Maria Connolly, LPC

Tag: Balance

Balance requires that you prioritizing what’s important to you – career, health, pleasure, love, family, spirituality, physical environment, and personal development.

Be Patient with Yourself by Mindfully Observing Without Judgment

As the crisis continues, be patient with yourself. Even if you feel like you can’t do anything, you can strengthen your patience  and come out of this a stronger person. “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, our patience may begin to run thin. Since we know this, it will be helpful to review how you can become more lovingly patient with yourself.

While you may plan to use the stay-at-home order to feverishly clean your home, write a book, or work on increasing your mastery of a new skill, you might find yourself feeling too down to do so. And that might lead you to feeling worthless or unproductive.

Now is not the time to put such undue pressure on yourself. The stress and worry of trying to make sense of these unpredictable times, is hard on us, whether we admit it or not. It can’t help but change us, as it changes the very world around us.

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How to Deal with Grief By Restoring Balance in Your Body and Emotions

We need to know how to deal with grief for it’s a painful, yet healthy, part of life. If we let grief do its job, we will learn from it and then let it go. “There is no grief like the grief that does not speak.” ~ Henry Wordsworth

The world has been dealing with grief, even before we were struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. But consuming a steady diet of the negative is not a healthy way to deal with grief. It will have a detrimental affect on our health — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. That’s why many people choose to limit their exposure to bad news and intentionally calm their minds.

However, we can’t ignore the impact this pandemic has had on our lives. We are forced to address how to deal with grief, because it’s affecting each of us. Besides losing loved ones to coronavirus, we’re grieving our lack of freedom, our old normal and being able to connect with friends and family. We thrive on touch, so we’re grieving our lack of social interactions. We’re grieving that our peace, comfort, and happiness could be taken from us as we lose a job we love and an income we rely on.

Grief is a healthy human emotion that we need to make peace with so it can do its job and then let us go on living fully despite our loss. Not that we will forget, but it will release its hold on us so that we’re not stuck in time.

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Tony Robbin’s Emotional Triad: How to Visualize and Achieve Emotion Control

A woman visualizing Tony Robbin’s Emotional Triad so she can achieve emotion control
Emotional Triad

Do you remember that time when you “got up from the wrong side of bed” and the bad mood persisted all day long? You felt like you should go back to bed and stay there, right? And then there are other days where good things just keep rolling in, like you’re a magnet for all the good in the Universe. Why can two days be so different? You’re the same person, aren’t you? Actually, you’re not.

Every day we put ourselves in a different emotional and mental state. For example, you go to bed fired up about tomorrow’s project, so you wake early, eager to jump out of bed. If, on the other hand, you go to bed worn out, grumpy, and anxious, the chances are the next day isn’t going to go so well.

What you do and how you feel is determined by the state you’re in. Your emotions and attitudes control everything in your life — your mood, your decisions, your actions. So the big question is: if you start the day in a negative state, how do you switch over to a positive state?

I love the Emotional Triad that Tony Robbins came up with. It helps us visualize how to become grounded and achieve our center. The idea is to try to keep the three sides of your Emotional Triangle in balance. The good news is that we can learn to mindfully change and manage each pattern or behavior that throws us off balance.

What is the Emotional Triad? Visualize a triangle that has these three sides printed on it…

Emotional Triad Side 1: What are you doing with your body? Tony names this side “Physiology.”

We are somatic creatures – our emotions affect our bodies and vice versa. If you improve your posture, you’ll experience a feeling of confidence and alertness. If you slump, your mood will slump. Try it right now. Stand up straight and breathe deeply. Reach your arm in an upwardly sweeping motion. Smile. Dance in place. Observe how this body movement changes your emotions. This knowledge is powerful!

Emotional Triad Side 2: What are you focusing on or believing? Tony names this side “Focus.”

As Tony Robbins says, “Where focus goes, energy flows.” Focus on the positive and set your intention on what’s important to you. Don’t let your mind wonder to the “what if,” or the “I can’t,” or the “I’m not.” Visualize the powerful and competent person you are and want to be. By setting your focus on the positive, your mental and emotional state will shift.

Emotional Triad Side 3: What are you saying to yourself? Tony names this side “Language.”

Name calling, second guessing, doubting, criticizing, blaming – these do not build good relationships with other people, so why would you talk to yourself that way and destroy your relationship with yourself?  Cultivate greater awareness of the words and tone you use when you engage in self-talk. Do you see patterns of self-hatred or self-abuse? Then switch out that word, phrase or tone to one that shows self-compassion and self-love.

Get into the habit of mindfully assessing your Emotional Triad and change what isn’t promoting the positive emotional and mental state you desire. If one side of your Emotional Triad isn’t as strong as you want it to be, I’d love to work with you to strengthen it!  Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

Getting Through Hard Times and Coming Out Stronger

While getting through hard times can be very painful, there is one very important quality – hope - that will determine if you come out stronger in the end. “To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”—Gail Sheehy

“If just one more thing goes wrong, it’s going to send me over the edge! I’m at my breaking point! I can’t take anymore! I’m too discouraged and overwhelmed as it is.” Have you ever felt like that? If you struggle with maintaining an optimistic attitude, your coping mechanism may be to shut down. You’re not alone. Yet, you are lacking the one key ingredient that will make getting through hard times more rewarding.  

How can getting through hard times be rewarding?

Even though our lives are packed full of demands, we can face all of these, plus the uncertainties that loom on the horizon with optimism and courage, IF we tap into the inextinguishable power of hope.

