WOMAN of ACTION – Sheryl Paul, M.A.

A Celebration of Women

is pleased to share and Celebrate the Life of another Amazing Woman

this time, a Lady that has Devoted her life to helping others Live through Transitions..


WOMAN of ACTION

 

Sheryl Paul, M.A.

Sheryl Paul, M.A., is regarded as an

International Expert in Transitions.

In 1998, she pioneered the field of

bridal counseling

and has since counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice.


APRIL 2012 – Sheryl blogs …

A thought barrels into your brain station like a powerful locomotive. You didn’t ask to think this thought; it arrived unbidden and without declaring its destination. Because it seems so powerful and because of the well-worn habit of stepping onto this train, you climb aboard. Before you know it, you’re headed into the underworld of anxiety. As the train thrashes through your brain, it adds thought-car after thought-car until you’re spinning in anxiety, then panic.

You are not your thoughts. As meditation and all spiritual traditions teach, you are the space between your thoughts, the spacious place of being that is only truth. You are not your negative story, the one that incessantly berates you like a mean taskmaster who sits on your shoulder shouting some version of the following with such consistent intensity that you’ve consciously tuned it out:

“You’re not enough!” “There’s something wrong with you!” “You don’t deserve to be loved unless you’re perfect!” “Love isn’t safe!” “You can’t handle your feelings!” “It’s not okay to make mistakes!” “You are only as good as your achievements!”

These are lies.

These are the painful lies that you learned early in life as a way to try to control the unmanageable helplessness, loneliness, and grief that were too big for your small body to handle. They protected you as a child and may have even kept you alive, but now they’re keeping you stuck and joyless. When you understand that these are lies and begin to connect with the endless ocean of truth that runs beneath the lies, you find serenity.

You don’t have to be a victim to your thoughts. It requires mental discipline, much like exercising the muscles in your physical body, but when you practice getting off the anxious train of thought you learn that your thoughts are not stronger than you are. You must practice, a hundred times a day if necessary, getting off the negative train and either finding the space between the tracks – the silence that spreads out before you like an endless and silent countryside – or climbing aboard a different train, one that leads you into a place in your mind that is alive with creativity, beauty, and spirituality.

You also recognize that a thought can be like an addiction in that it protects you from your feelings. The question I often ask my clients is, “What is this thought protecting you from feeling right now?” We don’t often talk about thoughts as addictions, but when you understand addictions as anything that used to escape the pain of the moment, it makes sense. As Pema Chodron writes in When Things Fall Apart, “We use all kinds of ways to escape – all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.” (p. 13)

My older son has been saying to me lately, “I just had a bad thought, Mommy,” by which he means a thought that makes him feel bad about himself. Sometimes he’ll share the thought and sometimes he won’t, but I keep reminding him that everyone has “bad” thoughts and what matters is how we respond to them. We can’t control what thoughts dart through our brains – and the more sensitive and creative we are the more outlandish the thoughts – but we can and must control how we react to them. I tell him, “Maybe there’s a feeling underneath that thought that needs your attention.” Or I’ll say, “What do you think you need right now?” Sometimes he needs comfort (a hug) or reassurance and sometimes he needs to talk it through.

For example, the other day he said, “Mommy, I just had a bad thought.”

“What was it?”

“I had a thought that I want something bad to happen to Asher (his little brother).”

“Well, that’s a very normal thought to have about your sibling. I imagine there’s a part of you that might want something bad to happen to him but I know that there’s a bigger part of you that doesn’t. How do you feel when Asher gets hurt?”

“Awful. I do everything I can to help him feel better.”

“Right. So that’s the truth. That thought is just a thought. There may be a feeling underneath the thought, like you have mixed feelings about him and sometimes I know you feel left out or jealous. So let’s see if we can stay with that feeling.”

“Okay.”

And then I hold him and I remind him to breathe into the feeling. I remind him that he can handle any feeling, even if it feels big; that it’s okay to feel jealous, envious, left out, sad, lonely, confused, angry, frustrated, unsure, shy, helpless. I remind him that, while it doesn’t feel good to move toward the feeling, it will always pass. And that the more he moves toward the feeling instead of pushing it away, covering it over with a thought, or trying to control someone else, the faster it will move through him.

I remind him, as I remind my clients, as I remind myself: the thoughts are often the cover-ups for the deep wells of feelings that only want to be seen and heard and experiencing to their fullest. When we gather our courage and drop down below the surface layer to swim into the ocean’s depths, we find new and unexplored territory. It’s scary and beautiful, and when we dive into these oceans often enough, we learn, most importantly, that it’s manageable.


“This section is for you; engaged women, newlyweds, and those of you who have been married several years and still wonder what your wedding transition was all about. It’s a place where you can explore your fears, understand your anxiety, share your questions and sometimes find answers through the articles, chat rooms, message boards, and Conscious Wedding stories. But, more importantly, it’s a community of conscious brides. If there is one common statement between every woman that calls for me counseling it’s “I feel so alone.”

Hopefully this site will serve as an antidose for this sense of loneliness, the feeling that you are the only woman in the world to experience anything less than pure joy around your wedding. And through this connection, through the information and guidance you will receive, you will be able to make your way toward a joyous wedding, or make peace with the wedding that you already had.”

and her

Bestselling Books:

The Conscious Bride

“Take this book to all of your bridal showers and wedding parties”

Oprah Winfrey

and

The Conscious Bride’s Wedding Planner.”

She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America and other top television, radio, and newspapers around the globe.

VIDEOS

Good Morning America-Video:





Managing Anxiety: TRANSITION




In 2004, I lauched my second business:    Conscious Motherhood.
I counsel women worldwide through the transition of motherhood, beginning with the odyssey of pregnancy and continuing through the early years of parenting young children.

With the help of a Professional through Transition, one can

“Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle”

and an Inner Bliss with ability to Embrace Change!

Mission:

“To help people cross the tricky terrain of life transitions with consciousness, from getting married and becoming a parent to losing a loved one, empty nest, and changing careers. “

 

There are very few people who can talk about transitions and offer helpful information that can guide someone through the transition and emerge strengthened by the process.


 

Sheryl Paul is here to help the Women of Our World…..

A Celebration of Women

asked Sheryl:

What do You Wish the Most for Women?

She replied:

 

My Deepest Wish for Women

is for

Freedom of Body, Mind, and Spirit.”

WEBSITES

CONSCIOUS WEDDINGS: www.consciousweddings.com
CONSCIOUS MOTHERHOOD: www.consciousmotherhood.com

Conscious Transitions” : http://sherylpaul.wordpress.com/author/sherylpaul/

<#000000;">Phone and Skype sessions available internationally for all types of transitions.

A Celebration of Women

thanks this WOMEN of ACTION for her devotion in this work in “Transitions”, as critical to Society as it is.

…more Healthy Women

…more Healthy Marriages

…more Healthy Mothers

…more Healthy Children

…a Healthier Future for Our World

Brava, Sheryl!

A Celebration of Women


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