Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Break Free From Negative Thoughts

I want to take a quick moment and talk about thoughts. Our thoughts ... the thoughts that we can't seem to get out of our head, the thoughts that keep us up at night, the thoughts that seem to control us.

It's truly amazing how much of an impact those thoughts can have on our life and on our happiness. They also have a huge impact on our ability to heal.

You are here because you are trying to deal with the fact that your partner is struggling with a sex addiction &/or porn addiction. Most women that I talk to ask me the same question ...

"How do I manage the thoughts? The thoughts are CONSUMING! I can't sleep at night!" 

Our thoughts are generally tainted by our emotional reactions to what is going on around us ... so our fears, insecurities, traumas and experiences all have an affect on those thoughts. And your body and mind will believe what ever thoughts you put in your head. It's true.

And our thoughts are not always reality. Remember, they are influenced by our emotions. They may reflect a part of your reality BUT there is always more than 1 way to look at a situation.

Let me give you an example, I often hear "My husband has destroyed me, I will never heal from this!" That is a very emotional thought and you may very well connect with that comment ...  (and my heart always feels so much empathy for any woman going through this) ... but the truth is no one can destroy you.

You might go through pain and heartache but you always have the power to HEAL for you! You don't ever have to let someone's horrible choices define you. YOU define you!

Here is another example ... "I am stuck in this marriage because I just can't get out". Again, it may feel that way now but there is always a way out.

People get divorced all the time, you just have to create a plan. There are always solutions, it's just up to you to find those solutions.

And here is 1 more example ... "What kind of weak person would I be if I stayed in this marriage and try to work on this!" That isn't true ... some of us stay and some of us leave. Healing and recovery can happen for some and not for others.

There is nothing weak in trying to keep your family together , just as much as there is nothing weak in saying I have had enough and I want out. There is no one solution to healing from this sex & porn addiction. And it is OK to take time before making any huge decision.

So, you can see how there is more than 1 perspective to many of our thoughts. Especially our negative thoughts. A technique I use with the women who work with me is to CHALLENGE your negative, emotional thoughts.

Ask yourself if there is another perspective that can sit right next to that one. I'm not saying to tell yourself that you are wrong ... just ask yourself: "How else can I perceive this?" ... I guarantee there is another perspective.

So, a technique to managing those thoughts is challenging the reality of your negative thoughts:

  • When you have a negative thought that says you can't do something:
Think of why you CAN do that thing.

  • When you think of what might go wrong, challenge those negative thoughts:
Think about what CAN go right.

  • When you feel the you have been destroyed:
Think of how you might grow through this for YOU.

Plant new seeds for positive thinking and positive living and you'll begin creating more happiness in your life.  Negative thoughts will be there … for all of us …. even positive people. If we try to pull them like a weed it will grow back … we need to learn to crowd out the negative thoughts with positive & reality ones.  

It is important though to accept the negative thought, give it a bit of compassion for even being there, and then bombard it with MANY posititve ones.   Don’t give the negative thought room to breathe or room to grow.  

We are always going to have them to some degree .. it is natural …  but we don’t have to allow them space to live, room to grow … we are saying ok, negative thought you are a part of my mind but YOU ARE NOT me!  

The more you tell yourself positive, awesome thoughts the more you will believe them!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Yoga Can Help You Heal From Your Partner's Sex &/Or Porn Addiction

Hello again to all of you fabulous women looking for support and growth on this journey of ours! I'm so honored that you are choosing to read my blog and hopefully learn something about healing from your partner's porn addiction &/or sex addiction

My goal is to help you know that you are not alone, to provide you with some support through this crisis and to  be a glimmer of hope (even if that glimmer is small) that you will absolutely be OK  .... AND  you WILL always shine, no matter what has happened. 

It is so important for you to know that NO ONE can take your power away. It may feel like your partner has ripped your power straight from your soul .... but the truth is that you have control over taking it back. You just need to take it day by day and begin taking care of you.

Part of the process of empowering yourself, is to make sure you are taking care of you. You can't begin to heal from this crap unless you are nurturing your body, mind and soul. That takes a conscious effort on a daily basis because the truth is that when we are stressed, overwhelmed, sad, depressed, anxious, etc. - the first thing to go is our basic human needs. 

And even if we do provide ourselves with some of those basic needs ...  we do the bare minimum. We barely eat, we sure don't make an effort to exercise, we surely can't sleep ... I'm sure you are connecting with what I'm saying! We do our best to get through the day but our mind is running so wild that it makes it hard to function.

So, it's so important to be proactive and do things for you that are going to help YOU. When I am working as a coach with my women, the most common thing they say is that they can't stop the thoughts. The thoughts come, the thoughts take over and the thoughts rule us throughout the day. 

When we are consumed by our thoughts we have such a hard time getting out of our heads. And that increases any of those intense emotions that we are feeling ... anxiety, depression, fear, insecurity, etc ....  And really, you can't heal until you are able to process your reality from a calmer place. So, that's one of the first places to start. Calming your mind!

Mindfulness is a wonderful way to calm your mind. "Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. It is living in the moment and awakening to your experiences in that moment." Through mindfulness you can learn to calm your mind and not get buried by your fears that are probably overwhelming you!

Calming the mind takes work, it takes practice and it is soooo hard for many people. YOGA is a wonderful way to begin practicing that. The beauty of yoga is that it provides you with a structure to achieve that state of mindfulness, of connection with yourself, of peace and it gives you a bit of a workout as well. All things that are crucial for the place you are in right now!!!

Especially when you are dealing with a trauma, YOGA can be crucial. I have begun taking yoga classes twice a week and I am amazed at how wonderful it is for me. Aside from the physical workout I get from it, it helps me is so many mental ways. 

