"I Want To Remember This Forever."

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"You can actually train your brain to remember important memories. When I got married, I'd put my hands on my temples and would say to myself, 'I want to remember this moment forever.' " 


It was my wedding day. And Jessica, my beautiful hair and makeup artist, offered up this sage piece of wisdom as she did my friend Bree's smokey eye. 


I immediately perked up in my chair. 
 

Almost every person I spoke with at the rehearsal dinner told me to “enjoy every moment.” 


Since my brain can be a tad overactive - major understatement - I knew that it might be little *ahem* challenging.


But, I loved Jessica's down-to-earth, casual wisdom. Why not pause for five seconds throughout the day and say to myself, "I want to remember this moment forever."


The rest of the morning continued. My friends provided the most laid-back vibe I could've hoped for. We sat cross-legged in our chairs, relaxed with good muffins, listened to oldies and laughed. 


I think at one point I thought we were just hanging out instead of doing wedding prep.

 
When the ceremony was about to begin, we headed out of the hotel room and into the hallway. We gathered in a little circle with our bouquet of flowers.


Nicole, the ever laid back Floridian, immediately wanted to run inside to get her phone for another quick picture.


Bree and I started laughing when we both yelled out, "No! Don't leave! We're walking out soon!" 


At any moment we were set to walk down the stairs and into the garden one by one. 


My dad was waiting at the bottom. 


The sun was shining from the door. The carpet in the hallway was one of my favorite colors, a soft coral. 


I heard the guitarist playing Edelweiss outside and the hum of people getting settled. My friends were now lined up in front of me, but they kept turning around to see how I was doing. 


Then the moment came. I thought, "This is it. This is one of those moments." 


I put one hand on my heart and the other on my stomach and said, "I want to remember this moment forever." 


The friendship. The anticipation. The moment "just before," which is sometimes the best moment. 


I closed my eyes. I took five big deep breaths. I wanted to download the sensations, the sounds, the feelings, the vibes - everything. 


I wanted to remember it forever.


As I look back on the day, I remember a ton. Some of the moments feel like a blur, but if I zoom in, I'm flooded with memories.


My dad's speech. Walking down the aisle and locking eyes with my husband. Dancing to Florence and the Machine with my friends. 


A wedding is a "big thing." It's a lot of family, feelings, anticipation and little moments and big moments that can add up to a beautiful blur.  


But I also want to use the "five second" rule for the other seemingly smaller moments in life. I want to choose one moment every day to remember forever. 


It's not always easy for me. I can get caught up in the details and to-do lists of the day. I feel like I have to strive toward something rather than realizing each moment has the capacity to be memorable in its own way. 


But if I pause - I can see that the normal moments are perhaps filled with the same magic and love of the bigger ones. 


Tonight it was driving home from a weekend at the beach. My dog in my lap. My husband driving. The sun setting. And Red Hot Chili Peppers coming on the radio at the perfect time to signal a winding down for the weekend. 


I want to remember that moment forever, too. 


What moments do you want to remember forever? Leave a comment below or email me at devon@devonmcleod.com. I love hearing where you are on your journey. 

 

 

 

Self-Love.

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Last weekend I woke up and needed a dose of something way more positive.

It was like my thoughts were on negative autopilot and I couldn't shake my inner curmudgeon. 

Have you ever had a morning like that? Where no amount of coffee does the trick and you're waiting for your own positive vibes to kick in? 

Lo and behold, I went on itunes and was guided to Louise Hays' audio book How To Love Yourself: Cherishing The Incredible Miracle That You Are. 

Louise Hay is the Queen of Self-love and Affirmations. She's been on Oprah and founded Hay House, which publishes a ton of self-help books. 

One of my favorite quotes from her audiobook is:

"Be kind to yourself for every little thing."  

I love her voice. And I love the way she says the words: Every. Little. Thing. 

It's like she already knows my brain is thinking, "Wait? Every LITTLE thing?" 

It seems so silly. "I'm supposed to be kind to myself for waking up and making it to work?" 

I'm supposed to be kind to myself for filing my taxes on time? 

But, how often do we beat ourselves up for seemingly small things? Our appearance, our jobs, our income, whatever it is. 

Sometimes we don't even notice the thoughts popping up!

They can feel like background music to our lives. 

And if you're under the assumption that we get better at life, relationships and work by criticizing ourselves - I'm here to tell you - that is NOT the case. 

I'm Type-A and I'm all about learning and achieving. I've had to learn the hard way that we can move forward without beating ourselves up for every perceived set-back. 

Hold yourself accountable, but in a soft and encouraging way. In fact, it's much more effective. 

Trust me, I know it's not always easy to be nice to yourself.

Especially when your brain thinks the only way to accomplish goals is to be an inner drill sergeant. 

But, you can start where you are by saying something encouraging to yourself, like: 

"You're doing the best you can." 

Full disclosure, I used to think positive self-talk was super cliche and not particularly effective. "I'll just internally beat myself up and then show up positively for everyone else," I'd say to myself as I kept my thoughts to myself. 

But it just doesn't work. 

You have to tend to yourself and then show up with the same compassion for everyone else. 

If you're looking for something nice to listen to, here's a link to a Youtube video of Louise Hay's positive affirmations.

Remember that self-love looks different for every person. You are unique and you can use your intuition to guide you. There are no wrong ways. 

As Louise Hays says: 

"Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” 

Let's be nice to ourselves and see what happens :) 

From my heart to yours, 

Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist
 

 

 

 

Hit The Reset Button

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The past couple weeks, my meditation practice became nonexistent. 

I checked my phone way too much. 

And I stayed up late Googling nonsense. 

The end result? I was more tired and stressed than usual.

The irony was that I was trying to get more things done, but I was running around with scattered energy. 

It always makes me laugh when I think about how the more pressure I bring to my life and situations, the less I actually complete. 

So every so often, it's important to hit the reset button. 

Here's my back to basics plan for creating a sense of calm and grounded energy in my life when it's needed most: 


LOVING BREAKS FROM MY PHONE

I recently spoke with a friend who said she turns her phone off when she notices she's "grabby" with it.

I thought, "Grabby?!" what a great word to describe the knee-jerk reaction I have to grabbing my phone every ten seconds! 

I try to do an occasional phone cleanse to see where I'm at when it comes to being overly attached to my device. 

My latest experiment involved deleting certain apps from my phone and not checking emails after 10pm. I felt way more calm and less crazed almost instantaneously, which was revealing in and of itself.

Perhaps I don't need Instagram on my phone all the time? Or maybe phone-free Sundays? I'm figuring this one out :)


A SPIRITUAL REFRAME

One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite spiritual teachers is:

"Everything is here to help you." - Matt Kahn

When I'm stressed or stuff isn't going according to plan, I've been working on myself from the inside out. How can I release control? Everything is here to help us receive some sort of lesson. And 9 times out of 10 for me, it's learning to go with the flow. 

This one is super hard for me, but even saying to myself, "Everything is here to help me" helps me to shift my perspective. Suddenly, the so-called inconveniences in my life are part of a bigger picture to teach me patience and letting go. 


BOOKENDING MY DAY

When I was a kid, I loved getting ready for bed, probably because it involved reading books like Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club.

As an adult, my "bedtime routine" can be more like throwing on pair of sweats and brushing my teeth five minutes after turning my computer off. 

Long gone are the days of relaxing music and teenage novels.

Studies suggest we need about three hours of dim lights and no technology for our bodies to wind down. I don't even need science on my side, since I know that if I binge watch Real Housewives right before bed, I'm going to stay up longer. 

Low lights, relaxing music and possibly a little journal session sound like a decadent retreat. Why not make it part of my adult bedtime routine every night? 

***
I think it's really important to know the best rhythm for your life.

When you need to take it easy and when you need to hit the reset button. 

