journey

Growth Mindset to learn from - rather than stay victim to - your Triggers

What are triggers? They are strong emotional reactions that arise suddenly as a result of some stimulus, and it is the mark of a deep wound or limiting belief.

How do we learn and grow so that we do not get triggered? The answer is found in the pause between the stimulus and the impulsive reaction. Like a thorn in your side that you have spent years concealing, protecting, and avoiding in hopes that it will never be touched again, the only way to remove the trigger is to find the thorn and do the work to learn, release and heal. This takes patience, curiosity, and a growth mindset.

We all carry emotional baggage. Whether we are reacting to things in the moment that are less than ideal, or holding onto judgement, resentment, guilt, or sadness from past events that rocked us to our core; this emotional baggage weighs us down. Where does this come from? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why is it easier to pass judgement and compare ourselves to what we are not, versus loving ourselves whole-heartedly and choose forgiveness and compassion as our first instinct?

Like most things I am discovering, the secret sauce to shift into a new direction and create new habits starts with a change in perspective. First of all, your triggered state is not happening because of the person in front of you or because of who you are, it is the sign of a trauma or un-digested experience from years ago.

“No one situation or person is fully responsible for the magnitude of our emotional charge. That person or situation has usually caused an emotion to surface that was already there, connected to some hurt that occurred in the past. One of the consequences of our habit of ignoring emotions is that they tend to pile up. So most of us have backlog of emotional wounds connected to situations that we never dealt with or resolved” (Conscious Communication by Miles Sherts).

Triggers are not something you can just “let go” of. That’s like having a fracture in your femur and expecting that you can just will it away. I don’t think so 😉.

Once you are aware that you are in a triggered state, try this…..

1. Take a few moments to gather yourself by creating a sense of grounding. Connect with your breath and tune into 5-8 seconds for an inhale, a pause at the top, and 5-6 seconds for the exhale, a pause at the bottom. Get out of your fight or flight state!

2. Then, ask yourself, what do I really want here? What do I want for this relationship? How do I need to show up here to move through this with grace, vulnerability and authenticity?

3. Once you can remove yourself from the situation, find some time to put pen to paper and write about your experience. What did you notice as the trigger arrived? What did it feel like? What “need” was not being met in that situation? 

4. What follow-up is needed (perhaps a do-over to share more context into what state you were in?) What reminder do you need next time you find yourself in that triggered state?

 

Trauma is generally a multitude of layers. Expect that this process will take some time and exploration. Use the wisdom of the Growth Mindset to bring in high quality energy and focus more on the process versus the destination. A Growth Mindset points at the joy of continually getting better at something rather than being fixated on not being enough right now. It is about being in the process of improving and developing skills rather than trying to prove your worth and demonstrate your skills. This mindset is ideal for the personal development journey because you will be face to face with parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable (to say the least). Your relationship with growth, yourself, and this life will dictate how much energy you can cultivate in that pause before you decide what direction you truly want to go in. The skills you cultivate in self-inquiry will serve you for a lifetime. They are tools that will allow you to move through difficult conversations and emotions with greater efficacy and empowerment each time.

You got this xoxo

The WHY and HOW of Wellness

The Wellness Journey Heals Us All

I am so honored to be a part of the team at Evolve Retreat co. We are a group of passionate individuals who are striving to spread health and wellness through education, motivation, action, and support. Because of my fascination with words and the understanding that we often use words without knowing what they truly mean, I want to play with this word 'wellness.'

 

Wellness is a buzz word that has been growing in popularity. It is a reminder that as a society we are beginning to truly see the benefits in viewing our health and happiness as a by-product of many facets, and not a simple single ingredient as being more important than all the others. We are complex and unique beings, and we collectively share a desire for growth; it’s a biological imperative. We are all on a journey, and while we are all at different points and phases, when we come together to share in the experience and learn tools for motivation and resilience, we create an environment that heals us all.

To “heal” simply means to become “more whole.” This is a beautiful shift in our culture as more conversations are gearing towards healing rather than the fixed concept of “curing” which connotes a sense of something being wrong with you that needs to be fixed. To heal, you first need to tune in to the feeling of alignment based on your core values and goals. We need awareness of the energy and stories that have either been hidden or become attached to who you think you are. To heal, we need to let go of beliefs and patterns that no longer serve who you are or where you desire to be headed. It is a conscious and deliberate choice to shift your self-talk into a language of empowerment and elevation. We also need a sense and trust in balance, this looks like the occasional push outside your comfort zone followed by time to ground down and regain stability. From this new space, you then can expand and reach further. Imagine what is possible when you engage in that balance dance over the course of a year?? And finally, although you may want to rush and push your way through this, the best way to grow through the healing process is to embrace the journey with patience, love and compassion, as you realize that every animal (including our animalistic nature) responds best to being heard, loved, and respected.

Now, you may be sick of hearing that you need to be patient and take this journey with an open heart and a calm mind, but perhaps a deeper understanding of how and why will support you. 

HOW?

Seek more ways to bring high quality energy into your mind and body. Eat to nourish. Laugh to generate healing vibrations. Go on adventures and try new things. Engage in conversations about ideas, goals, successes, and struggles that create learnings. Put pen to paper and explore your thoughts and insights. Get the sleep you need to function and be just as passionate about your self care and "me-time" as you are about your action and effort. 

Too often we look at what is in the mirror to determine our self worth or health. But the inside is much more indicative of your picture of wellness. If you are on a strict diet but are miserable or have tension and anxiety built up around your diet or desired habit, you actually are doing more harm than good. Your mindset and mood need to be tended to just as much as the attention you put into your food choices and actions.

