What a treat to speak and sing for you this morning!
CLICK HERE Â for tonight’s workshopÂ handout packet! You will be asked to input your email address & name to access the handouts.Â Â For more tips on saying “no”Â tune in next Tuesday to KSL TV’s Studio 5 fromÂ 11-noon for my segment called “Find the voice to say NO”.Â
Here are the names of songs that I performedÂ & link to iTunes.Â God’s Signature (to be released on “Best Of” album April 20) Make Enough of MeÂ (iTunes)Â Â Â
To contact me directly with questions or comments click here.Â I’d love to hear whatÂ you found wereÂ the most helpfulÂ ideasÂ we discussed this morning.Â Feel free to leaveÂ comments about the the workshop in the comment form below (the comment form Â requires name and your email address to comment but your email address will not be included in the post.Â )
The topic of forgiveness has cropping up frequently in many conversations this week: women’s workshops, individual or couple therapy sessions, and casual conversations. What is forgiveness anyway? At first, forgiveness seems like a simple and straightforward concept. But on second thought, it is not easy to understand, and it’s even harder to practice. We are all in the same boat: we will all offend and be offended during this life and will struggle to seek and offer forgiveness.
Forgiveness is an evolving concept. As a child it meant that when a friend apologized and said, “sorry for taking your toy” that I should continue to play with them. During adolescence, forgiveness meant being nice and pretending that I wasn’t resentful, angry, or hurt. At this point in my life I find the most helpful definition of forgiveness is to give up resentment or to cease to feel resentment (thank you Websters). I love this definition because it helps clarify 2 stages of the forgiveness process:
1) feeling resentment
2) ceasing to feel resentment
It’s tempting to try and skip the first step – “the feeling part” – and jump to the “cease to feel” step. A lot of the forgiveness work that I help clients with in therapy is allowing the FEELINGS to be experienced. You can’t give up something that you don’t have.
Common Questions on Forgiveness
Does forgiveness always involve forgetting?
No. I can’t think of one instance of deep hurt in my own life where I have forgotten the event. Forgiveness is about letting go of the emotional charge of the event, not the memory of it.
Does forgiving someone mean that you have to continue a relationship with the person you have forgiven?
No. It is possible to cease to feel resentment toward another and still choose to not have a relationship with him or her for various reasons ranging from personal preference to protecting self or family from serious harm.
Does forgiving a person eliminate the impact of their offense?
No. In the case of childhood abuse, I have often heard families throughout my years of therapy practice use the concept of forgiveness to silence the abused family member and prevent them from expressing the negative emotions about the impact of their abuse. “He’s been forgiven. Why do you have to keep bringing it up? It was so long ago. Forgiveness does not eliminate the long term consequences of abuse for the victim.
Forgiveness is a Personal Process
My own experiences with forgiveness has taught me that to forgive is usually a process rather than an event, that it is a process of working through hurt and pain, and that it is ultimately a gift to ourselves. It is the gift of emotional and spiritual freedom by no longer allowing someone’s behavior, words, or attitudes to smother our growth. I’ve heard it said that lack of forgiveness and holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.
The following lyrics were born out of my wrestle with the forgiveness process
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!”
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!