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My five (ok…six) favorite blogs

In reflecting on some of my favorite blogs, I definitely see a trend! Perhaps my motto in life should be “less is more”.  I like my food to contain less ingredients, I like my bills to be less large, I like my home to have less clutter, I like my parenting style to be less self-judging…

I hope you find some inspiration in the following links!

http://www.theminimalists.com/

The idea of minimalism fascinates me.  I am not a full on minimalist by any means; however, I do allow the ideals to influence my life.  I am sentimental…to a degree…I do not hold onto many items from the past.  If it is just going to sit in a box in the basement, I would rather it be recycled, upcycled or otherwise donated to a cause that will get more use out of it.  I love the “getting started” drop down tab as it shows you where to begin reading (if not…jumping in on the home page makes little sense).

http://minimalistbaker.com/ and http://ohsheglows.com/

These are two separate and different blogs; I am listing them as one as they are linked in my mind.  I eat a vegan and gluten free diet for a variety of reasons.  When I need inspiration, recipes, or validation for my lifestyle, I visit these ladies!  Great recipes regardless of your personal food philosophy.  I think we should all venture out and try new things!

http://putdowntheurinalcake.com/

Seriously, this is the most amazing blog. It is HILARIOUS and honest.  The life of a mom, dealing with adoption issues and the QUESTIONS from STRANGERS.  This blog makes me want to start a new blog.  I laugh with her, cry with her, and get frustrated with her.  I cannot tell you how validating it is to read that other parents are dealing with the same craziness that I am!

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog

I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey.  He gets it.  As a whole, our society normalizes debt, credit cards, loans, living beyond your means. I for one, wholly buy into the idea of living BELOW your means.  I would much rather live in a small house and drive and older car if that means that I have less monthly bills and more opportunities to take a vacation! I love his “in your face” and fairly blunt approach.  I need someone to tell me like it is!  He also has street cred as he openly shares his financial blunders which leaves the reader feeling a little bit less alone.

https://beautyandtheborderline.wordpress.com/

I love this blog!  I am a Dialectical Behavioral Therapist by trade and this is a blog written by a client (not my client) who has learned DBT and is using the skills in real life.  This is a REAL and honest look at how to utilize various skills in realistic settings!  I can use the skills in my life and I can read research and text books all day long; however, learning from another person how DBT skills apply is such a gift.  I truly appreciate the candid writings!

 

Have a great day 🙂

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Nature Vs Depression

I personally love to hike. I hike alone (with no head phones) …just me and nature. Hiking has always provided me with a sense of peace and for some reason a greater ability to solve problems. It’s a pastime that my mom encouraged from a very young age. I don’t remember a vacation that didn’t contain walking explorations, be it mountains, caves or beach. I always joke that when I am stressed out, I need to get out into the woods and according to recent research, I was onto something!
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/june/hiking-mental-health-063015.html
One of the best parts of this study is that it found that walking in a nature setting vs an urban setting resulted in BRAIN changes that are in line with decreased depression, anxiety, rumination, and improved memory. They are finding that 50% of human population lives in urban settings (which is set to rise) along with that statistic, there has been a continued rise in anxiety and depressive disorders!
We also know that in the last 20 years, there has been an increased amount of people playing videogames. This includes kids as young as toddlers and the video games are getting more and more realistic, fast paced, and violent! Now add in the fact that more and more high schools and even middle schools are becoming paper free – forcing the students to do all of their work on laptops or tablets. We have a generation of kids who spend ALL DAY looking at screens. In 2005, Richard Louv wrote a book called Last Child In The Woods in which he coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder. He proposes that children are spending less and less time in nature, causing more and more behavioral problems.
I agree, not only for kids though…adults too…
I think what we NEED to do is clear. Think about it. Better yet…go outside and try it!

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Raped Black Male (Book Review)

As a therapist, I am well aware of my fears that others will judge me based against my profession.  I cringe  when people say that my girls are “so lucky to have me as a mom”…as if I am somehow better able to parent because I am a therapist?  I hate when people assume that I “have my life together”.  Make no mistake, I have my own stuff to deal with on a daily basis.  I am not perfect.  I have my own history.

This post was triggered by my reading of the memoir Raped Black Male by Kenneth Rogers Jr.   He brought to light some incredibly important topics that NEED to be discussed: rape, incest, male victimization, gender stereotypes, and race expectations to name a few.  It was such a raw, honest and open account of what it is like for a child to live with a secret such as being the victim or childhood incestual rape.  All the while, the book shows and leads the reader though a stunning account of what it means to become a survivor.  Becoming a survivor of any injustice requires one to remove any veils of shame and reframe their experience.

In knowing Kenny, I can tell you that he is a successful and honorable man, teacher, husband, father and friend.  I am confident that many people will be shocked to learn about this aspect of his personal life story.  I imagine that he has heard many of the same phrases that I have…that his girls are lucky to have him as a dad, that he has his life so together…I also imagine that he shakes his head in the same way that I do.  No one knows what hurts another person’s history contains.  We all have a story.  We all have flaws.  I try to allow my history to shape my parenting, my practice as a therapist, and my life overall.  I hope to lead others through the many mazes that I have found myself lost in.  I hope that Kenny knows how thankful other sex abuse survivors will be that he can be a beacon of light to guide them on their journey.