I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to establishing routines and healthy boundaries around technology. And I probably never will be and that's okay :) 

But if you have any tips for feeling centered and calm, bed time related or otherwise, please let me know. I'd love your insight! 

Leave a comment below or email me at devon@devonmcleod.com

Have a beautiful day!

 

From my heart to yours, 

Devon McLeod, LCSW

Holistic Psychotherapist

www.devonmcleod.com

Flower Essences for Public Speaking

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I teach group fitness classes every couple months. And yet, it's not always easy for me to get in front of people and be "on stage." 

I wear a microphone when I teach like Britney Spears. It's awesome in many ways, but definitely attention-grabbing.

Depending on my mood, being on stage in this way can be a major hurdle. 

It's like when I'd give presentations in high school and college. I was super nervous right before and VERY relieved when it was over. 

A couple months ago, I was gearing up to teach a fitness class and it had been awhile. Like with anything when you're feeling rusty, I started to doubt myself and get super nervous.

Would I remember everything? What if I messed up? What if people hated the class? 

Major nerves. 

In addition to giving myself an internal pep talk and making sure I was extra caffeinated, I took a couple flower essences that help whenever I have to speak in front of people. 

I put a couple drops in my mouth the hours leading up to teaching. 

And as I walked into the room, I was still a little nervous - but it was less I want to crawl under the covers and hide and more, "Okay, I'm nervous, but let's do this." 

I felt more comfortable in my skin and less distracted. 

And I was WAY more focused on what mattered - showing up for other people and being present. 

I even had fun wearing my microphone ;) 

And if you're wondering - flower essences come in a little bottle and you place two drops under your tongue four times a day. 

Now, if you're asking yourself, "Um, okay what the heck are flower essences?" you're definitely NOT alone. 

My friend Nicole visited me a couple weekends ago and she said she envisioned me placing flower petals on my tongue haha.

I totally get WHY she thought this, but flower essences are so much cooler than that :) 

You can read about how they're made here. You can also watch this video of how you take them

You can buy them directly through Amazon, but there's also an awesome store in NYC called Flower Power Herbs and Roots if you're in the area. 

I invite you to check them out if you ever feel nervous speaking in front of people, being on stage or even taking any sort of risks. 

And while flower essences are awesome, LIFE is definitely the best confidence builder. 

But certain things like flower essences can help :) 

Check out my favorite flower essences for "stage fright" (I'm not sure I like that phrase!) or speaking in public below: 

Larch - I took this right before giving my Maid of Honor speech a couple years ago. The specific purpose of it is for increasing confidence, so it works like a charm. 

Mimulus - This one is for specific fears, like the fear of being on stage. You can also check it out for other fears like flying, heights, etc. 

Golden Yarrow - Golden Yarrow is great for empaths and sensitive people. It helps you NOT absorb the energy of other people so you can stay in your own zone. 

White Chestnut - Ever try to focus on a presentation and just had the thought of, "Don't mess up...don't mess up...don't mess up..."? White Chestnut helps ease racing thoughts so you can perform like the pro that you are. 

I hope you find this round-up of flower essences helpful! 

I want to hear YOUR best tips for speaking in public or being on stage. 

Comment below or email me directly at devon@devonmcleod.com

 

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Bridal Shower Vibes...

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I'm engaged.

And when it comes to thinking about a wedding, a bridal shower and other festivities, I've had one question in mind: 

"Is this going to be awkward?" 

I've scrolled instagram with the best of them and seen tons of photos with brides at showers, opening gifts, surrounded by people and thought...

Wow, that's a lot of attention. 

I even contributed to a Vogue.com article on the topic of introvert brides. 

But what the heck do I know?! I've never had the spotlight on me in this way. 

I had absolutely NO idea how I was going to handle things when it was my turn to be #bridal. 

But, there's definitely one thing I did know: 

I didn't want my wedding festivities to be a recreation of all my "lost birthday parties." 

The "lost birthday parties" were the parties my friends threw for me, where I'd become SO concerned with the mingling of different friend groups - why is this so stressful?! - and whether or not everyone was having a good time.

The party would be over before I knew it. I wasted precious moments worrying about stuff that didn't matter (does everyone like the chicken?!) and not being in the present moment. 

But last Saturday - it was showtime for this introvert bride. 

My two close friends were hosting a bridal shower for me. 

Game on. 

I decided to use all the tools I'd picked up along the way. 

If there are a couple things I've learned in my history of being a sensitive person and empath it's that you HAVE to take your TIME when you're getting ready. 

So, I gave myself LOTS of time to get ready.

I played relaxing music. I drank a lot of water...And I let myself feel the excitement of seeing all my friends in one place. 

I even used The Glam Squad app. POOF - Two hair and makeup ninjas got me ready in my home so I could just sit and chill. 

Instead of being self-conscious about having attention on me I kept telling myself, "Soak it up." 

I felt excited when I thought about catching up with friends. 

And when I thought about people traveling long distances, I felt incredibly touched and humbled. 

By the time I left my apartment, I felt calm and ready. 

It was like Opposite Day for all the times I would show up at my own parties distracted and self-conscious. 

When I arrived at the restaurant and walked into the room my friends had beautifully decorated, I smiled ear to ear. 

As I talked to everyone, I was fully present and engaged in every moment of the conversation. Time stood still as I hugged and laughed with people I hadn't seen in forever. 

I felt super proud of myself. 

Alas, there was a moment when my newfound calm was tested.

If you've attended a bridal shower, you know there comes a time where everyone puts down their forks and watches the bride OPENING HER GIFTS. 

This has always been my version of a personal nightmare: 

All eyes on me as I open cooking supplies I don't know how to use. 

And then it happened. Gift opening. 

As I had the first beautifully wrapped present sitting in my lap, I thought to myself, "Ummm...people are staring at me. This is awkward." 

But I took a breath and focused on what I was experiencing - the opening of the paper, the buzzing energy in the room, and the receiving of the heartfelt gifts from amazing friends. 

I tore open the packages and relished in every detail of the gifts. 

I felt like a kid at Christmas. I mean, I can't remember the last time I opened more than five gifts in a row. It was awesome. 

And when I looked around the room I wasn't thinking about whether everyone was having a good time (I hope they were!) or if they liked the food (I'm pretty sure they did). 

All I thought about was soaking up the joy and gratitude of the moment. 

I stayed present and let LOVE be the center of attention - the love I have for my friends and family and the love they have for me. 

And you know what? I had a blast. Me - the reluctant center of attention bride ;) 

At the end of the party, my friend Nicole, who has known me for thirteen years, said, "Do you need to go home and decompress?" 

Normally, after hanging out with a ton of people I'd be ready for some alone time. Like I said, she knows me well.

But instead, I checked in with my body and said, "Absolutely not. I'm ready to do whatever. Let's go hang out." 

Can you imagine if I'd spent that time with my friends and family in my head worrying about stuff I can't control? 

What a waste.

And frankly, I've done that dance. Next please. 

You can't give if you can't receive. Love is an energy that needs to be circulating - pouring out and pouring in. 

I hope you're able to take a little time for yourself today...and give a little something back to someone in return. 

Fill your cup and then give back to the people you love...even if you're simply giving your undistracted and beautiful presence :) 

How do you soak up love and attention in a mindful way? What keeps you balanced? Leave a comment below and let me know your tricks...I can always use more :) 

From my heart to yours, 

Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist

 




 

My Late Night Google Searches

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I've always been curious about people, places and things. 

When I'm watching a TV show, I get so distracted thinking about the actors and their characters.

I have to stop myself from going on what my brother calls a "Wikipedia Deep Dive." 

A "Wikipedia Deep Dive" is when you're googling every name of every actor on The Sopranos and the next thing you know, you're googling their children. 

And then you start opening up new searches about their spouses - finding out what colleges they attended - all the while accidentally discovering what happens to every-character-on-the-show. 

Does anyone else do this? 

