Friday, November 11, 2011

Finding passion in life

Racoon looking bored at Shepreth Wildlife ParkImage via Wikipedia

Ever had the feeling that you were meant to do or be something more?  Do you feel lost and overwhelmed in the day to day grind?  When was the last time that you were happy- truly happy?

Often times we take a job or choose a career because it is what pays the bills, but where does that leave us on an emotional and/or spiritual level?  If you think that your job has no affect on your happiness, well-being or even relationships with your family and friends- think again.  What we do in life matters- every thing we do in life matters.  While I'm not asking you to go and quit your job tomorrow, I am asking you to explore what you are passionate about.  Without passion and fire what are we left with?  I imagine a mouse on wheel just running and running getting nowhere.  We are meant to be and do so much more than just that!

Now is the time to explore and find out what makes you happy, because I guarantee if you start doing those things your life will change.  This might mean that you have a job that isn't your favorite, but you start to pick up hobbies that you enjoy.  Who knows where this might lead you?                                 Well, actually I know...

happinessImage via Wikipedia

...a more happy, less stressed, and more relaxed existence.  Sometimes it takes us getting into this state of mind to realize what life is really about.  Perhaps you may decide to look for another job, or maybe you find new joys in the one you already have.  Either way, don't throw your life away into a passion-less existence- you deserve so much more!

I wish you health, joy and much abundance,
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Moving Forward...

Forgiveness lesson from flowersImage by juliejordanscott via Flickr    I'm sure most of you have realized by now that I love quotes.  Especially inspirational ones.  So here is one that I would love to share with you because it is a topic I often work on with my clients:

 On no account brood over your wrong-doing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean. 
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) 
English writer 

While we can't rewind the clock and erase what we have done, we seem to beat ourselves up over and over again and replay in our heads how we could have done things differently.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for learning from your past and making amends when needed, but how much time do we need to spend hating ourselves for things we have no control over?  

One of the biggest obstacles to health and happiness that I see clients struggle with is a relentless beating of themselves and putting themselves down.  Often this stems from past abuse they have experienced and they have merely picked up where the abusers left off and continued the vicious cycle to prove that their abusers are correct.  I am here to take a stand and take that metaphoric whip away from you.  You need to be gentle to yourself and learn to forgive yourself.  If there are relationships that need to be repaired because of your actions, by all means reach out and make attempts to amend them.  Sometimes people in our lives have past away and we don't have the opportunity to speak with them face to face.  For this I recommend writing them a letter or perhaps visiting their burial site and reading it aloud or just going there and expressing yourself.   For those of you who are able to connect with a lost love one in silence- no matter where you are- then use that time to express your feelings.  After all, our bodies are merely vessels in this life and we are much more than just our bodies.

Perhaps you need to forgive yourself for doing things that have hurt you.  Do you really think that beating yourself will make it any better or take the pain away?  Make attempts to be gentle with yourself, love yourself and give yourself the respect that each of us in life deserves.  Take the steps you need to make a better life for yourself because beating yourself will only keep you stuck or pull you back into the darkness.

Sending you lots of love,
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Loving you...

Some of you may already know that as I write this I am creating new life in my body- I am pregnant- and very excited.  Although I have been quite sick, which is why there was such a delay in writing my blog, I have this overwhelming sense of gratitude and love that I wanted to share with all of you.

One of the many issues I work on with my clients is the topic of loving yourself.  At first when I bring this up many people aren't certain of what I mean or even how to begin this seemingly arduous task.  I often explain that we each have a little child in us that needs love and every time we put that child last or put that child down in any way we are causing more damage to ourselves.  Often times loving yourself will make you feel guilty or selfish at first, but it is a necessity that I like to refer to as self-fullness.  It's not about taking away from or hurting anyone else- in fact, if we give to ourselves first we are far better able to take care of others!

I too struggled for a very long time with this issue.  I was so concerned about the needs of others I always put myself last and never gave myself the love I really needed.  This led to a lot of problems for me because I didn't speak up when I was hurt or angry as I never wanted to burden anyone with how I was feeling.  Although I was the first to be there as support for anyone who needed it, I never allowed that for myself-  partly because I felt I wasn't important enough.  It brings tears to me as I write this and I think about others who may be struggling with this issue.  It also brings me to tears to think of the idea of my own child ever feeling this way.  Being able to give life is one of the most amazing gifts in the world for so many reasons.  I want my children to go through life knowing that they are wanted and loved and how important and special they are.  The truth is though, that it doesn't just stop with my own children- it continues on with each of you.  Not all of us had a parent(s) or caregiver(s) who gave us unconditional love and positive regard.  Many of us have struggled and been hurt in more ways than one can ever even imagine.  After a while you may have begun to question your own self-worth.

