Would you like to express gratitude, graduation congratulations, grief support, or let a loved one know that she is an angel in your life? You’ll love learning about Peggy’s beautiful, meaningful gemstone bracelets! Would you like to improve your relationship with your child? Listen to our conversation with Peggy about how to foster a better parent/child relationship!
There is also talk about living your most fulfilling life, understanding the Law of Attraction and practicing Creative Mindfulness. And be sure to tune in to hear Peggy’s definition of “the new happiness!”
In this episode, you’ll hear about things like:
- How to not take things personally
- What is the power of gratitude
- How do you live your most fulfilling life
Some questions Irene asks Peggy:
- Can you tell us about your journey from a licensed psychologist to creating inspirational jewelry?
- Do you have an inspiring story about the healing power of your bracelets?
- What is the “new happiness”?
Show Links: http://www.peggysmidnightcreations.com
Contact Info: email@example.com
Listen to the podcast here
Peggy DeLong – Licensed Psychologist And Designer Of Healing Bracelets
Thanks for joining us. How are you doing, Irene?
I’m in great shape because here we interview all these wonderful celebrities. We interview all these wonderful and inspiring people. We also interview many healers so that people can see that they don’t have to suffer and that they can learn that there are many different kinds of people who can help them, including me, because I spent my day with a wonderful healer.
It’s so enlightening and very freeing. Every time I go, I remove different blockages that keep holding me back or I do some healing. It’s a wonderful feeling. It feels like you are carrying a backpack and it’s the load that you are carrying is getting lighter. It allows you to enjoy your life more and to do what you are meant to do. Here’s my plug for healing.
Who did you see now?
Seta Shahinian who was our second episode. We had an amazing session together touching on some very personal issues, a few that I didn’t even know I had, but once they were unearthed, they made total sense. I can’t emphasize to people enough how worth it is to open up to these healing modalities and let them in and free yourself. You don’t have to stay stuck in your stories at all. I have let go of so many stories.
I love good healing. I like that too. I know the vibes you must be feeling. It’s a good positive energy to kick off our show.
Yes. I have gotten to know Peggy DeLong personally and I have to say I am wearing one of her gemstone bracelets as we speak. She will tell you more. She’s an amazing and talented person with what she does with these gemstones. She’s also a licensed psychologist. She makes a huge difference in kids’ lives in particular and I’m going to encourage her to talk about that. Peggy, do you think we should let you get a word in edgewise over here and say hello?
Thank you so much for having me. I have considered myself a healer for years doing traditional psychotherapy. A few years ago, I got into a different type of healing by making gemstone bracelets. It stemmed from my own experiences of loss several years ago when I lost both my fiancé and my father within six weeks.
It was so meaningful to me when people gave me angels in all forms, whether it was a pillow, a pen, a necklace, or a bracelet. What I loved were the bracelets that I could look down at my wrist and see an angel, especially when I went back to work. That is what inspired me to start making healing bracelets. The two that I started with were an angel bracelet, as well as my bestseller, the gratitude bracelet, which is a concept that I hadn’t practiced until I had to when my fiancé was sick.
Every day was awful not knowing what condition he would be in the hospital or if he would be able to open his eyes and look at me or what doctors or nurses were on staff. Every day was unpredictable. I never knew what I was in for. The one thing that was predictable was hazelnut coffee. I became grateful for hazelnut coffee. It is the consistency and the taste. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was learning was gratitude.
I’m sure you had those moments. Instead of diving into the pool of bitterness and self-pity, it sounds like you dove into the pool of gratitude, which is amazing considering what you were going through.
I had to. I learned very quickly that it made me feel better to focus on one small thing. The gratitude for the hazelnut coffee expanded to anything that I could find to be grateful in the day, whether it was a brief moment that he was lucid and able to speak with me or one day that he felt fantastic, and the nursing staff let us have a party in the lounge or anything that I could be grateful for. I learned so much through that experience. I share that through the gratitude workshops that I do in Northern New Jersey. I’m doing one in Chatham, and then another one in Somerville, spreading the message of gratitude and how it can change your life.