Okay...maybe just me ;)

But I love information. I love getting it and I LOVE sharing it. 

So as my gift to you, I'd love to share some of the information I've received lately.

Some of it was passed along to me and some of it I found on my very own knowledge "deep dive" aka googling well past my bedtime. 

However I received it, I'm thrilled to pass this info and inspiration along to you. 

I hope you enjoy!


1. Turmeric: The Super Supplement

I've been taking B6 and B12 for years, as well as Vitamin D, but Turmeric kept popping up in articles and blog posts I came across. The ancient spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help with digestion and joint pain. I take it in supplement form, but you can also enjoy it in spice form in shakes and soups. 


2. A Cutting Cords Meditation for Letting...Things...Go

If you feel resentful toward someone or something - your boss, your friend, your family member - check out this meditation by Joseph Aldo, PH.d. 

It's perfect when you need to hit *reset* on your brain and let an argument go.

Head over to Dr. Kelly Brogan's website where it's recorded. You'll feel lighter in minutes. 


3. Greenmedinfo's Newsletter

If you're curious about toxins in your environment or which supplements you should be taking, I highly recommend subscribing or visiting Greenmedinfo.com

Greenmedinfo has everything in one place and it's easy to digest. Check out this post: 5 Food Medicines That Could Possibly Save Your Life. 


4. Positive Energy by Judith Orloff, MD. 

Judith Orloff is the Queen of Empaths. In her book, she provides simple and effective solutions for awakening your intuition and feeling more balanced and energized. This book helped me so much when I first moved to NYC. Her tip about checking your pulse when you need to stay in the moment works like a charm.


5. An Inspirational Article about Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron wrote Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. I'd always heard about her humor and witbut this Vanity Fair article reveals another layer of her personality and leadership style. 

Meg Ryan and other actors explain how she was dedicated to creating an on-set environment that felt like a welcoming dinner party. It's inspiring, entertaining and provides a "behind the scenes" glimpse at some of her best films. 


6. Argan Rosemary Cleansing Oil. 

I love this product. I've been using it for years and it keeps your face clean without drying it out. You can use it before or after washing your face or even throughout the day. 


7. Golden Yarrow: A Natural Remedy for Empaths

If you DO identify as an empath or highly sensitive person, I recommend the flower essence Golden Yarrow.

Golden Yarrow helps protect your energy so you don't feel like you're absorbing everyone else's emotions. Take a couple drops under your tongue or mix it with water. 


8. Katie Hess and Her Flower Essence Podcast

I love Katie Hess - she's a flower essence alchemist who leads with love and authenticity. On her most recent podcast, she talks about diet, hormones and the best approach for leading a balanced life - body and soul. You can check out her podcasts here. 


9. Grace Atwood's Instagram Account

Grace Atwood always has the best product and BOOK recommendations. You can follow her instagram here and find her book club info here


10. An "Oprah Reminder" That It's Alllllll Going To Work Out

Every few months, when I think, "Why aren't things working out exactly as I want" I watch this Oprah interview. 

Filmed at Stanford University Business School, Oprah describes the so-called missteps and detours that inevitably led her to what she's meant to be doing in her life.

Watch here. 

It's SO easy to think we have to have things "figured out" all the time, and this video always reminds me to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

It's perfect if you need a reminder that you're doing just fine :) 

What's the stuff you're loving at the moment? Any books, people or places you can't stop thinking about? 

Comment below and let me know! 

Have a beautiful weekend!

From my heart to yours, 

Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist
www.devonmcleod.com
 

 

 

I can't believe I messed this up...

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Ten years ago, I was a super scared social work intern working at an outpatient clinic in New York City. 

I was trying desperately hard to impress my director, supervisor, anyone around me and oh yeah - myself. 

Every Monday, the staff would gather around the lunch table to rotate people presenting cases.

It was a BIG deal. And I'd never presented.

But, I knew when my time was up, I'd prepare like nobody's business and knock it out of the ballpark. 

Or so I thought. 

One day, I arrived for our weekly meeting and began opening my packed peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Before I could take a bite, the director of the clinic called out my name. 

"Devon," she said, "Devon, it's your turn to present." 

My face went white. 

Why is she calling my name? It can't be my turn to present. Is there another Devon who works here?!

I looked around the room for someone to rescue me.

This can't be happening. I'd NEVER forget something this important.

But, I totally forgot. 

I looked around and gripped my sandwich. 

After what felt like hours (probably two minutes) my supervisor jumped to the rescue and presented something on the fly.

But, the damage was done.

I was an intern and I wanted a job at this place.

I was MORTIFIED.

How the heck could I've been so IRRESPONSIBLE?!

"Irresponsible" was just one of the many words I called myself as I walked out of the room, my young therapist tail between her legs.

I was terrified I'd messed up my chance of being offered a job. I was nervous I'd let my supervisor down.

And above all, I was just really mad at myself. 

I couldn't stop the negative self-talk. It felt like a gremlin had taken over my otherwise benevolent mind. I carried on throughout the day. But right before I fell sleep or when I was letting my mind wander...

I went back to beating myself up big time. 

At the time, it felt like I DESERVED it because I'd definitely made a mistake - no one would argue otherwise. 

But when does being hard on yourself EVER help? 

It simply doesn't. 

It makes you feel ashamed and paralyzed. Case in point, I walked around the clinic like a deer in headlights for the next two weeks.

I made tons of anxious mistakes, as I repeatedly thought, "Don't mess up. Don't mess up. Don't mess up AGAIN." 

It's tough not to beat yourself up when you make mistakes in the real world. You mess up with your family. You forget to do something important. You send that text you really shouldn't have sent. 

The negative thoughts kick in. You run through the blunders you've made in the past - your brain building up a library of information about how you're not good at anything. 

In Buddhist teachings, it's referred to as the "second arrow." The first arrow is the mistake you make and the second arrow is the unnecessary self-blame, anger and resentment you place on top of your yourself. 

The first arrow is part of life - mistakes happen. The second arrow is actually optional. What a thought. 

When I was stuck in my mode of "I'm a worthless intern who deserves no job upon graduation," I could've used some good 'ol fashioned positive self talk.

It sounds cheesy, but it helps. 

"Everyone makes mistakes."

"You messed up and that's okay. This too shall pass." 

If I could go back in time to my scared-intern self, I'd also tell her that this so-called mistake would help her. Yes, actually help her. She may not have been aware of it, but she was collecting data that she (gasp!) didn't have to be perfect. 

Our mistakes are part of a greater design to help us get some much needed life lessons - letting go of perfectionism and accepting the loved ones in our life who are less than perfect, too. 

Cutting yourself and everyone in your life some slack - what a concept. 

So the way I look at it - you may as well start having compassion for yourself this very moment, no matter what the mess-up. 

And that's the biggest self-care tool you can use...guaranteed. 

As far as the internship? I was offered a job at the clinic when my internship was over.

I guess I didn't have to be perfect, after all ;) 


From my heart to yours, 


Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist
www.devonmcleod.com


Do you ever beat yourself up over small (or big!) things? Forgetting an appointment? Missing your friends birthday? Leave a comment below or email devon@devonmcleod.com. I'd love to hear from you! 

 

Trust Your Instincts

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Hopping out of an Uber with my broker, we arrived at the prospective apartment. It was a typical New York City street corner, meaning it was super busy with three ambulances screeching by. 

But more importantly, my chest tightened and I felt the urge to jump back in the Uber and flee to the nearest strand of nature. 

"No, Devon. Let's check this place out. You need a place to live." 

Walking up the stairs of the apartment, aesthetically - everything seemed great. Intellectually speaking, this apartment felt like the ideal place my boyfriend (now fiance) and I were supposed to reside.  

Feeling the mounting sense of "this isn't right" in my body, I quickly started to list all of the reasons the apartment would work for us - close to jobs, great price, allows dogs, roof over our heads, etc. 