Being a therapist I have heard horror stories of abuse from both children and adults that make my heart break.  What hurts the most is to see how much this abuse has scarred and damaged these individuals into a place of distrust, anger, sadness and most often self- hatred.  I am writing this because I want you to know that you matter and you are important- who ever and where ever you are.  I also want you to know that your life doesn't always have to be this way.  But you have to take a stand and begin with one foot in front of the other.  You need to break the path that others have created for you. This is not an easy task I know.  We blind and numb ourselves in so many ways through so many addictions or self-defeating behaviors.  I'm asking you to take off those blinders and take a different path towards love and positivity.  Start to surround yourself with positive, loving people. Find a therapist who will support you and help you to see the beauty that lies with-in you; start saying positive affirmations to yourself;  limit the time you spend with negative and abusive people; visit people. places and things that inspire you; do something nice for yourself; eat healthy and exercise.  There are so many things that you can begin to do today to start loving yourself.  You deserve so much more from 
My photos that have a creative commons license...Image via Wikipedialife- you deserve to be happy.

And if you do have children, please know that how you treat them and the words you speak to them have a huge impact on how they will feel about themselves for the rest of their lives.  Another important note here is that how you treat yourself and what you model for your children will also greatly affect and impact them. If you want them to truly love themselves- you have to truly love yourself!

Sending you lots of love,

Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Commitment-Make your words matter!

CommitmentImage by eschipul via Flickr

Have you ever heard the saying "Your word is everything"?  While it may seem like another old cliche, there is a lot of truth to that saying!  Today I am encouraging you to take a look at how often you commit to or say you are going to do something or be somewhere (and yes just "saying" you will be there is a commitment) and then end up canceling or not showing up.  While you may have 1,000 good excuses of why you couldn't make it- I'm telling you right now that if this is a trend for you, people will begin to feel like they can't depend on you.

For a lot of people many of the excuses are work related- in fact this scenario is often played out in many movies where the child is eagerly waiting for their parent to spend time with them, take them somewhere or show up for a game or recital and the parent doesn't show up because they got caught up at work. In each of these movies you can see the great heartache in the child.   While it is true that you have to put food on the table and a roof over your head, what will it all be worth if your kids and family harbor great sadness, anger or resentment towards you?

This message isn't just for parents though! It is for everyone because if you have a tendency to flake off on your commitments- no matter how small- it will begin to affect your relationships.  If you are in a romantic relationship and you promise to make changes to better the relationship, but continually break that promise because you forget or it's too much work- I guarantee that you are going to feel the effects of this from your partner.

Today I heard someone say "under promise and over deliver".  When I first hear this I thought to myself: "why would someone under promise"?  It makes a lot of sense to me as I write this now.  I realize that people may have a lot of really good intentions when they make some of the promises that they do but the important thing to realize is that it causes great pain and disappointment when you let someone down because you overestimated your ability to follow through.

Growing up I had a very strained relationship with my father because although he was well intended when he made a commitment to me, he wasn't always able to follow through with it.  Given the fact that my parents split when I was young and my father moved far away I felt like all I had was his word.  If he ever had to go back on his word- no matter how small or seemingly insignificant- I was crushed.  I began to feel like I couldn't count on or depend on him in anyway because if I did I was setting my self up for a huge amount of pain.  I know that my dad really did mean well but that didn't take away from the pain I felt as a child and young adult.  It taught me a very great lesson about the words that I speak and the promises I make.  It is my goal to teach others this very thing too.

commitmentImage by glsims99 via Flickr

You know that in your work if you make a commitment you need to follow through with it, otherwise you will be out of a job or client.  I encourage you to look at all of your commitments and promises in the same way- because your word matters!  Your word matters with your friends, family and loved ones.  In fact I think it matters most with your loved ones.  So really take a look at the promises and
commitments you are making and how it truly affects those around you when you don't follow through.  Get out of your head and be present with those around you because I truly feel that if you are really present and connected with those around you, you will easily pick up on the impact that your word- or lack there of- has on others.

I wish you much peace and joy and may you start to make your words really matter!
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Overcoming Life's Obstacles

Life can be difficult- there is no doubt about that!  It hits each of us at different times.  Sometimes we seem to be flooded and bombarded with it and other times we seem to get hit by it out of nowhere.  I was recently speaking with someone who felt like her whole world was falling apart and was quite upset because this seemed to be the trend for most of her life.  She stated that perhaps this was "karma" from her previous lives.  I stated to her that sometimes when life gives you lemons you have to make lemonade.  She chuckled and stated that she likes the other version of this advice: "When life gives you lemons you squeeze the lemon juice into the persons eye who wronged you and then make lemonade".  I must say that I was taken aback by this and stated to her that as Gandhi so wisely stated: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".  I also told her that perhaps this is where her "karma" is coming into play and nipping her in the butt.

