So You Think You Can Write…

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Once my interest in reading and writing was piqued there was no going back. My life has been filled with a fascination for books and through my years of education, training, and accreditations there has been many opportunities to both read and write. I am not going to pretend that all of those books and readings have been interesting, nor have I managed to retain all of the information that has crossed in front of my eyes, but my reading and writing through the years has built my knowledge base and deepened my love of words and ideas.

I still remember the grueling periods of reading the entire Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in grad school along with a plethora of other boring but required readings. I do have a certain level of pride for actually having jumped through these hoops and to have passed my exams on these materials. Of course I am deeply grateful for all the material that excited me, expanded my perspective and helped me build my knowledge base. I now balance my reading with a variety of books that I choose to read which inform me, entertain me and enlighten me.

How Parents Can Get MORE Out The Holiday Season

Posted by Alyson Jones.

GettyIt is the festive season again. Another year has rolled by and we are now busy decking the halls, trying to find that perfect gift, and worrying if we will be able to manage our holiday budget. When we pull out the old string of lights we remember that half of them do not work, and we are behind in our shopping. The Christmas commercials are in full swing, and each time we see a commercial we either see an idyllic family scene or harried parents trying to juggle it all. As parents, the two faces of Christmas are often reflected back to us as either perfection or overwhelm.

Many of the commercials try to tell parents that we can overcome our stress and have the perfect family Christmas, as long as we buy their product or shop at their store. That image of the family sitting at Christmas dinner, everyone smiling at each other and the ideal turkey perfectly placed on the platter, can quickly become a great disappointment if we make perfection our goal. Mothers, in particular, often feel that they do not measure up if they cannot achieve this image, and they fear that they may in fact be the harried mother who will not be able to make the magic happen. They can easily become overwhelmed trying to achieve an image that is just a fantasy, and then miss out on the reality in from of them. No one wants to be that mother drowning in the season, disconnected and overwhelmed. But can perfection be reached; can we achieve that perfect picture? No, give up now! Let the perfectionism go, let the fears of inadequacy go, and free yourself in order to make this Christmas a truly exceptional one.

MORE: A New Philosophy for Exceptional Living – OUT NOW!

Posted by Alyson Jones.

It’s a “BOOK”! Last night I launched my first book, M.O.R.E. A New Philosophy for Exceptional Living. The celebration was the culmination of months of writing, rewriting, and reworking often late in the evening, and always on a tight deadline.

Writing this book was much like giving birth (and I had twins)! The process of writing, editing and working with a publishing company was incredible and full of learning opportunities. I plan to share some insights and tips in a series of blog posts later this month. Watch for them!

How to Manage Anger Instead of Avoiding Anger: An Honest Conversation

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Let’s have an honest conversation about anger.  Many people try to avoid conflict and see anger as a negative emotion.  Even the word anger can bring up anxiety and avoidance in people.  However, anger is just like any other emotion as it has both a constructive and a destructive side.  Anger can fuel us and focus our energy.  Anger can let us know when a boundary has been crossed.  But if it is left unresolved and unmoved it can turn into destructive anger or rage that can harm others and ourselves.

Without movement, anger can simmer or explode.  Simmering anger and resentment can become bitterness, and I believe that bitterness is one of the least attractive traits in a human being. We do not want to connect with a person who is bitter and angry; it sucks out our energy to the point where we start to avoid that person.

Forget Idealism! Embrace Realistic Optimism!

Posted by Alyson Jones.

Idealism can get in the way of living an exceptional life.  It has struck me that the most disillusioned people I have met were the ones who based their choices on a romantic and idealistic view of the world.  Each decision was approached with such good intentions and great hopes.  This was going to be the best marriage, the best friend, the best job, the best child and the best experience ever.  The idealist starts out so high and then falls so far.

The MORE Philosophy is a way of living that creates movement, utilizes opportunities and pays attention to the reality checks so that a truly exceptional life can be lived.  Although I encourage a positive outlook on life, there are reality checks that need to be accepted if you are interested in living a truly exceptional life.  In order to deal with reality and live by the MORE philosophy we need to be disillusioned from our idealistic dreams and superficial desires so that we can sink our teeth into the real world where we can experience real satisfaction. Reality checks ground us in our life, but we do not want to become hardened, pessimistic and disillusioned. It is only within the real world that we can experience real satisfaction.  There will be things we need to compromise on, but rather than suffer from guilt and disappointment the best compromise it to let the idealism go with as much grace as possible and move towards “realistic optimism”.