Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Life with our BESTIES is the BEST!

Monday, June 17th, 2019

 

What better time to celebrate our besties than in the month of June as we all focus on those special gal pals on June 8th —National Best Friends Day!

How have your girlfriends enriched your life and added color to your tapestry through the decades? Have you pushed the “pause” button lately to deliberately focus on the part your tribe of loyal friends have played in your journey?  If not, the time is now, and the benefits are well worth the effort.

As I continue on my book tour to different cities and states, I am amazed by the common themes in the stories I am hearing from women.  Time after time, I hear from people that come up to me as I am signing their books, and they share that their girlfriends saved them from drowning in the rough seas of life.  These ladies pour out their heartfelt stories of how their besties rallied around them.  A recent story was about a young husband that had open heart surgery and nearly died from complications in the days that followed. It was her besties that kept the vigil in the hospital and kept this young wife afloat.  Others share how they were saved by their girlfriends after they lost their home in the horrible floods of Hurricane Harvey.  But, the trends are always similar, it is our girlfriends, our besties, that wrap their arms around us and breathe life into us, literally.  

In my new book “THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS” I delve into the real guts of female friendship and how powerful these loyal tribes are during times of trials and tribulations.  None of us need to struggle through these challenges without a connected and trustworthy team of girlfriends walking along side supporting us.  Life is about connection, communication and intimacy and what better time to practice these 3 pillars of healthy friendships than when our friend is about to drown in the turbulent seas of life?   

What friends do you know that are getting pelted with the curveballs of life?  Have you reached out to them to toss them a lifeline yet?  Don’t wait.  You may be the angel they need today to keep them afloat in their crisis.  We all need to know that we are not alone, help is on the way, and we will survive!  I have been in that scary place many times, and it was my GIRLFRIENDS that got down in the trenches with me and helped me find my way back.

There are certain things we can “take to the bank” in life.  And those are the following:   Life is challenging, nobody gets to escape hardship, and sooner or later, the curveballs find you! But, we also know there are powerful forces to help us deal with these events, they are called GIRLFRIENDS!   

LET’S CELEBRATE OUR BESTIES DURING JUNE— AND REACH OUT TO OUR GIRLFRIENDS TO TELL THEM WE ARE ALWAYS HERE FOR THEM NO MATTER WHAT LIFE HURLS THEIR WAY!    

** Stay tuned for my upcoming seminars and events connected with
THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS!  

Follow me on Twitter:     Deborah Olson @DeborahOlsonMA

Instagram:   authordeboraholson

Facebook:   Author Deborah Olson

Linkedin:    Deborah Olson

 

 

In awe of “GIRLFRIEND FEVER!”

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

I have had the honor and pleasure of spending this past week doing book events in Arizona and my home state of Texas! To say that I have been in awe of the unexpected level of passion and energy being generated by the ladies attending would be an understatement!  The appetite and zest for my message on the merits of female friendship is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

Last week I presented my book lecture and signing at two places in Scottsdale, Arizona.  First, I was warmly welcomed and embraced by over 40 wonderful ladies at the DC RANCH Country Club, where my dear friend, Ginny and her husband, Tom, are members.  After finishing my 90 minute presentation, we engaged in a book signing and meet and greet.   I was blown away by the zest and enthusiasm shown by everyone for my message on the HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS.  The energy and emotion in the room was highly palpable and made my heart pound, literally!

My second Arizona event was at the Maravilla Retirement Community where I was honored to speak to a room full of “SuperAgers”— those “young” ladies who are 80 years of age and above that are cognitively 20 to 30 years younger than their actual age.  I speak of these vibrant, active, thriving females in my book, and seeing them in person was such a thrill for me!  Many shared their personal stories, including one 87 year old who recently became a widow.  But, she has adapted to her life at Maravilla much quicker because of her new female friends there.  They all sat together in the front row at my event and were clearly all very connected and supportive of each other!  It warmed my heart to see their smiles and their love for each other!

