Scapegoating in Dysfunctional Families
If you were the scapegoat in your dysfunctional family, this article by Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC titled “The Blameless Burden: Scapegoating in Dysfunctional Families” may be an incredibly powerful read for you. Oh, and CONGRATS! It likely means you were put in that role because you are the strongest and healthiest!
Megan Returns to Fortyish Podcast for a Third Time to Promote New Book, Don’t Go To Sleep
I know I’m in for a good time when Stephanie White and Dan Vonderheide invite me to be a guest on their podcast, Fortyish. For Episode 93, they wanted me to come on to talk about my new book, Don’t Go To Sleep. Click HERE to listen!
Don’t Go To Sleep is a silly and fun bedtime book to help children (and their grown-ups) get relaxed and calm at bedtime. Essentially it’s a guided meditation that parents read to their kiddos that actually may be just as beneficial for the parent as it is for their kiddo. It is a method I developed and used with my own daughter when she was 4 years old. We had always struggled at bedtime to get her to relax and calm at bedtime. For years she would flip and flop for a good hour or more and want me to stay with her until she fell asleep. Not knowing exactly what was going on, I tried all kinds of ways to help her. A few things we tried with limited success: a bedtime routine, limited screen time close to bedtime, aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies, flower essence, chiropractics, and craniosacral massage.
Finally, I decided to put to use some techniques I was using with adults in my practice at Louisville Mindfulness Center. I helped her get out of her head and more into her body. I utilized her senses to get her focused and keep her mind occupied so she wasn’t preoccupied with a fear of the dark, monsters, or being left alone. What I noticed as my method developed more fully was that not only was she responding to it well, but I was much more relaxed at bedtime. In fact, I now would look forward to tucking her in since I knew she’d be asleep in five or so minutes. It was incredible!
Eventually I thought, “If this can work this well for us, I wonder if it can work for others?” So I gave it a shot. I started writing the method down how I thought it could be most helpful for others. It went through several revisions after trusted feedback. One suggestion was to make sure it had pictures. My husband and I had a good friend whose drawings I had always admired so I asked him if he’d contribute a few drawings to the book. The illustrator, Erik Schullstrom, is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and now spends his time scouting players for the Hiroshima Carp.
Overall, I’m thrilled with how the book turned out. Don’t Go To Sleep is available on Amazon! Check it out for yourself, or send it to someone who could use it!
Welcome New Therapist Chris Davis, LMFT!
Like I said a few posts ago… Louisville Mindfulness Center is E X P A N D I N G!!
Chris, Megan & Margaret
Margaret and I are excited to have Chris Davis joining our team. Chris has been a therapist for several years and is super-interesting! He’s had a few careers before becoming a therapist so he has lots of life experience (which we love!!). You can read more about him HERE.
Chris and Margaret will be taking the bulk of new clients as I (Megan) focus on some new endeavors. Clients will be in excellent hands! I would not trust just anyone to work in my practice. I hand-pick all the therapists who work in my practice because they are excellent at what they do. We are committed to providing excellent services at Louisville Mindfulness Center.
I’m so excited! This book is a bedtime book for parents and children to get relaxed and calm at bedtime. It’s essentially a guided meditation I developed for my 4 year-old daughter after years of struggling with bedtime. After a week of using this with my daughter, bedtime at our house was much smoother and my daughter went to sleep quickly and easily. Not only that, but I realized that I calmed down and was more patient and lovey with her. It helped us both!
If bedtime is a struggle at your house, or your child fights going to sleep, or you have tried multiple methods for good sleep hygiene and nothing seems to work, then this is the book for you! Go ahead, give it a try! Let me know how it goes!
What do you do when two important people in your life don’t get along? While it could me your mom and your husband, your roommate and your boyfriend, or your husband and your closest co-worker, Martha Stewart Weddings wanted to know what is a bride to do when her best friend (and maid of honor) and her fiance don’t get along. Oooooo, that’s a good one! I was all too thrilled to give a very insightful and tried and true answer. Click here to read the full article!
Not only have we moved to a new, beautifully-renovated office suite, but we are looking for more therapists to come join us!
Do you have what it takes to be a part of our team? Send me your resume and cover letter and we’ll find out!
