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Aimee Barr, LCSW  Psychotherapist . Educator . Advocate Helping you through your most difficult life transitions. New Blog: How To Handle Jealousy In Friendship 👇

☮️World Humanitarian Day (WHD), which takes place every year on August 19th, recognizes the aid workers who lost their lives while working for humanitarian causes. Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are. World Humanitarian Day is a global celebration of people helping people! The theme this year is dedicated to refugees and protecting civilians in war torn places. Humanitarian partners are coming together in honor of WHD to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget. Let's honor and really acknowledge those brave individuals who put their lives at risk in order to protect those most vulnerable in war zone. Accordingly, let’s stand for world leaders to do everything in their power to protect civilians in conflict.

Rev. Deborah Johnson, author and founding minister and president of Inner Light Ministries states, "You can't heal what you don't feel. You can't deal with anything that you don't feel." In other words: It's only after we allow ourselves to become honestly painfully aware of what we are feeling that it means we are truly dealing—and thereby truly healing. Feeling feelings is often very challenging. Remember to be patient, compassionate and kind with yourself. And don't forget that in order to heal we can't skip feeling or dealing with our pain. If you would like support in managing your emotions please send me an email. I'm always happy to connect you with a skilled clinician to help you.

🌞Happy Friday! What energy will you be bringing into the weekend? #regramlove @bianca_bonus @iamwellandgood

🌹“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb
Quite often we complain because it feels less risky than fixing a problem by taking action and speaking directly and addressing the situation that hurt us. Complaining is something we all do frequently. Recent research shows that during an average conversation, we lob complaints at each other about once a minute. There’s a social reason for that. “Nothing unites people more strongly than a common dislike,” says Trevor Blake, author of Three Simple Steps. However, complaining comes at a big cost, when we complain, our brains release stress hormones that harm neural connections in areas used for problem solving and other cognitive functions. I'm not suggesting we repress our emotions. Sometimes we absolutely need to vent in order to blow off some steam and appropriately release frustration. There is nothing easy about accepting things we can't change. However, I challenge you to honor #acceptanceinaugust by choosing thoughts and words that will lead you toward a solution, instead of keeping you stuck in the problem. Who is going to join me in cutting back on the complaining?

🎊Five years ago I embarked on one of the greatest adventures of my life. This week is the anniversary of when I opened up my private practice in Williamsburg, Brooklyn! Since that time I have expanded to two offices and have hired staff to support the business growth. In life it's important to celebrate your victories and acknowledge how far you have come. I feel an enormous amount of gratitude to be a female business owner and to have a profound love for the work that I do. It is such a wonderful feeling to see a venture I worked so hard on come into bloom. If you have a dream that you believe in, don't give up! Sending everyone bright energy today and always.

As Jim Rohn has wisely said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Similarly, @TonyRobbins has also said, “your life is a reflection of your standards, or what you’re willing to tolerate.” Have you spent time with people that simply being around them, elevated your thinking and energy? Those are the type of people you need to spend more time with. Who you surround yourself with has a huge impact on your level of self-acceptance and happiness. You can’t ignore this. What are you going to do about it?

In honor of #acceptanceinaugust I have been addressing all of the big and small ways we can invite more acceptance into our lives. One of the greatest barriers that I consistently see getting in the way of acceptance are unresolved feelings of jealousy. I think jealousy is one of the most complex and painful emotions to hold. Jealousy of others’ can act as a thief, robbing our sense of self-worth and capacity for intimacy. Quite often when we think of jealousy, we think it pertains to our feelings about a current or past romantic partner. However, jealousy often shows up in friendships. Have you ever had a friend who struggled with feelings of jealousy towards you? If yes, this blog was written to help you move forward. In this blog, I address why some people are more prone to jealousy then others. Additionally, I have included 5 tips on how to compassionately address jealousy in your friendship. Feel free to share with others who can benefit! And as always, sending thoughts of kindness and peace your way.

One of the strongest recommendations I can make on how to increase your ability to practice acceptance is to add more play, joy and laughter into your life. Laughing doesn’t mean you can’t function, pay your bills, or deny reality of what you are going through. Laughter ignites physiological changes in the body, with a chain reaction of health benefits (improved breathing, which leads to improved circulation and production of endorphins, leading to decreased stress hormone and enhanced immunity). Sometimes adding a little bit of humor is exactly the balance we need. How has laughter helped you gain acceptance over the situations that you couldn't change?

I am trying to wrap my head around what is going on right now in the US. I feel a lot of grief for the victims and loved ones of Charlottesville in this domestic terrorist attack that occurred this weekend. I reach out here on social media as I hope that as a community we can stand against white supremacy, bigotry, racism, white 'nationalism', 'alt-right', neo-Nazism and any group that calls itself by any name that would further seek to oppress, dehumanize and harm all people of color, immigrants, Jewish people and anyone who doesn't fit into their proscribed and false box of a 'real' American - whether through physical violence or hateful words and actions. This behavior is devastating and is not tolerated in any form. I hope we can band together and unite from a place of love, acceptance and peace.

Talking about what you have been through is often the first step in healing. “We're only as sick as our secrets” is an adage known well by those in Alcoholics Anonymous. Find someone safe who you can trust to talk with. Getting into dialogue can help you understand your feelings, change how you think about your stress—and support you in gaining a greater level of acceptance and peace.

⛈It's back! Mercury in retrograde has returned! We will be in a retrograde period until September 5, 2017. Allow me to explain what it means for a planet to go into retrograde. A planet is in retrograde when it appears to move backwards in an opposite direction from Earth. Astrologists believe that when a planet is in retrograde, the areas of life it governs go into a sleeping or resting state. Mercury is a planet that acts as a messenger and rules communication. Therefore during this time it is normal to expect misunderstandings, travel delays and technological problems. Don't panic, there are many benefits to Mercury in Retrograde. This is also an excellent time to investigate and research, finish old business, clean up paperwork and get in touch with people you haven’t seen or spoken with in a while. Be mindful of who surfaces from the past, in person or in thought. Their reappearance could help tie up loose ends or resolve lingering business. Organize and prepare so you’ll be ready to move ahead when Mercury does! How do you feel about Mercury going into retrograde? Share in the comments below.

To better manage and accept your emotions, try recognizing that you aren’t those emotions. You just feel them! It makes a difference for me to say, “I feel sad,” rather than “I am sad.” When you are feeling your feelings, the latter makes you think that how you feel is permanent, but the former helps you to remember that it’s temporary. The goal is to accept and embrace your emotions without believing you are them.

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