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Friday, June 23, 2023

Between Mother's Day and Father's Day: Understanding how your parents impact our own parenting and leadership.

Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 7:23 PM

Since this is a season where we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day I'd like to look at what that relationship does for us and how we can make a difference in the lives of our kids and or staff.

Mom does a lot of the bonding part especially when we're young she helps us belong and matter as well as connect to other people in appropriate ways. She helps create a solid base and a place where we can make mistakes, receive grace and learn how to do things better. This is a place where we begin to learn creativity.

Then as dad enters our life around 4 or 5 years old he begins to take his out of orbit around mom and put the lion in our heart or the fire in our belly. He begins to help us have good aggression as well as help us bridge into the world not to be of the world but to be in the world. As we've been internalizing mom's love we internalized dad's love so we can be independent and know that even though our parents aren't there at the moment we know we are loved and worthwhile.

Of course I'm talking about the ideal situation and sometimes we need uncles and grandfather's and others to help us to come that full distance into adulthood. ( See Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud, PhD and Making Peace With Your Father by Dave Stoop, PhD)

If mom and dad had done a good job it's relatively easy for us to be a parent as well as a manager or leader. We know how to bond with our kids or staff. We know how to individuate from them and we know how to help them individuate from us and from others. We know how to empower them. We know how to bond to them as part of helping them feel included in a part of a team. We have a sense of where they are developmentally given their age, their maturity and the tasks in front of them.

No parent is perfect just like no leader is perfect but you can find out a lot about your leadership through understanding how you were parented. This is where coaching, therapy and mentoring can come in to really help. They can encourage what's working, understand what's not and help you grow into a more effective parent and leader

Kit Hill Ed.D., LMFT
The New Life Group
Counseling and Executive Coaching
925 351 7240

Altruistic & Caring Behaviors

Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 3:46 PM

In today’s world, it appears that it is filled with self-interest and personal gain. Acts of altruism and caring behaviors will have positive long-term effects. Altruism refers to the selfless concern for the well-being of others, while caring behaviors encompass actions that demonstrate empathy, compassion, and genuine concern for the welfare of those around you. These behaviors have the power to transform lives. In this blog, I will explore the importance of altruistic and caring behaviors, highlighting their benefits for individuals and society.

1. Promoting Well-being: Engaging in acts of kindness and compassion releases endorphins and other neurochemicals in the brain that promote feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Additionally, studies have shown that helping others can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and improve overall mental health. When you extend a helping hand or offer support to those in need, you will be creating a positive connection and enhance your own well-being in the process.

2. Building Stronger Communities: Altruistic and caring behaviors are the building blocks of strong and resilient communities. When individuals come together to support and uplift one another, they create a sense of belonging and unity. Acts of service, volunteering, and community engagement foster social connections, strengthen bonds, and create a shared purpose.

3. Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Finally, engaging in altruistic and caring behaviors allows you to leave a legacy. When you prioritize the well-being of others and work towards the betterment of society, you create a positive impact that extends far beyond your own lives. The acts of kindness and compassion you decide to engage in today can inspire future generations to follow suit, creating a cycle of altruism that endures over time.

Let’s take a moment here to reflect on your own feelings when someone extends a helping hand or listening ear. What positive emotions and physical sensations do you experience during this process? In my own personal experience, when going to the bank, a stranger takes the time to hold open the door for me. I feel valued, important, and that I matter. I feel seen! Imagine having this type of effect in others daily.

Altruistic and caring behaviors are not only acts of selflessness but also catalysts for positive change. By promoting well-being, fostering empathy, creating a ripple effect, building stronger communities, and leaving a legacy, these behaviors have the power to transform individuals and society. Let us embrace the opportunities to be kind, empathetic, and caring, and together, we can make a significant and meaningful difference in the world.

Wedding Planning Stress

Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 3:45 PM

If you are a bride, groom, or parents of the bride or groom, this blog is for you! I am writing this blog from personal experience and wanted to offer several suggestions of how to enjoy the process with minimal stress. My daughter is presently planning her wedding and we have both noticed that stress is creeping in which is taking away from the enjoyment of the journey.

In the early stages, I specifically told my daughter and her fiancée to focus on enjoying the process and push away the stressors. It is much easier said than done, that’s a given. Ignoring the stressors are only going to make it worse. Address the stressors one at a time and understand how you are feeling about them. The more individuals involved in the preparation process, the more you may feel stressed. Other people’s opinions and suggestions are important, but they are not the deciding factor. As the bride and groom, constantly remind yourselves of your vision of your special day. Kindly respect other’s suggestions and let them know that you will take them into consideration during your planning process.

