10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 5

Guidepost Five

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


This is the 5th in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown. 

These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  Given the current state of the world and the unease that you may be experiencing as a result, I hope you find this timely. And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.

Best,

Pam


 

 

Guidepost 5 Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need For Certainty

I don’t know many humans who love to live in uncertainty. We all seem to have a need for some sense of control.  Which makes getting through each day tricky right now, right?  Living during a global health crisis is no joke and being part of the change necessary to dismantle systemic racism means living with uncertainty and vulnerability. Getting straight on what we can control and what we cannot control is critical. 

Which is why intuition and faith are so helpful. They’re powerful tools for navigating uncertain environments. As Brown says, “Intuition is not a single way of knowing…it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we have developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.”

For most of us the feeling of vulnerability gets triggered when we are living in uncertainty, a feeling we constantly try to avoid. We are uncertain right now about jobs, schools, how long stay at home orders will last, the health of loved ones. These things can suck so much energy from us. Shifting this cycle can take practice.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. When you find too much energy going to uncertainty, check in and consider what your gut is telling you to do?  What would you do if you had no fear?

Example:  Wondering when I will be able to work face to face with clients again has my gut telling me to PANIC and engage in all the “What ifs”

When I ask myself what I would do if I had no fear about work, money and clients I realize that I have a gift of time to “serve the work” differently. I have a pause to create and engage differently.  It frees space for me to find a new purpose. 

2. Next, as a way to create a new way of thinking, make a T Chart. On the left list all of the things that are causing uncertainty.  On the right, next to each uncertainty entry, list something that you can shift your energy to that is in your control. 

Example: Left-When will I be able to see family and friends again?  I miss being connected. Right- I could organize a virtual happy hour to catch up with my friends.  

3. No matter what your faith practice is, this exercise is powerful in shifting your energy from the need to have certainty to a willingness to trust the many ways we have developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason.

For more helpful insights, please subscribe!  

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 7

Guidepost Seven

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


This is the 7th in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown. 

These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  Given the current state of the world and the unease that you may be experiencing as a result, I hope you find this timely. And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.

Best,

Pam


Letting go of comparison.

Easier said than done. Especially as we are struggling more with the everyday-COVID, fires, virtual education, disconnection. It is tempting to observe others. Not comparing ourselves is one of the most self compassionate acts we can make. Letting go of expectations to be like others, or to compete with them gives us freedom to be ourselves…just you, just me. We are so much more likely to succeed and experience joy by being ourselves than by being in the rabbit hole in pursuit of being someone we are not.  The later is an endless, uphill battle. Trying to fill the shoes of another is simply setting ourselves up for failure or disappointment. However, it is impossible to fail at being ourselves.

Make time for creativity.

When we are can lean into our true selves, it becomes possible to also lean into authentic creativity. Our lives consist of work (mostly from home), supporting our kids who are mostly doing school virtually, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, doing yard work, all the while trying to figure out how to take care of ourselves. And yet, the first thing we move down on the priority list when crunched for time is creativity. Creativity is important. When creativity is made a priority it sparks innovation. 

Here is a nudge if you do not feel naturally creative:

    1.   Take a baby step and simply sit and listen to music that is new, unexpected, different than your normal.
    2.   Pick up a pencil and doodle for a few minutes while you are listening. 
    3.   Let your mind wander. You are giving both your right and left side of the brain permission to engage. 

Creativity gives space for Self Discovery – becoming aware of feelings that have been lurking in your self conscious. It can give space for the feeling of accomplishment. Creativity can be an emotional release- a healthy outlet for expressing and letting go of feelings and fears when words can’t be found.  And finally, creativity can help you relax your mind and body. 

As I reflect on past Guideposts I draw from the courage and resilience of the last several months. I encourage you to consider your own courage and resilience which at times are an accomplishment in and of themselves.  

For more helpful insights, please subscribe!  

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Midpoint Recap

Midpoint Reflection

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


This photo was taken across the street from my home. I live in the vibrant neighborhood that was destroyed after the death of George Floyd.  If you look closely, you see not only rubble and ash, but beauty and hope for something good, something better.

It has been a complicated few months for me, a white woman who is a contributor to the systemic racism in our world. The same racism that ignited the spark that demolished our community. Added to the complication is the uncertainty and lack of connection that we are all experiencing as we live in a pandemic, which has become not only a health crisis, but a politicized health crisis.