Yesterday, I did a book signing at a local women’s boutique, THE SALTED HIPPIE near my home.  It was another amazing evening of meeting women of all ages and backgrounds who value the gift of girlfriends!  Many of my own dear friends were in attendance, as were neighbors, and many new faces who wanted to learn more about this brand new book on friendship.  During our chatting and signing, many of these women shared their own personal stories with me.   In our short time together some bared their souls, sharing joys and sorrows.  One very brave young lady shared her incredible grief of recently becoming a widow, and being uplifted by the love and support of her girlfriends during the past months.  As the night went on, story after story was shared by one after another, all with the same ending…….”and it was my girlfriends that saved me.”

As I drove home last night from my book event, my heart was full of gratitude for all the special women I had met over the past week, and for the gift of their bravery to share these stories of pain, loss, sadness and even joy.  It is in these moments I realize in a fresh new way, as my book clearly advocates, we are indeed transformed by the help and love from our girlfriends.   This is the real deal, it is authentic, it is genuine, it is THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS!

 

 

The Magic of Celebrations!

Monday, April 15th, 2019

In my new book on female friendship, THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection, I speak about one of the characteristics of a thriving friendship as sharing in each other’s joys and celebrations.  And, this past weekend, that is exactly what my husband and I did!   We attended the magical wedding of our longtime friends’ daughter and shared an epic time with old friends from our college days.

Many moons ago, when my husband and I were dating we decided to set up his roommate and my roommate on a blind date!  The stars were aligned and they were a match made in Heaven!  They married and the rest is history!  Fast forward now nearly 40 years later, and here we are attending their daughter’s wedding just outside Austin, Texas!   A lovely wedding, a glowing and beautiful bride, and a handsome and smiling groom!  It was a delightful event for so many reasons!

First, we were incredibly happy for the newlyweds who are beaming with love and joy for each other and their new status as “MR. & MRS.”  As they were photographed for the first time following the “I DO’s” a brilliant double rainbow revealed itself on cue!  How perfect is that?

Second, we had the honor of sharing this amazing celebration with the happy couple and our dear friends, the parents of the Bride, who continue to be in our very close knit circle of friends.  Sharing these joys of monumental life celebrations is priceless and precious!  We truly treasure these times for the richness they bring to us!

Third, we are blessed to share these events with our other dear friends, who have become our family!  Although we all live in different states and don’t see each other much, we always pick up where we left off.  It is like no time has even passed.

What were my takeaways from this wedding weekend?  They are simple:

*Treasure the gift of friendship for the special part it has played in your life story

*Make it a PRIORITY to share the joys of special events, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, for these are moments we will always hold close to our hearts.

*Be grateful for the magical moments in time!  A double rainbow, a falling star, or a glorious sunset, they connect us yet again, with the awe and wonder of our Creator.   God winks, for sure!

 

For more on the gift of friendship in our lives, check out my new book, THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS.

Available now on Amazon, in paperback or Kindle and at Barnes & Noble.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Tips For Avoiding Unhealthy Friendships!

Monday, April 1st, 2019

So, you want to make some new friends but are just a tad nervous they may disappoint you, or turn out to be high-hassle and not a good fit for your friendship collection.   How can you be savvy when making new friends to protect yourself, and not end up in unhealthy relationships?   Here are 4 quick tips from my new book,  THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS:  How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection:

1.   KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN

Observe how new friends talk about, treat, and interact with their other friends.  If they appear to be gossipers, back-stabbers or two-faced about their other friends, be on guard, YOU could be next!  Instead, look for girlfriends who seem kind, genuine, honest, respectful, and nonjudgmental.

 

2.    DRAMA QUEENS ARE NOT WELCOME

If these new friends seem to like drama and are always in the middle of a new soap opera, be careful!   You just may be the next new character in this play if you continue the relationship!  Some people really enjoy the stage, and they love high drama and being in the middle of an emotional messy situation.  But, if that is not your deal, don’t sign up to be cast in the next production.  There are lots of drama-free friendships out there waiting for you, GO FIND THEM!

