Tag Archive: compassion


I’m on a compassion mission…will you join me? Let’s open our hearts to one another and spread some compassion this holiday season! Are you with me?

Will you consider sharing this video on compassion and asking others to share too, please? Together we can help heal the world with compassion.

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

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Get ready for the holidays! Join me Thursday, December 3, 2015, from 6:30pm- 8:00pm,  at Intuitive Psychology, PLC in Scottsdale, AZ.

Holidays are notorious for bringing difficult family dynamics to the forefront, testing our patience and our tolerance. Face the holidays ready for anything with this course on compassion…Ancient wisdom as well as current research tells us that compassion has the ability to heal our emotional wounds. Having compassion for those we love is typically not too hard. Having compassion in difficult situations and with ourselves can be a little trickier. In this 90 minute workshop learn how to successfully practice compassion even during the toughest of circumstances…

To find out more and register:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/be-a-compassion-ninja-tickets-…

Don’t delay…Register closes November 30th…

I’d love to see you there!

Be happy and well
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

Story Sari TedX
I had the honor of being included in TedX Fountain Hills this week, along with 19 other inspirational and amazing speakers. I will tell you, it was a tremendous experience. I am not given to sharing personal stories on this blog, but inspired by the Ted way of doing things, I feel compelled to share a bit of my story about this incredible learning experience with you…

The topic of the TedX Fountain Hills conference was Community. I immediately knew, upon hearing this, that I wanted to talk about creating compassionate communities. As I mentioned in my talk, our communities have grown so exponentially, that we are on information overload and our ability to be compassionate is eroding in response. Our brains can only handle so much before we start to short-circuit with the enormous flow of information, often negative, that is coming at us. I wanted to help break that down…help make things seem manageable for us again. I focused on how we can be compassionate in our every day lives, just by taking charge of saying kind words and thinking kind thoughts every day. By remembering not to take things too personally. By honoring the differences in ourselves and others. By knowing that we are the stories we tell our selves, and that we can change our stories. By realizing that our compassion ignites compassion in others. By remembering that compassion is a choice that is always available to us.

I had a blast putting the talk together. I wrote and I wrote…and then I wrote some more. Unfortunately, then I remembered that I had an 18 minute time constraint! So then I edited and edited…and then I edited some more! Right up until the morning of the talk, I practiced, I rehearsed, I felt in my heart what I wanted to share, and I set my intention to connect with compassion and clarity to the audience.

But that’s only part of the story I really want to share with you. I want to share with you what putting this talk together did for me… In researching, writing, and thinking about compassion, I began to notice the places in my life where I lacked compassion. It was like putting a giant spot-light on my choices. It reminded me on a daily basis that compassion is a choice. It helped me remember that when I approached a situation where I might normally get irritated, that I had the choice to respond compassionately to the person in front of me. Some days I did better at making compassionate choices than others, but almost every day since starting to write my talk I have had the heightened awareness that compassion is a choice.

..and that’s not all. Not only was I aware of my compassionate behavior towards others. I began to become aware of how compassionately, or sadly, uncompassionately I treated myself. When you are faced with the exciting task of taking on a dream, in this case it was my dream to give a Ted talk, it’s amazing how many once hidden self-sabotoging thoughts can all of a sudden rise to the surface. The good news is, when they rise to the surface, you can see them and skim them off, right?? Ha! Luckily, as a psychologist, I am used to the interesting task of both simultaneously experiencing an emotion while observing myself experience the emotion. It’s an interesting trick…but one that is really helpful for learning and growth…and also helps you keep from getting too attached to the emotion. I was really curious about what was happening to me as I was slowly being overtaken by fear. I discovered that I had this tendency to stand right in my own way with my fear and self-limiting thoughts. “What makes you think you have something new to say?” “What makes you special enough to do this?” “What if you get up there and look like a fool?” …and then I began to employ one of my most powerful coping strategies…sharing and exposing my fears to my friends. Not so they could pump me up, but so they could help me have the strength, courage and wisdom to learn how to manage and talk back to these self-defeating thoughts. Each day I worked on being aware of the fear voice inside me and talking back to it with simple compassion and encouragement. “Everybody has a worthy voice.” “This is something you love to talk and teach about.” “If you just let yourself enjoy the experience you will be fine.” “Of course this is something you can do.” I will tell you, it took an amazing amount of effort. It even helped me increase compassion for my friends, family and patients who have all become overwhelmed by the dark voice inside of them from time to time.

