Heed

Photo by Forrest Moreland on Unsplash

At times I am filled with such deep
Emotion, it’s like my body has stopped
Working and the commotion running through
Me isn’t being sifted, instead I’m being through the
Heavens lifted.

An entirely different plane fills me, and I wonder
What it all means. Just for a second though,
as the tide turns, and the emotion that’s run through me
Is turning the corner, looking for more stormy weather
Out at sea.

The clouds open up, the lightning flashes, and
The thunder rumbles, and the depths pull at me
With such vigor, I become perplexed, and do not
Dither.

Instead I move with the dance, allowing it to cast
Me as is willed. Knowing that the play’s still playing,
And the last act’s not retiring, nay, still moving onto
Another scene, and I start praying.

Softly, silently, asking for guidance, knowing that
It’s always been there, and will forevermore be clear.
Even on stormy days, when the weather continues
On it’s own way, and we continue to play, and, to not
Be led astray.

Be all that you may, my dear, and let life fill you
As needed. It’s all we can do at times, just be, and let
Your soul heed it.

#poetry, #contemplation, #emotions, #heed, #introspection, #life, #love, #nature, #poems, #reflection, #stormyweather

A Blogger’s Diary 3/28/21: On Writing, Reflecting, Vaccinations, and Emotions

This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon my emotions, as you might have noticed and/or read about in some of my poems. As we continue to move forward with vaccinations, it occurs to me that there will be emotions about the pandemic that will arise for all of us. Some we will see coming, some we will not.

Before we discuss this topic more, let’s take a look at the writing that occured this week, and the writing slated for next week.

Writing

This past week, I found myself drawn more to poetry. In fact, in the past two weeks, I’ve written about 10 new poems. All of which, I will share in the coming weeks. I’ve been feeling moved this week by several concepts, which did make their way into the following pieces.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1.jpg
Image credit; Eric Muhr @ Unsplash

Keeps

The poem Keeps was initially inspired by the WDYS #74 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. The prompt this week reminded me of my hikes in the local area in which I live. Hikes where I am present to only my footing, the scenery, such as the earth, the foliage, the beautiful sky, and any wildlife that comes by. Beautiful.

As thoughts enter my mind, I let them pass through, and remain in that moment, just walking along the trail being one with the Nature that surrounds me.

It is quite meditative to walk, practice your breathing, and just listen and watch. There is healing in each foot step, each breath, and in each moment. If you’ve not tried meditative walking/hiking, I suggest giving it a try.

Elixir

The poem Elixir was an acknowledgement to the present moment and the illusion of time. I’ve written several times about the social construction of time, and when you really understand that time, in fact, is illusory, you are freed from self-imposed limits bound in time.

We all live outside of time, yet also live in it, as we choose. A paradox, and not.

Next Week

As I mentioned previously, I’ve created a bunch of new poems, and am excited to get them scheduled. I feel more poetry coming, so will continue to write and reflect on new concepts and insights as they come.

I am also continuing to work on a post on silence. I had an insight this week about a post on communication, and will probably start that sometime in the next week or two.

Alas, I’ve not made much progress on the Leadership from Within series. Though I’ve not made much progress yet, I will continue to endeavor to write this series. I see it as a possible book in the future, and have a lot of thinking and feeling about the topic to share.

Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are opening up more here locally. In fact, I am pleased to report that I am on an official waitlist for my first dose. I was told I should get a call in the next week or two.

Though I am pleased about this progress, both as a State and a Country, I realize that there is much work to do across this country and the world to ensure that everyone that wants a vaccination has access.

I will not pretend to know the answers to this issue. I will say, however, that I look forward to a day when those in legislative positions and positions of power in this country and around the globe think more collectively and collaboratively about serving the common good, which includes all of humanity. Everyone, everywhere.

Photo by Diana H on Unsplash

Emotions

With anticipation and excitement also comes apprehension, fear, and indifference. It’s just how it works. Which means that whereas some people will feel the former, some will feel the latter, and many of us will feel both.

When I was told that I would be put on a waiting list for my first dose of the vaccine, I was excited and anxious. Excited about the movement, and anxious about the unknown.

