Encouragementology
Bridging the Generational Gap An Understanding for All Ages

Bridging the Generational Gap An Understanding for All Ages

October 26, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we aren’t trying to get hip, don’t trip, throw shade, or be woke - we are simply trying to bridge the generational gap and understand all the ages. Do you feel like you’re stuck in a time warp not understanding what the “kids” today are saying, meaning, or even thinking? Maybe you’re on the other end with mind-blowing comments like we used to walk everywhere we went or gas used to cost 25 cents a gallon. Better yet you’re trapped in the middle being the interpreter of multiple generations wondering where you fit it. Understanding is key to getting you out of the rut and over the hump but where do you start? You start by not limiting your understanding to what is comfortable and makes perfect sense to you. You stretch your mind by being open and willing to explore other ideas. 

No matter what generation you’re in, there is space to grow and learn. We kid about being stuck in a time warp but think about it, what if you really were? Pick an era you felt had it all. Quality of life, values, morals and easier way to go - whatever you feel gave it the advantage. Now, transport that person HERE, to this place and time. Imagine what it would feel like to be lost trying to navigate the modern conveniences of today. Technology, transportation, communication, you name it. 

I have always been one to embrace new technology. Not an early adopter per se but my jobs have always made it necessary to be tech-savvy AND I’m naturally curious and not afraid of messing something up.  Because of that, I’ve kept up pretty well. To give you some context, I believe computers were introduced during my senior year in high school and my first experience with the internet was data by the hour. I was before email or cell phones.

When cell phones were available they were car phones and I wasn’t about to get a car phone until I had a nice car to put it in which meant it was much later when I actually got my first phone. When text messaging became available I thought it was the silliest thing - kind of like when you could write shell or hello on a calculator.

Can you think of a gap you’ve had or witnessed? How have you been able to find a bridge? 

Interactiveschools.com enlightens us with: GENERATION WHO? UNDERSTANDING THE TRENDS OF EACH GEN

Patrick Buggy helps us explore this idea with his article, Non-Judgment: What is it? And Why Does it Matter? (4 Benefits) found at mindfulambition.com

Susan Adcox informs us with What Research Says About the Generation Gap

Generational Differences and Their Causes found at verywellfamily.com

 

The Edu4Sure Team gives us 7 Ways To Bridge The Generation Gap found at edu4sure.com

 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS: Bridging the Generational Gap An Understanding for All Ages

  1. Be willing to stretch your mind by being open and willing to explore other ideas
  2. It’s easy to pick judgment over understanding and acceptance.
  3. Everything that we experience is filtered, categorized, and dealt with in some automatic way
  4. Sometimes, these judgments are helpful. They can lead you to understand the things that bring you up, give you energy, and fill you with purpose. 
  5. Mindfulness presents an alternative to this vicious cycle in the form of non-judgment.
  6. Setting down the judging mind, even for a short while, is a refreshing weight off of your shoulders.
  7. To practice mindfulness is to make direct contact with the experience you’re having. Getting in touch with the actual experience itself is a freeing and peaceful state.
  8. Today, although more Americans see generational differences, most do not see them as divisive. 
  9. According to the Pew study, all generations regard older Americans as superior in moral values, work ethic, and respect for others.
  10.  Connect, listen, understand, and encourage

 

CHALLENGE: to work together. Most conflict comes from a lack of understanding and why don’t we understand? Because we aren’t open to other ideas that conflict with our own and we aren’t listening.  Today, be patient and look for more commonalities vs differences. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

The Stranglehold of Stress and How to Find Relief

The Stranglehold of Stress and How to Find Relief

October 19, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show... we are breaking free, removing the stronghold of stress, and finding relief. “How?” you say. “Cut to the chase!” you say. Well now, you know me better than that. I’m on this journey too. I might seem cool as a cucumber but I have my fair share of stress. Mostly self-inflicted but stress all the same. I don’t have to tell you that prolonged stress can have serious effects on your health and on your life. So outside of quitting your demanding job, putting your kids into boarding school, and giving all pets to the Sunnyside Farm over yonder somewhere - let’s explore the cause of your stress, what it may or may not be doing to you, and ways you can get some relief.

Let’s start with understanding a little more about stress. You might be overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, or cranky - but are you stressed?

Do you feel anxious when you can’t find something, get somewhere, or meet someone? Are you putting yourself into this predicament? Saying yes and not saying no? 

It’s important on this journey not to lump it all together as just a stressful day. What about the day was stressful? Did you wake up that way or was there an event that triggered this feeling? 

Dr. Elizabeth Scott helps us get started with her article for verywellmind.com: What Is Stress?

