2018

 

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Hello, beautiful people and Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s 2018 already.  To be completely honest, I am glad that 2017 is over.  What a year?  I literally isolated myself, especially from social media, as much as possible to recuperate from the highs and mostly lows of a year that literally has left me using punctuation marks to describe my life.

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If you’ve ever watched the movie Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda, there’s a scene where the ladies meet for the first time and chat over tea.  During the conversation, Jane Fonda’s character reaches for the question mark necklace around J Lo’s neck and ask, “Why the question mark?”.  Jennifer responds candidly and freely with a bright smile “Oooh, ’cause I just don’t know?” ended with a carefree laugh.  I swear this is one of my favorite scenes of the movie.  I love Jennifer’s character, Charlie, and I connect with her so much.  She had different jobs and ventures going on at the same time while trying makes sense of it all and embracing the changes as they come.  Charlie went to the beat of her own drum without any apologies.

 Life is full of situations and experiences that are interesting, frustrating, challenging, fun, exhilarating, along with so many other adjectives.  Last year, I struggled with the not knowing and trying to figure it out.  I felt a lot of internal and external conflict because I realized that I lost myself.   I lost “beating the rhythm to my own drum.”  I missed the relationship I had with myself.  I stopped feeding my soul and continued taking on obligations that were depleting me.  I felt like I was suffocating and my body and spirit were suffering because of my unhappiness and discouragement.

 I stopped making my happiness and peace the priority.   So I decided before I go into to 2018, I need to make a change.  THERAPY.  If you’re new to my blog, I am a marriage and family therapist, and I am a believer and supporter of psychotherapy.  There’s this negative stigma associated with counseling and therapy, but there are really great therapists out here who know what they are doing and genuinely care.   Don’t get me wrong, there are some people out there who should not be practicing.  But there are doctors, hairstylists, teachers, spiritual advisors and so on who are really whack yet they are still working.  If someone sucks at what they do find someone who knows what they are doing.

Okay, I’m off my therapy soapbox.  Anyway, therapy has been great, challenging, and needed.  I actually feel like I can breathe again.  I am looking forward to getting back to Brandi.  I must say that it feels great getting back to the blog as well.  I have missed being here and thanks to you who are still hanging out with me!

I look forward to blogging with you this 2018.

Brandi

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Autism Awareness

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Hi everyone!

I  am super excited about sharing some information and resources about autism.  When I first started my training as marriage and family therapist, I worked primarily with children who were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder during my graduate internship.  In graduate school we had an opportunity to learn about this disorder, but we never got a chance to really go in-depth.  For me, the best way to understand more about autism to actually get experience working with children autism and I did tons of  research.

Back in the day, not long ago, autism related disorders were all grouped as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Some of theses disorders were called Asperger Syndrome, autistic disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder.  There has been a recent change in the name for autism in the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5)  that has now grouped all of these disorders into Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Over the summer, a young lady named Kathleen saw my blog and reached out to share her story and online resources.  Kathleen was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and she is a part-time high school student and volunteer-intern-extraordinaire  at EducatorLabs. For more info about Asperger Syndrome click here. Thank you, dear, for sharing resources and I applaud you for all of the hard work you are doing to educate us about Autism Spectrum Disorders.  I would like everyone to educate and familiarize yourself with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  If anyone else knows of any other resources, please reach out.  I enjoy spreading awareness about mental health!

Talk to you soon,

Brandi

Recommended Resources

Autism Speaks Resource Guide

http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-guide

Career Assistance for People with Autism

http://www.hloom.com/career-assistance-for-people-with-autism/

National Center for Autism Resources & Education

https://www.disability.gov/resource/national-center-for-autism-resources-education-ncare/

Autism Educational Materials

http://www.autismweb.com/materials.htm

AutismNOW Transition Planning

http://autismnow.org/in-the-classroom/transition-planning-for-students/

Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism

http://www.saveonpoolsupplies.com/landing/aquatic-therapy-for-children-with-autism.aspx

Autism

http://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=81

Guide to Flying with an Autistic Child

http://www.e-aircraftsupply.com/aircraft_products/file/guide-to-flying-with-a-child.aspx

Jealousy Part 1: Why is She Always Hating?

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What’s up my beautiful people? I have been doing a lot of thinking about the issues of self-esteem with women.  I am all about seeing women being empowered by embracing and loving themselves.  I find that the topic of being empowered so necessary when it comes to addressing women’s issues.  An issue that is major among us women is jealousy.  The street term is better known as hating or hatin’.

One thing that  frustrates yet saddens me  is when I encounter women who deflects their issues and insecurities onto another woman.  I have personally witnessed this problem countless times.  And this issue is so apparent in the media especially on reality TV.   It is painful to see women find pleasure tearing another woman down.  It’s sickening to see all of the drama.  This problem goes beyond the television and is present in the our relationships with each other.

So here my attempt at addressing “Why is she always hating?”

First, let me give a few definitions of JEALOUSLY :

The Urban dictionary defines jealousy as:

  • The feeling of wanting something someone else has.
  • The feeling of being angry at someone because they are better off then you or they have what you want.
  • The real or perceived threat of the loss of a valued relationship to a rival.

Here are a few from the Freedictionary.com:

  • resentful and envious, as of someone’s success, advantages, etc.
  • proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment

Okay, so let me first say that at some point we all have experienced jealousy. Feeling jealous is a normal human feeling (emotion). However, it is important on how you direct it.  I read this quote by Dr. David Matsumoto:

“Emotions color our worlds and give our world meaning.  And we wouldn’t be able to know whether we need to attack, or run away, to hold somebody, or to stand afar. Emotions tell us what to do. And emotions give everything in our lives meaning.”