It is important for me to stay grounded in the current reality, which, yes, includes the vaccination being distributed to more and more people across the State. The current reality also includes, however, the fact that some people will not want to get the vaccine and some will not have access to the vaccine due to systematic inequalities in this country and around the world.

The latter of which fills me with sadness.

It also occurs to me that the landscape of how the pandemic, and respective responses to it from a systems and organizational perspective, are still completely unknown. Which simply means taking things as they come, developing plans and iterating those plans as needed, to ensure we continue to serve as many people as possible with educational options that fit their needs. Important.

The invitation I will send out to the team this week will be to recognize the emotions as they come for what they are. Responses to stimuli in your environment, and in your mind. Meaning, emotions are something we get and feel, they are not who we are.

Emotions, like our thoughts, do not define us. We choose.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a wonderful week and please stay healthy and well.

#poetry, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #communication, #contemplation, #covid-19-vaccination, #diary, #emotionalintelligence, #emotions, #leadership, #meditation, #pandemic, #poem, #poems, #reflections, #silence, #writing

Growing

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

A mythological
quandary, one
indeed,
for the ages.

As we turn
the pages, of
our shared history,
and begin
to investigate
the trouble about.

For
growing
is hard work,
has been for all time,
so, don’t be glum.

Rather, know
that
we are all confused
at times
when the pain comes.

As if
there’s a problem
with the sum
of our emotions.

Know,
our emotions
are in the right place,
just as they are.

Radiating
like waves
through a sea
of beatitudes
and, yes,
also platitudes,
as we mourn the self
we once
were.

See,
not all of us
were told that
growing is hard,
and to expect
to fail, and even
fall,
like a dancing bard.

And, now?

Let down
your guard,
be with
the moment,
and go that extra yard.

Knowing
all the while
that everything
is as it should be,
as you
are like the sun,
glowing, and
forever growing, my son.

#poetry, #emotions, #growing, #growth, #life, #love, #poem, #poems

Loss

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Happens
To us all
Even when
We’d rather

Forestall

The pain, and
Grief
From coming

Close

At heart, we hold
Those dear,
And, when there’s

A suddenance
To the loss,
We fall backward
And out of

Cadence

With our normal
Rhythm
Of life, not because
We’re made of strife

Rather, because
We’re a part of this
Very life,
Which contains

Both,
Misery and joy,
And, yes, we do
Employ them both, and

It’s okay to feel them

As needed,
Even prescriptive
When hidden

And, now I’m

At your hospital bed,
Awaiting your return

Hoping and praying

That it’s not
Your turn, yet
Knowing it’s likely

As we can see
The signs
Written
Upon

The wall of your life,

Nay, our life,
Together

Because, yes, we
Were friends, and
Strangers in some ways

Until the very end

And in coping
I try to understand
Why it happened

So fast, and am
Reminded it’s
Not mine to pretend

To know
The answers
My friend

I called you
My dad,
And, did until
The end

With that last
Kiss upon you
Forehead,
I rendered the loss

Of my father, and
Dearest friend

#poetry, #dad, #emotions, #greif, #heart, #joy, #life, #loss, #love, #misery, #pain, #poem, #poems

Grace

Photo by Chloe Si on Unsplash

Is a space,
Created for you and I
As we balance our place

On this planet

Which can sometimes
Be precarious
And even, at times,
Make us furious

With anxiety, and, yes
Even anticipation

Of what’s to come
Tomorrow under
The setting
Sun

Emotions like these
Are normal, for you and I
Are only mortal

Yet, there’s more
To the story
Of, yes
A

Profound glory

Where mortality
Meets the Divine
And always sublime

Presence

Of something grander

And all the while
We fit with our emotions
And, at times stumble
And bumble our lines

We can call upon this
Presence and it’s
Magnificent essence

Of our collective humanity

And extend ourselves
The Grace as needed

#poetry, #emotions, #grace, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #presence

A Developmental Moment #1: Inspiration

How Inspiration Relates to Our Personal and Professional Development

Photo by Mona Eendra on Unsplash

In the article, The Leadership Series Part 1: What is Leadership, and Why is it so Important?, we discussed several leadership characteristics. And, it is these characteristics, which, by the way, are applicable to every aspect of our lives, that we will cover, one at a time, in this new series. Where to start? Let’s see.