That sounds interesting. You do a lot of different workshops. You also do one about fostering the parent-child relationship. How did that grow? What grew out of that? I know you also work with teenagers and you do some hard work with teenagers. Do you want to talk about that?
What inspired me with that was my children. I have three teens. As a psychologist, I always liked to stay new to the literature and books out there. Everything that I would see on Facebook or hear friends talk about was just, “The teen years, good luck with that.” I don’t think it has to be that way. When we are giving that message, it almost becomes an expectation that you think the teen years are going to be awful. They don’t have to be. That is the message that I want to give mothers, particularly mother-daughter relationships. I do workshops with that as well in various libraries and community centers, helping parents connect with their tween and teen daughters.
I experienced it with my teenage son who was never a problem. He is an easy kid to raise until he hits that 14 or 15-year-old time. All of a sudden, I had a male chauvinist on my hands and I was not happy, even though intellectually I could understand that he needed to separate from me. What advice do you give parents for handling that stuff with their daughters or sons who are rebelling?
A lot of it is understanding that is normal and welcoming that they are demonstrating independence. That is normal and healthy development to have an opinion, to want to be separate from the family, and to focus on friendships. It’s hard when it comes off more as rebellion, but the more that parents can be educated about the developmental stage, the less they take it personally.
What tends to happen, especially with daughters is that when they pull away, become sarcastic, roll their eyes, or whatever it may be, the moms tend to feel personally hurt and then they, in turn, pull back emotionally. When the daughter needs them and is reaching out for them, the mother is less emotionally available, and then it becomes a cycle of going downhill when there’s an understanding and the mother works hard. It takes a lot of work not to take this personally, but when you can have a better understanding that it’s not personal and that it’s part of the development, it takes the sting out a little bit and helps the relationship.
I work a lot with mothers and daughters of different ways of communicating. It doesn’t have to be verbal. There are lots of wonderful ways to communicate. One of the things that I always recommend in my workshops is using a mother-child notebook. When there’s something on the daughter or mother’s mind, write it down. It helps begin that conversation, especially the topics that are so hard to bring up related to substance use, sex, or whatever it may be.
Let me interject here because I feel like it’s important to know that this isn’t just for teens and tweens. A lot of this starts with parenting very young. I wrote an article about this that went viral about being the second favorite parent because it was extremely hard for me to deal with it personally when my son was only 2 or 3 years old. As a single parent, he would spend a lot of time with me. As soon as he would see his dad or he would leave his dad, he would be so excited or he would cry, but with me, he didn’t care.
At first, it was like this whole, “Why doesn’t he ever react like that to me? He doesn’t even miss me and he doesn’t care.” It took a lot of time to understand that you have to work hard to realize that that’s not what it is. He’s probably more comfortable realizing that I’m always around and that I’m always going to be there. He doesn’t have to worry about mom or get so emotional about it. I love that you do these with older teens because, like Irene said, I’m not ready for the teenage years. He still loves mom. It’s a hard life with parents and kids, especially these days. There are so many new issues.
It is hard. Given that message that it’s expected to be hard, then when things start to happen, we are like, “Here we go. It’s starting,” and then throw our hands up and give up. Whereas when you are given tools to help cope with the difficulties, it makes the whole process smoother. All of the research shows that adolescent girls who have a stronger relationship with one parent have better long-term outcomes.
Not only do they make better decisions when they are faced with it at the moment, but 5 to 10 years later, they have better outcomes when they feel that they have a trusting close relationship with one parent. That means no conflict. There are going to be conflicts and arguments. That’s also normal, but when they feel that they can go to one parent, trust them, and be able to confide in them, then they tend to do better.
Sometimes it could be a father or a mother or sometimes even a grandparent.
It could be anyone, just having one close relationship. It can be mother, father, or grandparent.