Why did I feel compelled to share this all with you? Because I realized, yet again, that we are all in this together. What I tell my patients every day is true. It is not until you go through the pain and the struggle and the self doubt that you can grow and learn and prosper. We don’t get to the good stuff without walking through the tough stuff first. Everybody has to do this from time to time…many times over…none of us our immune. I will tell you, when I got to the other side of it…when I walked off of that stage…I felt exhilarated. It hadn’t gone perfectly…there was a slide mess up and a little word bobble…but none of that mattered. I had gotten up there and said what I wanted to say with a smile in my heart and on my face. I was present for every moment of it. I had faced my fearful inner voice and I had triumphed. The voice inside me was excitedly shouting, “You did it!”

We are the stories we tell ourselves, my friends. What story are you telling yourself today? Sometimes you just have to let yourself acknowledge and hear and learn from the angry or scary words before you can turn them around to compassionate words for others or for yourself. Ultimately, we all need to remember…compassion is a choice that is ALWAYS available to us…and all we have to do…is remember to choose it…

Take a look and see what you think…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

beautiful sun
Time to Spring into action with the “Power of Positivity” series

Spring is a time of renewal, restoration and new growth. What a wonderful time of year to join Dr. Roth-Roemer at this interactive springtime workshop series, geared toward helping you discover YOU and the power of positivity! In February, learn about the healing aspects of compassion and gratitude. In March, gain the tools you need to rewire your brain for happiness. In April learn how to pay attention to your wonderful intuition. In May move happily towards your goals with intention. Attend them individually or call to find out about getting a series discount for pre-purchasing 3 or 4 workshops. 480-261-4061

This is a cost effective way to get the psychological support that you need during these changing times, while also giving yourself a chance to make new connections.

The Healing Power
of Compassion and Gratitude
Thursday, February 26 , 2015
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Ancient wisdom as well as current research tells us that there is not much in this world that compassion and gratitude cannot heal. In this 90 minute workshop we will learn how to practice compassion and gratitude on a regular basis so that we can strengthen and increase our ability to use these healing skills whenever we need them most.

Sign up securely for this workshop:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-healing-power-of-compassion-and-gratitude-tickets-15055959781

 

Choosing Happiness:
rewiring your brain with positivity
Thursday, March 19, 2015
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Life can get pretty overwhelming at times with deadlines at work, financial stressors, family tension, health issues and more… Somewhere along the way we may lose focus on what makes us happy, which throws off our mind, body, spirit balance. Isn’t it about time to bring back the balance and remember that it is possible to be happy even when things are difficult?

Sign up for this workshop securely:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/choosing-happiness-rewiring-your-brain-for-positivity-tickets-15538602378

 

Intuition:
Listening to your own answers
Thursday, April 23, 2015 
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Sometimes we don’t know where to turn when we need solutions to problems – we look to friends, family and professionals, but forget to ask the person who knows us best. Ourselves. This workshop will show you how to navigate through the mysteries of using your intuition to find your own answers. Come discover effective techniques and practical skills for learning to listen more clearly to your intuition.

Sign up for this workshop securely:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intuition-listening-to-your-own-answers-tickets-11386275657

Setting Your Intention,
fulfilling your goals
Thursday, May 28, 2015
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Intentions help us create purposeful maps to guide us in the direction we would like to go on our life path. They are the stepping stones of our lives. Without them we are in danger of becoming lost. In this 90 minute workshop we will discuss strategies for purposefully identifying and following our intentions so that we may successfully reach our goals.

Sign up for this workshop securely:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/setting-your-intention-fulfilling-your-goals-tickets-15636878324

 
Space is limited to allow for interactive discussion and a comfortable learning environment.

Workshops are $45 per person via telephone and online registration, prepaid by credit card (discounts for students and for accompanying family members and significant others living in the same household are available). To find out more about purchasing a three or four workshop series discount, please call the office. All sales are final. Please call (480) 261-4061 to reserve your spot.

