Women

One-Minute Read: Who’s Driving Your Bus?

One-Minute Read - Who’s Driving Your BusThe correct answer should be YOU.

We all should be in the driver’s seat of our own lives.

It can be so easy for a woman to get in the passenger’s seat — or even the back seat — and just go along for the ride.  To become a bystander.  To let other people make the decisions.

But this is your life.  What do you want?  What’s your opinion?

You matter!

Please drive your own bus.  Your daughter is watching.

 

 


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: Hear with new ears!

Rarely do we “hear” new information after we reach a certain age or stage in our life. We simply stop processing familiar sights, sounds and people because we are so accustomed to them.

As we age, however, we also mature and our perspective changes.  Therefore, we should constantly be listening with new ears. 

New ears permit us to hear old information with a fresh, open-minded awareness so it registers as though we are hearing something new and different.

The next time your husband, boyfriend or child speaks to you, make a conscious effort to listen with your new ears… you may be pleasantly surprised.

 


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: Future Problem or Present Problem?

How many of us spend a lot of time worrying about an issue in the future – one that may or may not ever happen? Don’t we have enough things to deal with right now? Yes!

  • First, decide what’s a current problem and what is a future one. Most of the things we worry about are in the future.
  • Keep critical thinking skills on today. Focusing on tomorrow’s problems can tie up our energy and keep us stuck.
  • Stay with current problems and we will find that we are more effective, less stressed and have more energy.

You can do this! Train your mind to think differently. Yes, it can be done.

If you are one of those people who say “It won’t work for me”, we should talk.

 


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: Stop The Arguing!

Many of us get stuck in an arguing pattern in our relationships and we can’t seem to get out of it.

Here is my advice:  Interrupt the pattern.  

  • It is normal and understandable that we all have emotional reactions when something upsets us so I’m not saying we have to stop having our emotional reactions.
  • What I am saying is that we can train ourselves to push the pause button before responding.
  • Yes, that’s right — we all have the ability to choose how we wish to respond in an argument or heated discussion.
  • By pushing the pause button we will give ourselves some time to think about what we want to say and how we would like to deliver the message.
  • This simple change can make a huge difference in our life and relationships.

Think about it: What’s the difference between reacting and responding?

 


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 Draining Your Energy?

Your energy is vital to your happinessThere are three main areas to look at:

  1. Your activities.  Are you spending too much time doing things that drain your energy?  Most of us do.   Look for ways to scale back, ask for help, delegate or say NO.  Choose activities which give you energy.  This could be anything you find enjoyable or relaxing.
  2. Your thoughts.  So what are you thinking?  Are your thoughts positive, negative or anxious?  Something else?  You CAN control your thoughts.  Begin by being mindful of them.  Your thoughts feed into your emotions which contribute to your energy level.
  3. People.  Who are you spending time with in person or on social media?  Limit the amount of time you spend with people who cause you stress in some way.  When you have a choice, select people who lift you up, inspire and support you.  They will give you energy and inspiration.

You are in control.

Your energy is vital to your happiness.  Protect it.  Nurture it.  Share it.

Need help asserting your voice?  You and I should talk.  Please contact me via email or phone 703-505-2413 to arrange 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.

Why do we think we have to multitask all of the time?

Businesswoman Juggling ResponsibilitiesRecently I was at home on a call with my business coach. I was completely focused on our conversation when I just happened to notice that my dog’s shed hair had decided to congregate under my kitchen table.  So, not wanting to waste time, I decided that I could clean the kitchen floor and have a thought-provoking conversation on the phone.

Why do we think we have to multitask all of the time? 

There has never been a time such as this in history. Women make up almost 50% of our work force and own 30% of small businesses.  Yet we are still more likely to take on the majority of the childcare and home responsibilities. 

We’re moms, wives, business women, business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and students. We’re taking care of our children and our parents.  We’re helping our community. We’re active in our church. We could drop dead from multi-tasking… but we’re making a difference!  At least that’s what we believe.

Here are some suggestions to help stressed out, overwhelmed women have some peace of mind (isn’t that what we all want?):

  • Reevaluate your busy schedule.  Prioritize it and let things go undone (yes, I know this is hard).  Put the big rocks in the bowl first.  What are you willing to give up?  That’s also a great question to ask each person in your family.
  • Ask for help. Be specific if you have to.  If others don’t know every little thing you do, they won’t know how they can help.
  • Communicate often – clearly and directly.  Don’t wait until resentment builds up and frustration becomes overwhelming.  This is when you can become irritable and even rude to the ones you love.
  • Deal with problems in the moment.  This is always best unless you feel that your emotional state will prevent you from being kind or clear. 

