Pick up the latest issue of Wasatch Woman Magazine for my relationship article “New Year’s Resolutions: Try a “Ta Da” List”
Itâ€™s that time of year. The time when â€œTo Doâ€ lists get pulled out and we add to them our resolutions for the New Year. Too frequently though, by February 1, our list of good intentions has been relegated to the junk drawer due to failed attempts and weâ€™re left feeling down on ourselves or worse yetâ€”guilty for what we didn’t do. But, what if the answer to avoiding the guilt was to simplify and not make a â€œTo Doâ€ list?
Youâ€™re probably asking yourself, â€œHow can you reach a New Yearâ€™s resolution if you donâ€™t write it down? Isnâ€™t that the first rule of goal setting?â€ Well donâ€™t panic. Writing down things to do and ways to improve can be a helpful tool in becoming who you want to be. But the trouble with “To Do” lists is not that we use them, it’s how we use them.
Let me know what you think! What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
(I’m reposting this one because I FINALLY go the video clip added)
Studio 5 Contributor and Self & Family Expert Julie Hanks, LCSW shares ways to continue your personal growth and rediscover your passion without leaving your life to travel the world.
Eat, Pray, Love…at Home
Taking a year out of your life and traveling the world to rediscover yourself, like Elizabeth Gilbert in her best-selling memoir turned blockbuster movie Eat Pray Love, is hardly realistic for me and for most women I know. Yet, there is something about Liz’s quest to reconnect with herself and to rediscover her passion for life that resonates with millions of moviegoers. I believe its possible to continue the journey of personal development while remaining committed to family relationships, and without traveling to exotic destinations.
Tips to Eat Pray Love…at Home:
1-Venture out of your comfort zone
Liz: â€œI used to have this appetite for life and itâ€™s just gone!â€ â€œI want to go someplace where I can marvel at something!â€ (Eat Love Pray, 2010).
If you feel numb, shut down, or on emotional “autopilot” try stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new, uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Try a new restaurant or a new sport. Extend yourself to someone outside of your circle of friends. If you like to read fiction, read non-fiction. You don’t have to travel to an exotic destination to get a new perspective on life.
From a man’s perspective…Steven Kapp Perry, radio host & father of 4 got out of his comfort zone by “climbing King’s Peak with my boys (twice) and I’m afraid of heights. I could go on. I think everything good about my life has come from venturing out of whatever my comfort zone used to be. It’s a lot bigger place these days.”
2-Savor your senses
Liz: â€œIâ€™m having a relationship with my pizzaâ€. This is my no Carb left behind experiment.â€ (Eat Love Pray, 2010).
Are you trapped in a routine of checking off tasks and making schedules? If so, try tuning into your senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. The ability to savor your own experience, no matter how small, adds dimension and increases positive feelings of pleasure. Focus on how it feels to be in your body, the wonderful smell of your favorite pizza, the warm touch of a friend’s hand on your shoulder, the beautiful sunset…
In my psychotherapy practice with women, many clients express that they have lost the enjoyment in physical intimacy. I think this is in part because they have become so good at tuning into their loved ones needs and emotions that it becomes difficult to â€œswitch gearsâ€ and focus on their own senses; a requirement for fulfilling sexual experiences.
Liz: â€œOk, Simply empty your mind. Youâ€™re going to sit here for an hour of your life and youâ€™re not moving, why is this so hard…â€ (Eat Love Pray, 2010) .
Focus attention solely on the present moment and acknowledge your thoughts and emotions without judgment. Take a few minutes each day to quiet your mind and see what comes up. Relaxation, meditation, yoga, prayer, and many other spiritual practices provide health and mental health benefits, and have even been shown to improve your relationships.
Jennie M., wife and mother of three boys advises: “Take time to focus on things that matter most to us and try to have a good balance. For me it is running. My husband supports me and watches our 3 boys while I go run 30 – 60 minutes. It’s my time to get out think, pray, re-focus, and have time to myself.”
4-Listen to your inner voice
Liz: â€œI need to change. Since I was fifteen Iâ€™ve either been with a guy or breaking up with a guyâ€Â (Eat Love Pray, 2010).
It’s easy to let the voices, needs, opinions, and expectations of others drown out your own voice, just as Liz experienced in Eat Pray Love. If your gut says you need a break, or need more time with friends, or need to rest, listen and ask for your needs to be met. Longings, dreams, thoughts and feelings are clues to what you need in order to continue your personal growth.
