Women

1-Minute Read: Feelings are NOT Facts!

1 minute read - feelings are not factsA common mistake I see people make is that they assume their feelings are facts. Yet feelings change throughout a day and certainly throughout a lifetime.

For example, if you are feeling particularly sad, do not assume that you are necessarily depressed or that you will be sad forever. However, if this feeling of sadness has been around for a while you will likely need some professional help to assess what you are dealing with and how to feel better.

Whether your emotion is anger, frustration, disgust, anxiety or even happiness — do not get overly attached to that emotion. It will change. It is NOT you. It is an emotion you are experiencing…for a reason. Get curious about it.

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What is this emotion telling me?
  • Is there something I need to do different?

The goal is to understand your emotions and the message they are sending you. You do not want your emotions to be the boss of you. You want to be the boss – empowered!

This happens when you learn how to:

  • Accept your emotions without judgment (mindfulness)
  • Manage your emotions in a positive way

Of course, this takes practice. It is also a process which I teach women and girls as part of living life with integrity and self-awareness.

Please contact me at michelle @ girlsstandstrong.com or 703-505-2413 when you are ready to take this step.

Remember…Your feelings are NOT facts. They are merely pointing you in the direction where you may need to do some personal growth work.

Wishing you well on you journey!

 


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

1-Minute Read: How do I talk about it?

1Minute-Read-How-do-IDo you have any idea how many women – just like youfind it difficult to talk about their struggles, their hurts, their perceived failures, their damaged relationships, or their deep emotions like sadness and anger? A lot. You are not alone. Many of my clients struggle in this area.

I get it. It’s not light-discussion time.

  • Maybe you don’t know how to bring up the topic.
  • Maybe you’re dealing with a trust issue.
  • Maybe you do not want to burden someone.

How do you talk about personal things and feel okay about it?

The language of emotions and clear communication is a powerful combination. This is a learned skill and a necessary one. It’s what we women need in order to feel confident in today’s world. Women who are connected with their feelings and can advocate for themselves are happier.

This is a process that usually starts in childhood – but if you did not get it then, it’s never too late. I teach girls and women how to do this.

Is it your time to learn how to talk about the more private side of your life? You’ll be surprised at how relieved you will feel.

Please email me or 703-505-2413. I would love to hear from you.

 


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

1-Minute Read: Did you make your bed today?

Did you make your bed3Making your bed may seem like a small thing to you, but never underestimate the power of focusing on your small accomplishments. I do make my bed most days. I pay attention to how I feel after my bed is made. I take pride in a pretty bed. I take pride in my home and my office looking nice. Do you?

When we were children it was our small successes that were celebrated: our first step, putting our toys away, sleeping in our own beds. There is great value in going back to this way of thinking. I believe we would all be a lot happier if we could genuinely feel proud of our efforts and the small tasks in our life.

Here is the point: We cannot always accomplish big things (at first) and even focusing on the larger accomplishments can be overwhelming or paralyzing.

  • So instead of looking ahead at how much more you need to do, how about looking at your accomplishments and celebrating the MOMENT? In the spirit of mindfulness (click here to read my latest magazine article), try bringing your focus on TODAY, THIS MOMENT. What are you proud of? What can you celebrate? Maybe it’s just getting out of bed or maybe you had the courage to leave a toxic relationship.
  • Then take notice of how you feel when you accomplish something small such as making your bed, doing the dishes, washing your car (meaning driving through a car wash for me), helping your child with their homework or cleaning the dreaded toilet.

I find that women in particular find it difficult to celebrate the “little stuff”, to pat ourselves on the back, to say “Yay me”. Our culture does not support this way of thinking but I do.

If you would like some help in learning how to retrain your brain to celebrate your successes and experience a wonderful new outlook on life, please contact me at michelle@girlsstandstrong.com or 703-505-2413. I would love to hear from you.

Here’s to making your bed today (or tomorrow). Try it and see how you feel.

 


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

1-Minute Read: 5 Rules to Healthy Arguing

5 rules 2You might be thinking “Healthy arguing?! What is this woman talking about?” It’s the art of managing how you conduct yourself during a disagreement or argument which proves to be beneficial to everyone involved.

