Breaking Through: From Fear to Freedom

by Gladys Diaz

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This week is Autism Awareness Week.  When we first learned of my son’s diagnosis, I was terrified.  I didn’t know what it would mean for him or us, and I was afraid that there were things he wouldn’t be able to experience because it.  We’ve spent the last four years doing everything we can to teach, help, and empower him to do everything he can to reach his highest potential.  Time and time again, he’s managed to surprise and amaze us by overcoming challenges the books and “experts” say would be difficult for him.

This weekend, Nico will be achieving another huge milestone. He’s going on his first camping trip without me!

I’m not going to pretend that I’m perfectly “okay” with this.  I’m afraid.  He’ll be sleeping alone in a tent, outdoors, hours away, and I won’t be there to help him, speak up for him, or take care of any challenges that might come up.

I’ve had moments when I’ve broken down, I’ve been praying up a storm, and, this morning I ran two miles in his honor, just so that I could work some of the anxiety out of my body!

I’ve also been doing a lot of the fear exercises we teach our clients!  (I practice what I teach!)

But Nico says he that wants to do this, and he wants to do it alone.

He looked me straight in the eye (a challenge for people with Asperger’s) and said, “Mama, I can handle this.”

So I’m standing in faith!

I’m trusting that God will watch over him and that the adult and Boy Scout leaders will watch out for and be there for him.

I’m trusting that he will be able to work through his challenges and ask for help, if he needs it.

And I’m trusting that, even when my fears come up this weekend, I will be able to work through them and get to the other side of fear: freedom!

How will I work through my fears?  I’ll follow the same steps we teach our clients!

You can use these steps whenever you are facing a fear related to dating, your relationship, career, health, or any other area of your life!

 

Realize that fears are only imagined thoughts

Although the fear and anxiety you experience when you’re afraid feels real at the time, the truth is that whatever you’re thinking about is not actually happening.  It’s only the thought of what might happen that is causing you to worry.

If you can remind yourself that what you are afraid of is not actually happening in reality – right here and now – you can immediately suck some of the power out of that fear!

 

Remind yourself of what is actually happening. 

Once you are able to see your fears as imagined thoughts, then you want to bring yourself to the present moment and to what is actually happening. Where are you sitting, who are you with, what is taking place around you?

Redirect your mind to focus on what is actually happening so that you can reinforce the thought that what you fear is just a thought and it’s not really happening.

 

Create an empowering thought to replace the fearful one. 

Regardless of whether or not you believe it to be true, your thoughts are what create your reality.  Rather than tormenting yourself with fearful thoughts that you are allowing to rob you of your peace and power, redirect your mind to more empowering thoughts.

Remind yourself of how strong, beautiful, and powerful you are.  Remind yourself that you are capable, courageous, and confident.

You may be asking, “But how can I believe this if it’s not true?”

Well, consider that your imagined fear isn’t true, either, but you chose to believe that thought, so you can choose to believe your empowering thought instead!

 

The only reason our fears and doubts seem so real and powerful is because of all of the time and energy we have spent thinking them. If you want to have a different experience of yourself and your life, begin thinking different thoughts.

It make take some time and lots of repetition until these new empowering thoughts take root, but the more your practice saying them to yourself, the easier it will become to believe them. And, before you know it, they will begin to kick in the moment you begin to experience a fearful thought!

Now, that’s power!

So, when you read this article, if you have a moment, please send a positive thought or prayer Nico’s and my way!  If you want to post it below, in the comments, I’ll make sure I  show it to him before he leaves or when he gets back on Sunday!

 

And, the next time you begin to experience fear, remember Nico’s words, “I can handle this,” and work through the steps to move your thoughts from fear to faith to freedom!

 

Questions? Comments?  Let us know below!  We love hearing from you!

 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Are You Avoiding Difficult Conversations in Your Relationship?

by Gladys Diaz

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Last week, my husband and I had a conversation we’d been avoiding for years.  It was something we knew we had to do.  We’d talked about having the conversation, mentioned it to others, and, still, months and years went by without us having it.  Why?

