How to Handle a Toxic Relationship With Your Parent

If your parents are toxic you might not know it. Why? Well, that is the very nature of their toxicity and the problem. You have grown so accustomed to that toxic behavior that you don’t even identify it as toxic. That, my friend, is not your fault. But when you do become aware of it, you have the power to change that dynamic.

You might struggle to because maybe you feel comfortable or like you don’t really have the power or ability to overcome the behavior. You might decide to keep your relationship the same and just sea with it. Sure, this aim might work at a distance, but even with that not confronting the situation truthfully, can effect your own energy flow and the power you feel in your life.

I wonder what would happen if you took these steps below, and how the picture of how you see and connect with these people would change:

1. Commit to Taking Space Away from the Toxic Person

Take literal space theory physical distance and a conversation freeze. You are just allowing yourself to see what happens. You are allowing new relationships and new boundaries and new connections into your life. You are giving your neurons the space to create new connections and new firings.

2. Express Your Emotions No Matter What They Are

During this space, work to become in touch with your emotions. If you’re feeling completely numb guess at it at first. Allow yourself to feel the smallest thing – and even if you feel nothing, acknowledge you feel nothing because that is something, that is an experience. Feel all that you hold and have the right to hold. It is your god given right. Express that emotion, do what you need to do to get it out and validate it.

3. Engage In New Dynamics

With this pause and some space, also try slowly engaging in some new environments, meeting different types of people and taking in new models of behavior. Watch these dynamics that are going on around you to see the different shades of behavior in people. Acknowledge the different flavors of character and integrity people have.

4. Invest In Yourself

All these things above are investing in yourself, but also more formal habitual patterns are helpful to creating space for yourself. Try talk therapy with a trauma informed lens, use apps like Simple Habit or Headspace that ease you into the mindfulness and meditation practice, or buy a new set of art supplies to go to when you want to just throw paint all over the place and let out your emotions.

5. Ground Yourself in Difficult Situations

With these new tools see if you can use difficult situations as ways to practice your communication with these moments. See if instead of over identifying with these difficult moments you can instead meet them with greater faith that you will be able to use the resources you have to fully experience them, process them, and come out on the other side stronger.

6. Respect Yourself First

Enacting some of this new behavior is challenging and even more so if you are in an environment that is challenging in itself. Try to respect yourself first by setting boundaries and checking in with your own heart first. If these boundaries include not talking to toxic parents, don’t allow others opinions to supersede your experience and well-being.

7. Take One Step at a Time

If you take these steps above, it can be tempting after taking space and grounding yourself to think everything is resolved. I don’t want to undermine that you might have done a lot of really good work, but don’t over rush the transition back to old toxic bonds. You can find yourself re-emerged and hurting again. Instead, take one step at a time to see what you can handle.

If you take a little step and it feels like too much, and you sit with that feeling and it still feels like too much, listen to your body and make the appropriate adjustment that puts the respect for your own well being first.

8. Remind Yourself What You’ve Done

You are reading this. You are making an effort. No, really, you are. I mean, come on, that’s awesome. That means you care. You care enough to do something. You care enough to make a difference. You care enough to search for something more resolved. That is all you. Give yourself credit. Be kind to yourself.

If you lead with love, if you give yourself space and grace, if you breathe and re-connect, I wonder how much power you would be reconnected with in your life.

All the empowerment you need truthfully lives within yourself. It is there. It is waiting for you. It wants you to connect with it and find the power that you have within yourself. You got this.

I hope this helped to fuel you and as always #letstalkaboutit

Coronavirus Needs To Cleanse Us

This is a disaster, right? Yes, right. But also, stop. We have an opportunity here to rise from a disaster to create a new norm.

We can rebuild from this in a way we didn’t now we were needing to rebuild. We can look inside ourselves and learn what we didn’t know we were needing to learn. We can arise out of this in a glorious way we didn’t know we were needing to rise.

