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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