Encouragementology
Overwhelmed, Ways to Organize the Pressure

Overwhelmed, Ways to Organize the Pressure

November 12, 2019

What is your tipping point? The straw the broke the back? Most of us will say we are great multi-taskers, handling personal life, work, family, friends and so on.  But the truth is today, maybe more than ever, it’s very easy to overdo it and get overwhelmed. Never have we had so much information to consume, so many revenue streams to make ends meet, so many connection points to maintain, and so much pressure to reinvent, upgrade, and evolve. It’s exhausting! It’s time to get honest...you can’t do everything, successfully! Ready to examine what’s filling your plate and dragging you down? 

So what has your bogged down? Can you put your finger on IT? Maybe it isn’t just one thing but a collection of too many yes’ and commitments you made to be the hero, only to find out your human. Some of us just can’t say NO. Maybe it’s believing we have more time and ability than we actually do and maybe it’s because we just don’t want to disappoint anyone. 

Getting to the breaking point can be easier than you think.

It’s kind of funny that I'm doing a show on ways to organize the pressure and the feeling of being overwhelmed. I tend to feel this way often and even though I’m self-aware and understand the steps to make a change, I don’t. I’m in a season in my life that many of you can identify with, trying to make something happen. I have a lot of irons in the fire because I’m passionate about so many things and I want to see them all successfully growing. My justification to myself is this is only temporary and once I hit this milestone or that milestone I will ease off the throttle and let life coast a bit. But is that really true? 

 

The fact is, I enjoy being busy. I enjoy managing a lot of fun projects and seeing the fruits of my labor. To me, this new schedule or phase of life is my source of entertainment. BUT…...at what price? 

 

As I add more to my plate, what happens to the crumbs? Do they get pushed off to concentrate on the bigger portion or do you just keep loading it up?

 

It’s easy to put the same weight and level of priority on everything in front of us. We make lists, set alarms, create reminders, and have mini command centers everywhere we land. It feels good to cross things off and end our day with a completed list...but does that really ever happen. What happens when it doesn’t? It creates another layer of leftovers that get added to today’s list and before you know it, you are far behind. OVERWHELMED!

So what do we do in the midst of all this….we grab our phone and check social media to consume even more! The one moment in the day when we could breathe, meditate, wonder, or relax and we just can’t take it. We want more, more, more! 

 

And it’s not just the internet. We are bombarded every day in every way by data that demands our attention. Signs, blinking, flashing, BIG Signs, talking signs, bumper stickers, decals, brochures, flyers, catalogs, handouts, newsletters, blogs, magazines, newspapers…..the list just goes on and on. 

As consumers, we love the convenience and fail to realize the implications of never getting a mental break.

Unplug. Not every hour of every day but DO make a conscious effort to limit your intake. Go on a data diet and push back from the computer and put down the phone. Get outside and instead of grabbing the earbuds to occupy your mind with music, a podcast, or book…..listen to nature. Think, wonder, imagine, and give your brain the much-needed break it’s longing for. 

Never getting through it all or carrying too much of it around we feel behind and overwhelmed. Why are we feeling responsible and as a result, disappointed in our assumed performance? Letting go of this lifestyle is as much about the act of consuming as it is the guilt of not. 

Whether it’s life, health, business, or personal relationships - let’s adopt, all I can do is what I can do and that’s enough. Many of your spinning plates will run idle until you can get to them and some will not. Evaluate those and decide if they are a must-have in your world. 

  • Do you have control over the situation
  • Does this activity give you comfort, provide for your necessities, or bring you joy?
  • Do you have the timing right?

Where you can, downsize and consolidate your plates so that you can easily manage what you have? It’s true, during certain seasons of our lives we have more control and at others, it seems to get the best of us. Today we are becoming aware of the situation and that’s a positive step in the right direction. Being self-aware means you have the space and time to consider all your options. Timing is everything and when the timing is right, it’s best to streamline and take control. Your brain will thank you, your family, friends, and co-workers will appreciate your new-found freedom, and life will get just a little more fun and enjoyable. 

CHALLENGE: When you get the pangs of discomfort, evaluate your todo list to find which plates might be unseasonably placed. Only do what you can do and let that be enough. Full throttle has its place but only in the straightaways. 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Unplug…and Reconnect with LOVE

Unplug…and Reconnect with LOVE

November 5, 2019

Do you need to turn the volume down, change your frequency, hit the reset or just unplug? Sometimes we lose track of the mission and get lost in the details. You’ve heard you can’t see the forest for the trees, right? It’s easy to try too hard because you love too hard. It’s also hard to protect and share your heart when your human. Sometimes you just have to unplug….take a step back and change your angle to get a different perspective. You can have all the good intentions you want in the beginning and still lose focus on the mission. 

So before we change angles lets take a personal inventory and see where we are. What isn’t working? What have you tried over and over to exhaustion only to find out, it’s not working? What came to mind when we started this show? Where do you need to unplug?

It’s hard to admit you may need to give in and change your approach. Most of us feel like the control is within is to make something happen or make someone see our point of view.  “If I could just say it differently if I could just show them how…” The word powerless is a difficult word to say and accept. No one wants to admit they can’t do something and that they are powerless. But sometimes, it needs to come to that before you can make a change. 