As I look back over the past 5 Guideposts I see a path that I can take that can offer me the courage to be imperfect, vulnerability to live in uncertainty, a resilient spirit that guides me to hope and joy rather than fear and anxiety. Won’t you join me?

Best,

Pam


 

This Month’s Guidepost is Designated as a Reflection on the 5 Previous Guideposts. 

courage to be imperfect: Wow! This is a hard one for most of us. I have so much unlearning to do in the the arena of becoming anti-racist. I bring my beliefs, experiences, and feelings to this anti-racism work – a work that is difficult and emotionally demanding. The best gift we can give to ourselves is permission to get it wrong, and a commitment to trying again. The best gift we can give to others is a willingness to listen and to seek to understand another’s perspective.

allow ourselves to be curious and vulnerable: Perspective gaining is not an argument. There are no winners and losers. It is truly seeking to understand another, what they value and beliefs that ground their choices. Practicing holding  space to unlearn, learn, practice true empathy and seek to  understand other’s lived experiences is practicing vulnerability- the feeling we get when there is risk, uncertainty or emotional exposure.

a resilient spirit: Resiliency is the ability to get back up when either things go wrong, we encounter disappointment, or we’re in the middle of adversity. Resiliency feels like hope. I look around and see ash, destruction, boarded buildings, struggle. Without resiliency, it could feel dark and hopeless. But in this diverse vibrant whole hearted neighborhood, we look beyond the remnant of unheard voices in peaceful protest, turned riots  and FEEL hope. Discover connection, see each other with fresh eyes, connect with each other. Let’s all  move forward with each other. Let’s not  go back to the way we were. Together we are stronger, fuller and braver than ever before. That is resilience!

For more helpful insights, please subscribe!

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 4

Guidepost Four

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


This is the 4th in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.

These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  Given the current state of the world and the unease that you may be experiencing as a result, I hope you find this timely. And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.

Best,

Pam

Guidepost 4 Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

In this unprecedented time of social distancing and a health pandemic, we certainly have a reason to live with a scarcity mindset and fear of what is to come. It magnifies the scarcity culture we seem to live in naturally. A culture in which there is never enough ________: certainty, safety, money, sleep, time, sex, food, exercise, profits, etc. Living with a scarcity mindset, without a  practice of gratitude robs us of our ability to feel joy. To be grateful and experience the feeling of “enough” demands us to make  a shift in our mindset, a mindset of sufficiency, practicing the ability to be grateful and be satisfied with what you do have. Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. It is the act of acknowledging that there are good things in the world that have been given to us or have happened to us. When we are truly grateful for something (or someone) our brains reward us by giving us a natural high. Because this feeling is so good, we are motivated to feel it again and become more inclined to give thanks, and also to do good for others.

In the spirit of gratitude, know that I am grateful for the space to share these monthly guideposts with you and appreciate your wholehearted connection with me! I hope that each Guidepost nudges you towards a new way of thinking, being, seeing and embracing.

Here are a few suggestions to start a practice of gratitude:

  1. Pick a time of the day- brushing your teeth, as you lay your head on the pillow before sleep, while you have yourself locked in the bathroom, on a walk, with your morning coffee- that you can commit to listing 5 things you are grateful for.  Quick and simple.  They might be small things like I managed to shower today before my Zoom call.

  2. This daily practice will change the way you see your circumstances.  Once that feels manageable, consider the next step.

  3. Begin listing 10 things daily in a journal or notebook that you are grateful for.  This deepens your practice and is a wonderful visual to look back on across time.

  4. Next, how about a Growth Journal?  Use the prompt, “Before COVID-19, I _______, now I ____________. Example: “Before COVID-19 I would dread planning and preparing meals , now I am noticing the value of a “pause” to spend quality time with my husband as we cook together.

  5. Or, handwrite a thank you note to someone who has positively impacted you. Express your gratitude. Be specific. Provide some joy for someone else.

Having a gratitude practice will help you feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve your health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Super powerful!  I invite you to give it a try.

Join me next month for Guidepost 5:  Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith – Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

And if you feel the need to connect, please reach out.

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 3

Guidepost Three

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


I believe we are all brave and worthy of love and belonging.  And I believe we are all capable of learning the skill of learning wholeheartedly.

