Saturday, June 27, 2015


An urn?
No, a teapot!

"Our perception of reality depends not only on our experience (what we're looking AT), but on the perspective through which we view the experience (where we're looking FROM).                                      ~~ Pamela Montgomery

Perspective Comes From:                     Developing a Balanced Perspective        
*Previous Experience                                      *Grow, travel, read, engage with community
*Temperament                                                 *Practice self-control, test your
     (Dramatic/Calm)                                           perceptions against those of others
*Attitude                                                             with a complimentary temperament
     (Positive/Negative)                                       and attitude.
*Sense of Agency                                            *Develop self-awareness. Ask a trusted
     (Empowered/Victim)                                     friend, “How do I come across: positive or
*Openness                                                         negative, empowered or victimized, open
*View of Self in the World                                  or close minded?” Make adjustments.
     (Self-Centeredness/Empathy)                     *Develop greater empathy for greater clarity

Again, it is ONLY when we learn to develop a more balanced perspective that what is "really real" is revealed to us. Then, we can build the foundations of our lives, relationships and decisions with clear vision rather than the clouded lenses of myopathy.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Scientific studies have recently shown that the use of social media can increase stress for some people. 

Whether it is divisive political or religious rants, passive-aggressive status updates, condescending memes, explicit photos and videos or even helpful (but plentiful) posts from your groups and pages, our newsfeeds can become overrun with posts that cause anxiety and stress to interrupt our otherwise peaceful days.

Has this happened to you? You're just going about your day, checking in on your friends on Facebook and you come across this across your friends photos from her most recent vacation to Paris or Bermuda or the park down the think to yourself, "Ugh, I wish I could afford take a vacation! Her life is so much more interesting than mine." Or, "OMG, she looks amazing and I still have baby food in my hair!"

Or, you come across some cleverly worded meme that is actually a veiled insult and you wonder, "Could that be aimed at me?" You don't think you've done anything to your friend, but....hmmm, maybe. "Why doesn't she just talk to me about it?"

...and your peace just flew out the door.

If you find that there are particular people, groups or pages that are spamming your newsfeed with negativity, there ARE steps you can take:

* Click on the upper right corner and select, "I don't want to see this," and leave it at that. I typically do this for posts that just irritate me, but are not posted by a habitually negative friend.

* When you respond to a post, you will notified every time another person replies to the same post. To mitigate the notifications, after you post simply click on the upper right hand down arrow and click, "turn off notification." You can go back and check on the string of posts later if you'd like.

* Turn off notifications for a majority of pages and groups that you follow. If you really love them, you can go check them out when you have free time instead of having them clutter up your newsfeed. Business owners will hate that I've told you to do selective. This will impact the business' outreach, but if it is causing  you stress, your responsibility is to yourself first.

* Click on the upper right corner of your friends' post and select, "Unfollow <friend's name>." This will stop the posts from a habitually negative friend from showing in your newsfeed. You will remain friends, but you can check their timeline at your leisure instead of being assaulted by energy-sucking posts.

* Remember not to compare your life against your friends. Most people post only the highlights of their lives on social media. You can not compare your day to day life against the highlights of someone else's life. Instead, count the ways you are grateful for all parts of your life...even the baby food in your hair.

* Limit your online time. Set a timer for 10 minutes in the morning, lunchtime and evening. Do a quick check in and check out. Resist the temptation to get distracted from the things you need to do for the day. This is tough for those with online businesses. If you have pages or groups to run, this won't apply to you, but find some way to set limits so you can still have a real life outside of social media.

* Do not check in on social media just before bed or when you wake up at night. The blue light from your screen has been shown to interrupt sleep cycles. Keep the phone and computer off when it's time to sleep.

Hopefully these tips will help you reduce your online stressors and gain time to enjoy your real-life life. I know that when I implemented each tip, my online experiences were made much more enjoyable!

Were these tips helpful? If so, please share!

Monday, June 22, 2015


Give this exercise a try! 

I found it to be really humbling and revealing of things that I might need to work on.

Remember, this exercise isn't about looking at ways others may not be loving YOU well, but how you are doing at loving the people in your life and your willingness to make the changes that you'd like to make in order to have healthier relationships.

How did you do?

Thursday, June 18, 2015


This is a Throwback Thursday post. I wrote this article several years ago, but it still seems relevant enough to share again.

It has happened to many of us at one time or another - you're happily perusing the web, posting a brillant status update, sharing your most recent flash of insight or chatting with a friend when "BAM" you get flamed.

From -
flame: a flame is a tirade. The flamer may be quite articulate and intelligent as they question the upbringing of the flamee. One can also flame about a third party to a conversation. Finally, a flame may be from an idiot, in response to a reasonable post from someone else.