 

3.    CHECK NEEDINESS AT THE FRIENDSHIP DOOR

Do these new friends seem to have a high degree of neediness?  Do they require lots of emotional support and ask you to be giving all the time?  If so, then evaluate if this is the friendship you will enjoy and benefit from yourself.  Friendships should be reciprocal, and back and forth, give and take.  If you are always being the one to give, give, and give some more, then ask yourself if this is the right friendship for you.

 

4.    ANTENNAS UP FOR TOXIC FRIENDS

Be careful when encountering people who display negative behaviors of anger, competition, envy, rage, criticism and narcissism.  These behaviors are the ingredients for a toxic relationship.   Being able to spot these traits in friends takes a little practice, but it is well worth honing your skills to do so.  It will save you pain and heartache down the road.  For example, be wary if your friend always displays competitive behaviors with you, or she struggles to be genuinely happy for you when things go your way and you enjoy success.  True friends don’t behave this way.

 

For much more on Female Friendships and how to live our healthiest, happiest and longest lives by connecting with our Girlfriends, purchase my new book, THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS,  at Barnes & Noble or

on Amazon in Kindle or paperback at:

https://amzn.to/2XN2g0A

 

 

 

 

 

The Three “R’s” of HEALING

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

In my new book, The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection, just released on March 8th, I share many tools and suggestions for how to navigate the channels of female friendship and glean the most benefits for a happier, healthier and longer life.   The book shares personal stories from my own decades of treasured relationships with my girlfriends, as well as stories from clients, my research questionnaire, and relevant data from studies at our most elite institutions.  One of the topics addressed is how to heal when life deals us hardships and challenges.  It is within our female friendships that we have the opportunity to help our girlfriends find their way back from wounds, scars, and hurts that are part of our human experience.  Here are my 3 “R’s” of Healing:

*REPAIR

Verbalize and validate with a nonjudgmental ear.  Let her know she is not alone. Offer reassurance and provide her the opportunity to feel safe so that she may vent, cry, grieve, or express anger or frustration.

*RESTORATION

This step is about rebuilding and moving forward toward empowerment and strength again.  If your friend is feeling fragile, exhausted and tapped out, offer your time and resources to assist her with getting back on track.  This may involve being her “taxi” service to appointments, or enlisting the help of her other family or friends.  Sometimes just asking her how you can be the most help to her is beneficial, so she can be active in this recovery planning as well, if she is ready.

*RECOVERY

The last step is about your girlfriend actually returning to her normal state of functioning.  In this stage, autonomy and independence begin to show up again.  As emotional, mental, and physical healing occurs, female friends play a vital role.  During this period, check in with her daily or several times a week, offer her time to talk, vent, or share via phone or face-to-face.  Watch for signs of delayed stress and fatigue that may not have presented before.  Continue to show support, encouragement, compassion, and be a mentor as she moves through recovery in this healing process.

The 3 “R’s” equip us with the tools to help our female friends heal and leave the brokenness behind.  The gifts you bring to the friendship table may be just the exact gifts your girlfriend needs to begin on her journey towards healing.  Don’t ever underestimate the power you have to be someone’s Angel and their lifeline back from the stormy seas.   When you see a girlfriend in pain and in need of healing, don’t hold back and wait for the right moment to jump in.  Offer her your hand, your ear, and most importantly, your heart.

**For more ideas on how to benefit from female connections, and celebrate the gift of girlfriends to live our healthiest, happiest and longest life, go to Amazon.com and purchase THE HEALING POWER OF GIRLFRIENDS in Kindle or paperback,   https://amzn.to/2XN2g0A     Or at Barnes & Noble.

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Changed by Connections

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

My husband and I have just returned from a week with dear friends on an Alaskan cruise.  To say that we came back refreshed and renewed would be an understatement.  In looking back on this most amazing get-away, I find myself once again connecting to the wild and wonderful landscape of one of the most idyllic places on planet earth.  Clearly, it is impossible to encounter nature in this untouched wilderness and not be affected.  Sharing these adventures with our friends added a special meaning to our experiences and has enriched our memories of an epic vacation.  And, most importantly, whether we realize it or not, we come away forever changed by the spectacular beauty of a faraway land and the amazing creatures that call it home.