Why do you think the first step in any 12 step program is to admit you are powerless? We admit we are powerless and that our life has become unmanageable.  Only after admitting you are powerless can you begin to make changes in yourself. You have to give up the illusion of power.

It is not difficult to overestimate the amount of control we have over our lives. Unfortunately, many cannot shatter that illusion until they hit rock bottom and are confronted with undeniable proof that everything is not okay. 

Many people resist the term powerlessness because it contradicts much of what we have been taught. Believing you can do anything and fix everything if you just try harder and want it enough is instilled in us at an early age. The truth is we cannot do or fix everything, regardless of how hard we try or how much we want it. We cannot control the weather, war, illness, or other people.

Step 1 can be applied to all areas of your life and isn’t just the start of recovery. Even if the word “powerless” may not describe every situation, you can admit that you don’t have all the answers and you might to seek an expert and try another approach. Can we all get there? 

What about the person who can’t get off the couch, or out the door. The person who spends all their resources, time, and energy caring about and for others. I meet these people all the time. The ones who are exhausted, depleted, overwhelmed, and out of ideas. The ones who wouldn’t know what they needed or even liked if you gave them ample time to answer. They are so far down on their priority list that it might as well be the fine print. It’s difficult to convince this person that their suffering is their choice and that unplugging to give themselves a little self-care is critical. 

So if that’s you or you know someone who fits that description, have patience. You can talk till you are blue in the face but they have to see the problem to see the solution. 

What a freeing feeling, to let go of the control you believe you have over other people and activate your power in your own life. 

After you’ve completed your personal inventory (which by the way isn’t a one-time thing.) Why don’t you try reconnecting with LOVE for yourself, your gifts, your smile, your patience, your creativity, and your heart…..

These qualities are what makes you, YOU and when you look at the needs of the world, the REAL needs, there is a place to use these gifts where they will be :

Respected

Honored

Cherished

Exemplified

Shared

Reciprocated

When you reconnect with your purpose driving your passion, life is in balance. When you keep your connections healthy and unattached, love and respect are mutual. 

When you allow yourself room to grow and space to evolve, self-discovery is an exciting journey.

CHALLENGE: fuel your fire, shine your light, share your spirit, but make sure you find a place where that effort can grow and truly make an impact. Unplug and shift your position to get a better perspective and protect your heart. LOVE IS THE ANSWER!

 

I know YOU can do it!

Price vs Value, Knowing Your Worth

Price vs Value, Knowing Your Worth

October 29, 2019

In business, it’s always a goal to establish value and divert the consumer from the price. As a consumer, it’s always the goal to find the best value for the price. But personally, knowing your worth is definitely an ongoing struggle. We can look at why this is by examining what we value and the price we pay to be accepted. Price is simple, straightforward, logistical, and no indication of value. Where value is more subjective, personal, and emotional. Ready to roll up your sleeves and sharpen your pencils?

Is the price too high? Are you undervalued? Or just not good enough? Is your value your own perception or tied to someone else’s expectations? Are you selling yourself short?

 

An umbrella to this entire discussion has to be self-reflection. Only you can establish value and negotiate price in your life. Only you can know your worth.

 

So if you had to put a price on it or sell someone else on your value what would you say? 

 

Before today or this season in my life, I would have placed more value on Kendall the business professional vs Kendall the person. I put a lot of effort and energy into building my career, honing my skills, and establishing a record of success. Professionally I had a lot of confidence. 

 

Personally I struggled to know who I was. I was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend but outside of that, I didn’t really know what was important to me. What I valued. Instead of working on that I just put more effort and energy into my professional persona. As a result, the scales were definitely out of balance and I felt vulnerable and ill-prepared.  I got hurt. 

Six years ago I decided to balance my personal ledger and do some self-discovery. I went on a quest to understand who I was and what I wanted. Timing was on my side and I had just enough age and enlightenment to fuel my journey. I stopped worrying about everyone else and took this quest serious. Now luckily, I was an empty nester at the time so without their lives to hide behind I had to take a real look at my own. 

You are good, and you deserve good things. You deserve acceptance, belonging and love. 

Sounds right, doesn’t it? But why then can we hear it, believe it, but not let the concept in and practice it?

When you’ve been told you don’t deserve it or you’re not good enough, over and over, it’s not a flip of the switch to change your perception. It takes time and a lot of self-reflection which is hard to do if you are still spending your time worrying about others or worse, trying to please everyone. 

Time for a sabbatical and deep dive into what makes you - YOU. Maybe instead of trying to figure out who we are, we gently stop being who we aren't? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts, the persona’s, who we want everyone to believe we are.  It’s important to challenge your strengths and your weaknesses. Sometimes you might have it twisted. Being a tough businesswoman who is goal-driven and focused may not always be a strength just like being too empathic and caring about others’ feelings and misfortunes may not always be a weakness. 

Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your character, how you see yourself. 

When you look at your strengths list, is this really you? Or just your persona? How could this strength actually be a weakness? Then evaluate your weaknesses in the same manner. After thinking it through, should you move some things around? Now look at the list and highlight what you are most proud of. Sometimes, what we are most proud of is the one thing we fail to share with others. Remember, as I’ve always said, you are growing every day and learning more about yourself as you do. This list is in no way final. So keep it handy because you will have many chances to update on your journey. 