I hope you can join me!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

candle-light-heartOur hearts are broken at the relentless news of inhumanity these days…most recently the news of over 100 school children in Pakistan being ruthlessly massacred. How are we to swallow this devastating news? How do we not fall under the weight of the despair it causes? Many of us are left wondering what has become of our humanity. But then we remember, the extremists and the violence do not define us. We are not helpless. These times call on you to rise to your highest self…check on an elderly neighbor, bring soup to a sick friend, smile at a stranger, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or anything that kindles your true compassionate nature. We can remind ourselves that extremists do not define the broader cultures of the perpetrators. We can speak out against extremism and offer our voices and our actions of compassion and caring for the troubled, but beautiful, world we live in. Together, we can open our hearts even wider to shine a beautiful light that helps to brighten the darkness we may feel, and also helps us to see how we are all connected. We are not lost…we are together in this.

May we be filled with loving kindness
May we be healthy and well
May we be peaceful and at ease
May we be happy

Let your intuition be your guide,
Sari Roth-Roemer

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Tough week, tough year, tough decade, tough century, tough world history for human rights. In our world today we are constantly faced with these injustices streaming into our lives from afar, as well as face-to-face. It can be overwhelming. It can feel defeating. It can make us fearful. It can make us very angry. What is the answer? Your voice. Speak out. Let it be heard. But how to be heard? We do not hear the words of people who speak out in rage and hatred. We only hear their rage and hatred, and not their message…which often fuels our own rage and anger. To be heard, I’m convinced we need to figure out a way to speak out from a place of compassion…so that we may fuel others’ compassion. Compassion? How can we be compassionate when we are facing injustice and hatred? We must. Because if we respond in kind to anger and hate, we will simply join it, become part of it, and it will grow. When we face it with determination to educate, to speak calmly and clearly, and to understand that it almost always emanates from a place of fear, we can disarm it with compassion. And when we do that, it is the compassion that will grow and not the hate. We will be strengthened by our compassion, rather than weakened by hate. I am not saying that this is an easy task. I am sure that there will be many that disagree with me. That’s OK. My opinion is not the only correct way to think, it is a way that works for me. I am not trying to push my agenda on anyone else, I just want to share it. I put it out there for others to consider and debate with me, so that they can form their own opinions. You see where I am going with this, right?

We must be cautious in thinking that everyone must agree with our point of view. We need to be careful about arrogantly asserting that our way is the only right way to think, feel, or act, even though we may feel that way down to our core. If we do not keep this in mind, we are doomed. Doomed to endless argument and struggle. When we hold onto the fact that we have a right and a duty to speak out about our perspective on an injustice that is occurring, but that we must educate and debate rather than demand and struggle, we will be able to move forward. When we focus on what we can do to practically change our world (write a blog, contact people in power, join a grassroots group, create a grassroots group) we become empowered. When we sit back and rail at the world in anger and disgust, we are victimized. Grab onto your power. Speak your own truth. Respond with compassion, and the hate you speak out against will shrink in comparison.

Rabbi Stephen Kahn, so eloquently wrote in a recent response to a hate filled speech, “We must create communities of compassion, justice and grace for each other.” Let’s do that. Let’s come together in compassion in response to injustice. Let’s create a better world by practicing compassion together, shall we?

May we all be filled with loving kindness
May we all be healthy and well
May we all be peaceful and at ease
May we all be happy

Let your intuition (and compassion) be your guide,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Sari Roth-Roemer’s Compassion Meditation: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoFpJCdJfyw

Rabbi Stephen Kahn’s blog:

http://ongoingrevelations.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/a-response-to-pastor-steven-anderson-by-rabbi-stephen-kahn/

 

 

Happy_Ninja__Teddy_Bear_by_KamiNeko98The holiday season is here. For many of us it is a time of love and laughter with friends and family…and for some it is a time to face difficult family dynamics without losing our cool…or our minds. This is the season when people come into my office asking how to handle this mother-in-law, this uncle, this sister-in-law, and that brother. And it is the time when I remind these searching souls to look at this as a wonderful opportunity to practice compassion. I encourage each of them to become a compassion ninja. Ever at the ready to take a breath, not take the hurtful word personally, to step aside from the struggle, and to instead find the compassion in their hearts for the person they are having difficulty with. Let’s be clear, I am not saying that we don’t have a right to be annoyed at rude and unkind comments. What I am saying is that we have the ability to choose our response to any circumstance…and if we can choose a response that serves us best, we are the better for it. When we are able to look beyond the hurtful words, and understand that quite often there is simply human hurt and upset that really has nothing at all to do with us lurking beneath those words, we may find the compassion we need to let the words roll off our shoulders, allowing us to step aside from conflict and keeping our holidays peaceful.

