What Can You Do When You Feel Overwhelmed?

When you feel overwhelmed, do you believe that it is about external circumstances? Discover why this might not be true.

I often hear from my clients that they feel overwhelmed. Generally, feeling overwhelmed means one of three things:
  • Overwhelmed by their feelings
  • Overwhelmed by time pressures
  • Overwhelmed by how to do things ‘right’

The feeling of overwhelm is generally caused by how we are treating ourselves and what we are telling ourselves.


In my Skype session with Peter, he told me at the beginning of the session that he felt overwhelmed.

“Peter, please breathe into your feeling of overwhelm and get present with it…….do you want responsibility for being the one causing this feeling?”

“Yes, but I don’t think I’m the cause. I think it’s because I have so much to do and I don’t have the time to get everything done.”

“Is this what you are telling yourself, which is causing you to feel overwhelmed?”

“Yes, but it’s true.”

“Peter, lets go a little deeper with what you are telling yourself. What are you telling yourself will happen if you don’t get everything done?”

“People will be upset with me.”

“And what does it mean if they are upset with you?”

“It means that I’m not good enough.”

“How do you think your children would feel if you said to them, “You have all this to do and not enough time to do it, and if you don’t get it done people will be upset with you, and their upset means that you are not good enough, so get to work.”

“I would never say that to my children.”

“But this is what you are telling yourself – the little boy within who is your feeling self. So of course he feels overwhelmed, just as your children would feel if you said this to them. Peter, please open to your higher self and ask what the truth is.”

“……………My higher self is saying that I always manage to get things done and that putting pressure on myself just makes it harder. And he says that I am a loving soul – and that is the basis of my worth, not whether I get things done or whether or not people are upset with me.”

“So, while it may be true that you have a lot to get done, everything else you have been telling yourself is not true – and this is what is causing your overwhelm. Ask you higher self what else you can say to yourself that will release the overwhelm.”

“My little boy inside needs to know that I will love him even if we don’t get everything done. I’m telling him that right now, and he feels so much better!”


Janna was feeling overwhelmed by her feelings of loneliness and heartbreak after her boyfriend broke up with her; she had been over-eating and eating junk to numb the feelings.

“Janna, breathe into these feelings and see if you can get totally present with them……now focus in your heart and invite into your heart compassion for these feelings – kindness, gentleness, caring. Imagine that you are sitting with your hurting child within, embracing her with deep compassion. Just keep being fully present with these very painful feelings with compassion, until you feel ready to release them to Spirit.”

It only took about five minutes before Janna felt ready to let the feelings move through her. Each time the painful feelings came up, Janna embraced them with compassion and allowed them to move through her rather than getting stuck in her. Her desire to over-eat vanished, as she no longer felt overwhelmed.

I hope the next time you feel overwhelmed, you fully embrace this feeling with compassion, so that you can either learn about what the overwhelm might be telling you, or you can manage the underlying painful feelings with deep kindness and compassion toward yourself.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

Are You Feeling Empty Inside And Want To Know Why?

Discover the cause of inner emptiness and what you need to do to feel full inside.

For many people, inner emptiness is a big problem. They believe that they can fill their emptiness from the outside, which is a false belief.

The cause of inner emptiness is a lack of a loving connection with your inner child – your essence, your true Self, your Being, which then results in an inability to share love with others. Loving yourself and sharing your love with others is what creates fullness.

When you stay focused in your head, rather than being in your body with your feelings, and when you turn to various addictions such as substance, process, self-judgment, and love addiction, you are abandoning your feelings – abandoning your inner child – which creates emptiness. You might then turn to the very same self-abandoning actions in an attempt to avoid your emptiness – a vicious circle.

Rebecca asks:

“Hi Margaret. I eat loads of junk food when I am feeling empty. I try to dialog with my inner child but I can’t get the answer to why I overeat. I know she needs to feel love from me but how can I give her this love? Is sitting there and feeling my feelings an act of self-love?

