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Archive for the ‘balance’ Category

Sometimes we just need to be alone. It’s O.K. :)

Red Rock Blog post

I went hiking the other day at Red Rock Canyon during a weekend away visiting friends in Las Vegas. One of my favorite things to do is to go hiking by myself. It makes me feel at peace, I feel more centered, and I end up feeling like I listened to my own need for silent connection with nature.

It was while on this hike, that I got reminded that our society tells us it’s not O.K. to do things alone. Being that I am a therapist/coach by profession and I live with my husband and several animals, I rarely get time alone. This weekend away was to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I arrived in Las Vegas on Friday and met up with said friend and family. On Saturday morning I wanted to get out a do a decent-length quiet hike before all the birthday festivities began  – I was looking forward to taking in the desert air and scenery. The Red Rock Canyon has a 13-mile through road which has multiple trail heads along it. I purposely went to the visitor center to find out which trails may be less populated. I was instructed to head out to Ice Box Canyon trail head about 8 miles up the road. As I drove father away from the visitor center, I did find that the parking lots at the trail heads were less populated. I was excited to think I may be heading to one where I really could feel somewhat isolated.

According to the visitor guide, the hike was to take about 2.5 hours and be of “moderate” difficulty. Sounded great to me! I had water and a charged up phone packed in my bag. I was ready to go! I was about 20 minutes into the hike when I came across a group of people who were on their way back to the trailhead. I said, “Hello”, in passing and moved out of the way for the group to get past me. One of the ladies asked me, “Are you by yourself?” When I told her I was, she let out a sympathetic, “Awwww!” I let her know I was out there alone by choice and was enjoying the quiet and continued on with my hike. About another 20 minutes pass by and I get to a section of the trail with some more difficult rocks to step/climb up and over. I ran into a party of 3 at this juncture. Again, one of the ladies in the group commented to me during a quick verbal exchange, “I wouldn’t come out here alone”. I again, assured her I actually looked forward to this experience and went about my business. It was about 10 minutes later that I came across some rocks that I did not want to venture up and over without help, so I turned around at that point and began my hike back to the starting point.

Both of these exchanges had me thinking as I hiked about our society’s attitudes about being alone. I be no means am a “loner” or even an “introvert”. In fact, I love social interaction and get plenty of it. I do however, enjoy some quiet times alone. Exercise is one of my regular ways to get that fill and when I have time, I love to find local hikes to try by myself. As a therapist, I talk frequently with my clients about finding time for themselves, often framed as “self-care” time. I explore with my clients ways in which they can take some time alone to regroup and touch base with themselves. For some, this can be finding time for a 5-minute mediation in the morning, or carving out 15 minutes during their work day to break away from all the “noise”. On bigger levels, I help them discover what their needs are for personal time alone from others and help them plan that into their life. I think people understand that concept of “me time” or even “self-care” time, but I think something shifts when people think about doing activities alone. I also enjoy beaches, coffee houses (for quiet people-watching) and movies alone, but exercise feeds a lot of my emotional and spiritual needs so I tend to engage in that more frequently. For some, the 2 hour hike I embark on may be the equivalent of getting a massage and their nails done. Which, I assume if the same woman who gave me the sympathetic “Awwww!” in passing on the trail had actually crossed my path at the massage appointment; I don’t think she would have asked me why I went there alone. 

Do you listen to your need for quiet when it calls? How do you connect with yourself when you need to? Feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear about what you do when you need to be alone.
P.S. I recognize that hiking alone can be dangerous. Please note that I take appropriate precautions, but I try not to live my life from a fear-driven perspective. No therapists were injured in the data-collection of this blog post 

CoachingThroughChaos.com Motivation, Achievement and Recovery Coaching

Psychotherapy and Coaching in San Diego, CA.

Colleen Mullen, Psy.D. LMFT

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You got to do things differently if you want things to change!

if you want something youve never had you have to do something youve never doneIn my experience, this is one of the hardest concepts for people to grasp when they come to me for coaching them through a life change.  Very often, we will look at what needs to change, and it will be met with resistance.  This is somewhat normal – many of us don’t naturally gravitate towards change – Me?  I love it & embrace it! but I can empathize with those that don’t share my enthusiasm.  That being said, doing something different is not always easy, but it is a certainty if you want change to appear! Best wishes for success!

CoachingThroughChaos.com

My ESPN Radio post! Listen here! :)

HI! Here is the audio playback and some pics from my ESPN Radio Interview talking a bit about what I do and a few quick tips on how to emotionally survive a bankruptcy! Im on for the entire hour, but my segment starts right around 26:30min in. Thanks for listening! 🙂

 

ESPN Radio Selfiecolleen on ESPNespn logoESPN with hosts

How will you make a difference?

Make a differenceThis week, I would encourage you to focus on the little ways you can make a difference – not only in your life, but in others.  Can you hold the door open for someone as your leaving?  Can you call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while?  Can you give a compliment to a stranger on the street?  Can you drop a blanket off at your nearest homeless shelter?  Have you asked your partner lately how you can better emotionally support them?

Making a difference can be done in so many ways  –  what will you do?

Got Motivation?

got motivationMonday’s post was about making “1 small change” to help you find your motivation.  If you commit to that and find even that is a struggle, I provide coaching and counseling services that can help with that! Don’t hesitate to reach out!

My website is CoachingThroughChaos.com

A weekend wish for you….

idead running around headWe sometimes have so many ideas, thoughts and emotions running through our heads.  During our work weeks, it can be hard to find time to sort through them, to even feel them or savor them.  Did you have a really great moment this week you want to hold on to?  or in contrast, did you and your partner have an argument you haven’t even had time to process yet?  My wish for you is to take some time for yourself this weekend to sit with your thoughts, hear them, feel them (even the difficult ones) and make decisions about what to do about them.  Then, take some time to tend to yourself and your loved ones.

You are not a number on a scale!

Although this image is funny & many people have related to this sometime in their life, the reality is, it wouldn’t be so painful if you felt self-acceptance – the scale only tells you what you weigh – it does NOT tell you who you are! Be kind to yourself 🙂

kids crying on scale