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Celebrating Women's History Month | DOWNLOAD Your FREE eBOOK

Are You Faithfully Celebrating Women's History Month? Yes! We celebrate all successful women, but not because they are greater than we are.

“I’m old. I have cellulite. I’m 10 lbs overweight. My husband doesn’t look at me the way he used to. I don’t love him the way I did before. What happened to my life?”

I listened to a friend of mine tell me about how she just didn’t feel like waking up to go to work because she hated life. “This is not the life I planned. I’m successful, but I’m not happy. Nothing makes me happy.”

As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, I thought it would be interesting to look at the contrast between what women want and what we actually get.

For many years, women have been celebrated during the month of March to highlight their extraordinary contributions to their countries. Both here in the U.S. and internationally, women have left a mark in history that deserves celebration, and this year, the theme for Women’s History Month is "Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.”

As a businesswoman, I am very much aware of the challenges that threaten success. The greatest struggles that kept me from wanting to get out of bed, like my friend, were financial challenges, uncertainty, lack of confidence, strong competitors, and my inability to find “loyal” staff members. All of the areas were extremely challenging, however, the greatest struggle I had was establishing work/life balance consistently.

Day after Day, I work with women who feel unworthy, devalued, uncelebrated, and insecure. Interestingly enough, if you walked past one of them on the street, you would never know that they’ve thrown in the towel on happiness, contentment, and peace. Why? Because she looks amazing! She drives a luxury car (or something close to it). Her makeup is flawless. Her children are adorable and well dressed. She works hard. People love her. She is successful. She is all that; but, she’s dying inside. I just described the clients that I work with, but I also described me. My passion to help others came from a long, hard look in the mirror. When each of us looks into the mirror we should see one thing: HUMANITY. We are all HUMAN. This means that we all struggle. We all have insecurities. We all want to be loved. We all want to be valued. We all want success.

 

Are You Faithfully Celebrating This Month?

We Celebrate Successful Women; But, Not Because They’re Greater Than Us.

 

This month, we celebrate Women’s History in the United States…but many women harbor deep pain and problems.

Beneath the passion, behind all of the great success we find ourselves also motivated by a deep, painful guilt I, myself, know a great deal about. You may even question the importance of celebrating someone's life that doesn't quite model yours. Maybe women's history means nothing to you.

Well, it really doesn’t matter if you’re in the beginning phase of history making or not. False comparisons are made when you’ve no personal success as a point of reference.  

When March comes around, we ironically invite “the comparison trip” into our heads. Guilt floods in when you want the success that you find in another person.

Don’t feel embarrassed by it. This particular battle is a hard one to fight. And maybe it’s not just during the month of March, maybe it every month of the year that you struggle with illegitimate comparisons to your friends, coworkers, societal icons, or your sister.

 

- There’s Only One Way To Being You

 

Wherever you are; no matter how you’re going to “get there,” you’re not fulfilled until you arrive at your destination. The truth is, I don’t have a remedy or cure for the guilt you deal with.

I do, however, have a solution to enable you to walk the happy road to being you. The manifestation of who you are means you’ll be celebrated this month. There’s no need to wait.

I’m calling it my “positive step approach.” Instead of working on your guilt trip, I’m going to work on your final destination. This isn’t the place you’re at, at the moment.

Let me take you on the journey to become you! This is the same journey that the women we celebrate this month took to ultimate success. It was never an overnight success, and I won’t make it one for you. The journey ahead is a serious commitment that you have to make to achieve your personal goals.

-----------Once you’re in the rightful place, there will be no one else to compare with.

To do that for you, I’m releasing my book for free this month. At the cost of nothing, it’s put directly into your hands. Your final commitment, to end the guilt, is to read it. I’ve never given something so valuable away for free.

I Will Not Put A Price Tag On What’s Rightfully Yours. I can only do it during this month.

You have an entire celebration to go through. And we’re now walking you past the emptiness, anxiety and void. Embrace the fullness that’s yours.

Do it now. Open your copy, and discover how powerful success becomes when you become you. We’re ready to celebrate Women’s History Month, but this time it’s for you to make YOUR MARK and success this time. I know…you already have it in you!

- J.J.

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The Perfect Guy | Is Your Partner a Sociopath? | Jada Jackson, LMHC

Is your partner a sociopath?

From time to time, Hollywood gives us an opportunity to discussion real life mental health and relationship issues by releasing major feature films like “the perfect guy.”

After its debut, many questioned the behaviors of their boyfriends, girlfriends, partners or spouses…why? Because sociopathic behavior begins charming and often ends destructive.

“The Perfect Guy” with Sannaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chessnut, did not disappoint us, as the thriller captured all of the conflict, drama and romance of relationships at various stages. If you haven’t seen the movie, I will not spoil it for you…but, what I will do, is give you a step by step blow of how you can spot sociopathic behavior in your love life…

So, how many of us are actually faced with the sociopathic aggression of our exes after a breakup? And, How do you know if your partner has sociopathic tendencies?
Here are a few things to look out for:
But first, let me just say that ALL of us have some form of CRAZY…so, don’t take my list to the extreme. As a LMHC, I assess my clients for Duration, Intensity and Frequency of symptoms. This means that before I even think about diagnosing a patient with a disorder, I want to ensure that the DIF are significant enough to consider.

With that said, according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders….this is what to look for if you believe you are dating a sociopath…
•    Superficial charm
•    Grandiose sense of self-worth
•    Prone to boredom
•    Pathological lying
•    Manipulative
•    Lack of remorse
•    Shallow
•    Lack of empathy
•    parasitic lifestyle
•    poor behavior control
•    unrealistic goals
•    impulsive
•    irresponsible
•    unreliable
•    impersonal sex life

If you are dating someone that fits the criteria of a sociopath, consider whether or not your life is negatively effected by their behavior. Remember, it is important to trust your gut and make sure that you are not in danger. If you are second guessing your situation, contact a relationshiop counselor that can help you sort though your confusiton.
And if you haven’t seen the movie, click on trailors listed below.
If you’ve seen the movie, I want to know your thoughts. Share your comments and thoughts below.
I’m Jada Jackson, LMHC and I’ll see you next time.

Please Comment! Let me know what you think.

 

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BACK TO SCHOOL: Let the Games Begin! | 3 Tips PARENTS need to know

BACK TO SCHOOL: Let the Games Begin! | 3 Tips PARENTS need to know

It’s that time again! Anxiety and stress are crouched at the door! Your child is both excited and nervous; and you are holding your breath in anticipation of your teen’s next emotional roller-coaster ride.

As we approach a new school year, many parents are wondering if things will ever change. Well, the quick answer is, “No!” Of course, your child will still have butterflies on the first day of school. Your child may not want to go to school on the first day. She may have anxiety because she has the second-lunch period and her best friend has the first-lunch period. She may have fears about fitting in and being accepted. So, of course, she will be a little anxious and nervous.

But, how do you know if your child falls within the normal behavioral guidelines for back-to-school anxiety? Answer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions:

Does your child usually complain of stomachaches or body pains the night before or the morning of school?

Does your child suddenly seem quiet or withdrawn?

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Has your child become more angry and/or irritable than usual?

Has your child’s eating or sleeping patterns changed?

Does your child seem to worry more than usual?

If you’ve answered, “YES” to three or more of these questions, it is possible that your child is experiencing back-to-school anxiety. Remember, life changes may cause a variety of emotional and somatic symptoms as your child learns to adjust to new classes, new students, a new environment, new teachers, and new expectations. This is normal. The real question is, “How can you help?”

Unfortunately, parents mistake their child’s anxious behavior as disrespect or “having an attitude.” It is important that you are able to recognize your child’s symptoms.

TIP #1: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR

It is important to recognize slight behavioral changes in your child. If your child is cranky and irritable most of the time, you should seek help from a physician or mental health counselor. However, if your child is usually jovial and carefree, but you notice that she is angry and withdrawn…take this seriously. Here are a few symptoms to look for:

Psychological/Emotional Symptoms may include:

·      Excessive worry

·      Fear or panic

·      Irritability, anger

·      Dread

·      Obsessive thoughts

·      Difficulty concentrating

Physical symptoms:

·      Nausea or vomiting

·      Rapid heartbeat

·      Body aches

·      Muscle tension

·      Changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns

·      Sweating, hands and palms

·      Butterflies in stomach

 

TIP #2: DO NOT ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE

Your child may struggle with communicating exactly what she is feeling. When children are faced with change, their first reaction will be anger. It is important to understand that ANGER is a secondary emotion and usually there is a primary emotion lurking beneath anger. Those primary emotions may include the following:

·      Fear

·      Confusion

·      Unworthiness

·      Envy or Jealousy

·      Devalued

·      Helplessness

·      Inferior

·      Overwhelmed

·      Lonely

·      Hurt

·      Sad

·      Uncomfortable

·      Awkward

·      Distrusting

If your child displays angry or irritable emotions, refrain from adding fuel to the fire. Instead of chastising your child for acting out, attempt to understand. Here are a few questions you can ask your child:

·      How do you feel about your first week of school?