Arielle Tschinkel gives us 21 sneaky signs you're stressed — even if you think you aren't found at insider.com

Candi at inspiremystyle.com keeps the ideas coming with 10 Creative Ways to De-stress and Get Your Day Back on Track

KEY HIGHLIGHTS: The Stranglehold of Stress And How to Find Relief

  1. My Grandpa told me if you don’t want to be late, leave a little early
  2. The way you respond to stress makes a big difference to your overall well-being
  3. Sometimes stress can come from an obvious source, but sometimes even small daily stresses from work, school, family, and friends can take a toll on your mind and body
  4. In cases of chronic stress, the relaxation response doesn't occur often enough, and being in a near-constant state of fight-or-flight can cause damage to the body.
  5. When you understand the toll stress takes on you and the steps to combat stress, you can take charge of your health and reduce the impact stress has on your life.
  6. Discover how to live more mindfully throughout your day so you can become more awake and conscious throughout your life
  7. You can NOT do everything and trying will eventually catch up with you. 
  8. It's scary but true: there are plenty of silent signs stress is making you sick, or just messing with your well-being in ways you aren't fully aware of.
  9. Stress can have many detrimental impacts on your relationship, and they're often subtle, so you might not even realize that they're happening.
  10.  You have to be willing to say no and let some of those things weighing down your schedule, adding unnecessary pressure, and stealing your joy. 

CHALLENGE: build in time to decompress and find joy. Be willing to let go of the need to do it all, break the stranglehold of stress, and experience relief. The long-term payoff is worth it!

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Making Sense of Loss and Moving Forward

Making Sense of Loss and Moving Forward

October 12, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we aren’t pretending to have all the answers or even the navigation tools to move on or get going in the right direction. We’re just trying to make sense of loss and move forward. Coping is an individual skill that everyone has to come to in their own time. You might crave comfort and support from family and friends and then again, you may want to retreat into your own cocoon until you are ready to face tomorrow. Loss also can describe a multitude of deprivation. You might be faced with a tragedy of biblical proportions or slowly losing something you cherish. We can grieve life-changing events as well as missed opportunities. All come with their own challenges and adjustment periods and neither should we judge ourselves harshly nor push ourselves to move too fast through the process. It’s important to encourage and nurture yourself as well as your friends and loved ones. Gentle reminder; we are all unique individuals and what you find sad, fun, outrageous, brilliant, or mad - may be slightly or radically different from others. 

Encouragementology is about all of life’s challenges and loss is a big one. We all will and have dealt with grief at some point in our lives.

"The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief - But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love." Hillary Stanton Zunin

You only experience profound grief when you’ve experienced great love. Some say it’s the trade-off. 

But that doesn’t really help one get through it. We can all agree: Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

As I said, we will be looking at all types of loss from different angles. But let’s start with the most shattering as an attempt to cover the heartbreaking first and work our way into the light. The loss of a loved one.

I found some thoughts for exploration at healgrief.org: Understanding Grief and Loss: An Overview

It will never get easy no matter how many books you read or podcasts you listen to. Losing someone you love is the hardest kind of loss which is why we covered it first. Unlike the stages of grief….we can move on in the show, just like that. SNAP

What about losing a relationship, albeit love, friendship, or colleague? This has its own set of challenges. You lose someone but they didn’t really go anywhere, just out of YOUR life. 

Whether you were on the giving or receiving end - breaking up is hard to do.  I’ve had my share of loss during my lifetime and the hardest part to me is the “what ifs” or the “what did I do’s”. You can go on an endless pursuit for something that will make sense and give answers where there are only questions. But is any of that real? It’s easier for us to fabricate that moment in time that the disillusionment happened than to accept that it’s just time to move on or that everyone isn’t supposed to be in your life forever but instead, come and go.

Surviving A Relationship Break-Up - Top 20 Strategies from Dr. Kim Maertz At the Mental Health Centre, University of Alberta

Amy Morin helps us with Healthy Coping Skills for Uncomfortable Emotions found at verywellmind.com

 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS: Making Sense of Loss and Moving Forward

  1. Gentle reminder; we are all unique individuals and what you find sad, fun, outrageous, brilliant, or mad - may be slightly or radically different from others.
  2. You only experience profound grief when you’ve experienced great love.
  3. There are no rules, no timetables, and no linear progression to overcoming grief
  4. Your feelings are normal, and it’s important to remember that at some point, it will get better.
  5.  treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and without judgment. You have the right to grieve, and no one — including yourself — can tell you when it’s time to end that process.
  6. Your mind and body are connected, and physical health helps with the emotional healing process.
  7.  If left untreated, both complicated grief and depression can lead to significant health problems, emotional damage, and more.
  8.  Healthy coping means both identifying these feelings and allowing ourselves to experience these feelings.
  9. As we talk to supportive friends and family members, we can come to some new understandings and relieve some of our pain. Holding all of these negative feelings in just doesn’t work
  10. When you’re feeling distressed, ask yourself, “Do I need to change my situation or do I need to find a way to better cope with the situation?”

 

CHALLENGE: be kind and gentle with yourself, lean in to support from friends and family, search for coping strategies that aid support without feeling rushed. Loss and the grief associated with it have no timeline but offer hope that it will get better. 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Being Politely Persistent Instead of Pushy

Being Politely Persistent Instead of Pushy

October 5, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we aren’t giving up but staying in there; focused and moving forward as we master the art of being politely persistent instead of pushy. Now that may come easy to you...OR you might be conjuring up a memory of being walked over, easily discounted, bossy, and demanding. Whichever seems like more your speed, finding a delicate balance can be difficult. Not to fear, we are going to walk through these behaviors to trying on what works best for you. The important part to remember is that you are in control of your own actions and reactions and that being your best and giving your all, is up to you. So many times we’re easily detoured at the first sign of resistance or we barrel through unannounced and unaware making sure the outcome is in our favor. 

