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What is Toxic Positivity?

Hello! Join me this month as I talk about toxic positivity and how to practice loving yourself no matter what.

To be clear, our brain does have a negativity bias and we do need to actively seek out the positive and practice gratitude…

Toxic positivity is something else entirely.

If we practice only seeking the positive and feel good experiences we risk burying the shadowy parts that make us human. The fear, pain and heartache. And when buried, these parts don’t disappear or live in the past, they fester and breed and show up in our relationships whether we want them to or not.

This is the message I hope you can hear:

No matter what you’re struggling with in your life, no matter what pattern you just can’t seem to change, or what feeling keeps coming up or what memory you can’t seem to let go of quite yet…

You’re not broken.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

You’re just a human, having human experiences.

And yes you can change but the answer is not found in focusing only on what feels ‘good’ and avoiding what’s uncomfortable.

The answer comes and change happens when we turn to face the discomfort, walk through the fire, and make it through to the other side, transformed.

This is the practice of loving yourself no matter what.

I hope you enjoy the video. I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic. Send me a message at kim@kimburris.com or head on over to Instagram to continue the conversation.

PS. If you feel moved or inspired by this talk please share with your friends on social media. I really appreciate you! ♡ ♡ ♡

What is Toxic Positivity? With Kim Burris, Holistic Psychotherapist.

The Transcript:

What is Toxic Positivity?

Hey guys, it’s Kim Burris. I wanted to talk to you guys today about this concept of toxic positivity.

I know for a lot of us it might sound weird to think that there could be anything wrong with this idea of being positive…but hear me out on this one.

Beware of Good Vibes Only.

So, we can really see where there’s this cycle of toxic positivity…were we can be positive, positive, positive, only look on the positive! Good Vibes only! Only good stuff here! And then it begs the question of:

What happens when the other stuff comes up? The other side of being human… What happens when our suffering comes to the surface? What happens for you when sadness arrives?

Welcoming the Whole Person.

So, obviously there’s going to be a time and a place for putting your best foot forward, putting a smile on your face and moving through your day.

I’m not talking about putting aside a cultivation of positivity, but if we look at this idea of welcoming our whole person, welcoming who we are, and loving who we are…we have the opportunity… the invitation is to love all the parts of our self.

Where positivity can become something that’s not helpful is when you only attend to and when you’re only loving what you see and what a lot of our culture sees is something that’s positive.

So… feeling good. It’s only okay to feel good, and it’s only okay to cultivate feeling good and it’s only okay to focus on feeling good.

Make Way for the Shadow.

We can get into a lot of trouble with this, because the parts of us that are sad, and the parts of us that grieve, and the parts of us that are hurting and need our love and care and attention are very well alive in you.

And if you don’t attend to them, they don’t go away.

I wish I could say that they would if you just ‘yeah!’ enough in your life, but everything that we’ve gone through imprints in our life and in our cellular body and so there are things that were all hurting from, that we’re still holding onto on some level or another and that’s part of this process that we’re doing here being human and evolving.

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So I really want to encourage you to turn towards and make sure that you have some space in your life for the more Shadow side of Being Human.

These are the things that can bring about a lot of shame, the parts of us that we wish weren’t here, that we feel are bad.

And that’s where this idea of toxic positivity comes in.

Shame and Toxic Positivity.

If we’re so focused on the positive and what feels’ ‘good’ in our body and what feels ‘good’ that our culture says is good…such as being happy, being successful, being upbeat and positive…

Then the part of us that does feel bad, that is having a hard time… that part collapses into shame and it hides.

It finds the coziest comfiest room in your heart to hide and it buries in with a blanket and it shuts the door.

So that might sound good on one level: ‘cool, it’s gone.’ But let me tell you, it’s still there.

Your heart has many, many, many rooms and…the joy of Being Human, the opportunity for being human is to go in and explore every single room of your heart and welcome those parts and pieces of yourself to be here, and to be present, and to be loved.

Loving Yourself No Matter What.

So, hopefully some interesting food for thought for you today.

My intention is really to just help you turn towards yourself with more love and more curiosity, and just a reminder too that it’s a process and a practice, and it’s not something that happens all at once, and it’s also not something that really has an end.

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I feel like as long as we’re here and we’re humans and we’re alive we have so much to learn and explore and every opportunity is something we can grow from and just expand more into thinking… feeling… being.

So, if you have any questions, thoughts, comments… I’d love to hear them. Send me a message. Leave me a comment below.

I’m Kim Burris, holistic psychotherapist in El Dorado Hills, CA and I look forward to speaking with you guys again soon.


Find out more at: kimburris.com

[Video Blog by Kim Burris, MA, MFT, Holistic Psychotherapist. Offering Virtual Holistic Counseling + Psychotherapy in California. With offices in El Dorado Hills and San Francisco, CA.]

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Kim is a licensed holistic psychotherapist with deep roots in the worlds of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. She honors the mind, body, spirit connection and supports individuals struggling with anxiety, trauma, spiritual awakening, perfectionism and motherhoodKim offers evidence-based treatment with a heart centered approach, integrating the depth of western psychology with the heart and soul of eastern mysticism. She helps her clients unravel the root cause of their suffering and to live from the heart of embodied wisdom. Kim currently offers holistic counseling to individuals residing in California. Call/text to set up at appointment: 916.467.9539.

PS. If you’re looking for support on this journey of being human, I got you! Holistic psychotherapy is the practice and process of mental, emotional, and spiritual integration. Reach out to find out how my practice can support you on your journey 🌟

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