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How Travel Helps You Grow

How Travel Helps You Grow

Expand Your Horizons

 

Summer is upon us and with it comes travel season. Are you itching to go somewhere new? Are you dreaming of exotic locations and new adventures? You’re not alone: This is the time of year that we give ourselves permission to step out of our day-to-day and embrace the freedom of the unknown.

These days, travel is more than just taking a trip. Where you go, who you go with, and what you do when you’re in complete control of your time says a lot about you. Your personality, your interests, and even your identity becomes intertwined with what you do during your leisure time.

More importantly, traveling with intention can lead to personal growth. Having new experiences, getting a fresh perspective, and putting yourself in challenging situations can help you expand: Becoming wiser, more worldly, and more resilient. Traveling well can also provide you with benefits that linger long after you get back home.

Because traveling well is such an important aspect of personal growth, I’ve invited travel writer Aditi Shrikant of Vox to discuss the psychological impact of travel on people, and things to consider as you’re planning your summer adventure. She shares her insight into making travel meaningful, and as well as some tips to get the most personal impact from your vacation.

Travel Tips To Enhance Your Personal Growth

One: Seek a Fresh Perspective

Getting outside of the bubble you live in most of the time and making contact with new people, new places, different cultures, and different ways of looking at the world can shake you out of a mental rut. It’s very easy for all of us to fall into ways of thinking that can be self-limiting. Challenging yourself by putting yourself in different environments with different perspectives can stir the pot; ideally, leading to a fresh perspective on your own life when you get back home.

Two: Give Yourself Permission to Travel in a Way That is Meaningful to You

We also identify who we are through our travel. The types of adventures or experiences you seek out are a manifestation of who you are, and what is most important to you. For some, the epitome of a good vacation is laying on a beach with a fruity cocktail in your hand for days (getting up only to graze the all-you-can-eat buffet). Others consider a good vacation to be roughing it off the grid for a week, bathing only in an ice-cold glacier stream.

As you are planning your travel for the summer, you might consider doing some reflecting about what is truly, genuinely, pleasurable, interesting, relaxing and rejuvenating to YOU. (And resisting the instinct you might have to compare your ideal vacation to that of others).

Three: Use Travel to Discover Yourself

Another you might consider as you’re planning your travel for the summer, is how you can intentionally cultivate personal experiences that help you develop. Would it benefit you to be challenged to cultivate new parts of yourself that you don’t often have the opportunity to express when in your usual environment?  Or is the greatest opportunity mindful travel affords you is having the time and space to connect with your own feelings, thoughts, preferences and even creativity when outside of your usual environments? Is “Solo Travel” a way for you to get away meaningfully, and reconnect with yourself? [Check out Aditi’s article about why solo travel is increasingly popular with women]

Any travel is an opportunity to disrupt your usual patterns. You get knocked out of your usual environment, beliefs, self concept, and experiences and in doing so, open new doors into yourself.

Four: Nourish Your Relationship Through Travel

We often think of traveling with our partner as simply a great opportunity to have time together, and to be apart from the day-to-day stressors that can keep couples from connecting. This is certainly true, but another way that relationships are significantly enhanced by travel is the opportunity to engage in — believe it or not — stressful and even anxiety-provoking, novel experiences together.

Research shows that one of the fastest ways to enhance energy and sizzle and a relationship is to engage in new, even anxiety provoking experiences together. When you and your partner plunge into exciting new experiences together, facing the unknown, and going through new things as a team, it will strengthen your emotional bond.

How Travel Helps You Grow

Travel, when done with mindfulness and intention is so much more than about taking a trip. It’s an opportunity to break free from old patterns, challenge yourself, expose yourself to new ideas, and discover new aspects of yourself that you don’t ordinarily get to use. Mindful, intentional travel can nourish your relationship, and help you both grow as partners, and individuals.

If you want to use travel as another tool to help you on your journey of growth, be sure to check out this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast!

