Are Suicidal Thoughts Normal??

Most people in the Western world know about depression, and most also know that when people are very depressed they sometimes hurt themselves or even go fo far as killing themselves. But for the most part, that’s all the information that’s readily available. And that kind of paints a dreary picture, doesn’t it? It gives the impression that depression is a really scary thing and that if you’re having thoughts about taking your own life then you must be SUPER messed up. But actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Hayley Watsonarticles
The Quickest Way to End a Fight

Ok so we’ve all gotten into fights…with friends, partners, classmates, colleagues. And we all wish these fights would stop. But the way we usually respond actually doesn’t end up resolving the conflict. Why? 

Because what we usually do is blame the other person. HE was so mean. SHE had no right to speak to me that way. And these things may be true, but if we focus on what the OTHER person did, we keep ourselves stuck. 

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Hayley Watsonarticles
How to regain power when you have been hurt

How many women have gone through an experience where we have been violated or hurt by a man? TOO MANY!!!! This is such a common occurrence, I would be hard pressed to think of a woman I know that HASN’T gone through something like this.

And while there are many, many things that keep this paradigm alive, there is one thing that I want to focus on today, because it is in my opinion the one thing that we as individual women in this situation have the absolute power to change.

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Hayley Watsonarticles
Boys CAN Cry: What Daniel Lissing Teaches about the Power of Emotional Men

We live in a world that just doesn’t value emotions. Our culture views cutting off from feelings as a sign of strength- especially for men. Boys who are in touch with their feelings are ridiculed, teased, and ostracised by their peers.

I had the pleasure of talking with Hollywood actor Daniel Lissing on this topic the other day (best known for his roles as Constable Jack Thornton in the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart and as James King in the US series Last Resort).

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Hayley Watsonarticles
Is Anger a Sign of Strength or Weakness?

Growing up as a female in our culture, I learned that getting angry was BAD and a signal that I wasn’t “holding myself together” enough. And the boys around me were taught the opposite: that anger was the ONLY acceptable emotion for them to have. For men anger is seen as a sign of strength, and for women as a sign of weakness.

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Hayley Watsonarticles
I was bullied...But do I have to be a VICTIM??

If you’re getting bullied, the first reaction you will probably have is to feel like you’re a victim with no power. You will probably also think there’s something wrong with you and wish that you were different so that this wasn’t happening.

These are very understandable and normal reactions to have when you’re being singled out and picked on cruelly and repeatedly. But you actually don’t have to respond this way.

 

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Hayley Watsonarticles
Breaking Up With My Motorcycle

Last week we talked about the fact that we all have stories we tell ourselves that actually hold us back from making helpful choices. This week I want to talk about one type of story that we often get stuck in. This story is about making everything personal. Thinking that everything is about ME.

For example, if someone says something mean, I think “they hate me” or “I must have done something wrong” or “how dare they do that to me”.

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Hayley Watson
Is it Better to be Popular or Happy??

Ok, so we’ve been talking a lot about power the last few weeks. And last week we looked at how we can claim our power in situations where we are being hurt and are struggling. But what if we’re not necessarily in a really awful situation? Do we still hold ourselves back? Yes…yes we do. Because we all have stories we tell ourselves. Stories that come from early experiences, stories that we believe about ourselves, that can be really subtle and hard to notice, but stories that limit us nonetheless.

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Hayley Watsonarticles
I Don't Want To Be A Victim Anymore

If you’ve been following along, you now know all about how we give our power away. How we can feel like a victim to our circumstances and add a whole layer of negativity on top of already hard situations, making them even worse for ourselves. What I want to talk about today is how do we change that? Can we decide to STOP being a victim if something awful is happening to us? Is that even possible?

YES!! We most definitely can. It’s not easy, but it’s actually relatively simple.

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Ondine Purinton-Millerarticles
I Can't Help Feeling Crappy...Can I??

We’ve talked about how we give our power away, and how we live in a culture that basically tells us to do that….And today I want to talk about one thing that we DO have power over that we don’t often realise. The things we add to already painful situations.