It is important to know why you are feeling that way which I will address later. Jealousy untreated is unhealthy.  Untreated jealousy is expressed by gossip, verbal and physical aggression, nasty attitudes, back-stabbing, bullying, murder, and even suicide.  I am almost sure that you could add more behaviors to this list.  In order to treat or deal with jealously and hatred, we must deal with it at the root.  The root begins with you…within your “self”.

So, I mentioned the quote about emotions. Your emotions let you know that something is there or not right. In case of jealousy, it may be an indicator that you’re not happy with where your are in life or you wished you looked better or felt better. You may have lacked validation about how amazing you are. I am concerned when a woman is in a constant state of jealousy or hatred because she is negative, unhappy, and insecure. Some hide behind fabulous clothes and makeup. Some are bullies or mean. Some are quiet and beat themselves up. Some compare themselves to others all the time. No matter how it’s expressed it’s all unhealthy.

My goal is to address ways in which we can began to find healing and acceptance of our imperfections.  We as women have so many issues that we have to tackle everyday.  Sometimes, past decisions or choices haunt us it is important that we address it and move forward.

So what are your thoughts on  jealousy that plagues us at some point?

Be on the look out for the part 2 of this series. I will tackling ways of dealing with chronic jealousy and hate among women.

Until then, stay lovely!
Brandi

Reference:

Urban Dictionary  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jealousy

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Pretty Ugly Syndrome

 

 

 

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Hi beautiful people! I’ve been thinking a lot about how to address an issue that so people do not deal with properly. It’s the Pretty Ugly Syndrome. It’s a condition when people focus most of their time on working on their outward appearance and neglect working on their spirit, character, and mind. People with Pretty Ugly Syndrome look good but are not kind, self-absorbed, and mean.

It absolutely fine to look good and feel good. However, it is not good or healthy to be ugly on the inside. The title of my blog begins with “lovely”. I purposely begin with lovely because it is more important to have a kind and loving spirit. I like fashion, but it is just an extension of my creativity.

I want to encourage you to do some self-reflection on what you are investing your time and energy on. Focus on creating a balance of being beautiful on the inside and outside. It is possible. Take time to give back to others, read a self-help book, or learn a new skill. Allow inner your inner beauty to grow and it will radiate outwardly. Deal with the Pretty Ugly Syndrome so that it won’t limit yourself positive love, relationships, and opportunities.

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Making Changes

Hey my beautiful people! I pray that 2013 is continuing to bring you much joy and fulfillment, if not, it will happen;-) It feels as if time has been flying. I have been so busy with work, school, and life so I am writing you to “self-soothe” and share some things that have been on my heart. Do you remember that I wrote that I will not be participating in New Year’s resolutions? I am still holding firm to that. The whole concept of a resolution is great, but there is a challenge to follow through with it. There is research to show that about 80% of resolutions fail…

As a therapist, I believe in setting goals for myself and my clients. To me, goals provide direction and it shows progress as well as. It is very important that goal are realistic and achievable. This post is not about goal setting…so, let me get to the point.

Goals are absolutely great! However, it is important to understand why you do what you do. I have been making changes in my life…this nothing new…yet, I am making changes none the less. This year I have made a conscious effort to remain centered as a women.  And the best way for me to stay centered is to be close to my Creator. What I have found is that the more I communicate and fellowship with God, the more I understand who I am as a woman, my purpose for life, and the direction that I should go. I realize how God is a necessity in my life.

So maybe you’re wondering, how am I making changes? Thanks for asking…lol. I am making changes in my thinking which has effected my behaviors.  For example, I have been really conscious about my health. I have had so many issues in regards to asthma and medications. The medications have affected my physical health and not to mention my weight.  At several points over the years, I have been frustrated and discouraged about all of the changes that have occurred.  I accepted that my weight may fluctuate 20,30, 50 pounds at a time. I love myself and possess a healthy dose of self-esteem, yet I was not happy with my health.  Through more quiet alone time with my beautiful Creator, I no longer see issues with my asthma and weight as “struggles”. When I considered those issues as a struggle…I was really struggling against myself.  I refuse to fight myself.  Now, I call my them “motivations”. I am motivated to love myself even more. I exercise 4-6 times a week because I enjoy it and I love my temple. I have made the decision to eat even more healthy and I have almost eliminated meat out of my diet which has given me more energy.

I deactivated my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I started to feel overwhelmed with the social media outlets. Don’t get me wrong social media is a great way to connect with family and friends. I found it to be time-consuming and burdensome. I saw very depressing and disturbing things. I actually had people upset if I denied a friend request or if I failed to respond to message in a timely manner…yes! People are taking social media too serious. I am not suggesting that anyone delete or remove their accounts…but it would not hurt to take a break. It is healthy to have more face-to-face interaction.

I have no goals or set schedule. I am just making changes as they come. The changes I have made are becoming my apart of my life. I have eliminated a lot of distractions and I’m see the health improve. Making good changes are not always easy, however the benefits are great. I want to encourage you to be mindful of your choices in regards to your health, your relationships, and your life. Think about what you’re doing and why? Will your decisions leave you in a healthier place or unhealthy place? You are in my prayers;-)

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–B