But no matter how many reasons I listed, something just wasn't sitting well. 

"Devon, stop being so sensitive. You've gotta be like a normal person and make decisions that are smart, practical and above all - make sense." 

This is the internal dialogue I usually say to myself when my intuition is desperately trying to communicate something with me. 

While I pay attention to the thoughts occurring in my brain (and trust me, there are MANY of them throughout the day) I always thrive when I listen to the part of me that has never led me astray - my intuition. 

It's how I took the leap to move to New York City, apply to grad school super last minute (I'll probably share that story later) and have found the best jobs. 

Flash forward to the next day (NYC real estate moves at lighting speed) the lease was signed. I felt somewhat relieved to have a roof over my head.

But I couldn't shake that feeling....

You know the one? The feeling where you've made a decision - taken a job, booked a vacation, moved cities or started a relationship - and something feels "off." 

You have weird dreams or even nightmares? You feel anxious  even when you think you *should* be happy?

Or you might notice things don't "flow" when you move forward with something that doesn't resonate with every fiber of your being.

Your furniture doesn't arrive on time. The position you took at your company leaves you feeling stressed-out and anxious. 

The Airbnb you booked is "mysteriously" unavailable at the last minute. 

When you ignore your intuition - weird things can happen.

As for the new apartment we moved into? It was by no means a terrible experience, but it never felt like I really lived there - almost like I was a visitor passing through.

And to be honest, things didn't flow. 

We had weird plumbing issues, strange smells and get this - building management told me I wasn't "allowed" to have my name on the mailbox. 

How's that for a sign from the universe?

Whenever I try and force things, rush things or push my intuition aside for the sake of strictly logical arguments, things just don't flow.

I end up in a state of not only kicking myself for not listening to my instincts, but feeling stressed out and like I'm swimming upstream. 

As far as the apartment goes, it wasn't the most ideal experience, but I shockingly look back at my living situation with a healthy dose of nostalgia. It was a time where I couldn't force my way out of a situation.

I had to practice the art of relaxing into something that felt less than ideal. 

Dare I say, that was perhaps the gift I needed all along? 

But going forward, I make sure to check-in with my body before making choices - big and small. 
 

  • Do I want to go to that networking event? Does my body feel relaxed when I envision arriving? 
  • When I think about moving to that new neighborhood...am I excited? Or do I feel a little flutter in my stomach (but not in a good way) thinking about the new locale?
  • Does it feel like I'm forcing something when I rush and try to fit square pegs into round holes? Is there a lack of flow? 


If you believe in God, a higher power, or even the mystery of the Universe, you can ask for guidance to be in alignment with your highest good as you move through decisions...whatever that means for you.

You can even experiment and see how your body feels when you turn down a street, greet a friend or envision vacationing in a certain location.

Signs you're on the right track - You feel relaxed, open, engaged, excited, warm and energized. 

Signs your intuition is telling you to pause - You feel tight, anxious, worried or like you're moving through molasses - like something might be holding you back from following through. 

Feelings don't have to make perfect sense in the moment. Sometimes, it takes days, months or years before we can look back and say, "Oh, that's why that thing didn't work out." 

Be curious. Be open. And don't judge or feel like you have to have all the answers right away. 

You can even make "mistakes" in your life when it comes to decision making.

How's that for a relief?

Remember, this is the year of Bidding Adieu to Perfectionism. In fact, think of "mistakes" as bumpy experiences to guide you, teach you and help you learn how to inevitably trust your intuition with all of your heart. 

You don't have to do it perfectly. You just have to show up....

Trusting yourself, paying attention and moving forward one step at a time. 


From my heart to yours, 


Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist

 

Let me know about a time YOU trusted your gut by commenting below. I'd love to hear what happened when you went with the wisdom of your intuition :) 
 

 

 


 

Adventures in Couples Curriculum

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I just finished a couples therapy course I attended on Saturday mornings with fellow therapists. 



My colleague Marla Silverman, Ph.D, led this wonderful class with her gentle, firm, accepting and open-minded approach to working with couples. 



I've been wanting to share the nuggets of wisdom I received about the ONE area of our lives that can give us the most satisfaction and pure bliss - AND can also lead us to feel like we're constantly hitting a wall.



dun, dun, dunnnn.....Relationships. 



Relationships are always such a juicy, exciting topic because of the complexity, relatability and desire for love that we ALL have.



My personal takeaway from Marla's approach:



When couples are at an impasse - a huge fight, quiet resentment, shutting down or some other well-known pattern that occurs over and over again....



Their protectors go up. 



Think of protectors as the defenses you use when you feel scared, anxious, sad or overwhelmed. You're protecting your heart and it *feels* like you're fighting for survival...because at some point - usually during childhood - you were. 



Protectors are like emotional shields that help you navigate the world and feel safe. Traditional psychotherapy refers to them as "defenses," but I personally like the word "protectors" because it's a kinder and more fluid term. 



Protectors have the intention of keeping your heart safe, but sometimes they fight a little too strongly and a little too boldly...even when they're not needed. 



Case in point, when you and another person get together and decide on where to go to dinner, whose turn it is to do the laundry, where to spend the holidays and how to raise your kids - protectors might show up - and the next thing you know you're shouting at the other person or rolling your eyes in an effort to protect yourself from what's beneath it all: unresolved hurt and pain. 



Couples all too often speak to each other FROM the place of these protectors, "You're always so selfish - you never eat where I want to" or "I can't believe you forgot to call me to say you'd be late AGAIN." 



Attacking, blaming and reacting - like a big shield is going up in front of them. 



Marla's approach is to talk to the other person ON BEHALF of your protectors. 



Getting the info from your protectors, but communicating as your adult self. 



For example, "I'm feeling sad that I don't have a say in where we eat on Saturdays" and "I'm noticing I feel hurt and abandoned when you don't call when you're working late." 



You're acknowledging the FEELINGS underneath the reactions. And you give the other person a chance to see your pain. 



This seemingly simple switcheroo when it comes to expression and communication is game changing, as I learned. Using this strategy is one of those life things that is simple, but not necessarily easy (at least all the time). 



My personal trick to stay grounded is to simply BREATHE before speaking. You can even put your hand on your heart to CONNECT to yourself before speaking up.



That way, you're communicating with awareness of your protectors and not IN reaction to them. 



You may even notice a shift in your mood or the release of tension in your heart. Relationships are after all, about the "other" person, but they're also about you forming an ever-stronger connection to YOU.



So what if we all committed to taking a moment before expressing ourselves? Speaking on behalf of our protectors, instead of giving them a huge microphone?



What if you gave yourself time to FEEL what's UNDERNEATH your defenses? 



I imagine we'd feel more kind and compassionate....the bonus being our words would actually LAND with the other person.



You'd be left with the most potent forms of healing a relationship can offer: feeling understood and seen. 



Here are some relationships books I was introduced to through the course and some I've read over the years. They're helpful whether you're in a romantic relationship, not in a relationship or something in between.



1) Getting The Love You Want (Oprah approved)

If you've ever been a relationship and thought to yourself, "This dynamic seems familiar" you a) are definitely not alone and b) would probably enjoy this book.


Harville Hendrix, Ph.D explores the opportunity for healing that arises when the person we choose as a partner brings up childhood or otherwise historical wounds. 


Oprah says this is one of the most influential relationship books she's ever read. 




2) The High Conflict Couple

Sometimes you just need to hit the pause button during conflict. This book offers practical exercises for remembering the good in your partner during heated moments.


Favorite tip - keep a "relationship box" with mementos, letters, etc. to remind you of the positive qualities in your loved one. 




3) Attached

John Mayer recently said that he's in therapy to address his attachment style. So what's that about?


Attachment styles are the ways we connect and love, especially in romantic relationships. There are generally thought to be four major ones: Avoidant, Anxious, Secure and Anxious/Avoidant. 