Rebecca, you have actually answered your own questions. You are overeating because you feel empty, and you feel empty because of the lack of inner love resulting from this self-abandonment. You are asking an important question, “… how can I give her this love? Is sitting there and feeling my feelings an act of self-love?”

To get the answer, imagine that you are sitting with an actual child who is feeling badly. If you just sat there with her, would she feel loved by you? Likely not. To feel loved, she would need you to hold her with much kindness, caring and compassion – which comes through you when you are open to learning with your spiritual Guidance. She would need you to be open to learning about why she is feeling badly – even if you are the cause of her upset.

Your inner child needs the same thing. She needs for you to be open to learning with her about how you are abandoning yourself, which results in feeling empty. She also needs you to be open to learning with your Guidance, so you can receive love in your heart and learn about what would be loving to you. In other words, if you consistently practice Inner Bonding, you can heal your emptiness and your resulting overeating.

Sarah asks:

“Is it possible to avoid feeling a bit emptier and less confident when someone rejects you in an ‘unbeautiful’ way? When the guy that I was dating realized I am meant for something serious but not just having fun, he cut me off his life in a rude and immature way.”

Yes, Sarah, it is possible. When someone rejects you in a rude way, it will always feel hurtful in your heart. We will always feel some heartache when others are unloving. But if you feel emptier and less confident, it means that you were making him responsible for your fullness and confidence – you were giving your inner child away to him. You might want to explore what you were making him responsible for, regarding your wellbeing.

Sandy asks:

“In my moments, I feel full but if I stray away from the present then I fall into the empty. It’s a daily practice in staying full, yes?”

Yes! In fact, it’s more than a daily practice – it’s a moment-by-moment practice. Step One of Inner Bonding is about staying present in your body moment-by-moment.

Sandy, you are saying something very important here. You feel full when you are in the present moment! This is a key to feeling full. It’s only when we are in the present moment that we can feel the love-that-is-God. When we are focused in a negative way on the past or future, which is what our ego wounded self does to control, we will always feel empty.

The more we practice being present with love in this moment, and then sharing our love with others, the fuller we feel!

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

Are You The Person Your Dog Thinks You Really Are?

Your pet knows the truth of who you are!

Many of us know how unconditionally loving most dogs naturally are – unless they have been abused. Even if you don’t have a dog, you’ve likely seen the joy they express when their person comes home after being gone for even a few minutes.

If you have a dog or another pet who loves you, what would your pet say about you if he or she could talk? Take a moment to imagine what your pet would say.

Would he or she say?

  • You’re the best – all loving, all wise. You love unconditionally. I adore you!
  • You are omnipotent. You are God to me.
  • Your presence makes me so happy.
  • You’re my wonderful person and I will never leave you.
  • I love just being next to you. You’re warm and cuddly.
  • You’re trustworthy.
  • You’re compassionate, kind and caring.
  • I love it when you play with me! You’re fun!
  • Your petting and scratching feel so wonderful to me.
  • I’m lonely when you are not here.
  • I feel safe with you, and I always want to do whatever I can to keep you safe.
  • You are so important that I would risk my life for you.
  • Other______________________________________

When your pet looks at you with adoring eyes, or wags his tail and wiggles with joy, or snuggles next to you on the couch or bed, he is loving you because he believes you are deserving of love.

Do you see yourself this way? Do you see yourself as the person your pet thinks you are?

Your pet has the ability to bypass your wounded self and to see who you are in your essence. Even when you lose your temper, or ignore her or forget to feed her on time, she will keep on loving you because she is connected with your essence.

Are you connected with your essence? Do you own the qualities your pet sees in you, or do you define yourself by your wounded self?

Look at the list of what your pet would say about you. Is there anything that is not true about you when you are connected with your essence and your Guidance?

Obviously, little on the above list is true when you are in your wounded self, but you are not your wounded self!

I hope you don’t discount what your pet sees in you. I hope you don’t tell yourself that your pet is just a dumb animal and doesn’t know what a loser you are. That would be very sad.