·      I know your feel angry, but what else are you feeling right now?

·      What can I do to help you?

·      What else will help you deal with what you are feeling?

In moments of distress, it is necessary to become your child’s ally and not her adversary.

TIP #3: SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IN A LIFE-COACH OR COUNSELOR

Choosing to work with a Coach or Counselor is not an admission of weakness for your child or your family. When you decide to team up with a coach, you are giving your child an opportunity to embrace personal, social and academic success!

Coaching and Counseling will provide your child with emotional benefits that will strengthen her confidence, self-esteem and overall success. Here are a few benefits of adolescent or teen therapy:

·      Learn self-awareness skills to recognize emotional distress

·      Understand the difference between perceived and actual fears

·      Explore social anxiety triggers and learn to let go of fears

·      Understand and process relational conflicts and/or challenges

·      Learn to REFRAME negative emotions, thoughts and experiences.

·      Learn to create strategic plans to achieve attainable goals

·      Learn to embrace hope and positivity

·      Develop healthy decision-making skills

·      Learn the art of emotional management

As a Teen Self-Esteem Specialist, I encourage parents to take an active role in the emotional development of their children. As I work with my teen clients, I also work with the parents. It is necessary that the parent learn just as much as the child. Understanding your Parenting Style is the first step to helping your child succeed. Over the past 15 years, I've worked with teens girls challenged with low self-esteem and poor decision-making skills. My NEW Self-Esteem POWER approach to working with teen girls has proven both successful and necessary for building healthy self-concept. This 6-step approach to counseling teen girls through self-esteem issues will help your child achieve greater success!

I you want more information about back to school anxiety or parenting styles, contact a therapist near you. Or you can click the button below for a free consultation to learn more about Jada's Self-Esteem POWER Kit for Teen Girls!



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CRAZY-IN-LOVE: 3 Tips for Common Relationship Problems

“Who’s singing that song?” I asked the girls at the front desk. The lyrics were clearly Beyonce’s “Crazy in love,” but the voice and music were very soft, smooth and lullaby-like. It was amazing. I could actually hear the lyrics clearly. It was Daniella Andrade…

Crazy-in-love is a term I hear from some of my clients that feel they are stuck between insane love and painful rage. Maybe Beyonce was on to something. Maybe she crawled into the heads of some of my crazy-in-love clients who couldn’t explain WHY their hearts pounded when a certain someone walked by; or HOW they put up with emotional abuse by a certain someone that only called after midnight and wouldn’t call again until two weeks later. WHY?

What did Beyonce’ mean when she said, “Got me lookin’ so crazy right now?"

Have you ever asked yourself why you put up with certain negative behaviors in a relationship? Have you ever wondered why you couldn’t get a certain person out of your mind?  Well, maybe it has everything to do with YOU and not necessarily them. Maybe we are crazy in love because we are in search of our deepest, most intimate desires in the form of a person. Once we believe we've found that person, we find ourselves lost in the sea of disappointment because our expectations were shattered. Well, whatever your "crazy-in-love" may be, we've all been there!

Remember, most of us are in search of that special someone that we can spend the rest of our lives with and grow old together. Unfortunately, most of us that find ourselves saying, “I do,” also find ourselves saying, “I don’t!” That’s right, over 50% of all marriages end in divorces and dreams are shattered. Lives are changed and hearts are broken when we fail to address our "crazy-in-love" issues; and whether we believe it or not, ALL relationships experience conflict and challenges.

Here are the 3 most common relationship problems and possible solutions.

Communication:

This is the #1 conflict couples have and the basis for many arguments. It results in a lack of understanding that causes even further distance. There is a misconception that poor communication means a lack of verbal dialogue. But it really means that somewhere along the line the conversation has become guarded and there isn’t the openness necessary to have the discussions needed to stay connected and make the relationships last.

Communication Solutions:

o   Speak your mind: This means trusting yourself enough to be vulnerable in the relationship and share with your partner what is on your mind. It’s essential you speak up so you and your partner can be on the same page.

o   Be receptive: When a person speaks their mind and it isn’t received well, it can be discouraging for open communication in the future. Even in difficult situations its important to maintain respect and listen to what the other has to say. This gives you the ability to have a full understanding so you can work as a team to solve them.

Problem Solving:

Different personality types can create a wide range of responses when it comes to solving problems. Some people cope with avoidance, anger defensiveness, blame, etc. The method in which problems are handled can either strengthen or weaken the relationship.

Problem Solving Solutions:

o   Stay on topic: When problems arise they can often trigger past conflicts and create a bigger problem. Discuss the present issue with the intentions of resolving it and instead of strengthening your argument.

o   Agree to disagree: There will be things that you and your partner have different views on. You don’t have to sacrifice your values or what you think is right. Accept the difference in opinion so you can reach an emotional closure.

o   Work together: An argument shouldn’t become a battle of who wins or loses. Work together and encourage yourself to grow to a point where obstacles become lessons and problems in your relationship become a signal for teamwork.

Poor Sex Life:

Even couples that have a great emotional relationship can have completely different needs when it comes to sex. A good sex life is open to discussion and meets the needs of both people. Studies have shown that a good sex life is considered to contribute to about 20% of a happy relationship. But a bad sex life is said to contribute about 70% of an unhappy relationship. Meaning that a bad sex life has a much bigger impact on the connection.

Solutions For a Better Sex Life:

o   Express your needs: If you’re not feeling fulfilled in your sexual relationship with your partner, that void will just increase. Express what you’re needs and have a continuous open dialogue.

o   Be open-minded: Sex someone you love is a very intimate and vulnerable experience that allows you to love your partner in a physical way. Be open to new experiences, this helps foster the spark in your connection and keep the excitement alive.

o   Seek a therapist. A bad sex life could have an underlying problem that may need the help of a therapist or sex counselor to help discover what it is.

Relationships can bring the greatest joy you’ve ever known, but they take work.  If you consider the tips above, tune into your partner, and allow yourself to be vulnerable; you have the formula for what it takes to make your relationship last. 

Still feeling a little "Crazy-in-love?" Contact a therapist and book a session TODAY!

Jada Jackson  M.S., M.A., LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Author, Talk Show Host, Life Coach and Communicator

Total Life Counseling Center  (407) 248 0030  1507 S. Hiawassee Road #101 Orlando FL 32835  
Email: jada@TotalLifeCounseling.com
Jada's TLC Page: http://www.totallifecounseling.com/counselors-orlando-therapists-counselors/jada-collins/

Jada’s website: Jadajackson.com
Website email: info@jadajackson.com
Blog: http://www.jadajackson.com/blog/
Media Room: http://www.jadajackson.com/new-gallery/

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3 Beauty Tips to Improve Your Mood: Get BRAIN-SMART!

3 Beauty Tips to Improve Your Mood: Get BRAIN-SMART!

If you look like a MESS, you will FEEL like a mess! With the hustle and bustle of today's pop culture, it seems harder and harder to keep up with beauty and fashion trends. This article is designed to give you three simple tips to LOOK better and improve your MOOD at the same time.

I spent ten years as a fashion and print model; and I've walked over 2,000 runways! Now, I want to take the time to combine my "beauty-knowledge" with my "brain-power."

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Remember, the definition of MOOD is a "temporary state of mind." That means that your mood may change from day to day or from month to month. One of the most important skills that I teach my clients is the technique of "managing emotions" from hour to hour throughout the day. Maintaining emotional stability throughout the day will give you greater focus, improve relationships and help you make more effective decisions. Additionally, you can also manage your emotions by choosing to LOOK better. Yes! That's right! Regardless of your age, profession or physical attributes, you can FEEL better about yourself TODAY when you embrace these three simple beauty tips:

1. GROOMING

2. ACCESSORIZING

3. PAMPERING

Let's get started!

GROOMING is the first step to a more "manicured" appearance. Do you ever wonder why some women look flawless even when casually hanging out or shopping? Oftentimes it's because they pay attention to details! Your eye brows, nails (fingers and toes), and hair must be maintained at all times! For me, I believe the brows are the most important aspect of the face. I spend a great deal of time making sure that my brows are groomed perfectly. This is my most important tip! If you want, you can stop reading here because if you focus on your eye brows only, you will begin to look and feel better!

Remember, it is so important to keep your brows waxed, plucked and manicured at all times. Even if you do not wear makeup…KEEP YOUR EYE-BROWS FLAWLESS!!! The video below will help you get started if you are a beginner, and give you some additional tips if you are already a brow-pro!