With this particular individual I have seen her make poor choice after poor choice constantly blaming everyone around her for it.  It's so sad because she is stuck in this vicious cycle of anger, resentment and retaliation.  I share this story with you because I think it's important to examine your own life to see how you have been living.  Are you always pointing the finger at everyone else?  Do you refuse to take a look at yourself and your actions?  I realize this is very difficult to do but if you take the time to do this and really look within a lot of change may start to come your way (for the better).

                    Cover of The Lion's Paw                                  (Little Golden Book)I remember reading this story about a lion who had a thorn in his foot. (Bare with me as this is an adapted version from my memory- but the gist of it is as follows).  The lion was hurting terribly but his paws were too big to pull the thorn out.  When a tiny mouse appeared asking if he needed help the lion was angry, irritable and distrustful.  Out if this anger he threatened to eat the poor mouse.  If this mouse wasn't able to see the thorn in the lions foot- the real reason for his fierce reaction- the mouse would have ran off leaving the lion to suffer greatly.  The mouse quietly snuck under the lion's paw and removed the thorn.  The lion roared as the thorn was removed from him and he slammed his paw down on the mouse out of anger and suspicion that the mouse was trying to harm him. After a few seconds the mouse crawled out from under his paw with the thorn in hand.  The lion was taken aback by this and thanked the mouse as well as apologized for his frightening and hurtful behavior.  The unexpected duo became great friends!

If you are anything like that lion you may think that everyone is out to get you!  In fact you may strike first in anticipation that they no doubt are intending to hurt you.  It becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because that individual may be very upset for how you treated them, especially since they were not ill intended. Out of this anger and hurt they may then treat you in the way you were expecting!  Once again I encourage you to take a look at how you are viewing, interacting and treating others.  Maybe it's not always about them needing to change first!

I have made it my life's purpose to help others and anyone who truly knows me will agree.  If there is one person in the world that is like this then there must be more!  It is true that everyone you meet will not be like this and that there are some people who have been so hurt and wronged that they make it their mission to hurt others.  But the truth is, not everyone is like that.  There are a lot of really beautiful and amazing people out there- you just need to open your eyes and your heart to see what is really before you.

P.S.  If you have enjoyed this blog please leave me a comment or send me an email.  I never know who is reading this and I am always pleasantly surprised and honored when people share with me that they have been and it has helped them in some way.  It keeps me going and keeps me inspired- so thanks for reading and I hope that my blog can help inspire you in one way or another!

I wish you a beautiful and blessed life,

Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Make yourself a better person!

EarthImage by tonynetone via Flickr

"You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person"- Scott Sorrel

What powerful words of wisdom!  We often think that by taking care of others first we are always doing the right thing.  And while this is such a beautiful thing to do there is a problem with that plan.  If you always leave yourself for last this starts to take a toll on you- whether it be through resentment, decline in health, etc.  One of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is the importance of taking care of myself first.   Initially this seemed so foreign and selfish, but there has been a few times in my life that God/ The Universe really screamed at me to learn this lesson.

My life has always been about helping others and I often had a very difficult time saying "No"- even when I was exhausted and had nothing left to give!  Eventually this finally took a toll on my body and I injured by my back in such a bad way that I was in bed for over two weeks and I could not walk, sit or stand.  The muscle relaxers and prescription pain killers didn't even come close to diminishing my pain.  Here I was in such a state of pain and now depression because of the pain and worry about what it all meant for my future- I really feared my life would be like this forever.  I was fortunate enough to find a chiropractor who did very different work and helped me so much with the pain!

This life lesson taught me a lot- but the learning wasn't done there!  Several years later, right after I graduated from grad school- and was ready to save the world- I once again had to learn the lesson of the importance of self-care.  This time I was working in very unsafe areas in Long Beach- going into people's homes to work with them and their children who were totally defiant and out of control.  My heart sunk deeper and deeper with every client I met with and I became more and more saddened by the fact that the work that I was doing wasn't "fixing" everything.  I bent over backwards and answered calls in the middle of the night.  I spent hours driving to and from Long Beach from Orange County.  The supervision I received was much less than what was needed for such intense cases, but I pushed through regardless because I knew these kids needed me.  When I look back I know that I was the only positive and loving person in a lot of these kids lives- what a gift I was able to offer- but the weight of that was so heavy.