Your partner in adventure!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

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How Travel Helps You Grow

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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Please rate and review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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How To Get Unstuck When You’re Feeling Trapped

How To Get Unstuck When You’re Feeling Trapped

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Set Yourself Free

 

Do You Feel Trapped By Your Circumstances? If so, you’re not alone.I see it all the time: People often feel trapped in situations, and that in every direction is a barrier. It’s like they have no good options.

They sit on my couch, tense, and certain in the futility of any effort to create change.

  • They hate their job but can’t find a different one for various reasons.
  • They want to change their habits but haven’t been successful yet so therefore they can’t ever be.
  • They want their relationship to be different but feel helpless because their partner won’t change.

The door to their ideal path has just slammed shut and now they are facing a wall. Emotionally, they feel helpless and that their problems feel too big to overcome. Every opportunity quickly becomes a snarl of more problems and negative outcomes, and paralysis takes over.

“Being stuck” becomes a purgatory, and as you can imagine, fertile ground for depression to sink roots and wrap them up in tight black vines of hopelessness. It’s hard to go through, and even as a therapist (hi) hard to watch.

Why does this happen? Most importantly, how do you set yourself free?

The “Black and White” Trap

In my experience, feeling trapped is preceded by some variation of black and white thinking that severely limits available options.

If you’re feeling paralyzed, stuck, or helpless there is a good chance that, at the core, you might be engaging in black and white thinking.

When this thought process is active, everything becomes an “either / or.”

“I need to get into this graduate program, but I can’t afford it so I’m destined stay in this unhappy career forever.”

“I’m going out on dates but not meeting people I feel a connection with so I’m going to die alone.”

“I must feel better in order to do something differently.”

“My partner needs to change or I can’t be happy.”

All options are starkly opposed in black and white, and have the power to either save or crush us completely. Words like, “Always,” “Have To,” “Can’t,” swirl in the room. It’s exhausting.

Whenever someone gets into a stuck, helpless place its almost always because they perceive too few options. Things become polarized: Black and white, yes and no, good or bad. Psychological health is happiness is found through flexibility, creativity, and openness.

There is always a middle path.

How To Liberate Yourself

If you don’t like the options you currently have, insist on more.

Did you ever read the story when you were a kid about Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator? (It’s the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I know you’ve heard of).

Anyway. Willie Wonka has made Charlie the heir to his magical candy empire, and takes him on a tour of his new dominion.

They get into the Great Glass Elevator, which Charlie assumes, sanely, will carry them to different levels of the factory.

However, the wall of the elevator is covered with buttons indicating that this elevator will go diagonally, in circles, side to side, and more.

Willie Wonka gleefully pushes the big red “Up and Out” button which sends them crashing through the roof of the factory and into outer space. OUTER SPACE!

“And what keeps it up?” said Grandma Josephine.

“Skyhooks,” said Mr Wonka.

The point is that we all get to design our own reality. Just like Willy Wonka, we all make it all up as we go along, and the rules that govern our lives are largely our own construction. You have many, many options — we all do.

Cultivate Creativity And Flexibility

The next time you’re feeling trapped, try taking out a piece of paper and writing down as many alternative options as you can think of. Make them as zany and wildly unrealistic as you possibly can, just to loosen up the thin-lipped British governess that has taken up residence in your head— the one holding two alternatives out to you on a silver tray. Slap them out of her hands and get weird. Brainstorm with abandon.

“I could sell all my possessions and move to a little village in Armenia. In three years I will be mayor.”

“I could quit my job and live in a tent in my next-door neighbor’s backyard.”

“I could make [insert goal here] the sole mission of my life and number one priority every day.”

“I could stand up in the middle of my next team meeting and scream cathartically, throw a chair at my boss’s head, and walk out.” (Not advised. But you could.)

“I could apply to a different school, or change my major.”

“I could break up with this person.”

“I could read some books and learn how to do this thing that seems so impossible. Other people can do it and I can too.”

“I could make it a goal to meet four new people every week.”

“I could save x amount of money every month for the next year, and do the thing I really want to do.”

