Dating Detour: Better By Monday

“I finally decided to date dead guys for a while.” I heard myself say to a client recently. She laughed and so did I, but it wasn’t a joke. Before I met my husband (or before I could recognize him when I met him) I needed more experience with the type of man I found attractive – so I found a few guys who couldn’t say no to my invitation.

My first definite date night was with Henry. His full name is Henry David Thoreau. He had the most interesting things to say. I would half-seriously share my appreciation for his wisdom out loud, saying, “Henry you have a keen eye for observation. I love seeing the world through your eyes.” I talked to Henry often about how his words spoke to me.

I secretly hoped he was able to hear how delighted I was to have his company on a Friday night. I enjoyed believing that he was an angel, sitting on a cloud, listening to me read his words to myself. “You’re a big help, Henry,” I would tell him, “You are just the kind of guy that makes me swoon.” On our second date, it occurred to me that he may hear from many girls every Friday night, but I was happy to be one of them.

I knew that I needed practice dating men who were respectful, insightful and intelligent so that when I met one, in person, I would recognize those qualities.  Henry was all of those things and he was great to spend a whole evening with – I could listen delightedly to his ideas for hours.

When Henry was finished sharing his thoughts, I was able to enjoy the company of Leo Buscaglia and Erich Fromm. You may be thinking these guys left some big shoes behind for someone to fill. I believe they left the right footprints behind for me to follow.

It was no surprise to me that when I met my future husband in the summer of 2010 – I first fell in love with his writing. He posted on his Facebook page with creativity, poise, and depth.

I had become familiar with words and sentiments which touched my heart. I had learned to fall in love with ideas that made life seem more beautiful. Then when similar ideas were right in front of me – receiving them was comfortable.

One Thing to Do: Think about what you love in people and then find those qualities in books, movies or music. Purposefully take in the beauty of the qualities you admire through the medium of your choice – let it fill you with delight and determination.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna J. Daigneault, Ed.S. LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Mental Energy Can Be Better by Monday

“We’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge.” -Rutherford D. Rogers

Taking a break from technology can be a good experience but when you dive back into the technological sea of information you may feel like you’re drowning on the first day you return.

The amount of information you are being flooded with may seem normal but it may also be too much to deal with on a daily basis. You will feel flooded by extraneous data. Then when something really personal and important goes wrong you may have no energy left to deal with it. The information overload  makes your brain ache – you feel like shutting down. You may have to miss work – not because you have a virus but because you are overworking your own mental and emotional circuitry leaving no room to solve real problems.

We are drinking from a technology fire hose all day long. Even if you are not chewing and swallowing every bite being fed to you – you are still having to make decisions about what you taste. If someone followed you around throughout the day saying, “Taste this, now taste this, now this…” You would feel overwhelmed and frustrated that someone was pushing you to try things and use your limited thinking energy to make hundreds of small decisions about tasting things that have little value to you at the time they are presented.

One Thing To Do this Weekend: Erase 5 things from your phone or computer that pester you with a constant stream of less than important information.

Dawna Daigneault

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Your Reach can be Better By Monday

“Reality knows nothing of your plans, and it comes up with ever new ways to pester you. According to recent research, you are bound to meet twenty-three frustrations today (up from thirteen a decade ago).” – Piero Ferrucci in The Power of Kindness.

How you meet with the frustrations which show up today will make a difference in how frustrated they will leave you. Flexibility is something everyone thinks they understand but psychological flexibility isn’t as well known.

The idea of being physically flexible can be seen in a gymnast who is able to twist and turn effortlessly in floor routines, on balance beams and even between uneven bars. It takes years of practice to become a skilled gymnast. The amazing flexibility of the prepared gymnast can seem super-human to those of us who sit behind a desk and therefore, seem out of our reach. Psychological flexibility also takes practice but becoming adept at it doesn’t require a gym.

We may be inflexible because our parents didn’t know how to teach the skills of flexibility. Rigid rules and punishments may have trained a lack of flexibility in our thinking and/or feelings. We may have been given a routine to follow which has allowed some limited success but it didn’t include an internal compass for self-awareness.

The ability to think about more than one option and really consider how to navigate the different potential outcomes of various probable options is being psychologically flexible. That is a mouthful to say but it is a simple process to move yourself from one self-centered thought to considering how we are all connected; self, partner, family, friends, community, country, to continent.

One Thing to Do: Mental stretching is the purposeful reaching with your thoughts past where they usually end. It is like expanding the idea that something only affects you into the possibility of how that same something could change life for others. Reaching from outcomes about “just me” to an impact on “we” is one mental stretch worth practicing.

Dawna Daigneault

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.