Bride and Groom

Carefully choose who you would like to help during the wedding planning process and in which ways you would like to implore their support. Be direct, but kind and gentle. Describe your individual visions to each other and exercise open communication. Avoid build up resentments by sharing your desires, hopes, visions, thoughts, and emotions effectively. Take time away from your planning process to create memories with date days, nights, weekends, etc. Balance your talk and avoid discussing your wedding plans daily. Focus on your end goal and what you are both attempting to accomplish.

Parents of the Bride and Groom

As the mother of the bride, I understand that parents want to support their children during this exciting time. However, ask them in what ways they would like your support. Offer your support and then step back! This is their wedding, not yours. It is very easy to fall into the trap of imposing your vision. Listen to the bride and groom and gain a deep understanding of their vision! Be kind, courteous, and loving during the entire process. Many parents feel that if they are financially providing for the wedding, that they should tell the bride and groom exactly what they should and should not do! If you want a future relationship with your adult children, please avoid doing this! Only offer suggestions when prompted.

To conclude, expect surprises, especially financial ones. It is best to adjust your expectations during this process and take time to laugh!! Please also remind yourselves that the most important part is marriage, which is a lifetime. A wedding is a beautiful day of celebration, and it is only one day.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

How to Develop and Implement an EMDR Intensive

Thursday, June 22, 2023 @ 8:41 AM

Learn how to develop and implement an EMDR Intensive to fit your practice and style! In this conversation-style webinar, we will go over 3 steps for developing and implementing an EMDR Intensive for Complex PTSD that can be easily adapted for a variety of other clinical presentations.

EMDR Skills for Treating Complex PTSD Live Webinar

Thursday, June 22, 2023 @ 8:24 AM

Parts work and attachment repair are fundamental skills interwoven through EMDR’s 8 phases of therapy to treat Complex PTSD. In this training, you will receive a therapist manual along with a client workbook equipped with techniques, skills, and journal exercises to easily implement parts work and attachment repair into the 8 phases of EMDR therapy with clients. Together, we will explore each phase, incorporating additional interventions to help you diagram, compose, and demonstrate new skills for identifying protective parts that block processing, reframing protective parts to internal helpers, and healing the inner baby, child, and teen with attachment repair.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Elisha's Space New Episode: From Heartbreak To Healing: A Mother's Journey Through Loss

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 @ 3:52 PM

Discover the Power of Love, Resilience, and Healing with Linda Triplett, Author of "Healing Reflections for a Grieving Mom's Heart"

In this deeply moving and inspiring podcast episode, we welcome Linda Triplett, the author of the heartfelt book "Healing Reflections for a Grieving Mom's Heart." Linda shares her emotional journey of losing her beloved son and how she found the strength to navigate through the darkest days of her life.

Join us as we delve into Linda's incredible story of love, loss, and resilience. Through her candid storytelling, she offers invaluable insights and advice to other grieving mothers and anyone who has experienced the pain of losing a loved one. Discover the transformative power of grief and loss, and learn how Linda turned her heartbreak into a message of hope and healing.

Don't miss this powerful conversation that will touch your heart and inspire you to find strength in the face of adversity.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Finding Strength in Faith: Navigating Postpartum Depression and Anxiety as a Christian Mom

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 @ 11:58 PM

Becoming a mother is a joyful and transformative experience, but for some Christian moms, the journey may be accompanied by postpartum depression and anxiety. In this blog post, we want to offer support and encouragement to Christian moms who are navigating the challenges of postpartum depression and anxiety.

You are not alone in this journey, and with faith, practical strategies, and a supportive community, healing and hope are possible.

1) Recognize the Signs and Seek Help

The first step in overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety is recognizing the signs and seeking help. Be aware of symptoms such as persistent sadness, irritability, excessive worry, sleep disturbances, and loss of interest in activities. Reach out to your healthcare provider, a trusted counselor, or a support group specifically tailored for postpartum mental health. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards healing.

2) Lean on Your Faith

Turn to your faith as a source of comfort and strength. Engage in daily prayer, pouring out your heart to God and seeking His guidance and peace. Meditate on Scripture verses that remind you of God's love, faithfulness, and ability to bring healing. Find solace in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles and that God is with you, carrying you through the difficult times.

3) Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is essential in your journey towards healing. Prioritize self-care by establishing routines that promote physical and emotional well-being. Make time for activities that nourish your soul, such as prayer, journaling, reading uplifting books, or engaging in hobbies. Ensure you are getting enough rest and proper nutrition. Remember, caring for yourself allows you to be the best version of yourself for your child and family.

4) Create a Supportive Network

Surround yourself with a supportive network of family, friends, and fellow Christian moms who can provide understanding, encouragement, and prayer. Join a postpartum support group where you can connect with other moms who have experienced similar struggles. Share your journey with trusted individuals who can offer a listening ear and a compassionate heart. Having a supportive community can provide a sense of belonging and lessen the feelings of isolation.