Something happens when we immerse ourselves in the wild.  Time ceases to exist, we are one with nature, and for a brief moment we are connected on a soul level to unimagined splendor.   As I witnessed numerous humpbacks breaching in front of our tour boat, a beautiful Orca playing in the wake from our ship, and a young Black Bear munching on his breakfast of berries and grass a few hundred yards in front of us, I was overcome with emotion.   In the grandeur of these magical moments, I felt an indescribable connection to the wonder of God’s creatures and the wilderness they inhabit.  We experienced blue glaciers “calving,” the process of giving birth to smaller icebergs that dropped into the icy waters beneath us.   There was no doubt, the unmatched power of Mother Nature was front and center.  The sound of thunder was heard as this calving happened right in front of our ship’s deck.  It is a poignant reminder we are insignificant next to earth’s physical forces.

Our connection to nature is compelling and complete, not unlike our connection in friendship.  We are drawn in, and are touched by the magical moments we enjoy together.  Our life is enriched and enhanced by special times shared with friends.  Our time in Alaska with our dear friends exemplified this completely.   The gift of friendship is indeed a gift that keeps on giving.  We come away from these human connections, changed, renewed, and restored, comparable to the effects from our nature experiences.   Our hearts are full, and priceless memories are added to life’s treasure chest.

***** Please stay tuned for my new book coming soon on the gifts of FEMALE FRIENDSHIP!

 

 

Galveston Women’s Seminar coming in October!

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Need some time by the ocean to relax after a busy summer? Want to unplug for a couple of days and enjoy some time with your gal-pals? Does walking on the beach, enjoying a massage, and connecting with your friends or making some new friends sound fun?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then don’t miss this incredible opportunity to join us in Galveston for a weekend retreat at the San Luis Resort & Spa as we learn about the importance of girlfriends and celebrate sisterhood October 23-25, 2015! “The Healing Power of Girlfriends” seminar will be presented by Deborah Olson, who specializes in women’s emotional health and is a licensed professional counselor, author, and public speaker.

We have always known that girlfriends feed our soul, but now we know the benefits of spending time with our gal-pals goes much deeper than that! In fact, research has now shown our mental, physical, and emotional health benefit in significant ways from staying in connection with our friends.
Learn more about these benefits, how to understand the dynamics of friendship within a new framework, challenges of different expectations, outcomes, friendship levels, and danger zones.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn about the healing power of girlfriends, acquire a new perspective on the dynamics of relationships, and celebrate the blessings of friendship!
We have been created by God to be in connection with others so let’s come together for an unforgettable weekend of FUN, FRIENDS, and FABULOUS FELLOWSHIP as we gather by the ocean to learn about and celebrate “sisterhood” together!

Sign up today by calling Deborah at #281-770-8923 or #713-968-9892
or emailing her at kwcounseling@earthlink.net
or dolson@galleriacounseling.com

All the details for this event may be found at Deborah’s website at:
galleriacounseling.com

If you have any questions, please call or email Deborah today!

**Deadlines for early bird discounts for the seminar are October 1st.
**Deadlines for hotel room block discounts are September 25.

**Discounts given if you sign up and pay with a friend!

 

 

Life is one big “BLINK”

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

I recently celebrated a significant birthday, you know, one of those “special” birthdays that end in zero!  There is something sort of jolting about those birthdays.  It serves to sort of wake us up and give us a reality check.   Actually, that is probably a good thing as we are prompted by the infamous “0” on the cake to start taking an inventory of our lives and ponder our current status.

We are all familiar with the old “mid-life crisis” concept and it brings forth all kinds of stereotypical images in our minds from bright red sports cars to people drastically changing their physical appearances, or in some cases connecting with their impulsive side.  But, what is really behind the scenes in these rather abrupt and possibly radical life changes?   Could it be the realization that one of the numbers on the cake is a “0” and time is fleeting fast?  Could it be that one day we look in the mirror and realize the person looking back at us is no longer “young” and there is still so much to experience in life?  Could it be that we suddenly realize we have made no progress on that Bucket List we put together many years ago?

