Purpose

Spring Book Recommendations: "Simplify."

When the sun starts shining again and the air starts getting warm, there's nothing like sitting outside and reading a good book. That's why we like to give Spring book recommendations. This year, I read a really great book that challenged me that I wanted to share. 

Simplify. Ten Practices to Unclutter your Soul. By Bill Hybels

I have been working really hard this year to unclutter my house. I never really thought of uncluttering my mind or soul. This book addresses many areas of our lives that we "clutter" creating chaos, frustration, and ultimately exhausted, unfulfilled lives. Hybels breaks it down into 10 chapters that deal with issues that clutter our lives such as overscheduling ourselves,  lack of focus, isolation (when you are surrounded by people), lack of rest, and not feeling satisfied just to name a few. 

Hybels is a pastor of Willowcreak Community Church in Chicago. Who would have more clutter in their lives than a pastor of a megachurch? Using his own examples of burnout, he helps us see the importance of taking care of ourselves, having boundaries, and using more positive, effective ways to schedule our lives. He does this in such a humble, down to earth way, with no judgement at all. 

As I uncluttered my home this year, I liked thinking about ways I could unclutter my mind and soul as well. I'm now living out some of the peace that is offered when we do the hard work of uncluttering. Thank you, Pastor Hybels, for your guidance and practical ways I have found to unclutter! 

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.

More Than Gratitude- 3

Yesterday Tamara talked about some unconventional things to be grateful about, that we may take for granted.  This week we continue to talk about further ways to show gratitude that may not be so obvious. Heat

The other night when it snowed, our house was creaking from the gusts of the wind.  My husband and I were on the couch watching TV, comfortable and warm.  All of a sudden, my husband looked at me and said, “You know, we’re very blessed to have this warm home.  I’m so thankful we don’t have to be out in that.”  My mind immediately went to the homeless I see around town-especially those that are often found right down the road from Imagine Hope’s office-and I wondered where they were on that cold night.  It’s amazing how something as simple as being able to afford to heat your home is so often taken for granted.

Military and Veterans

It may be a few days after Veteran’s Day, but I am still thankful for them and for our current military servicemen and women.  Many of these individuals go months or years without seeing their loved ones because they are off protecting us.  Our military are put in situations everyday where their lives are in danger and they risk not coming home.  To be willing to put your life down for another-that truly is the ultimate sacrifice-and something to be grateful for!

Chemotherapy

This may sound strange, but I am thankful for medical advances, particularly chemo.  I have so many family and friends who wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for this.  My cousin is currently battling his second round of cancer in 2 years, and I find myself feeling grateful that he can go to the hospital and get the treatment he needs.  It may not be the cure, but it does save lives-and for that, I am thankful!

Continue to read for some more not-so-obvious things to be grateful for.  Thanks for reading!

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Advice to My Younger Self- Christy

Don’t Sweat the Small Things Dear younger Christy-

I know you think the things you are going through right now are the end of the world. You just went through a bad break-up, have constant self-esteem and body image issues, friend drama, and overall High School stress. Let me tell you, it does get better.

The things that you think are so important right now, really aren’t. This isn’t meant to minimize what you’re going through, but rather to tell you that there is a much bigger world out there. Once you leave the four walls of High School, you will realize what’s truly important in life.

Don’t stress so much about the little things. Right now you think your looks and popularity are most important. They are how you judge your self-worth, which is at an all-time low. You will soon find that most people actually love you for what’s on the inside, as cliché as it may sound. Don’t stress about the number on the scale, the size of your jeans, or the zits on your face. They are merely the small things.

The people you’ve been surrounded by are not necessarily the people you will choose to keep in your life. You will soon learn the true meaning of friendship-the kind where a friend will drop anything, no questions asked, just to help you. No strings attached. The friends you make in the future won’t care about the name brand on your shirt or the car that you drive. Don’t stress about these little things now.

The guy you just broke up with will continue to play games. He is not the right one for you. He will tell you what you want to hear, then turn around and say mean and hurtful things. Don’t sweat the small things with him. Don’t allow him to cause you so much hurt and stress. Eventually you will look back on this relationship as merely a learning experience. Don’t let the small things bother you so much.