One of these cool things I saw, too, that elaborates on that a little bit is this. I don’t know if you guys have seen it, which is big among the younger generations and the Millennials. I guess I’m on the upside cusp of that I will say.
We have a relationship, Stephanie and I, but she’s the Millennial and I’m the Boomer.
We have new shows that are up and coming that showcase the power of social media called Red Table Talk. It’s on Facebook. It’s Facebook Live. It is a quick little talk show with Jada Pinkett. She does it with her daughter, Willow, from Will Smith. They had a very controversial talk about this. She went and talked about sex with her daughter Willow on the show and she said it was extremely important that Willow was a part of that conversation because they are so open about it.
This younger generation has a highly different view and value in sexual things. It was very interesting to see as a parent and to listen. Like you are describing, Peggy, they had this very close relationship. You can tell that Willow is extremely close to her mother. She would go to her for any issues. I’m sure they still bicker. It’s funny on the show. It’s important. There is this curve that you are saying that we are a lot more open and talk about that. My parents didn’t have that birds and bees talk. Irene, did you?
I got lectured all the time that I had to be a good girl, and if they ever found out I wasn’t a good girl, I would be homeless. That was about where it was for me.
It’s very different now. As a growing parent, especially of a boy, how do you have that conversation and teach him values and respect? It’s a very interesting world. I’m very interested in this, Peggy. I feel like even me as a younger parent would want to know to prepare what to do before it gets to the point that he’s a teen and tween and we don’t know how to have those conversations.
Aside from your workshops, do people call you to have counseling sessions about whether they are having a problem with your child or whatever? I bet you have a practice that does that.
I used to work with preschoolers, but I would say that within the past few years, I primarily worked with teen and tween girls and/or their mothers. That’s what happened. It became a personal interest, which then became a professional interest.
If people have little guys or they have sons, they can still contact you if they also have issues.
Yes. I see children of all ages as young as three, but I primarily have been working with teens and tweens. I used to run an entire year-long program for mothers and daughters called the Mother and Daughter Connection. We met every other week and each week was a different topic. We talked about social media. Another topic was mental health. Another topic was substance use and teen dating violence.
With each session, my mission was to get the conversation going. I would give mothers and daughters conversation starters and questions too. We met as a group and then, privately, each mother and daughter dyad would go off separately and ask each other different questions to get the conversation going, and then, hopefully, carry that into the home. I have all of those sessions in a book format and I’m hoping to have that published. It’s a passion of mine to help mothers and daughters connect because I’m so blessed that I have a wonderful relationship with my mother and my daughters as well. I know it’s not easy. I want to help other people with that.
It’s not easy. A lot of times, daughters either sublimate themselves to please their mothers and lose a part of themselves and don’t separate properly, or they are in competition. There’s a lot of dicey dynamic that goes on.
Also, just learning not to take things personally. That goes not with the mother and daughter relationship but with everything. I don’t know if either of you is familiar with the book The Four Agreements. One of the agreements that I refer to repeatedly in my own life is not to take things personally. When we can achieve that, it makes life so much more fulfilling and pleasurable.
A quick example is when we had dinner as a family after my daughter and I got back from our mother-daughter trip. I asked her what hurt to tell the other family members what her favorite part was. She couldn’t come up with one. I felt hurt that she couldn’t come up with her favorite part. I thought maybe she didn’t have as great of a time as I thought she did. Further in the conversation, I learned that she said that there were too many great things to mention. That’s a perfect example of how something could be misperceived if you don’t continue the conversation and not take it personally.
An important point to make, too, is that a lot of the suicides have been happening in the news and how people start to take some of those thoughts and make them believable in their minds. They start to see themselves as one thing, a burden, or that people are out to get them. That’s not the reality. It’s important to be having those conversations with ourselves on this show and with our friends and family, especially our children.
You see kids that don’t get the benefit of what you are doing. Your practice also specializes in child abuse and neglect.