I’ve been in sales my whole adult life but even before I acquired those skills, I was born with a few of my own. The gift of gab, natural-born negotiation, and not easily accepting the word no. Yes, that one got me in trouble more than once. One of the things you learn as a salesperson is that “no” just means not now or that you might need to finesse your value proposition to better match the client’s needs, but that’s for another show.  You also learn that being pushy or aggressive will get you shut down and shut out which is not a good place to be when you rely on a prospective client’s purchases today and in the future.

So it’s imperative that you find a balance, persistent but not pushy. I had a client tell me that about myself one time. I think I apologized for continuing to push him and he said “you are politely persistent, not pushy”.  What a relief and it’s something that has stuck with me since.

 Alex Smirnov gives us the Top 6 Lessons You'll Learn from Working in Sales found at badgermapping.com

 

Here’s an example of his technique found at changingminds.org

 

Z.Hereford explains The Power of Persistence found at essentiallifeskills.net

 

Carolyn Steber sheds a light on 9 Habits You Don't Realize Can Make You Seem Overbearing found at bustle.com Carolyn Steber sheds a light on 9 Habits You Don't Realize Can Make You Seem Overbearing found at bustle.com

 

We are going to finish up with 6 Ways to Persuade Without Being Pushy from Kevin Daum found at inc.com

 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS -

  1. We “sell” in everything we do. We sell people on our ideas, we negotiate terms, we follow up, and we close deals. 
  2. Developing networking and strong interpersonal skills early helps you get ahead in every area of life.
  3. By listening more than you talk, you learn how to ask the right questions at the right time. 
  4.  Only you can move you, forward.
  5. One of the ways you can prepare for setbacks and obstacles is to anticipate potential problems and have a contingency plan.
  6. When we are overwhelmed with a problem or difficulty, we don't have time to develop the persistence necessary to deal with a particular obstacle or setback.
  7. Despite any old adage you may have heard and believed, you can always learn something new.
  8. It can be tough to tell the difference between true assertiveness and habits that come off as too pushy, since they can both deal with getting what you want, telling people what you think, and having things go your way.
  9. When people are being assertive [...] they are expressing their needs in direct, open, honest ways while still being respectful of the other person's needs and preferences
  10.  You have to put yourself out there again and again. The best way to improve is to fail. You'll learn from your mistakes and become better

CHALLENGE: be willing to commit to self-discovery as you become more aware of what you think, how you react, and how it’s perceived. Be diligent in your pursuit making polite persistence the goal instead of pushy.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Finding Your Voice And Embracing Your Silence

Finding Your Voice And Embracing Your Silence

September 28, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are walking a fine line and exploring a delicate balance as we find our voices while embracing our silence. Choices... aren’t you glad you have choices? Now if we could just figure out the right cadence, the appropriate timing, and the relevance of it all. You might have heard, "if you want something you have to speak up and demand it" but then you may have also heard, "you get more bees with honey".  No matter which way you turn, you can find a quote validating your decision.

"Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on." -Thurgood Marshall.

“Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid”. - Bernard Meltzer

“Silence is a source of great strength”. Lao Tzu 

When you consider whether to speak up or to remain silent or somewhere in between, you have to consider a few factors:

Timing - is this the appropriate time for you to insert your opinion or defend your idea?

Relevancy - is what you’re saying relevant to the conversation, climate, or the hour?

Origin - where did this idea originate? From a place of kindness or retaliation? 

Outcome - what are you hoping to gain with your input? To prove a point, further the conversation, share knowledge, or lobby acceptance.

That might sound insane to have to go through that filtering system before you speak but let’s sit back and think about it for a minute. We have all been guilty of speaking before thinking. Letting our emotions or thirst for justification, get the better of us or walked away from a conversation wishing we would have kept our mouth shut.

Building in a moment to pause….and think, could make all the difference. 

To get us started I wanted to share a word by Dan Cumberland - The Secret To Finding Your Voice...found at meaning movement.com Such great insight into his revelation on the subject.

 

Brittany Johnson shares 7 Things To Remember When You're Scared To Speak Up

Found at nbcwashington.com

 

Greg Savva sheds some light on the feel of Powerlessness found at couseling-direcory.org

 

Over at emindful.com, I found Three Ways to Help You Speak Up and Convey Your Thoughts

 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS: Finding Your Voice And Embracing Your Silence

  1. When you find your voice, you don’t find some new thing inside of you; instead, you find a little more of you. 
  2. “Finding your voice” is a misleading name for this process. The real work is wondering why you don’t like what you already have to say.
  3. One thing I’m learning is to let everyone establish their own level of comfort. It’s not up to me to make people comfortable. 
  4. Most social conflicts between good people start with bad communication or no communication.
  5.  The right words can be incredibly healing.
  6. You are as powerful as the meaningful ideas you share with others, and you are as wise as the selective silence you leave behind.
  7. Without fully knowing how your words will be received and what kind of effect they might have - should you be so free with them?
  8. Sometimes finding the will to voice our opinion is challenging because we’re worried it isn’t in the majority
  9. Taking time to connect to our values also can motivate us to share our opinion – even when they might not be popular.
  10.  When it comes to expressing our needs, sometimes timing is as important as knowing what to say. 