Of course, the holidays can be a very stressful time for women and we know why.  We tend to take on too much responsibility for everyone else’s happiness.  Expectations can be unrealistic.  This holiday season consider doing things differently. 

  1. Ask another family member to host.
  2. Ask others to bring dishes if you decide to host.
  3. Have dinner at a restaurant.
  4. Order a precooked meal.

There should be no shame involved. The idea is to lighten your workload so that you can enjoy the holidays as well. What a novel idea!

The media and society portray the ideal woman as someone who can rise with the sun, rush to the kitchen, whip up a gourmet breakfast, hand squeeze the orange juice, get the kids out the door, jump in the car and go to work looking glamorous, with a smile on her face. Absurd!

So I ask you, when will real women start to openly challenge the distorted image of the ideal woman? 

My vision of an ideal woman is a woman who knows how to be realistic, say no, ask for help, delegate or hire when possible… and definitely, get away from time to time.  Never underestimate the power of ME time, however you define it.

What is your new vision of an ideal woman and can you become her?

If you’re struggling coming up with asserting your voice, you and I should talk.  You may contact me via email or phone 703-505-2413 to arrange 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.

What keeps us from asking for the help we desperately need?

Happy women in circle Most of us know these scenarios all too well: Someone needs extra help at work on a big project and the deadline is coming up quick; the kids forgot to remind you about the school bake sale they signed up for, and it’s tomorrow; your husband doesn’t seem to mind the dust bunnies on the floor or the piled up laundry, until he needs a clean and ironed shirt in the morning; and the dog is waiting by the door – and whining – again.

What is wrong here?

I’m the first to admit it: I struggle with asking for help or just saying no.  Many women do. I bet you’re one of them! But why is this?  Is there something different in our DNA that compels us to accept more and more responsibility?  Or are we a product of a generation gone by when women were expected to do everything – with a smile on their face?

We’re everything to everyone.  But what about us?  Have we forgotten ourselves?  Aren’t we important, too?  Remember the old saying “If momma ain’t happy, no one is”?

What keeps us from asking for the help we desperately need?  These are what some of my clients say:

  • What’s the use, nothing changes.
  • It’s easier for me to do it rather than listen to the excuses.
  • It’s my responsibility to make everything work.
  • Everyone is busy, so why am I special?

Sound familiar?  So what should you do?

  • This is a complex situation which did not arise overnight and there’s not an easy solution.  However, I am a big believer in developing self-awareness and then starting the conversation.  Be sure, the conversation won’t end anytime soon, nor should it.  Let me explain.
  • Some of us get so busy we don’t stop to ask ourselves why we are doing so much.  To be honest, if we have too much on our plate, we may not even recognize it!  If we don’t notice, why would anyone else notice?
  • Become aware of why you over-pack your schedule. Why do you think that you should always have the time? Why do you believe that it’s your fault if things don’t run smoothly?  Is it because it’s what you saw your mother do?  Is it because you can’t say “no”? Is it because you think it is expected of you?  Are you trying to prove you can do it all?  Why?
  • Then ask yourself if your reasons – or excuses – are real or perceived.
  • You matter! Validate your own needs and know that you have a right to ask for help.  This is where the conversation comes in.  Talk about how you feel with your family and co-workers, ask for their help and accept it when it’s offered.  Start a support group for overwhelmed women… well, okay, I know everyone is too busy and stressed to attend, but you get the picture.

 

It is so important to start with yourself and assess whether your work and personal responsibilities, as well as your time and energy, are balanced enough.  Chances are they’re not (which is why you’re reading this article).

Please reach out to me for assistance in asserting your voice.  You may contact me via email or phone 703-505-2413 to arrange 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.

My first therapist, but not my last.

Mother

Today is my mom’s birthday.  She is ageless to me so her age matters not.  When a connection with another person runs so deep you don’t actually see that person with your eyes, you see them with your soul… that is the type of bond we have.  So I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about my mom and how she has inspired me to do the work I do.

From a very early age my mom was a calming presence in my life.  She was an introvert before anyone knew what that was.  The result was favorable for me.  We have literally had thousands and thousands of hours in deep conversation — about relationships, emotions, life and even the weather.  Because of her never-ending patience with me, I was able to search for meaning (which I desperately craved) and reasons for why bad things happen to good people, why certain people stayed married and others did not, why some people are so difficult, and why some (like me) always preferred to stay home rather than go to parties.

She was my first therapist but not my last.  She supported me through my journeys in life, school, relationships and work.  She was there when I got married, had kids, and got divorced.  Mom is still here for me now — after her own devastating stroke.  I continue to go to her with my questions, frustrations, accomplishments or just to share.  