I took on all this pain and responsibility but was not taking the time to take of myself in the ways I needed to.  I eventually decided to quit that job and for a time was very reluctant to work with kids again because I felt that perhaps I was just too sensitive to handle it all.  After some time in my own therapy I realized how much I was lacking in the self-care department.  I started to take time to exercise and eat healthy, to journal about my feelings and share them with my therapist or other support system.  I even learned to ask for help when I needed it.  I stopped trying to do everything on my own.   I learned how to set boundaries with those around me- even those that I love- and I learned the word "no".  The fact of the matter was that I hadn't only been trying to save these kids and their families, but also everyone around me.  Another deep truth and nugget of wisdom I learned was this "Give a man a fish you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

By me learning to care for myself I was better able to teach others how to do the same.  Instead of trying to fix all their problems I realized that my life's purpose was to teach people and to give them the tools they needed to fix their own problems.  While much healing comes from sharing your woes and worries with another person, true healing starts to come from that plus the changes we begin to implement in our life.  And the truth is nobody can force anyone to change- this is something they have to want to do.

I have found time and time again- whether I am working with a parent, individual adult,  teen, or a couple- the best advice or tool I can give is to teach them how to take care of themselves first.  For a parent it may prevent them from taking out their anger and frustration on their child.  In couples I see that they start to find joy in life again and in their partner because they are no longer exploding on the other person and they are setting healthy boundaries that increase their respect for themselves and their partner.  For teens (and everyone else really) taking care of themselves may mean really exploring their feelings and finding healthy ways to cope instead of drugs, alcohol, sex, oppositional behaviors, self-harm, and or any other type of addictions.

Fortunately I didn't let that early experience drive me away from working with kids.  In fact, I spent many years after that primarily working with kids and found that with this new wisdom I was able to create long lasting change.  Most importantly I took care of myself (and continue to do so) so that I was and am able to help many more children, teens, families, couples and adults.

If people really took the time to take care of themselves there would be a lot less resentment, anger and hurt in the world.  Remember this- you can truly give way more to others if you are starting with a full cup versus an empty cup.

So fill your cup up daily- love yourself in every way possible and you will see that through this love you will not only see more beauty and give more love to others but you will truly make lasting change on this planet!

Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts,
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life is a Journey

The Drumavoley Road near Ballycastle (1) The D...Image via Wikipedia
Many of us seem to race towards goal after goal in the hopes that this next goal with ultimately be the thing that makes us happy.  But time and time again- after the newness of this attained g
oal has worn off- we are out seeking the next thing that is sure to fill us with happiness.

I have heard the quote "Life is a journey not a destination" many times in the past and I think it can mean many things depending on where you are in your life.  Today it means to me that we need to enjoy the present moment!  When we are so focused on the unattained future we suffer greatly due to a deep longing for what we do not have.  The funny thing is that we so often miss all that is around us and in some cases the very thing we are looking for.  If we are able to find peace and joy in this very moment we are relaxed enough to pay attention to that which is all around us.

There are times that you may be very sad because you don't have the mate you want- or career etc.- and you slum around without showering or caring for yourself.  You may venture out of the house totally unaware of others around you because you are so absorbed in your sadness and pain.  Now the question I ask you is what if on that "journey" out of your home you met a potential mate, employer or business opportunity?  Do you think anything will truly blossom here if you are in such a state of despair?  Perhaps you or the other person don't connect because you are doing everything you can to not stand out or be seen.

Keys.Image by Bohman via FlickrIt's like trying to find your keys when you have lost them.  You search frantically around the living room, kitchen and bedroom and can't find them anywhere.  You are so stressed out that you search again and again.  Perhaps you plop down on the couch to give up your search and there right in front of you are those keys you have been looking for for the last 20 minutes.

That which you want may be right in front of you, but you need to get out of your head to see it!  Expect the unexpected and keep your eyes open.  Life doesn't always go the way we plan because it may have something even better to offer us.  If we are so focused on what "must be" we lose sight of what "might be".

I encourage you to begin to look at life like a journey to be traveled, not a destination to be rushed too. Find beauty in everyday- but most importantly find beauty in yourslef- for when you truly see the beauty that lies within you, you will see the world in a whole new way!

May you have a blessed and abundant day and life:)
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Keep Swimming!

While I was walking by the beach yesterday I noticed that the ocean was very dark and choppy, yet there was an area just a bit further out that was filled with light.  Just beyond that it was dark again but in the distance I could see another area filled with light.

