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Empathy Desert

To help others you first need to take care of yourself first. The quote that says this best is "you can't pour from an empty cup". 

I strongly believe in helping others so for me this way of thinking didn't come naturally. I guess it seemed selfish and perhaps egotistical. Doing what's suggested has made helping those around me much more achievable. One thing that can easily get overlooked is that helping others feels good, it's what we as humans are programmed to do and when it's done with sincerity it feels wonderful and in turn helps us.
For many, many years I had consciously and subconsciously come to the conclusion that I didn't deserve self kindness. That the thoughts that went through my head were 'bad' and that because of that I was a 'bad person' often not worthy of self love and self kindness. This is possibly one of the most dangerous lies that OCD tells us. We get trapped into feeling bad about ourselves and can't see pas…
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Must Have Book!

There are a lot of books on OCD; often times it feels like too many. Over the years I've read many self-help books. A few are pretty good, many are okay, and some suck. 
I think the authors mean well, however they don't have OCD and aren't able to authentically step into our shoes. They know OCD at an intellectual level but not an experiential level. Many books also do not integrate mindfulness into the treatment of OCD. 

There is one author that really gets it. His name is Jon Hershfield and everything that he's written is brilliant. He's an OCD therapist that's ahead of his time and has OCD himself.

He's now co-written three books. The most recent book to come out is: 'Everyday Mindfulness for OCD'. It's available on Amazon and it is the best book that I've yet come across on how to incorporate Mindfulness into your treatment plan for OCD.

If you want to learn how to incorporate mindfulness into how you treat your OCD then this is the best res…

Getting Better

Don't ever forget that you have every right to find and choose the tools that you'll need to manage your OCD. Once you've learned what's available, use the tools that work best for you and give them your time and energy. It may be that mindfulness isn't what allows you to make peace with your OCD. I started practicing mindfulness with the intention of helping make things a little bit better. Four years have passed since and I continue to practice mindfulness but now with a new goal, to make OCD go away. I think it's possible. It's not going to happen overnight and may take years but I'm okay with that. Not doing anything and having nothing change is a far worse alternative.

We are capable of so much more than we'll ever give ourselves credit for.

What We Do With What We Know

I train people for a living and the longer that I've been in the profession, the more I've come to realize that it's not what we know, it's what we do with what we know and how consistent we are in doing it.

There's the adage that 'Knowledge is power'. I agree, but more accurately said, 'Knowledge is power when acted upon'. Searching and finding knowledge is now easier than it's ever been in the history of humanity. Not too long ago one would seek out knowledge by spending hours researching at a library or paging through encyclopedias. 

Perhaps the downfall to the ease of finding knowledge is that we think that finding it is enough. Many times, perhaps it is. However, for the stuff that really matters in life, finding it is the first step. We must then act upon it. The majority of behavioural changes that happen don't occur simply because we know something, it's because we acted upon what we learned.

Mindfulness is a prime example of this. …

Loving Kindness

I speak from personal experience and from the observations of people I'm close to; we are our harshest critics.

The toll this takes on our emotional well-being is huge, however we seem to put up with it because we think that we need to be hard on ourselves to be 'better people', to 'learn from our mistakes', so that we can be 'successful'. The society that I live in embraces self-punishment as a form of  self-improvement.  We focus on feeling guilty rather than feeling remorse; different words with vastly different meanings. I think we fear that if we aren't hard on ourselves that we won't learn or get lazy and not improve.

Modern psychology has definitively determined that self-punishment does not help us, in fact in often slows us or prevents us from changing or take a different course of action in the future. I can remind myself of this until I'm blue in the face but unlearning that self-punishment is not helpful is a tough thing to do and t…

Resilience, Mindfulness and OCD

OCD can be one of the most stubborn and unwelcomed guests you'll ever run across. It's ability to take up so much energy in one's brain and to sabotage our awareness and perspective is what can make OCD so seemingly powerful. We can't change it's basic qualities but we can change how we respond.

The emotions that OCD evokes are almost always unpleasant and these are the emotions that we are hard wired to pay the most attention to. The stickiness and intensity of the unpleasant emotions can very easily spiral and make us feel depressed, anxious, and without hope. 
This all sounds very unfortunate and sad if we take it at face value but there are things working on our behalf that we forget about and things that we have the ability to build and strengthen. Resilience is a very powerful friend to us and can can cast away the doom and gloom picture we paint in moments rather than day or weeks.

One thing that has been scientifically proven again and again about Mindfull…