My recent birthday prompted an opportunity for an introspective journey into the past 5 decades of my life, where I have been, and where I still want to go.   It brought forth the distinct memories of where I was at 20, a nursing student, working my way through college and trying to survive financially.  At 30, I was a busy Mom of 2 small daughters, pregnant with our son, and building our first home, trying to survive motherhood as a sleep deprived often “single” parent while my husband was working long hours establishing his new career.  At 40, I was a multi-tasking Mom of 4 kids, working on my bachelor’s degree in psychology and driving car pools every night to soccer, scouts, dance classes, and church activities.   Turning 50 found me establishing my new business and finishing my post-graduate degree internship while learning to adapt to having only our youngest son in our nearly empty nest.

And then I “blinked” and here it is, time to stare the big 6-0 in the face!   How did this happen?  It seems like yesterday I was running from my two daughters’ dance recitals to my two boys’ soccer games, and then dashing home to cook dinner, help with their hours and hours of  homework, so I could start my homework, which would often last into the the middle of the night.  It feels like we pushed the “fast-forward” button on the video and here we are— with an empty nest, our kids graduated from college and establishing their careers, 3 of them are now married, we welcomed our first grand baby earlier this year, with recent news of our second one on the way and due in the Fall!  BLINK!  It is a new chapter of life unfolding for us now, and my husband and I are looking forward to the rewards of this new phase, and more time to spend together, and enjoy our favorite leisure activities.

So, what has entering this new “60” decade equated with so far for me?   Well, it has highlighted for me, how quickly life passes and instilled a new desire to savor every pink-hued sunset, full moon popping up at the horizon, beach day gathering shells, and special celebrations with loved ones.  I have a fresh passion to get going on my long Bucket List, and the goals I have been planning to pursue both professionally and personally.  Decade birthdays are really a blessing in disguise as they force us to confront the inevitable.  They remind us again that life is precious, it is fragile and it passes far too quickly.  BLINK!!

 

Reflecting on 2014

Monday, December 15th, 2014

This time of year is marked by so many rich holiday traditions and celebrations! It is a festive and fun time filled with parties, gifts, twinkling lights, an abundance of special foods and treats, and little children with wide eyes standing in line to talk to Santa. December is a month filled to the brim with special music, shopping to find the perfect gift for a loved one and preparing for the holiday time we will be sharing with family and friends.

As we see the calendar year coming to an end, it is also the time that we pause and reflect back on what the past 12 months have meant to us.   For some, the year may have surpassed their expectations and been a year they will always remember fondly with a warm heart and smile. But, for others it may have been a year marked by struggles and difficulties, and thus a year they are eager to put behind them. Life is a chaotic mix for all of us, including great years filled with happy memories and good times, as well as those marked by negative events or sadness. It is part of the human experience to know both the moments that are filled with joy and happiness and those colored by sadness or struggles.

It is important to be able to be grateful for the good times in life, and the blessings we see all around us.  An “Attitude of Gratitude” is a healthy motto to attach to our daily lives.  Research has clearly shown the many health benefits from keeping gratitude front and center in our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.  It helps to promote wellness on many levels and increase our zest for living.

However, when times get tough and we experience challenges in life, getting to the “gratitude-thing” can be almost impossible.   But, in fact,  that is exactly the time that we need it the most!  Finding something to be grateful for in the middle of the negative event or difficult situation is very healing and helps us reframe things in a more positive light.  It also gives us hope for a better tomorrow and allows us to see that there are brighter days ahead.

So, as 2014 draws to a close and you reflect back on the past year and how it has colored your world, remember to also focus on gratitude, for the good times and the joy it has brought into your life.  And, if the year has been marked by not-such-happy-times, gratitude can help us find the bright spot and focus on the hope of better times to come.

Have a blessed holiday season as you celebrate the rich traditions with dear friends and family.

Best wishes for good health and happiness in 2015!

