A Blogger’s Diary 3/14/21: 2 Writing Reflections, Gardening, and Sleep

I am pleased to report, we’ve had some lovely sunny weather the past few days. It’s been beautiful, and has warmed up 10 or so degrees.

In this part of the United States, March is typically the month where the weather begins to shift. While we will still have much more rain to come in March and April, we will continue to get more sun as we all progress towards spring.

I’ll have some more about the weather and my activities related to sunny weather in a moment. First, let’s have a couple writing reflections for this week.

2 Writing Reflections

A Reason

The poem A Reason occurred to me as I was reflecting upon my time at University. I went to school to pursue, at first, Sociology, and then later, Human Development and Family Studies. While my undergraduate degree, at 33 years old, was difficult, my graduate degree, starting at 38 and finishing at 42, was extremely difficult. The difference?

Why was graduate school so challenging? It all had to do with how I was thinking at that time. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had fallen into a very negative and cynical interior dialogue with myself, that I didn’t know how to escape.

In fact, I wouldn’t fully “escape” this negative self-talk until completing my degree and coming to work at the community college, which I’ve written a little about in other posts.

At the time my negative self-talk was at its pinnacle, I was always searching for a reason, yet I was all the while looking in the wrong direction. Focusing outside of myself, instead of within. It’s not a demerit, it happened just as it was supposed to, just like me typing this blog post right now.

Yet, at the time, I didn’t know how to be in touch with myself, and it would take me several years, slowly, to learn through the guidance of my life coach. The point?

We all have negative self-talk. It’s not who you are. Your thoughts and feelings are not who you are. And, when we search in the right place for a reason, we will find a well that never runs dry.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

A Developmental Moment #6: Why Learning to Ask for Help is Necessary and Needed

I enjoyed writing, A Developmental Moment #6: Why Learning to Ask for Help is Necessary and Needed, most, because I spent many, many, years, my entire adult life, in fact, never asking for help. Not because, mind, I didn’t want to, rather because I didn’t know how. Further, I imagined that asking for help was in some way making me appear weak, and in some way deficient.

I think this type of thinking is especially prevalent in the United States, where the concept of individualism is so ingrained into all aspects of the country’s social institutions. The issue?

The concept of individualism is just that; a concept. It is illusory, as I’ve written about in other posts. Whether we actually ask for help, or not, we are always being helped by others. At the grocery store, gas station, coffee shop, or wherever you like to go. There is always someone there serving. Being of service. And, we are able to get the things we need, or want, because people are serving. Simple.

We can all learn to ask for help. Like all things in life, it takes practice, which I write about in this post. Starting small, and building from there. Next time you are feeling stressed, and know you are in need of help, ask. Ask someone that is close to you to assist you. There’s no demerit in it, and we are not deficient when we ask for help.

It’s the opposite. Asking for help is courageous, a sign of strength, and very wise.

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

Gardening

Alright, now that we are in March, it’s time to, if you garden, to get seeds and garden plots ready. Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I moved to the other side of Corvallis a year ago now, and there is a lovely community garden about a mile from my place. And?

Well, I called Parks and Recreation last week, which runs the garden, and they had a spot! It’s 10’x20′, which admittedly is a little more space than I was looking for, however, I took it, and am very excited. I’ve not participated in a community garden in about 4 years, and am looking forward to gardening, yes please, and am also looking forward to meeting some new people. Also, yes please.

I am already working on a new post about my gardening experience, which I will be publishing in the next week or two.

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

Sleep

I’m going to leave you this week, with the Monday message going out to the team tomorrow. Sleep is so important, as is understanding that when our sleep patterns iterate, like all things in life tend to, to listen to our bodies, and know that nothing in this world stays the same, even when we think it does. Here is the message.

This past year, I’ve been reflecting upon and experiencing new sleeping patterns. I’ve typically been the person that likes to stay up late into the evening. Well, about two years ago, this pattern began to change, and then? 

In the past year, my sleeping patterns have iterated a couple of times more. Beginning with, as I’ve mentioned to many of you, late afternoon, and early evening, at times, naps. And, now?

Now, the naps are not as present, yet going to bed at a much earlier hour is, as is getting up much earlier. The point?