We were afraid of what it would mean – for us and for our family.

The conversation I’m referring to wasn’t a conversation we needed to have with one another.  It was the conversation to let our older son know that he has Asperger’s Syndrome – a mild form of Autism.

We found out that our son had Autism during the summer before he begin first grade.  The truth, however, is that I’d had my suspicions since the time that he was about 2 years old.  There were signs that he wasn’t connecting with others, he had obsessive patterns of behavior, and changes in his schedule were very difficult for him to handle.

I even had a “secret” folder on my computer where I had been gathering research about Asperger’s Syndrome.  No one knew about my suspicions, except me.  For years, I carried this feeling with me, but was too afraid of what it might mean if my suspicions were confirmed.

The decision to not tell my son about his diagnosis was one that my husband and I made together.  We went back and forth about the pros and cons of letting him know, considered what it would mean to him, how he might react.  We were afraid of saying something that might set him off, make him feel like there was something “wrong” with him, or that he might use his diagnosis as an excuse, rather than the reason for trying harder.  At the same time, we wondered if not telling him would cause just as many issues for him, with him never knowing why he felt and was sometimes treated as if he were “different.”

I can’t tell you how many times I envisioned us having this conversation with him. In each scenario, I would hear my son asking a million questions (something he does anyway), questioning who he is, why there was something “wrong” with him, how it could be cured (there is no cure for autism), and why this had to happen to him.  I pictured him crying, storming out of the room, or throwing a tantrum.

The fear of what I imagined his reaction would be is one of the things that kept me delaying having the conversation.  I couldn’t imagine having to have to comfort my son, answer questions I didn’t have the answers to, and explain something that, quite honestly, I understand very little about myself.

We finally decided to stop avoiding having the conversation. He’s about to go to middle school, and we want him to be able to speak up for himself if he needs help.  We planned what we would tell him and decided to keep it as simple as possible, allowing him to ask questions if he wanted more information.

Last week, we sent our little one upstairs and let him know we needed to talk with him.  I was sweating, cold, and trying not to cry, all at the same time.  I looked at my husband.  We gave each other the look that said, “We’re in this together,” and we told him in the most simple and matter-of-fact way about his diagnosis, what it meant, what it didn’t  mean, and why it was important that he know about it now that he’s getting older.

He asked us some questions like, “Is this why I feel left out a lot of the time?” (that was a hard one to hear), “Is this why I’m really good at math?” (an easier one to hear), “Is this why I have trouble with my short-term memory?”

Then he asked me if I had Asperger’s, too.  I told him I didn’t but that dad had learned that he might have it, and that seemed to make him feel better.  Then, out of nowhere, he asked if Albert Einstein had Asperger’s.  I smiled and said that, a matter of fact, doctors now believe that he did (this made him feel a lot better).

When we asked him how he felt about knowing that he had Asperger’s Syndrome, he said, something I had never imagined in any of my worst-case-scenarios.

He said smiled and said, “It feels good knowing that there is something unique about me!”

In that moment, all of my imagined fears fell away. All of the doubts I’d had about whether or not telling him was a good idea, disappeared.  And I had to smile to hide back the tears.

I spent years ignoring the fact that I suspected my son had Asperger’s because I was afraid of what others would say and how they’d treat him.  I was afraid of what it might mean for him and his life.  But avoiding the issue didn’t make the Asperger’s go away.

I spent years avoiding telling my son about his diagnosis because I was afraid of how he might react, that it might be “devastating” for him, and that I wouldn’t know how to help him through understanding and dealing with it.  But, eventually, we had to have the conversation, anyway.

I spent years carrying all of that unnecessary fear, emotional stress, and useless worrying.

And, in the end, he just felt special!

 

So, how does this relate to you and your relationship?

 

Is there something in your relationship that you’re not dealing with?

Are there signs that the intimacy in your relationship is fading?

Are you arguing more than you need to?

Are you not connecting the way that you used to?

Are you pretending that the problems aren’t there?

 

Is there a conversation you’ve been avoiding having?

