My Gal-entine’s Day Girl’s Trip!

I was lucky enough to celebrate “Gal-entine’s Day” (yes, Parks and Rec fans know that this is the day before Valentine’s Day where ladies celebrate their female friendships) with my BFF!

We both have small children and live in different parts of NY, so our time together is sacred and necessary. This year, we decided to go the beautiful Southernmost Beach Resort in stunning Key West, Florida. (I’m not being compensated for this review, I’m just a VERY happy consumer).

This was my BFF’s first time in Key West, and my second. I scoured TripAdvisor for months before deciding to stay at the SoMo Beach Resort instead of The Reach-key west where I stayed two years before.

And let me just say that WOW!- I’m SO GLAD we went with the SoMo Beach Resort, as you can see by my review on TripAdvisor.

 

My friend and I booked a Partial Ocean View Double room. It was clean and well-appointed and the beds were so comfortable, it was the perfect space. The bathrooms had walk-in showers with amazing shampoos and conditioners (that we bought on the way out because they were VERY high quality).

What stood out the most on check-in was the staff who were AMAZING (Samoy and Juan were lovely!) and the sweet note with a cocktail for us. What a nice touch that made us feel so welcome!

So, we checked in and it was raining, so we dumped our stuff and went to the Southernmost Beach Cafe (next door!).

 

After the long (yet stunning) drive from Key Largo, we were ready for lunch and a cocktail. The food at the cafe was well done and portions were generous. We enjoyed a couple cocktails before we spent the afternoon exploring Ernest Hemingway’s House.

The Hemingway House is one of many cool historic sites in Key West and we couldn’t come to the Keys without seeing the Hemingway kitties!

 

My bestie and are self-proclaimed foodies and enjoyed some AWESOME meals.

The best breakfasts we experienced included The Banana Cafe . The croissants were perfection, and who doesn’t adore a bellini with a cup of coffee?

 

Also, one cannot come to Key West without going to have the famous Eggs Benedict from Blue Heaven.  NO FILTER NECESSARY.img_0844

We spent hours walking around and exploring Key West.

 

And more time just chatting, laughing and relaxing.

 

So long story short, do yourself a favor and book a trip to Key West ASAP!

(my husband and I are going in January to renew our wedding vows and enjoy a few days away, and I cannot wait to be back!)

Healing and feeling

Healing requires feeling.

If you are in the midst of healing, odds are that you are experiencing a range of moods—-motivation, frustration, resentment, sadness, grief, impatience, excitement, hope, hopelessness, etc.

What you may not realize is that healing requires feeling your way through whatever has impacted or affected you. All of those feelings serve a purpose, and often do not appear in a linear way.

Healing ebbs and flows, and has the power to surprise and disarm. The feelings may change, grow or pass without warning, and yet it is important to honor whatever feeling arises as a guest in your experience.

Let the feelings settle (briefly), with the awareness that all of them are there temporarily, and if you feel them, then allow them to leave, you can learn the lesson they are teaching you, which ushers in more peace and self-awareness.

That is the healing.

Say you’re sorry

Today in class my group counseling students were doing a practice group session around the topic of ‘fear’.

Each student wrote down a few fears in their lives and added them to the pile.

Not surprisingly, the ‘fear of failure’ (stated in one way or another) kept coming up, so we paused and dissected this a bit more. With several students (who are also parents) noting their fear was often centered around fear of failing as a parent. (🙋🏼‍♀️hi, all of you fellow parents out there) The other students were able to see the connection to their own parents, or how they will parent if that is where their lives lead them.

As they went around sharing, it was my turn to offer feedback and this is what I shared…

”Wow. I really screwed that up. I’m so sorry that I did that. Next time I’ll do ———.”(I say this phrase a lot!)

What you give your loved ones when you apologize is the space and affirmation that they are worthy of an apology.

Think about how important this is for the children in your life to see. When you screw up—- acknowledge it, own it, and explain how you will change your behavior next time a similar situation presents itself.

Modeling this behavior is critical in building their emotional intelligence and fostering empathy.

When you are wrong, speak it out. Own it, and move along ❤️

I am

Positive affirmation work is a delightfully easy way to focus on self-development. I prefer to use several throughout the day, and switch them up as the day unfolds.

I sit with my eyes closed, breathe mindfully and repeat the affirmation in my mind.

Try a few of my favorite, or make up your own.

Here are a few of my favorites (adapted from aimhappy.com)

I am a powerful force for good in the world.

I am on the right path. I am moving in the right direction.

I am worthy of all things wonderful.

I am being guided to what’s best for me and everyone else.

I am willing to see things differently, even if I’m not ready to yet.

I am learning to let go of fear.

I am learning to respect the process when I do not understand it.

I am ready to release the stories in my head and forgive myself for believing everything my inner critic has ever said.

I am grateful for who I am and can be.

I am enough and I have everything I need to get to where I want to be.

I am grateful for every gift that I’ve been given, have now, and have yet to receive.

“I don’t want to be seen as a fraud”

First week of classes in the new semester, and a student shared today that they are worried that they will be seen as a fraud who does not actually HELP.

This fear and anxiety exists within all helpers, regardless of the title or the license to practice. The anxious nature of not knowing what the client might need, or how to approach an issue is common at first.

So this turned into a larger conversation about authenticity, boundaries and reminding the client what they are, and what they are not.

We could all learn from this.

What are your roles?

What your limits?

What does ‘helping’ actually look like to this client?

Some clients may be slow to trust, and may require a lot of effort to engage and build rapport. This is okay.

It is imperative that the person you are helping understands that you are not there to pretend to care about their problems. Their problems are real to both the helper and the person being helped.

But the actual ‘help’ comes from teaching the client how to care for themselves. That is the gift that keeps on giving.