Learn Something New//Book Review

Hello World!

Starting this Wednesday off with a book review, for my #TeachMe series.  The book I have been reading is, The Dance of Intimacy, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

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Well, I made it through the first half of the book so far! This book was written as a “woman’s guide”, to changing significant relationships. For all of you who are not familiar with this author, her books can be utilized by anyone.   Stay tuned, because I wanted to include all of you with sharing your thoughts on whether or not you would continue reading this book, and the reasons for doing so. You can help by taking the toll at the end of the post. 🙂

Now! Let’s get started with peeling away the layers of this book, shall we?!

“It is the will to change that motivates us to seek help, and it is the fear of change that motivates us to resist the very help we seek”-Lerner.

The main theme throughout this book is understanding the process of change, to increase intimacy.  What I mean is, when we feel “stuck” in your relationship, we often blame the other person.  Maybe it’s their fault for starting the argument with us. Maybe our partner is at fault for not calling us back? But, I challenge you to think of what could possible be contributing to these sources of anxiety? It could very well be the most obvious concern, then indeed a quick fix is needed.  This will not always be the case…

I believe Harriet Lerner is justified in her belief that there are many books available that offer specific guidelines, and how to’s, in regards to improving your relationships with others.  But, what are we learning from many of these books? How can we learn to sustain long-term changes, when many of these recommendations may have been based off of a quick perception of the problem? I agree that these books can and have been helpful, but what we should focus on is becoming more knowledgeable in getting to the root of these “issues”.

To give you a better example, think about going to a friend to talk about your day…you know, just venting about what happened that caused you to become upset.  Next, this friend has the best advice on what you should have done, and the reasons why this advice will help “fix” everything. Either this can be good really good advice, and you are thanking your lucky stars for such an amazing friend, or perhaps this friend has completely missed the mark? Without really understanding what happened in your day, how can anyone offer you meaningful suggestions that would be satisfying for you?

Not even do the significant people in our lives get to take the fall for providing us with the “wrong advice”! Many times WE are quick to jump to make decisions on how to resolve the “immediate” problems.  Of course this may seem logical at the time.  On the contrary, if you’re having the same argument for the 5th time this week, this may cause you to feel hopeless right? Been there. Done that too many times to count.  What this just means is that you really haven’t figured out why these arguments are truly happening…I’ve learned that my expectations can get me into a ton of trouble.  Come on guys, I can’t be the only one out there. 🙂 Many of my past disagreements, (with anyone), boiled down to me not feeling comfortable with accepting that life happens. I won’t have the ability of predicting what should happen or when (even though this would be…awesome).

headacheInstead of discussing my expectations before the disagreement, I chose to say nothing.  I’ve also learned that I needed to speak up for the things that I wanted. I was tired of hiding, and dealing with huge blow ups after the fact.  :-/

In a nutshell, this book provides you with ways on how to begin understanding where your feelings of anxiety stem from, that may prevent you from changing your behavior to improve intimacy within your relationship.  Does your symptoms of anxiety originate from earlier experiences? Or is it something more recent in your life/relationship that needs your attention? Lerner provides case examples, and personal narratives about how to begin this process.

My question to you is, how do you resolve issues in any of your relationships? Are these changes typically a quick fix, or do you feel that you need to constantly address the same issue?

Help me Rate This Book:

Based on this book review so far, would you continue reading this book?

Thanks for your feedback!

~FreeBryd

Photo Credit #1: http://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-improve-your-low-sat-reading-score-6-strategies

Photo Credit #2: http://www.harrietlerner.com/pages/intimacy.html

Photo Credit # 3: http://www.unhs.co.uk/unhs/your-health/health-advice/headache.aspx

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Inspiration//Make Your Dreams Become Your Reality

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Have you ever felt extremely unproductive before?  Well, that has been the story of my life for the past few days! I am so guilty lol.  I’ve been binge watching a series on Hulu (Devious Maids)! So much drama…but it’s also extremely addicting! This week, I’ve failed to go to the gym or update my blog as often as I’d planned. :-/ Needless to say, I couldn’t help but to realize how easy it is to fall into a comfortable routine, and forget about achieving your dreams.