Most animals are highly sensitive. Do you know that dogs can smell cancer in a person? You might want to see this video: about a dog who likely saved his person’s life by smelling breast cancer, even though her mammogram was negative.

How about using what your pet thinks of you as a role model for how to be a loving person in the world? What if you actually owned up to and became the person your pet thinks you are?

Your inner child will very much appreciate it if you use what your pet thinks you are as a role model for how to treat yourself and others. And the more you pattern your behavior after what your pet sees in you, the more natural it will feel to you, because you are, in your essence, who your pet thinks you are.

While your wounded self might think of you as a fraud, there is no way that your true Self, your Divine essence is a fraud. How can it be? It is created in the image of God, which is who your pet thinks you are – and your pet knows!

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

How To Protect And Support Your Personal Power

Are there people in your life and wounded parts of yourself who want to limit you from being in your personal power?

How many of you had the experience growing up of being told in various ways to not claim your personal power and instead limit yourselves from being all you can be?

Do you remember the cartoon movie “The Incredibles”? This older movie is a wonderful metaphor for this. In The Incredibles, the superheroes – those with extraordinary powers – are restricted from using their powers.

When I was growing up, I was not supported in claiming my personal power (not to be confused with power over others) and being all I could be. “Boys don’t like smart girls,” “People will be jealous of you.” I learned to hide good grades and talents for fear others would be threatened. If I wanted to “fit in,” I needed to be like everyone else. Being extraordinary and personally powerful was considered “weird.”

In the movie, the superheroes are finally allowed to use their powers because they are needed to save the planet. This, too, is a metaphor. We are each extraordinary in our own ways, and this planet needs each of us to fully express our gifts and talents – fully claim our personal power. We need extraordinary people to step up to the plate to guide us away from fear, greed and manipulation and into caring, compassion and personal responsibility. We become role models when we fully claim our personal power. Fortunately, many more young people today are encouraged to be all they can be.

At the end of the movie, a horrible monster arises from the earth, saying something like, “We are the underminers. We undermine happiness, peace and joy. We are always beneath you.”

Who Are The Underminers In Your Life?

Underminers are both within and without.

Outer underminers are those people who do not have your highest good at heart. They are the people who want to use you, blame you, manipulate and control you and try to limit you. They are the people who are threatened by you being all you can be – threatened by your personal power. They are the people who want you to care-take them rather than take responsibility for yourself. These people can be family, friends or co-workers – anyone in your life who does not support you in being all you can be. It is sad and lonely when the people who say they care about you, instead do all they can to control and limit you.

However, as adults it is our inner underminer who causes us the most damage. The inner underminer is the wounded self who holds our limiting beliefs – the lies we learned about ourselves, others and God. This underminer shouts lies to us that cause our fears and anxieties and keep us from fully manifesting our personal power and being all that we are.

For example, Paul is a very competent man, yet every time he gets a new idea of something he wants to do with his work and his life, his wounded self says, “You can’t do it. You will fail.” His inner underminer keeps him immobilized and stuck in the illusion of safety.

Julia is a talented writer, yet has never submitted her writing for publication. Whenever she starts to move toward submitting her writing, her wounded self shouts, “No one will listen to you. No one wants to read what you write.”

For a long time, Joanna has wanted to leave her job and go back to school for further training. Yet whenever she contemplates this, her wounded self sneaks in with the lie that stops her every time: “If you leave your job, you will never find another one. God will not support you in doing what you want to do.”

Robert is unhappy in his relationship. His girlfriend, Marian, just wants to be taken care of. She is often very angry with Robert when he wants to spend time with friends or even time alone, and does not support him in what brings him joy. She is an underminer, yet it is his inner underminer that keeps him from leaving. “You will end up alone and be more miserable than you are now.”

Suzanne was the “smart one” in her family, while her sister was the “pretty one.” Her parents undermined her by telling her over and over that she needed to learn to take care of herself because no man would want her. Now, a successful and attractive woman, Suzanne’s underminer constantly tells her, “You will always be alone. You are not meant to have a relationship.” Because of her underminer, Suzanne approaches relationships with a chip on her shoulder, creating the rejection she is hoping to avoid.