Though I tell her all of the time, she doesn’t believe how much her wisdom, kindness and patience made me the strong woman I am today.  Actually, all of the women in my family have stood on the shoulders of women who preceded them.  We are like one big chain link with every generation getting stronger and wiser.  My daughters are next in line and I am doing my best to give them what my mother gave me plus a little extra.

So Mom, thank you so much for being you and allowing me to be me.  You are my rock and I love you so much. 

My mission in life is to help, support, educate and empower women so that they can be their personal best and live a life filled with self-awareness and fulfillment… much like Mom did for me.

We women need to stop trying to do everything by ourselves, so let’s spread the word.  If you know of someone who needs support and guidance in being their best self, please share this newsletter with them; I can’t reach them without you.

Life can be difficult but I will help navigate through the rough spots.  Please don’t wait any longer. Call me today (any time of day) at 703.505.2413.


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.

Being a woman should not be scary!

Happy women in circle I am noticing a trend in my counseling practice.

Women are busier than ever.  Working women are more stressed than even before.  Working moms can’t handle the workload and subsequent tension and anxiety that comes with it (and shouldn’t have to). Technology, as wonderful as it is, provides obstacles to our peace of mind by inviting us to work 24/7.

Single, entrepreneurial moms (like me) are an ever-growing segment of the population.  The reality is that more marriages are ending in divorce and many women are choosing to be executives or business owners.  As a matter of fact, I think it’s good.  Not that being a single mom is good, but it is not a black or white issue.  It’s encouraging that women and moms are deciding to take charge of their lives.

This is a time like no other in history. We need to be aware of this transformation – this shift we women are making.   I believe we should actually take notice of this change and become aware of how we are adapting to it. Granted, for most of us, we haven’t been adapting very well!

We need to embrace it and actively seek support and guidance along the way.  This is new territory!  Uncharted terrain!  It can be scary, overwhelming and exhausting… but it can be done.

I want to help women to see the positives and help them embrace change – to always look for options to handle things – stress, overwhelm – better.   To see the opportunities in their situation.  I don’t want them seeing disaster.  As I have said many times before, this is a wonderful time in history to be a woman.  Our obstacles are more internal than external these days.

The more and more women I talk to about this topic — that it’s all true and definitely uncharted territory – the more positive feedback and acknowledgement I receive.  We women (especially moms) want to have it all.  We want to be strong, embrace our authenticity and leaderships skills as well as our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  We want to be role models for our daughters and the next generation and that’s why we try so hard.

I do believe we can have it all, but not necessarily at the same time.

These are some of the reasons why I am so passionate about the topic of empowering women.

My name is Michelle Kelley and my goal is to help you navigate through the rough spots in your life.  Changing by yourself can be difficult, so I would like to offer you an opportunity to speak with me. Please don’t wait any longer. Call me today (any time of day) at 703.505.2413.


Michelle Kelley

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.

We all deserve to have peace in our relationships and in our hearts.

Middle aged coupleAs a counselor, I specialize in working with women and I have found there are a lot of women who are stressed out, overwhelmed or frustrated in their lives or relationships.

Is the world a more stressful place now than it used to be? Yes, it is. That’s why women need more support and guidance than ever before.

We’re not supposed to figure this out all by ourselves but that’s what a lot of us do!

When I work with women in my counseling practice, the first thing I do is help them gain clarity as to what the issues are. We are usually the one in our family who tries to keep it all together. It can be nerve-wracking and tiring.

The next step is to help women see the choices before them.  We all have choices in our relationships and lives. Once we see those choices we start to develop confidence. And we want to feel confident.

We want to come from that place where we feel good about ourselves so that we can ask for our needs to be met in our relationships. We want to communicate clearly. Being in relationships can be very challenging and without the right tool set, it can feel like we’re swimming upstream.

This is a journey for all of us.

If you are struggling in your life or relationships, please give me a call.

No one should have to go through difficult times alone. I would love to help.

My name is Michelle Kelley and my goal is to help you navigate through the rough spots in your life and relationships. We all deserve to have peace in our relationships and in our hearts. I can offer you quick, proven strategies to help you get the relief you deserve. Please don’t wait any longer. Call me today (any time of day) at 703.505.2413.


Michelle Kelley

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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Testimonials

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.
...
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.
...
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.
...
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.
...
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
MuffinToppled® Fitness Coaching
Michelle is the best life coach I ever had.
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Marina
Michelle is an excellent listener and her insights and advice were always right on target.
...
Ann
(mother of a teen girl)
She helped me in so many ways!
...
Kelly
Michelle Kelly saved my life. What more can I say?
...
Stephanie W.

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