That’s what I did 100% for several years only working in the field of child abuse and neglect. I have expanded and now have become more of a general practitioner rather than focusing on the forensic part and testifying. I have that background, which has been very useful and helpful for me in understanding trauma and helping children.
Children don’t have to go through abuse or neglect to be suffering and struggling with their thoughts. A lot of the work that I do is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I’m helping children restructure their thinking. As you were saying, Stephanie, they can get stuck in the negative thinking. If they don’t talk to anybody about it, they can spiral out of control and be brought down by negative thoughts that are not realistic and have perceptions that other people think poorly of them when it’s not true. I help children with positive affirmations and thinking more positively.
We have been doing this whole gratitude thing. I have been trying to learn how to do some meditation and gratitude journals. One of the things that we do at night is that Max and I will tell each other what the best part of the day was or what we are thankful for. It’s very humbling sometimes to hear what he thinks was the best part of his day.
It could be something that would be something you wouldn’t even think would be important, but to a six-year-old, it means the world. I enjoy even hearing his point of view, like you said because we, as adults, try to tend to overcomplicate things. We overprocess things in life and we overthink them. The simplicity and naiveness that they can interject back to us has been one of the best parts of gratitude that I have started to embrace, to be honest.
That’s one of the other things that I cover in both my mother-daughter workshops and in my gratitude workshops. Sometimes we can get stuck in things that we are grateful for and miss out on some other things. When we share that with somebody, we get somebody else’s perspective and what they are grateful for. In addition to a mother-child notebook, I will suggest a parent-child gratitude notebook so they can share that experience. As you said, your child has a different view of the world, and how wonderful that he can open your eyes to something that you didn’t think about.
Stephanie has a great example of that about Max and his kindergarten graduation.
It was very surprising. I teared up a little bit. My son graduated kindergarten and they did this little thing where they did the graduation on stage, and every one of the students had to go up to the microphone and say what their favorite part of kindergarten was. The kid would go up and be like, “Macaroni and cheese,” or, “My favorite was Art class.” Max goes up there and I had no idea he was going to say, “Nothing. I had no clue.” He gets right up there and says, “My favorite part of kindergarten is when my mom came to the field trip because I love her.”
I’m on his shelf life here because he will get too old and too cool for me. It was so sweet to know and it makes it all worthwhile. It is the sacrifices we make to be able to do little things for our kids like that. It wasn’t a big deal for me. I moved a lot of things around. I shifted in the interview or made Irene change something so I could be on this field trip, but to him, it meant the world. It shows that, sometimes, it’s the little things that we overlook.
A lot of parents are going crazy showing up to everything and they don’t realize how important that is to their child to see them there. We are joined to a close, but this is such a wonderful interview. Is there anything that you’d like to share with people about healing that’s happened for you, about your bracelets, or about anything that’s gone on, then we will get your tip for joy.
The bracelets have opened up a whole new world of being able to help people that I never imagined possible. One quick example is a friend reached out to me. Her mother had been diagnosed with lung cancer, which was quite a shock since her mother never smoked in her life, and she needed immediate surgery. My friend asked me to make bracelets for her mother and all of the female relatives to wear all over the country so that they could all be a team and support her. The feedback that I got was so nice to hear that it was a bracelet that connected all of them wherever they were in the country and thinking about this woman going through her surgery.
The beauty of your bracelets are because I’m wearing one is that each gemstone has a meaning and carries a vibration. All of these women are wearing these bracelets and connected with the intent of healing and gratitude for this woman to get better.
That is another part that I love about making the bracelets. I get to do 3 of my passions rolled up into 1. I get to make bracelets, which I love. I get to use a little bit of psychology because I usually incorporate some type of research in psychology or something into the bracelet design and writing. Everything comes with an inspirational card about the meaning of the gemstone or a quick inspiration. I feel so blessed that I have been able to put together these 3 passions into 1 and also be able to help people by making bracelets.