Are you afraid of what he might say or not say?

Are you imagining a worst-case scenario in your head that is keeping you from having a discussion that might actually help turn things around?

 

Pretending that the problems are not there doesn’t mean the problems aren’t there, nor is it helping to solve them.

Avoiding having the conversation because you are afraid of how he might react or what might happen as a result isn’t solving anything either.  It’s just delaying the inevitable, and could actually be making things worse because of your unwillingness to deal with reality.

 

I know it’s going to take courage to see what you may have been unwilling to see and to say what you’ve been afraid to say.

Consider that what you are imagining may be ten times worse than what actually ends up happening.

And consider that having the courage to confront reality and deal with what there is to deal with now may save you years of dealing with unnecessary worry, fear, and heartache.

If you need support with having a difficult conversation, contact us.

We can help you gather your thoughts and communicate them in a way that will help you say what needs to be said and empower you to begin turning things around in your relationship.

You don’t have to avoid things or pretend any longer, and you don’t have to face it alone!

 

Questions? Comments?  Let us know below, we love hearing from you!

 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Great Tips for Better Communication in Relationships

by Gladys Diaz

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Last week, I wrote about an interview Michelle and I did with Tonya Scholz and Dean Bairaktaris of Social Chats Radio on  how men and women communicate differently and why it’s important to both understand and accept those differences in our relationships.  I promised to share the actual interview with you, and here it is!

During this interview, you’ll hear us talk about the different ways in which men and women speak and listen to one another.  We also share a lot of tips on how you can speak so that he’ll actually hear you!  Michelle and I were also happy to hear what a difference these suggestions have made for Tonya and her relationships.

We hope you’ll enjoy listening to the interview, and would like for you to leave comments at the end of the blog post with any questions or comments you may have about the topic!  This way, we can address them in future blog posts!

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Here’s to having great communication that leads to happy, peaceful and intimate relationships!

P.S. If you listen closely, you’re also going to get an inside scoop about us that hasn’t been announced yet!  If you hear what it is, post it in the comments and tell us what you think!

 

Special thanks to Tonya Scholz (@knowaging) of @SocialChatsSF for being such a great supporter of @HeartsDesireInt!

To learn more about Social Chats, visit http://socialchats.net/

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How Men and Women Communicate Differently

by Gladys Diaz

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This afternoon, Michelle and I had an opportunity to join our friend and host of Social Chats, Tonya Scholz and her co-host, Dean Bairaktaris to discuss why and how men and women communicate differently and how understanding these differences can make or break a relationship.

It was an interesting topic, to say the least!

The truth is that good communication is at the heart of making a relationship work. But “good communication” isn’t just about you saying what you want the other person to hear. It involves understanding how to say what it is you want to say so that the other person can understand what is being said.  It’s also about understanding and accepting that there are differences in the way that men and women speak, hear, process, and use the information being delivered and received.

If we can begin to understand these differences, and accept them as not as “right” or “wrong,” “better” or “worse,” but simply as different, we are on our way to improving and bring peace to all of our relationships – our romantic relationships, the relationship we have with our family and friends, those with our co-workers, and, yes, even the relationship between countries!

Below are some of the main differences we spoke about on the show.

Women tend to speak a lot more than men do,

The fact is that most women tend to speak more – a lot more – than men do. For example, research shows that, while most women tend to speak about 20,000 words a day, most men speak about 10,000 words in a day.  That means that there is a 50% difference between the amount of talking that is being done between men and women.

This is why, while women tend to want to include what we feel are “important details” when telling a story or relaying information, men tend to want us to just “get to the point.”  It’s also why you’ll begin to see that “glazed” look come across a man’s face when there are simply too many words being said.  It’s not that he doesn’t care or doesn’t want to listen. It’s just that there’s so much coming at him at once, it’s difficult to figure out what it is you are really trying to say.

If, as women, we can understand this, then we can begin to get clear about what it is we want to say so that he can actually hear it! 

 

Women’s and men’s brains process emotional information differently.