 

CHALLENGE: take a moment to assess and decide what is best for you and the situation. Your words are powerful and when used appropriately they can inspire, soothe, and encourage. Filter negativity and speak up with authority or stay silent with intention.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Moving Mountains, Power & Perspective

Moving Mountains, Power & Perspective

September 21, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...it’s all in the eye of the beholder. From your line of vision, are you on the ground staring at what can only be described as an unsurmountable mess of chaos, stress, and todos OR are you feeling the fresh air of victory as you look down and survey all you’ve accomplished and what might be your next move? Transportation from one visual to the next is within your power and your perspective. You might have heard it before “the day starts and ends with you”. This mantra isn’t announcing your logistical whereabouts but instead describing your power over perception. The start and particularly your positive or negative acceptance are up to you. And at the end of the day, it’s YOU who describes the sentiment of the day. Was it a good day or a bad day….only you know. You have the power to move mountains with what you expect, what you project, and what you accept. 

I have been talking about Encouragementology - the practice of instilling hope, for over 5 years. It started with the revelation of encouragement and how that affects all creatures. Investing one’s time, empathy, and positive energy can have a profound impact on the universe. Encouragement shouldn’t be watered down to a “go gettum” mantra or a slogan like “just do it”. It’s important to understand what appropriate encouragement looks like and the power one produces when delivering authentic encouragement. 

I produced a couple of talks recently and it dawned on me; an overarching theme for everything I’ve ever talked about is Power & Perspective. I’m on a mission to help people understand the power they possess to rule over their lives. The golden combination includes one’s perspective. With just a slight shift in perspective, your mental location can go from base camp to scaling the summit. And back….and back again. 

Words Can Change Your Brain -according to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain. Written by  Therese J. Borchard  and found at pschcentral.com

Stacy Weibe gives us WAYS TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS found at thelife.com

Patrick Buggy shines more light on this idea in The Power of Perception: Change Your Narrative, Change Your Life found at mindfulambition.com

I found some interesting ideas at Mental Health America, mhanational.org - Getting Out of Thinking Traps

Giving us solutions instead of problems is Elizabeth Burke with: How to Take Back Your Power & Regain Control Over Your Life found at empoweredtherapy.org

 

 KEY HIGHLIGHTS -Moving Mountains, Power & Perspective

  1. You have the power to move mountains with what you expect, what you project, and what you accept.
  2. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can change your brain.
  3. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. 
  4. It doesn’t have to be a premeditated act of kindness to be encouraging.
  5. The sheer fact that you have a choice is another way to demonstrate your power.
  6. since life’s events aren’t imbued with universal meaning, you get to choose how you feel about things. You are in control of your life’s narrative!
  7. your energy is not dictated by the randomness of life’s happening
  8. When you understand that life’s events don’t carry universal meaning, your enthusiasm and energy are not held captive by the randomness of life’s events.
  9. Investing time in another human being can pay the most rewarding dividends. 
  10.  You have resources around you, a mouth to ask for help, a mind that can deliver patience, and the ability to soothe your stress. You are not powerless.

 

CHALLENGE: Recognize your power to choose perception, affect change, ignite positivity, and spread encouragement. Going from base camp to summit is all within your reach.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

F-E-A-R For Every & All Reasons

F-E-A-R For Every & All Reasons

September 14, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show…we’re keeping both eyes wide open as we hit FEAR head-on. That’s right, we are standing up to fear, pushing it back, and delivering an ultimatum; show you’re worth in our lives or get to packin’. No longer will we let the stronghold of fear hold us back from who we were meant to be, what we were meant to do, and where we were meant to go. Fear has a middle name; acceptance and that one has to go to. We aren’t accepting that because this is the way it’s always been, this is the way it will always be. Hogwash! I don’t know about you but I deserve more and won’t settle for settling. Even if we can’t snap our finger and dissolve fear into dust we CAN make a commitment, right now, to each other that we will take a step forward to finding the why, the what, and the how. 

Many types of fear are natural. It’s what causes our body to react and take action so a healthy dose is positive and crucial to survival. We’ll be digging into the mechanics of that as we go along. There is also a decent amount of irrational fears. Like fear of spiders, Junebugs, or balloons. These fears creep up on you and no matter what you tell yourself…” Kendall, it’s a balloon, a child’s party favor, how on earth can that hurt you?” your body still reacts on its own assumptions. 

But the fear we are going to dive into is the persistent fear that cripples you from achieving your true potential or even a normal life. The one that smothers you in self-doubt, anxiety, and shame. That feeling who’s unwelcomed visits come at the worst possible times.

Arash Javanbakht and Linda Saab tell us What Happens in the Brain When We Feel Fear found at smithsonianmag.com

Dr. Matt James takes us  6 steps further with 6 Signs That Fear is Holding You Back found at psychologytoday.com 

Have you ever heard of the “power of suggestion?” Maybe you’ve heard, “what you seek you shall find?” Fear can be easily handed to us as an ember and with a little fuel, we can have a full-on fire that is out of control. The media is notorious for sending out spark after spark. But in the power of suggestion is also your power of perception. You can reject these notions and do your own discovery. You can push back, unplug, and step away. Shock and awe have always sold better than oohs and awwwes. 