There is no one way that sleeping occurs; and, actually, there is no one way anything occurs. Life iterates over time, and when we are present to new things, sleeping patterns, eating habits, whatever they may be for us, we have an opportunity, through new experiences, to learn more about who we are as human beings.

I invite you to always listen to your body, and when you are tired, to sleep; hungry, to eat. And, when not, well, to not.

Remember, there is no one way that life occurs on this planet. When we make sure to get our quiet time, as we’ve discussed the past couple of months, we can hear more, learn more, experience more, and be more.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

#poetry, #areason, #askingforhelp, #blog, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #change, #courage, #development, #gardening, #poem, #sleepingpatterns, #spring, #strength, #wisdom

A Developmental Moment #3: Creating Vulnerability, Movement, and Traction

3 Reasons Why Vulnerability is A Key Ingredient to Creating Movement and Traction for Ourselves and the World

Photo by Deva Darshan on Unsplash

I’ve written about vulnerability often this past year. Why? Well, I do believe that vulnerability is one of the most important gateways to our own development. Pretty simple really.

Vulnerability conceptually is simple, as most things conceptually are. However, practicing vulnerability, well, that’s a whole different experience.

We can talk about concepts often and at length, however, when we put those concepts, like vulnerability, into practice in our lives, they can often feel very uncomfortable. And, vulnerability is no exception.

Yet, it is so important for each of us to find new ways, which are safe, to put vulnerability into practice in our lives. Safe? Meaning, where we are with people we trust and can rely upon. Important, as when we are vulnerable, we are bearing a side of ourselves that is, for lack of a better way to explain it, raw.

Raw, meaning, that these sides of ourselves have not been exposed to, what can sometimes be harsh conditions in the world, so we must take care when we practice our vulnerability.

Now, when we find those spaces and places where we can be the vulnerable-selves we know ourselves to be, so that we can grow and learn, there are many things we will get back from our environments, and ourselves, which makes practicing vulnerability quite the exquisite experience. What, prey are those things?

Right. Well, in this article we will explore three of them. Three reasons, as I think about it, why it is important for us to practice vulnerability regularly, so that we may grow into the next iteration of ourselves.

Ready? Good. Here we go.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

1. Learn

Wow, how important is learning? Pretty important, right? Yep, I agree. Well, to learn more about the world, and the people in it, we must first, learn about ourselves. And, being actively vulnerable is key. Why?

Because we get to learn about aspects of ourselves that were previously unavailable. For instance, if you are nervous about public speaking, as I once was, and you always resist public speaking, well, you will never learn about the experience of public speaking. And?

That’s perfectly okay. However, if you are interested in tapping into a reservoir of untapped potential, then being vulnerable in the area of public speaking will be a gateway to your learning more about yourself as a public speaker.

The only way to become a public speaker is to do public speaking. You can read every book that was ever written on the topic, and still never become a public speaker. Whereas book knowledge is helpful, it is in the vulnerable practice of public speaking, for example, where we create the possibility of becoming a public speaker.

Photo by Product School on Unsplash

2. Know

Now, as we practice vulnerability, and venture into environments that we previously resisted, we learn more about the experience of, staying with the previous example, being a public speaker. And?

Then, we get the experience of knowing what it is like to be a public speaker. Again, the only way to know what it’s like to be a public speaker is to become one. Meaning, to take one step, or one action, toward the realization of your goal to become a public speaker.

And, guess what? You get to control how big those steps are. When we actively participate in being vulnerable, we set the pace. It’s iterative. It takes time.

There was a time when I was terrified of public speaking. And, I mean terrified. Then when I was about 28, I wanted to become a leader in the company I was working for at the time. Well, there is lots of public speaking in leadership. Lots of it. And? I took one small step at a time. One step, led to the next, and so on.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

3. Grow

And, the steps I just wrote about? That is growth. That’s what it looks like. You set a goal outside of your comfort zone, knowing you will have to be vulnerable to get there, and you take a step each day, or every other day, or once a week, or month.

Again, you control the pace.

Growth is an experience. It happens in the world by taking actions that we’ve not taken before. And, to take actions we’ve not taken before, especially when we are fearful or anxious, requires courage, yes, and it requires vulnerability.