So, what to do next? How you respond will either feed the fire or douse it.  It will, also, show (and more importantly) the world who truly you are. Remember, anyone in the world can view your posts: your children, your boss, your future spouse...everyone, and what they read will inform their impression of your maturity, communication skills, and character. Therefore, it's important to remember these few important rules for communicating online.


1. When posting, remember that the readers of your posts will filter your words through their past experiences of you, of themselves and of the world.  Use words that are specific, use emoticons to clarify the 'feel' of your post, and know that you WILL, at some point, be misunderstood - no matter how clearly you communicate.

2. Don't post passive-aggressive memes, messages or status updates.  I can't tell you how often I've read, or been tempted to write, a post that begins with "Some people should...blah, blah, blah" or to post a meme that proves that poster is right about something and the other person, who they know will see the post, is wrong or hurtful or, in some way, 'the bad guy.' These posts are clearly aimed at a particular person or persons and, believe me, they know who they are. Though, typically, if the supposed bad guy confronts the poster they will be told, "that wasn't even about you." 

You can not win when confronting the veiled hostility of passive-aggression.

This kind of communication is simply bait for conflict.  It not only provokes the person you are obviously angry with but also shows the rest of the world that you either (a) lack healthy conflict resolution skills or (b) have impulse control issues. It makes things uncomfortable for everyone involved. Call a supportive friend and vent instead.

3. When posting a controversial opinion, it would be wise to acknowledge upfront that it is controversial and that others might have their own opinion. This helps to assure others that you know they may have a differing opinion and that they don't necessarily need to post it as a comment to your post.  Otherwise, they might feel the need to inform you of such fact.

Person 1: Red is the best color!

Person 2: That is a totally subjective comment.  Colors are neither good nor bad.  In fact, DaVinci once stated that a person who chooses one color over another as better or worse is an idiot.

Person 1: You can't tell me what to think. I'm allowed to have my own opinion


Person 1: I think red is the best color! YMMV (your mileage may vary) or JMHO (just my honest opinion)

Person 2: I don't think one color is any better than the other, but I get that it's your opinion.

4. When you read someone else's post and feel the need to correct or attack them, because they are clearly wrong (IYHO: in your honest opinion), ask yourself if it is really worth it or if it will change anything in the long run. Ask yourself what is really important in your relationship with this person...connection or correction. Usually, it is the connection that draws you to one another - remember that when communicating online.

Also, remember that a flippant Facebook post never changed anyone's moral stance or political opinion...that I'm aware of. Do you want to be 'right' or do you want to connect?

5. Never bring offline conflict online for public consumption. This is just common sense. Your friends, provided they are adults, don't want to be dragged into your arguments to be used as tools to affirm your rightness or victimization. It is wiser to simply talk to a trusted friend or counselor offline and resolve your conflict there as well.


1. If someone flames you, think before you respond. It might be wise to give yourself 24 hours to consider a response.  Or, you might choose to write a response offline and save it to your computer. Then, see if you really need to post it after 24 hours.  You may find, with time, that you can come up with a more articulate or grace-filled response.

2. Consider responding offline or in private rather than dragging everyone you know into the issue. It's so uncomfortable, even painful, to watch dysfunction happening over the internet.

If it is your post that has disintegrated into conflict, you might choose to simply delete the post and move on. By doing so your friends don't feel the need to defend you (this is a codependent response...give me a call if you perpetually defend your friends online) Then, send a private message or, better yet, make a phone call to the person that you're having conflict with so that you can resolve the issue in a mature manner.

3. Choose not to respond. Honestly, often times the person that flamed you or was passive-aggressively attacking you was simply projecting their own issues onto you.  A response, no matter how well phrased, might simply drag the relationship into oblivion.  Understand that you don't always need to respond - there is no shame in quietly turning the other cheek. It is actually a sign of maturity to be able to censor your responses and, after careful consideration, to let things go. Consider waiting until the next time you see that person and you can ask, "I assumed that comment (or meme) was about me. Is there something we need to talk about?" Until then, just let it be.

4. Accept the fact that you may be wrong.  If someone is attempting to correct you, before you respond in anger, ask yourself if there is any truth to their words, if there is anything you might not be seeing in yourself that this person (who has been a caring friend in the past) might be trying to help you process. Our friends are meant to be mirrors of ourselves, reflecting to us our best and worst selves.  Maturity is the abilty to admit that you have a shadow (or dark) side and accepting yourself just the same. We are all human and still have work to do.

5. Ask yourself what you already know about the person making the comment.  Do they have a history of treating you badly, of misunderstanding and lashing out in anger, of projecting their thoughts and beliefs onto others (cheaters think everyone cheats, liars think everyone lies, takers think everyone takes) or is this out of character? If it is out of character, assume that they meant well and consider letting it go and chalking it up to a bad day.  