In a few years, you will realize what life is really all about. It’s about love, relationships, faith, and hope. These are the big things in life. The relationships you build will become so much more powerful than you can ever imagine. The wonderful man you meet in a few years ends up not only becoming your husband, but also your best friend. You accomplish more than you ever thought you could because you find your own positive self-worth.

So, don’t sweat the small things.

Love,

Christy

 

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

10 Ways to Become More Resilient Part 4

As we have discussed this week, resilience is the ability to bounce back and cope well through and after a struggle. This week we are sharing Kendra Cherry’s tips to become more resilient. Be sure and read the previous days as well. These are great tips and we can all use them to become more resilient! 7. Develop Your Problem- Solving Skills

At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy dud, I've noticed that as technology has increased, our ability to problem solve on our own has decreased. We immediately run to google or an App to find solutions to our problems. But it's important to come up with solutions on our own. People that practice this are more resilient because they are more confident in their ability to ...well...solve problems. They are able to think off the top of their head and are more creative as well.

If you've forgotten how to solve problems (and many of us have) remember to make a list of ways you could solve it (brainstorming). Then pick and choose which is better for your solution. This simple strategy will help you feel more prepared for more serious challenges that come your way, making you more resilient to cope with them.

8. Establish Goals

Sometimes when my clients are dealing with a problem and they aren't sure how to solve it, I ask them what they want to get out of the problem or what is the best case scenario for the end result. Once they state it, we know that is the goal. Then we break it down into small, manageable parts if possible.

Establishing goals and breaking them down will also build your problem solving skills and build your confidence, thus making you more resilient when challenges come your way.

Tomorrow Joleen will give us 2 more ways to become more resilient. As always, thank you for reading.

*Source: “10 Ways to Become More Resilient” by Kendra Cherry http://psychology.about.com/od/crisiscounseling/tp/become-more-resilient.htm

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville

10 Ways to Become More Resilient-Part 3

5. Be Optimistic Staying positive during difficult times can be hard.  However, being optimistic and finding the silver lining can definitely help you to be more resilient.  This doesn’t mean you ignore the problem or dig your head in the sand—but rather that you are able to find some light among the darkness.   Understand that setbacks and struggles are a part of life.  However, you have the ability and the skills to handle any challenges you may be faced with.

6. Nurture Yourself

Something we therapists preach about here at Imagine Hope is self-care!  When you are stressed out, you have a tendency not to take care of your health.  You may not eat well, get enough sleep, or do positive things for yourself.  When you don’t take care of yourself, your overall health (physical and mental) decline.  Self-care is directly related to resiliency.  Make sure that despite your struggles, you are carving time out for yourself.  Read a book, get a massage, cook healthy dinners, go for a walk, etc.  It is amazing what these little things can do to make you feel better!

Come back tomorrow as we talk about more ways to become resilient.

*Source: 10 Ways to Become More Resilient by Kendra Cherry http://psychology.about.com/od/crisiscounseling/tp/become-more-resilient.htm

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

10 Ways to Become More Resilient-Part 1

How good are you at bouncing back from a struggle? Do you wallow and feel pulled under by the heaviness of the negative situation? Or do you shift into an empowered mindset and refuse to let it bring you down?

 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back and cope well through and after a struggle. This week we are sharing Kendra Cherry’s tips to become more resilient.

Let’s face it…life is hard. We can all use a boost in these areas to help us make it through.

1. Build Positive Beliefs in Your Abilities

When you think of your abilities, do you see all the things you CAN’T do, or all you CAN do? When you focus on all your weaknesses, you tend to forget that you actually have strengths!

Believing in your abilities can help you cope through a tough storm. It might be helpful to make a list of your strengths and keep them handy for those times you have trouble focusing on the positive.

2. Find a Sense of Purpose in Your Life

When life gets harder than usual, it helps to have purpose to keep you focused and put one step in front of the other.

