Her Healing 

  • The Choice To Express Yourself 

    I have worked with a number of single women who are searching for happiness in relationships. The thing is sometimes we are forcing a rectangle to fit in a square and in order for this to work we make plenty of sacrifices. So many sacrifices that we no longer realize we are lowering our expectations, needs, desires, and wants all to be in a relationship which might fail to make us happy. What if what we really need to do is set expectations, express our emotions, and verbalize our needs. What if a healthy relationship is one where we are able to express ourselves and the other person is able to respect our views. In this post I will share with you the top 3 things to consider when building a healthy relationship. 

    Set Expectations: As a woman, and specifically as a black woman I have been told numerous times that my expectations are too high. “No one will meet those.” “There isn’t a guy out there that will be able to check all of your boxes let alone half.” “That type of guy doesn’t exist.” Don’t hedge your trust on the opinion of others. Remember all things are possible just trust in yourself and God. There is nothing wrong with setting expectations. The truth is, if you don’t set any then you allow anyone to walk into your life, you settle for whatever you are given, and however the person decides to treat you. If you don’t make it clear from the beginning, you will struggle with whether it is worth making it clear later on. 

    Express your Emotions: Expressing our emotions is not easy, it’s scary. It can seem foreign because the majority of us didn’t grow up seeing it in our homes. We didn’t see others expressing their feelings when their needs aren’t met, displaying the ability to be vulnerable. For most of us we equate vulnerability with weakness. And as a black women I was told I am strong I can control my emotions, I can handle anything, I can “deal” with it on my own. As a girl growing up in our society I learned early that "men are strong and I am  seen as weak," so I have to prove them wrong, right? I have to prove that I am strong, that my emotions don’t impact me. The truth is vulnerability is the foundation of strength. To be able to express your emotions to others and show self-compassion even when others do not, that’s courage. This word vulnerability is what connects us in the deepest way to others. It’s what drives relationships because it’s raw and real. If you want to quickly weed out the healthy relationships from the unhealthy ones, communicate your emotions and pay attention to who will show compassion towards them and attempt to understand them. After all keeping them in your head as thoughts that eventually lead down a bottomless hole isn't helpful. Remember being vocal puts us at risk of losing others, which is scary, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves how can we expect others to.  

    Say What You Need: What is it that you need from the other person? What do you need them to do or say to add to your life and not just exist in it? There is nothing wrong with having a need or verbalizing that need to someone else. If we didn’t need anything from others why would we be in relationships? Maybe your needs change weekly or daily, maybe you have a few that are constant. Perhaps you need someone in your life to listen to you talk through challenges or someone to support you by helping you to carry your daily stress load. Maybe you just need someone to be affectionate with after a long day of work. Whatever your needs are there are some you can fulfill and there are others you could use help with. There is nothing wrong with admitting you need a little help. In relationships we sometimes give what WE think others need but this is an assumption and unless we know for sure what they need we might be spinning our wheels in the wrong direction. We can’t expect others to read our minds. We must tell them specifically what they can do to be a good companion or friend. If we put our needs out there we might be suprised at how other's receive it. It can be difficult to find out someone can't meet our needs, but sometimes that's the truth that allows us to let go and be at peace. 

    ~ Her Healing

                                             

    Photo: Lakeshia Marie @akosua7

  • Relaxation vs. Coping

    For my first blog post I figured I should talk about a topic that everyone can relate to. I frequently have conversations with my clients and friends about our life stressors. When we were children we learned to handle our frustrations or stressors (what few we may have had) by going to our caregivers for support, waiting for them to tell us what to do to feel better. Or we learned how to manage our emotions by watching and learning from those older then us. I think it's fair to say that the majority of us never recieved a class on how to handle difficult emotions and life stressors. Some of us learned from the adults around us to workout, go to sleep, eat, or have a couple of alcoholic beverages to take the edge off. Being an American we learned early that the harder we work the better life will be, to rest will never lead us to our dream. We learned to just cope with life to get by. 

    If we really look at our coping skills we might determine that the skills we have learned over the years are not the best ones for us. But hey, they work right? I will be the first to admit that during my first year teaching with Teach For America I was an avid supporter of happy hour, the socializing and cocktails helped me to relax for sure!  While it made me feel better in the moment, it didn't make the stress or insecurities about my role go away. I can recall going to the gym frequently and finding that just like happy hour it made me feel better, but later I felt overwhelmed, stressed, tired, and anxious. I was coping with the stress of being a first time teacher, a teacher who was reaching burn out at a fast pace. A close friend of mine suggested I try Bikram Yoga so I went to a class with her. Afterwards I could think clearly and felt so relaxed and at peace. I learned then that Yoga was a relaxation tool for me. The more I made room for it in my life the more my body craved the hour of relaxation and the more balanced I felt. 

    We are aware that stress is apart of life, at least the American life. We utilize our personal coping skills to get us through the day, week, months, and years. Unfortunately, we hardly give our minds and bodies a break. If I were to ask you now, "how do you relax during the week?" what would you say? Our minds and bodies need to relax weekly and sometimes daily depending on how much stress we experience. When we relax we might be still, not thinking, exerting as little energy as possible, at rest, and it feels good! Cultivating alone time allows our minds and bodies to re-energize, release tension, and relax. Making room for intuition, creativity, insight, awareness, and authenticity to flow.

    Try a few of these relaxation activities below and see what feels good to you. Maybe there is something you used to do but stopped because you no longer felt you had the time. If you make the time to take care of your mental and physical health I guarantee you will become more efficient and effective in your daily life. It doesn't take away from your ability to be successful, it's how you reach and maintain success! Remember, our minds are always at work, even when we sleep so the only way to quiet them is to be intentional about doing so.   

     

    Suggestions:

    • Take a bubble bath 

    • Get a massage

    • Go for a walk or hike solo 

    • Watch the sunset or sunrise

    • Try a meditation exercise (try Headspace app)

    • Take a Restorative or Iyengar yoga class 

    • Create a quiet space (candles, relaxing music, warm beverage)

    • Sit under the stars 

    • Sit by the ocean, close your eyes, listen to the waves

    • Try a mindfulness exercise in nature (www.Mindful.org) 

    • Free flow dance to your own rhythm 

    • Paint, draw, or color (Adult coloring books are great!)

    ~ Her Healing


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