Yes, there will be pain. However, optimism fuels hope, and hope fuels resiliency, which can see you through seemingly impossible situations. Looking past the challenge and shifting your focus to better times ahead, can change everything. As William J. Brennan, Jr., Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said:

“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”

When we accept the struggles and challenges of life as part of our education, then we’ll be able to get through the tough times more gracefully. Here are five ways you can mindfully practice hope during hard times…

1. Take care of your health. Our bodies and spirit run on the fuel we give it. Eating healthfully and getting a good night’s sleep can often restore your balance and give you a new and hopeful perspective. Also, be careful about what you’re feeding your mind and spirit. Reject negative talk, whether it’s coming from yourself or others. You deserve better than that!

2. Share your feelings. Recognize the emotional states that are keeping you trapped in despair; they might be pride, fear, or shame. These are common emotional triggers. Hope reassures you that your trusted loved ones will not reject you for being human.

3. Express gratitude. This goes beyond the mental exercise of keeping a gratitude journal to get your mind focused on what you do have. It’s an activity – out of your gratitude list, look for ways to build others up with “thank yous” and compliments. The more positive messages you send out, the more positivity comes back to you.

4. Give meaningfully to others. This can be as simple as taking your dog for a long walk every day in the park, so you can smile at everyone you encounter. The size of your goal doesn’t matter, as long as it feeds your sense of purpose and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

4. Take one step at a time. Hope, like an actual building, is built one brick at a time. Seeing the big picture can often overwhelm, so focus on the one thing you can do right now…and do it!

You’re tougher than you think. People have always survived; and some have even thrived, while getting through hard times. Why not ask those around you what inspires them to keep going? Also read or watch true life stories of courage that inspire you. I’d love to hear about the people who inspire you – please come over to my Facebook page and share what you’ve learned from their stories.

Remember that baby steps lead to transformation. If you’d like guidance and accountability in your quest for a more hopeful state, please contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). It’s easier when you have help.

Celebrate the Unique Person You Are and Stop Being a People Pleaser

When you start from a grounded, well-balanced sense of self and others, it isn’t difficult to stand up for yourself and celebrate the unique person you are. Imbalance, or people pleasing, comes when you care too much, at the expense of what you hold dear. But you can recover and embrace the unique you.“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.” ~ Jim Carrey

It’s normal to want to be loved, to fit in, and to be accepted. We care what other’s think. That’s why we all do the dance of give and take – we’re trying to find our place in our family, the workplace, our community and the world. And if you start from a grounded, well-balanced sense of self and others, it isn’t so difficult to stand up for yourself, celebrate the unique person you are, and be your own woman.

The imbalance comes when we care too much, at the expense of what we hold dear. This leads to being a people pleaser, which is something that women especially struggle with.

Have you noticed how fear of rejection or conflict makes you shrink back from letting others see who you really are? You might mistakenly think that if you never make waves, if you agree with everything, if you always change your plans to accommodate others, if you always say “yes” even when your gut is screaming “NO!” then you’ll be loved instead of rejected.

This kind of desperation for love and approval ultimately hides the unique person that you are. It’s unrealistic, exhausting, and can irreparably damage your health. It can’t work, because you won’t love yourself. And when you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. And when you’re so intent on getting love rather than showing love, your desperation repels the very people you want to please.

The good news is that you can regain your balance and learn to love yourself as you are and be strong enough to speak your own truth at all times. Does that sound out of reach for you? Let me assure you, it isn’t. You can celebrate the unique person you are now and fully embrace the person you want to become in the future.

How to reclaim the real you…

First off, it’s vital to identify the factors that have thrown you off balance. This involves digging into the past. That takes courage and willingness to be vulnerable. But you don’t have to put on a brave face any more. Mindfully peel back the layers, like peeling an onion. Yes, there will be tears, but think of the end results – you’ll discover the perfect sauce for a joyful life.

Most often the root of the problem can be traced to things that trigger your guilt and shame. These self-destructive emotions feed on your worries, insecurities and fears. They tell you that you’re not good enough…that you don’t deserve good things. Everyone else deserves it, but not you.

Guilt and shame have three major lies you might be buying into:

Lie #1 – It’s selfish to put yourself first. That’s a lie because you won’t have the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual strength to care for someone else, if you haven’t taken care of your own needs first. You will never have the confidence and belief in yourself to help others. Self-love is an essential step to being the truly amazing person you’re meant to be. Accept that you are a unique person with talents and opinions the world needs.

Lie #2 – You’re stupid and ungrateful to turn down any opportunity. That’s a lie because you simply can’t do everything that comes your way. There isn’t enough time in the day or energy in your body. We all have to make choices and that means saying “no” to something, so you can say “yes” to something more important. Remember, you’re allowing someone else, who would really enjoy the opportunity, to step up. So embrace the fact that it’s a kindness to say “no.”

Lie # 3 – You’re going to cause a scene, create conflict, and hurt someone if you say “no.” That’s a lie because you are not responsible for how others react. Oftentimes we blow things out of proportion and envision the worse case scenario. In reality, the other person usually shrugs, says “okay” and moves on. It’s not that big of a deal. If they cause a scene or conflict, that’s on them. It’s not you. It’s them.

It’s time to stand up for yourself, stop being a people pleaser, and celebrate the unique person you are now and who you’ll become in the future.

  • Make time for what’s important to you.
  • Think about a request before answering.
  • When you say ‘no’, do it confidently because that’s how you really feel.
  • Don’t take responsibility for the other person’s reaction.
  • Don’t relive your decision or stress about it for hours afterwards. 
  • Don’t look for hidden meanings or attach significance that isn’t there.

Your worth does not hinge on acquiescing. Do you believe that? No matter what you decide, you have no reason to feel guilt or shame. You are worthy of your place on this planet. You are an amazing human being, a unique person with gifts and talents that contribute to making this world a better place.

In today’s busy world, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes you a unique person. I’m here to help you gain more clarity. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). 


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Professional Certified Coach by International Coach Federation