“I could get rid of my television and use all that extra time to pursue [something important that you feel you don’t have time for].”

Operant point: Start every sentence should start with “I could.”

Of course you will immediately hear the snarky voice of the uptight, uber-rational British governess telling you all the reasons that you can’t.

The correct response to her is, “Shh. Skyhooks.”

You Are the Author Of Your Life Story

The truth is that you can actually do pretty much anything you want.

You CAN decide to take out a massive loan and spend every cent riding motorcycles around Australia for the next six months. You could simply stop paying the mortgage on your house and use the proceeds to finance a diet of nothing but the most expensive chocolate money can buy every single day.

You can. No one is stopping you.

Of course, there are consequences to every decision that you’ll have to sort through, obviously, but just getting in contact with the fact that your options are immense is enough to break through the paralysis that is choking your life and creating the stuck-ness that you’ve been feeling lately.

In addition to some foolish ideas that might very well destroy your life if you followed them, your creativity and openness to new ideas will also generate some reasonable, healthy, fresh and exciting new options for you too. Trust me.

What are the skyhooks that could lift you up-and-out of the tiny little cognitive box you’ve been stuffed into?

What could you do?

 
 
xoxo,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

“I want to change my life, but how?

 

 

Have you ever thought those words to yourself? If so, congratulations: As a therapist and life coach I know that wanting things to be different  is the launch-pad for any real and lasting change.

We think of the process of changing your life as a positive thing — one that is hopeful, and infused with joy. However, here’s the dirt: No-one ever, ever, changes because they’re just so happy with their life as it currently is. No. People actually change because they are frustrated, annoyed, hurt, embarrassed, experiencing negative consequences, or just completely worn out and exhausted from living the way they have been.

In fact, it’s that yucky, “Ugh I hate this” feeling (that we all dislike) is exactly the one you need to listen to if you’re going to change your life. But no one talks about that part. We see the victorious transformations… but not how to make the sausage.

The real, authentic change process is messy. It’s wobbly. It can be lonely. We try and fail, and try again. It doesn’t feel joyful, at least, not in the beginning. If anything, it feels hard, but it feels necessary.

How to Change Your Life

It’s not uncommon at all for our clients to show up for therapy or life coaching with us for help in feeling better. They’re feeling low, worried, or frustrated, and they genuinely don’t know what to do next. So, just like giving up and calling the plumber after you’ve futzed around with the leaky sink for three hours with no success, people reach out to us for therapy or life coaching.

“I want to have a better relationship,” “I want to stop my bad habits,” “I want to feel happier,” “I want to be healthier,” or “I need to figure myself out,” are all opening lines for transformational therapy or coaching. In all these situations people are saying, “I need to do something differently here, but I don’t know what yet.”

What they don’t realize is how incredibly smart and brave they already are for opening themselves up to growth. To guidance. To exploration. To understanding. It’s only then that their real journey can begin.

This sense of wanting more, and the awareness that continuing to do what you have been doing is just going to get you more of the same… that’s where it starts.

Inner Change Leads to Outer Change

The first step of any great therapy or coaching is the acknowledgement that something needs to change. (See above).

The second step is where we get to work pinpointing the current circumstances that need to be improved, or identifying exactly what’s happening in their relationships or careers that aren’t feeling good. That’s the external change where you try and do things differently. However, that alone is not enough to move the needle for most people.

Where the work — the magic, honestly — actually happens is when we start talking about what is going on inside of you that is currently supporting the results you DON’T want. Although it’s hard to believe, everything in our lives is the direct out come of all the choices we’ve made until now.

On our own, we don’t see it. We’re too close to it. We are simmering in the broth of our own feelings, judgments, automatic thoughts, and instinctive behaviors. Until we partner with someone else who can shine a light into our blind spots and help us see ourselves in a new way, we’re all destined to keep repeating our old patterns.

The truth will set you free.

Once you achieve self awareness, then everything else becomes available to you. Instead of reacting without thinking, you have choices. Instead of repeating old behaviors, you begin to act intentionally. Instead of feeling helpless or frustrated, you feel determined, hopeful, and empowered.