5) Seek Professional Help and Treatment

Postpartum depression and anxiety may require professional treatment to aid in your healing process. Consult with a mental health professional experienced in working with postpartum disorders. They can provide therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy, tailored to your specific needs. In some cases, medication may be recommended to alleviate symptoms. Remember, seeking professional help is a proactive step towards regaining your emotional well-being.

6) Embrace God's Grace and Patience

As a Christian mom with postpartum depression and anxiety, it's important to extend yourself grace and patience. Remember that healing takes time, and recovery may involve ups and downs. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions without judgment. Give yourself permission to ask for help when needed and to take breaks when necessary. Trust that God's grace is sufficient and that He is working in your life, even in the midst of the challenges.

Christian moms facing postpartum depression and anxiety, you are not alone. With faith, support, self-care, and professional help, you can find healing and reclaim joy in your motherhood journey. Hold onto hope, lean on your faith, and remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I would love to talk to you about ways I can help with postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms. To learn more, visit:

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Desires vs. Decisions

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 @ 2:04 PM

Desires vs Decisions

Is it an easy or difficult process for you when attempting to make decisions? For many people, the process can be extremely challenging and psychologically and emotionally distressing. If you are someone who finds it easy, good for you! However, this blog is targeting those who are finding it to be an extremely difficult process. The most important ground rule to remember is to NEVER decide based off your emotions. You will most likely be making a vulnerable decision that may come with a level of regret. Make sure you are in a calm and peaceful space in your mind.

Your desires is not the same as your decisions. There is a big distinction between the two D’s. Desires are driven by your feelings and emotions while decisions are more concrete and logically based. Here are several ideas to help you with this process:

• Make a ‘pretend’ decision for five days. During that time, write daily about how you feel about the decision you are pretending to have made. Don’t bargain with the decision. The more you buy into having made the decision, the more information you will receive about yourself. Consider the emotional sensations you experienced with previous decisions you made in the past made you feel good and compare your present sensations with your pretend decision.

Put aside the pressures of planning when it is causing you significant distress. It is most likely causing you discomfort while attempting to decide. There are many decisions in life that you will need to make, but choosing the best time for that process is vital.

• Create separation between desire and decision by putting the decision to the sidelines until clarity of your desire is known. To do this, make a list of all your fears related to this decision. Then list all the specifics, or externals, in your life that you can’t stop thinking about (age, health, career, relationship status, etc.) Then put these two lists in an envelope and put that envelope out of sight. Do not look at it or entertain anything in it until you have clarity of your desire, and you know why you want what you want. The why is important, not because you owe anyone an explanation but because you need to know what is driving your desire from the inside out so that you can be honest with yourself.
Be kind and gracious to yourself during this process as you may become influenced from outside sources. Do what you feel is right for you and be honest with your feelings.

If you need further assistance from a professional counselor, please contact our office at 714-617-5955. We have qualified therapists to assist you in this process.

Way of Love

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 @ 2:02 PM

Is love a feeling? Most individuals believe that it must be a feeling that you experience to be in a committed relationship. Sure, there are erotic feelings in the beginning of a relationship, however those feelings tend to dissipate after the newness of the relationship wears off. Let’s get real – relationships take two unique individuals to choose to continue to love each other. How do you do that when you become frustrated with your partner or start to experience boredom? Here are a few suggestions of what you can do:

• Begin each day with prayer asking God to help you love your partner the way he or she needs
• Tell yourself that you are choosing to love your partner because God chose to love you
• Love without setting any conditions
• Identify what love means to you
• Write down ways that you can demonstrate love daily
• Be intentional and ask God for peace in your heart
• Demonstrate acts of kindness

I would like to reference 1 Corinthians 13:
a. Love is patient
b. Love is kind
c. It does not envy
d. It does not boast
e. It is not proud
f. It does not dishonor others
g. It is not self-seeking
h. It is not easily angered
i. It keeps no record of wrongs
j. Love does not delight in evil
k. Love rejoices with the truth
l. Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres
m. Love never fails

There will be those seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks when you experience challenges to choose to love your partner which is normal and understandable. However, those are the moments that it may be helpful to turn towards God and ask him to help pull you out of those feelings and show love to your partner the way he/she needs you to.

Pray with your spouse daily about your marriage and union together recognizing that during struggles, you are willing to work through them together.

