about my work.

It no longer matters what people at work say or do.   All that matters is the job I do.

Captain Lisa

Thank you Lisa for being a guest blogger.  Here’s hoping this quote will have an impact on some others like it had on you. ~jp 

Image result for “I lied and said I was busy. I was busy; but not in a way most people understand. I was busy taking deeper breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay. Sometimes, this is my busy, and I will not apologize for it.”

Self-care can be time-consuming, but it is better than the alternative.  When’s the last time you did something for yourself?  Most of us are consumed with doing for others, frequently neglecting to also do for ourselves.  If we expect others to do for us, we are likely to end up disappointed.  Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that we are people too.  We deserve our own care and attention.  We may even be accused of being selfish.  I ask: “is it better to be selfish or selfless?”

You deserve from yourself the same care you offer others.  This is worth your busy-ness (“business?”) and, without apology!

Peace, John

Two reminders this week: 1) turn the clocks back one hour Sat night, & 2) vote on Tuesday.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I urge you to share it with your friends on social media.

 

 

Image result for “People can’t drive you crazy unless you give them the keys!” ~ Dr. Mike Bechtle

Can you believe this is the title of a book?  It is!  I haven’t read it.  Rather than pointing the finger at others and calling them words like, lunatic, banshee, idiot, nuts, why don’t you look at why you have relinquished your sense of your self to them?  Just because they have different opinions or beliefs, doesn’t mean you have to agree.  Perhaps you may need to compromise or negotiate with yourself and limit your interaction, or go along for the time being while you find a longer-term way to separate yourself.  Another option is to take their thoughts, or opinions and stop them from coming in.  Allow them to have theirs but shift the focus back onto your self and remind your self what your thoughts and opinions are on the topic and, that you are entitled to them.  Then figure out what if anything you may need to say or do.  In the meantime, keep your keys in your pocket where they belong.  Only use them in the ignition of the vehicle that is you!

Peace, John

Remember, get the date Tuesday, Nov 6th on your calendar and plan on “hiring your government” that day!

In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

 

 

 

 

Image result for “Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” ~ Nancy Levin

What a way to look at what’s between the yesterdays and the tomorrows!  Eckhart Tolle, in his book, The Power of Now, discusses being in the “now” which is discoverable by mindfulness.  “No longer is gone” and “not yet” hasn’t come.  When you boil it down, the “now” is what we have.  It’s here and immediate.  What we feel, think, say and do in the “now” is most relevant.  It’s also where we can make changes in our lives.

How do you honor the space between?

Peace, John

I would like to urge you each to register to vote (if needed) and to actually vote on Nov 6th.  Our democracy is counting on you!

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider responding to the question at the end.  I also ask you to consider sharing it with your friends on social media.  Thank you!

 

Image result for “If you have told a child a thousand times and he still does not understand, then it is not the child who is the slow learner!” ~ Walter Barbie

Think about how you explain things to others.  How do you know whether they “get it” or not?  Sometimes you can tell by the expression on their face.  Sometimes you have to ask. When they don’t “get it”… what then?

When people aren’t “getting it,” saying the same thing, using the same words over and over doesn’t usually help.  Think about how you can say it differently.  What different words can you use?  How can you explain it differently?  Can you show them how to…?  Can you tell them a story or use an example?  We learn differently and by different ways.  Some do better hearing and others do better seeing.  Still others need to sense in other ways.

What’s your preferred way of learning?  Are you flexible and can you adapt to others’ ways of learning?

If you’re not able to adapt, do you blame the victim or are you the victim of your own lack of adapt-ability?  Who is the slow learner?

Peace, John

I invite you to become a guest blogger.  Find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you. Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest Blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.   Peace,  John  

 

Image result for “It’s like a broken machine. Thoughts go in your head, get stuck and keep going around and around.” ~Megan Flynn

I sometimes ask, “Does it ever seem like your thoughts get going faster than you can catch up to?”  While a positive answer may indicate OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), it could also point to other disorders.  OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder.  A good therapist should be able to screen for OCD.  There are definite genetic factors at play for some.  For many, OCD is manageable with medication and psychotherapy.  Medication helps slow down the unwanted/irrational thoughts and allows the therapy to be more effective.  Support groups and self-help groups are available.  If you have, or know someone who may have the “broken machine” of OCD, why not get unstuck, or help them get unstuck, and have a chance of smoothing out that frantic ride on the hamster wheel?  It can be dizzying; help is available.  Remember OCD is a “disorder” not the person!

Peace, John

You can be a guest blogger.  Find a quote that speaks to you and write a few sentences about it and what it means to you. Send it all to me in an email with subject line reading “Guest Blogger.”  I will review and publish it, with gratitude, and with the hope that others will benefit from it as well.   Peace,  John

 

 

Image result for “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~ Brian Tracy

Sometimes getting out of your “comfort zone” can be scary.  May I suggest that you find the edge of your comfort zone and push it just a bit?  If you keep doing this you gradually expand your comfort zone and you can get to where you’re going either way.  Pushing the edges may take longer, and it still involves pushing yourself, not forcing yourself.  It will still be “awkward and uncomfortable” but, perhaps, more manageable.

Are you uncomfortable enough to get out of your boredom? Grow like the little seed, pushing the dirt out of its way and reaching for the warmth of the sun even as it put roots down into the soil.  Rooted in your comfort zone but reaching out for new adventures!  Calculate the risks!  Happy growing!

Peace, John

If you enjoyed this blog post, I urge you to share it with your friends on social media. Thank you!

 

Image result for “Remember, you can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.” ~ Chinna Sharma

What’s holding you back? Does it have a grip on you? What power have you given it?

What’s behind you is yesterday, history, over and done with! You can’t change it – are you stuck here letting it change you? What to do?

The above quote says you can reach for what’s in front of you. Our guest blogger last week talked about setting goals. Goals are NOT behind you. Goals are in front of you. Reach for them.

I’ve said before, “If you’re looking backwards, you can’t go forward without bumping into stuff!”

Time for an “About Face?”

Happy reaching!  

Peace, John

 In addition to following me on Facebook and Twitter, you can also follow Personal Growth Concepts, Inc. on Facebook (@PersonalGrowthConceptsInc) and on Twitter (@PGCCounseling)

 

A DREAM – written down with a date, becomes a GOAL.

A GOAL – broken down into steps, becomes a PLAN.

A PLAN – backed by ACTION, becomes REALITY – A Dream Come True!

A friend sent me this quote and it got me thinking.  Every year on January first people set goals and by February, those goals fall by the wayside.  I know I’m guilty of that.  So, what causes us to lose sight of our goals even when we KNOW we should persevere?  Maybe it’s the language we use.

How do you feel when you hear the word “goal” or “goal setting?”  Now, how do you feel when you hear the word “dream” or “dream come true?”

This quote spoke to me because the language is clear and simple, and I love the idea of making my dreams come true.  “Goal setting” doesn’t speak to me in the same way, it’s not as exciting.

If we tie our goal-setting to our dreams, that’s where the magic can happen; we can make our dreams a reality.  What’s your dream?

Arden H. Church, LMSW

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