 

Also, when it come to grooming, it is necessary to keep your finger and toe nails manicured. You do not have to wear colored polish or acrylics to look groomed and flawless; but, you must pay attention to detail. If you wear your nails short, keep them filed and clean; and always keep hand lotion with you. There is nothing worse than shaking hands with someone that has rough, dry hands.

Another grooming must is to keep your hair NEAT! No matter what hairstyle you choose, make sure that it compliments your face and it looks neat. You always can tell a well-put-together person by how they maintain their hair.

If you make intentional upgrades in these grooming areas, you will certainly begin to feel better about yourself.

 

ACCESSORIZING is the second step to a more “put-together” YOU! Remember, accessories are the glue that holds an outfit together. Whether you are headed to the office or walking around the park, pay close attention to your accessories…and don’t forget that less is more. A simple pair of sunglasses, a simple bracelet, or earring can add just the right touch to make a statement and upgrade your mood. Look better...feel better! The video below is simple and to the point. There are some great tips to get you started. You may agree or disagree with some of the options, however, take a a risk and be creative!

Final tip...

PAMPERING is the third beauty step to boost your mood! Life is crazy, the kids are busy with activities, work is demanding and everyone needs YOU! Well, tell them to WAIT! Take an hour and a half to PAMPER you! Applying a little love and care to your chaotic world will not only boost your mood, but you will begin to feel better about yourself. Remember, you do not have to spend a lot of time on pampering...again, less is more!

Here are a few Ideas for pampering yourself...keep an open mind and be willing to be CREATIVE! Click the button below.

 

 

Respectfully yours,

Jada Jackson, LMHC-3.png


Jada Jackson  M.S., M.A., LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Author, Talk Show Host, Life Coach and Communicator

Total Life Counseling Center  (407) 248 0030  1507 S. Hiawassee Road #101 Orlando FL 32835  
Email: jada@TotalLifeCounseling.com
Jada's TLC Page: http://www.totallifecounseling.com/counselors-orlando-therapists-counselors/jada-collins/

Jada’s website: Jadajackson.com
Website email: info@jadajackson.com
Blog: http://www.jadajackson.com/blog/
Media Room: http://www.jadajackson.com/new-gallery/

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UPENN Suicide

The death of Madison Holleran in January 2014 made national news at the time, and has recently resurfaced in a big way. Her suicide made waves, and it stands out for important reasons. It brings to surface the significance of mental health and the potentially detrimental effects unnoticed or unattended cries of help, or state of well being, can have. It also sheds light on the fact that college can be a breeding ground for depression, anxiety and other serious mental health problems that often go ignored. Many see one’s moodiness or unhappiness when first in college as adjusting or having a hard time making friends. Though often that is the case, the University of Pennsylvania tragedy shows that for some, mental declines are more than just stress, getting used to a new atmosphere, and a big change in life. Madison’s sadness and feelings of depression may have stemmed from her grades or feeling that she wasn’t meeting self-set expectations, but it is clear to me that an underlying mental health condition was at play.  

She was an Ivy League track star, seemingly happy and presenting a front of having everything together. A popular athlete can’t get depressed or have a mental illness, one may say. After the tragedy, everyone was shocked because by all appearances—on social media—Madison seemed too happy and “perfect” to be afflicted. The masking of social media unintentionally contributes to cases of depression and suicides, gone unaddressed before it’s too late. I think there are important lessons to take away from this tragic situation.

·      Don’t assume that because someone’s social media accounts appear to portray him/her as perfectly okay, that everything really is okay—it is easy to hide one’s true feelings or state of mind in that way.  

·      If someone asks for help, a courageous and hard thing to do when feeling depressed or coping with a mental health problem, do not make light of it or push the situation to the side expecting it to go away.

·      Push for the wellbeing of the person struggling; they are probably in a state of mind of not being concerned, or unable to care about their own health. Get them into treatment! If you see signs of serious issues, be persistent in getting the individual to a physician and/or therapy.

·      Assure your loved one that it’s okay to be sick. It is not their fault, a weakness, or a sign of imperfection. It is okay to have a health problem and get help. In Madison’s case, her depression and mental health crisis felt like a burden to her, and she saw it as a burden for her family. She did not want to cause her loved ones any inconvenience with the things she was going through. So she took matters into her own hands, in the only way that she felt she could.

Madison’s father James said, “We knew she needed help. She knew she needed help.” Depression overcame Madison, and its severity came as a shock to her family, who cared deeply and did all they knew how to do to help her. Sadly, no one could see or predict the strength of the monster she was fighting. Madison’s story is unfortunately not unique; too many other cases happen nearly every day of college students—people in general— succumbing to depression or mental illness and taking their own life. As I am sure Madison would want, her story can be an example to others struggling with depression, a glimmer of the harsh reality that mental illness can bring, and a warning— which families of one in such a situation should take to heart.

 

Author: Emily Simpson (Intern)

 

References:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2542641/UPenn-shocked-freshman-track-star-Madison-Holleran-19-jumps-death.html

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Laws of Attraction | 3 Steps to Use the Laws to Your Advantage | Jada Jackson LMHC

Laws of Attraction | 3 Steps to Use the Laws to Your Advantage | Jada Jackson LMHC

We can all point out the “beautiful” people in a room, but that doesn’t guarantee we’re all going to be 100% attracted to them. For example, your friend can be completely love-struck by someone you think resembles a blend between Carrot Top and Quasimodo, why is that? Why are we attracted to one person over another? What draws us to certain people, aside from the obvious physical appearance?

This can be explained by the “Law of Attraction,” the concept that ‘like attracts like’. Positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. The reciprocity principal and the uncertainty principle also play a part in our attraction toward potential partners. 

There are 2 elements in the law of attraction that makes it a bit complicated. In the reciprocity principle there are clear signs of interest from both sides, the attraction progresses and things go on from there. In the uncertainty principle a person finds out another ‘might’ like them and become focused on the discovering the answer. They begin to interpret actions as explanations to support the possibility. This focus begins to translate as desire and longing without truly knowing them.

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Those dealing with the reciprocity principle felt happier, more content, and made a smoother transition into a relationship. Those dealing with the uncertainty principle felt higher levels of attraction but lower levels of happiness. The uncertainty can become emotionally draining.

As far as “like attract like,” the attitude we have can determine the type of people we attract. A positive or negative attitude can be picked up on from across the room. It can be from our posture, hand movements, tone of voice, facial expressions, and so on. We make unconscious leaks in our attitude that are picked up and pursued by those who can relate. Which is why we often find ourselves in the same type of relationship.

Use the Law of Attraction in your favor to start attracting the best partners for you.

1.     Stay true to yourself. You can’t attract the right person if you’re sending out false signals. Be authentic and let the real you come out.

2.     Love who you are. If you need someone else to make you feel great about yourself, you’re going to attract the wrong person. Acknowledge your greatness and lead with it.

3.     Maintain a positive attitude. If you accept yourself and love all that you are, it’s hard not to have a positive attitude. This will not only attract more positive relationships but it will also increase your respect and standard for yourself to help in selecting the right person for you.

By understanding the power in the laws of attraction, you understand that you have control in who you attract by controlling what you put out, and always presenting your best self. If you work with the laws of attraction, positive attractions and relationships are bound to follow.

Author: Dani James (Intern)

 

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Tips For Parents: Understanding Parenting Styles

Here are some common conflicts most, if not all, parents face:

Common conflicts for parents:
-Disruptive children (making a scene it public)
-Communication (not knowing what children are doing)
-Demanding your attention
-Messy children (won’t clean up after themselves)
-Picky eating (getting them to eat healthy foods)

Co-Parenting after Separation Conflicts:
-Resentment from previous relationship (disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing)
-Difficult time communicating
-Disagreements with discipline
-Time with children (having to split)

Blended Family Conflicts:
-Children not accepting new family (can cause tension in relationship)
-Confusion for kids (identity confusion)
-Can create rivalry between new and old siblings.
- Competing for attention

While assessing the conflicts we each endure, in order to best assist the consummation of this metaphorical bridge, we must first identify what type of parenting style we fall into:

Authoritarian Parenting: Parents set strict rules that have to be followed, failure to do so will result in harsh punishment. These parents typically have high demands, but don’t tune into their children. This style is generally obedience and status based and expects their order to be obeyed without explanation. Referred to as the “because I said so” parents.  

 Impact on child:
  -Tend to associate obedience and success with love.
  -May display more aggressive behavior outside home.
  -May act fearful or overly shy around others.
  -Have difficulty in social situations.
  -Often have lower self-esteem.