Many of us are on a quest to do good, be a good person, help your neighbor, contribute to society in a meaningful and impactful way. What about finding your purpose, discovering what’s important to you? Seek knowledge that will pour into you. As I’ve always said, we are striving for a healthy balance of giving and receiving. Don’t be so concerned with what you pour into the world that you neglect what you should be receiving. 

This world and all its opportunities are there for you as well. Each of us has a unique purpose and gifts we should activate. It’s hard to identify what those are when you are so concerned with everyone else’s lives. When you tap into your true purpose your personal net worth skyrockets. It’s crystal clear and you get a hunger for more. Activating this gift gives you the confidence to propel you through the hardships and challenges of life. You know what you’re here for and what drives your passion. 

So how do you find it? Well, you need to carve out some time to take this journey we keep talking about.

Living a purpose-driven life will give you the confidence to see your value, and know your worth. 

CHALLENGE: Take charge of your journey and chart your own personal course. You have many stops along the way to your destination so straighten out the curves and smooth the course with a clear purpose locked in. You deserve what this life and all its opportunities have in store for you!

I Know You Can Do IT!

Still Loading, When You’re in Need of an Update

Still Loading, When You’re in Need of an Update

October 22, 2019

Are you a work in progress? If you’re afraid to raise your hand relax, that’s actually a good thing. If you were set in your ways, letting new versions and updates pass you by, you would be seriously missing out. Technology is ever-evolving because programmers are always evaluating current versions for ways to improve, expand, correct, and add new features...and so should we. That’s not to say we can’t ever be satisfied. On the contrary.  You can be happy with who you are and where you are and still have a desire to grow. 

So what version are you up to? Has your hard drive started to have performance issues, running out of space, in need of a backup or at least a clearing of the cache? Depending on where you are in your life, you could be overwhelmed and at full capacity with data overload. A lifetime of memories, experiences, trials & tragedies, lessons learned and powerful perceptions. Your current operating system may not be compatible. Sounds funny and of course,  I could go all night with technology analogies - I do love a good metaphor, but seriously, let’s explore this a little more. 

You might be so stuck in one way of thinking, shackled by a rigid routine with zero room to accept anything new. Still loading… incompatible with this version. Not enough memory to operate. The spinning wheel of inefficient performance.  Now what? Well, you can click along at the same pace, comfortable operating within your capacity until you finally freeze up or you can get prepared to accept an update. 

I’m going to assume that if you haven’t changed the channel then you are interested in the latter. So let’s make room and get our systems up to date. 

It starts with a good purge of data. Just like with your computer, your system has lots and lots or should I say loads and loads of temporary files and outdated documents creating a sludge of information the will seriously affect your overall performance. What are you carrying around that might make it hard to adopt new ideas? What’s taking up the majority of the space and time in your life?

If you only had so much space you were allotted, how would you fill it? If you’re at capacity and you want to add something new, something has to go. So what goes?

Blaz Kos from Agile Lean Life said there are 9 crucial updates you need to get to a superhuman mindset:

There are nine crucial updates that lead to a superhuman mindset and the most superior way of thinking: (1) The growth mindset, (2) the abundance mindset, (3) positive thinking, (4) solution-oriented mindset, (5) proactive thinking, (6) optimal thinking, (7) agile thinking, (8) regret minimization mindset and (9) the ability to shut down your mind when necessary. 

One of the most popular and important quotes in history is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values and your values become your destiny.

Nearly all people have extremely poor control over their minds. Their mindset is weak, and consequently, negative and destructive thoughts start hindering their lives day by day. It’s impossible to live a positive, quality, peak performance life with a negative mind and a poor mindset.

It is never too late and you are never too far gone to reinvent yourself and start a new. Use some of these ideas to justify an overhaul to your thought patterns. Never say never. Just because you weren’t able to get on board at a particular period in your life doesn’t mean it won’t make sense today. Flexibility is a challenge in itself. So have fun with it!

Don’t be afraid to “click” around life to see what you might find. The best way to understand new technology is to take a risk and explore and when you get stuck..Google it! Now my parallel would not be complete if I left it there. Get out of your comfort zone, try new things on, be willing to take a risk, and when you get stuck reach out to connect with others. We may all be operating at a different speed, running slightly different programs but there is so much to be learned from each other. 

CHALLENGE: Before the chuck the current model and start fresh, consider some of these ideas to help you delete and update your old mindset to easily download and install a new version. Scan your outdated files for things that just don’t sit well anymore and challenge them to adopt a new way of thinking.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Cutting a Slice of the Pie in the Sky

Cutting a Slice of the Pie in the Sky

October 15, 2019

Isn’t it about time you served yourself up a healthy helping of your own dreams? Are you waiting for “one day”? Last time I looked at a 12-month calendar I didn’t see “one day”. I saw today, this week, this month or this year but not “one day”. Is one day as ambiguous as “over yonder”? Let’s pull it into focus so you can make your dreams a reality. So much time is spent or should I say wasted on waiting for something that is never going to happen unless you take the bull by the horns and set the plan into motion.  So today is “one day” where we will put action into practice. Are you ready? I choose to believe I just heard a collective...yessssssss!

Ahhh the preverbal “Pie in the Sky”. What does that term mean to you? Something that is pleasant to contemplate but is very unlikely to be realized. A pipe dream. Something you spend time dreaming about even fantasizing about as a happy yet fictitious mirage. What does that look like for you? Retirement? A getaway? A better life? A fun adventure? The perfect job? A more satisfying and rewarding life?

