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Monika Whitmore - Emotional Wellness Coach

hello@monikawhitmore.com

(816) 392-3034

Emotional Freedom

One of the most beautiful side effects of investing time and energy in our own emotional wellness is the effect it has on our relationships.

For me, it's important to recognize that the people on the other side of my relationships didn't actually change, I did. And more specifically, the way I THINK did.

I've always felt very close and connected to my children. But after fully stepping into what I refer to as "emotional freedom," I've seen those relationships truly blossom. I'm more present to their interests and needs. We talk about things on a deeper level. We connect in more profound ways.

I no longer blame them for making me feel frustrated or overwhelmed. That's on me. And how I choose to respond to any given situation. When they don't do something I ask them to do, I recognize that the thoughts I'm having about it are what's causing me to feel the way I do.

No one can MAKE YOU feel any emotion. There's real power in accepting that statement as truth. Instead of blaming someone else for how I feel, I've learned to get curious anytime I start to feel an emotion I'd consider negative. I take a close look at what I'm thinking. Crappy thoughts = crappy feeling. Change your thoughts, change your feeling.

So many of us are stuck in emotional childhood. Stuck in a place of reacting to situations from a place of fear, hurt, or anger.

On the other side of emotional childhood is emotional adulthood. Not many people are taught how to feel, so don't beat yourself up if you're someone who feels stuck in emotional childhood.

But please hear me when I say: there is a way out.

Want to explore the world of emotional adulthood? Reach out to me to schedule a free consultation. I'm happy to help guide you on this journey to freedom.

An Exciting Announcement

I am SUPER excited to announce...

I created a new Facebook group. It's called Emotional Wellness Connection.

This group is a safe place for people to discuss topics related to emotional health and wellness. It is a community focused on hope, healing, and support.

After spending half of my life (18 whole years) believing I was destined to a life plagued by symptoms of depression and anxiety, I now long to be an example of what is possible. My emotional wellness journey has been brutiful (brutally beautiful). I've released attachment to the thoughts, actions, and opinions of others. I listen to and honor my inner voice. And I absolutely LOVE working with people who ready to take these brave steps as well.

This group may be a good fit for you if:

You have suffered from or are currently suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety AND

You want to take an active role in your health and wellness journey AND

You are open to natural, holistic ways to be, grow, and evolve.

This group is NOT a good fit for you if:

You identify as a victim to your circumstances and emotions.

You prefer to complain about your situation as opposed to learn from it.

You are not open to new viewpoints.

Members must agree to be supportive and respectful. Absolutely no harassment or bullying will be tolerated. Each week, there will be themed days.

  • Motivation Monday

  • Transformation Tuesday

  • Wellness Wednesday

  • Thankful Thursday

  • Fun Friday

No matter where you are on your emotional wellness journey, if you're looking for support or to support others, YOU belong. YOU are welcome here.

Click here to learn more or to join Emotional Wellness Connection.

Dissecting Diet Culture

As I sat down to write this blog, I realized that I’ve ALMOST written on this subject five different times. The truth is, I feel torn on how to balance my feelings on the subject. 

On one hand, I despise the pressure so many people in our society feel about looking a certain way, fitting a certain mold. I don’t even need to explain this any further because the standard of beauty has been so ingrained in us from every direction, from every media outlet. You ALL know what I’m talking about.  

On the other hand, I recognize our nation is facing an obesity epidemic that impacts the physical and emotional wellbeing of millions of people.

On one hand, I know I should never judge another person’s situation because you truly never know what they’re going through. 

On the other hand, I know there are so many people who want help with issues such as emotional overeating, but feel stuck and helpless. I’ve been there and it’s scary. And I needed help to get through it.

Are you seeing my dilemma? Nevertheless, when I get quiet and listen to my inner voice, I know the answer is always rooted in love and compassion. But only 100% of the time (love you, Byron Katie)! More on that in a bit!

First, let me share my definition of diet culture as the pervasive belief that thinness is equal to worthiness, success, and beauty. Diet culture encourages you to change your body based on the lie that you’ll feel sexier, happier, more successful when you’re smaller. The fact is, if you don’t do the inner work, NOTHING you do to change your outer appearance will help. 

The only way to feel sexier, happier, and more successful is to have sexier, happier, and more successful thoughts about yourself. And that’s possible at any size. It may be hard in the beginning, but I promise, it’s possible (and one of my favorite things to work with my clients to master).

Diet culture is also FULL of judgements. Some direct, others more subtle. Here’s a seemingly harmless example. You see a friend you haven’t seen in months. You say, “Wow, you look great! You’ve lost so much weight!” Whether you realize it or not, you just made the connection that weight loss = great. The unspoken counter message is that weight gain = bad.

Think about the impact this has on children, whose developing brains are being programmed with these messages.  

Below, I’m going to share with you some of my observations about diet culture and offer some alternative ways to think about food, exercise, and overall wellbeing. 

Diet culture: Hyper-focus on food. Food controls your day. You obsess about food you’ve already eaten, what you are currently eating, and what you’ll eat next. 

Instead: Thoroughly enjoy food when you’re eating. Focus your attention on more important things when you’re not eating. If your mind wanders to food, notice it, and consciously shift your attention to what you are doing in the present moment.

Diet culture: Labels foods as either good or bad. This sets you up to make “good” choices and “bad” choices all day long. Your worth is often tied to these choices.

Instead: Think about food as fuel and nourishment for our bodies. 