Pain is a reality of life. Stuff happens that sucks. We fall down, we break up, we lose things we care about…These are experiences we can’t control. They’re a part of life. But what we DO have power over is the things we ADD to the situation. Thinking I suck because I’m so clumsy, I’m a loser because I have no friends, I must be unloveable if I’m single. These negative thoughts are what we can look at as suffering…a whole separate layer on top of the pain of what is actually occurring.

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Am I The Only One Who's Messed Up?

We’ve talked a lot about power in the last few weeks. How and why we give our power away when we feel like a victim; when we want to take revenge; and when we want to fix things and make everyone like us. When I first started learning about these dynamics I got really down on myself for giving my power away in SO many situations…And it was really helpful to remember that I didn’t just make this up on my own. We see these power imbalances everywhere we turn ALL the time. We’re basically brainwashed from a very young age into stereotyped roles that feed into these power struggles. So in a lot of ways it’s a cultural problem just as much as an individual one. There are disempowering cultural beliefs based on everything. Gender, age, race, religion, skin colour, sexual orientation, intelligence, wealth, clothes, social media popularity, the list goes on and on.

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Who Am I?

What am I actually MADE OF? Am I my inflexible joints or my tight muscles? My sadness or my fear? My worries or my self-doubt? What part of my existence do I choose to believe is ME? My mind wants to tell me that my suffering is a REALITY, that my life is defined in the hurt and the pain and the struggle. That whatever is happening that scares me or makes me feel small is the absolute truth.

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The Most Important Thing is That Other People Like Me...Wait What?

Today we’re going to talk about what happens when we’re trying to please other people…Going back to Karpman’s Drama Triangle, we’re looking at being a RESCUER. What does that actually mean? Well sometimes we’re nice because we think we HAVE to be in order to make other people happy, or we think that it’s our job to save everyone around us. So if someone asks us to do something, we have to say yes…or if someone is upset by something we said or did, we need to change that about ourselves so that they’re not angry with us. I definitely struggle with this! It’s so nice to be liked…It’s really a very sneaky way to control the situation, because if people like us, then we know we’ll be safe, we won’t feel lonely or rejected.

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I'll Make Them Pay For What They Did!

Getting even with people who hurt us. That’s what we all want right? To make them PAY!? I get it…but it’s actually a bit of a mind trap to hold onto anger. The emotion of anger is really important because it tells us something is happening that we don’t like, but when we let that emotion dominate us, our mental survival patterns kick in and we try to protect ourselves by getting back at them or getting even. When we do that, when we take revenge or focus on taking revenge, we have the illusion that we are more powerful. But the problem with using aggression to gain power, is that when we are being aggressive, angry, and resentful, we are actually still in a position of victim underneath.

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A Letter to My Mind

Dear Mind, 

Can I be frank? (I’ll take this rare moment of your silence as a yes). I really care about you and that’s why I need to say what I’m about to say. Please know that it is out of love and a deep care for your wellbeing and our relationship that I am writing this. Brace yourself...this may hurt. You’re taking all the fun out of life. Literally.

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Hayley Watsonmusings
What Did I Do To Deserve This?

Today I want to discuss what happens when we feel that someone hurt us or did us wrong. How we can feel disempowered, and what we can do to claim our power back. To help explain, I’m going to talk about something I went through as a teenager and my experience of losing and gaining my sense of power in that situation. When I was a kid, I thought my parents were happy and that they would never split up. They never fought, and I didn’t have any sense that there was anything wrong. I thought we were a happy family…

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Ugliness is no Excuse

What is this part of me that craves ugliness? If it’s grey and cold and miserable, if people are being mean or things aren’t going my way - it’s easy to find a ‘reason’ to be cranky. If I truly recognise the beauty that surrounds me, then I have nothing to blame for my sadness and loneliness and dissatisfaction. If I open to the love that’s always available, then I have to see the choice I’m making in deciding that these other feelings are WRONG and BAD. 

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Hayley Watsonmusings