Inner Strength: Do You Have It?

janis cohen inner strength

“We may get knocked down on the outside, but the key to living in victory is to learn how to get up on the inside.”
~ Joel Osteen

I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.

It’s just that simple.

If you consider yourself a resilient person, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

You know what you have been through and know who you are because of it all.

Inner strength doesn’t come from external forces.  It doesn’t come from modeling others’ behavior or using words that others use to sound strong.

It doesn’t come from empty mantra’s or stickers on your fridge that tell you “It’s all good.”

Inner strength is earned and is the direct result of what you choose to focus on, what meaning it has, and what you are going to do about it. Continue reading

My Giving is Just as Good as Your Giving.

gift in hand

Comparing ourselves to others is natural.  We can’t help it.

We notice how other people look, what they drive, how much money they have, their social status, academic accomplishments, and degree of public notoriety (among many other things) and compare ourselves to them; noticing what we have or lack.

We, then, come to one of these assumptions:
1. I am, have, do enough and therefore I am happy.
2. I am mediocre, need to do more, and therefore I feel ok about me/my life.
3. I am not enough and therefore I am unhappy. Continue reading

Why Waiting is Worth It

Janis cohen 16

Waiting.

It can be excruciatingly painful.

It’s that grey space that most everyone finds terrifying, terrible and chaotic.

It is the ultimate test of patience, endurance and stamina.

It is the ultimate predictor of how your pessimism or optimism plays into your ability to cope.

It is the ultimate exposure of the degree of your faith in yourself and in a higher power.

So, what are you supposed to DO while you wait? Continue reading

Didn’t Expect That Didja?

Furiously she was shaking her hands and screaming at me through her windshield.  I looked back in my rear view mirror and saw the rage.  Amazing!

She was ready to get out of her car and give me a piece of her mind.  She was honking, shaking her head and telling her passenger how ridiculous I was for waiting for this parking space, when she was on the clock.  So, guess what I did? Continue reading

Why Blaming Others Keeps You Stuck

Blame is one of the surest ways to stay in a problem.  In blaming another, you give away your power.

When you solely focus on what someone else has done, you rob yourself of precious time that can be experienced in freedom from pain, anger, and betrayal.

You can not change the past.  The past is done.  You can let it go now. Continue reading

If You Run From Confrontation, Take a Breather and Read This!

If I were to ask you what your definition of confrontation is, what would you tell me?

You might say. “Janis, the idea of confronting someone makes me want to vomit!  You may be someone who believes that confrontation means that there’s yelling, insulting and criticism involved.  Maybe you define confrontation as something that never turns out well.

Today’s post is all about how to understand what confrontation truly means, what fears underly those who avoid confrontation and how you can think differently about speaking up for yourself, so that you don’t take the easy way out of a situation; giving up an opportunity to let go of unnecessary unhappiness. 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 Proof is in the Siblings: 3 Ways Parents Can Ensure Loving Sibling Relationships

Those of us who have brothers and sisters, whether they are biological or step siblings, know that these relationships deeply define us.  Depending on the pecking order, you can be the one held responsible or the one to blame for everything.  You can be the caretaker, the troublemaker, the high achiever, or the quiet one who tends to slip between the cracks.  While the pecking order impacts the relationships we have with our siblings as we grow up, it can change in adulthood. How it evolves results from the value that parents place on family and connectedness along with modeling what connectedness looks like over time.   Continue reading

Hearing is Believing: How Words Can Make or Break Your Kids

Words standing alone, are useless.  When put into a context, matched with  a tone of voice and the underlying intention of the speaker, they can lift you up to the peak of happiness or they can bring you crashing down into the depths of despair.  Words are powerful tools; and when you  use them with your children, you can make or break their spirit; because children listen to what you say. Continue reading

What Every Parent Needs to Know

                                                           

When you become a parent, you are given the most important role you will ever have; to mold another human being from their first breath. You have the amazing ability to influence your child’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors and beliefs about themselves and their world. Life becomes about giving your child the best possible chances in life and doing whatever it takes to raise them to be happy, hopeful, and joyful adults.

You have the power to create a safe and secure environment or one that is fear-based and unreliable.  You are the one who has the chance to teach your child the value or self-respect, resilience, fidelity, respect for others and what it means to be a kind, compassionate and giving person.  You are the one who can ground your child in religion, faith and/or spirituality, or not.  Continue reading