Category: guestwriter

The Power of Positivity When Recovering from Addiction | Guest Speaker Bethany Hatton

Emotions such as shame and guilt can be paralyzing. We’ve all made decisions in our past that have led to these powerful emotions, and we can still feel their residual effects in our lives today. For those recovering from addiction, these emotions are common, but can also be detrimental when trying to move forward with your life. If you have suffered from addiction and are struggling with past emotions, here is some advice to stay positive and keep your recovery going strong.

Start a conversation

Your first step toward building positivity will be opening up and building a dialogue about your addiction. Seeking a therapist or counselor is a good way to begin this conversation. Therapy will not only help you discover how and why you fell into destructive habits in the first place, and help you better communicate with others about your addiction.

You might even consider therapy in a group setting with family and loved ones, so they are part of the conversation from the beginning. Getting to the root of your addiction will be a confusing and emotional experience, but understanding your substance abuse is an important step in conquering it. Additionally, marriage and/or family counseling can help facilitate healthy conversations with your loved ones and pave the way for stronger relationships.

Cultivating Positivity

After opening yourself up, you need to immediately begin the process of introducing positivity back into your life. Though many times we wish it were true, positivity is not just a switch we can turn on and off. Positivity is shaped by our behavior and perception. Therefore, it takes action and the right mindset to begin to let positivity back in your life.

When wallpapering, both the wall and the paper need to be primed to allow one to stick to the other. Similarly, your mind needs to be ready to receive positivity. To do this, you need to forgive yourself for your past actions. Forgiveness is how we come to terms with who we were, and is essential to becoming who we want to be. If you aren’t able to forgive yourself, you won’t be able to accept the possibility of becoming a better person. Taking the steps to forgive yourself through meditation and introspection will help shape your mindset to accept the positivity you let into your life.

Shape new behaviors

Your addiction was the product of negative habits, which brought you down and resulted in a version of yourself that left you guilty and ashamed. Now that you have opened up about your addiction and have adopted the right mindset, you can start shaping new behaviors that reflect the person you want to be. These behaviors should be actions that promote self-care such as eating healthy, exercise, and getting plenty of rest. Living healthy will make you feel better and give you the energy to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

These behaviors should also help you build and maintain the valuable relationships in your life. Surrounding yourself with friends and family will be essential to your recovery. These people will be the ones who pick you up when you are down, and help keep your priorities in order. The effort you put into maintaining your friendships will steer you away from negative behaviors and keep you honest, compassionate, and appreciative—making you a better person overall.

The power of positivity

As you begin to adopt these behaviors, little by little you’ll notice that life is pretty good. This is the power of positivity. It doesn’t enter your life all at once, but is built by having the right attitude and making good decisions. Through positive living, you will begin to move further and further away from old addictions and the negative emotions that came with it.

Why swiping right is not always the answer | Guest Writer Skye Pember

After spending the last 2 years of my 14 year relationship and marriage feeling very lonely and unloved, what was the first thing I did when I separated from my now ex husband?

You guessed it, I signed up for Tinder and started swiping.  Mainly to the left (that means i’m not interested) but the right swipe got a lot of interest as well.  At first it was a lot of fun, it was like a smorgasbord of men and I could say yes or no in 1 second!

It was quite a powerful feeling. I got a lot of matches, which meant I got a lot of ego satisfaction.  It was almost like a little ‘yes’ moment, I got a match, this must validate how amazing I am.

Except it really didn’t.  For every right swipe and match, at least 1 out of 3 would be an immediate unmatch, meaning these guys swipe on every girl and when they get a match they decide if they like her or not. Such a good feeling for an insecure woman who has just come out of a relationship!

Most of the matches I got were interested in quick flings and nothing else, and this physically made me feel pretty worthless…

So I got 5 seconds of ego stroking when I got a match, that then resulted in me feeling worthless as a woman –  just what I needed after coming out of a miserable marriage!

My obsession with Tinder was going on about the same time I met the women of Wyld Tribe and their amazing team. I was originally very Intrigued and possibly skeptical about this group of women who seemed to dance around with face paint and feathers while they did some drumming and singing. Obviously that was my first impression!

Then I started listening, watching and experiencing them as a group.  The focus they put on respecting and honouring ourselves as women is inspiring and slightly humbling.

They reminded me that we don’t need men to define ourselves, which is what I was doing every time I swiped right. I want to make it clear, the Wyld Tribe women are not man haters or anti-men, they just believe in focusing on women as supporters of each other, in encouraging women to cheer each other on – rather than working against each other.