In the past, I have always dreamed about doing more with my life, but never felt any real sense of urgency when considering the response to this question.  I had absolutely no clue how to begin preparing a life for myself, where my overall level of happiness scored close to a 10 on a Likert scale.

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Should I go back to school? What should I major in? Where will I find a job? So many questions to consider!

Last month I wrote a post specifically to address these concerns (https://freebryd.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/what-i-want-to-do-with-the-rest-of-my-life/).  I became so motivated to take off running with enough energy to run a marathon! I’m still very excited to continue pursuing what I love most: writing, and helping others build healthy relationships.

What I am saying is that I don’t want to lose sight on what I’ve promised myself I’d accomplish within these next few years.  I do worry that I’ll become sucked into the swift current of life, without giving my all to what I’ve planned for myself.  But, I can’t let that happen.  I need to remind myself daily what it is that I want out of life.

At this time, I do not have a vision board that I can refer to like I’ve heard others speak about.  Now I can honestly say that I understand the importance of creating something to this effect.  During these past few days, it was so easy for me to say, “I’ll do it later”, because I did not have anything in place to continuously remind me of my aspirations.  I absolutely need this!

I have a really long-winded way of saying don’t give up.  Don’t give up on your plans, simply because “something comes up”.  It is alright to take a break…but try your best not to lose sight on the bigger picture. Luckily, I have family and friends in my corner who are able to snap me back into reality. But honestly, this is not their responsibility.

I have to want more for myself, and I do.  I just need to find ways to encourage me not to lose sight of this!

Here is what I plan to do:

  • Create a detailed vision board (so I have no questions about what I want my future to look like)
  • Speak about my goals to others (the more I discuss this, the more I will speak this into existence)
  • Make a list of small steps that will help me reach my goals (less overwhelming for me to target smaller tasks first)
  • Listen to the advice I would give to others (not to be so hard on myself…I will make mistakes and have days where I want to give up–>but get back on track asap)

These little gems will help to keep me on the right path. Take a break, go on vacation, binge watch your favorite tv series.  We all need days such as these to help us recharge.  Just remember that sooner or later you’ll need to get back to what you’ve started.

What do you use to help motivate and remind you to continue pursuing your dreams?

~XOXO

FreeBryd

Photo Credit #1: http://jaytheanalyst.com/

Photo Credit#2: http://weightlossandtraining.com/

Photo Credit #3: http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/

Inspiration//What’s Holding You Back From Change?

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Annoyed with how someone has been mistreating you?  Not thrilled about your current status of your relationship? These are just a few of many complaints that I have heard, whether personally, or in conversations with others.  I felt compelled to address something that has been heavy on my mind, and hope that I can help provide some guidance to fellow complainers.

Listen, let me just share with you that I’ve complained a lot!  I know that I’m not alone, so don’t judge me too much. I know that communicating what upsets me comes naturally.  I’m sure my sister doesn’t mind haha! But then what?  I share this with others, and go on about my day only to revisit the same complaint the following day?  Sounds crazy…right?  Believe me I know!

Here is a book that has helped shake me out of the deja vu I was constantly experiencing:

Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.

Originally, this book was assigned to me as a class assignment during my Graduate program. But, I’ve referred back to this book on several occasions.  Don’t get turned off by the description of the book being a “woman’s guide”.  I do not feel as though women are the only individuals who can benefit from this read. This book provides examples of how we complain about our life experiences, but often times do nothing to change the outcome if repeated in the future. In addition, Dance of Anger provides helpful feedback on how to break this cycle to make long-term changes in your interactions with others.

I’ve learned new ways of navigating through all of my complaining, to be able to brainstorm and attempt new solutions. Instead of dreading that conversation with someone (that normally goes sour before you’ve realized what’s happened), instead of feeling hopeless that your current situation won’t improve, try jotting down some possible scenarios to instantly reduce those troubles.  Sounds simple enough, but not many of us are able to think logically when experiencing feelings of anger, hurt, frustration or sadness.

Remember that you’re perfectly capable of impacting change in your life.  Just work on making these changes, INSTEAD of just complaining about them.

~XOXO

FreeBryd