Dr. Deborah Serani. A licensed psychologist and  the award-winning author of "Living with Depression," "Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers" and "Depression in Later Life" exposes this phenomenon with If It Bleeds, It Leads: Understanding Fear-Based Media found at psychologytoday.com

Dr. Theo Tsaousides provides some insight into 12 Common Fears That Keep Us Stuck - These everyday fears can be scarier than snakes and spiders. Found at psychologytoday.com

So, what are you afraid of? If you’ve literally been afraid to find out, you might not yet know. Oh, you get that panicky feeling that comes out of nowhere but instead of trying to identify the root cause you’ve been focusing on your reaction to it. Sounds reasonable. But no one gets anywhere without taking a step forward.

Dr. Theo Tsaousides provides some insight into 12 Common Fears That Keep Us Stuck - These everyday fears can be scarier than snakes and spiders. Found at psychologytoday.com

Leo Babauta outlines A Guide to Beating the Fears That Are Holding You Back found on zenhabits.com

 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS - FEAR FOR EVERY AND ANY REASON

  1. When we are able to recognize what is and isn’t a real threat, relabel an experience and enjoy the thrill of that moment, we are ultimately at a place where we feel in control.
  2. Abnormal levels of fear and anxiety can lead to significant distress and dysfunction and limit a person’s ability for success and joy of life.
  3. Fear sees only the downside
  4. Give yourself time and space to hear other voices besides fear’s in any decision. 
  5.  In the power of suggestion is also your power of perception
  6. Remember that you have the power to turn off the remote, leave a website, or change the radio station.
  7. First, acknowledge your fear. This is a huge first step. 
  8. Take control over it by writing it down. It is now outside you. 
  9. Recognize that you’re not alone, that we ALL have these fears, that we all think we might not be good enough.
  10.  Be in the moment. Fear of failure (and other similar fears) are fears of the future

CHALLENGE: to control your fears by understanding them. There is power in knowledge and your own perception. When armed, fight back to remove their stronghold. Freedom from fear holds your victory.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Looking in the Mirror and Seeing Past the Reflection

Looking in the Mirror and Seeing Past the Reflection

September 7, 2021

SHOW NOTES: 

On this show...we’re making eye contact and exploring deeper as we look in the mirror to see past the reflection. Maybe you have all the confidence a person can exude, top of your game, celebrating you in your own skin. But chances are, as tough as you present yourself to be, there are times when weakness wins and self-doubt and criticism creep in. Some of the strongest people you may think you know are dealing with self-esteem issues that at times are crippling. Following the mottos “never let them see your sweat” and “always put your best foot forward”, these struggles can be private and lonely. Suffering in silence and desperately seeking self-love. Today, we’re coming clean, being honest with ourselves, and showing a bit of vulnerability. Today, we are going deeper and looking for more.

This can be a heavy subject, I mean, self-love is kind of complicated. To some it may sound like this eutopia or mirage; something we should all be striving for but secretly know we’ll never get there. It can also feel like a blanket statement…” you need to love yourself”. What does that really mean? Not to be too practical but goal setting is only successful if you can create goals that are meaningful to you, are something you are truly interested in pursuing, and have some level of attainability. Shouldn’t self-love be the same? 

Maybe we need to get more specific. In order to do that, we need to see where our hangups lie. Pushing against that idea you either love or hate yourself, maybe it’s more granular than that. You love certain aspects, aren’t fond of others, and downright loathe a few. 

Dr. Shainna Ali gets us started with an important perspective - What Self-Love Isn’t - Four concepts that you're confusing with self-love. Found at psycologytoday.com

Exerts from the content:
To help clarify, let’s be clear on what self-love is not.

  • Entitlement
  • Selfishness
  • Sinful
  • An Excuse

Sometimes we get self-love and self-care intertwined to the point that we confuse a long bubble bath and a pedicure with mental health and happiness. More pedi’s fewer pity parties. Don’t get me wrong, a good soak for your feet or your whole self is not a bad thing and does lead to relaxation and a warm happy feeling but remember, we are looking past the reflection and going deeper. There is more that makes up this recipe of natural self-love...the love of yourself, mind, body, and spirit. The unique characteristics that make you, you. Your special gifts, points of view, and deep-seated morals. 

Not as easy as it sounds but anything worth having is going to take some effort.

Independent.ie  echos this same sentiment in their article: Love thyself: Practising self-love isn't as easy as it sounds

Exerts from the content:

Louise Hay, author of the best-selling You Can Heal Your Life, and founder of publishing company Hay House, died at age 90 years old.

As one of the most prominent figures in the self-development movement, Hay wrote dozens of books and dispensed plenty of wisdom, yet her philosophy almost always came back to the transformative power of self-love. As she said herself: "I found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself."

I just started growing a garden. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the game. I’ve always had a self-proclaimed black thumb, realizing air plants don’t in fact eat air, they still need water to survive. Who knew?? At any rate, I’m excited by this newfound adventure of growing my own healthy and organic food! 