“Perfectly” Imperfect

Friday, October 17th, 2014

My husband and I recently took a “bucket list” trip to Sanibel Island, Florida. For many years I have been reading about this unique barrier island famous for its outstanding shelling.  This island is rather unique due to its east-west orientation (rather than north-south like most islands)and it has a reputation around the world as offering some of the best shelling on our planet. Since shelling is one of my passions, I felt these Sanibel beaches were calling my name, so off we flew to Florida to search for some special treasures that the oceans were ready to give up and share with us!

Our arrival to Sanibel just happened to be at sunset that night, and just in time to watch the brightly flaming orange sun slowly sink below the western edges of the Florida gulf coast outlined by purplish-hued waters.  I quickly snapped a picture with my cell phone as my husband and I both gasped at the raw beauty of the the multi-layered sky that went from shades of violet to pink to bright orange in an explosion of tropical splendor.  With the palm trees in the foreground to complete the frame of this “slice of heaven” photo, I quickly snapped several more pictures to make sure I had successfully captured this moment filled with awe.

As we later learned while on our island vacation, the sister islands of Sanibel and Captiva are famous for their breath-taking sunsets and thus, there is a predictable late afternoon ritual of folks flocking to the beaches to stake out their favorite perch.   Since we are major fans of sunsets, especially when they involve the ocean, my husband and I quickly became members of this sunset crowd and witnessed some spectacular “grand fireball finales”  while there.  We were amazed that each night’s sunset was unique and different from the one that had preceded it.  Some looked like a perfect painting that an artist had created from a diverse palette of colors, with brilliant hues of the rainbow exploding before our eyes.  Yet, other sunsets were marked by layers of clouds that refused to give up hiding this sought-after fiery planet and teased us with a fleeting glimpse of yellow rays as the sun quietly slipped below the horizon.  We concluded by the end of our trip that no two sunsets were alike, and although some were definitely more spectacular than others, they each were “perfect” in their own way, however imperfect they might actually appear.

Our shelling on the beaches proved to be a glorious treasure hunt each day with a search for the perfect shells.  We collected many varieties of shells in assorted shapes, sizes, and colors.  Some were unbroken and perfect with their intact edges and outlines, while others had a chip or a tiny hole that would definitely qualify it as a “broken” shell.  As the week unfolded and I examined my new treasures, I soon realized that some of the prettiest finds were those that were not perfect, the shells you would put in the broken pile.   In cleaning my new treasures after I returned home, it was obvious to me that many of my favorite new shells were not whole, were not intact, and most importantly, were not perfect.   Yet, they were “perfect” to me in all of their imperfection.  They still had value, worth, and their own story to tell.  If we only knew the thousands of miles these shells had traveled, the storms they had survived, and the waves they had been carried by, to finally be deposited at this beach at this moment in time.  It did not matter to me that some of them had arrived with scars from their journey to get here, that they were chipped, cracked, and broken.   In its own right, each and every shell was still beautiful, and was to me “perfectly” imperfect.

Much like the sunsets and the seashells, we as humans share the same imperfections.  We go through our lives being tossed about by the rough waves of life and come away from these events with some rough edges, a wound that causes brokenness, and at times a hole through our entire soul.  Imperfection is a common thread in our human condition.   It does not reflect weakness, but to the contrary, it displays our strength of character, of our struggle to survive the storms of life.  Our imperfections help to shape us and move us forward.  Embracing this imperfection is the first step to celebrating being “perfectly” imperfect in all we are and all we do.

So, our bucket list trip to Sanibel Island was worth every penny and did not disappoint us.  We came away feeling a sense of connection to the waters, the people, and the coastal nature.   We had the pleasure of watching brilliant sunsets, dining on amazing seafood, and exploring new beaches and the shell treasures they held.   What we came to understand and appreciate in a new way is that whether it was the sunsets or the seashells, we learned how to value and celebrate the “perfectly” imperfect in the world around us. And, even more importantly, we have a new awareness of how unique and valuable we all are as human beings in our own perfect imperfections.

Make An Appointment

If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment - email Ms. Olson.