I have learned about how wonderful yoga can be from my hubby, Craig Perra.  Most of you know he is an amazing life coach. His passion is helping men heal and grow from their sex & porn addiction. Through working with his men and his own personal healing journey he has fully embraced the gift that yoga can bring to each person. 

His latest path has been becoming a certified yoga instructor as well. For him, yoga is amazing for his physical body but just as importantly it is KEY for your mental health. And he has taught it to me. And it has been a gift!

It helps me calm my mind, connect with the parts of my body that are carrying my stress and it gives me a path to create mindfulness in my everyday life. When I go to yoga class, I am able to disconnect from the day and focus on ME. The truth is that I am just happier and I feel better when I do it! And it is up to me to continue to create that constant positivity in my life!

YOU are going through a major stress and yoga is one thing that can HELP you tremendously. Stress can wreak MAJOR havoc on your body. It reveals itself in so many ways ... including physical pain, sleep issues, anxiety, headaches, an inability to cope with everyday issues, depression, etc. 

Yoga helps with ALL of these things and can have a profound impact on your mental health. Yoga brings a sense of calm to your brain through mindfulness ... yoga is a perfect way to practice that. Nurturing your mental health right now is one of the most important things you can do for yourself!

Ok, if I haven't convinced you yet to try yoga, I am going to list some ways that it can help you heal ... right here and right now.

  • Yoga Helps You Manage Stress
  • Yoga Helps To Alleviate Anxiety & Reduce Depression
  • Yoga Helps You Sleep Better
  • Yoga Can Relieve Migraines
  • Yoga Makes You Happier
  • Yoga Brings a Sense Of Calm 
  • Yoga Lowers Blood Pressure

Yoga has so many benefits, physical and mental and it is seriously a gift that you can give to yourself.   And right now, you need to be giving yourself a gift. I say, give yourself the gift of YOGA. I did and it is wonderful !!!! 

Take a local yoga class, find some yoga videos, download a yoga app ... there are so many ways that you can start. Don't make excuses that you are too tired, or you can't get out of bed or you are too stressed. Here is something you can proactively do to help YOU heal for YOU. Healing is about taking action for yourself. I know you can do it!!!  You will be thanking yourself!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Today, I'm Thankful For ....


Hello my amazing ladies out there! I wanted to take a minute and reflect on Thanksgiving last week.  I love the holidays, I really do! This can be an absolutely wonderful time of year .... the cooking, the travel, the friends, the extra efforts to connect, the connection with family .... I LOVE this part of the holidays. 

AND, for some (and may be true if you are here, reading this blog looking for support because your partner may have a sex or porn addiction) it can be an extremely stressful and emotional time of year. Holidays bring out the best and worst in many ways.

The holidays can remind us of what we feel we have lost. They remind us that life shouldn't be this hard. The holidays bring up expectations of what our partners should be doing or how they should be acting. All of these feelings then roll together and bring up disappointment. 

Then because the holidays are supposed to be happy, easy and full of love, we get caught up in resentment. And then the resentment turns into anger, we are short tempered, agitated and overwhelmed .....  and now our Thanksgiving sucks!

Wow, I didn't paint a very Thanksgivingy picture, did I? I'm sorry about that, I am ... and if you are struggling right now to keep it together, please know that I understand! I understand all too well .... I understand that this is an all too common pattern that happens during the holidays. 

It happens and then when you least expect it, it comes on suddenly ... slapping you in the face and knocking the wind out of you. I know how shitty that feels!!!! I personally went through it with Craig too many times and every woman that I coach feels it too.

I ALSO know that the reality is that we DO have some control over how our holidays go. It's all about perspective and choice! I know, it's easier said than done. I get that ... but I also know that this is what I do and how I got through the mess that was my life for a while. I could choose to let it consume me or I could choose to allow another perspective to sit on the same level as my negative emotions.

Thanksgiving is a good time to think about that perspective. There is much to be thankful for in your life beyond your partner's addiction. Your kids, your friends, your fulfilling hobbies, your parents, the awesome new pair of boots you just bought yourself, the glittery, fabulous new eyeshadow your friend just gave to you, the fact that you have been able to stay home with your kids, the weather (I love that one because i now live in CA and I just love the warmer weather here) .... I can keep going but you get the idea. Think about it for a moment .... what else in your life are you THANKFUL for?

Once you can identify what else is good in your life (and if you can't think of anything than think again and challenge yourself .... there is plenty good that is happening right now, you just need to CHOOSE to see it) then take in that GOOD in your life ... then ALLOW it to sit side by side with the negative. 

We cannot allow the negative to completely invade our soul. So, we work WITH IT .... don't always try to fight it. You don't have to see life as all or nothing. You don't have to be HAPPY OR SAD. You can be both, which is probably your reality. Trying to fight the negative too much creates more emotions and negativity.

But, challenging the negativity and leaving room for the good too can have a powerful effect on your soul. The more you allow the positive to sit along side the negative the more influence the positive will have on your thoughts. 

And the more you will start creating a habit of choosing your perspective. There is always different ways that we can choose to see our life, don't get consumed in all the negative!

So, ask  yourself ... What are YOU THANKFUL for? When overwhelmed, remind yourself of the good in your life. It can make a big difference. The holidays are full of so many things. And the reality is that the only thing that you have control over is YOU. So, start now by reminding yourself what you are thankful for each and every day of your life!!!!!!  You will get through this .... I PROMISE!

And Craig, my hubby, made a video on The Mindful Habit you tube channel or the guys .... about Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving: Are you grateful for your addiction yet?. He talks about being grateful for the addiction because of the CHANGE that is forces us to make. When we choose to make change in our lives, so much amazingness is possible!!!!! And we can ALL be grateful for that!!!