This book easily breaks down the styles and provides tips (and things to look out for) whether you're single or in a relationship.  

 


4) The Course Of Love

I love this novel written by Alain de Botton. He provides a detailed, poignant and informative story on a real-life marriage between two flawed, beautiful humans.


You can also check out an interview he did that addresses the major points of the book here. 

 


5) The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

John Gottman is super famous in the coupledom world - and for good reason. His scientific approach (he's less touchy/feely and more - hey, I studied couples and this is what happens) is refreshing.

 

He also keeps you on your toes about what to say (and not say) to your partner. Preview - rolling your eyes is a definite no, no. 

 

Let me know your favorite tip for keeping a harmonious, healthy relationship by commenting below or emailing devon@devonmcleod.com

 

 I'd love to hear from you! 



From my heart to yours, 



Devon McLeod, LCSW

Holistic Psychotherapist

 

Farewell To Perfectionism

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I've never been much into New Year's Resolutions, but one thing I do know?
 

I'm incredibly devoted to serving YOU this year.
 

I've been listening closely, all year round, and the #1 struggle you've shared with me is feeling like you have to do EVERYTHING in your life perfectly.
 

Whether it's reading self-help books, meditation, carving out time for group fitness classes, dating, relationships or even just relaxing - you want to do things and do them well.
 

I totally hear you (and I get it).
 

For many years, I struggled with feeling like I, too, should do everything without mistakes (how boring!) and that I wasn't successful if I didn't have my relationships, career, exercise routine and relaxation strategies figured out to a tee (eek! I even feel stressed writing that).
 

You see, I get the struggle because I ran that program for YEARS. Not only does it not *work* but you run the risk of not enjoying the natural flow of your life.
 

That's why I'm declaring this year to be:

 

The Year of Bidding Adieu to Perfectionism.
 

That's right. I'm on a one-woman mission to have you cut yourself some slack and accept yourself exactly as you are.
 

"But, Devon, I'm all about achieving, growing, learning and striving. I want to empower myself to be more, do more and have the relationships and life I want."
 

I'm not asking you to settle. I'm asking you to relax into the idea that you are enough.
 

Less I need to rush around and get everything done and more I'm going to focus on joy and compassion in EVERYTHING I do.


Because when you're relaxed and having a blast, you'll actually get more done, get it done well, and your relationships will flourish.
 

Hows that for challenging your inner Perfectionist?
 

Here's some of the stuff you can expect from me this year:
 

  • Blog posts a couple times a month delivered directly to your inbox
  • Phone/skype sessions for flower essence sessions if you're not in the NYC area (or you live in NYC and don't want to leave your apartment).
  • Videos where I share my personal struggles with perfectionism and how I work to a) accept my perfectionistic knee-jerk reaction and b) stop myself before I end up in a stressed-out ball on the floor.

 

And in the meantime, what's one thing you can do TODAY to drop some perfectionism? 

 

Perhaps letting yourself off the hook for not getting *everything* done on your to-do list? Watching your inner dialogue so you're NOT beating yourself up after skipping the gym? Let's be nicer to ourselves starting now. 

 

Here's to a happy New Year!


From my heart to yours, 


Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist
www.devonmcleod.com

 

P.s. Sign up below to receive my FREE guided meditation that focuses on letting go of this "I have to do everything right" energy. I recorded it on a day where I needed to take my own advice on being okay with not doing things perfectly ;) I hope you enjoy! 

I Hope You're Still In Your PJ's...

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Happy Holidays!

 

I hope you're enjoying this holiday season. And if you're anything like me - I hope you're relishing in a much needed break from the hustle and bustle.


Personally, I love spending the week between Christmas and New Year's in pajamas, watching Netflix, reading juicy novels and rarely leaving the house. 


There's just something about putting on fuzzy socks and puttering from room to room that makes me oh so happy. 


And in case you're in the mood for some inspiration in between Netflix, eggnog and opening gifts, I've included a Greatest Hits of blog posts that are all about relaxation, self-love and taking it easy. 


Topics fitting for this chilled out week :) 


So grab a coffee, tea or beverage of choice and click on the post that sparks your interest...or feel free to read them all :) 


A Round-up of My Favorite Blogs:


1) Too Sensitive? No such thing (my manifesto on accepting your sensitivity) 

(Helpful if you're feeling like you need some "alone time" to decompress). 



2) My Top 10 Favorite Things (everything from pit bulls to astrology and interior design to natural healing remedies) 


If you're looking for an uplifting show to binge-watch, an inspiring instagram to follow or a Youtube channel to check-out...you'll find something here! 



3) Self-Love for The Holidays (aka be kind to yourself and know when to take a breather) 
 

Tips for feeling calm around family. I share my habit of acting like a 13-year old when I hang out with my brother....and how YOU can stay centered when hangin' with your family, too. 



4) How To Have Your Best Year Yet (flower essences for the New Year - originally featured on wellness website mindbodygreen. 

Full disclosure - I'm not *that* into New Year's resolutions, but these flower essences can help you appreciate the moment and take risks year-round. 



5) Tips for Transitions (what to do when things are changing and you're freaking out) 

I reveal my astrological sign and how it impacts my fixed nature :) This is one of my first blogs and I feel like I constantly need to take my own advice on this! 



6) I *finally* Tried a Meditation App (A detailed account of my experience using the Headspace meditation app) 

You can customize your meditations to 3 minutes, 5 minutes or 20 minutes and topics range from relationships and anxiety to sleep and creativity.



7) Tips for Winter Living (I share my experience with a "Happy Light" after years of skepticism

The change of seasons brings a shift in energy, not only in weather but within your body, too. Survival mechanisms are indicated and I share my favorites for getting through Dec - March. 



I hope you enjoy!
 


Wishing you a beautiful (and cozy!) rest of your week. 



I'll *see* you in the New Year!

 

From my heart to yours, 


Devon McLeod, LCSW
Holistic Psychotherapist

 

 

 

Life Lessons From The Crown

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I just finished watching The Crown on Netflix.  All I have to say is....Wowza. 

 

I'm totally blown away by John Lithgow (from Harry and the Hendersons!) and his portrayal of Winston Churchill...

 

And by Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth. 

 

How she shows plays The Queen stepping into her role and discovering her inner authority is simply mesmerizing. 

 

But the scene that really struck me is the one in which the Queen is struggling with whether or not to speak to the public about something. Feeling torn, she asks her grandmother, the Queen Mum, for advice. 

 

And her grandmother says: 

 

"But to do nothing is the hardest job of all. And it will take every ounce of energy that you have." 

 

BOOM. The type of wisdom only a grandma can give. 

 

I immediately put down my bag of Pirates Booty and started thinking about the power of NON-ACTION. 

 

You see, I LOVE getting things off my chest, finding my authentic voice and speaking my mind. In fact, it's one of my great passions to be able to help other people find their own true expression. 

 

But when is it best to NOT react? To sit and observe? To do what the Queen Mum is recommending and keep your lips zipped? 

 

Let's take an example from my own life.

 

I get really bad car sickness. A few years back, I took a cab ride where the guy was on a mission to either a) break a record getting me to my destination or b) make me super sick. 


As he made fast turns and weaved in between cars, I felt my face get tingly and my forehead break out in a cold sweat. 


Not a good look. 


Feeling scared and out of control I yelled, "You're driving too fast! I'm getting sick!" 


He looked at me through the rearview mirror and simply said, "There's a lot of traffic." 


I spent the rest of the cab ride clutching my purse and counting down the seconds until I was on dry land.

 

And you know what I did right before I got out of the cab? When all was said and done? 

 

I let the driver have a piece of my mind - I told him he was driving too fast and that he needed to TAKE IT EASY.  And my tone was definitely NOT calm and gentle. 


I mean - what good did that do? 