The title of this book caught my attention recently while I was at the airport. Working with many people who have anxiety or feel stressed out I thought it could be an interesting read. I like things that make us question the status quo and may be a bit provocative. The subtitle drove home my decision to purchase it: “A counterintuitive approach to living a good life.” Even cooler!
I was curious about the author and what his credentials are so I looked on the back cover and discovered he was a well followed blogger. Hmmm… Not your typical (potentially dry) self-help PhD? Not surprising with a title like this. My graduate studies had taught me to be leary about non-scientific based information, but I’m an out-of-the-box thinker, so I’m usually willing to let things speak for themself. As I read I realized Manson has no specific education or credential as a therapist or in the mental health field. What he does have is his own personal experiences, which he shares freely in the book (which is different than most PhD, self-help authors!). He’s likeable and seemingly very open, which is a plus for me. Essentially what I found is a very direct and easy-to-understand and assimilate way to communicate mindfulness (without really talking about mindfulness!). Even cooler!
I have many clients who are not “readers” and I’m always on the lookout for books that may be interesting to the uninterested reader. This book fit the profile. I have recommended it to several people and they *loved* the title and were willing to give it a whirl upon my recommendation.
A few of the premises in the book that caught my attention:
- We can never really avoid being in pain and discomfort (he uses the word suffering), so choose what you want to be in discomfort about.
- Choose what you want to give a f*ck about rather than giving a f*ck about everything.
- Your emotions are there for a very good reason – to give you feedback, to get your attention. So PAY ATTENTION to them!
- Make sure you are aligning with your values and priorities. Are the people you surround yourself with people you strive to be like? Are the decisions you are making assisting you in being the best version of yourself?
- Failure is to be expected! Welcome it. Learn from it! Perfectionism can keep us from living in reality… I mean really, at what point is “perfection” achieved?! Or are you always telling yourself you’re STILL not good enough.
- It’s ok to say “No.” Again, choosing what you do and don’t want to participate in establishes appropriate boundaries.
I found it to be a very enjoyable, humorous, and entertaining read and am glad I read it.
Intrigued?! Give it a whirl for yourself!
Trusting the Process and Trusting Your Heart
Trust is not easy.
When we are “trusting” something or someone, it assumes there is some uncertainty
and we’re “having faith” or trusting something positive will happen.
And typically, we don’t always love to feel uncertainty.
However, most of life is fairly uncertain. We think we know what’s going to happen but then we say,
“Or I could get hit by a bus tomorrow!”
However, do we really think we’ll get hit by a bus? No.
What this shows us is that even in the uncertainty and the possibility of getting hit by a bus,
we TRUST that we likely won’t get hit by the bus and therefore are fairly calm with the uncertainty of what will happen tomorrow.
What is really happening psychologically when we do this is sending ourselves a subconscious message
that we actually think good things are most likely to happen (we’ll be alive tomorrow)
more so than the negative will happen (getting hit by the bus),
I love, love, love “The Law of Detachment” chapter in Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. He writes,
“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…
in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past,
from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning.
And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities,
we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”
How poetic and reassuring; compassionate and wise. Calming even.
I wonder if you noticed how it spoke to your head or your heart, your thinking brain or your feeling brain, or both.
Or maybe you even felt the two, the thinking brain and the feeling brain, connect with each other in a way that left you feeling calm or some other positive emotion.
If not, give it another read and see what happens. Maybe something even more profound might happen.
If not, no worries. Maybe you’ll notice something come to you in a few days, a week, or even a month from now.
May we all be willing to step into the unknown; to allow ourselves the opportunity to see all the possibilities the universe has to offer.
Setting New Year Resolutions, Intentions and Goals: Your Wording Matters!
As a therapist I am constantly aware of the words we use with ourselves and others. Wanting to accomplish goals leaves you “wanting” to accomplish them, not necessarily getting them done.
When we use present-tense and the phrase “I am” ( or “I love”) it sends the message to our subconscious that THIS is what is happening right now and we start seeing it show up. “This is” who we are and our subconscious starts to feed and nurture it.
When setting your goals and intentions for 2018 use phrases like:
“I am wildly successful at my job.”
“I love my job.”
“I have all the money I need to feel secure.”
“I love the way I feel in my body.”
Remember, even if you aren’t feeling that way just yet, when your subconscious hears you speaking and thinking that way, it starts to get on board. You start to feel the way you want to feel and start seeing the results you “want” to see. Give it a try! What do you have to lose?