We can spend our time in valuable ways that will bring new meaning to our lives after we exit this. We can:

  • Reflect. Take account of our life, of our relationships, of the state of the world, of who we are and how we are and why we are. Evaluate our purpose and how we feel, re-ground in our body and in our intentions.
  • Create New Habits. Take on habits that can create meaning in the here and now for us, but that can also be implemented in our life when we get out of this. For example, we can to a brief five minute meditation everyday or invest in learning an applicable skill that will help us and also perhaps help others. We can learn how to cook healthy dishes or hone that home workout routine.
  • Heal Wounds. Time heals wounds, but wisdom can assist that healing. We can take this time to learn about our self healing journey through accessible books, courses and podcasts online. We can use this time to seek help and to be truthful with where our well-being is at, where we would like it to be and what we can do to get there.
  • Research the Possible. What have you been missing in your life that you have told yourself you can’t have? What have you become passive to and what have you blamed that state of passivity on? Now is the time to invest in new opportunities and research how you can go about achieving what you want. Do a deep dive on the internet or talk to people you wouldn’t have otherwise talked to. Now is the time to research the possible.
  • Pursue New Starts. In the pause we can use excess time on our hands to pursue that which we have put on hold again and again and again. Or, we can use our research to pursue an option we didn’t know was available. This time can spring opportunities that we didn’t even know we had the option to pursue.

This list can be complemented by your own exploration. If we use this time in a meaningful way we can rise out of this disaster stronger, smarter and more resilient.

Please drop me a line with any of your own inventive solutions during this time. How are you investing in yourself and your future? 

Stay safe and prosper.

Speaking Your Feelings to Relative Strangers

You want to be your true authentic self. You fight to be true to you every second of every day, and to those that tell you not to – well, pardon my French, but f**k them. Right?

Okay, sure. I get you. I’ve been there over and over again myself. And yeah, it can feel good to tell someone off like you are some King Kong yourself standing your ground banging your chest. But, after the rise, what is the fall? What do you suffer? Did it really help you?

So when it comes to telling off people you don’t know intimately here are some questions I’d try asking yourself first. When you’ve asked these questions take a step back and re-evaluate them later before deciding to take it to that person.

Questions:

1. What do I achieve from saying this? What do I tangibly get by saying something to them versus going within myself and dealing with what the turmoil is?

2. How well do I know this person and how they might respond? How could the spectrum of possible responses effect me?

3. Who is this person to me? Beyond human nature, is there a reason their response or validation is important to me? Why am I putting so much of my energy on this interchange?

4. Why did this happen? What did it spark in me and why might it have sparked that in me? Might I be reading into the situation?

5. How might I feel about the situation if I focused my energy on something else for just a few hours?

6. Has this happened before? Many times? With other people? Other relative strangers? What happened in those situations? What was the outcome?

If you answer these questions and come to the decision to say something then the next set of questions would be: if I’m going to say it, how am I going to say it? How can I hedge my bets to achieve results versus damage?

If you’ve been in this situation before, let me know. I’d love to hear how you handled it and what your outcome was.

#letstalkaboutit

A Few Tips for Staying True to Yourself

We are conditioned from the very beginning. The thing about conditioning is that we don’t know it is happening when it’s happening. Sometimes it’s not until years later that we realize our conditioning and start to ask, “what is really me?”

We have the possibility of breaking that conditioning, and it is up to us to do so. Here are a couple thoughts of how we can challenge our conditioning and get more in touch with our true selves:

1. Allow yourself to be surprised.

Talk to someone you normally wouldn’t. Do something outside your routine. By making changes from your normal path you will be questioning the narrative that has become locked and you might become surprised by the outcome.

2. Ask the big questions

Don’t remain satisfied in complacency. Strive for greater truth, question the beliefs you have established. When you are in the midst of a habit, ask yourself, “why do I always do this? What else might I do if I didn’t do this?”

3. Go off the grid

By removing yourselves from the influences that infiltrate your daily life you can become more in tune with yourself and who you are in your natural state. Even a couple weeks of the grid can provide great insight.

Hope these tips help. I know you can break some old habits and discover more of your true self.

Forge on and prosper.

Thoughts on How We See Reality

I know so much and yet I know absolutely nothing. I am completely lost.

Sometimes I feel atop of the world and other times like all the steps I took to get to where I wanted led to nowhere.

So, which is true? What if I said both.

I think in order to accept whatever state you are in you have to accept it as the truth of where you are at. You have to allow yourself to sink into it. You have to allow yourself to not be ashamed of it. And you have to recognize it is a part of you.

Where you are at this moment is the truth, but where you are at the next moment is also the truth. Both are the truth and both can be opposite. Both make up you. Both can be held and encompassed by the confines of your structure, your nature.

“Truth” and “reality” are not singularly definable things. The ultimate “truth” and “reality” is a conglomeration of truths and realities.

Maybe with this outlook and the acceptance it it won’t be as difficult to take in moments that appear especially difficult, because we can recognize they are just a part of us.