I remember hearing about some research once that linked self-focus—thinking about yourself a lot and making things that happen out in the world about you in some way—with depression. The more you think about yourself, the more depressed you are. There are obviously a lot of missing variables here. This doesn’t mean that focusing on yourself causes depression or that depression causes self-focus. It just means that they are related in some way.
Apparently women’s brains resemble a superhighway while a man’s brain is more of a country road. I am no brain expert, merely quoting experts. http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/his-brain-her-brain-1 So why does brain matter matter? A man’s brain keeps thoughts in tidy little piles, and woman’s thoughts are all connected, and picked over. So a man already has compartments in his head and typically he has his “man cave” his hangout room in reality. The den or family room is
Angelina Jolie has been a big news item in the past few days. And rightfully so. To have both breasts removed, and next, her ovaries, is not the usual way we hear of women doing things to prevent cancer. But before I talk about what it means as a woman, let me say that her case is fairly unusual "because more than 99% of women do not have BRCA1 -- or BRCA2, for that matter." So hopefully, women will not begin to think this is something they should do to prevent breast cancer. Without the presence of BRCA1, the best prevention for all disease is to eat well (and I mean EXTREMELY well), exercise regularly, avoid stress, and be happy. Now I want to talk about the self-image and emotional perspective of what Angelina Jolie has brought to the forefront of thinking. Can a woman who has had her breasts removed still feel like a woman?
Since I began pulling out my hair over 20 years ago I do not remember one day that I did not pull at least one hair on my body out. Yes there have been times in which I had no bald spots, had all of my eyelashes, etc...but I still pulled. It was not for lack of trying. There was a time that I saw therapists, tried medication, and would even try to will myself to stop. Yet I kept right on pulling. I have a disorder called trichotillomania.
I wanted to love myself. I wanted something to change. After years of therapy, coaching and other healing work, the world began to look up. I was full of possibility. The secret that I kept close to me, hidden in the shadows for 31 years was now ready to be shared and I was ready to share it. I chose to bring my secret to the light. I wanted to celebrate It, and who I had become. I wanted to use It to help others – people like me, people who felt ashamed; men who felt embarrassed, and women who felt ugly.
All of us have secrets. We learn to live with them. We usually keep them close. And of all of them, there’s usually one biggie. One we hope and pray will never come out. But what are we so afraid would happen if others discovered our secret? Why do we hold it so tightly against our chests?
In the middle of a serious conversation a few weeks ago, my husband got up to get himself a cup of water. I was incensed! Here we were, having this serious discussion and he has a sudden urge for water that he couldn't control? In a fury I tell him, "I would never have done that to you!" I felt totally dismissed by him. You know what else he does? He sleeps when he is tired, and he goes to the bathroom when he has the urge. For women … these actions are revolutionary. For men, setting aside these needs would be insanity.
There are many books and articles that tell you all of the different things you should fix or change about yourself or be in order to find Mr. Right. You can read about what kind of clothing guys like. One school of thought will tell you to go after a guy if you are interested; another will tell you not to be too pushy. Then there’s even more information on how to act once you’ve met someone. It is so easy to be confused with all of this conflicting advice.
Every morning, when I’m hugging and kissing Isabelle good bye as she is leaving for school, we have a little ritual. I ask her 4 questions: 1. Who is worthy of everything wonderful? (She answers, “I am worthy of everything wonderful!) 2. Who loves and accepts herself EXACTLY as she is, right now? (She answers, “I love and accept myself EXACTLY as I am right now!)
I’m sure it started earlier than this but I began to notice it when I was pregnant with my first child. “You shouldn’t drink wine, or eat peanut butter or shell fish. Don’t gain more than 30 pounds (which I misunderstood to mean per month vs. the whole pregnancy).” “You should read aloud to your baby in vitro so that they will be able to read earlier.” “You shouldn’t be stressed out when you are pregnant, it’s bad for the baby.”
Gratitude and appreciation is something that we know is good to give to others – but somehow we forget to give it to ourselves. The closest we get is usually giving thanks for our blessings and the people in our lives, and that is an essential part of creating and living a happy, love filled life.
Have you ever been skeptical of a compliment? Have you ever compared yourself to other woman and felt inadequate? Do you often think you're not "good enough"? If this sounds like you, it's time for you to stop betting against yourself and come face to face with your biggest enemy...Yourself! Goodbye to those days when you berated yourself for having curves. Goodbye to those days when you ate your emotions with pizza and cake.
Are you ready for a relationship? As a matchmaker for gay men, I make it a point to begin each of my consultations with this question and of course the general response is yes. If they didn’t feel that they were, they probably wouldn’t be sitting in my office, but there’s a huge difference between wanting a relationship and being ready for one.
If you are in the process of divorcing, the grief can be overwhelming. So, what is the best way to deal with the seemingly never ending assaults? The answer may surprise you.
I remember the mental numbness the first time I heard the words. A wave of uncomfortable warmth swept through my body. Who I was, the world I knew, the future I saw was shattered like a picture window hit by a large rock. The words were: “I want a divorce”. That was 2006. Since that time, I’ve pursued a path of spirituality. Not because of the divorce, rather because of one of my person values – evolution. As I look back and reflect upon my divorce, I now know that my divorce was a blessing.