This is the 3rd in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.

These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  Given the current state of the world and the unease that you may be experiencing as a result, I hope you find this timely. And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.

Best,

Pam


Guidepost 3

Guidepost 3 Cultivating a Resilient Spirit

Guidepost 3 encourages us to let go of numbing and powerlessness.  

Resiliency is the ability get back up when either things go wrong, we encounter disappointment, or we’re in the middle of adversity. Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly.  

How’s that for timing?  Sheesh.  

I know with the current state of uncertainty and so much change in what feels like such a short period of time, it’s easy to feel powerless and have the urge to want to numb out.  With so much happening, it’s important to look after ourselves and one another.  

And for me right now, the idea of resilience seems… empowering.  It seems like hope. It seems like a focus on knowing we’re going to get through this.  Assumes that we will. And that, to me is comforting.  

The fun part, or the work if you will, comes in understand how to be resilient even when we may not feel like we are.   

In order to cultivate a resilient spirit, we are encouraged to lean into and deal with the pressure of life, rather than run from or numb our distressing emotions. And to be fair, we all numb to some degree! Many of us turn to our devices, food, gaming or the use of planning and overworking. And ‘staying busy’ now that social distancing gives us less options to distract.  

And yet if we want to experience deeper joy in our lives, it begins by working on letting go of numbing. Why? Because when we numb painful emotions we also numb our ability to fully feel joy, love, connection, curiosity, gratitude, and even contentment. A resilient spirit feels, and therefore recovers more quickly than a numbed one.  And we need to draw on connection and contentment now more than ever.  

In order to make a shift, we need to figure out things that can replace the urge to numb when life gets hard. For example, I self-comfort by talking walks, meditating, talking to supportive people, practicing self-compassion, playing with my dogs, and cooking. These activities don’t numb me, they help me get through painful moments so that I can build a sense of resiliency.

Here are a few suggestions on how to set yourself up for non-numbing success, ahead of time:  

  1. Make a list of ways you numb and things that put you in that mode. Knowing your go-tos will help you make more informed choices next time around. And the next. And the next.  
  2. Make a list of things that bring you joy and people/activities that you are grateful for. If you remember from Guidepost 2 it is impossible to ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Staying in gratitude allows us to continue to feel.  
  3. Commit to replacing your numbing activity at least once a week. Remember, this about cultivation. And cultivation starts out with baby steps.  
  4. Discover where your hope comes from. Ask yourself, “What keeps me going?” and say to yourself, “I CAN do this!” This identification of the things that do bring joy paired with positive self-talk can help shift the inner voice.
  5. Learn what is inside and outside your control. If we all had CALM as our superpower, this would be an easy one. But since we don’t, identifying the parts of the discomfort or pain that are within your circle of control helps you to let go of the things that are not.  Acknowledging that ‘this too shall pass’ regardless of the energy you give it, often allows us to avoid getting swept up in the emotions we assign and allows for greater resiliency and a faster recovery time.   

When we practice these skills, our lives will be so much more satisfying and full of happiness and joy.

Join me next month for Guidepost 4:  Cultivating Gratitude and Joy – Letting Go of Scarcity.

And if you feel the need to connect, please reach out.  

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 2

Guidepost Two

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


I believe we are all brave and worthy of love and belonging.  And I believe we are all capable of learning the skill of learning wholeheartedly.

This is the 2nd in a series as we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.

These are intentionally designed as simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.

Best,

Pam


Cultivating Self-Compassion, Letting go of Perfection, Guidepost 2 of Brene Brown's Wholehearted Living

Guidepost 2

Cultivate Self-Compassion

Guidepost 2 encourages us to give up perfectionism.

We all have them, the gremlins and inner chatter saying some variation of,  “Not good enough, not successful enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not loveable enough.”

Rather than relentlessly judging and criticizing ourselves for inadequacies and shortcomings, Guidepost 2 encourages us to give up perfectionism by practicing self-compassion. At it simplest level, practicing self-compassion means being kind and understanding with ourselves when confronted with personal failings and struggles. After all, who ever said we were supposed to be perfect…besides ourselves?

Brené references the work of Dr. Kristin Neff who offers 3 steps to moving into self-compassion:

    1. Practice Self-Kindness: Check your inner voice. Do you talk to yourself the way you would speak to someone you love? The conversations you have with yourself, if not grounded in facts, can become new truths. Instead, be kind and treat yourself as you would a dear friend.

