You know that compassion and love you give others? It’s time to give it to yourself, as well. ♥️

Self-love plays an important role in our mental health. It supports our psychological, physical and spiritual growth adding to our own well being and happiness.

Our happiness is not contingent on someone loving us, it is a by product of loving and excepting ourselves. Our self love opens us up to giving and receiving the love we desire. So what does self-love look like and how do we practice it? Positive self care is a good place to start. Even if you practice only a few of the things listed below, you are well ahead of the game.

– Saying “I Love You” to yourself. Expressing it to yourself in the mirror frequently helps

– Treat yourself as you would a loved one or close friend

– Replace inner criticisms with encouragement

– Allowing your humanness, no one is perfect. Thank God!

– Trust yourself

– Be true to yourself

– Value and honor yourself

– Accept yourself as you are; the good, bad and ugly.


– Set healthy boundaries

– Address your conflicts, don’t bury them.

– Forgive yourself

– Listen to your body

– Nurture yourself

– Accept your emotions for what they are. They don’t define you.

– Eat healthy, while allowing some indulgences that are not so healthy.

– Find your spiritual zone; somewhere you can find peace, purpose and connect with your inner being. A place you can go to rest and heal from the stress in your life. This may be with your God, prayer, meditation, nature or just an imaginary safe place you can go to just “be.”

I know saying “just love yourself” may seems ridiculous or you may even feel you already love yourself. Regardless, I challenge you to practice self love throughout the rest of February and watch yourself transform.

The Uncommon Therapist



The Color of Grief

On Monday, I received a phone call that my nephew passed away unexpectedly. It’s one of those phone calls that you are never ever prepared for. As I spoke with family members we grappled with the questions of why, as we often do. As the day came to an end I noticed a heaviness that seemed to drape over me like a blanket. It doesn’t matter how old we are or how many loved ones we’ve lost, the feeling is the same. Exhausted from the heaviness of the news I turned in for the night, hoping that when I awoke it would all be just a dream.

The next morning as I began to go about my day, I couldn’t help but feel like something had shifted in the world around me. That blanket of heaviness was still draped over me. As I looked around it seemed as though the world had gone dim. I looked up in to the sky and at the landscape around me, the bright hues that I seen just a day before, seemed dull, muted and colorless.

Grief is utterly unexplainable. There are no words that can begin to define the experience. Yet the descriptions of how grief feels within seems universally the same.

In our grief we believe that in order to cope we must retreat within and cave to the voices of “I should have done something, it’s my fault, if only, but why?” Although those questions and feelings are a normal part of grief, we also need a continual interweaving of many things to help us heal and overcome our sorrow. As difficult as it may seem we must lean into our sorrow, for turning away from it gives in more power, weakening our ability to cope. We must also give our grief a voice by sharing our thoughts, feelings and happy memories with others. Sharing with one another provides an atmosphere comfort and compassion. We then need rest and solitude to rejuvenate. Throughout this intricate interweaving, we also need to practice self-compassion. The kind of compassion that you would offer a loved one or a friend when they are suffering, we must extend to ourselves. Self-Compassion is a great healer. It allows us to forgive ourselves for what ever part we think we might have played in the loss of our loved one. It is the continual interweaving of all these that help us cope and heal the ache inside.

In time, the blanket of heaviness will become lighter. The colors and bright hues will return. The world around us will not appear as dull and muted.

Remain Awake


“As you journey along your path, whether it be wide or narrow, remain awake.”

There are certainly days in my life where I remain numb with the distractions of life. There are also times when I am remain very awake. So awake that I feel the need to find a mind numbing activity to avoid what I don’t want to see, hear or feel. Numbing can happen purposefully or automatically. I am not talking about using substances as a way of numbing, although that is a very common and real way of numbing. What I am talking about is daily distractions and avoidance. It is easy to get caught up in all this things going on around us or avoid that which we don’t want to feel or deal with. It is also true that our mind and our bodies often protect us from too much pain in life. However, we can’t hide there all of the time. The key is to remain awake enough to pay attention to our journey and where our paths are taking us. We must stay on course until we understand what we have, want and need. If we are not awake enough, our steps veer off our intended destination and we find ourselves lost. We can’t see what is blocking our path. It can be painful to be awake, but in order to unblock our paths we must endure.  We don’t have to do it all at once. We can take baby steps or giant leaps, but we can endure and unblock our paths.

Are you awake? Can you look at the pain enough to unblock your path? It just takes the first step, then the next and the next. Go ahead you can do it!


The Journey Around the Bend

When you think of life’s journey and what is around the bend, do you approach it with fear or with excitement? Our journey is influenced by what we have experienced in the past.  When I was younger there was so much uncertainty and fear about what was ahead.  It wasn’t until I came to terms with my past that I began to approach my journey with excitement. So, you ask, how do you come to terms with your past?  If there were an easy answer we would all be approaching life with excitement.  Coming to terms with our past requires that we begin with opening our minds and our hearts.

Opening our minds means to set aside our beliefs, assumptions and ideas about someone or some situation and be open to other views.  If we set a complex object in the middle of a group of individuals, almost invariably, each will see something different.  When others don’t see things the same as we do it is because they can’t. Their experiences have given them a different view. Our job is to respect their view and not take personally. To honor their view as equally important, not wrong or right, bigger or worse. Once we can achieve this then we can begin to open our minds to new experiences. We can begin to truly hear one another we can resolve conflicts, compromise or just let it go and move forward.

Opening our hearts is yet another level and a much scarier one. In order to open our hearts we must become vulnerable to fear and hurt.  If our experience is one of being shamed, abandoned or attacked then we will be less open to it. However, in the midst of these vulnerabilities is where healing begins. We can not be open to excitement about the future unless we allow our hearts to open, to heal. Years ago I read somewhere that joy and pain go through the same door and if we block the pain, we block the joy. Change travels from the head to the heart. That channel must be open. We must grieve, feel our feelings, and face our inner demons, otherwise true change can not exist and we stay stuck.

In my own journey I too have been challenged to face my past and my inner demons. Once I was able to do so, my inner demons had no more power over my journey. For me, I also needed the support of others and my faith in order to begin,  sustain and endure my journey. Healing took the place. Hope, excitement and joy prevailed.  Step by step, little by little, change occurred.

Don’t let your past stand in the way of the excitement of what lies ahead. You are of value and deserve to enjoy your journey.