Monday Lisa
  “Turns out I'm not an afternoon person, either”
Enjoy Monday Lisa with your coffee. Every Monday


by Terry Martin (a.k.a Monday Lisa)  January 27, 2020

A few random thoughts worth sharing…maybe a nugget or two to improve your life.

If you hear only what you want to hear, you aren’t listening. You are blind to the facts and can be proven wrong.

Poor listeners have a preset mindset or they are thinking about the next thing they are going to say. So they interject thoughts or abruptly talk over the conversation. As a result they only know what they know.

Wise people know what you don’t know–because they have open minds. Listen to what you don’t want to hear. That’s how you grow.

Fantasizing about other times and places can be dangerous. Why cling so tightly to the past or dream fervently about the future and miss out on the real value and beauty that is here and now.  Don’t live entirely in your head and miss out on your life that’s happening right now.


Are you wasting your time waiting for the ideal path to appear? For example, how many Powerball tickets have you torn up lately? The yellow brick road is best traveled by walking, not waiting.

You rarely feel as confident as you want to feel. Stop believing that you should muster more confidence before taking the next step. Move forward, that’s what builds confidence.

Distractions will get the best of you if you let them.  Study your routines, figure out where your time goes, and remove distractions. 


There’s a difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion. Know the difference. Life is too short. Invest in activities and relationships you deeply care about. Value what you give your energy to. Focus on what matters; let go of what does not.

Self-neglect is super common. Realize this. Your needs matter. Do not ignore them. There’s nothing selfish about self-care and self-love. We can’t give what we don’t have.  

Your response is always more powerful than your circumstance. Part of your life is decided by uncontrollable circumstances. But the vast majority of your life is decided by your responses. Where you ultimately end up depends on how you play the hands you’ve been dealt.


Thing get uncomfortable when it’s time to change. That’s part of the growth process. Things will get better. Be patient. Patience is not about waiting. Patience is the ability to keep a positive, focused attitude while working to move your life forward.

See you next Monday


By Terry Martin (a.k.a Monday Lisa) January 20,2020


Panic attacks can be frightening and feel like the end of the world. Even though you experience a sudden episode of intense fear, feel dizzy and lightheaded, Barry McDonagh, a recognized anxiety coach says, “There is no real danger. The adrenaline rush will not kill you. Your stress system’s job is to keep you safe and alive.”


Still, when you are in the eye of the storm and your heart is racing and pounding out of your chest seek a medical evaluation. It is important to know what’s happening in your body so it doesn’t bluff you. Panic attacks are difficult to handle on your own. The symptoms can include stomach pains, hot flashes, sweating, shaking, and tingling.


Throughout it all. you are not going to suffocate and die or go crazy. No matter what happens, you have complete control of your body and actions. Stress hormones, like adrenaline, cause the frightening symptoms. Rest assured, there are simple medical explanations for all of your fears.


Shakes and jelly-like legs are caused by adrenaline and other stress hormones. Strange symptoms like blurred vision can be caused by fatigued eye muscles. If you worry about your heart, remember it’s incredibly strong and can beat at high speeds for long periods of time.


If you have a fear of suffocating, take comfort in the fact that your body has a built-in reflex that ensures you always get enough air. If you have a fear of fainting, know that fainting is uncommon when you are highly anxious. Fainting is caused by low blood pressure, but anxiety tends to raise blood pressure.


If you’re still not convinced talk to your doctor who will reassure you that everything is okay. No matter how strange, there is a medical explanation for every physical anxiety symptom you experience. You are safe. A panic attack will never hurt you. 


Work on tools to evaluate the stress that’s causing your anxiety and fear. Your adrenaline can be directed to benefit you––not scare you.


See you next Monday  

What's Your Story?

by Terry Martin (aka Monday Lisa)  January 12, 2020

Psychology, much like art, is a creative process. As patients develop new behaviors they go through changes, adjustments and even setbacks. Some struggle with an existential crisis: “It’s not how I expected my life would be.” “What did you expect?” I ask. “Well, I thought there’d be more of a story.”


A list of facts doesn’t form a complete narrative. Life is complex, lots of things go on. Patients who embellish their life story as they relate it brand who they are to others, even to themselves. It’s a complex undertaking. They mix and merge facts and events, pick them apart and weave them together to make meaning out of what they think was important.


There are consequences to telling, and not telling. Fearing how people will react can mean keeping things to yourself, thus missing the enrichment of a back-and-forth conversation. Listeners can offer pearls of wisdom: things to think about. They may clarify that what you think is awful is no big deal.


Stories embedded into our culture become blueprints for life. For example: go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, have kids. That may describe events that could happen and it may give children a sense of the arc of life. But there is a downside. Standard narratives stigmatize those who don't follow them precisely, and they provide unrealistic expectations of happiness for those who do. Therapy sessions help you see a new version of yourself and the way you lived your way into it will seem to fit better.


Autobiographical reasoning can lead to dark thoughts, but it helps people find meaning. You may have trouble interpreting an event or even avoid discussing it, but it’s hard to leave blank pages in your true life story. Framing your life in story form is neither positive or negative, it just is. 


Our stories are a work in progress and we may feel creative telling them. We try to make sense out of life, but biases, personality differences and emotions cause different people to see the same event differently. Caring and committed people relate stories about others who helped them. Narcissists who enjoy talking about themselves push their own story and aren't willing to listen to yours.


We try to predict the future, but its uncertainty makes people uncomfortable. Stories are a way to deal with that. since the future is never a direct replica of the past, we need to take pieces of things that happened to us and reconfigure them into possible futures.


Life stories are written in chalk, not ink, they can be changed. After all, you are the narrator and the main character. At times that’s a revelation: “Wow, it just dawned on me, I’m not just living this story, I’m actually in charge of it.” Yes, and you have the power to rewrite, change or add new colors to the canvas and the story.


Your past is always up for grabs. You are the narrator.

See you next Monday

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