 
Authoritative Parenting:
Like Authoritarian, these parents establish rules that their children are expected to follow. But with this style parents are more responsive to their children and are open to listening to questions from them. When children make mistakes these parents are more nurturing and forgiving. They monitor and impact clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive or restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self regulated as well as cooperative.

 Impact on child:
  -Have good emotional control and regulation
  -Tend to have happier dispositions
  -Develop good social skills
  -Are self-confident about their abilities to learn new skills.

 
Permissive Parenting:
Permissive parents are generally known for rarely disciplining their children due to their expectations in the maturity and control of the child. They are more responsive then they are demanding, they do not require mature behavior and avoid confrontation. This often leads to being more of a friend then a parent.

 Impacts on child:
  -Lack self-discipline.
  - Sometimes have poor social skills.
  -May be self-involved and demanding.
  -May feel insecure due to the lack of boundaries and guidance.

Uninvolved Parenting: An uninvolved parent has few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. These parents fulfill the child’s basic needs, like food and shelter, but then are generally detached from their child’s life. They are typically emotionally distant from their children, offer little or no supervision, show little warmth, love and affection towards their children, don’t attend school events and parent-teacher conferences, and are often overwhelmed by their own problems.

 Impact on child:
  -Must learn to provide for themselves.
  -Fear becoming dependent on other people.
  -Are often emotionally withdrawn.
  -Tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence.
  -Feel fear, anxiety or stress due to the lack of family support.
  -Have an increased risk of substance abuse.
 
It's often the case, that as adults we belittle and minimize the personality of kids, deeming them and their opinions trivial and unimportant and while although some kids say the darnest things, unconditional support and love, go a very, very long way. Next, are some tips an hour to better bridge the generation gap. But before we move on, it's important to keep in mind two points I've mentioned previously: having a sincere and open line of communication and finding a unique bond with every child.

Tips to help resolve parenting conflict:

Know kids will make mistakes. It’s a guarantee. No one is perfect and accepting mistakes are a learning process makes it so much easier to roll with the punches. As children develop they test boundaries, it’s a part of their nature. Instead of getting angry or avoiding it, confront the situation from a compassionate and guided perspective and the children will respond.

Be open to communication. You want your children to feel like they can come to you when they do make a mistake, instead of not telling you and the problem potentially getting worse.

Support the others discipline. If your children observe disagreements on how to discipline the situation, it makes the immediately disrespect. If there are disagreements take the issue aside and try to find a discipline that can work for both parents and that both are willing to continuously carry out.

Provide a constant form of consistency. In order for a child to positively grow, they need a solid stable form to start from. Whatever changes being made or stage they are going through in life, there needs to be a consistent source of love and support. You don’t have to love and support some of the behavior, but you have to consistently love and support the child.

Find a unique bond with each child. It’s important as the parent or stepparent, you create a unique bond with each child. Having a special connection helps them find their individuality and create an attachment. Its important to make each child feel just as important as the other.

Use mistakes as teaching tools. When kids inevitably do make mistakes, its important to use that time as a teaching moment and show the child the mistakes behind made so they can better recognize how to solve it next time. Simply solving the problem yourself, avoiding it, or getting angry with them wont help them grow. Kids that are taught to use mistakes as lessons were shown to adjust to change more successfully.

I sincerely hope these tips have benefitted you, the reader, and have provided some insight on how to curb one's own desires and habits. Kids are our future and, as stated earlier, although sometimes they can be a handful and overwhelming, how we treat them today, shapes the people they become,and consequently the world we live in, tomorrow.

Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC, Dani James and Ricardo Mojo (Interns)

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Forgive and Set Boundaries--5 Steps to Protect Yourself

Forgive and Set Boundaries--5 Steps to Protect Yourself

“Forgiveness allows us to let go of the pain in the memory and if we let go of the pain in the memory we can have the memory but it does not control us. When memory controls us we are then the puppets of the past.” – Alexandra Asseily. I love this quote because it is so true in the process of forgiveness. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you automatically forget everything that happened, it means you are making a conscious decision to let go of the pain and anger that is bringing you down, and learn for the memory.

Forgiving someone that has damaged your trust and security in the relationship, whether it is a fight with your siblings, other family members, or friends, the way you handle it is all the same. I recommend these 5 stages to help forgive and let go in difficult circumstances.

Give yourself permission. Wanting to forgive and actually embracing the processes of forgiveness are two very different concepts. Allowing yourself to do so is the first step in the process because it can sometimes be the hardest. Having to let go and allow yourself to be vulnerable in a situation you were once hurt can be scary. But it can build your confidence, courage, and self-esteem knowing you can get through some tough experiences EVEN IF the situation does repeat itself. It builds your confidence knowing that whatever life brings, you have the strength to overcome it. Holding on to resentment and anger won’t make the other person or the situation any better and it will only hurt you.

Be self-aware. Tune into your feelings and identify why you’re upset. Avoidance is never a good long-term approach because it will come out in the relationship in other destructive ways.

Consider the past and present. Look at the (offending) persons past behavior. If they have done this numerous times in the past, you will probably want to keep your guard a little closer until that pattern starts to disappear. But if this was a one time thing and their past behavior gives no real indication that it will happen again, then their prior years of consistent stability should stand for something.

Set a healthy baseline. Don’t be afraid to be honest when something is bothering you. The only way people will know which lines they can cross, is if you allow them to do so. Be assertive and confront the situation levelheaded but direct, and you will set a healthy baseline of your expectations.

Start small. When healing from a damaged relationship trying to go back and pretend that everything is normal is just avoiding the reality, which is only a short-term solution. Start small so you can build the confidence and trust back. Being self-aware is very important at this stage too, so you can determine the appropriate pace that works for you and discuss it.

Being angry and holding on to pain uses a lot of physical and emotional energy. Releasing yourself of that turmoil will allow you to having more energy that you can focus towards things that make you happy. Keeping that resentment with you is only forcing yourself to live the painful moment, every single day. Who is that really helping? Forgive and allow yourself to be happy.

Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC and Danielle James, Intern

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Let Go of a Grudge! 4 Tips to get started Today

It's time to cover yet another challenge we all seem to battle: holding on to grudges. Now most grudges are constructed in order to help us cope with being wronged, but why do we tend to hold on to them longer than we'd like to? Before we cross that bridge, it's important to know why we hold on to grudges. Here are a few common reasons:

Protection. Sometimes we have an unconscious belief that holding onto resentment from a former problem will protect you from ever being taken advantage of in the future. But its actually counterproductive and prevents you from learning from experiences.

Revenge. People sometimes feel that if they let go of the anger or resentment too quickly that the other person is getting off too easily. But holding on to a grudge allows someone else's behavior and actions affect your happiness.

Fear. We fear that if we let go of what hurt us, it will only happen again. And if we forgive the person that hurt us they will only do it again.

Need closure. A lot of times it's hard for people to let go of events or situations because there’s no resolution to it. They may feel like they need an apology or answers in order to move on.

Even though most of us would never deliberately wish harm or bad fortune on another person, it’s sometimes difficult to loosen the grip we have on our negative thoughts. Negative energies, even just being in a bad mood, tend to exhibit through ones body language and tone of voice. This just goes to show that holding grudges isn't just toxic for the mind in which it resides in, but to those around you as well. Here's a few tips on how to get let go of grudges.

How to let go of Grudges?

Acknowledge what took place. Acknowledge your hurt feelings and the situation itself. Bringing the issues to light is very important if you want to truly let the situation go. Trying to “brush it under the rug” will only hurt you and prevent you from processing your emotions.

Step into his or her shoes. Looking at the situation from the other persons point of view may help you understand. Its important to view the situation from their perspective to see what their intentions were and try understand where they are coming from. Sometimes people who have grown up in a lot of pain and anger will exhibit those characteristics and it has nothing to do with you or your friendship.

Choose to commit to forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t really have to do with the other person as much as it has to do with you. Forgiving the other person means your just letting the past be the past and not carrying the ill feelings with you. It does not mean that you will allow what happened to repeat itself it just means you are willing to let it go for yourself. During this process say it aloud, either to yourself or to whoever involved because verbalizing it makes it an action and will make it “real” in your brain.

Move on. Once you have forgave the incident, don't dwell on it. Don't go back and think of what-if situations. Just allow the situation to be what it is and move forward. You can't change a situation by living in the past, focus your energy on building your future.

What would it be like to live in a world where we wished well upon everyone, even those who have done wrong to us? While some see it as perhaps science fiction, others see it as a movement that begins, and perpetuates, with each and every one of us. I, personally, am inclined to firmly believe in the latter, as a world filled with love and compassion seems like a much more appealing place to live than one ran by vengeance and greed. So let go of the vengeful malicious intent, abandon the negative thoughts and adopt a much healthier lifestyle and mindset.

Have faith. Stay focused. Remember to breath.

