How To Make Authentic Connections In Times Of Crisis

Throughout the world, the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we connect with others. In Massachusetts, many other states and our entire world, restaurants have closed and community events are being postponed or cancelled. We are being asked to social distance and stay home as much as possible. I am reminded of the anxiety we felt after September 11th and how we worked through it individually and as a society. We did it before and we can do it again.

How much anxiety is too much?  

Our routines have been upset and there are many unknowns, this results in an increase in anxiety. If you are feeling some anxiety, it is normal. If anxiety is disrupting your relationships, work or general well being, take some steps now to reduce stress.

Some Signs of Anxiety

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
  • Being easily fatigued.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
  • Irritability.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep).

As empaths, we have to be aware of how much anxiety we absorb from others. It is our responsibility to protect and rejuvenate our energy. Remember, connecting through our fear over and over again is not authentically connecting. It is called obsessing and ruminating. In the long term, this damages our health and weakens our immune system. 

Add a heading (5)

What can I do?

Become aware of what is raising your anxiety. Notice what people and circumstances are triggering anxious thoughts. What feels frightening to you?

Choose your thoughts and responses. I am reminded of my Mom in difficult times like these. She suffered a severe stroke which left her entire right side paralyzed. She taught me an important lesson, nine years ago, this month. No matter what your circumstance in life (whether you are ill, ordered to be in a quarentine, practicing social distancing, are required to travel into work, etc.), you CHOOSE your thoughts and responses.

Take precautions. Do what the CDC recommends which includes washing your hands, not touching your face, covering coughs and sneezes while practicing social distancing, and holding off on non-essential travel.

Feel the fear, don’t dwell. Allow yourself a brief time each day to sit, feel and release your fear. You may do this through writing, talking to others or online/phone counseling. Learn to shift into gratitude, focus on what you have and practice ways to distract your mind. (reading a book, watching a comedy, going for a walk)

Have compassion for yourself and set some new boundaries. You may need to watch less news. Read the news once a day, rather than checking it every few hours. Don’t watch the news before going to bed. Spend less time on social media, which can fuel your fear and spread misinformation.

Start connecting to spirit, yourself and others in alternative ways. You can use phone calls or Skype/Zoom to connect with others. Make more time to pray, meditate, write, be creative and connect within. 

You are all in my thoughts. This is a temporary situation, it will not last forever. I am always available for phone counseling and angel card readings.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC  is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

 

6 Reasons to Embrace Being an Outsider

We all have felt different or left out of something, at one point or another in our lives. For some people, being an outsider is a part of their life purpose, not just a temporary circumstance. Many empathic people have felt like an outsider because society does not embrace vulnerability and feelings.

My own story

For many years, I resisted being an outsider. Being different meant something was wrong with me and I needed to fix it. I silenced my voice and people pleased to be accepted. I often gave much more than I received in order to gain others’ approval. At first, I felt it was worth it. Trying to fit in where I didn’t belong, left me unhappy. It wasn’t until I accepted and got comfortable with my isolation, I felt connected to a world of spirit and my own soul.

It is difficult and sometimes emotionally painful to feel outside of the norm, whether it is with your family, peers or society. There are many reasons to embrace your uniqueness, not just for yourself but for others.

6 Reasons To Embrace Being an Outsider

1.) You see clearly. As an outsider, you see through the facades of other people, politics and institutions. For this reason, you maintain and strengthen your values because you aren’t manipulated. You discover dysfunctional patterns and break free from them.

2.) You live your own truth. Spending more time alone can be beneficial when you tune into your own thoughts and feelings. Whether you spend time in nature, write or meditate, you make time to listen within for what is true for you.

3.) Outside of the box thinker. Whether it is a family feud or workplace conflict, you see what the real issues are because you have the benefit of an alternative perspective. You may develop a resolution others can not see. Not only do you think outside the box, you often live outside the box. You choose alternative ways to work, live and love.

4.) You are different for a reason. Being created different is not a punishment, it is a gift. If being an outsider is part of your life’s purpose, find your unique life path and live your life. Your energy is needed in this world.

5.) Open to learning. Many outsiders are curious people who want to grow spiritually and emotionally. You are not interested in supporting the status quo and understand that change is not only good but many times necessary.

6.) Be a shining example to other outsiders and the haters. You are a leader, this is why you don’t fit in following others. Teach through your example. Show others how you can live a life you love and be who you truly are despite other people’s opinions.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC  is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Are you Open to a Miracle?

In the recent past, I struggled with my beliefs due to circumstances involving health and relationships. I am aware of miracles because I have experienced these blessings numerous times throughout my life. I know you have too. Some of you right now may be hoping for your own miracle. Let me assure you, it is not only possible but also guaranteed under Divine grace for each one of us to receive miracles.