I mention all of this because it reminded me of the similarities that exist in our lives.  We go through difficult times and work very hard to get to where we want to be in life and to have the relationships we have always longed for.  Once we have them we are happy and at times it can feel like life is just flowing well.  But the unfortunate part is that this doesn't always last and inevitably we are faced with a bump, a dark period or just plain difficult time in our life where we may feel like all of the doors are closing.  This is analogous to the dark area in the water.  It is deep, heavy and cold.  While we are in it we cannot see that the light is just beyond us.  Often I have found that these dark and difficult times build in us a great strength and provide us with deep wisdom- that is if we continue swimming.

In Finding Nemo, Dory (blue) is a fish with am...                            Image via WikipediaAs Dory in the movie "Finding Nemo" so wisely said: "Just keep swimming!"  If you manage to pull
yourself through you will find light again- I truly believe this.  Standing above or outside of things it is easy to see this- just like in the picture above- but when you are in the middle of it it's hard to see any way out.  But that is what your friends and family are there for and if you don't have a good support system then it is time to create one.  Sometimes a therapist can be that for you while you start to develop new relationships with healthy people that will truly be your friends.

I strongly believe that life throws us challenges so that we can grow and really appreciate the relationships and things that we have.
If things are always running smoothly we may stop trying as hard or appreciating the things we have- we may even become a little arrogant- and this is not a good thing at all.  Life keeps us on our toes- but the challenge is to just keep swimming!

I wish you a life filled with happiness and abundance- may your dark waters make you stronger and always remember to keep swimming!
Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Setting Boundaries- An Absolute MUST!!!

Boundaries are like invisible walls or lines that we have between us and those around us.  It is a line that states "it's not okay for you to go there".
Moottoritie - HighwayImage by dotsi via FlickrBoundaries exist on the road for us so that we don't crash into each other all the time and so that we can be respectful of our neighboring automobile or bicycle.   With-out these boundaries I thinks it's pretty safe to say that our roads would be an absolute mess!  Ok, so maybe they already are a mess because lets face it- people don't always obey the rules!

Life is a lot like that!  Our family members, friends and even strangers have a tendency to swerve into our lane with-out even the slightest thought of how it might affect us.  Sometimes when they cross that line it sends us into a tail spin or crashing over a cliff!  Sometimes we spend hours, days, week, months or even years trying to recover from our injuries.  Other times we try to get back as them as hard as we can- all the while saying it was an "accident".  I'll refer to this as being "passive aggressive".

All metaphors aside- how often do people say or do things to you that aren't ok?  How often do you tell them it's not ok?  I'm encouraging you to take a look at how you interact with others- are you respectful of their boundaries and do you respect yours enough to stand up for yourself?

I always seemed to be pretty good at respecting other people's boundaries, but had a very difficult time setting boundaries with others- out of fear that I would hurt or upset them in some way.  Over time- and with a lot of personal growth- I realized that my self-esteem, self-worth, confidence and over all happiness were directly related to my personal boundaries- or lack there of.

It's okay for you to say "no" when you mean "no" and it's okay to tell someone when they are offending or upsetting you in some way.  The words that I started with were:  "It's not okay when..."  Try this out and see how you feel.  I have a feeling that it may empower you quite a bit and you will be surprised by the reactions you receive from others.

Set those boundaries and give yourself the love and respect you deserve!

Wishing you a life filled with joy and abundance,
Elizabeth Cappelletti
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Stop "Shoulding" all over yourself!

Did you ever notice that we often do or don't do things because we are worried about what others will think?  It's kind of silly if you think of it, but I know so many of us are guilty of it!  It takes a lot of work and self-awareness to really start to change that.

So I am giving you the gift of sight and awareness right now.  Check in with yourself throughout the day and notice how often you are saying "yes" when you mean "no", and also take a look at your life and ask yourself what you would do if you weren't worried about what others thought.

Here is another great piece of advice:

"What would the 70 year-old "you" tell you to do?"

Wouldn't you be more inclined to take a chance- at love, happiness or adventure?
I know that 70 year-old would tell you that life is too short to put up with unkind people that disrespect you- you would say that you deserve better!

What are you constantly telling yourself that you "should" or "shouldn't do"?  And does it really matter?  This is your one life- a gift to be cherished and appreciated.  Don't put yourself on the "shelf" of life and watch life pass you by.  Take chances, believe in yourself, believe in love and happiness.

And remember:
Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) half-length portrait, s...                                      Image via WikipediaAs Dr. Seuss so wisely put it:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." 

Make your life yours and stop living by the standards of everyone else around you.  Often you will find that your self-confidence will grow and so will your relationships because you won't be carrying around that large bag of resentment with you!

Let go and be free to be you!

With love,
Elizabeth Cappelletti
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Body Talk... What is your body telling you?