Courage and vulnerability go hand-in-hand. In fact, there is a super cool quote I’ve drawn upon a few times from Brené Brown that speaks to this truth. Here it is.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” -Brené Brown

Book Riot

Powerful. And, it’s been my experience that vulnerability and courage are linked. In fact, I believe they are one and the same. You cannot be courageous without being vulnerable, and you cannot be vulnerable without being courageous. They are one.

Photo by Dimon Blr on Unsplash

Movement and Traction

Now, as you learn more about yourself, and begin to tap into your vulnerable areas, you also begin to know more and grow more. These three, learning, knowing, and growing are also linked. And, the concept that lies behind them? Yep. It is an experience.

When we are in action, and experiencing life, living our life in vulnerable ways, we are creating movement. Movement for ourselves, yes, and for those around us. Meaning, when we move our own development forward, we move the development forward of the people around us.

It’s the way it works.

And, when we continue this pattern? Well, traction will inevitably follow. Meaning, that as we continue to grow, and those around us grow, we create contexts never seen before. Seriously. It’s not possible that they’ve been seen, because you are doing things you’ve never done before. Beautiful.

It’s inside of this movement and traction, and these new contexts, where the possibility to change the world lives. And, I mean this literally. The world is always moved forward from contexts that contain both courage and vulnerability.

And, remember you do have the power to change the world. We all do. What does it take?

Learning more, knowing more, and growing more in contexts that were previously unavailable to us. And, creating these contexts takes courage, yes, and vulnerability. So?

Be courageous, embrace your vulnerability, and change the world for the better. One action at a time.

#courage, #grow, #growth, #know, #leadershipdevelopment, #learn, #life, #movement, #personaldewvelopment, #professionaldevelopment, #traction, #vulnerability, #vulnerabilityandcourage

A Courage Poem

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Frightened
I sometimes feel,
Especially when distant
And there’s really no appeal

Yet, remember

Strength
Lives inside us all
Even when we are unsure
How to create access while enthralled

Determined
We must be, to ensure
A life long-lived with movement
And a sense of pleasure and ecstasy

Barriers
We will face, as they
Are a part of the journey, and
Though it’s the other side we seek,
Alongside a sense of peace and release,

Remember

These things
You shall have, once
You’ve crossed over and
Learned the things to heed, so

Don’t plead, rather
Allow yourself to lead, and
Be gracious and kind to those in need

Even when
That someone in need
Lives in the mirror, a reflection
Of refracted light and memory

Be at peace
And continue along
This journey, seeking quiesce,
And a life full of everlasting mystery

#courage, #courageandmystery, #lifeandlove, #poem, #poems, #writingpoetry

7 Things You Can Do to Develop Courage and Humility

What is the difference between courage and humility? Hm. Well, if you look courage up in a thesaurus, you will find that humility is an antonym for courage. Meaning different, yet is it, really?

I think they are more similar than they are different. And, I think understanding this similarity is important to our lives. Ready to take a look? Good, let’s go.

Let’s define these two, shall we. Here we go.

courage

noun  /ˈkʌrɪdʒ/ /ˈkɜːrɪdʒ/[uncountable]Idioms

the ability to do something dangerous, or to face pain or opposition, without showing fear

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

humility

noun /hjuːˈmɪləti/ /hjuːˈmɪləti/[uncountable]

the quality of not thinking that you are better than other people; the quality of being humble

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Hm. At this moment, I’m actually quite surprised about how similar these definitions are. More similar than I would have even predicted.

Do you see it? Either way, it’s okay, let’s take a deeper look at both courage and humility and see what we get.

7 Things You Can do to Develop Courage and Humility

As I’ve written about previously, people often mistakenly believe that there are people that have courage and there are people that don’t. Like it is a developmental trait that some have and others don’t.

However, courage is like any other skill set. Meaning that it can be developed. Yep, it’s true. And, guess what? As you develop courage, you also develop humility. Yep, also true.

Here, then, are 7 ways you can develop courage.