“You can’t.” “You will fail.” “You are inadequate.” “Who do you think you are?” “You will end up alone.” “You are ugly.” “You are alone – God does not exist.” “Spirit will not support you because you are not good enough.”

The underminer – your wounded self, is devoted to undermining your happiness, peace and joy and personal power because it believes this is what keeps you safe. Why not be a superhero, practice Inner Bonding, learn to stop listening to the underminer and start loving yourself? This planet needs you to claim your personal power.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

Are You Passionate About Your Life?

Do you find that nothing really excites you or holds much meaning for you? Does your life lack aliveness, passion and purpose?

Vera sought out counseling with me because her doctor advised her to discover the emotional causes of her chronic fatigue. Vera, a successful stockbroker, was in a loving 18-year marriage. On the surface, everything in her life was fine. She had enough money, friends and a good relationship with her husband. Yet Vera awoke each morning battling fatigue and depression. She didn’t want to get out of bed because nothing felt meaningful to her.

David sought my help because of chronic feelings of inner emptiness. David is very successful in his manufacturing business, has a good marriage and two adult children. Like Vera, everything seemed fine. Yet the feelings of inner emptiness drove David to overeat, overspend and indulge in porn on the Internet. Like Vera, nothing felt meaningful to him.

While both Vera and David were successful in their careers, neither loved their work. They worked to make money, but their work held little meaning for them. Yet when they looked inside, neither could discover what was meaningful for them. Both reported that they had never experienced a sense of meaningfulness in their adult lives, and that the emptiness and depression had been with them since adolescence.

As I worked with each of them, it became evident that they had made a decision early in their lives to shut down their feelings to avoid the deep pain of unbearable loneliness and heartbreak. Vera shut down because she was unable to tolerate the loneliness of her mother’s behavior toward her. Her mother would say she loved Vera, but Vera never felt her love. Instead, she felt her mother energetically pulling at her, trying to suck the life out of her. As a very sensitive child, Vera could not tolerate this confusing experience, so she put her feelings in a box and decided to live from her head instead of her heart.

David, also a very sensitive child, shut down because he was unable to tolerate the loneliness of being with two emotionally unavailable empty parents, and the heartbreak of rejection from peers.

As adults, both Vera and David were still shut down to their feelings. They were still afraid of feeling the pain of loneliness and heartbreak – feelings that are actually everyday facts of life. Loneliness is present when your heart is closed or another’s heart is closed, or when there is no one with whom to share love. Loneliness is the primary feeling when we want to connect with another and the other is unavailable. Heartbreak can occur when others who are important to you are unloving to you. If you were completely open to your feelings, you would likely feel moments of loneliness and heartbreak or heartache throughout the day. However, many people shut themselves off from these feelings, completely unaware of them. Instead, the moment there is a twinge of emotional pain, they turn to various addictions and addictive behaviors, such as substances, activities, rumination, shame and blame. The problem with this is that when we shut out pain, we also shut out joy and a passionate sense of meaning and purpose.

Pain and joy are in the same place in the heart. Neither Vera nor David could discover what had meaning for them and what would bring them joy while keeping a lid on their feelings. The very act of keeping their hearts closed to their feelings was creating their depression and inner emptiness.

Imagine that your feelings are like a child within you. If you ignore this child – by ignoring your feelings – he or she feels abandoned. Our refusal to be in Step One of Inner Bonding – to feel and take responsibility for our own pain – is an inner abandonment and results in anxiety, depression and inner emptiness.

It is your child within – your feeling self – that has the blueprint for what has meaning for you, for your passion and purpose. Each of us comes to this life with a deep purpose to express, and when we don’t express it, we end up feeling empty and depressed. Yet we cannot discover our purpose when we keep a lid on our feelings.