8/365 -- Prednisone: The Double-Edged SwordImage by jsrcyclist via Flickr
Here in our Western Culture we are advanced in many ways- yet in regards to our awareness about our body we are more than lacking!

We pop pills for every ailment we have with-out even trying to figure out what the cause is. One of the many problems with this is that there are so many side affects to these medications- and the greatest problem of all with this course of treatment is that we are not healing the cause.

What would your body say if it could speak? Is it speaking to you now and you just aren't listening? STRESS is a killer as well an instigator of disease and pain. There are illnesses such as Crohn's Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure (only to name a few) that are directly linked and related to stress. If you don't believe me, ask someone who has one of these illnesses and ask them how stress affects their illness. Many of them can be helped greatly by the use of healthy stress management techniques and a healthy lifestyle (diet and exercise).

Image via Wikipedia

But what about pain? Have you ever heard the saying "He's a pain in the neck" or "My heart is broken"? We literally carry stress in our bodies! I am also a certified massage therapist and while I don't practice anymore, I learned a great deal from my many years in practice. I was able to clearly see the link between stress/ emotional pain and physical pain. Inevitably when I would work on a client who had pain in their shoulder's and neck, most often they would open up to me and discuss the stress they had that day or week. I could literally feel their stress!

Each of us has an area in our body that tends to hold stress. It may be your neck and shoulders or perhaps your stomach. Pay attention to your body's reaction when something stressful has occurred or is occurring. Do you get a headache? Does your chest start to feel like your having a heart attack (this is referred to as a panic attack and can mimic a heart attack)? Do you find yourself needing to run to the bathroom because your stomach is "in knots"?

I can go on and on here but the message is to listen to what your body is telling you- even if you don't want to hear it. Don't just pop a pill to mask the symptom because the body is smart and will start to yell and scream at you if it needs to.

Learn how to de-clutter and de-stress your life. Talk to a therapist or someone you trust about the stressors in your life and discover ways to cope with them in a healthier way. Perhaps you need to simplify your life!

Here are some things you can do today that will help:

- Go for a walk

- Take a hot shower

- Get a Massage

-Talk to a friend about what is really going on


- Exercise (run, lift weights, etc)

-Take a yoga class

- Meditate

- Go visit the ocean or forest (somewhere peaceful and relaxing)

- Watch a funny movie

- Cry

- Talk to a therapist



- Examine your life- are you doing what you want to do? Are you happy?

- Make some life changes you've been holding back on

I hope this list of stress management techniques can help you find some relief from your stressful day. You have more control over your stress than you realize. Listen to your body before it screams so loud at you that there is no turning back!

Wishing you a relaxing day,

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trusting the flow...

It is often difficult to trust the flow of life- as we often feel like we "have to" or "want to" be in control of things.  But when are we truly "in control" of anything?  I would wager to say "never".  We like to think that we are, that is for sure.  I think my life truly changed when I learned to let go and trust in God- or the Universe- (whatever terminology you like best).

Don't get me wrong, this is often one of the most difficult things to do, but it also the most freeing!  There is a wonderful prayer called the Serenity prayer that I would like to share with you:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference."

I am not trying to say that we shouldn't set goals or work hard in life- in fact it is quite the opposite!  We reap what we sew- but the fact of the matter is we don't always know exactly what we will reap or if it will come in the exact package we imagine.  Sometimes it's better and sometimes its worse.  I've learned that often, the things I think I want really aren't what I want after all.  I have also learned that the road blocks I have faced and all the many times I have fallen have all been life lessons for me.  So now I pick myself up with grace and keep going- perhaps in a different direction or perhaps in the same direction with a different pathway in mind.

I encourage you to write down exactly what you want in life- spend some time on this- put your order out to God or the Universe and see what happens.  Remember although it may seem like you are in the driver's seat, you are really just along for the ride. But that doesn't mean that the driver doesn't hear you and won't take into consideration your ideas.  The key is though that the driver needs to know where you want to go and that you aren't going to complain the whole ride there or give up on the trip.

My message here is to be clear about what you want in life and not to give up. Pay attention to the flow of life because sometimes it can seem like every door before you is open and available to you and at other times it may seem like every door is closed.  I strongly believe that when this happens, life is heading you in another direction for a reason- a direction that may seem opposite of where you are headed or perhaps may seem like a road block- but in reality is an important step in your journey.


May you find your true path and passion in life!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mind your thoughts!

"If you think you can or you think you can't, either way you are right!"

