“Listen, LISTEN”

"When you listen you affirm me
but your listening must be real
sensitive and serious
not looking busily around
not with a worried or distracted frown
not preparing what you are going to say next
but giving me your full attention.

"You are telling me i am a person of value
important and worth listening to
one with whom you will share yourself.

"I have ideas to share
feelings which i too often keep to myself
deep questions which struggle inside me for answers
I have hopes only tentatively acknowledged
which are not easy to share
and pain and guilt and fear i try to stifle

"These are sensitive areas and a real part of me
but it takes courage to confide in another

"I need to listen too if we are to become close
How can i tell you i understand?
I can show interest with my eyes or an occasional word
attuned to pick up not only spoken words
but also the glimmer of a smile
a look of pain, the hesitation, the struggle
which may suggest something as yet too deep for words

"So let us take time together
respecting the others freedom
encouraging without hurrying
understanding that some things may never be brought to light
but others may emerge if given time

"Each through this listening, enriches the other
with the priceless gift of intimacy."

by Keith Pearson, Melbourne, Australia (discovered from http://eqi.or

5 steps to a Positive Reframe

We are all doing the best we can with the resources we are aware of.  Negativity (ie. unhealthy habits, tension, conflict, disease ) often comes from a build up of unprocessed stress, toxins and/or unmet needs. You need to take a time to process, nurture yourself and send positive messages to your body, mind, heart, and relationships.

Here are five steps to a Positive Reframe:

1. Breathe

Take a deep breath, preferably in through your nose (3-4 seconds) and out of your mouth (5-8 seconds), repeat 3 times as needed. Breathing is like pressing the reset for your central nervous system getting oxygen to all your cells, calming you down, connecting to your heart and body whilst empowering your wise mind. Click here to see a breathing exercise video I made.

2. Give yourself permission

Give yourself permission to feel whatever you are feeling. We all feel angry, afraid, sad, frustrated, embarrassed etc. at times and all emotions are valid.  If you need to take a break, that is OK.

3. Process

Find safe ways to process your thoughts, emotions, behaviors and events. Engage in activities that create a sense movement and feedback… talking with someone you trust, go for a walk, journal, feel your heart beating, hug a friend, paint, play music … the list is endless and unique to each individual.

4. Affirm*

Take time to write out personal statements in the present tense about your abilities, intentions, and desired outcomes. Repeat affirmation statements on a regular basis especially when under stress and triggered. Examples: “I can handle anything.” “I choose to make positive healthy choices for myself.” “I have a wonderful partner and we are both happy and at peace.” “I know how to help my kids feel safe.”

*Initially, saying our affirmation may feel awkward or uncomfortable as it seems untrue. I have found that the more uncomfortable it feels, then the more likely this is an area that needs our attention. I suggest to still try saying it or create a new one that feels more comfortable and appropriate.

5. Express Gratitude

Find ways to appreciate the hidden value in all of life’s opportunities, in yourself, loved ones, job or current stressor.  This becomes more beneficial practiced daily.


I have discovered that there are no “bad” people, only those with less vital needs met and more pain to heal. We have good intentions yet we are often thwarted by our internal suffering, our fears, and negative reactions. Every interaction is an opportunity to nurture, heal and grow. Take wonderful care of yourself as the world needs you. ❤ Debra

If you’d like support, clients can find me at  https://www.ring.md/practitioner_profiles/debra-wallace



Positive Reframe shares resources with the intent of the positive progression of informed decision making related to issues associated with emotional, relational, physical and spiritual wellness. While I share personal and professional perspectives, my writings reflect my personal opinion and not intended to substitute professional advice, diagnosis, and treatment. The online medium does not lend itself to the level of detail and rapport building required for thorough assessment and therapeutic intervention. Thus the content shared on this page is for informational purposes only. To make well-informed decisions that best meet your family’s unique needs, I highly recommend exploring and researching available options, consulting primary health care providers, engaging in respectful dialogue with friends and family as well as seek referrals from a trusted source for professional counseling. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy in the state Illinois, USA