What is preventing you from seeing it through? Why are these only dreams and what makes them unattainable? 

Inspiring stories are useful tools that can spur us to act but, it’s ultimately our capacity, grit, and our willingness to make sacrifices that will determine if we’re going to succeed. Too many people get stuck in a rut because they waste time thinking about what they want to do. Fewer actually do it. 

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as I can remember. I picked Easter flowers by the bunches and sold them in my neighborhood.  I had a yard sale from the items in my room. Grit? Yes, dangerous? Yes again, I was 8 and home alone while my Mother was at work. I created numerous business ventures from giving tours on a tree that had fallen down during a storm to a home-made pretzel stand. It wasn’t something I grew out of, as an adult I had a handmade jewelry store, created custom shadowboxes, a handbag line, and I am the owner of 3 trademarks. I love to take an idea and bring it to life. Now, have they all been home runs?  Well, I’m not sitting on a homemade pretzel fortune but each one of these ideas has taught me something. Through concept, development, execution, and yes, eventually failure. 

Timing is so critical to everything we do and it’s not just timing of the market or the consumer, it’s timing within ourselves. We are on a journey, weaving in and out of challenges that shape and mold us. We come to the straightaway after a hairpin turn and we are different people. 

I say this to say, just because you tried one thing or even 10 and nothing “worked out” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it or something else again. I still like to take ideas and sculpt them into reality. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than to create something out of nothing. Encouragementology - the practice of instilling hope was an idea to make the act of encouragement more intentional.  When you can associate an action and a practice to something it has a real chance of becoming a habit. I want people to be aware of the opportunity they have to encourage others and then find the inspiration to take action. Now, this idea has legs and an identity. It isn’t running yet but it’s picking up speed and making an impact. I finally got the timing right. 

Whether your dream involves creating a business, impacting the world, or just treating yourself to the things you desire, it all starts with you and your pursuit and efforts. 

Where do you get your motivation? From a friend, family member, mentor, spouse? 

I’ve been in sales and marketing what seems like my whole life and NO is a part of my daily grind. NO, not now. NO, I’m not interested. NO, I can’t afford it. NO, we already do that. NO. If I take this collective feedback and assume NObody believes in what I’m doing then the next day holds little promise or enjoyment. 

What have you dropped when you first hit resistance? What did you say when someone told you no?  When it’s personal it’s easy to have an emotional reaction to NO and internalize it as feedback. I’m not good enough, this idea is stupid, no one will support it, I should give up. Sometimes NO is a  gentle push to go in a different direction, to sharpen our approach, to modify our idea. No doesn’t mean give up or give in. 

I remember a line we used when I used to sell jewelry. I’ve sold everything by the way. Someone would come in and we had a process to help them narrow down their ideas to one or two items as to not overwhelm the buyer (ie guy in a jewelry store..you get the picture). If we heard NO - we would say, “is it the price of this particular item that’s too high or just more than you wanted to spend today”? It wasn’t emotional it was logistics. Do I need to establish value, shoot for something less, or open up a line of credit? I didn’t say it was scrupulous. 

If we could apply that same logical thinking when our dreams are challenged think of the resilience we could build. No huh? What about this idea causes you to pause. Would it be better received if I did X or Y? The idea is not to give up on the dream just modify the approach. 

With all this, it’s important to also be aware of your limitations. Now that doesn’t sound like something I would say or something you typically hear in a motivational speech but the fact is, you CAN’T do anything you want to do and it’s important to put things in perspective.  I’m not talking about supporting your self-limiting believes I’m talking about taking into consideration timing, abilities, others involved and so on. 

Here’s where your flexibility can be tested. Just because you can’t do IT doesn’t mean you can’t participate and master other things that contribute or are involved with IT. And having that type of flexibility will test your desire and perseverance. 

In your dreams, you might find your passion and THAT is what you can pursue, nurture, master, and realize. 

CHALLENGE: Spend as much time discovering your passions as you do fantasizing about your dreams. Make today, “one day” and take a step forward to realizing your goal. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence.  Pursuing your passions are never beyond your reach.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Awake at the Wheel, Lessons from a Diagnosis

Awake at the Wheel, Lessons from a Diagnosis

October 8, 2019

with Special Guest
Lori Merrill-Fink

LORI’S CORE DESIRED FEELINGS

Based on the work for Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map

(Choose your own.)

 

  • Vibrant
  • Free/flowing
  • Connected
  • Radiant
  • Whole
  •  

So to feel what I want to feel, I consciously choose practices that generate those feelings. 