“Love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34

Friday, June 9, 2023

Elisha's Space New Episode: Exploring the Impact of Trauma on Mental Health with Kwajera Jackson

Friday, June 9, 2023 @ 7:06 PM

🎙️🧠 *New Podcast Episode Alert!* 🧠🎙️
🌟 Exploring the Impact of Trauma on Mental Health with Kwajera Jackson 🌟
Are you curious about how trauma affects our mental well-being? Join us in our latest podcast episode as we discuss this crucial topic with renowned licensed social worker and trauma expert, Kwajera Jackson!
🔍 Discover the different types of trauma and how they manifest in our lives
💔 Learn about the complex relationship between trauma and mental health issues
🌈 Gain insights into coping mechanisms and strategies for healing
Kwajera's invaluable insights and personal stories offer hope and guidance for those struggling with the aftermath of traumatic events. Don't miss this enlightening conversation that will help you foster resilience, growth, and recovery in the face of adversity.
🎧 Tune in now and share this episode with your friends and family who might benefit from understanding the impact of trauma on mental health. Together, let's break the stigma and support each other on the path to healing! 💜

A Grief Journey Through Child Loss

Friday, June 9, 2023 @ 10:00 AM

Most of us live with grief from the loss of someone or something. If you’re living with grief then you likely understand the immense pain it can bring. The pain is a commonality we all share. And although we understand each other’s pain, our journeys with grief are unique and we certainly can’t plan the day it will become part of our story.

For many years, my story was happy and easy until grief walked through my door. That day was July 6, 2021 and it is the day my beautiful daughter, Ayla Grace, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Before this day, Ayla was a healthy, vibrant, silly and sassy almost-six year old girl but her symptoms came on suddenly. The doctors informed us that the type of tumor Ayla had was called a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (dipg for short) and it is rare, inoperable, and untreatable. The average survival rate is nine months post-diagnosis. There are no survivors of this type of cancer, and with that news, grief landed on me in a heavy, suffocating heap.

My daughter was my person. We were inseparable; we could often be found finishing each other’s sentences, laughing together at our inside jokes, making up songs, working on crafts, baking treats, reading books … everything I did, I did it with Ayla. She made me a better person because she made me a Mom, and being a Mom is the greatest and truest joy I’ve ever felt. As hard as parenting can be, there is no greater gift that God can give us, than our children. I am blessed that God has given me three.

After Ayla was diagnosed she went through months of intense medical intervention. A major brain biopsy, 45 rounds of radiation, trial chemo therapies, appointments, constant pokes and prodding. The journey felt tiresome and endless. My husband and I lived with the fear of not knowing what tomorrow would bring and the reality that one day we would lose our daughter. When the weight of our fear felt crushing we would remind ourselves that the most important thing we could focus on was the here and the now. Our mission was to fill Ayla with love and joy every single day. Ayla deserved nothing less than our best and so that is what we strived to give her as parents. We adopted practices into our daily lives, like prayer and meditation, to help keep our faith strong and our hearts on Jesus. We lived for each day with so much presence and love that you could feel it when you walked into our home. The distractions diminished and our only focus was on each other, everything else became an afterthought. There is beauty in simplicity. God gave us what we needed for each day.

But the journey we were on was gut-wrenching. We had to watch our child’s health decline rapidly. We watched her lose mobility and basic bodily functions all while she remained mentally sharp. I will forever be grateful that God blessed her with the ability to stay light-hearted, bright, and happy through the hardships. When I look back on that year the pain is ever present but love and joy is what fills my heart the most. It was the hardest yet simplest time in my life. And although it felt like nothing made sense, everything did.

Ayla fought courageously for almost a year. On June 29th, 2022 Ayla left this Earth and became our angel. There is a grace that grew over the moment almost instantaneously. God held Ayla in His loving arms and showed us that He would take care of her.

In the months after Ayla passed away a new kind of grief set in. This grief wasn’t easier, or less painful, but it was no longer filled with fear. We had lived through our greatest fear as parents and when Ayla passed away, her love filled up the hole that the fear of the unknowns of her diagnosis had dug. The loss of a child will never become easier. People say that time heals everything but sometimes I feel like it's the one thing time cannot heal. Yet through the daily tears, reminders and impossibly hard moments, time is helping me live with the loss. I’ve learned to invite grief in, as a friend. I let myself sit with the sad and take comfort in the love we have for each other and the incredible signs that Ayla shows me. Daily prayer has been my life preserver. God has been my strength and Ayla has been my inspiration for everything.

I know that something good is coming from this. I try to keep the daily reminder that our lives are fluid, not to be thought of as a series of events that happen to us, but a beautiful, intricate story woven perfectly for us. Some of us will have short stories and some of us will have long stories, but all of us have stories filled with unique purpose. Ayla’s story was short here on Earth, yet her spirit keeps imprinting more and more on my heart each day. Our stories do not end with death, they continue writing themselves within the people that we love.

ERIN SLIVKA, Friend of Cornerstone of Hope