Learning to manage the pain of loneliness and heartbreak is essential to discovering your passion and purpose. Inner Bonding is a powerful process for learning to manage these feelings.

There is no way of managing loneliness and heartbreak without a deep and personal connection to a spiritual source of love and wisdom. We cannot manage these feelings from our mind alone.

You will find deep meaning in your life when you decide to practice Inner Bonding – opening to and learning from your feelings of loneliness and heartbreak, rather than continuing to shut them down. And you will open to these feelings only when you do not feel alone inside – when you begin experiencing the love and wisdom of your spiritual Guidance. Opening to Divine Love and opening to your feelings will bring you the fullness, joy, passion and purpose that are the yearnings of your soul.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.

When Is The Right Time To End A Relationship?

Do you feel ready to leave your relationship but wonder whether or not this is the right time to call it quits?

Many of my clients struggle with knowing when it’s the right time to end a relationship.

Mary asked me:

“I married my first boyfriend 36 years ago and I don’t think I was ever in love or even knew what love meant. I believe now that I ‘escaped’ a codependent relationship with my parents by quitting school and following a seemingly confident young man who made me feel special. He says he wants to grow, but he also has a lot of passive and overt anger towards me now. I feel like I don’t have the strength to stand up for my inner child when I have so many years of putting his feelings ahead of mine. I am so tired and feel his insecurities have depleted me. I read “Healing your Aloneness” and want to use my pain for learning, not avoid it as I have in the past… but when is it ok to just say, “This is not helping either of us” and call it quits?

Of course it’s always “okay” to call it quits if that is what you want. No one can tell you whether or not it’s right for you. But – and this is a big ‘but’ – if you are in a situation like Mary’s, you might want to do your own healing before ending the relationship.

The clue to the fact that Mary isn’t ready to leave this relationship is this: “I feel like I don’t have the strength to stand up for my inner child when I have so many years of putting his feelings ahead of mine. I am so tired and feel his insecurities have depleted me.”

Caretaking her husband’s feelings while abandoning her own is Mary’s contribution to this codependent system. If Mary leaves now, she will take her part of the dysfunctional system with her, and likely create a similar system in her next relationship – unless she just wants to be alone for the rest of her life.

I would suggest to Mary that she utilize her current relationship to practice loving herself rather than caretaking her husband. It’s easy for Mary to believe that it’s her husband’s insecurities that have depleted her, but in fact it’s her own insecurities and self-abandonment that have depleted her. If Mary weren’t insecure, then she wouldn’t have been trying to control her husband by putting his feelings ahead of hers. We will always feel tired and depleted when we give ourselves up and try to have control over getting the other person’s love or approval, or control over avoiding disapproval. Mary is very aware of her husband’s overt and passive anger at her, and she is aware that she has been putting his feelings before hers, but she doesn’t seem to be aware that it’s this self-abandonment that’s causing her depletion.

Mary needs to learn to make herself feel special rather than relying on her husband or others for this.

Unless there is physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse or severe addictions, I suggest that people stay in a relationship until they have shifted their end of the relationship system from controlling to loving themselves. As long as you are trying to control your partner with anger, explanations, defensiveness, compliance, resistance or withdrawal, you have much healing to do. As long as you are avoiding responsibility for your feelings with your addictions to substances or to processes such as anger or compliance, you have much healing to do. Leaving the relationship only delays this healing, because the issues get triggered within the relationship – not when you are alone.

Unless you want to leave and be alone the rest of your life, you gain no learning and growth by ending the relationship without doing your own inner work. However, it might be helpful to take a break from the relationship to begin to break the old patterns and deepen your Inner Bonding practice. Sometimes, time alone can do wonders!

If, after practicing Inner Bonding and learning to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself, you still don’t want to be with your partner, then it’s likely time to call it quits.

Find out how SELFQUEST® unleashes the true power and consciousness within you to help you realize the life changes you desire and deserve. The power to find yourself, heal yourself and love yourself through the transformational self-healing practice of Inner Bonding.