BODY                                              MIND                                      SPIRIT/SOUL

Movement                                         Meditation                               Community

Pleasure                                           Script Flipping                          Gratitude

Whole foods                                      Affirmations                              Service

Quality sleep                                      Solitude                                   Talking to God

Lots of water                                                                                  Being in Nature

TAKE-AWAYS aka: NUGGETS

So here I am, a normal person, keeping it real. Doing my best to stay in flow, flip the script, stay open. A diagnosis cuts through all the BS, so my pilgrimage has led me to some essential truths, which I am doing my best to LIVE every day. Many may sound familiar to you:

  • Life is happening FOR you. Not TO you. It doesn’t (often) turn out as it should. It turns out as it DOES. This is a much more juicy and expansive place from which to live.
  • Nobody can take care of you better than you. And nobody should. That’s YOUR job.
  • Self-care is a discipline and you are worth every bit of the same loving care you give to your family and friends. Reverse Golden Rule. What are your Core Desired Feelings? What are your NON-negotiables? “I don’t have time” is code for it’s not a priority. Take time or make time. Make time or take time. You are worth it.
  • Your body is your friend. No matter the size of your thighs, or whether or not you have an overbite, or a six-pack. Treat it with love. Bless it. Care for it.
  • Be intentional where you focus your energy. Choose thoughts that SERVE, heal, nurture you. Light you up. Pay attention to things that matter. Your mind is your greatest ally. Drop the story you tell yourself about events, people, what it all means.
  • Watch your words. Make your I AMS work for you.
  • Shame and blame are soul-sucking. You deserve better.
  • Ask for what you need, and be willing to receive it with grace and gratitude.
  • You are so much more powerful that you may realize. Jesus may take the wheel, but he needs to be spelled once in awhile. You are a co-creator.
  • The present moment has to be enough, because that is all there is. That present moment can save you. And so can the next one. And the next….
  • Do everything in your power to keep your heart cloud-soft with joy and wonder, and sky-wide with gratitude.

To journey without being changed

Is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying

Is to be a chameleon.

To journey and be transformed by the journey

Is to be a pilgrim.

~Mark Nepo

The Book of Awakening

(cancer survivor)

 

James Cameron:

Hope is not a strategy.

Luck is not a factor.

Fear is not an option.

 

 

 

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

 

We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play music.

                                                      ~Albert Einstein

 

Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.

I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or yoga.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of
Never-Quite-Right-Ness,
She whispered very gently:

Could you just love me like this?

Author: Hollie Holden

 

Excerpt from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

“New Moon Blessing” from Tanya Markul’s “The She Book”:

May you remember your ability to choose what is deeply nourishing.

May you ignite your power to make choices that align with your soul.

May you take action in the name of your authentic fire.

May you find the courage to heal, be free, and grow.

 

LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR LISTENERS

 

Lori’s “Survive & Thrive” Pinterest Board

https://pin.it/ibucbrch4mj6an

 

Awake at the Wheel playlist (in Spotify):

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6Sm4Y6iEmPLOlFSGN4F8kD

Recommended Books:

Your Body Believes Every Word You Say- Barbara Hoberman Levine

You Are the Placebo- Joe Dispenza

Prayer is Good Medicine- Larry Dossey, MD

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul- Deepak Chopra, MD

How Healing Works- Wayne Jonas, MD

The Desire Map- Danielle LaPorte

Crazy, Sexy Cancer- Kris Carr

The Book of Awakening- Mark Nepo

The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness- Greg Anderson

Dying to be Me- Anita Moorjani

The Cancer Whisperer: Finding Courage, Direction, and the Unlikely Gifts of Cancer- Sophie Sabbage

Everyday Strength: A Cancer Patient’s Guide to Spiritual Survival- Randy Becton

Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender- Tosha Silver

 

 

 

Change Your Outlook by Changing Your Perception

Change Your Outlook by Changing Your Perception

October 1, 2019

Are you worried you’ve taken grouchiness to a whole new level? Is it hard to see the forest for the trees? Do you find judgment first and forgiveness last...if at all? Maybe you are just ready for a brighter outlook and a sunnier disposition. You know the people I’m talking about; always smiling, walking with a little extra pep in their step, spreading cheer everywhere they go. It’s like shooting stars are going off all around them. Who are these people and whatever they have...I want some. Let’s talk about it and work on narrowing the gap between where you are and where they seem to be. 

So before you get your pen and paper out to catch the magical recipe of a happy person let me sum it up….it’s all perception. They see the silver lining, they turn their frowns upside down, they keep their glasses on and yes they are rose-colored. This could be how they are wired or this could be by choice but either way, there is nothing mystical going on. They change their outlook by changing their perception. 

Living in a bubble is a figure of speech. They have access to the tv with endless news disasters, they see the headlines, they too can have an avalanche of doom waiting for them on their social feed...but they choose to move past it and not internalize it. When someone points out the pitfalls of the day, they remind them of the rainbows that are just over the horizon.

Bad things happen to good people. Tragedy, death, and despair even though we don’t wish it on anyone for most, it is inevitable.  

We all feel the weight of negativity all around us. But SOME of us choose to walk past it instead of picking it up and adding it to our already heavy load.

Where do you see yourself in that scenario? Now, where do you WANT to see yourself?

It’s not too late. You can change your outlook and find the good first. It just takes a little acceptance, being self-aware, compassionate, understanding, and some resolve.

Wise words were given to me that I will never forget; “stop the story where the facts end”. Assuming you know the end to the story or even the whole story on limited information is harmful. It can get you worked up into a lather for zero reasons and create chaos where there is none. As hard as it is, stop the story where the facts end. Be ok without an ending. Life is still developing, you are still growing, and people are changing. Nothing is final when it comes to development. 

Some of us make assumptions based on limiting beliefs which are assumptions or perceptions that we’ve got about ourselves and about the way the world works. These assumptions are “self-limiting” because in some way they're holding us back from achieving what we are capable of.