Jennie G., wife and stay-at-home mother of five says: “Learn to trust that inner voice. If it tells you that you really need a night out with a friend, do it! If you need to start a new book, buy one. If you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, go serve someone else. If you want to learn something new, sign up for a class. I think each of us know what we need, we’re just too scared or not used to listening to that inner voice that will guide you to exactly what it is you need. The trick is to listen, and know that you are worth listening to!”
Three years ago my dad, Lex de Azevedo, gave his daughters 3 arrangments of favorite Christmas songs inf 5 part harmony for us. Here’s “Jingle Bells” sung at a recent holiday party. HERE . From left to right: Lex (on piano) Rebecca, Rachel, Carrie, Emilie, me.
Women often complain about their husband’s lack of help or enthusiasm for the holiday preparations. Husband’s are often puzzled about why wives get so stressed out about shopping, decorating, and baking. Here’s why women get stressed and solutions to get your man to help with the festivities.
1-Women feel responsible for the “intangibles” of family life (e.g. maintaining relationships, fulfilling family expectations, setting mood & tone, giving meaning to family traditions, a sense that they are adding value)
Get your man to help by…Sharing what your holiday traditions mean to you. (“It’s important to me to keep in touch with friends and family through sending yearly Christmas cards.” “Baking cookies reminds me of holidays with my grandmother and helps me feel connected to her.”)
Â 2-Women want to fulfill their own & other’s expectations
Get your man to help byâ€¦ listening to your husband’s feedback that challenges your assumptions about the way things “should be”. Allow your spouse to help you find more realistic expectations. (“Maybe we don’t need to send out Christmas cards every year. Maybe every other year would be fine.” “Do we really have to make homemade gifts for the entire neighborhood?”)
3-Women feel like they should be able to “do it all” & have difficulty asking for help
Get your man to help byâ€¦ Ask for help directly, specifically, & with a time frame. ( “Will you help put labels on the Christmas cards by the end of the weekend?” “Will you be in charge of buying gifts for Brooke & Darin this year?” )
I slept in this morning without interruption. I got ready for the day without interruption. These are rare occurances since becoming a mother 19 years ago. I’m not sure who thought that Dec. would be a great time to have a conference. That person must not be a mother. Can you think of any time of the year more packed with programs, parties, projects than December? It’s the WORST time of the year for a mother of 4 to go M.I.A. and head off to CA for an 8 day therapy conference. Or is it? Maybe it WAS a mom who chose this date at this time of year! The relief I felt excitement and relief as I addressed the last Christmas card, packed my stuff (only my stuff & not several other bags), and headed with a colleague to the airport.
Now my dillemna is whether I will go to every possible workshop with 70000 other people and soak in all the knoweldge and inspiration from psychology gurus from across the globe or should I take time this week to relax, relish silence, nap, and be…alone? I’m sure I’ll find somewhere in the middle.
Thanks to the wonderful women of Sandy Cresent Wards who attended the Wednesday’sÂ “Preventing Emotional Burnout” workshop. It’s the perfect time of year to remember to be kinder to yourself, remember that every family is “messed up”, and what God wants is “a perfect heart”.Â You galsÂ made me giggle more than any other group with your Diet Coke and Chocolate comments! I love presenting this workshop because it reminds me that I am not alone. Thank you.
I’ve had some requests about the songs I performed as part of the workshop:
God’s Signature (new song to be release on Julie de Azevedo Best Of cd coming out Spring 2010)
Make Enough of Me (from my CD Home) & is available for download on iTunes. Here’s a link to the Music Video of Make Enough of Me (Requires Quicktime).
Several of you came up and asked about my counseling clinic and services in SLC. Here’s more info about Wasatch Family Therapy. To find out where I’m doing another “Preventing Emotional Burnout” Workshop or other events, classes, firesdiesÂ click here.
Oh, and the dessert bar was heavenly. My family thanks you for the silver platter of goodies!
I am all for spouses taking separate vacations, as long as they don’t replace couple’sÂ vacations! I am holding down the fort this weekend while my husband is tearing it up in So. UT, getting scraped & bruised & banged up, motorcycle riding with the “boys”. A few days without hubby’s not bad and it makes me appreciate him more.Â Â
It seems like the kids don’t sleep as soundly when he’s not here.Â Both of ourÂ “littles” got up a few times last night and crawled into bed with me. Maybe they feel a little less secure at night when he’s not home.Â Maybe that’s why I stay up late and sleep less soundly, and feel a little more weight on my shoulders for the welfare of my family. Though family is top priority, friends are the family you choose and even adults need playtime with friends!
Ok, first official post on my new website. Thanks for connecting with me.Â I’ve had so many different websites: music, therapy, TV segments, etc. that I wanted to bring everything together in one place.Â So, while this site is aÂ work in progress, I’m thrilled that you’re here.