Ilona L. Tobin, Ed.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

There’s a Taoist story of an old farmer whose horse inexplicably ran away. His neighbors said, “What bad luck!” to which he replied, “Perhaps.”

The next day, the horse returned, bringing with it a wild horse. The farmer’s son tried to ride it, fell, and broke his leg. Once again, the neighbors sent their sympathy: “How terrible this is.” “Perhaps,” the farmer said.

The following day, military officials came to the village to draft every young man into the army. With his leg broken, the farmer’s son was spared from service. Read the rest of this entry »

Too often we take care of other people’s needs, shunning activities that have the most meaning for us. Here are 10 ways to take back your life.

  1. Create goals. Get clear on what you really want, write it down and start to take action toward your goals.
  2. Commit to your own agenda. As much as possible, before helping others each day, complete the tasks that move you toward your goals.
  3. Set boundaries. When you heed your own agenda, you will likely need to set boundaries with the people in your life.
  4. Say no when you want to. Respecting your true desires is liberating.
  5. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Fulfilling long-held wishes brings joy and empowerment.
  6. Seek balance. Which of these aspects need attention: social/family, spiritual/creative, career or health?
  7. Eat well and exercise. Take charge of your energy by treating your body well.
  8. Clear clutter. Creating an orderly and beautiful physical environment positively affects our sense of internal order and makes space for the new.
  9. Pursue completion. Avoiding unfinished tasks, things that remain unsaid and relationships that need closure, hijacks our thoughts and saps our energy.
  10. Get support/find allies. Get help processing uncomfortable feelings and seek friendships with people who appreciate and support your taking charge of your life

From the second they arrive on the planet, just inches long and utterly dependent, our children occupy a place in our hearts deeper than most any other relationship.

We nurture, guide, feed and protect them for years. The relationship brings us a complex mixture of joy, frustration, sadness, delight, anger, pride and love. Our children occupy our focus like nothing else, as they grow taller and more independent with every year. And then they go away.

Of course, we knew that from the beginning. And that’s been the goal all along.
But that doesn’t make an empty nest any easier when it finally comes.
Fortunately, an empty nest is also the beginning of another era for parents, one that can be equally fulfilling.
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DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE AND MORE AS A PDF FILE by clicking this link: Thriving: A Journal of Wellbeing – FALL 2008

COPING WITH CHANGE

The world seems to be changing at an extraordinary pace. We get used to the way things are, and then they shift. That change can be unsettling; even positive change can throw us for a loop.

As soon as something nudges us out of our regular routine, or challenges our understanding of how the world works and where we fit into it, we’re likely to experience a deluge of feelings, including fear, anxiety, overwhelm, excitement, distraction or denial.

In turn, those feelings can manifest in behavior. You may, unconsciously, act out with aggressive or passiveaggressive communication. You may push yourself to overwork or take the opposite approach and procrastinate, avoiding what’s on your plate.

Your self-care may suffer. You may reach for unhealthy substances or behaviors, get less sleep, skip meals or overindulge. You might cut yourself off from friends and family and spend more time alone or with people who have unhealthy habits.

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