Every day I get a text or an email. One time I got a phone call from a stranger leaving me a voicemail in tears on how special the bracelet was to her. She felt compelled to call me and let me know. That keeps me going every day and fuels my soul. I can’t wait to wake up every day and see what orders have come in and make them. I think about the person and their name and who it’s going to. I put a lot of myself into each bracelet. I love it.
I’m a testimonial because to be able to choose the stones with you for the exact message that you write out to the person as to, “I’m sending this to you and this is what I’m wishing,” or, “This is what I’m hoping for you,” or whatever that message is, is so meaningful.
It’s all personal. It didn’t exist before. I speak with the person who placed the order. Sometimes they can choose right from my website and find exactly what they are looking for, but what I love is the customized designs where I speak with the person buying. We talk about the person and that helps me choose the right gemstones and the right words. It’s so much fun.
Is there anything special you want to have for our readers within a period or whatever if they want to call you because maybe they have birthdays coming up, different holidays, different occasions, or anything?
My website is PeggyMidnightCreations.com. I can also be reached by email at PeggyDeLong@Comcast.net. My bracelet of the month is a bracelet for the mother of the high school graduate. It is a beautiful bracelet that focuses on one center bead called Mother of Pearl, and as the mother looks at it during the day, it comes with a beautiful poem about sending her daughter or son out into the world.
One last thing, are these always in person or do you ever do them remotely over the phone and stuff like that, too, for anyone who’s not local?
The workshops I have only done it in person, but as I’m learning technology, I will probably get into doing one on Zoom. I had a Zoom conference and that was fun. Once I learn how to do things like that, I can offer them virtually. Now, they are limited to Northern New Jersey in-person workshops.
What’s your tip for finding joy in life?
My tip for finding joy probably sounds counterintuitive, and that is to give up the pursuit of happiness. The reason I say that is because happiness is bleeding and elusive. When we search for it, how do we know we have achieved it anyway? When we have it, something can happen and it’s gone. What to focus on is being grateful and resilient.
Psychologists have this new term that resilience is the new happiness. The more we can build up our resilience, the better we are to handle all of the things that life throws our way and even experience happiness and joy on the worst of days. Part of being resilient is gratitude. That is what I have learned from my own experience and why I’m focused on helping people find creative ways of being grateful every day.
That is very wise advice. I like that a lot because my mom is old and she is a great lady. Everybody can’t get over how she has such a great attitude and all that. Her motto is, “Adjust.” That sounds like I have a very resilient mom.
It’s resilience. When I was going through everything in 1994 when my fiancé died and then very unexpectedly, six weeks later, my father died, everybody thought I was going to fall apart, and I should have fallen apart. What got me through was being resilient. Part of it was having a stable childhood. I had been afforded so many opportunities to build resilience.
If I had difficulty with a teacher in high school, my parents didn’t jump in and save it or solve it for me. I did. That taught me how to problem solve. All of the opportunities to build resilience, I took advantage of. That’s one of the things that I do to help women my age in my private practice because it’s never too late to build resilience.
I have a midlife resilience bracelet and it comes with six different gemstones to help women remember to do six different things a day to help them build their resilience. It’s a simple reminder that you don’t have to do all 6, but do even if it’s 1 to help build your resilience because it’s never too late to build resilience. We talk a lot about building children’s resilience, but we need it as adults too. Loss of partners, divorced parents, illness, or whatever it may be, where we have challenges and big challenges. The more resilient that we are, the better we are to cope with them and even experience happiness on the very worst of days.
Anyone who reads this blog is going to become much wiser and much more insightful. It’s wonderful. Thank you.
Thank you, Irene. It came out of hardship.
This has been great. Thank you so much, Peggy.
You are welcome. Thank you both of you, Stephanie and Irene. It’s been a pleasure.
Our pleasure too. Take care.
- Peggy DeLong’s websites: Peggy DeLong and Midnight Creations
- Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements referenced in this episode.
- Contact Peggy DeLong
- Seta Shahinian – Past Episode