The Compassion Ninja code:

  1. I set my compass for compassion – Before you head out to your holiday gathering, take a few moments to sit quietly and set your intention for the day. Will you carry compassion in your heart? Will you remain nonreactive? Will you focus on the love in the room? Whatever you choose is fine, just set your compass in that direction before you go.
  2. I stay calm and nonreactive – Remind yourself that your response is your choice. Don’t be goaded into joining arguments you don’t want to join…the choice is always yours. Simply saying “I love you too much to argue,” or smiling and changing the topic can slide you past an argument that you just don’t need to have.
  3. I Breathe – Before, during and after the party. Breathing gives us a chance to pause. It starts a physiologic process that helps keep us calm and focused.
  4. I remember that I am not alone – Remind yourself that you are part of the human race…at this very moment you are a member of a larger group of compassion ninjas ready to face misbehaved family members! You are not being punished, merely having a fully human experience.
  5. I hold onto my joy – Don’t take anything too seriously. Have fun and enjoy your holiday! When we let ourselves get too worked up in anticipation of upset, upset is just what we will find. So focus on what you love and enjoy about your family and friends…and love and laughter is what you will find.
  6. I practice compassion – Try starting your day with a simple, brief compassion meditation. The more you practice, the more the neural networks in your brain change, allowing you a quicker, easier, more automatic compassionate outlook…kinda like going to the brain gym!
    Take a look at this brief 7 minute guided meditation I made for you on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoFpJCdJfyw

Here’s hoping your holiday season is filled with the light of compassion and loving kindness.

Let your intuition be your guide,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

To find out more about my upcoming events at Intuitive Psychology, PLC including the next December 18th workshop on Learning to Set Healthy Boundaries…the secret to happiness, take a look at this link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/learning-to-set-healthy-boundariesthe-secret-to-happiness-tickets-13998029483

 

 

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion…If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” -Dalai Lama

The holidays are here. When we take the time to cultivate compassion, we improve ourselves, our relationships and our world…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

photo-10Today was a day of reflection. It was an inspiring day of connection, family, friends, and thoughts about peace in an increasingly tumultuous and violent world. It is clear that the task at hand can not be accomplished alone. It is clear that it will take a combined effort of friendship and community. What if we all take a pledge to purposefully be kinder to ourselves and others, to let go and forgive more readily, to have more compassion when faced with dissent, and to think about how we can bring peace to our little portion of the world through the actions that we take with one another? The task of peace is certainly a lofty one. It can seem overwhelming and impossible, especially with the grand scale of hatred and intolerance that we are witnessing across the globe on a daily basis. But, in our own small way, can we each make an effort to make the world a kinder, more peaceful place to live? Can we speak out against hatred and agree to work on being accepting of the differences among us? Because if we don’t, who will? And if we do, what a difference could we make?

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” -Hillel the Elder

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

 

compassionThere’s a FaceBook page I’ve been following daily called “The Optimism Revolution.” Have you seen it? It is really wonderful. Daily inspiring quotes that are less cliché and more thoughtful than most. Today the one he posted was particularly good. It’s the photograph you see here.  It reminds us all that what we see is not always what we get. There are things going on in the background of every person’s life that we may not be aware of. Consider that what a person is  saying or doing in the moment may have very little or even nothing at all to do with us, even though it may be directed at us. That can be hard, for sure. The trick is to be aware that this is occurring underneath the surface of everyone we meet. It is on that level that we can connect with one another as compassionate imperfect humans. With practiced awareness we can learn to quickly let go of the automatic judgments we form and recognize those opinions simply as thoughts that can be transformed, rather than immutable facts. We can give the benefit of the doubt to another, if we let ourselves. What a relief it is to know that we can let go of the burden of judgment and allow ourselves to view our world through the glasses of kindness and compassion whenever we choose. I mean, don’t you feel better when you’re filled with compassion rather than filled with annoyance? The choice about how we respond emotionally, if we give ourselves a moment or two to think about it, is always ours. We can let go of the thought patterns that are keeping us in our reactive upset and choose to move our hearts and our minds towards compassion. You would certainly hope someone else would do it for you on a bad day, wouldn’t you?

Consider compassion today, will you?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer, Ph.D.

P.S. I think you may need to follow “The Optimism Revolution”  (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Optimism-Revolution/155904444501553) on FaceBook, don’t you? It brightens my day on a regular basis…hopefully it will do the same for you. And of course, the more people who have brighter days, the brighter our world will be.

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