Emotional Mojo Talk Show RECAP:

Benefits of Letting Go of a Grudge

Healthier relationships
Stronger emotional wellbeing
Minimize anxiety and depression
Lower your blood pressure
Lower risk of addictive behaviors

How do we let go of Grudges?

ACKNOWLEDGE what took place. (be honest with yourself)

STEP into HIS or HER shoes. (can you see the other side?)

Choose to COMMIT to forgiveness (for yourself)

MOVE ON. (an intentional action)

One thing to do today: CHOOSE one person and see if you can put yourself in their shoes to embrace empathy.

 

Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC, Danielle James and Ricardo Mogo (Interns)

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Forgiving Unfaithfulness and Betrayal--Tips to help let go

Forgiving Unfaithfulness and Betrayal--Tips to help let go

Many couples find themselves asking the unfortunate but common question, how do we survive my spouses affair.Most couples want to make the relationship work but dont know how to go about doing so, especially when major events happen that completely disrupt their connection. First things first, turning away from the marriage is never the answer, but if you find yourself in that position and want to change it, its important to understand why and how you got there.

In order to list all the reasons why people cheat, I would need to dedicate a whole other article to it and a good span of the afternoon. Its important to understand why this happens so as a couple you can make sure it doesn't happen again. It is a painful process but the only way to strengthen your relationship is to deal with the truth.

 High sex drive. These individuals have a hard time managing monogamy, and most often have that entitled personawhere they feel that they work hard and should be able to have the freedom to do what they want. Women can exhibit this trait, but its most often seen in men.

Sexually bored. This is contributes to both sexes, if the passion and spark are missing and there are no efforts to spice it back up, you or your partner may start to find yourself having desires that fall outside the relationship. If this is the case, work with your partner to see how you both can liven things up. No matter how long youve been in a relationship its never too late to add some excitement.

Revenge for partners infidelity. The majority of these instances happen out of spite when the first affair wasnt handled properly. If there is an affair during the relationship, one of the worst was to handle it in terms of saving your relationship, is getting even. It will just drive you further apart.

Self-abandonment. Oftentimes, this is a huge reason that motivates individuals to cheat. This leads to inner emptiness that results in a person seeking to be filled up externally. They use the outside achievements and material things to validate them. This could be having an affair with a hot, young girlfriend or boyfriend to rationalize to themselves that they are still young and attractive.

Emotional Connection. Some relationships can grow apart so much that the individuals in them can feel more like roommates than they do partners. Typically, affairs dont result in lasting relationships but if the reason they are is because they are receiving emotional gratification from someone else, this puts the relationship at a high-risk for failure. Feeling emotionally fulfilled with someone that is not your partner is the number one reason why cheaters usually leave the relationship for their affair. Generally, more women say that they cheated for an emotional connection.

After you discover why there was infidelity in the marriage, the next step is working together to start forgiving. This takes effort from both sides, even though it may seem like the one who had the affair should be responsible for fixing relationship, its actually not the case. Since there are two people in the relationship, it takes two people to fix it. 

Ask yourself, are they worth another chance? This means looking back at past behavior. Have they cheated in past relationships before? Have they cheated on you before? Was this a one time thing or an ongoing affair? The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior.

Give each other some space. Most peoplesinitial feeling is to hold onto their partner even tighter and make sure they don't leave their sight. But holding on to the relationship even tighter actually shows an level acceptance of their behavior. By getting away you are proving a point that this not acceptable and helps your partner realize the consequences of his her actions

Find a time to meet. Establish that this is a meeting where questions need to be answered. There is one purpose for this meeting and that is to decide whether or not the relationship can be salvage and if both partners are willing to work at it. Honesty needs to be top focus no matter how painful it may be. You cant change whats not acknowledged.

Build a new relationship. Because the old relationship is damaged, it needs to be let go of. Its important to look at this as a new beginning of the two of you, which can be an exciting journey if you make it one. That doesn't mean the feelings of trust are automatically restored, but it means setting new expectations in place so it can be. Go on dates again and regain the spark that brought the relationship together. And be prepared to make some changes yourself and do your part in making sure your partner feels fulfilled.

Nothing is impossible in terms of the strength of a human relationship. There are 3 components that lead to a long lasting and happy connection: Commitment, Intimacy, and Passion and finding a balance of the three. Its like riding a tricycle, you need all three wheels to function properly in order to ride smoothly, if one wheel is missing or loose or there is too much weight on one side, it’ll be a struggle to ride it for long distances. The same goes for your relationship. If both people work to keep all 3 elements existing and balanced, it can survive through even the toughest terrain.

Emotional Mojo Talk Show RECAP: Additional Tips

Believe it or not, Attachment Styles will determine if we will be unfaithful. Here are the types of attachment styles:

Secure Attachment

Anxious Preoccupied Attachment 

Dismissive Avoidant Attachment

Fearful Avoidant Attachment

Remember: The attachment style we developed as children is based on our relationship with our parents or early caretaker.

Who’s most likely to be unfaithful? The “anxiously attached” person is more likely to “betray” in a relationship.

So, How can we forgive when we’ve been betrayed?

  Ask yourself, are they worth another chance (is it worth the investment)

 Give each other some space (take time to clear your head)

  Find a time to meet (acknowledge the pain, explore the facts, be honest)

  Build a new relationship (the old relationship must be a thing of the past)

One thing to do TODAY: COMMIT to making a choice to forgive and call your loved one today!

Authors: Jada Jackson LMHC and Danielle James, Intern

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Better SEX! | Tips for EXPLORING Erogenous Zones

Tips for Having Better SEX with your spouse:

If we could buy love, we would probably do it! Unfortunately, we’ve heard it for decades, “Can’t buy me love!” Celebrities have proven that the purchase of love is virtually impossible; and everyday people like us have had our share of relationship catastrophes as well! But do not fret, the purchase of love is not needed when you have “Better SEX” tips to add a spark to your sex life.

We are all very different; and with different backgrounds, spiritual beliefs and experiences, it’s often difficult to find the right connection or combination to unlock passion during intimacy. It may take a few years to find the right fit for better sex, however, I want to take a moment to address ONE piece of the great puzzle of intimacy: EROGENOUS ZONES.

Erogenous zones are parts of the body that have a concentration of sensory nerve endings that cause sexual arousal. Do you know your most sensitive erogenous zones? Better yet, do you know your spouses most sensitive zones?

 

There are 3 levels of Erogenous Zones:

Level THREE: Skin and nerve endings (touching, caressing, massaging, NO SPECIAL TRAINING NEEDED FOR THIS)

Level TWO:   Foreplay areas. Back of knees, inner thighs, chest area, abdomen, neck, legs, mouth, tongue 

Level ONE: Genital areas (direct stimulation…go here last!) 

 

Tips for Better Sex:

1)            STUDY the male and female erogenous zones

2)            EXPLORE your spouse’s erogenous zones (become a student)

3)            PRACTICE locating your partner’s most stimulating zones

4)            REPEAT

 

One thing to do today: Choose one evening this week and commit to EXPLORE your spouse’s erogenous zones. 

 

Jada Jackson, M.S., M.A., LMHC, NCC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo

Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You

Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life

jadajackson.com

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Jada's Laws of Femininity | Law #3 | Jada Jackson LMHC

Laws of Femininity: Reclaiming the Proverbs 31 Woman

“I will NOT marry a MAN!!!” he screamed at me. I didn’t know what he was talking about. I didn’t quite understand why he called me a MAN. “Really? I am ALL woman!” I screamed back. It was the first time I was confronted with my dominating, aggressive and controlling personality. I needed to be in control because I knew what was best. My ex-fiancé needed a woman that was less dominant, less aggressive and less controlling. He wanted someone to be quiet and agree with everything he said. He wanted me to be a cute little black Barbie Doll and only speak when spoken to. Well, I wasn’t having that! It caused extreme conflict in our relationship and his favorite description of me was, “You don’t RESPECT me.” Oh, here we go, the “R” word. I didn’t respect him because I realized that throwing money and things at situations didn’t resolve conflict it just swept the problems under the rug. Well, I wanted to talk, and plan, and strategize, and resolve the conflict. He didn’t. He wanted me to pretend nothing ever happened. To this behavior, I became defiant, enraged, controlling, dominant and aggressive. After a long relationship of this conflict, he concluded that there were two men in the relationship. Hmmm, ok so I had some self-evaluating to do.

The relationship was terminated, the wedding called off and we’ve gone our separate ways. However, being the researcher and therapist that I am, I needed to explore the “I will NOT marry a MAN” statement. Clearly, he did not think I was a MAN, but the traits and characteristics of dominance, aggression and control are more masculine than feminine. With this newfound revelation, I took to streets to find out what other powerful, professional women had to say about balancing feminine and masculine traits in a male dominated workforce and in relationships.