If you believe in yourself, you may actually attempt things in life.  But if you don't believe in yourself, why would you ever try?  I realize some of us have grown up with people in our lives who didn't believe in us or who put us down- but just think, every time you put yourself down -in any way- you are letting them win!  You are just picking up where they left off.  You can be mad at others all you want, but the damage that continues with you becomes self-inflicted at some point!

Your thoughts do have the power to create your reality- so please, mind your thoughts and the words that are often repeated in your mind.  The other day I posted a video by Pink- and although the title was a bit intense, I loved the message of the song!  Stop beating yourself up- love yourself and start to believe in yourself- because if you don't it will affect you- and I can promise you that!

5 ways to change your thoughts:

1.  Spend time with positive and supportive people

2. Don't spend (or waste) your time with people who put you down or belittle you (or others)

3.  Make a list of 3 positive qualities about you

4.  Listen to empowering music

5. Start to notice how often you are putting yourself down in any way- and when you do, redirect your focus to anything else (i.e. something else in the room, a sound, a color- anything)- shift your focus!

Extra bonus:

Do something nice for yourself- just because you matter and its important for you to LOVE YOURSELF!


All my love,

Elizabeth Cappelletti

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Losing someone we love...

ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 12:  Cheyenne Genevie...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

One of the toughest things in life is having to face the death of a loved one.  Of course we would all agree that when a child or young adult dies this is a tragedy, but the truth is that losing anyone we love can feel like that too.

Even when a person has lived a long life and you know the end is approaching it is still so very difficult.  Many of us who have had close relationships with our pets know that it is a heart crushing event when they die too.

In Dec of 2008 my grandmother (Ita) passed away from congestive heart failure- she suffered a lot in the end.  And although there was a part of me that was relieved that she didn't have to suffer any more, this other part of me felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest.  There were so many things I wanted to share with her (like my wedding and starting a family).
Gardenia jasminoides (2 photos)Image by Tatters:) via Flickr At my wedding I had all gardenias - my grandmother's favorite flower- it was my way of having her there and honoring her.  I also picked up sewing- she was a pro at that!

Then after that in January 2009 I had to put my cat Felix to sleep.  I had Felix for 14 years and he was my little love.  He was the most awesome cat and I really had a very strong bond with him. This really put me in a tail spin of grief and loss.  I remember days when I would just cry and cry because it hurt so much.

I learned a few things from this:
1.  It helps to cry- and to feel- even though it hurts so bad
2.  It's important to do things to remember them, to honor them
3.  Time helps to heal the pain- as long as you allow yourself to grieve
4.  It is important to talk to others about it
5. I found a great site that lets you create a commemorative page about your loved one (family member or pet- who many consider to be a family member)
6.  Don't judge your reaction- it is what it needs to be (if you are expressing it that is)

*I found this site when I was dealing with the loss of my cat- which was really about both the loss of him and my grandmother- what a double whammy!

I hope that it can bring you some solace if and when you are faced with loss and grief. And remember, don't ever be afraid to ask for help or support.

With love,

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Words of wisdom

Mother Teresa had it right when she said:

 Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today. Let us begin. 

There are many other versions of this quote that exist, and they are all very true and very wise.

We lose so much time over thinking what we could have done differently, or worrying over what is yet to come.  The fact is though, we can't do anything to change the past and we certainly don't have any control over the future.

Yes we can "get all of our ducks in a row" as the say, and I personally think it is a great idea to set goals and work towards them.  The problem presents itself when we are so focused on the future we miss what is happening right now. The fact of the matter is, all we have is now.  We have no certainly that tomorrow will come, or that we will be alive to see it.  A few wonderful things can begin to happen when we view life this way:

1.  We stop taking people and things for granted
2.  We pay more attention to the beauty that exists all around us
3.  We decrease our stress, anxiety, sadness

These are just a few of the wonderful things that can happen.  Oooh, I just thought of one more thing. For those of you who are looking for that "perfect person" and perhaps are feeling depressed that you haven't met him/her- this is the perfect opportunity to be totally present and not miss the billions of opportunities you would normally miss by being so stuck in the past and the future brooding over what went wrong in your past relationships or how you are going to be alone forever with 20 cats.

Let me level with you here- that use to be me!  I literally remember saying to myself that if I didn't meet someone and start a life soon then I would be alone forever with 20 cats- the "crazy cat lady".  I can laugh at this now, but at the time this fear was very real to me.  I was so focused on what I didn't have and what I wanted in the future I was suffering greatly.  I thought over and over again about how I always seemed to pick the wrong guy, and reviewed in my head the ways in which I went wrong and what I should have seen sooner.  I realized that being so desperate and focused on the future as well as what I was lacking in my life, I was willing to settle- which also meant that I was driving myself to the wrong guy again and again.  

