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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 Beautiful One - Prince | The World Mourns | Simple Tips for Grief & Loss

Grieving Prince’s Sudden Death

Prince

Prince

Last week the shocking news of Prince’s death was felt across the globe. The loss of the legendary musical icon has left his family, friends, and followers’ worldwide, devastated and in mourning.  Social media was flooded with crushed fans and loved ones expressing their grief and sharing stories that celebrated Prince and his legacy that spanned 40 years.

He was a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, won 7 Grammy’s, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for “Purple Rain.” He had a unique and powerful gift, as well as a positive and accepting attitude that people just gravitated towards. He connected and provided comfort to so many. Prince stood as a symbol of hope and that positive changes were just around the corner. His death came way too soon, but his influence and inspiration will transcend for generations

How do you deal with the loss of an Icon?

Losing an idol like Prince can be difficult and emotionally confusing. Some may wonder why they have such strong feelings because they didn’t know him on a personal basis. This is a completely normal feeling. Prince has been a part of our lives for decades and we have followed his life and evolution as an artist. He’s gotten many through difficult times by his words and what he represents. When that is suddenly gone, the feelings can be similar to the loss of a good friend.

Try out these tips to help you in your grieving process:

·      Allow yourself to grieve. There is no rule book when it comes to grieving. Just because you’re mourning an icon doesn’t make the pain any less valid. Allow yourself to feel the emotion so you can better address it.

·      Express yourself! Reach out to family, friends, and others on social media. Being able to share and connect your emotions with others is an essential part of the grieving process. With Prince being a legendary figure, there is a very large community available to you that understand exactly what you’re going through. 

·      Celebrate his life and continue his legacy. Prince had such a positive soul and would want his life to be celebrated and his advocacy for positive change and equality to continue. Listen to your favorite Prince songs and represent all that he stood for.

In honor of the legendary musician, let’s continue Prince’s positivity and promote a beautiful, equal, and hopeful world.

 

AUTHOR: Danielle James, Psychology Intern

 

Danielle is a recent psychology graduate from the University of Central Florida. She has a passion for helping individuals identify and work through emotional and mental health concerns to provide a higher quality of life. Her goals include achieving her Psy.D in Clinical Psychology that allows for a deeper understanding of future clients and a more interactive perspective.

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JADA'S PERSONALS: GRIEF & BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN

The news of Bobbi Kristina’s accident was sudden and some might say shocking. As the daughter of 2 well known entertainers, Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown, life for Bobbi wasn’t always easy. The pressure of the spotlight, the long drug history in the family, and the co-dependent relationship with her husband Nick Gordon, all played a role.

Was there anything anyone could have done to stop her? Were there any signs that lead up to this? We have the potential warning signs of someone at risk and the tips to help them get through it.

The potential warning signs of self-destruction or suicide:

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or have no reason to live.
  • Discusses feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Feels like a burden to others.
  • Increase use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Behaves impulsively or reckless (acting abnormally anxious)
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Displays extreme mood swings
  • Begin to give sentimental things away.

It’s important to not only know how to spot these warning signs, you need to know what to do once you have. These tips will give you a good grasp on what someone needs and what role you need to play if there are contemplating self-harm of any kind.

Open the conversation: A lot of times when someone is in a dark place or contemplating suicide, it’s difficult for him or her to seek help. If you notice a loved one’s behavior changing and becoming a concern, ask them what’s going on. It’s imperative you do it with compassion to avoid projecting feelings of shame or guilt onto the person.

Take action on potential danger. We can sometimes dismiss the cues leading up to a suicide because we don’t want to overreact, or we avoid sharing someone’s personal information so we don’t disrespect or offend him or her. But that is a mistake. Suicide is a dangerous and permanent decision a person cannot take back. If you know someone that is a potential threat to his or her self, tell someone. They will thank you later.

Try to understand their situation. One of the most common reasons a person commits suicide is because they feel alone and like a burden. So it’s crucial you try your best not to trivialize their situation and try to understand what they’re going through, even if you can’t relate to it.

Authors: Jada Jackson and Dani James (Intern)

Join the conversation. Leave your respectful and thoughtful comments below. Please share this conversation with others by clicking on the Share button below.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Learning to live with grief

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month| Learning to Live with Grief

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month suddenly upon us, many therapists are reminded of the extreme challenges clients may face when coping with an unexpected diagnosis, dealing with caregiver’s responsibilities or managing the loss of a loved one. Living with grief and loss is a pain that many of our clients battle. Here are a few tips to assist patients and caregivers:

- Give yourself time to mourn/grieve:

It’s never a good decision to 'stuff' any emotion, especially one as tender and fragile as grief. Take time to yourself. Assess the situation and acknowledge how grieving may be vicariously presenting itself through you and how it also might be affecting the way you interact with others. More often then not, we, as emotional beings, allow our emotions to dictate our actions and while we are consciously aware of the connection to our emotions, we are not bound by them.

- Don't Grieve Alone

Whether its the support of a loved one or not, certain battles require back-up and that's okay! Grieving with someone who's also in a state of mourning, allows both the opportunity to support one another through the hardships, because let's face it sometimes we really just want to be understood. In the end, both parties agree to let go of all that's weighing them down and to focus on the moments to come.