Are you Open to a Miracle_ (1)

I am happy to announce, I have a third story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul.  This book is called Believe in Miracles: 101 Stories of Hope, Answered Prayers and Divine InterventionThe Divine works in mysterious ways. I know without a doubt, this publication coming out now is confirmation another miracle is on its way.

-fmk5OHY

Miracles are often unexpected surprises. For those who hold a strong faith, a miracle acts as a confirmation of their beliefs. Most of us fall into this next category. Being human, you have doubts and fear. You don’t expect a miracle can or will happen for you. When this happens, acknowledge and feel all of these emotional states. Once you feel them, they transition out of your consciousness, making room for your miracle. Resisting emotions, blocks the energy of miraculous solutions. This is what I write about in my story called A Found Friend, a journey of getting lost in the Canadian woods, with my husband, and finding not only our way out, but also a serendipitous friend.

How to Get Your Miracle:

1.) Be Aware of Ordinary Miracles

Miracles happen everyday, yet we are too busy or distracted to notice how blessed we are. Some miracles are routine, such as breathing, seeing and eating. These are all gifts keeping you alive to experience the wonder of life. Start keeping track of your these familiar miracles. You can do this through a gratitude journal. Being thankful for miracles, increases your positive energy and vibration. The more you notice miracles, the more you receive.

Here is a short list of everyday miracles;

Someone with anxiety or depression goes to therapy. This person allows themselves to sit with uncomfortable emotions and expresses them.

A lost wallet is returned, with all of its contents inside.

The fact we live on this beautiful planet, suspended in space.

Random acts of kindness.

A tiny seed grows into a large oak tree.

2.) Ask and You Shall Receive

Pray to the Divine and ask for a miracle. It is through your connection to the Divine, you experience miracles.

Make your intentions known. Write them down, talk about them with a trusted friend. This breathes inspiration and energy into your wishes.

3.) Allowing/Worthiness

In order to receive you need to be aware, but also be open to receive, without expectation. Surrender your way of doing for a larger plan. Recite the Serenity Prayer, as I did in my story.

Believe and know you are worthy of extraordinary experiences big and small. You do not have to do anything to have a miracle. It is about knowing you deserve simply because you exist.

4.) Connect with Other Miracles

When you hear or read about other people’s miracles, you gain hope. If it can happen to them, it could happen to you. Look for podcast episodes featuring miracles and read books. I have been reading this Believe in Miracles book to remind me of my own and other people’s miracles. It is boosting my faith, may it boost yours too. Purchase your copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Believe in Miracles here

cover_art_230943Miracles book

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is published in three Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to Regain Balance When Your World Falls Apart

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”-Robert H. Schuller

How to Regain Balance When Your world Falls Apart

From November into December, my sense of security was disrupted. I felt like a shaken snow globe and I didn’t know where all of the pieces swirling around me were going to land. It began with a sudden health issue. While I was going to doctors, changing my diet, taking medications and being prescribed more tests, I had some relationship conflicts and then a sudden death in the family.

The more I tried to control my health situation and relationships, the more my world fell apart. Like many empaths, I shifted into overthinking because the feelings of overwhelm were too much. This was not working. I began to develop a deeper trust in myself and the Divine. I am happy to report, I am feeling better and am optimistic I will continue to improve. Here are a few steps I took to regain equilibrium, perhaps you will find them helpful too.

1.) Admit this sucks. Being a spiritual person, I work to be positive. This isn’t about being cheerful, it is about being real. Sometimes you have to be in the sh**. You will let others down and you will not get to do all the things you want to, right now.

Remember, you are in a place of suffering, but it will pass. Everything in this world is temporary. When you accept and acknowledge this state of the situation, it often shifts.

2.) Accept the out of control aspects of the situation and look for what you can control. Dust off that Serenity Prayer and begin to use it. The only person you can control is you and your choices.

Educate yourself about this situation and ask professionals for their advice. Be aware of too much research, which can turn into an obsession. Get off the Google search engine and step away.

Take steps to nurture yourself. Go to bed early and keep a lighter schedule. Say no to others like never before.

3.) Pray for others and yourself. Often it helps to take the focus off of yourself and help others. Pick five people each day who are in need of healing. Pray for these people specifically by name and in detail. Take five minutes for this practice. This is more than writing a passing thought of care on social media, this is about Divine connection. You can pray for the same person multiple times a week or different people.

If you are stuck on who to pray for scroll through your social media feed to find friends, who are reaching out for support through their posts.