What are some limiting beliefs you are ready and willing to challenge? At certain times or stages in our life, we are more open to accepting an alternative perception. Most of us can look back at some of our early things and realize, even though we thought we knew it all, we barely had a clue.  Why do you suppose that is? There is intelligence and then there is a life experience. Some things just can’t be found in a book and as our mother’s wanted to avoid, must be learned from failing. Failing and learning. 

If you don’t run into challenges, problem solve, and overcome, how will you learn anything? Remember in the beginning I said,  “It just takes a little acceptance, being self-aware, compassion, understanding, and resolve.” Learning from your failures creates resolve. 

Being self-aware involves being honest and tracing your beliefs, assumptions, and perception back to its roots to discover the truth. The truth about who you are and what you actually believe. You are a self-proclaimed grouch - discover the why and change your ways. You are always afraid to try new things - find out where the stems from and change your ways. You aren’t comfortable in a crowd - don’t accept that as fact, figure out where the fear is coming from and change your ways.  My point is, there is no reason you should buy into your limiting beliefs and stay where you are. If you want growth, if you want to change your outlook, you have to be willing to change your perception. 

With that new outlook comes freedom. Freedom from saving the world. Freedom to nurture my own well-being. Free to love without conditions. Freedom to accept that I’m still learning and growing. Freedom in the realization that I don’t have all the answers and that’s ok.

CHALLENGE: Explore your roadblocks to get to the root of this perception. Challenge it with what you know to be true now. Be open and willing to new ideas and understanding. Change your outlook by putting in the work to change your perception.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Hitting Reset, When Snooze is Bigger than Stop

Hitting Reset, When Snooze is Bigger than Stop

September 24, 2019

How many times? How many times are you going to hit the snooze on your life before you move forward? What are you waiting for? It’s easy to adopt Scarlett O'hara's thought process: “I won’t think about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow, after all, tomorrow's another day.” Fear and self-doubt can play a big role in keeping you stuck only wishing and dreaming of a better day. Did you know you have the power to push forward? Unraveling the anxiety and getting to the sticking point might take some work but putting your dreams off until another day means you should have plenty of time. You take that end and I’ll take this one, let’s start unraveling. 

Last week, as the alarm on my phone, was going off I noticed something. Some may say this is super convenient and proceed without a second thought but it hit me with a different message. Why was the snooze bigger than the stop on my alarm? Now, this may not ring true for all cell phones but I’m pretty sure the design has similarities in traditional alarm clocks as well. Right under the word Alarm...there it is, big, oblong, orange, and glowing ...begging me to hit it. Stop is much, much smaller and all the way at the bottom of the screen. You have to really pry your eyes open and be intentional and accurate to hit it. 

Why do you suppose that is? Why would my phone want me to delay the day and go back to sleep? Just being courteous? Or does it assume it will take more than one attempt to get me up? When oversleeping is the one thing that will keep people with an early flight from sleeping, why would they make SNOOZE so tempting and accessible? 

How many times do you take the tempting and accessible alternative in life? Obviously, this show isn’t just about oversleeping, let’s look at how this idea translates into your own life. 

Even though let me mention this; according to one survey, more than one in three adults press snooze three times before getting up in the morning. And more than half of adults in their twenties and early thirties say that they hit the snooze button every morning.

And while it's not a huge deal to snag a few extra minutes of shut-eye once in a while, fighting your alarm on a regular basis might actually leave you feeling more tired during the day and sleep worse at night.

Ok now that we’ve cleared that up...let’s move on to the metaphorical snooze. The one you keep hitting instead of checking off milestones on your life plan.

Maybe you are overwhelmed with the sheer pressure of your day-to-day life and can’t find a moment to plan for your future goals or even know what those are. Even the thought of sitting down to figure all that out seems foreign. Is that you? Are you trying to manage everything for everyone and barely keeping it together?

Help is on its way….we will look at ways to prioritize and set goals that incorporate your vision while freeing you from the responsibility of keeping it all together.  

Maybe you’re afraid, riddled with self-doubt. Unsure that what you want is even attainable. You’ve spent the better part of your life trying to get ahead but always being pushed to the back. How could you possibly spend time goal planning  - It seems like such a waste of time? Time to hit the reset on those ideas. You deserve it ALL. Not a little bit, or some of it, but YOU deserve it all. Let’s find ways to calm your fears so that you can see your true potential. 

Maybe you know exactly what you want and how to get there but for some reason, you’re stuck. You can’t move forward. Every day you start with good intentions but life sidetracks you or maybe it’s YOU getting in your own way but whatever the reason, 2 steps forward = 3 steps back. Let’s figure it out and pull out the stopper. You have amazing stuff to do and you are only a couple steps from making it happen. 

The first thing we have to do is realize procrastination is not a time management issue so finding a new app to help you juggle your day is not going to help. It’s an emotional avoidance. 

So what can you do? Even the most motivated person has something they procrastinate about. I KNOW I need to exercise. I know the health benefits, mentally and physically but it’s the thing I procrastinate about the most. My New Year’s resolution this year was to stop feeling guilty about things I didn’t want to do. Solution? NO - justification! I still feel guilty, even though I gave myself permission not to accept that feeling. 

Why am I putting it off? It’s hard, I don’t enjoy it, it takes time away from other things I actually want to do... there are more reasons I’m sure. 