When asked how others described them in one word they said:

1)            Bitchy

2)            Dominant

3)            Bossy

4)            Confrontational

5)            Petty

6)            Overbearing

7)            Angry

8)            Cold

9)            Crazy

10)         Selfish

11)         Hormonal

12)         Pushy

13)         Independent

14)         High Maintenance

15)         Uptight/Intense

It was my comparison to being a MAN that sent me on a self-reflective excursion to find the sensuality of my feminine side, while wholeheartedly embracing my masculine strength. I couldn’t consider giving up my man-power because it was that dominance, aggression and control that has given me a successful edge in my career; but, it completely destroys my relationships. So, here is a hard, honest look at the facts and a few Laws of femininity that will add balance to our lives in the 21st Century.

When the word feminism emerged during a series of events, movements and ideologies that challenged the unequal rights of women, it was then that the dichotomous struggle of the masculine/feminine emerged. We fought for equality and gained rights that would significantly alter the male-female relationship in the home, the workplace and the world. Equal employment and educational opportunities pushed women to become competitors instead of stay-at-home mothers and homemakers.

After researching a variety of traits of a competitor here are some of the finds: driven, confident, achiever, strong, debater, stubborn, arrogant and aggressive. The idea of a woman embracing these traits prior to the feminist movements was virtually unheard of. Understanding a woman’s role in today’s society is somewhat complicated since the traditional family structure has shifted and women are oftentimes the head of household or supporting a single-parent home.

Nevertheless, it is the struggle of every woman to find a happy medium between feminine and masculine traits, while refusing to give up our power simply because we are in relationships where men are threatened by a powerful, professional woman. Remember, there is nothing wrong with being a powerful woman, as Proverbs 31:17 says, “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Our strength is necessary, but how we use that strength may become counter-productive if used to dominate our spouses. The strength given to a woman is to assist a man in a task rather than taking over the task.

So, over a one-year period of time, I’ve committed to learning to find this balance for the sake of a healthy intimate relationship. Here are my Laws of Femininity.

LAW OF FEMININITY #1

Refrain from GOSSIP and DRAMA—With the social media information platforms streaming messaging at an all time high, it is easy to get trapped in the black hole of gossip or the abyss of everyday life drama. We are a thriving culture that subscribes to negative information and hunger for the next wave of gossip. Whether it is focused on our neighbor or coworker or hottest entertainers, oftentimes we can’t get enough.

You’ve heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Well, the same is true for gossip. Remember, a dog that brings a bone carries a bone. With a daily surge of information and peak into the lives of millions through social media, we are often tempted to spend hours perusing posts, tweets, pics and media messages to give us an information-fix.

The information highway is dangerous and tricky to navigate when attempting to remain focused on personal growth and development. Proverbs 31:26 says, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Gossip and drama are the opposite of wisdom and kindness.

Call to Action #1: Your call to action is to Disconnect for 30 days. I am challenging you to commit to minimal social media engagement and consciously refraining from negative talk. Negative talk may be defined as gossip, strong arguing, confrontational discussions, and/or emotional/passionate conversations. I challenge you to use your kind, sweet voice to win over your spouse, partner, coworker, child or parent. Take time to reconnect with your feminine, sensual nature.

If you are willing to take on the challenge (even if just for a few days), let me know! I’d love to celebrate your commitment to becoming a better YOU!

LAW OF FEMININITY #2

Know the power of your smile. Soft, gentle and feminine are the traits of a powerful woman. Underneath a kind smile lies the power and strength of a lioness. The smile of a women is feminine in nature and influential in relationships…ALL relationships. A simple smile can change a tense moment into a relaxed moment. A smile can shift the environment. Scientifically speaking, a smile can change our brains and our mood. Additionally, a genuine smile will boost your immune system, relax your body, and even lower your heart rate. If you take the first step to flash that gorgeous smile, you can trick your brain into believing you are happy as serotonin is released into the brain to really make you feel happy! Other chemicals released into the brain when you smile are endorphins. Smiling send endorphins into the brain and then lowers your blood pressure. Finally, an important fact to flashing that amazing Proverbs 31 Woman smile is that a smile stimulates happy emotions equivalent to eating chocolate!

I LOVE chocolate and if I can get the same feeling as indulging in a bar of chocolate without the calories, I’m all about it! So, I began a small, personal study to see if smiling REALLY works. The short answer is: YES. Everyday for the past 90 days, I’ve consciously smiled at neighbors, coworkers and strangers. So, how do I know it worked? My supervisor stepped into my office and said, “Jada, you seem happier. What’s different?” Two coworkers also pulled me aside and said, “Jada, you’re happier lately.” Finally, my mother said, “Jada, I love the new you and you are definitely happy.”

Call to Action #2: Your challenge today is to CONSCIOUSLY smile every time you think about it. For the next 30 days, practice smiling and being kind to those in your immediate environment. Remember, you have the power to change your environment and to shift the atmosphere. So, just do it!

LAW OF FEMININITY #3

Know the true purpose of the Beauty Economy. Make-up, fashion, hairstyles, accessories, fitness programs, etc. are designed to enhance natural beauty and not to change or cover your beauty. This is the law of Natural identity vs. contrived identity. We all know about natural beauty. The natural beauty is the raw beauty we see without the makeup, the hairstyles, the clothes and the fake smiles. Oftentimes, it’s the beauty we want to hide from the world and from ourselves. For over 15 years, I spent most of my time on fashion runways and in front of the camera. The image I contrived was NOT natural. For many years I carefully constructed an identity that the fashion and entertainment industry would accept…after all, my survival was directly related to my appearance. About five years ago, I slowly began to strip away the beauty aids: the makeup, the hair, the nails, the clothes and hunger to keep up with the Jones’. I pulled away completely over the past year or so. In doing so, I allowed myself to disconnect from the unrealistic expectations and competitive female drama. Believe it or not, I actually go to my counseling office WITHOUT makeup! Wow! There would have been a time that I could NEVER do that. Remember, Proverbs 31:25 says, "Strength and honour are her clothing,” This means that if we are bound and paralyzed by our image (clothing, makeup, hair, etc), we could not function in our ultimate strength and power as daughters of God. 

Here are a few BEFORE AND AFTER pics of your favorite celebs and personalities!

heidi-klum-without-makeup.jpg
 tyra banks

tyra banks

 mila kunis

mila kunis

 penelope cruz

penelope cruz

 tamron hall

tamron hall

 jada jackson

jada jackson

Of course, posting this picture is a moment of vulnerability because most of my fans and those who have followed my career have only seen me in my full face of makeup and extensions to my lower back. But, here I am in the raw (without the image)...free and happy to be me :-) However, when it is time to transform into "The Thing" I am okay with that, too!

Call to Action #3: So, here is your call to action. Ask yourself, “Am I bound by the image of beauty?” “Am I controlled by my desire to look good?” “Am I obsessed with my Contrived Identity?” These questions are an important part of the self-evaluation process. God wants our hearts. If our hearts pant after the false gods of fashion, beauty and image, there will be no room for him. Just a thought. 

Let me know what you think!

Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,

Jada Jackson, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo

Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You

Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life

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Jada's Laws of Femininity | Law #1 and #2 | Jada Jackson LMHC

Laws of Femininity: Reclaiming the Proverbs 31 Woman

“I will NOT marry a MAN!!!” he screamed at me. I didn’t know what he was talking about. I didn’t quite understand why he called me a MAN. “Really? I am ALL woman!” I screamed back. It was the first time I was confronted with my dominating, aggressive and controlling personality. I needed to be in control because I knew what was best. My ex-fiancé needed a woman that was less dominant, less aggressive and less controlling. He wanted someone to be quiet and agree with everything he said. He wanted me to be a cute little black Barbie Doll and only speak when spoken to. Well, I wasn’t having that! It caused extreme conflict in our relationship and his favorite description of me was, “You don’t RESPECT me.” Oh, here we go, the “R” word. I didn’t respect him because I realized that throwing money and things at me didn’t resolve conflict it just swept the problems under the rug. Well, I wanted to talk, and plan, and strategize, and resolve the conflict. He didn’t. He wanted me to pretend nothing ever happened. To this behavior, I became defiant, enraged, controlling, dominant and aggressive. After a long relationship of this conflict, he concluded that there were two men in the relationship. Hmmm, ok so I had some self-evaluating to do.

The relationship was terminated, the wedding called off and we’ve gone our separate ways. However, being the researcher and therapist that I am, I needed to explore the “I will NOT marry a MAN” statement. Clearly, he did not think I was a MAN, but the traits and characteristics of dominance, aggression and control are more masculine than feminine. With this new-found revelation, I took to streets to find out what other powerful, professional women had to say about balancing feminine and masculine traits in a male dominated workforce and in relationships.