4.) Be mindful. Practice deep breathing and meditate daily. Relaxation practices support health and healing. Stay grounded in your body as much as you can. This will create an inner sense of security. Listen to your inner wisdom and act on it. You may also want to read 6 Ways to Reconnect to the Body & Feel Secure

5.) Seek out supportive relationships. You do not need a lot of people, look for one or two. If you have one or two people, who you can share your difficulties with, this will be a source of healing for you. When you begin to share with too many people, you receive a lot of unsolicited advice, which can drain your energy.

6.) Focus on what you have. Gratitude can be healing. Keep it to five things a day. You can combine this with a few positive affirmations. If this feels forced, go back to steps one through five.

Remember you will get through this, you are strong and you are not alone. 

If you need assistance, support or an empathic ear, I am available for psychotherapy,  spiritual coaching sessions and angel card readings.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Yes, You are Lovable, As you Are!

We all choose to receive love and joy at the level of our self-love and self-esteem. So love yourself a little harder and life will get a lot better. – Karen Salmansohn

Yes, You are Lovable, As You Are! (1)

Many issues my therapy clients face stem from feeling unlovable.  Everyone at one time or another has experienced this feeling. This thought of being unlovable could have started as a childhood experience, a teenager’s rejection of love or even as an adult’s disappointment. You may have a healthy sense of self-esteem but encounter a person who projects their self-hatred onto you. If you do not have strong boundaries, you can take on other people’s negativity and feel unlovable.

Empaths and Feeling Unloved

Empaths often receive the message something is wrong with them because of their sensitivity. As a child or an adult, you may have been told to toughen up, stop crying, shake it off, you are too much or too emotional. On the other side of the coin, you may feel taken advantage of because people rely on your advice and kindness, yet offer little in return. All of these experiences can leave you feeling resentful, emotionally drained and invisible.

Narcissists lack empathy and often target empaths because of their sensitivity. Their rage and self-hatred are thrown onto those who will absorb it. Even when they are ignoring or excluding you, it can send you the false message you are unlovable. The truth is their negativity is all about them.

How to Heal

A lack of self-acceptance and self-knowledge fuels unlovability. The more you can celebrate and appreciate your gifts of sensitivity, the better you will feel. It does not matter if other people get you, as long as you love yourself. Surround yourself with people like you. Do not give your power away to a few haters, when there is a whole world full of people who are loving and kind.

Use these additional six steps to heal:

  1. Recognize when you feel or think you are unlovable.
  2. Question this thought; is it true? Write down evidence of how you are loved. Seeing is believing.
  3. Fill your own cup. Engage in a self- loving/self-care actions.
  4. Set boundaries with people who do not honor your sensitivity. Spend less time with people who drain your energy or require too much of you. Practice saying no to requests from family, friends and even clients who reinforce the belief you are not giving enough.
  5. If you get stuck; reach out to a licensed psychotherapist who can help you.  I take pride in offering a safe, supportive space of unconditional love to help sensitive souls. From personal experience, I know what it is like to think you are unlovable and to heal this belief.
  6. Remember, you are love. You come from love and you will return to love. No experience or person can diminish who you are.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Why Archangel Gabriel is the Best Writer’s Angel

Why Archangel Gabriel is the Best Writer's Angel

 

There are many angels and archangels to assist a writer with their creative practice. If you are looking for specialization, Archangel Gabriel is the messenger angel, who works with writers and all communicators. When you write and publish your book, you will also need to market your book. Gabriel can help with every step in this process.

Archangel Gabriel gives motivation, courage, and opportunities to those who feel guided to write. The desire to write is a signal, this is a part of your life purpose. Those who have repetitive thoughts such as, I want to be a writer, are receiving Divine guidance to express heavenly messages through a book, article, blog, or other medium. In some cases, Gabriel will suggest journaling or keeping a diary as a way to open up and receive inspiration. Whatever form your writing takes, the process of putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard is soul stirring.

My personal call

I first received the message to be a writer in 2009, after a thyroid cancer scare. I prayed to God. “What can I do?” I heard, be a writer. I had the surgery to remove half of my thyroid gland and nodule in 2009. When I returned home, I was informed my first article was published. This lead to numerous other magazine publications, my stories being published in soon to be three Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, various #1 international bestselling anthology books, continuing education writings, guest blogging and meditation recordings. In 2019, my first self-published book: I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers became an Amazon best seller, in addition to Setting Ethical Limits: For Caring and Competent Professionals kindle book.  I also teach others how to improve their creative writing through various classes and individual coaching sessions.

How will I know I am connecting with Gabriel?

