Confessions of a Marriage Therapist: 2017 Reflections

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I don’t know about you, but I’m still riding high on new year’s vibes. I’m so excited for what’s in store this year and I'm feeling really optimistic about what this year will bring for all of us. One of the ways that I like to welcome the new year and honor myself for what I’ve lived through in the past year is to do a yearly reflection. (I posted a blog about this last January.) This helps me to really think about all the things I actually did do in the last 12 months, and not get discouraged by all the things I didn’t do. And to kick things off for us this year, I made a short video telling you about how I was introduced to this practice and why I think you should try it too.  


And, there’s a special bonus!  

You can get the reflection worksheets I mention in the video for FREE instantly by clicking the button below the video!


(If you’re in the middle of rocking a sleeping baby or are otherwise unable to watch/listen, scroll down to find the transcript.)


Video Transcript:


Hi. Happy 2018. Are you as excited for this new year as I am? Hi, I'm Catherine O'Brien at and last year was definitely a difficult year for many people. There was a lot of heartache and sadness and anger and frustration, but then there was also I saw a lot of renewed motivation and really wanting to make some changes in their life and in the lives of others.


So last year I wrote a blog post about my reflections on 2016 and I had been prompted by a colleague and dear friend, Joy Muirhead, and it was about reflecting on the past year. And I was thinking about all the things that I had not done. And I definitely got tearful at the thought of everything I hadn't accomplished, until she asked a question that really kind of struck me hard. And it was: What were you doing?


And I realized that what I had wanted to do and what actually was happening, what I was doing in my life, didn't jive. And so that definitely had an impact on why I wasn't able to accomplish some of the things that I really wanted. But then I realized I accomplished a lot of things personally that we're definitely much more meaningful to me, and even to this day, have impacted me greatly in a positive way.


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So I think one really important thing to remember is that things often don't go as planned and that is really OK. I think one of our biggest challenges is that our expectations cloud our experiences. So, in other words, when we have these expectations of how things will go and they don't happen, then all of a sudden we think our experiences are not as great.


Now I talk a lot about having a postpartum plan with my new and expecting couples but what I also tell them is that things aren't always gonna go as you want them to. But having a plan, and talking with your partner about having a plan definitely opened up a dialog and it helps us to start talking about our disappointments. It helps us to talk about unexpected gifts because sometimes when we see something maybe negative our partner or somebody else is able to reflect, well, and help us look at it a different way. So having that person or people to be able to reflect back on how things are going. And it also gives us a space to talk about how we might want to do things differently the next time.


So for me, I feel like parenthood definitely like puts this big magnifying glass on how things don't go the way I want them to. But I also am continuing to really step back, and take a deep breath or several deep breaths often, and really instead of beating myself up for how I am not accomplishing X, Y and Z, and potentially failing my children, my husband, my friends, my family, my business. And I try to focus more on what I am doing well and not comparing myself to people and situations that are completely different than what I am dealing with.


Because that's not fair to me quite frankly.


So if you're like me and sometimes struggle to see what your successes, are what your strengths are, what your gifts are in this world, then I really want you to click on the link below for a free download that I have and [in the download] I will walk you through--we'll look at one, your past highlights of the year. And, believe me, I bet you there are some things that when you start looking back, you'll realize we're really great. So I always tell people like look back at emails or photos or whatever to help prompt you, if you're having--if you get stuck on what those highlights are for the year.


And number two, will look at parenting reflections and this might actually help prompt some baby book entries or maybe you'll actually turn this into your kid in twenty years or so, versus a baby book that's not completed. Like both of mine are not completed.


And then number three, we'll talk about energy for the new year. What are the things you want to add to your life? But then, what are the things that you want to take out? Because I think we often do a lot of things that don't bring us joy, and so what are some of the things that you're gonna be able to remove and add more things that make you feel good?


So don't forget to grab your copy below and then send me a message. Let me know anything that you found out or that you didn't realize or it helped prompt remind you about some of these things. I really would love to know. I'd love to hear from you guys, so don't hesitate to send me a message.


And in this new year, I'm really I'm wishing you a lot of love. I'm wishing you love for others and wishing you love from others, but most of all I'm wishing you love for yourself. So until next time, take care.


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