When asked how others described them in one word, these professional women said:

1)            Bitchy

2)            Dominant

3)            Bossy

4)            Confrontational

5)            Petty

6)            Overbearing

7)            Angry

8)            Cold

9)            Crazy

10)         Selfish

11)         Hormonal

12)         Pushy

13)         Independent

14)         High Maintenance

15)         Uptight/Intense

It was my comparison to being a MAN that sent me on a self-reflective excursion to find the sensuality of my feminine side, while wholeheartedly embracing my masculine strength. I couldn’t consider giving up my man-power because it was that dominance, aggression and control that has given me a successful edge in my career; but, it completely destroys my relationships. So, here is a hard, honest look at the facts and a few Laws of femininity that will add balance to our lives in the 21st Century.

When the word feminism emerged during a series of events, movements and ideologies that challenged the unequal rights of women, it was then that the dichotomous struggle of the masculine/feminine emerged. We fought for equality and gained rights that would significantly alter the male-female relationship in the home, the workplace and the world. Equal employment and educational opportunities pushed women to become competitors instead of stay-at-home mothers and homemakers.

After researching a variety of traits of a "competitor" here are some of the finds: driven, confident, achiever, strong, debater, stubborn, arrogant and aggressive. The idea of a woman embracing these traits prior to the feminist movements was virtually unheard of. Understanding a woman’s role in today’s society is somewhat complicated since the traditional family structure has shifted and women are oftentimes the head of household or supporting a single-parent home.

Nevertheless, it is the struggle of every woman to find a happy medium between feminine and masculine traits, while refusing to give up our power simply because we are in relationships where men are threatened by a powerful, professional woman. Remember, there is nothing wrong with being a powerful woman, as Proverbs 31:17 says, “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Our strength is necessary, but how we use that strength may become counter-productive if used to dominate our spouses and partners. The strength given to a woman is to assist a man in a task rather than taking over the task.

So, I’ve become committed to learning to find this balance for the sake of a healthy intimate relationship. Here are my Laws of Femininity.

no-gossip.jpg

LAW OF FEMININITY #1

Refrain from GOSSIP and DRAMA—With the social media information platforms streaming messaging at an all time high, it is easy to get trapped in the black hole of gossip or the abyss of everyday life drama. We are a thriving culture that subscribes to negative information and hunger for the next wave of gossip. Whether it is focused on our neighbor or coworker or hottest entertainers, oftentimes we can’t get enough.

You’ve heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Well, the same is true for gossip. Remember, a dog that brings a bone carries a bone. With a daily surge of information and a peak into the lives of millions through social media, we are often tempted to spend hours perusing posts, tweets, pics and media messages to give us an information-fix.

The information highway is dangerous and tricky to navigate when attempting to remain focused on personal growth and development. Proverbs 31:26 says, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Gossip and drama are the opposite of wisdom and kindness.

Call to Action #1: Your call to action is to Disconnect for 30 days. I am challenging you to commit to minimal social media engagement and consciously refraining from negative talk. Negative talk may be defined as gossip, strong arguing, confrontational discussions, and/or emotional/passionate conversations. I challenge you to use your kind language to win over your spouse, partner, coworker, child or parent. Take time to reconnect with your feminine, sensual nature.

If you are willing to take on the challenge (even if just for a few days), let me know! I’d love to celebrate your commitment to becoming a better YOU!

LAW OF FEMININITY #2

Know the power of your smile. Soft, gentle and feminine are the traits of a powerful woman. Underneath a kind smile lies the power and strength of a lioness. The smile of a women is feminine in nature and influential in relationships…ALL relationships. A simple smile can change a tense moment into a relaxed moment. A smile can shift the environment. Scientifically speaking, a smile can change our brains and our mood. Additionally, a genuine smile will boost your immune system, relax your body, and even lower your heart rate. If you take the first step to flash that gorgeous smile, you can trick your brain into believing you are happy as serotonin is released into the brain to really make you feel happy! Other chemicals released into the brain when you smile are endorphins. Smiling send endorphins into the brain and then lowers your blood pressure. Finally, an important fact to flashing that amazing Proverbs 31 Woman smile is that a smile stimulates happy emotions equivalent to eating chocolate!

I LOVE chocolate and if I can get the same feeling as indulging in a bar of chocolate without the calories, I’m all about it! So, I began a small, personal study to see if smiling REALLY works. The short answer is: YES. Everyday for the past 90 days, I’ve consciously smiled at neighbors, coworkers and strangers. So, how do I know it worked? My supervisor stepped into my office and said, “Jada, you seem happier. What’s different?” Two coworkers also pulled me aside and said, “Jada, you’re happier lately.” Finally, my mother said, “Jada, I love the new you and you are definitely happy.”

Call to Action #2: Your challenge today is to CONSCIOUSLY smile every time you think about it. For the next 30 days, practice smiling and being kind to those in your immediate environment. Remember, you have the power to change your environment and to shift the atmosphere. So, just do it!

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Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,


Jada Jackson, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo

Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You

Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life


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My Domestic Violence Survivor Story | Emotional Mojo on WE Tv | Jada Jackson

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This week I crossed another emotional threshold…a huge step toward emotional freedom on Emotional Mojo!

It was a little over a year ago when I joined the Emotional Mojo Talk Show team and I had no idea the impact this decision would have on my life. As a therapist, I am accustomed to listening to the challenges of others and developing treatment plans to assist in the healing process. On the other hand, as a talk show host, I have the unique challenge of looking into our society’s hot topics and current events to understand the psychology behind the headlines and unusual behavior. What I did not anticipate was the distinct opportunity I would have to share my “personal” experiences, fears, beliefs and strategies. This was “terrifying” for me because as a therapist, I am trained to be non-biased and never project my personal beliefs or opinions onto my clients. So, when I met our Emotional Mojo producers (especially RC) for the first time they wanted to know about “ME!” However, I wasn’t quite ready to reveal the "real Jada” to the viewing audience because I couldn’t decide how to balance the “Therapist-Jada” and the “Talk Show Host-Jada.” It was certainly a complicated journey and even though I wrote a book about my challenges with domestic violence, I’ve never openly discussed my pain and personal life on national television. Well, that has changed and I’ve been triggered to open up.

The trigger for me to open up and share my domestic violence story again reignited during the Ray and Janay Rice elevator incident. When the second video was released and we saw the confrontation unfold “inside” of the elevator many were outraged. One of our producers sent out an email about Twitter’s trending #whyistayed. I clicked the link and was moved by most of the Tweets, but horrified by others. The hurtful ones were the scathing name-calling Tweets that suggested domestic violence victims are crazy and stupid for staying in a situation that was clearly dysfunctional. Well, maybe it was not stated in those exact words but you get the idea; so I was compelled to blog about it.  Then it hit me. One of the reasons I stopped talking about my challenges was because of people like that! The condemnation, the judgment, the ridicule and the insensitivity were too much for me to deal with; so, I began to silence my voice. After all, I’m a therapist and I should just get over it! However, the truth remains constantly in my mind and although the physical and some of the mental pains have subsided, the emotional scars continue to need attention (especially in intimate relationships).

If you did not get a chance to read my first article about the Ray Rice incident and domestic violence CLICK HERE.

ALSO, On Monday morning, tune in or set your DVRs to here our personal testimonies of domestic violence and how you can help.  If you or someone you know is facing a painful domestic violence situation, tune into WE Tv at 6am EST to watch our compelling stories on Emotional Mojo and contact a therapist to assist in your healing process.

Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,

 

Jada Jackson, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo

Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You

Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life

The Official Facebook Fan Page: Jada Jackson Life Coach

jadajackson.com

 

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Twitter's #WhyIStayed | I Needed Daddy's Love | Jada Jackson

 Jada Jackson: Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Emotional Mojo Talk Show Host and Domestic Violence Survivor #WhyIStayed

Jada Jackson: Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Emotional Mojo Talk Show Host and Domestic Violence Survivor #WhyIStayed

Twitter’s #WhyIStayed got our Emotional Mojo producers thinking about domestic violence victims and I had to jump in and share my story…

So, here are my questions...Have you ever been in a relationship where you were punched in the face? Have you ever loved someone that brutally abused you? Have you ever stayed in a relationship after someone broke your back by tossing you down a flight of stairs? If so, there is a strong possibility you are being abused once again as the Raven’s Ray Rice saga continues. Why are you victimized yet again? Because there are those who are being verbally abusive (#whyistayed) and cruel because they cannot understand how you could be so “stupid” to stay in a brutal domestic violent situation. What they don’t understand is that YOU were a victim long before you entered into an abusive relationship. Remember, the opposite-sex parent develops positive and healthy self-esteem. So, there is a possibility that your were not equipped with the necessary skills and tools needed to navigate intimate relationships (this is NOT an excuse, but a fact). Not only have fathers failed female victims, but victims have been failed by a society of leaders that “look the other way.”

