When Someone Shows You Who They Are the First Time, Believe Them: How Paying Attention to the Red Flags in Any Relationship Will Keep You Safe

You know you have done this; noticed something about someone, when you initially meet them, that causes you to furrow your brow and feel uneasy but then brushed it aside.  We have all done that, at one time or another.

Whether it’s a new friend or in a new dating relationship, the red flags are always there from the beginning.  The challenge you face is whether or not you are going to honor yourself enough to acknowledge what you already know or whether you will choose to ignore the warning signs and put yourself in harms’ way. Continue reading

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Words of Wisdom

Spoken by a most well-known people’s advocate, in a speech he gave in years past, Nelson Mandela speaks some of the most poignant words of wisdom that a person can hear.

I share this with you in the hopes that when you feel lost, alone, uncertain, in need of love, worried or anxious, that you will find the golden treasure within these words and allow them to permeate into your heart space and do their healing work.  You can read this from a religious or spiritual perspective.  It is up to you.

I hope that this brings you comfort and joy and lifts your spirit; for you are made to do great and wonderous things in this lifetime, even if you aren’t sure what that looks like right now. Read this and step into your self with courage, confidence, and faith. Continue reading

Never Be Afraid of The Truth Because It Will Never Hurt You.

Truth is your best friend.  It is said that “the truth hurts,” but the only thing the truth hurts is illusions.  The truth is the dispeller of deception; bring any situation into the light, and you can rest assured that there is good within it.

Once you align yourself with this idea, you will never again be afraid to hear truth, see truth, know truth or live in truth. In fact, when you are in alignment with truth, you are at peace, regardless of what surfaces; for truth sets you free. Continue reading

How to Keep Your Heart Open to Love

I don’t know who originally wrote this, but when I read it, I knew I had to share this with you.  Read it from a religious or spiritual perspective, whichever suits you.  But, at the very least, read it.

And as you read it (and I recommend that you do this daily), breathe in the truth of these words and notice if they open up any more space inside of you to enjoy what you have in the present, even as you joyfully anticipate what the future holds. Continue reading

Lay Down Your Sword and Shield: How Practicing Kindess, Compassion, and Patience Can Change the Course of Your Life

“It is all too easy to lose our patience with people and act unkindly.  A wise person knows that showing kindness and compassion is the most effective way to bring out the best in others. ” Dharmachari Nagaraja

What would your life look like if practiced patience, kindness and compassion instead of negatively reacting to people who wronged you? Could you see yourself being more relaxed?  Would you notice how the person, on the other side of the interaction, immediately stopped being antagonistic once they observed you choosing to respond in peace?  Is it possible that by being more focused on creating easiness in your daily living, through the practice of the “trilogy” of kindess, compassion and patience, that you could change someone else’s life in an instant?

It takes a milli-second to get caught up in the “offensiveness” of someone and react in a prideful, self-righteous way.  And,  it takes a little moment longer to pause, breathe, and remind yourself  that the gift you can give yourself and someone else is not only to notice that it is YOU that is being challenged through your intolerance  but also, that displaying kindness, compassion, and patience in the face of YOUR struggle is the lesson to be learned.

There is a great deal of misery in chaos in our world.  Just look around, watch the news, read the papers and view what is on the internet.  If you allow yourself, you can align your attitude with the negative energies of the world, believing that there is very little that is good in humanity.

I don’t blame you for leaning into that a bit.  The behavior in different parts of the world and in our own country give us proof that it is “every man for himself.”  When you choose to live from this place of saving yourself first, you rule out any opportunity to contribute to the world in a capacity that is beyond you.

I don’t believe that we are placed on this earth to suffer or to become jaded by pain.  I believe that we are in “earth school” to reconnect with our origin self; the self that is connected to the highest good- our godliness; and in this godliness is goodness.

Just this morning I was waiting in line to purchase something.  I was in a bit of a rush and the clerk was an older woman who was moving slower than I had hoped.  I found myself becoming irritated and wishing that she would finish up faster so that I could get on my way.  And then, I thought of this blog post and I stopped in my tracks.

The very thing that I am sharing with you, is what I was being tested on in that line today.  The moment I connected the two, I immediately felt relieved that I didn’t have to be uptight anymore and that this sweet woman, behind the counter, was doing her best.  I took a breath and smiled at her and went on my way.

The practice of kindness, compassion, and patience can be tested anywhere.   In an instant you can be transformed from a taker to a giver.  In an instant, you can spare someone the punishment of your inability to manage your frustration by taking a moment to pause and recognize the challenge before you;  in the face of an offense, an injustice, or an inconvenience, do you give into your immediate reaction of intolerance or do you choose to pause and step into your higher self, and practice kindess, compassion and patience? 

As children, unless we are old souls who already have this concept ingrained in our spirits, we don’t learn how to offer patience to others when they offend us or treat us unfairly.  The lesson of kindness is often learned after the fact, from a discussion with our parents about how we could have acted differently by taking into account the other person’s perspective.

If you are a parent, how do you teach this to your children?  How do you show them that it feels better  to practice this trilogy of kindness, compassion and patience?   I can promise you that if you cultivate this habit of “being in the trilogy”, then your children will find it much easier to internalize.

Our knee-jerk reactions can serve us in the moment, but don’t always have a sustainable payoff of peace of mind.

Next time you become irritated, offended, and annoyed by someone, take a few seconds to remind yourself that in this moment of your intolerance that you are being tested and that you have the choice to serve only yourself or to serve both yourself and someone else by  responding in kindness.

In love and light,

Janis
www.cohenfamilycounseling.com

The Payoff of Forgiveness:Filling Up Your Emotional Bank Account

Everything in our lives- every thought we have, every action we take-requires some energy.  How much energy are you putting into holding onto the pain, anger and shame in your life?

Consider energy as a financial allowance equal to one hundred dollars a day.  Your task is to learn how to invest this money wisely, because your investments will either earn you interest or put you in debt. Continue reading

Teaching Your Children How to Be Comfortable With Uncertainty

A child’s life, essentially, doesn’t belong to him.  He comes into this world with a push and then must rely on his caretakers to provide him with his basic needs.  And, as he grows up, everything is predetermined for him; adults decide what time he goes to bed, with whom he plays, what he eats, when he sleeps and very little is left for him to take control of, except what he chooses to comply with or resist.  For a child, living in uncertainty, at times, is a given, despite how much parents attempt to create safety.  There is always a new experience, new person, new thing, and new way that must be faced by kids, every day. Continue reading