A packet of seeds is where it all starts. Each little individual seed is planted in the earth. Spaced out with room to grow. From here it takes nature cooperating, ie sun, rain, and descent temps. But it also takes me filling in the gaps. Noticing when they are dry, attracting bugs, getting overshadowed by weeds, or plucked up by a bunny. Most importantly….patience. Some will pop through the soil faster than others, some will be hearty, and some will take more time and care. Some will yield produce and some won’t make it. How will I adjust my process to produce a better outcome next time? 

At this point….you’re ready to move into problem-solving mode right? What can we do to cultivate more love for ourselves? Nurture our seeds to produce a healthy crop. Well,  remember the garden and patience? 

First, Tara Well explains What the Mirror Can Teach You About Yourself: Advice from a Mirror Gazing Expert found out mindful.org

Exerts from the content:

Mirrors can evoke strong feelings in us – and they can also be incredibly powerful tools for changing our perspective and seeing parts of ourselves that are usually hidden as we look out into the world.

Instead of searching outside myself for people, places, and things that would distract me from negative emotions or self-criticism, I used the mirror to face myself and ground myself by simply looking into my own eyes with compassion. I found the mirror was a great way to work out my emotions, too. 

Ok, Tara...I for one am going to take this challenge! It truly is a challenge for me. There are so many things I appreciate about myself. My laugh (as obnoxious as it may sound to others) it’s genuine and comes from the heart. I love that I find a lot of things humorous, including myself! I like my smile for some of the same reasons. I smile a lot because I’m engaged and intrigued or amused. I’m curious and enjoy connecting and encouraging - all these things bring out my smile which is a window to my soul. I love my curious mind, the way it cares, observes, problem-solves, and prompts my body to take action. It lights up when I can brainstorm, especially with others!

I like my courage and the fact that I’m bold. I approach everything I do with the mindset that I DO have the ability it takes to succeed. I’m not afraid to try and fail and I appreciate that my failures provide motivation instead of crushing my bold spirit. 

I’m tough on myself when it comes to my body and my lack of motivation to push it harder. I am a firm believer that if you want something to happen you make it happen instead of willing it to do so YET each morning I stare at myself with harsh judgment and shame. I brought three beautiful souls into this world but instead of celebrating that miracle when I look at myself, I only see what happened as a result. Shallow? Well sure...normal? You betcha. 

Darlene Lancer bails us out with 7 Ways to Cultivate Self-Love found at psycentral.com

  • Exerts from the content:
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Self-forgiveness
  • Self-Appreciation
  • Loving Actions
  • Practicing Gratitude
  • Self-Love Visualizations

KEY HIGHLIGHTS 

  1. All too often we seek love from others, before looking within.
  2. . A critical component in self-love is recognizing your limits, needs, and worth, and asserting intrapersonal and interpersonal boundaries as needed to uphold them.
  3. "I found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself."
  4. Remember, radical self-love isn't a bumper sticker or a fridge magnet saying. It's a paradigm shift that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
  5. patience, care, mindfulness, modification, and commitment are all necessary and can be applied to all mile markers on your journey.
  6. kinder self-awareness is the key to breaking free from the inner critic and the external world that stokes our fears and anxieties that we are never safe, never good enough, and never have enough.
  7. We are all born innocent and worthy of love.
  8. Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
  9. Self-acceptance is greater than self-esteem, and self-acceptance paves the way for self-love
  10. fulfilling our needs and wants is an act of self-love that lifts our spirits. It’s a key to happiness that calms and revitalizes us. 

CHALLENGE: Ready your soil by taking time to cultivate self-love. Plant your seeds; wants, needs, and desires firmly with a commitment to make yourself a priority. Enjoy your harvest, a true reflection of your soul. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

In the NOW, the Art of Being Present

In the NOW, the Art of Being Present

August 31, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we will raise our hand when called, sitting up straight, and being present as we transport ourselves in the NOW. How many hours in the day do you spend rehashing a time past; fond memories, past mistakes, lost loves, easier times, or devastating tragedies? Maybe you focus on time travel as you brainstorm about the future; better times, new ventures, finally arriving, potential love, or the right recipe to finally achieving happiness. Wherever you are today, why not try the here and now. Today, at the moment, as it happens….the art of being present. Is it possible to live life without expectations? Relying on who you are today to get you through the hour. So many minutes, hours, days, months, years are spent mentally traveling through time instead of drinking in the special moments made in the NOW. 

I for one struggle with the NOW. I’m busy, busy, always planning and doing and before I know it, a whole day has gone by and I’m exhausted. I love to brainstorm new ideas and make grand plans. What could be? For me, these aren’t just pipedreams but in most cases, something I activate and add to my plate. 

Meditation always seemed to slow. I would sit there waiting for something to happen and my mind would be in a million different places. The first time I tried yoga I thought the same thing - this isn’t exercise! Before that rubs you the wrong way I now know my line of thinking was all skewed. I kept thinking I was supposed to be pushing myself, huffing and puffing. Then one day I was able to relax my mind and concentrate on what I was doing at the moment and I found it both challenging and relaxing.