  1. You will be drawn to children- This archangel, spoke to Elizabeth and Mother Mary to tell them about the birth of their sons. Gabriel also helps Moms and children. You may find yourself being drawn to children in your family or circle of friends more. Gabriel plants this seed to help children but also connects you with play and laughter. Being carefree and silly, boosts creativity and your mood. This lightheartedness keeps you motivated to write.
  2. Seeing or hearing trumpets- Since, Gabriel is the messenger angel, you may see or hear a trumpet. I read a book about Gabriel and visited Prince Edward Island, Canada. As we drove by a cemetery, I was compelled to stop. There were two beautiful Gabriel statues with trumpets.

img6 (2)

Some other ways to recognize Gabriel:

Hearing or reading references to Gabriel

Meeting people named Gabriel

A sudden, strong desire to write

Feeling Gabriel is with you

Many artists pray to Gabriel to assist with their creative work

Writers and speakers, work with Gabriel to clearly communicate their message. Gabriel helps with all types of communication. This includes email, texts, the online world, journaling, speaking, publications and writing a memo. I work with Gabriel when I coach or teach writing. You may also find certain publishers and agents, who are open to Gabriel’s energies.

Your sensitivity and creativity are Divine gifts. Nurture your dreams by embracing and expressing these parts of yourself. Ask for spiritual support and you will not only heal yourself but also others.

To further your self-exploration

I highly recommend Archangel Gabriel Oracle Cards, you can purchase this deck on Amazon.com. Each week, I keep a couple of openings free for one hour angel card readings by phone or in person, schedule your reading here.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is an Amazon bestselling author of, I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and Setting Ethical Limits: For Caring and Competent Professionals. She is also a contributor in soon to be three Chicken Soup for the Soul Books. Lisa is a writing coach, who utilizes her publication knowledge, psychotherapy skills and intuition to help writers express themselves through the written word. Ms. Hutchison has been connecting with the angels for over 20 years and is a certified angel card reader. http://www.lisahutchison.net  

How can I get happy?

Add a heading (2)

Why is it so hard to be or stay happy?

It takes a commitment to choose happiness. Genetically, you are hardwired to think in a negative way because your brain was first created to survive. This cautious and suspicious approach has worked because it has kept our species alive. Unfortunately, this part of your brain does not create joy.

In addition, our society, encourages discontent. You need this cream to look younger or take this pill and feel better. Much of what we hear, is not what we need. I am not saying there isn’t a time or place for medication. For those with mental illness, medication is a requirement for mood stability. Mood stability is a building block to true happiness. People who experience severe depressive episodes, schizophrenia or bi-polar may have more of a challenge to get happy, although you can do it.

Why make happiness a goal?

Here are some benefits based on research. Lyubormirsky, Diener and King (2005) reviewed 200 studies and found the happiest people (a) had better marriages (b) more fulfilling friendships and social relationships (c) better coping skills (d) more satisfaction with their work (e) higher incomes in general. If you believe people are happy because they have the above, you need to turn it around. People who are happy create these situations in their lives and you can too.

How can you get some of what these happy people have?

The good news is, much of happiness is within your control. Being happy does not have to take a lot of work. Think about a time you felt truly happy. When you allowed and let go, the happiness emotion flowed within you.

Here are three techniques to get you started on creating more happiness in your life today:

Be mindful- Whether you practice meditation or the ability to notice the present moment, you build awareness. Being in the now allows you to be fully here, rather than stuck in the regrets of the past or worries about the future. Activities such as focusing on one task at a time, savoring and enjoying the meal you are eating or celebrating good moments, all increase one’s happiness.

Do for others- People get pleasure from helping others because in giving, you receive. Start performing random acts of kindness. These actions can be relatively inexpensive or free. Read this blog for ideas on how to begin –> 10 Powerful Yet Simple Ways to Spread Kindness Energy 

Change your thoughts– At one point or another, you will face some form of adversity in life. You cannot choose the circumstances that happen to you but you can choose how you think about them and yourself.

This is not as simple as inserting a positive thought into your life. You need to investigate your core beliefs and re-frame thoughts in a realistic (not overly optimistic) way. Learn how to accept a situation for what it is and let go of any suffering thoughts. In psychology, this is known as cognitive behavioral therapy. You may ask; Do I need to go to therapy to learn this? You can do it yourself. There are times you will benefit from having a professional’s expertise, who helps you see objectively. Let’s drop the mental health stigma once and for all and put your happiness first!

What is one small thing you will do today to bring some happiness into your life?

Reference: Lyubomirsky, S., Diener, E., King., L.(2005) The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 13(6) 803-855.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net