People find purpose in many ways like in a faith in Jesus, becoming part of a community, their marriage and kids, and meaningful jobs.

Purpose helps drive us to push through and become more resilient because we have something to fight for and live for. We believe in something and we feel so convicted that we won’t let anything get in the way.

Check in tomorrow for more tips. Life will always be hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bounce back and be resilient!

Source: 10 ways to become more resilient by Kendra Cherry http://psychology.about.com/od/crisiscounseling/tp/become-more-resilient.htm

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

Naming Your Values

We have discussed this week what values are and how to identify them.  Today we are going to focus on naming them.  Why is it so important to do this?  Values are our driving force-they motivate us and guide us.  If you don’t know what is important to you, you may end up floundering through life, with no goals or purpose. How many times have you caught yourself thinking one way, but doing another?  This is a sign that your values and your life are not in tune.  If you find yourself struggling with difficult choices, or are constantly second-guessing yourself, your values are not what are guiding your life.  You may want to evaluate what outside influences are impacting your decision-making.  If your actions are not congruent with who you are at your core, you have some work to do!

If you can name your values, then you can live them.  Your values and your actions align.  When your values are your driving force, you end up thinking and doing the same thing-which brings peace and calm to your life, even during difficult times.

Don’t just continue to wander through life, not being aware of what is your driving force.  Take some time to evaluate who you are and what you stand for-so that your actions are a true representation of the person you really are!

Check in tomorrow as we continue to talk more about clarity with values.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Source: “Determine What Will Make You Happy by Identifying Your Values” by Debra Smouse on Tiny Budda

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Fall Book Recommendations- The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls This is one of my all-time favorite books as well!  This book is all about resiliency.  I love how Jeanette is so frank about her dysfunctional upbringing in poverty, yet does not write with an ounce of self-pity.

Jeanette grew up the second of four children.  Her father is mentally ill and an alcoholic, her mother is a free-spirit who doesn’t want the responsibility of raising children.  The family moves many, many times growing up due to their father’s alcoholism, financial instability, and some “business” deals that appear to go bad.

There are a lot of family secrets in Jeanette’s family, including addiction, abuse, shame, and mental illness.  As Jeanette and her siblings get older, they are often hungry and living in deplorable conditions.  Jeanette and her older sister Lori devise a plan to escape from the dysfunction and move to New York.

It takes some time, but they achieve their goal.  Jeanette’s younger siblings eventually move to New York, as well as her parents.  Jeanette’s parents choose to remain homeless on the streets of NYC, while the three oldest children maintain stable jobs, housing, and food.  Jeanette eventually becomes a reporter for MSNBC.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for an insightful, reflective read.  It definitely is inspirational!

Happy reading  :)

Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Fall Book Recommendations- Natalie

Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis

This was one of my all time favorite books. Don't be turned off by this book if you aren't a person of Faith. Keep reading!

Katie was an 18 year-old girl, president of her class, homecoming queen, smart, and beautiful. Sounds like she had it all. She went to Uganda on a mission trip and realized she thought she had it all, but was missing the point. She was missing living a life of purpose! She didn't do what most of us do- we come home from a mission trip, feeling changed, but do little about it. Katie went back to Africa and started taking care of little children who couldn't care for themselves. She eventually was able to adopt precious girls who have no parents, poor health, and a grim future.

This sounds like a good fiction book doesn't it? It's a true story!

Katie will inspire you to reach beyond what you ever imagined you could do, hold on to your faith, and to love beyond how far you ever thought you could love. Her story is one of hope, love, and yes, redemption. Katie found herself by reaching out to others and loving the least of these. Isn't that what we are called to do? No matter what faith we profess, we are called to love those who truly are helpless and can't care for themselves. Katie is a perfect example of this.

Beyond the seriousness of the book, I love her vulnerability, her sense of humor (she is hilarious!), and how she doesn't filter or water it down. She says it like it is.

Katie now as 14 children she cares for! I am amazed at her. She truly is a modern day Mother Teresa. If you want to be inspired, read this book!

Thank you for reading. Have a great week!

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville