Dreaming Of A ___ Christmas

Dreaming Of A ___ Christmas

Fill in the blank. What kind of Christmas or Holidays are you dreaming of? What kind is actually happening? For some the answer is exactly what you’re dreaming of. For others, it’s not at all what you’re dreaming of. I have been dreaming of a Christmas where Anna comes home to Colorado from North Carolina. I’m dreaming of smooth sailing, few challenges and a time of joyous reunion. I’m not so sure that’s going to happen. Anna is back in the hospital again. She has RSV and an area of fluid in her chest cavity that is infected. Surgery helped remove some of the fluid, and chest tubes will hopefully draw out the rest. Antibiotics and an antiviral are on board to battle the infection and RSV. This hospitalization is a setback…or perhaps it will help Anna really move forward. That fluid has been an issue since she got her transplant. Now that it is finally draining, maybe she’ll be able to fully heal. We don’t really know…we know what’s happening now which is she’s in the hospital and getting the care she needs.

Sometimes our dreams are exactly what we get, and sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes it’s up to us to make our dreams happen and sometimes there isn’t anything we can do. Being aware of the type of situation you are in and how you feel in the midst of it is critical to your emotional and physical health. Awareness and acknowledgement help you decide what you can do. Maybe there isn’t anything you can actually do to change your situation but you can always enlist self care and connection with others in the midst of it. Don’t know how to do that? One action you can take is to purchase my WORKBOOK or take my recently released VIDEO COURSE.

NOTE: The link for the video course will take you to a site called Teachable where I am hosting my courses. Currently I have two options available: A free mini course on Awareness and the full course. Try out the free Awareness course with no obligation from you…who doesn’t want something for free?!

Tips From The Journey Forward Workbook: Neural Pathways

Tips From The Journey Forward Workbook: Neural Pathways

cover again

To get to this blog, you may have turned on your computer or picked up your phone, took the steps to get onto Facebook and perused people’s posts. You did most of this, if not all, without really thinking about what you were doing. That’s an example of a neural pathway. Neural pathways are these cool connections in your brain that get developed over time as you are exposed more and more to a stimulus and response. They can be for knowledge, like cat is spelled C-A-T or ‘gato’ is the Spanish word for cat. They can be for behaviors, like when you criticize me I get defensive.

It takes a lot of repetition for a neural pathway to become like a default setting: something you do without needing to consciously think about it. It’s a lot like cutting a new path in the rainforest. It takes a long time and a lot of work for a path to be well worn and easy to find. Anytime you want to change a behavior or learn something new, you will have to be very intentional about it for awhile. We get frustrated when we are trying to change because we keep doing the old unwanted behavior. Be gentle with yourself. Remember it takes time to cut a new path in the rainforest. 🙂

To learn more, check out the Journey Forward Workbook. Another option is the Journey Forward Workbook Video Series designed for those who prefer an audio/visual presentation of the information in the Workbook. It will be available very soon on my website: Journey Forward for Life. If you want to get on my email list and find out as soon as it’s available click the “Sign Up Now’ button.

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Tips From The Journey Forward Workbook: Community

Tips From The Journey Forward Workbook: Community

Some of us like to live in solitude. It’s easier. Unfortunately easier isn’t always best.  I know this all too well. I have a strong pull toward independence and isolation. I prefer to do things alone and keep to myself. Sadly, this is also a primary reason I got involved in an affair about nine years ago. There wasn’t just one reason for the choices I made, but isolation from true community was one of them. Ironically, I was around more people than I am now but they only knew the surface parts of me. The parts I was comfortable sharing. The parts that got involved in an affair were not being revealed to others…bad choices are conceived in darkness.

Today, I know it’s critical that I share the deepest darkest parts of me with people who are my cheerleaders and advisors. These are people in my Inner Circle. I know my Inner Circle people well and they know me. I can trust them with anything. Some people are in the Middle Zone. I am getting to know them and determining whether or not they are Inner Circle people. Some are in the Periphery. It’s the safest place for me to keep them because they are either too distant for me to deeply connect with or they have proven themselves untrustworthy.

How about you? Who are the people in your circles? If you don’t have any Inner Circle friends, consider taking steps to change that. Healthy community is crucial for our growth!

To learn more, check out the Journey Forward Workbook. Another option is the Journey Forward Workbook Video Series designed for those who prefer an audio/visual presentation of the information in the Workbook. It will be available very soon on my website: Journey Forward for Life. If you want to get on my email list and find out as soon as it’s available click the “Sign Up Now’ button.

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Tips From The Journey Forward Workbook: Awareness

Tips From The Journey Forward Workbook: Awareness

Awareness is the foundation to any change you want to make. Focusing your attention on your mind and body will help you become aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. When you understand what you are doing, saying, not doing, or not saying, you have a much better chance at actually changing.

Awareness involves giving attention to what you are thinking, emotions you are feeling and body sensations you are experiencing, without judgment. As you notice a thought, let’s say it’s anger, your role is not to judge the anger or tell yourself you shouldn’t be angry.  If you feel tension in your lower back, stay away from reprimanding yourself for not exercising. If you are thinking your boss is an idiot, stay away from shaming yourself. At the awareness phase, it’s all about noticing, just noticing. Awareness without judgment. In the change process, there’s a place for deciding what you want to do about your thought, emotion or body sensation, but it’s not in the awareness phase.

Begin taking time each day simply to notice yourself. Notice your thoughts, emotions and body sensations without judgement. For some, writing these observations down is helpful, for others it’s not. Do what works for you. The most important piece is that you notice and grow in your awareness of yourself.

I’m super excited (emotion) about a new video series I have created (thought). I am aware of a bubbly feeling in my body (body sensation).  It’s the Journey Forward Workbook Video Series designed for those who prefer an audio/visual presentation of the information in the Workbook. It will be available very soon right here on the Journey Forward for Life website!

 

Calling Workbook Purchasers!

Calling Workbook Purchasers!

June 6, 2018

If you bought a copy of my workbook would you be willing to write a review of it? I really need reviews…I only have 6. Reviews help boost a book’s presence on Amazon. The more reviews a book has the more likely it is to show up in a person’s search. Click here to be connected to the Journey Forward Workbook Amazon page. Once on that page, click on “Customer Reviews” just below the Workbook title. Next, click on “Write a customer review”. I am so grateful for your help!!!

Also, my new website is up and running! It still has some kinks and errors to be worked out but at least it’s up. Thanks to my web designer, all of my websites feed to the same place. Take a look! JourneyForwardforLife.com Soon I will be adding helpful videos and workshops (online and in person). If you want to be on my email list, just sign up on my website.

Thank you!!!!

Humming Along

Humming Along

So sorry for a long delay between posts. I ran into a bit of a technical issue with my blog that is now remedied. Since last writing, we have learned that Anna’s lung functions stabilized.  She has about 1/2 her lung capacity. It has remained this way for about the last two months. Our hope is she stays at this level for the long haul. Anna has adjusted to the reduced lung capacity physically and doesn’t notice most of the time. We’ll know more about the progression of the chronic rejection this summer after Anna’s next Dr’s visit at Duke.

NEWS: I have a new website that will be up and running hopefully soon. I’m combining my Journey Forward website with my new, Journey Forward for Life domain. I am planning on offering videos and online workshops to supplement the Journey Forward Workbook. I also have an idea to create in-person retreats that will give a limited number of people the chance to go to a beautiful place where they can work on issues in a group format lead by me.

The first retreat will be on Self Care. You’ll have the opportunity to explore who you are, what you like and don’t like and how you can restore and recharge. We’ll dig into the whys behind the challenges you face in taking care of yourself or even knowing what you like. I’m excited about the changes to come. If you want to stay in the loop, please email me and I’ll get you on my email list. No constant filling of your inbox, just letting you know when I’m launching new offerings. Email me as well if you are interested in participating in my first retreat this summer: karen@journeyforward.net
Here’s to humming along!