The relaxing part for me was giving my mind a break. I’ve always said if mind racing burnt calories I would be in such great shape haha. I have yet to be consistent with anything but burning the candle at both ends but this IS something I strive for. So here, in the now, I’m saying it to all of you. My goal is to create more moments throughout my day to give my mind a treat, relax, and just BE. 

Gunjan Johar lays out the timeline of Past, Present, Future: Where Do You Spend Your Time? In her article for medium.com

Exerts from the content:

Some people focus on what “should” have happened or what “should” happen instead of on what “is” happening. They blame others for slights that occurred decades ago and unfortunately, they are usually the only one who remembers this. They have difficulty forgiving others or themselves and this prevents them from letting go and moving forward in a healthy manner.

No matter what your situation, you always have the option to change. We are all able to restart our life if we make the decision to do so, but your way of thinking has to change.

I realize letting go of an old way of thinking may not be as easy as it sounds. “Just let go” or “get over it!” - our minds have a nasty habit of running away with our thoughts and the logical you, feels like you’re chasing it down saying “HEY give that back!”. But there are ways to start the process of asserting more control.

And that may be where you are on your journey. You’ve hit the mile marker of starting to become more aware of these habits in order to make a shift. Perfect. Let’s start there…

Darius Foroux gives us a tactic with Past, Present, and Future: Use Time Perspectives to Live Better found at dariusforoux.com

Exerts from the content:

The 3-time perspectives of the human mind

Past, Present, and Future

The 1/9/90 principle of time perspectives

1% past-focused: I take about 15 minutes a day to journal. But I don’t just think about the past when I journal. I try to occasionally reflect on the past to learn. 

9% future-focused: This is the time I dedicate to planning and thinking about the future. I always want to be aware of the fact that life can be long. For example, I spend time creating fitness routines and buying healthy food because I know that’s better for future-me.

90% present-focused: This is when I execute my plans and the time I spend enjoying my days. While I might plan only 9% of the time, the actual work happens here: Working out, writing, reading, doing chores, eating, traveling, and so forth. I don’t want to be lost in thought when I do these things.

It’s hard to embrace the joy of the NOW when you believe your best times have already come and gone. Remember the “easier times” you know - before bills, responsibility, complicated relationships, children. The time in your life when it was all about you. 

Tim Hill explains; Why Am I Always Thinking About The Past? In his article found at timhillpsychotherapy.com

Exerts from the content:

Introspection can lead you to learn more about yourself. 

Rumination – regret and ‘wheel spinning'

Telling the difference between rumination and introspection

  • If you feel that you are drawing lessons from the past, or enjoying the past then it's more likely that you're being introspective. On the other hand, if your thoughts about the past are full of regrets and bitterness, or your thoughts have a repetitive automatic quality, it's likely that you are ruminating.

Visualizing yourself where you want to be and what you want to be doing is important in creating goals and harnessing the motivation to reach them. But where is the balance? Remember talking about the pendulum swing from extreme to the extreme? In all things, a healthy balance is an ultimate goal. 

Author Claudia Hammond exposes the behavior of;  Why You're Spending Time Thinking About the Future in the Present found at ttbook.org

Listen to the show for this wonderful perspective

Art Markman helps in this exploration with; These are the times when thinking about the future is unproductive - in his article for fastcompany.com

  • PREDICTION IS HARD
  • ADAPTATION IS KEY
  • BALANCE DREAMS WITH WORK

 KEY HIGHLIGHTS 

  1. Create more moments throughout your day to give your mind a treat, relax, and just BE. 
  2. When your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are devoted to the past or the future, you are robbing today!
  3. You cannot reach your potential and make good choices if you are trying to resolve issues from the past or predict the future.
  4. Sometimes people focus all their energy on what hasn’t even happened yet.
  5. Awareness of time perspectives helps you enjoy your days, learn from the past, and shape a better future.
  6. Ultimately, we all want to make the best use of our time. So no matter what you do, don’t wait for life to bring you joy, clarity, or purpose. 
  7. Rumination -rather than being a way out of problems, it's often a way to replay our failures and torture ourselves.
  8. Visualizing yourself where you want to be and what you want to be doing is important in creating goals and harnessing the motivation to reach them.
  9. One of the things people think about the future is that they will have more spare time. And there is no evidence that we'll have any more spare time in the future.
  10.  Just about every success story also involves a lot of hard work.

 

CHALLENGE: take ownership over your mental mind travel to find a healthy balance of past, present, and future. Set your sights on letting go of what has already happened to make room for what is yet to go. Add action to your daydreaming so you can spend the majority of your time in the NOW, enjoying life as it unfolds.

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Going from Happy to Hopeless…and Back

Going from Happy to Hopeless…and Back

August 24, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are examining the pendulum swing; going from happy to hopeless...and back. This swing could play out over a lifetime or it could feel like it happens in an instant, over and over. Emotions are a tricky thing and unique to you. We aren’t talking about what is “normal” we are talking about what’s going on with you or someone you know. The good thing about a swing is that it will come around again so in some cases it’s about weathering the storm, reaching out for support and comfort, and trusting in your ability to right the ship. Ultimately, YOU have power over your thoughts and reactions, and even when it feels like you’ve lost all control and your emotional rollercoaster is taking too long in the dips, you still have options. Just recognizing that this isn’t the way you want to live is the first step...on this show, we’ll talk through the others.

