Posts by Sage Hill

Helping you navigate through life

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Listening to Your Lonely

When asked what makes loneliness hard to admit, people of all ages often say that they believe loneliness means they are messed up, defective, a loser, friendless, or unlovable. This condemning voice that calls us names is what Dr. Chip Dodd calls the voice of toxic shame in his book, The Voice of the Heart. Rather than lead us to acknowledge our neediness, toxic shame entangles our hearts, tightly binding them up, leaving us unable to experience full life because we can’t experience our natural place. We believe we should hide who we are, and we center our lives on doing it. (pg. 117-118)

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Unfreezing Trauma

Things happen in life sometimes that we cannot explain or anticipate. When these events are painful, it's hard to let them go. Maybe you've said this before: "If I only would have known." "WHY?" "Wait, what happened?" "How did I not see this coming?" "This cannot be happening." When something out of the ordinary occurs it feels like a tsunami hits us and we become flooded. The flood in our heads caused by overwhelming events becomes frozen in our brains. Trauma begins an ice age in our brains. In order to begin melting the ice within, these scary events need to

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Anxiety is quite the Storyteller

Anxiety sucks. Not many will argue with that. Because of how scary anxiety is, it's hard to believe it is anything other than something to avoid. But beyond its very real terror, anxiety is trying to tell us something important. Anxiety is an internal storyteller who believes its story is so important that its chosen genre is horror. Scary stories are hard not to listen to. Anxiety does this to get our attention—scary stories work. Anxiety is our internal storyteller who tries to keep us afraid of life in order to keep us safe. But there is another storyteller in us

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Drugs and Talk Therapy Affect the Brain in Different Ways

Psychiatric drugs and psychotherapy mostly have the same purpose: to make us feel better mentally and emotionally. However, it seems like common sense to assume that they do so by very different means, the former acting chemically on your brain and the latter altering your mind and thoughts. Yet if you ponder this some more and consider that our brains are our minds — after all, every lived thought and feeling has its basis in the brain — it follows that if you spend time on the therapist’s proverbial couch, any benefit will ultimately register not only in changes to how you think,

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Facing Burnout

Many professionals operate under constant stress and end up becoming disillusioned, practicing hopelessness, and physically and emotionally exhausted—especially if we work helping people. Sadly for professionals, when things get hard the only thing we know to do is work harder. When this happens we can become burned out and grow apathetic, discouraged, and/or full of rage. The despair and isolation that follows burnout can threaten our jobs, our relationships, and our health. While finding and maintaining balance is a futile and a pointless exercise, we can learn to make our choices with greater integrity. When professionals' hearts become impaired through

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Better Off Dad: The Biological Changes of Fatherhood

A man walks down the street with his wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. With no kids, he has existed until now in his own orbit and paid little attention to the offspring of others. He notices a woman with a baby and the moment causes him some consternation — he feels very little for the child and worries that perhaps he lacks the empathy to be a dad. Are certain men, he wonders, hardwired to respond better to infants than others? Pregnancy and parenting research has disproportionally favoured mothers, for obvious reasons, but there is a

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6 Things the Happiest Families All Have in Common

Family life is hectic. Most of us play it by ear and hope it works out well. Or maybe you haven't started a family yet but when you do you want to do it right. Aren't there some legit answers out there about what creates the happiest families? Yes, there are. Read the full article on theweek.com.

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Alcohol Abuse and the Elderly

The Problem Continues to Worsen It will come as no surprise that a considerable number of the older people in our nation drink. A drink after work or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner is a habit that can be picked up over a lifetime. However, once the kids leave home and don’t come by so much or the retirement party is only a distant memory, those drinking habits that were relatively safe and stable in younger years can turn into a true drinking problem. As isolation and loneliness set in, more and more seniors are turning to

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Freeing the Tamed Heart

In the past century, the tactics involved in taming an elephant for circus performing aren't nearly as violent or barbaric as they once were, but it still remains heartbreaking to witness. We all know this magnificent two-ton animal could crush its handler instantly, and yet the elephant obeys his every command. Sometimes doing tricks that are dangerous to its own health. How can this be? How can such a strong and relatively smart animal withstand this kind of captivity? The stinging reminder never disappears—this incredible animal was taken from its natural habitat, usually at a young age, was "broken in" over a

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The One Word You Shouldn’t Say in Your Marriage

We could probably think of a few words you shouldn’t say in your marriage (most of them fall into the name-calling category…), but one psychologist is saying there’s an everyday verb that shouldn’t be uttered at all—and we just used a variation of it twice in one paragraph (this is going to be tough)! Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D. wrote an interesting article on why the word “should” needs to be immediately dropped from your vocab when communicating with your partner. Turns out, this word causes a controlling, judgmental dynamic and negative energy between couples. Read the full blog post on thenest.com.

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