Several studies show that self-compassion supports motivation and personal growth. Not only does it decrease psychological distress, which we now know is a primary culprit for procrastination, it also actively boosts motivation, enhances feelings of self-worth and fosters positive emotions like optimism, wisdom, curiosity and personal initiative. Best of all, self-compassion doesn’t require anything external — just a commitment to meeting your challenges with greater acceptance and kindness rather than rumination and regret.

So it sounds like I’m on the right track with my New Year’s resolution. However, forgiving myself is only the first step, I’m still not getting to the gym which is actually good for me. Oh, don’t tell my brain that all I have to do is to forgive myself for every thought and action I purposely put off. Ok, obviously that’s not what it's saying but being kind to yourself and recognizing the struggle will help you work out a solution to move forward. That makes sense to me. As a person who typically sees things as black or white, yes or no, spending some time finding the solution and being kind to myself is something I can get behind.

Isn’t it comforting and inspiring to know you have so much control over your life? Just like you can get buried in negative habits that keep you spinning on a never-ending wheel to nowhere, you also have the power to create healthy habits that will help you realize your dreams.  The point is, you have the power. These aren’t the cards you’ve been dealt, you aren’t cursed for life, you aren't powerless and just along for the ride…..you have real power, so it’s time to take it back!

CHALLENGE: Define or redefine your goals. Even if your goal is to start being more productive, evaluate the emotional blocks that are keeping you from moving forward. Make a plan, then reassess that plan and add more granulated steps. Once you have a manageable strategy you are ready to go, just do it! One step forward is better than not moving at all.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It! 

Giving Too Much, Disabling Your Enabling

Giving Too Much, Disabling Your Enabling

September 17, 2019

I know what you’re thinking, how could someone be guilty of giving TOO much. For a person who believes in and practices volunteerism on a weekly basis how could I even think such a thing. But it’s true. I’m using the word “giving” and you are interpreting that word to make sense to you. There are many forms of giving and we are going to explore those tonight; the healthy and the unhealthy. Everything in life needs balance. When you swing too far in any direction there can be consequences.

Everything in moderation, even moderation! We are going to look at giving from a couple of different angles. Let’s first start by understanding the difference between giving freely and giving with conditions. 

To give freely means you are looking for nothing in return. You give, be it money, time, labor, love without expecting a return on your investment. You don’t check up on the gift after it’s been given or even consider the course it will take. It’s none of your business, once given, it’s no longer your concern.  You give out of love and understanding. You give just to give. 

Giving with conditions looks quite a bit different. You give in order to get... validation, praise, respect, debt, control...etc. You give with instructions. If the outcome doesn’t suit your liking you shame or guilt the receiver. You keep tabs or score. You expect a return on your investment. You give to get. 

That may seem harsh but let’s get out the flashlight and point it into the corners of our minds. Can you remember a situation that you gave with conditions? It’s easier than you think. 

 

With those definitions, let’s look at these “harmless” quotes meant to inspire, but now with a new lens. Think of a person who does lose themselves in the process and is willing to give everything they have to get what they want.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ―H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ―Anne Frank

“We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.” ―Orison Swett Marden

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ―Charles Dickens

“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Now, this show is not to deter you from giving but instead, give you some perspective on the balance needed to successfully give and receive.

I used to think I was just super helpful, a great friend, a good child, a caring coworker, a cool Mom. It took me many years, lots of soul searching, and some expert advice to realize being a people pleaser is not a good thing. That my helpfulness at times was a way to control, that my advice, even though very helpful and insightful was unwarranted and intrusive. That was a revelation that was hard to swallow. I didn’t believe it the first time I heard it so I discounted it and went along making mistake after mistake until it clicked…..it had to. 

But I’m just being helpful...you see I’ve already done this or that and I just want to make sure that person isn’t making the same mistakes I made. If they would just take my advice and start doing this or that everything would be perfect. Does any of that sound familiar? 

I identify with the characteristics of co-dependency. The topic tonight is not meant to lead you to the same conclusion we are merely going on a discovery. Being self-aware of your actions and reactions can help you make better choices and ultimately achieve a better balance which is what we’re all striving for. 

I lead a women’s empowerment group called Women Connect. There are two chapters and one of them is for in-patient women at a rehab facility. In this meeting, we work on finding our voice, creating healthy boundaries, harnessing our power, forgiving failure, and finding our happy place. All of these women come from unhealthy relationships with spouses, partners, family members, and children.  If they don’t change their role and responsibility, they won’t have a shot at success. We talk about strengthening our core. I have them visualize a tree, with a weak trunk, as a result, it’s branches are weak and so are its roots. Now imagine hanging things from the branches of an unhealthy tree. It couldn’t possibly support the weight. The work they do to accept responsibility, forgive themselves, and let go of the past, will help them move forward with a healthier self-concept and stronger core.

Things I’ve learned on my journey of self-discovery:

  • I do not have all the answers
  • Not everyone needs or wants my advice
  • The only person I have control over is myself 
  • Love means letting people learn 
  • I’m worthy just the way I am
  • I deserve it ALL

How could you possibly practice self-care, set goals, and focus on your wants, needs, and desires when you are busy taking care of everyone else. Lift your self-imposed responsibility and you will instantly propel yourself forward. 

