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Dr. Barbara Green – Her Views on the Importance of Balance, Connection, and Self-Compassion

Dr. Barbara Green is passionate about living a well-balanced life – and one that’s filled with joy and awe. She’s a frequent contributor to the blog, and today we’re taking a look through her unique lenses on life. We explore key ideas that matter to her, including the importance of building community, deepening self-compassion, and rethinking priorities as we (slowly) emerge from an unprecedented time.

Dr. Green is a licensed psychologist specializing in integrating traditional therapy with a well-rounded wellness model for optimal health and wellbeing. She co-founded the Center for Integrated Counseling and Wellness in Hingham, MA, and actively devotes her time and service to various mental health community initiatives in Boston’s south shore area.

Here are some of her thoughts:

mother and daughter sharing stories

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Dr. Barbara Green believes that through sharing our stories we weave a tapestry of connection and wisdom.

Her thoughts, “We are weaving in the tapestry’s textures; and our grandmothers, mothers, and other important women all contribute to the texture and fabric of our lives. I think of how my life is profoundly different from my mother’s. Yet, my mother taught me compassion, kindness, and the importance of service to others.

So, even though our lives are so different, those qualities are some of the most important aspects of my soul.

My mother was brilliant, strong, courageous, and resilient. She lived through Hitler’s regime and Nazi Germany, surviving a war – with horrible atrocities being committed. Yet, she was not to be deterred. And that’s how we learn. We learn from these stories.

My life is so different. But, my mother’s story is a part of me.”

You can read our full discussion on the importance of sharing our stories here.

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She believes that self-compassion can take on many forms.

Dr. Green says, “I want to dispel the myth that the act of self-compassion and self-care require a week-long retreat.

It’s about finding a moment and finding that heart space, headspace, mind space, and even physical space… in the context of 24/7 living. It’s about recognizing it, needing it, giving it value, and having the family understand its importance.

Also, it’s important to reinforce the idea that everybody needs and deserves it.

I’m a big believer in baby steps. You can do a 5-minute meditation, and if you’re really using it, it will benefit you. It will refuel you at the moment, and you feel revitalized. It’s about refueling, restoring, renewing, and revitalizing, or as I refer to them, the ‘re-s.’

Another example is breath. The power of breath is free, abundant, and always available.”

woman talking to her husband and kids

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Dr. Barbara Green believes in embracing the art of narration to illustrate self-care and self-compassion.

She says, “We can model it, but we can also narrate it and use it in a social context.

For example, if you’re in a partnered relationship, it’s important to share an understanding that this is important to you, the idea of valuing your wellbeing and Taking Five for self-care.

So, when you leave the kitchen and head upstairs to take a bath or read a book, your partner can say, ‘It looks like Mom has gone upstairs to Take Five.’ Everyone understands what that means.

If you’re a single parent, you have the opportunity to say to your child, ‘This is something that really matters. I’m going to do it because I love you, I love myself, and we love each other. This is important. So I‘m going to do this, and I want you to know how to do this for yourself.’

Narrating with thoughtful words is important because you affirm that love is driving your actions.”

Read more of Dr. Barbara Green’s thoughts on the importance of self-compassion here.

Woman rethinking priorities

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The recent lockdown offered a chance to begin to rethink our priorities. 

Dr. Green says, “As we come out of 15 months that were unlike anything we’ve ever lived through before, I like to use the term curating.

I think the idea is:

  • being very mindful, intentional, and deliberate to understand what we’ve been through,
  • taking time to reflect upon and absorb meaning and lessons,
  • and translating them as we come out of having been in lockdown to consider what’s next.

And what do we want next?

Do we want to go back to business as usual?

I find many women are saying, “No! We’ve had this time to reevaluate and reassert boundaries, and we don’t want to go back into the same routines and commitments as before.” 

We deserve to hit pause and take a moment to reflect on what matters most to us at this time, deepening our connections, sharing our wisdom, and committing to self-care and self-compassion.

Dr. Barbara Green has endless wisdom and shares it so generously. To learn more about her, visit her website here.

Ps: Are you interested in reading more powerful quotes? See ten unforgettable quotes on motherhood from Maya Angelou here.

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