Diet culture: Exercise is a tool for weight loss. It should be difficult and painful in order to be effective.

Instead: Exercise is a tool for emotional wellbeing. Find a form that you enjoy.

Diet culture: Masks judgement about other people’s bodies and life choices as concern for their health. 

Instead: Remind yourself that you can never truly know what another person is going through. Also: Other people’s bodies are none of your concern.

Diet culture: Compliments people on weight loss.

Instead: Compliment people on their beautiful smile. How they light up a room. How helpful they’ve been. 

Diet culture: Celebrates hard work, deprivation, sacrifice, and willpower.

Instead: Celebrate choices that align with your inner voice or your core values.

Diet culture: Encourages you to change your body to fit societal standards.

Instead: Focus on your emotional wellbeing, healing inner wounds, and reconnecting with your inner strength. Inner turmoil will not be resolved with a smaller body.

Has something I’ve shared here today resonated with you? If so, please let me know!

And if you’d like more information about working with me one-on-one, please email me at hello@monikawhitmore.com or call me at: (816) 392-3034. 

Emotional Wellness Manifesto

When I decided to become a life coach, I could have went a million different directions with my practice. However, it didn’t take long for me to hone in on an area that I’m extremely passionate about: emotional wellness. 

I decided I wanted to help people FEEL better, because when you FEEL better you can DO better. And I believe life is about DOING things. The more fun things, the better! 

I DON’T believe we were put on this earth to suffer.
I DO believe we were put on this earth to experience love, to grow, have fun, and evolve.

I DON’T believe we have to continue believing our childhood programming (call it hardwiring, our subconscious, but whatever you wanna call it, believe me…it’s there!).
I DO believe we can start to identify, challenge, and rewrite what we want to believe about ourselves, others, and the world.

I DON’T believe we give enough attention to maintaining emotional wellness but rather focus on trying to “fix” things once they are broken.
I DO believe in the power of mindfulness, living life with intention, and keeping a positive perspective.

I DON’T believe most human beings are as connected as they would like to believe.
I DO believe in the power of authentic human interaction, the importance of meaningful work, connection to nature, and the significance of hope in a brighter future.

I DON’T believe tolerating our lives is honoring our ourselves or a higher power.
I DO believe you are capable of more.

What is it like to work with me?

Three words: exploratory, transformative, fun.

Exploratory: When I start working with new clients, I take time to genuinely get to know them. I look at what’s working well in their lives and what’s not. I ask questions that get at the heart of their thought patterns and belief systems without dwelling on the past itself. 

I encourage my clients to get curious about the results they have been getting in their lives. Together, we explore how their thoughts have been creating their feelings which ultimately drive their actions (or inactions).

Thinking THOUGHTS that you’re inadequate? Betcha you’re FEELING inadequate. When you’re feeling inadequate I doubt you feel like DOING much of anything, because it probably won’t be good enough. RESULT: further evidence that you’re inadequate. 

I help clients break this cycle. We explore how they want to feel and work backward to find thoughts that will better serve them on their journey. We look at how they want to show up in their lives and how they will need to FEEL in order to honor that desire.

Transformative: I would never suggest I know what is best for another person. However I love working with people to uncover what they truly want in life and addressing the blocks that are keeping them from creating their best life. 

When I work with clients, we create goals and a plan of action. We address obstacles that will inevitably show up and strategize how to deal with those challenges in the moment.

We practice thinking better thoughts. We celebrate successes and plan for the future…all while intentionally finding joy in the present moment. 

Hands down, the most fulfilling part of my job is seeing clients embrace the power of their minds and using that power to create better lives for themselves.

Fun: I am committed to the belief that life is supposed to be FUN! 

I encourage my clients to look for opportunities to laugh, play, and create. I ask them to purposefully have more fun and not take life too seriously.

Even tasks they’ve deemed tedious or boring, I challenge them to consider how to make them more fun. Make it a game! Crank up some music! Find reasons to be grateful for the task at hand! It’s pretty hard to be grateful and pissed off at the same time. 

Here’s the thing. When it’s all said and done, you’re more likely to regret the things you didn’t do than the things you did do. So I say…choose fun!

Wherever you go...there you are.

There is some debate on the original author of this quote and a number of ways to interpret its meaning. Here’s my interpretation:

 

You can’t outrun your thoughts. 

 

I just got back from a lovely vacation in the mountains. It was equal parts active and relaxing. I used to think of vacations as a way to escape my regular (unfulfilling life). You may be able to relate to how those vacations went down: long, boring drives, heated debates on where to eat, what to do, when to do it. Irritability and frustration all around! I may have physically escaped my home but I definitely didn’t escape my stressed out, overwhelmed mind.

 

Fast forward to this vacation.

 

One major difference involves a shift in mindset. Instead of thinking of this trip as an escape, I chose to view it as a change in scenery, an opportunity to broaden my experiences. And that I did! I soaked up every ounce of mountain air and had as much fun as I possibly could! 

 

On this trip, I enjoyed the journey, not just the destination…meaning I had fun on the 9 hour drive (each way!). I listened to a mysterious podcast series, read a great book, listened to music, and had good conversation with my partner. These days I want to make the most of every experience, because why not?!?  Are the kids still saying YOLO these days? 

 

Honestly, there’s no need for me to run from anything or anyone (including myself) these days. And that’s a very nice feeling.

 

Want to learn how to start making these shifts in your life? Reach out and ask me how!