Ali Miller, MFT - Helping you live an authentic, empowered & connected life
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There's Room for Everyone to Complain
“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

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Self-Compassion

There's Room for Everyone to Complain

I hear it all the time. People starting to share that they're not feeling so great, that they're struggling, having a hard time. And then - boom - they switch gears.

"But other people have it much worse, so I shouldn't complain."

If it's a therapy client of mine saying this, I'll often say something like, "This is your therapy hour. You get to complain all you want!"

I encourage my clients to complain, especially those for whom sharing their struggles doesn't come easy.

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).

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.

Practicing Self-Compassion When You're Struggling with Anxiety

I was recently featured in an article on Psychcentral.com about ways to practice self-compassion when you're struggling with anxiety. Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky.  Clickhere to read the article on Psychcentral.com.

Practicing Self-Compassion When You're Struggling with Anxiety
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

People who struggle with anxiety often beat themselves up about it. "I should be able to handle this." "There must be something seriously wrong with me.

Self-Compassion: What it is and How to Practice it

I was recently interviewed about self-compassion for an article by Margarita Tartakovsky on a popular mental health website called PsychCentral.com. Here is a link to the article, and I copied the questions and answers below it.http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/15/how-to-practice-self-compassion-when-you-think-you-cant/

Margarita Tartakovsky: What are the top 3 to 5 reasons you think practicing self-compassion is important?

Ali Miller:The opposite of self-compassion is self-criticism, and self-criticism is an experience of inner conflict.