Rather than seeing nourishment as solely the foods you eat, follow the wise words of Marc David in his book “Nourishing Wisdom”:

“Biologically, nourishment is encoded in our genes as the body’s longing for perpetuation of itself through food and procreation. Psychologically, nourishment is encoded as our longing for perpetuation through creativity, relationships, community, work and the exchange of ideas. Spiritually, nourishment is encoded as our longing for self-realization. Whether it is a warm meal, a warm fire, a warm friend, or a warm feeling, the metaphoric mind interprets each as nourishment and will substitute food whenever other sources of nourishment run low.” 

What area of your life are you lacking nourishment? Don’t judge, shame, or regret your choices. Right now is all you’ve got and you need all that precious energy to be in action and to enjoy the ride.

WHY?

This one is up to you. We all have a deeper why behind our goals and change challenges. What is your bigger why? For example, to lose weight is a goal, but the deeper why is most likely driven by a desire to feel confident, energetic, and capable in as many situations as possible. Sure a diet will help, but when you are grounded in your deeper why you will see there are many ways to practice and bring this sense of wellness into your life. The goal is not the point - it is important and necessary to give yourself direction - but it is not the only point! Your reward is not waiting at the end of this journey, it is a practice and deliverance based on the daily work. Life is right now, in this moment, so the work is in tuning into the present and finding contentment and gratitude along the way. 

I leave you with this, what are you doing today to engage in the healing process? We all have old wounds that need mending. We all have parts of our past that are sitting in our psyche and body undigested or misunderstood. What are the first few steps to health and wellness in your life? Trust that when you are aligned in your core values, engaging in activities and with people you love and are inspired by, and are taking incremental steps towards your goals, you will tap into a reservoir of energy you didn’t realize was available.

 

*If you are searching for professional help, try starting here...

Everything is an offer

To live in the world of personal development means to be constantly face to face with your hypocrisy and your own areas of improvement. It's not easy. But, it also means a lot of excitement and pleasure as you see positive change in your life and feel the result of your hard work paying dividends. I have found that the concept of "intimacy without attachment" is a great reminder to find the balance point and contentment with the moment while in pursuit of betterment. It reminds me to be passionate and desire for more while embracing this moment as it is because I cannot control what the future holds. It also reminds me to conserve energy by expecting the unexpected and to behave in a way that allows others to also have freedom and space for growth. "Intimacy without attachment" is one of many concepts and mantras I use to create and conserve quality energy for my journey.  

I am mindful of the fact that my work, currently, is in playing with the balance between pragmatism and compassion. I have found that a way to conserve energy is to be picky with where I allow myself to be influenced by others, more specifically, who and where I invest my emotions. It's become a dance as I notice my energy getting pulled into someone else's struggle, I allow myself to feel it and send some love and empathy, but then I re-center myself with the reminder that it doesn't do us any good if I turn "your struggle" into "our struggle."

I have witnessed that I am much better at supporting a shift in perspective or leading by example when I allow myself to stay open and rise above the momentary struggle. While this is an efficient way to operate, the shadow side is that at times when emotional investment and a compassionate shoulder to cry on is needed, I will choose curiosity and protect my energy from being drained by other people's "problems." This is not good or bad, right or wrong, it is just something to notice and play with so that I can lay my head down each night and feel confident, proud and aligned in my decisions as I reflect on my day. I want to be felt as a compassionate, vulnerable, and supportive person. And I need to continually check in with myself to ensure that my intentions are showing up strong and true in my actions. 

 

What I find most interesting about this recent realization is that my response is to see it as an offer to open up a bit more and trust my own strength and capabilities. I rarely feel guilt or feel a loss of power when I see my intentions are not aligned with my actions, because I know that that takes time and energy. I see the error in my ways, I learn what I need to learn, I readjust my aim, and then I get back into the practice of living life.

I see these insights as an opportunity to practice being a better coach, a better friend, a better daughter and sister, and a better partner. Because I am far from perfect and I would love for my family and friends to see that I am trying hard to be the person they deserve to have in their life. 

Everything is an offer, if you let it be. Perspective can always be shifted to see what you may have missed or what you have not been habituated to see. It becomes an offer when you can choose to respond in ways that invite connection, acceptance and creativity. You spread this offer wide when you start your response to a situation with "YES, AND...." Perspective expands when you can see the potential all around you and open your mind to receive the feather into your calm soft palm rather than grasping and forcing. 

This blog post is inspired by this book. An amazing title and an even more amazing read. This book plays with the beautiful lessons we can take from the world of improvisation and how that can open your mind and life in ways you may not see as possible.

This blog post is inspired by this book. An amazing title and an even more amazing read. This book plays with the beautiful lessons we can take from the world of improvisation and how that can open your mind and life in ways you may not see as possible.

I would love to have an impact in this world that leads us towards mindful and balanced living. I would love to see everyone unplug more often and take their down-time seriously. I would love to see more people create some space in between their initial impulsive reaction and their thoughtful and grounded pragmatic response. I would love to see more people crack open and share what keeps them up at night and what fears creep into their minds during the day. I want to see more bold and brave creativity as people get out of their self-doubting heads and allow themselves to show up and make their passions known. I want to see people setting goals and achieving them, making bold requests and standing tall in their higher purpose, stretching the limits of what's possible and seeing beauty and life-affirming magic in stepping outside their comfort zone. 

That is why I lead by example and do my best to share what tools and conversations can support the process. I want you to create and conserve more quality energy so you can experience bliss, passion, excitement, pleasure and purpose in a balanced and sustainable way. 

So cheers to balance. Cheers to practice and play. And cheers to embracing our imperfections so that we can create space and conserve energy for the journey towards our best self. 

;)

photo by Mark Derry

photo by Mark Derry