Should I have said something? Maybe. Would it have been better to take a breath, count to 10 and then communicate? Most likely. Would it have been EVEN better to let it go and take a more expansive view of "Let's end this exchange on a calm note and move on with my day?" Most definitely.  


I'm happy to report I've grown a lot since this bleak moment in my NYC cab-riding career. I now calmly tell drivers I get car sickness right away (communication is key!) and I rarely see the need to have any sort of heated exchange. It's just not worth it. 


So while I don't agree with the Queen Mum's stance of, "You can't have any opinions, sit there and look regal," I DO believe that she's right on the money to say that NOT reacting can be the toughest job at all...

 

So let's take a cue from her advice to NOT react ESPECIALLY when we really want to blow off some steam.

 

Like when you want to write a strongly-worded email to a colleague or when you want to get on the phone with your friend ASAP and get things off your chest. 

 

What can you do instead? 

 

Wait 5 minutes before sending off that heated text to your brother. Go for a walk to clear your head before jumping on the phone with your work team. Schedule some self-care if you're snapping at your your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. 

 

Don't worry - you can still communicate your authentic feelings. Just take a second before speaking. Your words will be much more effective when you're not in reactive mode. And who knows? You may even decide to let the whole thing go. 

 

And what can you learn about yourself in the process of waiting before reacting?

 

Probably the stuff you need to learn. When you need to let stuff go, when you need to have more compassion for people and when you need to communicate in a soft manner. 

 

All of the waiting actually speaks volumes. But the sky's the limit in terms of what you can learn about yourself.

 

From my heart to yours, 

 

Devon

 

I'd love to hear from you! Any tips you have for keeping your cool? Let me in on your secrets! Leave a comment below or email me at devon@devonmcleod.com

 

 

My Top 10 Favorite Things

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I'm a sucker for any sort of Top 10 list, but the type of list that makes me absolutely weak in the knees is any beauty blogger's list of products they can't live without. 

 

There's just something comforting about having another person's recommendations (and grunt work!) in a list that's not too long and not too short. 

 

With the holidays in full swing, I'm seeing gift guides and lists everywhere, so I decided to live out my fantasy of being a beauty blogger and get involved. 

 

I've included a Top 10 list of people, products and services that spark my curiosity, bring me joy and keep me grounded. 

 

I hope you'll find at least one item (hopefully more!) that surprises you, makes you go "hmmm" or inspires YOU to explore. 

 

1) Dear Sugar - Podcast

I'm late to the game when it comes to following Podcasts, but my friend Bree (who frequently edits my blogs - thanks Bree!) introduced me to this one. It's hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond and covers everything from books to relationships to current events.

I love listening when I'm doing chores or walking my dog. The time flies and I learn something new. I especially love the episode with Oprah Winfrey where they talk about the power of saying no (which can be tough at times!) 

 

 

2) Deva Premal's Music

Deva Premal is a singer known for putting Sanskirt mantras to captivating melodies. If this doesn't sound like your jam, then give it a try at least ONCE. You don't even have to know what the mantras mean to feel instantly relaxed and at peace when you hear her voice.

Play the music in the background when you read, cook, write or do dishes. She's on Spotify and you won't regret it. 

 

 

3) Megan Hopp -  Interior Design

Megan Hopp is a NYC-based interior designer who comes up with creative solutions to make your home feel uniquely yours. She's not afraid to break rules and she's obsessed with all sorts of wallpaper. Check out her instagram here and website here.

If you're not in NYC, she offers "room in an envelope" packages  where she works with you remotely to create the home of your dreams. She's been featured in Forbes and The New York Times. 

 

 

4) Ayurveda - Natural Healing

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of natural healing with its origin in India. The three doshas - vatta, pitta and kapha are the energies that make-up a person. I'm a vatta-pitta dosha, which means I need to feel grounded and WARM in the winter to avoid feeling rundown.

After living in NYC for 12 years and practicing the principles for one year, I can tell you that ayurveda makes a difference in feeling healthy in the colder months. Take this quiz to discover your dosha. From there, you can do certain things like dry brush, eat at certain time of day and avoid certain foods and incorporate others to feel your best. 

 

 

5) Modern Cosmic - Youtube Channel

Lately, I've been in a Youtube Vortex while watching astrologist Nichole Huntsman's Youtube channel. She breaks down sun signs, moon signs and rising signs in practical, down-to-earth ways.

The last time I watched her channel I was soaking up the astro-knowledge over an hour. I also learned the importance of looking at your moon sign (I'd never even heard of this!), which informs how you handle romantic relationships and emotions. 

 

 

6) Bach Flower Essences - Natural Remedy for Anxiety

I love bach flower essences. They're a natural, holistic approach to dealing with everything from insomnia, fears and overall stress. My favorite essences are White Chestnut for racing thoughts and Larch for increased confidence (I've taken Larch before public speaking and it works like a charm). 

 

 

7) Headspace - Meditation App

There's definitely no *right* or *wrong* way to meditate, but one of my favorite apps is Headpsace. You can choose between various amounts of time (3 minutes, 10 minutes or 20). Plus, they have meditations for different areas of your life like relationships, gratitude, fears, etc. 

 

 

8) Kelly Brogan - Holistic Psychiatrist

Kelly Brogan challenges the traditional pharmaceutical approach to mental health. Based on her years of training, she offers a health protocol for depression, anxiety, PMS, etc. that consists of dietary changes and meditation techniques. She also has a delicious breakfast smoothie recipe to increase brain health. Check it out here. 

 

 

9) Esther Perel - Relationship Therapist

Esther Perel is an acclaimed psychotherapist who focuses on issues of infidelity, monogamy and relationships. Her latest book State of Affairs explores the way society and individuals view affairs. I couldn't put it down. Her perspective will definitely challenge you to think outside the box when it comes to exploring why people cheat, what it means for the couple and how you can effectively communicate and foster a healthy relationship. She also has a Podcast which you can listen to here. 

 

 

10) Pit Bulls and Parolees - TV Show

I recently discovered this show on a flight from NYC to LA (even though it's been on the air for almost 10 years!) The show follows Tia Maria Torres as she rescues pit bulls and employs men on parole. I cried multiple times during the first episode as I watched them rescue a stray pit bull trapped in a field. Pit bulls and Parolees just might be replacing The Golden Girls as my new comfort TV. 

 

I hope you enjoy my roundup! It's so important to *know* the things that bring you joy, anchor you and help you feel grounded when times get tough or stressful. I'm inviting you to make a list of at least 3 things that bring you joy. It could be holiday baking, that beach read you're just now getting to November or anything else that puts a smile on your face.

 

Remember to incorporate joy - however you can :)

 

I'd love to hear what's on your list! Email me at devon@devonmcleod.com or leave a comment below! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Love For The Holidays

Thanksgiving is next week!

You may be feeling super excited for lots of family time or you may be secretly plotting a Kevin McCallister-style holiday where you order pizza and binge watch Stranger Things.

You could also be feeling excitement and anxiety all rolled into one. 

Either way, you're totally NORMAL.

The holidays bring up lots of feelings. 

Today I'm sharing a video where I talk about my 3 tips for practicing self-love during the holidays.

Because the more you stay centered during stressful times, the more you'll be able to show up as your *BEST* self, not drive everyone around you crazy and actually ENJOY your time during Turkey Day...however you choose to spend it. 

Here are my 3 tips for practicing self-love during the holidays: 

 

1) Accept

It sounds pretty simple, but you have to ACCEPT what you're feeling before you head home. Are you excited? Stressed? A little nervous? Zero in on WHAT you're feeling. It's also totally normal to feel 1,001 emotions all at once - just be with whatever arises. Take your hand to your chest as the plane lands or as you drive up your childhood driveway. Why? Because if you're NOT honest with yourself, you can end up tense while trying to pretend like everything is okay. Be real and take a breath. 