So, as promised in my previous newsletter, here are the rules to healthy arguing.

  1. Choose your setting. You should have a say so as to when and where you are while you talk about something important or emotional. It is okay to say “I am not in a calm place to be discussing this, can we talk tonight after the children are asleep”?

  2. Set time limits. My suggestion is that an intense argument should not last longer than 30 or 45 minutes, but you will need to figure out what works best for you. It’s okay to end a discussion (for the moment) and return to it at another time — even if nothing has been resolved. Sometimes it is not easy to identify a start point and an end point. Arguing is a process.

  3. Have realistic expectations. When you sit down to discuss an issue, be clear that you may not come to an agreement or resolve the issue. I realize that many people prefer to have an argument resolved. I do not think that resolving an issue during the first debate is the goal. It is the hope. Being heard and communicating effectively is a more realistic goal. There is great value in knowing how to lovingly hold the tension in a relationship — even when you haven’t solved an issue.

  4. Use “I statements” (often). This means speak with your feelings and own them. For example, “I feel hurt when you accepted the dinner invitation without checking with me.” It’s harder for someone to argue with how you feel… and how you feel is valid — ALWAYS. The idea here is to avoid the blame game which is a common trap in an argument.

  5. Speak respectfully. This should be self-explanatory but just to be sure… no put-downs or cut-ups. No finger-pointing. No throwing or breaking things. Expect this from your partner also.

I know this seems easier said than done, so if you would like to roll-play let me know and I’ll be happy to help.


Michelle Kelley 10.14 c
Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

1-Minute Read: Over-thinking something in your relationship?

over thinking2Chances are if you’re a female (and if you’re reading this, you most likely are) then you have experienced the agonizing frustration of over-thinking an issue or an argument. But how do you know if you are over thinking? If you could stop, wouldn’t you?

My experience in working with girls and women has shown me that we tend to over think an issue or argument in a relationship for the purpose of understanding what just happened. Yet understanding what is REALLY going on in your relationship is a learned skill.

• Most people only look at the surface issue in an argument. What is more important is the pattern of arguing in your relationship or how you conduct yourself when you argue (i.e. are you following the rules to healthy arguing? Is your partner?). For more information on the rules of healthy arguing, please look for my next newsletter.

Notice how much time you spend on figuring out why you are upset in your relationship. While I understand you really aren’t going to know exactly how much time you spend “over thinking”, my guess is that it is more time than you realize or you would want. What else could you do with the extra time and energy?

We women are masters at wasting time over-thinking and we wonder why we are so tired!! This is where working with a counselor can help you to pinpoint the core issue and give you the thinking skills to gain clarity, communicate your feelings and needs, and move on.

Please don’t struggle with this on your own. I’m here and I’d love to help you. Contact me by email or phone and let’s work through this.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

1-Minute Read: What’s happening to me? Why am I always upset?

recite-vxonc8Ever feel this way? I’m sure you have. We all have.

I know from experience (and from my clients) that when this happens, it can be very scary. If we are lucky, we may know what’s upsetting us (and I’m not minimizing this) but often times we have no clue.

Possibly we have learned how to minimize our own feelings. Oddly enough, many of us have been repeatedly told that we make a big deal out of nothing. Yet my experience with women is that often times we take something that should be a big deal and make it into nothing. Why?

We women are masters at minimizing our feelings and relationship struggles. Is this because we think we can deal with anything that comes our way? Or is it because our mothers always appeared to handle everything? Or is it something else? It’s no different than the instinct of an animal in the wild hiding its weaknesses or injuries so they’re not perceived as pray .

No matter the reason why, we internalize our feelings in an attempt to minimize them. But this backfires and bubbles to the surface. We feel anxious, irritable and upset all the time and snap at the slightest pressure to seemingly unrelated things. We know it, but we can’t stop it.

So what should you do?

Start by identifying your feelings. When and how often are you feeling upset? Is it when you are around a particular person on in a certain situation (groups)?

Do not place any judgment in this area. Remember, this is all just information gathering.