Before you know it, you’ve achieved a new way of being, thinking, feeling and behaving that will get you where you actually want to go in your relationships, your career, and in achieving your most important life goals.

You attain power over your life, your feelings, and your results in a way that you never thought possible before. Everything opens up, and you’re in control of not just yourself, but your future.

This is what happens. It’s what we do with our clients all day every day. But it’s still so abstract, isn’t it? It’s still hard to get a sense of what it actually looks like or feels like to be involved in meaningful personal growth work. You can read therapy reviews all day long, but that’s different than getting the inside scoop on what it actually feels like to go through it.

What Changing Your Life Actually Involves

So much of what we therapists and coaches do with our clients remains firmly behind closed doors. Because we respect the privacy of our clients (even with our reviews), we can’t peel back the hood and show you what the change process looks like for any individual. It takes a brave soul to raise their hand and say, “This is what changing my life actually was like — tell my story.”

It’s such a treasure when that happens though. We all learn from each other, and hearing how people just like us learned, changed, grew, and evolved, creates an inspirational path that we can then follow ourselves.

Today, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast that is exactly what we are doing. My dear colleague, fellow Denver therapist and online life coach Polly Drew has an inspiring story of personal transformation to share. She talks about the change process: From her first awareness that she had a problem, to how she got the motivation to start making changes, to the support and systems she needed to put into place in order to be successful in changing her life.

Polly is an incredibly wise, compassionate therapist and life coach who has helped countless people create transformation in their lives and relationships. She also practices what she preaches, and her own growth work has given her work with her clients depth, understanding, empathy, and power.

Learn how to really change your life on this episode of the podcast.

With love,

Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT & Polly Drew, M.Ed., LMFT

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How to Start Making Positive Changes in Your Life

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: “Born to Become,” by Maya Johanna

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Please rate and review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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How to Break Up With Someone You Love

How to Break Up With Someone You Love

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye…

 

In my role as a therapist, life coach and breakup recovery coach here at Growing Self, I have had the honor and privilege to walk along side many people as they make agonizing decisions about whether or not to stay in a relationship. They often have deep ambivalence about the relationship: They love their person, and they acknowledge that the relationship has many good aspects, and yet they simply feel in their heart that it is not the right relationship for them.

So they stay. Sometimes, for years.

Can you relate? If so, you know how difficult it is. I bet, if you’re like most people currently in a relationship that you would like to end, you can feel pretty stuck. On the one hand, you care for your partner and don’t want to hurt them. On the other hand, you know that sooner or later, this needs to end.

But how? When? How do you breakup with someone you still love, especially if they don’t want the relationship to end?

Can You Care About Someone and Still Want to Break Up?

It’s actually very normal to care about someone, and yet want to end the relationship. In fact, having compassion for your partner as a human being is one of the things that can make a breakup so difficult.

I actually had someone write in with this exact question, asking about how he’s actually tried to break up a number of times, but his partner essentially convinces him that things can get better. He acquiesces, and things do get better for a little while, but then things go back to the way they were. He feels that they are not right for each other, but gets talked back into trying again every time he tries to break up.

This has been going on now for… ready? … Eight years.

He know it needs to end. They’re actually engaged now. He wants to break off the engagement but doesn’t know how. He doesn’t want to be the “bad guy.” He feels that he’s hurt her enough already, and doesn’t want to cause her more pain. But… he also wants to be out of the relationship.

Hear Henry’s whole question, and my response, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. I’m addressing:

  • Why people get stuck in unhappy relationship
  • Why (and when) breaking up can be the most compassionate thing for all parties
  • How to break up with someone you care about (especially if they argue with you about it)
  • Underlying factors that can contribute to people having “commitment issues”
  • What relationship patterns need to be addressed, lest they follow you into your next relationship
  • What to discuss in couple’ counseling if you want to give it one more shot

I hope this perspective helps!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

How to Break Up With Someone You Care About

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Enjoy the Podcast?

Please rate and review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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