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My Journey With Agoraphobia

My Journey With Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a complex anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic, feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. Common fears associated with agoraphobia are traveling, driving, public speaking, being alone, airplanes, public transportation, elevators and or being in large crowds. Agoraphobia typically manifests after someone experiences a scary panic attack. They begin to fear the fear, worried panic will strike any time.  Everyone experiences what I call "typical anxiety"...you know, the butterflies in your stomach before a first date, the nervousness you get before a job interview. Generalized anxiety is a broader term that...

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My Indigenous Heritage

My Indigenous Heritage

Being a woman of mixed ancestry (Native/European) I’m blessed with a rich cultural background from my mother and father. Because both my paternal grandparents are Native, I have two lineages, two stories of survival, hope and love. In 2002, my grandmother Mary wrote a book about her life called A Gift from the Heart. I am grateful to experience my history through her eyes and that is where this story begins. In 1893, Mary’s grandparents traveled from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, to North Dakota seeking a better life. During their journey, her mother Ernestine, was born in a wagon in what is...

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Blog #4: Advice Abyss

Blog #4: Advice Abyss

Advice.  Great when you need it, frustrating when all you feel is the constant punch of unsolicited feedback. Unwanted advice can put anyone in a quandary. It comes in two forms, the know-it-alls and those who genuinely want what's best for us; maybe a few who stratal both. In my years being a counselor, I learned very quickly that most people didn't really want advice from me, they wanted me to listen, they wanted to feel validated for their thoughts, feelings and decisions. At first I dove straight into "well you should really." That strategy didn't work often, it only...

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Blog #3: Riding the Waves

Blog #3: Riding the Waves

Transition is well...a transition. They rarely go as planned. We may do everything in our power to prepare, organize and schedule accordingly, hoping to alleviate the stress, anxiety and lack of control one often feels when their life changes. Change isn't hard for everyone, but it is hard for me. My nature to be organize and create routine in my life no doubt serves me well in many respects, but I cling to it like a life jacket until I am pulled away from it, thrashing about in uncharted waters. The feeling of no control, new environment, new everything seems...

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Blog #2: Vulnerability

Blog #2:  Vulnerability

Being vulnerable with others isn't easy. We are opening a part of ourselves and trusting another to take care of it. When vulnerable, we are taking a risk. A risk at being rejected, punished, shamed, dismissed or ignored. Most people refrain from being vulnerable because there is a slight chance of being emotionally bruised. We would rather keep in our secrets, our thoughts, or needs because somehow that feels safer then the potential greater reward of being seen, validated, and truly heard. When we feel seen, our bond with others deepens, we trust just a little more, and our connectedness...

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