Validate your feelings. You ARE upset for a reason.

Do not let anyone else minimize how you feel once you’ve identified the cause. That will only make you feel crazy and contribute to anxiety and depression.

Next step… contact me and I will work with you to help you understand your emotions as well as your situation. Then, together, we can make a plan for moving forward and managing your emotions.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

One-Minute Read: Life Experiences Are Never Wasted

 recite-p2g94dWe ALL have to deal with challenging and difficult situations, people and relationships in our lives. If our expectation is that life should be effortless and others have it easier, then we will certainly be disappointed.

Some of us are dealing with loss (death or divorce) or with painful transitions or scary health situations. Whatever you are dealing with, it is important (at some point) to “step away” and view your situation from different angles.

• What are you learning from this experience?
• Are you deepening your compassion?
• Are you becoming less judgmental?
• Are you realizing that you are not living your passion?

At times it’s very helpful to depersonalize our situation. We tend to get very attached to our situations, whatever they are.

Please remember your situation does not define you — you define you!

• Your divorce does not define you.
• Your illness does not define you.

If you are struggling with a difficult life situation and you would like support and guidance in bringing out the meaning or need help getting unstuck…then please reach out to me and schedule an appointment.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

One-Minute Read: Change One Thing

One-Minute Read - Change One ThingIt’s easy to get overwhelmed when we want to start making changes in our lives.

So start with one thing you would like to change about yourself.

It could be controlling your impulsiveness so you don’t lash out at the ones you love.

It could be a decision to be more present in the moment with a loved one.

It could be scheduling 10 minutes in your day to exercise or have a quiet moment to rejuvenate.

You pick yours. Just pick one thing you want to change – something that’s doable.

I guarantee you will start to feel better about yourself and be more in control of your life. Then you can pick the next thing.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

One-Minute Read: Stop Believing Every Stupid Thought That Goes Through Your Head

One-Minute Read - Stop Believing Every Stupid Thought That Goes Through Your HeadOn average, would you say that many of your thoughts are fear-based, negative, anxious or self-doubting?

“I’m not good enough.”

“No one will like me.”

“I’m stupid.”

You are not alone. This is an all-too-common pattern for girls and women.

Stop believing every stupid thought that goes through your head! Start by paying attention to your thoughts.

If you have such negative thoughts about yourself, why do you believe them? Challenge them or ask a good friend to help you to challenge those thoughts.

Is it possible that such thoughts were put into your head a long time ago?

Did you put them in your head when you were in a different place in your life?

It is time to get rid of them. They do not serve any purpose in your life. Let them go.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

One-Minute Read: What Are You Tolerating?

One-Minute Read What Are You ToleratingWhat are you tolerating in your relationships that you should not be?

Arrogance, rudeness, disrespect, putdowns?

Why are you tolerating this? Where did you learn to tolerate being mistreated?

You matter!   You can learn how to respond (not react) to mistreatment. You can create positive changes in yourself (and hopefully your relationships).

What about your daughter? What have you observed her tolerating in friendships or dating relationships?

What are you willing to do to change this cycle?

Not sure how to start this process? Reach out to me so I can help you.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

Read What People Are Saying About Michelle Kelley.

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I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.
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AnnaMay
To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She was very empathetic and non-judgmental... She didn't make our daughter feel badly... She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents.
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Linda
I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.
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Grace
People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.
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Chris
We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.
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Patricia
You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.
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Maggie
Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.
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Cynthia
With Michelle’s guidance, I was able to accomplish in approximately 8 months what I hadn’t been able to over the past 15 years.
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Elizabeth
I am forever grateful for Michelle's help.
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Anne
Thank you, Michelle, for giving me my voice and a new lease on life.
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Nancy
Retired Arlington County Teacher
She helped me focus my attention toward problem-solving issues.
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Laura Clancy, Owner
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Michelle is the best life coach I ever had.
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Michelle is an excellent listener and her insights and advice were always right on target.
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She helped me in so many ways!
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Kelly
Michelle Kelly saved my life. What more can I say?
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Stephanie W.

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