Ali Miller, MFT - Helping adults live more authentic, empowered & connected lives
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“Hear me!”: Some Thoughts on Listening and the Longing to be Heard
The Foundation of Self-Compassion
When Life Sucks: Buddhism, NVC, and Mourning
The #1 Key to Better Relationships
Why Self-Compassion Isn't Self-Indulgent

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“Hear me!”: Some Thoughts on Listening and the Longing to be Heard

“Hear me!”: Some Thoughts on Listening and the Longing to be Heard

Here’s what I think: There is a serious lack of listening going on in our world. Would you agree? I’m pretty confident that if humans were listening more, we wouldn’t still be using bombs and guns to try to solve our conflicts. I’m pretty sure that if we were listening more, we wouldn’t be spending so much time fighting wars, big and small, external and internal. I truly believe that if we were listening more, we’d have more peace.

The Foundation of Self-Compassion

The Foundation of Self-Compassion

An editor at PsychCentral.com recently asked me, "What do you wish people really understood about self-compassion?" Here is my response.

I wish people really understood that self-compassion is fundamentally about caring about yourself. It’s about treating yourself like you would your best friend: with kindness, attention, love, and responsiveness. It’s saying to yourself, “I’m here for you. I care about you and I want to support you.”

I believe this compassionate attitude towards ourselves is the foundation for sustainable change.

When Life Sucks: Buddhism, NVC, and Mourning

As I sit at my desk in California, awaiting the trick-or-treaters, an e-mail my sister just sent me is reverberating through my mind. She wrote from New York, "No power. No school. Halloween postponed 'til next Friday."  I picture my little niece and nephew all dressed up in their adorable costumes, having to wait over a week to celebrate one of their favorite holidays.
 
As the Buddha taught, sometimes life really sucks.
 
I'm writing this in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and am struck by the theme of loss that seems to be calling out for my attention this month, so I thought I'd muse on the topic of mourning, and offer some insight and support I've learned from my adventures in both Buddhism and Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

The #1 Key to Better Relationships

The #1 Key to Better Relationships
 
Yesterday it hit me that there really isonething I believe is the key to better relationships, so I wanted to share it with you immediately. I hope it leads to more moments of connection for you!
 
I’m going to keep it short and sweet, because it’s really simple (though definitely not easy).
 
If you want to improve your relationships, stop making other people responsible for your feelings.
 
That’s it. That’s the key.
 
As long as you are making other people responsible for your feelings, you are caught in the blame game.

Why Self-Compassion Isn't Self-Indulgent

I was recently featured in an article on PsychCentral.com about the differences between self-compassion and so-called "self-indulgence."  Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky. Click here to read the article on Psychcentral.com.

Why Self-Compassion Isn't Self-Indulgent
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. 

So many of us think that self-compassion is the same as self-indulgence. That is, we think that self-compassion means sitting on the couch and zoning out while we watch TV.

When You Can't Relax: 7 Tips to Try

I was recently featured in an article on PsychCentral.com about what to do when you're having a hard time relaxing.  Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky. Click here to read the article on Psychcentral.com.

When You Can't Relax: 7 Tips to Try
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Many of us feel a constant pressure or prodding to be productive. As we sit down on the couch, we’re met with 50 reasons why we need to get back up. Fifty reasons, which include folding laundry, washing dishes, checking email, calling so-and-so about such-and-such, and so on.

Transforming "Not Enough" Thoughts with Mindfulness and Compassion

What lies about your "not enough-ness" did your mind tell you today? How did you respond?

While scrolling through Facebook this evening, I noticed a sinking feeling in my chest and could sense my upper body contracting. Luckily, thanks to my mindfulness practice, I was able to notice the unpleasant feeling right away and trace the feeling back to the thought that went something like, "I'm not informed enough."

I felt relief in noticing the thought and identifying it as one of those pesky "not enough" thoughts.

How to Stop Viewing Your Anxiety as an Enemy

I was recently featured in an article on PsychCentral.com about helpful ways to relate to anxiety.  Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky.  Clickhere to read the article on Psychcentral.com.

How to Stop Viewing Your Anxiety as an Enemy
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

If you struggle with anxiety, you might start to see your anxiety as an adversary. After all, anxiety stops you from doing things you need to do and things that you enjoy. Anxiety keeps you in the house and keeps you from pursuing your dreams.

What is Nonviolent Communication Therapy?

I was interviewed about NVC-inspired therapy earlier in the year by an editor named Tammisan Mason at CareersInPsychology.org. Below is the interview, and you can find the piece on their website  here.

WHAT IS NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION (NVC) THERAPY?

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a methodology pioneered by Marshall Rosenberg. NVC is used to help people understand and connect with themselves and with others. It is also called Compassionate Communication in that it fosters a compassionate perspective toward our own actions and the actions of others.

Obstacles to Assertiveness

I was recently featured in an article on PsychCentral.com about obstacles to assertiveness. Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky.  Click here to read the article on Psychcentral.com.

5 More Obstacles that Prevent You from Being Assertive
by Margarita Tartakovsky

Many things can squelch our attempts at being assertive — before we ever even start to express ourselves. In a previous piece we talked about three obstacles that stall assertiveness: a sinking self-worth; our fear of disconnecting with the other person; and lack of communication and emotional management skills.