Things began to change for me when I started to focus on the now, and I learned to love myself and be okay with the now.  It doesn't mean that the now is always going to be easy or positive, but as long as I knew I was going to be okay- I made it through.

It is wonderful to be positive and think of a positive future for yourself- many people will say that you can manifest a future that you desire if you think about it enough with absolute certainty.  I have to say that I agree with this theory because there is something called the self-fulfilling prophecy- basically it says that if you think you can or if you think you can't- you're right.  Our beliefs and doubts get in the way of a lot of things for us- even our health.  Now I'm not trying to say that thinking positive will cure you of an illness or solve your problems.  But it may just give you the hope and will power to get through it, to keep going and explore new possibilities.  For with out hope we are lost!

I wish you happiness, love and prosperity and may you always remember to be here now and not ever take this moment for granted.  Think of all those people in Japan whose lives were changed in an instant.  Their whole world was turned upside down, and many people were killed or someone they loved was killed.  What happened to their plans and what if they were so focused on the future they forgot to live now?  It is wonderful to have nice things, but our relationships with each other are far more important- don't wast today thinking about tomorrow or yesterday- be here now!  

Live now, and live fully!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Triangle of Life- Important

My mom sent me this article- it is pretty amazing and important!

I want to check out the movie they made.  It seems a little odd at first, but actually does make sense!

My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world’s most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.
I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries.
I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.
The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn’t at the time know
that the children were told to hide under something. I am amazed that even today schools are still using the ?Duck and Cover? instructions- telling the children to squat under their desks with their heads bowed and covered with their hands. This was the technique used in the Mexico City school.
Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the ‘triangle of life’. The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the
object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the ‘triangles’ you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.
1) Almost everyone who simply ‘ducks and covers’ when buildings collapse ARE CRUSHED TO DEATH. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an  earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. That position helps you survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less
squashed bodies than concrete slabs. Concrete slab buildings are the most dangerous during an earthquake.
4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.
5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.
6) Almost everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!
7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different ‘moment of frequency (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads ? horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn’t collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest
of the building is not damaged.
8 ) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible – It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.
9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and lying in the
fetal position next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.
10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul , University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did ‘duck and cover,’ and ten mannequins I used in my ‘triangle of life’ survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results.
The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.
There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the ‘triangle of life.’ This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe , and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.

Wishing you all a long and healthy life,

Friday, March 25, 2011

'Make me feel important'

 Pretend that every single person you meet
has a sign around his or her neck that says,
'Make me feel important.' 

Mary Kay Ash (1918–2001) 
American businesswoman 

What an awesome quote.  Wouldn't our world be a different place if this is how we moved through it?  The sad truth that I have come to learn is that there are a lot of people out there that are hurting- tremendously- in such a deep place that is goes right through to the center of their very being.  These people are often the ones who lash out and hurt others, but they are also the ones who we clearly see, and maybe even choose not to.  They may be struggling with addictions or other self-harming behaviors. Perhaps they are drinking themselves into oblivion.

I know that many of us have had struggles, and many of us have not ended up in such extremes- although some of us most certainly have been there- either way, how do we have any room to judge?  We truly know nothing of a person's life and experiences until we can actually walk a mile in their shoes.  

In the work that I do, I see many people who are struggling.  Yes, it is very sad at times, but it also gives me great joy to know that I may be the person who gives them hope. To show them that life can be different.  My message today is to tell you that you can do this too.

Did you know that there have been people who were committed to making today the last day of their life (that they were going to end it all) and a warm smile from a stranger, a sincere "hello, how are you?" changed their plans?  It's true, and it has happened on more than one occasion!

What if it was you?  What if everything in your life was falling apart before you, and you didn't have the hope to go on?  And what if someone reached out a hand to help, or gave you a sincere, heart felt smile?  What if someone made you feel like you mattered, like you were important?

We are all important, every last one of us on the face of this planet!  Some of us have been so scarred and hurt in ways that are unimaginable- but we all matter.  Now, I'm not saying to go be friends with people who have done horrible things or abuse others.  But what I am saying is to take a moment with every person you encounter to let them know that they matter.  Perhaps it is with a smile, or letting them merge into your lane while driving.  Maybe it's just a friendly "hello".  Don't close yourself off into your own little world of friends and family- there is a whole world of amazing human beings out there.  You just have to be open and willing to see them.

I feel like I am rambling on and on here, but ultimately my message is to be kind to others and follow the wisdom of Mary Kay and pretend that every person you meet has a sign around their neck that says 'make me feel important'.  This trick will also help you go far in life- trust me on that!

Have a wonderful day,