 

2) Go With a Mantra

A Mantra? For Thanksgiving? Yes. Last year, I was so wary about being distracted and on my phone all weekend, that I made a conscious effort to unplug and connect with myself. The result? The entire weekend felt like a spa retreat. I read books, meditated and didn't stress out about running around and trying to fit everything in. Choose one intention for when you're home or visiting family to avoid that feeling of "I wish I'd seen more people," or "I wish I'd rested more." You'll be clear with your goals and you'll come out of the holiday getting more of what YOU wanted. 

 

3) Remember - You are an adult. 

When I'm home, I have the capacity to act like a bratty 13-year old. There, I said it. As much as I think of myself as a spiritual, composed woman, the second I'm stuck in traffic with my mom, I can become the girl in middle school who just wanted to go to the mall and blast Green Day. Why does this happen? Because when you're in your childhood environment, with the people who've known you the longest, you can regress and act like the younger version of yourself. 

 

Fun, right? Not really. The solution for this one is to remember you are an ADULT. You have resources NOW that you didn't have when you were younger. So if your inner child is ready to roll her eyes or raise her voice, take a breath and remember that NOW you have the freedom of choice. You can respond how you'd like to respond and you can even take a break, go for a drive (yay for being an adult and being able to drive), take a yoga class, meditate, go for a walk, read a book, etc. 

 

And more than anything, remember to just be in the moment and accept yourself, your experience and the people around you. 

 

I hope these tips are helpful! Let me know if there's anything special YOU do to take care of yourself. Leave a comment below or email devon@devonmcleod.com.

 

I wish you the best over the next week, however you're spending the holiday.

 

From my heart to yours, 

 

Devon 

 

How To Be Your Own Dream Lover

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I used to think that once I got into a relationship - whether romantic or platonic - that all my needs, desires and wants would be instantly fulfilled. 

 

It's a common illusion that all the pain you experienced during childhood, adolescence or even adulthood would be magically repaired once you met your partner, your soul mate, your PERSON that is supposed to intuitively understand all of your childhood pain, quirks and preferences. 

 

Nowhere is this concept more perfectly exemplified than in Mariah Carey's song Dreamlover - a song I happen to love and get a dose of dopamine from every time I hear its chorus: 

 

Dream lover come rescue me
Take me up take me down
Take me anywhere you want to baby now
I need you so desperately
Won't you please come around
'Cause I wanna share forever with you baby

 

I absolutely love this song. BUT, the paradox is that in order for someone to become your dream lover, first, YOU have to step up to the plate and take care of yourself. This doesn't mean your partner doesn't care for you or show up with emotional support. Relationships should be loving, harmonious and giving. In fact, when two people come together there's beautiful potential to HEAL old wounds.

 

But first, YOU have to tend to your emotional needs. 

 

As a practice for myself - and you're welcome to join me! - every time I'm feeling scared, disappointed, nervous or sad I'm going to ask myself: 

 

What does MY inner child need? 

 

You have a little boy or girl within you - the part of you who didn't feel fully understood growing up - or maybe the part of you who didn't get the right kind of love or affection. Now that you're an adult, it's your JOB to make sure your inner child is given EXACTLY what they need in terms of self-care. 

 

Here are some questions to get you thinking/feeling about YOUR inner child: 

 

  • Do I need less time being "productive" and more time playing and feeling free? 

 

  • Do I need to eat more frequently so I don't get hangry (hungry + angry)? Does my inner child need to schedule more time between appointments so I don't feel rushed?  

 

  • Am I missing quality time with friends? Do I need to schedule a lunch date or have people over for a home-cooked meal? 

 

  • Would my inner child like to do something more creative? Maybe paint, draw, journal or write? 

 

  • How's my physical health? Do I need to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist, personal trainer or functional medicine doctor to get a better handle on my well-being?

 

When YOU take care of your inner child you'll show up in your relationship with less attachment to having your partner fulfill all of your needs. 

 

The result? Your relationship will be more inspiring and fulfilling and you will experience a LOT more laughter and less resentment. Something magical happens when you show up with lots of love and generosity toward yourself - you end up loving the other person not for what they can give you, but for the union you can create together. You'll feel more connected and whole. 

 

The BONUS when you're single - when someone special DOES show up, you WON'T be looking for that person to fulfill all your self-care needs. They'll enhance what you already have.

 

The more energy you place toward taking care of yourself, the more you'll be able to heal, live fully and connect with your....dream lover. 

 

How do you take care of your own inner child? Comment below! 

 

Tips for Introverts (vogue.com)

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I haven't written about this before, but I'm recently engaged and have been busy planning a wedding. As someone who is introverted and needs time alone to balance myself out, I've been brainstorming ways to feel centered on the big day. 


My jaw dropped a couple weeks ago when I was contacted by Vogue.com to share my tips for introvert brides. The writer, Jenny Berg, had NO idea I was recently engaged. But she did know I have an affinity for writing about introverts and flower essences. 


I don't believe in accidents. And I love to keep my eye out for life's synchronicities. This was a beautiful one. 

 

Head over to Vogue.com to check out the article where myself and other holistic practitioners share advice for introvert brides.


I also think the tips can apply to other areas of your life - whether it's vacations with other people or simply finding ways to feel centered when life gets busy. 


I hope you enjoy!


From my heart to yours, 

 

Devon McLeod
 

Flower Essences For Empaths

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Last weekend, I ran errands in Soho, which can be a CRAZY experience in New York City with TONS of people. By the end of my excursion, I was feeling drained, impatient and ready for a three-hour nap. 



I'm an empath. You might be one, too if you feel exhausted by lots of people or if you easily pick up on the vibes of those around you. 



I've written about tips for empaths and sensitive people before. It's one of my favorite topics! But today I'm talking about the one resource I ALWAYS come back to: 



Flower essences. 



Flower essences are a natural remedy that help you feel more calm and grounded. I've used them for six years and they've never let me down. I also use them in my therapy practice



So instead of crawling into bed like I wanted to last weekend, I took some flower essences. The result? I instantly felt recharged and was in a WAY better mood. 



And I want YOU to have the info you need to feel calm and centered. 

 

 

Here are the specific flower essences I recommend if you're a sensitive person or empath. I've included the links for purchasing on Amazon -  simply click on each essence in yellow and read the descriptions to see which one resonates.

 

 

Flower Essences For Empaths / Sensitive People: 

Golden Yarrowprotects your energy so you don't feel worn out by your environment i.e. crowds and high traffic areas


Pink Yarrowassists with healthy boundaries; alleviates emotions absorbed from other people; helpful if you "take on" other people's problems


Water Violet -indicated if you isolate or keep to yourself when feeling drained or misunderstood; helps you connect more easily to others while still maintaining a sense of self 


Hornbeam - helps with chronic exhaustion and difficulties getting out of bed in the morning 


Mimulus - addresses specific fears i.e fear of crowds, heights, flying, speaking in public, etc. 


Love Lies Bleeding - helps you develop more compassion for the world when you're feeling internal pain 


Impatiens - helps you feel more relaxed and patient



Each flower essence can be taken by itself or mixed with others in a small bottle. Two drops under your tongue four times a day is usually effective, but you can take them more frequently for stressful periods. 



In addition to taking flower essences, make sure you're getting quality sleep, drinking water, eating healthy foods and pacing your activities in a way that feels good for your soul. In other words, take care of your energy in a loving way :) 



Remember - when you take care of yourself, you show up with more presence and love to give the world. 



Keep your heart open. Honor your sensitivity. 



From my heart to yours, 


 

Devon

 

 

p.s. Are you a sensitive person? Do you know someone who is? Either way, I want to hear from you! How do you stay calm and grounded? Leave a comment below! 

 

 

 

How to Make Your Fall Laid-Back

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I was a super busy kid. I danced competitively (think Dance Moms), played on sports teams, studied, played outside, attended birthday parties and studied some more.

 

But in the summer - when the dance competitions came to a halt - I'd do my absolute FAVORITE thing...