  1. Develop a growth mindset – meaning, be available and open to learning all there is to learn. When you have a growth mindset you realize that there is much more to learn than is known, and you are eager to learn. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. Meaning unavailable and closed to learning. Think flexible versus rigid. When we are flexible, we go with the flow, receive what others have to give us, and then we give what we have back to them. When we are eager to develop a growth mindset, courage follows because contexts where growth mindsets flourish are about development and transformation.
  2. Grow your comfort zone – continuing to practice getting outside of your comfort zone is important. Important to your development, and to the development of courage. When we are outside of our comfort zone, in that moment, we are doing and modeling courage.
  3. Embrace and practice vulnerability – I’ve written several articles recently about vulnerability. Like your comfort zone, when you embrace your own vulnerability and practice being vulnerable, you are immediately being courageous. And, guess what? The more you practice vulnerability, the more courageous you become.
  4. Practice collaboration – collaborative contexts are naturally vulnerable contexts as they are about being open and flexible, learning, and development. When you are collaborating, really collaborating, you are practicing courage; and, the more collaborative contexts you engage in, the more courageous you will become.
  5. Create innovation – innovation and courage go hand in hand. They have to, because innovative contexts are imbued with vulnerability, growth, collaboration, and transformation. Innovative contexts are courageous in nature. The more innovation you create, the more you are being courageous, and the more your courage will grow.
  6. Take risks – though humans like predictability and habit, risk-taking is needed and necessary. Taking risks ensures you develop into the iteration of yourself where you can give the most back to the world. Really. Because humans like predictability and habit, risk-taking feels scary, so when you take risks you will develop courage. The more risk, the more courage will develop.
  7. Face your fears – every human on this planet is afraid. Yes, there is a continuum of fearfulness, yet know that you are not alone in being fearful of things. Fear is a natural part of being a human. However, when you face your fears, you develop courage. And, like risk-taking, or any of the others on this list, the more you face your fears, the more courageous you will become.

Alright, there we have 7 ways you can develop courage. Now, let’s make the connection to humility, shall we.

Photo by Samia Liamani on Unsplash

Here then are

7 Reasons Why Developing Courage Will Also Develop Your humility

  1. Growth mindset – as you develop a growth mindset, you will become more present to just how little humans really know; and, conversely, just how much there is to learn. It is vast, and humbling.
  2. Comfort zones – getting outside of your comfort zone is hard work. Really. At times, very hard. As you get outside of your comfort zone, you will realize how tiring and depleting it can be. Rewarding absolutely, and very, very tiring, and humbling.
  3. Vulnerability – being vulnerable is extremely hard. Of all the items on this list, maybe the hardest. Oftentimes, just being vulnerable once in a different way will cause you to experience great humility.
  4. Collaboration – connecting with other human beings through true collaboration is lovely, and is also an experience where you get to see other humans in action, being vulnerable, developing themselves in new ways, being courageous, taking risks, and transforming. It is a wondrous sight, and very humbling.
  5. Innovation – any and all innovation is humbling. Just the idea of creating something new is a humbling experience. When I created the first iteration of this site, which took a long time, and was totally out of my range of expertise, I was tremendously humbled by the experience.
  6. Risk-taking – like being vulnerable, taking risks is scary. And, if you take risks often, especially while working alongside others, you will experience a whole new level of humbleness.
  7. Fears – facing our fears is extremely difficult; and, when you face them often, you become more humble. You sort of wake up to the reality that facing fears is hard for everyone, so when you witness someone do it, it can actually bring tears to your eyes. Shared humanity.
Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

Alright, there are 7 ways you can develop courage, and 7 reasons why developing courage will also result in more humility.

In the event you’ve been wondering, I picked the introduction picture intentionally. Why?

Because developing courage by doing any of the 7 listed above is about being in action, doing things, living your life the best way you know how by giving your all every day.

Sometimes people conflate courage with iconic pictures of the hero saving the day, which is very dramatic. Yet, I want to offer you a different way to think about courage.

Courage is about being human. Recognizing our fears, the current limits of our knowledge, and doing something to face them, and grow ourselves. When we recognize where we have opportunities to develop, we can then take the necessary actions to create opportunities for ourselves to grow.

And, yes, if you like, to even transform. What does it take?

A willingness to set aside the ego, a little at a time, one step at a time, and take a different action. Take an action you’ve never taken before, and see what you get back. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

#collaboration, #comfortzones, #courage, #developingcourage, #developinghumility, #development, #growthmindset, #grwoth, #humility, #innovation, #risktaking, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement, #vulnerability

An Insight, An Inspiration, and A Quote: On Being Vulnerable Often

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I’ve written about vulnerability several times, and am actually right now writing another post about how being vulnerable is actually transformational.