I’m still getting my head around Wyld Tribe, I still ask ALOT of questions, and the team are ridiculously patient with me!

All of their events, whether it’s Sistahood Circles, Wild Woman Weekend or even Sistahood Rising in November, focus on celebrating the feminine.

And that’s when I realised, sure I can swipe right as often as I want, but it doesn’t define me!  It doesn’t mean I’m a queen because I got a match from the cute surfer, or I’m a sexy goddess because the tattooed guy messaged me!

I’m a queen and a goddess, because I’m a woman! For no other reason.  Every morning I look in the mirror and tell myself, you are beautiful inside and out.

I still find myself getting that rush when I get a match, but I don’t let it define me as much as I used to.  Now, I know that yes it’s a nice feeling but it doesn’t change who I am – and if they choose to unmatch me, that’s their loss, not mine!

So thanks Wyld Tribe, I’m still the new girl trying to work you out and understand my place amongst this amazing group of women, but I’ve stopped seeing my matches as what defines me, I’m a woman and I’m pretty awesome – if the guys don’t see it, that’s their loss!  My loss is the time spent worrying about it which I have stopped doing – so I’m gaining confidence and extra time!

So what does this mean – I’m not anti Tinder or any of those dating apps, I’m just saying that it doesn’t define you – it doesn’t validate your self worth. You are in control of your self worth, but a few amazing women surrounding you definitely helps!

Helping your children make healthy choices – What to focus on and how to do it | Guest Writer Bethany Hatton

According to Psychology Today, healthy habits are established early in life and are very difficult to change. Sadly, society isn’t a great help in this regard — today’s entertainment platforms encourage sedentary behavior, sugar and processed foods are often directly marketed at children, and teens may face peer pressure to try smoking, alcohol, or drugs. All the more reason to start instilling and reinforcing healthy habits as early as possible. Here are some tips on how to go about it.

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating habits established in childhood predict obesity in later life, so it’s important to get your kids off to a good start. The first thing to realize is that almost all toddlers and young children are picky eaters, and it can take a lot of persistence before they start to accept new foods. You should also be careful not to turn healthy eating into a power struggle. Using pressure or coercion, such as not letting them have certain toys unless they eat their spinach, can lead to rebellion and resentment. Negotiation tactics, such as offering a cookie if they eat their vegetables, will also backfire because children will just learn to value desserts more than healthy food. Instead, be a good role model with your own dietary choices, eat as a family at the table, and give them some control over how much they eat — but not what they eat.

Limiting Caffeine

Doctors writing for Healthline point out that caffeine consumption in children can impair bone development, increase anxiety, affect sleep quality, and cause neurological problems — to name but a few side effects. The problem is not just the caffeine, but the sugar, colorings, and other additives that are usually present in energy drinks and sodas. In accordance with the division of responsibility in feeding, you decide what, when, and where to eat, and your children decide how much — so when it comes to caffeine, you are free to set the limits yourself. The occasional drink is fine, but in terms of the daily consumption of caffeine, it’s best to wait until late adolescence or early adulthood.

Minimize Stress

Unhealthy behaviors like binge eating, alcohol use, or smoking are very often a form of self-medication against stress. While difficult times will happen, you can still do your best to make home life as stress-free as possible. Start by keeping the house organized and clutter-free — mess leads to stress, as the saying goes. Keep adult or dangerous items out of children’s reach, including caffeinated drinks and unhealthy foods. Be a role model yourself by managing your own stress levels, and by talking to your children about your own feelings — in simple terms at first. This will help them develop the desire and vocabulary to come to you when they have troubles of their own.

Encourage Exercise

The fight against video games and gadgets is a tough one, but you can win it. Start by looking into your child’s own interests — if there is any physical activity they like, be it a sport, gardening, dancing, or playing the drums, encourage them to keep doing it. If they have an interest to start with, the battle is already half won. Next, do active activities together as a family — you could go to the park and throw a ball or frisbee around, go on a hike, or go on a family bike ride. This HuffPost article has some further suggestions on how to get kids into an exercise habit.

All children rebel against healthy habits, and it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to get kids to look after themselves. However, if you’re persistent, set fair boundaries, and act as a good role model yourself, you’ll have a great chance of breaking through the barriers and planting the seeds of healthy behaviors. Once planted, these seeds will grow into positive wellness habits that will last into adulthood.

Bethany Hatton