    2. Remember our Common Humanity: Often, we want to isolate when things get hard. Cultivating self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience and something that we all go through. While our situation may be unique, being in a tough situation doesn’t have to be something that is experienced alone.

    3. Practice Mindfulness: It is impossible to ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. However, in mindfulness we can strive for a balance so that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are not caught up and swept away by negative reactivity. Consider the analogy of when we swipe our phone: as a thought or feeling comes in, consider recognizing it and making a decision to swipe it “off our screen” in an effort to release it sooner.

Moving into self-compassion is new for most of us. I encourage you to allow yourself to be a slow learners when it comes to practicing self-compassion. Although you may experience feelings of overwhelm and uncomfortable emotions, one of the most self-compassionate things you can do at that moment is pause. And at that moment I encourage you to plant your feet firmly on the ground and focus on your breath. Or, find one of your other go-to self-care behaviors like snuggling with your pet or resetting with a cup of tea.

Remember, this is a skill that gets better with practice!

Join me next month for Guidepost 3:  Cultivating a Resilient Spirit – Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness.

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living, Guidepost 1

Guidepost One

Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection


I believe we are all brave and worthy of love and belonging.  And I believe we are all capable of learning the skill of learning wholeheartedly.

Once a month, we explore the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as found in the research of Brené Brown.

Simple, direct, two-minute reads that I hope bring you insight, value, and immediately practical application.  And at a minimum, I hope you find them food for thought.

Best,

Pam


Guidepost 1
Cultivate Authenticity

To develop one’s authenticity means to cultivate “the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable,” Brené writes.

Authenticity by definition means to be of undisputed origin, genuine. 

And yet letting go of what others think can be a difficult ask. To be one’s wholehearted, authentic self means being able to do so even when we run the risk of letting down those we care about.

When pressure is added to conform, and this can be at work and in family life, the urge to people-please may override our desire for boundaries.

Guidepost One encourages us to focus on the cultivation of our own authenticity.  And to do so in a way that allows us to set and respect our own boundaries, to have the courage to show up as our imperfect selves, and to understand and honor the vulnerability that authenticity requires.

Sounds great on paper, but how when trust requires vulnerability and vulnerability requires trust?

My suggestion is to start with a mindful strategy.

Brené refers to those whose opinions truly matter as your “Square Squad”.  Your Square Squad is made up of those people who have earned the right to hear your story. Typically, these are people who have been in the arena with you, who have earned the right to give you their opinion.

These aren’t the people in the cheap seats.

Below are three questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not someone has earned your trust:

Q: Is this a person who I turn to for help in hard decisions?

Q: Is this person supportive in a non-judging way?

Q: Is this person in the arena with me doing to the work to show up as their authentic self?

If the answer to those questions is no, my hope is that you will find it a bit easier to let go of what that person thinks about you. And in doing so, you feel even more free to carry on as your authentic self.

Join me next month for Guidepost 2:  Cultivating Self-Compassion and Letting Go of Perfectionism.  

The Story Rumble Process

A GUIDE FOR GROUPS AND TEAMS.

One of the most useful applications of the Learning to Rise process is how we can use it when an organization, or a group within an organization, experiences a conflict or a failure or a fall. We call this the Story Rumble.

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Leading the Team You Inherit

It can be challenging to lead a team you did not choose. What happens when styles, personalities, visions are not cohesive? This post will give you a path forward when you find yourself struggling with your team.

Typically, for a leader there are 4 behavioral options of how to distress the situation in the workplace:

Change: change what you can to improve the situation. The best sequence is to change first how you are thinking, then change what you are doing.

Accept: accept that the situation cannot be changed and learn to live with it. This may mean putting up with an incompetent coworker who does not do his/her job well. The only way to do it successfully is to give up a belief that the other person will change. It happens when you recognize that the situation cannot be easily changed without resentment.

Stay: stay in the situation as it is and continue to feel distressed. It is typical if you feel that leaving a job will be too damaging to you or the team. But it cannot go on indefinitely. So, inevitably, you will have to try other options like taking off, admitting defeat or leaving the situation.

Take off: admit defeat and walk away from the situation entirely.

Do you find yourself struggling with your team?

 Contact Better Cubed to get a path forward >