The insight you ask?

Alright, let’s go.

Insight

What you may not know is that in written language, the actual definition of vulnerability is associated with possible harm. Really. Take a look.

vulnerability

NOUN (vulnerabilities)

“The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.‘conservation authorities have realized the vulnerability of the local population’” Oxford Languages

It was in the writing of the post on vulnerability and transformation that I learned this fact. Interesting. Though I understand why the definition of vulnerability is written as it is, I will offer you another definition of vulnerability to consider in a moment.

Here is the insight.

I believe that vulnerability is also associated with grit, persistence, and resilience. It must be. Why?

Because anyone who is open to being vulnerable regularly, has to also possess grit, persistence, and resilience. Why? Because being vulnerable is hard work. Simple.

I’ve written before that vulnerability is where the jewels of life are found. When we are open and willing to be vulnerable, we immediately get so much more out of life. Right away.

My invitation to you? Be vulnerable. Though it is sometimes hard, you will find more awaiting you in spaces of vulnerability than any other.

Photo by Bobby Johnson on Unsplash

Inspiration

I find everything in life inspiring. Really. Take a look around. Wonder is everywhere. And, I find people that venture into the unknown that much more inspiring. Why?

Because, yes, it is hard work; and, it is such a wonderful experience. A paradox. Really. Inspirational.

The department I work in, which includes over 200 people, is one such inspiration. Every one of them.

I’ve written about this team many times. I am so inspired by their vulnerability, courage, grit, persistence, and resilience.

In the face of unprecedented challenges, they continue to create new ways to access community education and training, which is needed now more than ever.

A wonderful group of people. I am very lucky.

Quote

Alright, here is a different way to think about vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” – BRENÉ BROWN

Book Riot

Be well. Be vulnerable.

#courage, #determination, #emotionalintelligence, #grit, #humandevelopment, #persistence, #reslience, #selfdevelopment, #vilnerabilityandgrit, #vulnerability, #vulnerabilityanddetermination, #vulnerabilityandleadership, #vulnerabilityandpersistence, #vulnerabilityandresilience, #vulnerable

A Blogger’s Diary 7/31/20: On Eleanor Roosevelt

NPR

I am reading Eleanor Roosevelt: The Early Years right now. It’s awesome. I’ve always drawn upon Eleanor Roosevelt (ER) quotes, and have seen biographies about ER, yet reading the book has given me much more to consider, and to reflect upon. Powerful.

If you’ve not read much about ER, here are some of my favorite quotes, and a cool American Experience interview I highly recommend with Vernon Jarrett.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Goalcast
National Park Service

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Goalcast
Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

“Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Goalcast

Here is the American Experience interview.

American Experience

With all that we face today, it is important to remember that what is now, is now, yes, yet will not always be our present now. Make sense? Said another way, this too shall pass.

Stay healthy and well.

#confidence, #conqueringfear, #courage, #dothatwhichyouthinkyoucantdo, #eleanor-roosevelt, #eleanorrooseveltandrace, #newexperiences, #purpose, #purposeoflife, #stregth, #thepresent

An Insight, An Inspiration, and A Quote: On Being Vulnerable

Photo by Genessa Panainte on Unsplash

Insight

Vulnerability is a wonderful gift. When we choose vulnerability over fear, we open ourselves up to learn more about ourselves and all of humanity.

For a long time I chose fear. Not so today. In the spirit of vulnerability, here is a video I created last week on the importance of being vulnerable.

Inspiration

I am inspired by everyone in my life, and everyone I meet. All of them. This past week, I was particularly inspired by a colleague of mine. Terri Houde is a Corporate Trainer, works on our team, and created the following video about an upcoming video series. Check out vulnerability in action. Inspiring.

A Quote

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” -Helen Keller

Habitsofwellbeing.com

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” “People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.” – BRENÉ BROWN

Bookriot.com

Be well. Be vulnerable.

#awe, #brene-brown, #courage, #helen-keller, #insight, #inspiration, #inspirational, #life, #love, #streght, #vulnerability, #vulnerable, #wonder