Being willing to give of yourself is such a wonderful attribute.  As I said in the beginning, everything in moderation. Look at your giving and be honest about your intentions. Nurturing the cape and saving the world is not healthy and not your job. Everyone has a life to lead, some or most will make a bad decision here and there. Lessons are learned when we go through the process of righting the wrong. That’s a journey we all need to make on our own time and at our own pace. 

CHALLENGE: Channel this energy in a positive direction that strengthens your core. Give freely and give of yourself to yourself, first. Be willing to share, learn, and grow while allowing others to do the same. 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Back to the Basics, The Realness of Retro

Back to the Basics, The Realness of Retro

September 10, 2019

Times are a-changing but what happened to the “good ol’days? Are you questioning that more and more? There is no doubt that with all the emerging technology and modern-day conveniences life hasn’t gotten a little easier but true to the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” Some things should have been left alone. So things we might see now as inconvenient might have been critical to our social and emotional well-being and maybe paramount to our development as a society. So let’s reminisce a little bit…..go “way back” as I like to say it, and revisit what might need reviving.

So what is way back for you? Think about that time when everything felt right, easy, joyful ...it may be your youth since responsibilities could have been few or it could have been when YOU were in your hey-day, feeling on top of the world. It might have been a time you’ve just heard about - a simpler time when connections were real and people made an effort, were taken at their word, and choices were few but the quality was high. Where ever you mind transports you...let’s talk about then. 

My Dad was 1st generation German who was born to immigrant parents that settled in Seattle, Washington. His Dad passed away when he was 11 but he remembers a man who was very proud to be in America, he took pride in his work and cherished his relationships. He was a “gas jockey” and he took his job very seriously. My Dad still has his uniform, it was always neatly pressed and pristine and he felt honored putting it on every day. He wasn’t trying to shorten his day or work from home. He wasn’t bitter about management and not owning his own time. He wasn’t irritated at having his day scheduled or having to get up early. He was appreciative of a steady job, a paycheck, the opportunity to be part of a team, the respect earned, and the responsibility given. 

When my Dad landed in Southern Illinois for a job at the University he settled in Cobden. A small, rural farm town where everyone knew everyone. He made connections quickly because he knew he had to establish some roots. He needed to be part of the community. You see he bought a place south of town, a big farmhouse needing a little repair. He had a wife and infant son and only knew one other person. I remember him telling me this story and reminding me that, you are only as good as your word. Never forget that. This was before credit cards and as I said, he was new in town and only had one connection. Back then you bought things on credit but that was determined by your character and if they felt you were trustworthy. He always paid on time and before long was in good standing with this close-knit community. He wasn’t judged based on his “credit score” he didn’t have Amazon and wasn’t a prime member. He wasn’t researching companies' legitimacy and reading 1-star reviews to see if they were just hyper-critical or helpful. He was meeting people, developing relationships, and earning trust. He was making commitments and seeing them through that shaped his character and gave him an admirable reputation. 

I bring up these two stories to shine a light on the fact that there are important life lessons we are meant to learn on this journey. Sometimes the journey means meandering, getting stuck in the ruts, getting towed out of the mud, coasting down the highway, taking a side route that might be a bit rocky, finding a detour to avoid danger ahead,  or even setting it on cruise control ...and everything in between. Taking the luge of life ...not passing Go, not collecting $200, is no way to live. Every obstacle, challenge, loss, and win is a chance to learn and grow. When we eventually make life SO easy then where is the lesson, and where is the growth? 

When choices were limited decisions were easy. We could focus on one thing at a time and enjoy the process. Today we are mentally pulled in every direction that we end up spinning in circles instead of picking a clear path.

What happened to our attention spans?? Why can’t we just sit still? No wonder we feel so exhausted, overwhelmed, and sick. WE are overloading ourselves trying to consume everything in front of us. Information is everywhere and most of the times we aren’t fully aware of how hard it’s working to grab our attention. We’ve become used to this and just accept it as normal. Think about Ma and Pa (Little House on the Praire reference) They are going to town to see what’s new at the mercantile. They didn’t wake up and check their phone or surf social media to see what’s new. They didn’t flip on the tube while having coffee or turn on the local commercial radio station. They loaded the kids in the wagon and had a nice ride into town. They didn’t see billboards advertising the latest and greatest littering the roadside. They pulled up to the store…..THE STORE. They didn’t have endless options all vying for their attention and their money. Now, when they went in -THERE were the advertisements and circulars. When the choice to shop had been made. Oh, those were the days. 

Today ads are EVERYWHERE - It’s difficult to look in any direction and not be bombarded. Who are you supposed to make sense of all this information?

Nostalgia has a way of erasing the daily annoyances we experienced, and it leaves behind only the warm, fuzzy feelings.

We come across a familiar smell, place or song on the radio, and we instantly feel comforted by days gone by.

We are transported back in time to childhood when our world was just a few streets wide, and our main concern was running out of daylight before making it home for dinner.

Think of the things we need to fight not to lose, the things that weren’t broken. Family dinners, making time to catch up in person with your friends, meeting your neighbors and then checking in on them, quiet moments to reflect, reading, spending time outside, talking, wondering, problem-solving, getting your hands dirty, celebrating life…….what are some of yours?

CHALLENGE: If you long for a simpler time...make it happen. Unplug, reduce, limit, and prioritize the information you allow in your life. Nurture your relationships and build in time to make meaningful memories. You deserve it.

I Know YOU Can Do It!