- Realize you're no longer responsible for the event that occurred and take responsibility for what happens to you.

No matter how much you'd like to control the weather on your day off or the traffic on your way to work, certain things are out of your control and the quicker you acknowledge this reality, the easier your road to Letting Go will be. Come to terms with the fact that what occurred, no matter how severe, occurred and to live in the past would be counterproductive to your goals in life. It's been said that 'the only way to the top [Mt. Everest] is one step at a time'.

- Eliminate negative thinking/ "stinky thinking"

Clogging up your head with stinky thinking will lead to a stinky lifestyle, at least, that's what my Cognitive Psychology professor used to say. Believe it or not, how you perceive life (yourself, those around you, the environment you're in) plays a huge role in just how satisfied you are living it. Studies show, that those with a more pessimistic outlook on life are generally less happy than those with a more optimistic view. In other words, stop thinking about what could go wrong and focus on what can go right! It's time to take the reigns and steer yourself out of the darkness and into a new brighter day!

- Learn a Skill (Find a hobby)

Channel your energy to something positive, something healthy and something productive. Always wanted to learn an instrument? Pick one up and sign up for lessons! Old canvas looking oddly tempting? Grab some brushes and some paint and have at it! Whatever your interest, take some time to focus on it and allow it to serve as an outlet to your worrying brain. After flooding your limbic system with anxiety and stress, you owe it to your brain to indulge itself in the elevated levels of a neurotransmitter known as, dopamine. Not only that, but you owe it to yourself as well and you'll see that not only did all that hard work pay off in a newly acquired skill, but a refreshed and uncluttered mind, as well. 

- Setting new goals reforms your mind to focus on a token in the relatively near future

Set your sails to the northstar and don’t stop until you hit land! Talk about your long-term goal. Although you've come to terms with the preceding events and how they've affected you, you might need some help as to what to do next. Setting achievable goals for yourself, whether short or long-term, redirects your brain to focusing on tomorrow and the next day and every day after that until the completion of your goal(s). Not only will this serve as reinforcement to your state of mind, it provides a productive and realistic alternative to the grieving process.

 

"It isn't what happens to us that causes us to suffer its what we say to ourselves about what happens." - Pema Chodron


Emotional Mojo Talk Show QUICK Recap: TIPS for Living with Grief

Understand the following:

1)             Grief is PERSONAL (no one grieves the same way)

2)             Stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance)

3)             Honor your EMOTIONS (do not judge yourself)

4)             Memorialize your relationship with your loved one

5)             Take your time to heal

Tips for Dating Again

1)             Make sure you’re dating for the right reason

2)             Feeling guilty is normal, let it go gradually

3)             Share your story, but be careful not to overdo it

4)             Do not use your new partner as a therapist

5)             Take it slow

One thing to do today: Make an intentional choice to enjoy life and date when you are ready.


Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,

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


Authors: Jada Jackson and Ricardo Mogo, Intern

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Coping with Grief and Depression- Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

Hot, sexy and crazy? Is Aaron Hernandez going crazy behind bars? Well, the former New England Patriot may never play football again because his mental health challenges and substance use has landed him in big trouble. Hernandez became a member of the elite NFL fraternity when he signed a 5-year, $40 million dollar contract with the Patriots. With fame, fortune and opportunity, how does a talented young athlete become a murder suspect? Well, Hernandez has blamed his behavioral and mental health challenges on the loss of his father. Whether his father’s death was the reason for his hot temper or series of negative events in his life, one thing is clear and that is Hernandez needs help.

Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd, who was also considered a friend. After the arrest, a series of unsolved murders came to the attention of authorities and suggested Hernandez may have even been involved with them. And while Hernandez sits in prison awaiting his trial, he released letters that are most disturbing saying,

“I’m on the block here lovin’ it. I got my own cell too... I’m out all day only lock in 4 hours a day… So we be ballin’. You know, my realest ‘G’ I ever effed with, I'm still effin with - Harry Potter!”

Ok, so, Hernandez appears to have “reframed” his arrest beautifully by learning how to “ball” in prison. It’s clear that he has adapted to his environment, but it still does not explain how a young emerging football star could throw his future away during the prime of his career. What went wrong?


A series of violent acts and events have followed Hernandez for many years. Some believed the Patriots took a chance by committing to a player with a tumultuous and violent history. And like Hernandez, there are many people that struggle with depression as a result of the loss of a parent, substance abuse and mental health challenges; and here are a few ways to help your loved one:

Symptoms of depression

·      Loss of interest in things: work, school, activities, sex, hobbies

·      Unusually sad, moody and irritable

·      Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness

·      Somatic symptoms: headaches, stomach aches, etc

·      Fatigued and increased or decreased sleep

·      Isolates from family and friends

·      Emotional eating; weight gain or loss

·      Increased substance use or abuse

What to do:

·      Be aware of the symptoms

·      Research treatment options and gather resources

·      Extend support to your loved one

·      Do not judge or become critical

·      Ask questions without condemnation

·      Hospitalize if loved one is suicidal

Depression may be triggered by a number of different causes and only a mental health professional can clinically diagnose the symptoms. If you or a love one are facing the challenges of depression, grief, or substance abuse please contact a counseling professional today.


Sincerely Be-You-Tiful,

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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