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After NFL superstar Ray Rice was give a two-game suspension for striking his then fiancé Janayn Palmer in an elevator fight, many were outraged when Palmer married him and refused to press charges. Since the marriage, new footage of the attack was released by TMZ showing Rice throwing a single punch that knocked Palmer unconscious.

So, why do women (or men) stay in abusive relationships? Here are the simple answers with the understanding that abuse is much more complicated than a list of reasons for staying.

1)             Humiliation

2)             Financial/Socioeconomic benefits or status

3)             Generational belief that abuse is normal

4)             Fear

5)             Poor self-concept or poor self-esteem

6)             Warped love

7)             Children

8)             Religious Beliefs

9)             Emotional manipulation

 

We should all understand that victims stay for various reasons. So, since I am a domestic survivor, I will share with you “why I stayed.” As a childhood survivor of domestic violence, I did not know anything else. Unfortunately, I was accustomed to seeing my mother hit, kicked, slapped around and tossed around. I became used to yelling, screaming and broken glass. Is this an “excuse?” NO! It’s just a simple reality. I’d never seen a healthy marriage or intimate relationship. So, naturally I grew up and stayed in several physically and emotionally abusive relationships. It was my mother who called the police several times hoping I would come to my senses and leave the abusive relationship. So, why didn’t I leave? Humiliation, Religious Beliefs and poor self-esteem.

Today, as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I work with men and women that have suffered physical, psychological, emotionally and spiritual abuse at the hands of someone they love. I fully understand the frustrations of non-victims and non-survivors. However, I plead with you to have mercy and extend grace to those that still struggle to embrace freedom from a domestic violent relationship. Here’s how you can help according to womenshealth.gov:

Here are some ways to help a friend who is being abused:

  • Set up a time to talk. Try to make sure you have privacy and won't be distracted or interrupted.
  • Let your friend know you're concerned about her safety. Be honest. Tell her about times when you were worried about her. Help her see that what she's going through is not right. Let her know you want to help.
  • Be supportive. Listen to your friend. Keep in mind that it may be very hard for her to talk about the abuse. Tell her that she is not alone, and that people want to help.
  • Offer specific help. You might say you are willing to just listen, to help her with childcare, or to provide transportation, for example.
  • Don't place shame, blame, or guilt on your friend. Don't say, "You just need to leave." Instead, say something like, "I get scared thinking about what might happen to you." Tell her you understand that her situation is very difficult.
  • Help her make a safety plan. Safety planning includes picking a place to go and packing important items.
  • Encourage your friend to talk to someone who can help. Offer to help her find a local domestic violence agency. Offer to go with her to the agency, the police, or court.
  • If your friend decides to stay, continue to be supportive. Your friend may decide to stay in the relationship, or she may leave and then go back many times. It may be hard for you to understand, but people stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. Be supportive, no matter what your friend decides to do.
  • Encourage your friend to do things outside of the relationship. It's important for her to see friends and family.
  • If your friend decides to leave, continue to offer support. Even though the relationship was abusive, she may feel sad and lonely once it is over. She also may need help getting services from agencies or community groups.
  • Keep in mind that you can't "rescue" your friend. She has to be the one to decide it's time to get help. Support her no matter what her decision.
  • Let your friend know that you will always be there no matter what.

If you or someone you know are struggling in a domestic violent relationship, contact a therapist today!

Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,

 

Jada Jackson, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo

Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You

Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life

The Official Facebook Fan Page: Jada Jackson Life Coach

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Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life | Jada Jackson LMHC

Hello Ladies,

My name is Jada. I am going to assume that most of you do not know me, so I will take a short moment to introduce myself and the reason I've decided to share my story and begin this blog during my birthday month.  I'm blessed and I thank God for my journey. I've learned a lot over the years and I want to take the time to share my story and experiences.  I've healed and overcome great pain to share the wisdom I've gathered over the years. (If you are reading this post anytime AFTER  July 2014, that means I didn't quite have the courage to release the first blog post when I originally wrote it in July).

If you are in your 20s or younger, I hope this blog will encourage you to make healthy relationship and career decisions; and I pray you will choose God first! If you are in your 30s or 40s, I hope this blog will encourage you grow in God's grace and mercy because I'm sure you are NOT perfect and you've made some costly mistakes. Unfortunately, my mistakes have cost me my youth, my finances, my time and myself. Today's blog is about me; other posts will discuss my journey, my mistakes and my lessons. Furthermore, I have wise and educated friends that will chime in with their stories to encourage you to toward ultimate success! Most of all, this blog is about us...women...the backbone of our families, our nation and our world. Here's my story.

Five years ago I lost everything! My career, my marriage, my hopes & dreams, and most of all MYSELF. I've been blessed with significant gifts and talents in the areas of academia and public speaking...but, for some reason I'd lost my passion to thrive. That was five years ago and today I'M BACK and I pray my vulnerability will inspire you to be the best you can be despite life's complexities.

 

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For the sake of time, I will begin my story after years of living in domestic violent environment and molestation. ALL MY LIFE I HAD TO FIGHT (Color Purple shout out...giggle)! All of my life I had to fight off MEN! I watched my mother get beaten with a broom, thrown down stairs and hit constantly. I watched men abuse their girlfriends and wives. I watch men show unbelievable disrespect toward women and I thought it was normal. From physical abuse to verbal abuse (and everything between), I was groomed to accept less from men and more significantly less from MYSELF.

Why is this part of my story so important and why did I begin here? I started with domestic violence and molestation because after countless failed relationships and a failed 10 year marriage, I've concluded I AM THE PROBLEM! But before I take responsibility for my part in the failed relationships, I must say that I do NOT and will NOT condone certain behaviors that consist of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, sexual identity confusion, manipulation, womanizing, roving eyes, immaturity and just being down right CRUEL!

So, now that I've got that out of my system, I will say that I've been challenged to LOOK AT ME! The reason? Well, if I'm honest, I struggle with TRUST issues. With that said, I will take responsibility for my part in the conflict of failed relationships. I contributed significantly to my failed relationships and here's what I learned:

1) All or Nothing Thinking (AKA Black or White thinking). This type of thinking has ruined many relationships throughout the generations...mine, too. During months of self-evaluation, I reflected on times that I would say things like:

-You 'ALWAYS' say negative things to me.

-You 'NEVER' remember my birthday or do nice things for me.

-'EVERY' time I call you, you 'NEVER' answer.

The problem with these type of statements is that there is no "between." The reality is that NOTHING is black or white; our lives are painted with beautiful shades of gray and our frustrations are a simple assessment of one's perception and childhood baggage. So, my question to you is, "How much of your frustration and bitterness is a result of your negative perception of the person or the situation?" Self-evaluation is key. Ladies, there is a strong possibility that you are contributing to significant conflict in your relationship. Remember, we must take responsibility for our part in the conflict.

 

2) Overgeneralizing is a faulty thought process that makes BROAD conclusions of a person, event or situation. For me, a series of overgeneralizing statements consisted of the following examples:

-ALL men are abusive

-ALL men are dogs

-ALL men cheat

-ALL men are users and only want sex

I think you get the picture. This is NOT good for your relationship. So, refrain from overgeneralizing and be willing to give your partner a break.

 

3) Distrust is doubting the reliability of another to live up to one's desires or expectations. Well, this is a problem when my expectations were so high that NO ONE could every live up to them. The distrust baggage included every situation I've every encountered with men throughout my life. If you do not trust your partner, I encourage you to consider how much of that distrust is reality and how much of it is fantasy or childhood baggage. In my case, I believe a significant amount of my inability to trust was rooted in unresolved childhood issues that included domestic violence and abuse. Working through these issues was my first step to healing and happiness! Being honest with myself opened the door to ultimate peace and contentment.

Today, I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and most of my female clients come to me to help them address unresolved childhood issues. These issues often bleed into current relationships, marriages, career decisions, parenting and self-esteem challenges. Today, I've chosen to be transparent and vulnerable. Yikes! Today, I am happy, healed and free from dysfunctional relationships. In the days to come, I will continue to share personal stories, challenges, dreams and my new relationship (and how I'm intentionally building a healthy intimate relationship).

Please let me know your thoughts about my new blog and chime in on the topics each week! I look forward to you walking with me through this exciting journey!

 

Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,

 

Jada Jackson, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Talk Show Host of Emotional Mojo

Author of Be-You-Tiful: The Threefold Process to Becoming You

Blogger and Author of Jada Jackson: My Story, My Life

The Official Facebook Fan Page: Jada Jackson Life Coach

 

 

 

 

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