 

Read. 

 

I loved curling up in the corner of the young adult section at the local library. I got my hands on everything from Sweet Valley High to Goosebumps to The Babysitter's Club. 

 

I'd spend HOURS there and then head home with a fresh stack of books. I still remember the plastic on the covers and how heavy my arms felt as I lugged the latest editions back to my mom's car. 

 

I didn't have to GO, GO, GO as much as I did during the school year. During the summer I could just unwind and not feel guilty about it. 

 

Flash forward to me as an adult - I never take enough time to TOTALLY decompress  - even during the summer. 

 

I always feel guilty if I try to take a break. 

 

I "should" be enrolling in a new business course. I "need" to be working on my blog. I'm not yet "at a point" in my life where I can relax like this!

 

But this past summer, I decided to pay homage to the little girl within me who needed a time out.  I decided to go back to doing the thing that brought me joy AND signaled that I could trust the process of relaxation. 

 

I read my face off. 

 

I read trashy beach reads, fiction, self-help, biographies - anything I could get my hands on. I even bought a kindle (which made me feel very hip, before realizing everyone's been using them since 2009, but I'm a late adopter. And I'm fine with that). 

 

To be honest, I was kind of scared to take FREE TIME to read - I could be attending workshops, listening to podcasts (I just discovered those, too!), learning to cook, cleaning out my closet, organizing my email inbox - you get the point. 

 

I had a million and one "very productive" things to do.

 

But I read my face off anyway.

 

And now that it's fall, I'm realizing I'm actually ready for the change in seasons for once in my adult life. I'm recharged BECAUSE I prioritized decompressing.

 

Who would've thought? 

 

And it's not just the ACT of reading. It's about carving out for time for myself and remembering that I don't always have to be striving and doing. 

 

Why is it easier to make time for relaxing during summer? 

 

So as we transition to fall, the holidays (I just saw someone post that we only have 8 Fridays until Thanksgiving!) it's more important now than ever before that you do the things that make you feel calm and nourished.

 

Bike rides? Picnics? Swimming? Long runs? Staring out your window with your feet up a wall? Laying on the floor with your cat or dog? Journaling? Drinking copious amounts of tea?

 

Easing into the morning instead of rushing out the door? Listening to juicy podcasts? Yoga? Reading self-help books? Farmers market? Strolls in the park?

 

Just because it's fall doesn't mean you have to get rid of the stuff you save for "vacation-mode." Commit to at least one thing this week that feels like a mini-vacation...even if it's only for 10 minutes.

 

Make your fall as laid-back as possible in between the moments of traveling, spending time with family, and the upcoming holidays. 

 

You'll feel grounded, relaxed and inspired....with a LOT more to give :)

 

Now I want to hear from YOU! What recharges your soul? Leave a comment below and let's keep each other accountable.  You can also email me at devon@devonmcleod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

The Golden Girls Got This Wrong: Therapy Myth-Busting

 

Have you ever watched a TV show with a really WEIRD therapist? 

 

 

I certainly have. 

 

 

The 1950s era Mad Men show when Betty sees a psychoanalyst comes to mind. Betty sits on a couch while the therapist says absolutely NOTHING throughout the session. I think halfway through she even lights up a cigarette. 

 

 

And I also think about my all-time favorite show The Golden Girls and how all THREE women went to see a therapist to help them with their roommate problems.

 

 

Did Blanche end up hitting on the therapist? I can't remember. The episode ended up being more funny than a realistic depiction of what happens in a therapist's office. 

 

 

Because of all the media portrayals out there about therapy, today I'm busting one of the most POPULAR myths I see: 

 

 

Therapy Myth: Therapy is SELF-INDULGENT

 

 

Have you ever heard someone say that therapy is for people who have a TON of time on their hands? Or that therapy is for people who wants to stay stuck in their problems? 

 

 

Me, too!

 

 

I'm BUSTING that myth today because therapy is definitely NOT self-indulgent and it's NOT always like what you see in the movies or on TV. 

 

 

You don't have to go into a therapist's office and talk OVER AND OVER again about your problems on a road to nowhere.

 

 

And it's NOT for people who are just looking for someone to tell them how great they are and to stroke their egos. 

 

 

Therapy provides an opportunity for DEEP SOUL WORK, where you can change the way you respond when you feel anxious, sad or angry....you can clarify the goals you want for your career and relationships....and you get to decide the type of person YOU want to be. 

 

 

So therapy is the OPPOSITE of self-indulgent, namely because it provides the opportunity for you to show up more fully in all of your relationships. 

 

 

You can be a better wife, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, employee, you name it. 

 

 

So sing it with me now...

 

 

Therapy is an investment in YOURSELF and it provides the opportunity to improve all of your relationships...including the one with yourself. 

 

 

Now I of course, want to hear from YOU! Do you think the myth about therapy being self-indulgent still exists? Or do you think people are opening their eyes more to the power of self-help and healing?

 

 

And maybe it's not just with therapy - maybe with seeing a minister, attending workshops, whatever it is YOU do to work on yourself. Write your perspective in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

 

 

Also, if you want these blog posts sent directly to your inbox, enter your email in the box below so you don't miss a post! 

 

 

 

 

 

A Radically Simpler Way to Talk to Your Friends

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Last weekend I took a drive out to the beach with my best friend Stephanie. 

 

She just had a beautiful baby girl a few months ago and we spent the car ride talking, laughing and shooting the breeze. 

 

Somewhere along the way - in between our third time listening to Despacito - I drew a blank when Stephanie started a new topic...

 

She began talking about her experience being a new mom - her fears, excitement, intense joy and the big questions: Breastfeeding? Sleep Patterns? Growth Spurts? Tummy Time?

 

What the heck are these things?! I didn't know what to say. 

 

Full disclosure - I don't know a lot about babies. My brother and I are pretty close in age. I never really babysat. You could say I'm clueless. 

 

So when Stephanie talked about the tough stuff, I nodded my head and imagined what it was like to be her. 

 

To be honest, during the conversation I kind of freaked out. I thought I might never have the same closeness with Stephanie as I had before - I mean our lives are so DIFFERENT now - how could I possibly *get* what she's going through? 

 

After a few minutes of me listening she said, "I just want to thank YOU because I feel like you're really with me on this journey." 

 

I thought to myself, "What?!" 

 

I looked at her like she had three heads and said, "But I'm not really *doing* anything. I have no idea what to say about babies." 

 

She then said, "The thing you're doing is just BEING there...And that's what I really need."

 

I let her comments sink in as I kept my eyes on the road and thought of friendship, relationships and the way people's lives change.

 

Sometimes we make the mistake of distancing ourselves, giving canned answers or something worse - avoiding the people we love - out of fear of not saying the "RIGHT" thing. 

 

But, we don't have to know *exactly* what someone is going through to be a good friend. 

 

You don't have to say the "perfect thing."

 

You can just show up, listen and let them know you're there. 

 

You can relate to your best friend's fear - your sister's self doubt - your brother's excitement - your mom's frustration  - whatever it is, you can just show up, ask questions and be there. 

 

"How are you feeling?" 

 

"What's that been like for you?" 

 

"Tell me everything." 

 

You can even disagree with some of their choices. 

 

Stephanie and I spent the remainder of the ride talking. I didn't feel like I had to have the perfect response to everything. 

 

I felt closer to my friend. 

 

And I was probably a much BETTER friend because I'd let go of perfectionism.

 

Transitions happen and you're not ALWAYS going to be on the same page with someone at the same time. 

 

Just showing up with an open heart is enough. 

 

And who knows? You may even learn a thing or two about something you don't know - even tummy time :) 

 

Here's to showing up. 

 

I'd love to hear from YOU! What's ONE thing YOU can do to let your friend, colleague, family member, boyfriend or girlfriend know you're THERE? 

 

Commit to at least one thing and write in the comments below!