If this hostility, however, is a recurring pattern, don't be afraid to take care of yourself. It's likely that this is a toxic relationship. If so, you can only take care of yourself, adjust your privacy setting so the person can't post on your wall or respond to status updates. 

Then, set boundaries regarding further communication ie. if they continue berating or humiliating you in public, block their ability to comment or, even, unfriend them online (you can always choose to still be friends in real life, unless the behavior continues in real life as well)

6. Ask for clarification.  It is possible that either they or you misinterpreted something that was said earlier.  It never hurts to clarify.

Ultimately, online communication is an imperfect art.  The best you can do is put yourself in the other person's shoes, remember that there are no visual or emotional cues to online communication and be willing to respond with grace rather than contempt.  

After all, you are friends with this person for a reason and it is your choice to respond in a way that will either further the friendship or lead to its dissolution. Again, it's up to you.

I believe that, when relating to people on a social networking site, the best rule of thumb is to do what your mom told you and, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

* is a database of contemporary language.  I do not endorse much of what is shared there and do not suggest using the site if you are sensitive to indelicate language or topics.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


"I let my mind hasn't come back yet.". 

Well, it's been over three years since I've posted here...three years! Oh, sure, I know why that is. It's not a mystery that I've been distracted. You see, shortly after writing the last post on this blog, I met a guy...

I met this guy who was energetic and loud and had the strangest, unfiltered laugh like I had never heard before. I wasn't really looking for him...not in any real way, but when he showed up on my computer screen this one day, I thought, "there he is!" That's when the mist set in.

Oxytocin: the love hormone, the monogamy hormone, the cuddle hormone, the trust-me drug. When we touch, hold hands for the first time, kiss, oxytocin floods the brain and, well, I call it "love fog." 

I have been in a love fog for well over three years. Through courtship, our wedding (one year to the day from the day we met), and the honeymoon years I've been in a bit of a cloud, focussing almost solely on my marriage and the inevitable stress, both good and bad, of blending families and personalities, traditions and expectations...all while going about as normal a life as possible running my counseling practice (Pamela Montgomery MA EMDR); creating, marketing and selling on my three Etsy shops (Made With a Twist, Pamela Grice Art and Violet Serenity Design); and helping my husband with his business (Grice Shaved Ice)

When this happens, some things - even things that are important to you - fall victim to the fog. This blog, my love for reading, alone-time, and, even sometimes, my businesses came second to my new role in life.

A few days ago, though, as if the clock chirped, "it's time to wake up," the mist rose and I realized that I had started to fall into that trap that beckons almost every woman I know...losing yourself in marriage, family, the demands of the day.

Moving further and further away from the creative, spirited, joy-filled person that I usually am, I found myself anxious, irritated, over-extended and exhausted...and indulging my natural tendency toward codependence.  Now, yes, some of this is a result of some medical issues and pre-menopause (or maybe full fledged menopause and I'm just in denial about that), but some of it is definitely a gradual loss of self.

I found myself just wanting to stay home, not engaging with my girlfriends, resenting my art studio that turned into a business office instead of a truly creative space, and being GRUMPY! I just am not naturally husband is so sweet and compassionate through the grumpies, but I hate seeing myself behave in a way that isn't lifegiving.

So, what to do?! 

Well, just as I would if I were speaking to my clients, I asked, "what did you love to do when you were most YOU?" Ohhh, goodness, I'm so glad that I've done enough healing that those answers are right at the tip of my tongue and not locked away somewhere behind a facade and wall of pain and self-protection. 

What do I love? I love to write. I love to paint. I love to be in nature. I love to read...though the eyes aren't cooperating the way they used to. I love to connect with my tribe of girlfriends. I love my family. I love to entertain.

I need to get back to those things in order to get back to myself. So, this, right here, this blog post is the first step in that process. I also have plans to host a weekly cocktail party with my neighbors so that we can foster a greater sense of community, to organize my studio so that it is more conducive to creative expression and to get myself out for a hike or two in the next week. It's a start.

Welcome to the journey...I hope to share some helpful insights and tools with you for your own healing and enjoyment. If you find that you're struggling with a loss of self, ask yourself the same question...what did you love to do when you were most YOU? If you can't come up with an answer, that might be an indication that it's time to talk to a professional to work through some of the things that have interfered with the ultimate expression of the real you. 

If you'd like to schedule an appointment to make a plan for your own journey of discovering self, send an email to I am currently offering the first, get-to-know-you session for 50% off my regular rates of $90/hour.

In the meantime, blessings to you from beyond the fog!