While men’s brains tend to process better in the left hemisphere – which is more logical and factual, women tend to process equally between both hemispheres.  There are actually more areas of the woman’s brains that connect their ability to feel, process, and speak about their feelings, then in the man’s brain.  This is why, if a woman is communicating very emotionally, she may have the experience that the man “doesn’t care,” because he isn’t saying anything right away. It possible that what he’s doing is processing the information coming at him.  He’s actually having to “sift” through all of the emotions coming at him, coupled with the tone of voice, volume level, tears (if there are any),  the intensity with which the actual words are being delivered.

If, as women, we can understand this, then we can begin to be responsible for the manner in which we are communicating, and choose to wait until we can do so in a calm and rationale manner so that (1) he can actually hear what we’re saying, and (2) so that the processing time can be shorter.

 

Women tend to want to talk about several things at once, while men are more single-focused

There are two difference that fall under this category.

Men are single-focused individuals. While a woman can talk about what happened during the day, the fact that she’s worried about her friend’s surgery, and the argument that she had with a co-worker, men tend to be single-minded.  That means that they will communicate better if there is one topic being addressed at a time.

By the way, ladies, this is also why he’s not listening when you’re talking to him during the game!  It’s not that he doesn’t care, it’s that he’s focused on something else.  It’s not personal, so don’t take it personally!

 

Men prefer transition time.  If a man has been dealing with something at work, working on a project, or doing something that takes a lot of his attention and energy and you want to have a conversation with him, it’s probably a good idea to give him some transition time, or, what I refer to as “time to decompress.”

Allowing some time for his attention and energy to transition from one activity or topic to the other means that, when you do finally get to communicate with him, the conversation is probably going to go a lot better than if you approach him with a machine gun of questions, topics, and decisions that need to be made right away.

If, as women, we can understand and accept this difference, then we can allow time to pass so that when we finally do have the conversation we’d like to have with him, he can be present, attentive, and responsive to what we are saying.

 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the communication styles between men and women are “different,” does not mean that one is better or worse than the other.

If we can bring both understanding and acceptance to these differences, we’ll not only be able to improve the level and type of communication we have in our relationships, but we’ll also experience more peace, happiness, and intimacy as a result!

 

Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information on how you can learn learn how to communicate more effectively with members of the opposite sex!

We’ll be sharing the actual interview in our next article!

 

For more information on Social Chats, visit: http://socialchats.net/

Questions?  Comments? Let us know below!  We love hearing from you!

 

 

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Who Are You Pretending to Be in Relationships?

by Gladys Diaz

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A few weeks ago, Michelle and I hosted a Live Group Coaching Call, where we had the opportunity to coach some of the women in our community on what has been stopping them from attracting love into their lives.

Each woman had a unique story and each demonstrated courage and vulnerability as she opened up her heart and allowed Michelle and I to guide her through taking a look within to identify something that was hidden in her blind spot that was causing her to repeat patterns that were blocking love from entering into her life.

In today’s Coaching Clip we’d like to share one of those coaching sessions with you, so that you can experience what it’s like to have a real breakthrough.

As you listen to the coaching session, we invite you to take the coaching in and make it apply to what you are experiencing in your own life. 

  • What are you hiding from in relationships?
  • Who are you pretending to be in your relationships?
  • What is it you don’t want your date, lover, or husband to see?
  • What are you afraid will happen if he discovers who you really are – behind the mask?
  • What patterns have you been repeating in your relationships?
  • And what do you think is standing in the way of you breaking free from past fears, patterns, and beliefs so that you can experience the love you dream of?

 

Click below to listen to our coaching session with Vivi and how she was about to clearly see what had been standing in the way of her experiencing the kind of relationships her heart desires.

Vivi’s Coaching Session

 

Today is the last day to register for the “Ready to Love Again” 6-Week Course!

There will be a Group Coaching Call at the end of each training session so that we can help guide you through your own inner journey and identify the fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs that are stopping you from experiencing the love you desire.

Click here to register now!

 

Comments? Questions?  Let us know below.  We love hearing from you!

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