Category Archives: therapy

When was the last time you said “I Love You” . . . to Yourself?

When was the last time you said “I Love You” . . . to Yourself? Now that’s a question, isn’t it?

And I’m curious about your answer. Would it be OK to ask yourself the question now? See if you can embrace whatever answer comes without judging yourself. Whatever your answer, it’s just information.

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An Exercise for You
Here’s an exercise that can help. Sit down in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Breathe in and out three times. Close your eyes and see yourself standing in front of a mirror. Now be there in front of that mirror. Say to yourself, either silently or out loud “Your Name, I Love You.” How does it feel to the part of you who is saying it? Why are you saying it? And for the part of you who is hearing and receiving it, can you let it in? Does it feel good? Or not? What are you feeling in your body? Do you feel worthy of such self-love? Do you deserve? If you feel loved—wonderful.

If you can’t say it or it’s hard or you can’t let the love in then you may want to start saying “I Love you” and see what arises when you say those words while at the same time strengthening your love of yourself. See if you can hold love and not love. That would be a good practice.

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What did you discover? When was the last time you said I Love You to yourself: upon wakening this morning? before going to sleep last evening? a month ago? you can’t remember? hardly ever? Are you much more accustomed to hear yourself saying, “I hate this wrinkle or look at that fat roll?”

It was Carl Rogers, the psychologist, who said the hardest thing for people to say to each other are the very positive things. That is true for ourselves with ourselves. As I write to you today I’m remembering I have lived through loving and hating myself. They are two different worlds. I’m remembering one morning just around Halloween, years ago, when I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and felt such hatred for myself and the way I looked . . . even with my make-up on. I was devastated. At the time I had no voice to respond to this hateful voice to say something like “Excuse me, you don’t get to talk to me that way. Ever. For any reason!” Yes, I too know non-loving.

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Now after awakening to and transcending my early inner world I know loving and I know hating. Sometimes, many times a day I hear a voice from within say “I so love you.” And I hear another voice say, “I love you too.” Sometimes when I feel sad, sometimes when I feel lonely, sometimes when I’m stretching myself and trying something new, sometimes just because, for no reason. That kind of love for myself is right for all of us. It is our birthright. It reminds me of Derek Walcott’s beautiful poem Love after Love.

You actually don’t have to say the words out loud or even silently, what’s important is you have the feeling of self love.

If your answer is that you say “I Love You” to yourself several times a day or a week then I dance with you. But before we get too celebratory I wonder if you know where you say, “I love you” from. You see there is achievement, accomplishment, what we might call conditional “love”—which perhaps is not love at all—because you love yourself because the number on your scale is low enough today. Or did you just get engaged so you are proving you are OK to yourself? You know what I mean.

My dear friends that is accomplishment or achievement, for how much we succeeded I wouldn’t call that love; it’s achievement. Truly all good things, don’t get me wrong but not love. It is acknowledgment. I would call that “Conditional Something.” If you achieve this, that or the other, then I will love you. That is not real love. I’m sorry to say.

I’ve watched so many clients I work with, over and over again, be gravely disappointed because they finished a degree, had a huge business success and they still don’t feel lovable inside. They had a belief that an outside success would create an inside feeling. No true. They were caught in the Conditional Love hope world.

Then there is Unconditional Love. Unconditional Love is not about worthiness or deserving. It is love without conditions: “I love you because I love you, no reason. I love you because you are. No conditions, no accomplishment. I love you for being you: a total acceptance from your heart.” You still may not like that wrinkle or extra 10 pounds but it doesn’t destroy your love for yourself.

If you feel such a love without conditions for yourself, you are there. Don’t take it for granted. Whether you grew up this way or you’ve worked to come to this place, no matter: let it guide you to the life you were meant to live.

Do you know that the more we love ourselves, the more we can love others and the more we can let in another’s love for us. And if we don’t love ourselves, it does not matter how loving your partner is or family is you won’t be able to receive the love.

Self love then leads to self care.
Then you want to take care of yourself like you would care for anyone your deeply loved. And self love and self care lead to well being and thriving. Kind of interesting because self love and self care lead to creating a life that you love from your whole self.

Are you afraid that if you love yourself then you’ll be all alone? And no one else will love you. Hogwash!

The world of Unconditional Self Love helps us go forward into the unknown, fail and feel loved, experiment, and follow our passion not knowing where that will lead us and be loved. There is a power to Unconditional Self Love that you don’t want to miss. It’s life-changing.

 

For more articles on self love, self care and thriving, and living the life you love you may want to visit check out my blog post archives, and website articles and Get on our mailing list. Watch for the upcoming webinar the Feminine Power Project.

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Lynda Klau, Ph.D.
Founder & Director
Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Development
www.drlyndaklau.com
life-unlimited-blog.com
1 212 595 7373

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Dear Dad, This is What I Want to Say to You on Father’s Day:

A 21st Century Woman Calls Dads to Action

What do I, a woman and your daughter, have to say to you on Father’s day? When you let yourself be vulnerable it does not mean you are weak.

Matter of fact being vulnerable—open, real, alive, honest, sharing “heartfully”—is the most innovative, creative and powerful place to live and work from.

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It’s so weird dad, women are often criticized because they are too vulnerable or emotional and we, men and women, have been socialized to think—being a male is better, superior, more powerful and women are the second sex, we give ourselves up, we are weak . . . but it’s time to wake up dad.

These beliefs are not true. Actually they are destructive. It’s time to change them. 

It’s time to realize that being vulnerable is sharing our humanity with each other, It is not only healing but it is living on the edge and the unknown, it is life changing.

When men, dear dad, and women, both realize that the more we let down our walls and talk from our hearts, we will know how to love and the world will change.

Dear dad the time is NOW.

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Lynda Klau, Ph.D.

Founder & Director

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Development

www.drlyndaklau.com

life-unlimited-blog.com

1 212 595 7373

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“Take the first step” toward Real Communication

Take the first step says poet David Whyte, not the second or the third for real communication: with yourself, at work, at home . . . in all communications, in all relationships.

Learn how to LISTEN even when you are angry or convinced you are right. Learn how to say what needs to be said that’s in your head and heart.

Over and over again I find myself being moved when I hear another tell me their experience. Like yesterday, I went to a new dentist who I didn’t want to like. My beloved dentist of years had retired and sold his practice to Dr. J.

Little by little as I shared my negative thoughts with a patient in the waiting room and listened to her, and then listened to Eileen as she cleaned my teeth, I saw my closed, fixed opinion begin to soften and open. And finally I meet Dr. J. He is shockingly lovely, open and smart. He is the first dentist who will listen to me talk about my health food toothpastes that have me coming for teeth cleanings every six months instead of the typical three-month visit.

Take the first step: learn how to put your feelings into words and share. Learn how to “for real” listen.

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Here’s an exercise for you to develop your sharing and listening muscles.

An Exercise: Sharing Appreciations and Resentments

1.  A speaks her appreciations to B. B listens and doesn’t interrupt. A gives concrete examples, e.g. when I asked you to turn the computer off and you did, I really appreciated that. A gives a concrete example for every appreciation. Maximum time–3 minutes.

2.  B speaks her appreciations to A.  Again, very concrete examples. A listens, hopefully with head and heart and does not interrupt.

3.  A speaks her resentments, once again using concrete examples. B listens, no interruptions.

4.  B shares resentments while A listens.

Do this for a short period of time—3 minutes each maximum.

At first you are practicing speaking and listening. There is no responding.  When you have developed a muscle, you can respond if you want to after the other person has shared. No discussion just a simple response for no more than 1 minute.

This is a powerful exercise. In the end you do not have to agree. You may really disagree. However, if you’re listening with your head, heart and body you will most likely be affected; you and the other will find your authentic way.

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Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder and Director of

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

1 212 595 7373

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An Intentional Thanksgiving 2012

Dr. Lynda Klau

How to have a Stress-Free, Restorative, Thankful, Out of the Box, 2012 Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving begins our year-end holiday season. It’s supposed to be a time of giving thanks and love but can you hear your moans and feel the dread in the atmosphere. Why? Often we get so caught up in the rituals and old habits that we lose sight of the deeper meaning and walk into Christmas and then the new year exhausted, having eaten too much, feeling irritated with our friends or family, frustrated from travelling in overload season, having spent too much money . . .

This year consider these out of the box ways of spending thanksgiving and make this Thanksgiving your best yet—give thanks for your love for yourself, your life and the people in your community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step One – Spend some time alone and/or with your family and friends exploring how you really want to spend this holiday, what you really want to do. Be creative: go to the movies all day long, order in pizzas, spend time alone and reflect on your life (Link to http://drlyndaklau.com/media.html), catch up on sleep, go to Paris, make love all day . . . And come to clarity for yourself and for your community.

If you are alone ask yourself do you want to be with people or not? Being alone doesn’t mean you are not loved or loveable. If you want to be with people find some people to join or volunteer somewhere.

If you want to do the traditional meal and gathering then do it with kindness and joy for everyone, the cook, the clean up crew, the set-up team, and practice acceptance, listening, and being mindful.

Step Two – Create a Plan or Follow your Flow

Don’t forget to spend some time focused on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  It is all about giving thanks

  • give thanks for your life, your breathe, the day, the air,
  • give thanks for imagining that you have achieved what you desire
  • give thanks for everything

Before we say goodbye – If you are addicted to Black Friday, how about going Cold Turkey. Just don’t go. Stay home! Go Slow!

By the end of the weekend celebrate how good you feel and how grateful you are for changing the old ritual and creating a new one that serves you and yours.

Change is ahead!

Dr. Lynda Klau

11.15.12

Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder and Director of

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

Life-Unlimited-Blog.com

drlyndaklau@gmail.com

1 212 595 7373

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Psychotherapy: On Being and Becoming Whole

Blogs relating to: Psychotherapy and Couples Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy: On Being and Becoming Whole

Psychotherapy

Some of the most leading edge work in psychotherapy these days combines mindfulness, the body, neuroscience, and relationship research. I’ll be teaching a course in this powerful approach for mental health professionals as part of The Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy’s Year Long Certification Program in 2011-2012. Here’s the course description.

On Being and Becoming Whole

When we as mental health professionals combine mindfulness, neuroscience, and new relationship research, a synergetic approach emerges.

Several questions arise relevant to integrating psychotherapy and spirituality:

These and other questions inform this learning module, which draws from personal and professional stories as well as exercises and discussion.

  • How does mindfulness contribute?
  • How can we include the body?
  • What does “brain-wise” neuroscientific knowledge add?
  • What qualities can we develop to facilitate relationships that heal?

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If you want to receive my hot of the press new podcast guiding you in a mindfulness meditation email me drlyndaklau@gmail.com and I’m happy to personally send it to you.

Sign up for the email newsletter on my official website for periodic updates and helpful information and resources.

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