So let’s check in with ourselves and be honest, how fast does your pendulum swing? Today we are talking about Happy to Hopeless but you might find calm to anxious, sweet to sour, agreeable to angry...you fill in the blanks. Your emotions are anything but even keel, calm, or consistent. 

All those highs and lows have left you wondering what the heck is going on and feeling like a mess. Must be the way you’re wired right? Something you learned from the people who demonstrated that kind of behavior first or as a result of something or someone. 

Most of us accept and justify our own behavior blaming others or promise to work on it someday. Or better yet, claim to be “working on it” without a clue as to why or how. As a result, one minute you’re on top of the world, loving life, and the next thing you know, nothing is going right now or ever will. 

To be clear, I am in no way making light of depression or acting as if “choosing happy” is the answer. Hopefully, we will touch on all points to give some new insight. But if you’re listening and feeling hopeless and unable to find a way out - please reach out, there are resources that will help get you through this dark time in your life. Don’t suffer in silence. 

Maybe this is a new and confusing time in your life and you’re still trying to figure out what you’re dealing with.

Jennifer Barry helps clarify with:  Common symptoms of depression: What to know in her article for medicalnewstoday.com

Exerts from the content

While anyone can experience some of these symptoms from time to time, a doctor will only diagnose depression when a certain cluster of symptoms appear, and they persist for 2 weeks or longer.

  1. Feeling sad or empty
  2. Feeling hopeless or helpless
  3. Feeling worthless
  4. Feeling excessively guilty
  5. No interest or pleasure in activities
  6. Anger and irritability6. Anger and irritability
  7. Feeling tired and a loss of energy
  8. Insomnia or lack of sleep
  9. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  10. Lack of appetite
  11. Overeating and weight gain
  12. Aches, pains, and physical symptoms
  13. Thoughts of death or suicide

So many factors combine to determine our moods and our abilities to effectively manage them.

Our age….learning and growing, striking out on our own, trying to make ends meet can be scary and overwhelming. I remember when I unlatched from my family and was flying solo - oh I thought I knew everything. I wanted to be the boss and make all my own decisions until the first hiccup and then I wanted to run back to the nest. Being responsible is terrifying when you are first starting out. 

What about managing life, love, work, and family - holy cow there is only so much time in the day and it feels like we spend most of it at work! Everyone wants something from you AND at the same time. So many plates spinning and you’re petrified that you’ll drop one and people will figure out that you really don’t have it all together. 

The kids move out, the house is empty, no one is asking questions or consulting you when big decisions are made. New blood comes into your workplace and you feel less important, your thoughts and ideas are “old school”, everyone’s making plans to slow down but you don’t feel accomplished yet...where did the time go? 

You’re old….how in the world did that happen. Looking back it feels like it happened overnight. When you were young you thought about this day but it felt like forever away and now you’re here. Your 9-5 has come to an end, you have all the time in the world to do something cool but what? You don’t feel as good or as motivated as you once did. All you wanted was some peace and quiet and now you have an endless supply and it’s lonely. You remember when you couldn’t find an hour of free time in your schedule and now you wish you could find one hour of fun and togetherness. 

No matter where you are in your life, your perspective is everything. Hope is the first syllable of Hopeless….so let’s focus on turning things around and sending that pendulum back the other way.

Amy Morin gives us 9 Things to Do If You Feel Hopeless in her article for verywellmind.com

Exerts from the content:

Consider That Your Brain Might Be Lying to You

But just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Your thoughts may be distorted, inaccurate, or downright wrong.

Argue the Opposite -When you feel hopeless, you’ll likely think about all the reasons why nothing will ever get better. So take a few minutes to argue the opposite.

How To Be Happy Again: 15 Tips To Rediscover Your Happiness - found at aconsciousrethink.com

Exerts from the content:

If you want to be happy again, it suggests that you were happy at some point in the past. The first step to finding that happiness again is to ask when and why you stopped feeling happy.

If you focus too much on happiness as an outcome, you will often find it harder to achieve that outcome. Happiness erupts spontaneously when the conditions are right.

Determine the recipe for your happiness and you will be better equipped to fill your life with the right ingredients

KEY HIGHLIGHTS: 

  1. Remember. there is understanding to be had, responsibility to be claimed, and new ideas to embrace. 
  2. Many factors combine to determine our moods and our abilities to effectively manage them.
  3. No matter where you are in your life, your perspective is everything
  4. Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Your thoughts may be distorted, inaccurate, or downright wrong.
  5. Arguing the opposite might just open your brain up to the idea that things may not be as gloomy as you’re anticipating.
  6. Sometimes, you have to change your behavior first and the feelings might follow. 
  7. There’s always something you can do to make things a little better or to help yourself feel a little better.
  8. I’ve learned from life that sometimes the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places
  9. Sometimes the very act of striving to be happy is what stands in the way of happiness.
  10.  When you feel healthy, you are able to extract every last drop of goodness and happiness out of a situation.

CHALLENGE: recognize the swing of the pendulum and take action on finding the root of the problem. Argue the opposite as you push back on old perceptions embracing new perspectives. Remember, you can make it through whatever comes next. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

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