Well, let’s start with this past week’s reflections, shall we? Good. Here we go.

Alright, so this past week, I’ve been reflecting a lot upon inspiration. What is inspiration, where does it come from, how can we get more of it, and what do we do if we run out of it. Very important questions. And?

Well, this week I’ve also been reflecting upon the creation of a new series. A series that can encompass a multitude of topics, and, yep, this is it, and inspiration will be the first topic.

Some of these developmental discussions will be longer, and some will be shorter. It will depend.

Alright, for this entry, let’s tackle the first question on inspiration. Ready? Good. Let’s go.

Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

I really do love this topic, as it seems so simple, right? Inspiration, well, it’s all around us. Some people say they find nature inspirational, or other people in their lives, such as their friends and family, or coworkers. And, that is beautiful. Truely. Yet, there is something missing here. Do you know what it is? Hm.

It is the viewpoint. Meaning?

That inspiration does not live outside of you. Nope. It lives inside of you. We look outward and place inspiration onto other things and people, yet that inspiration comes from within. Always has come from within, and always will come from within.

Why does this matter to your development? Good question. Here is one, of many, reasons why.

  1. When we know inspiration comes from within, we stop looking outside of ourselves for our own inspiration. Being aware of the source of our inspiration is important to our development, because when we fully realize that our inspiration comes from within, we are not bound to the changing tides of people and things. Simple. And?
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Well, we know that change is inevitable. It is part of life. Yep. And, when we get clear on the fact that inspiration does not live in the changing world, that, in fact, it can be developed, and maintained, regardless of external circumstances, we become more powerful. Really.

Does that mean that we don’t ever feel down, or stressed, or sad? No, it does not. We are meant to feel all of our emotions; to feel them, know them, and learn how to talk about them.

And, yet, we can still find our inspiration even during the most stressful times. Why? Because even though we may consider a situation stressful, we know that our inspiration is always there. Waiting for us.

Alright, so what can we do to connect, or reconnect, to our own inspiration? I think there is one thing we can all do that will assist in making our connection, or reconnection, to our inspiration stronger. What’s that?

  1. Make time for yourself. A must.

When we create time for ourselves, to be with ourselves, just for ourselves, we get to know ourselves better. And, the more we know ourselves, the more clear on our own inspiration we become. Really.

Next time, then, when things are really hectic, and you are feeling overwhelmed, stop. Stop doing what you are doing, and go for a walk, sit down under a tree and look around, or look up at the beautiful stars in the sky. Stop and just be.

For it is in this space, where your inspiration will find you.

#clarity, #compassion, #connection, #contemplation, #emotionalintelligence, #emotions, #inspiration, #leadershipdevelopment, #meditation, #mindfulness, #overwhelm, #personal-development, #professionaldevelopment, #reflection, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement

The Leadership Series Part 2: Why Developing the Self is Always the First Step in Leadership

The Leadership Psychology of How We Think and Feel

Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

This past week a colleague of mine and I were talking about leadership. Well, to be more accurate, we are always talking about leadership. Fun.

Anway, this colleague was talking about the upcoming leadership group training they would be facilitating, and they were talking about how important it is for leaders to understand how they think, feel, and act.

After reflecting upon the concept of thinking, feeling, and acting, which I totally agree with, another concept occured to me. Speaking. Also important.

Thus, the idea for this first-half of the two-part article on Developing the Self was created. Before we get into our discussion, however, let’s reset the first installment in the Leadership Series.

In the first installment of the Leadership Series, The Leadership Series Part 1: What is Leadership, and Why is it so Important?, we unpacked leadership as a concept and practice.

We also discussed 2 things that are very important to be clear about early on in any leadership development journey, which are

  1. Understanding yourself.
  2. Understanding your leadership style.

In this second installment, we will discuss understanding yourself as the very first step in a leadership development journey. Why? Good question.

Let’s take a look, shall we.

There are two ways we will approach this discussion.

  1. Psychologically
  2. Sociologically

Ready? Good, let’s go.

Leadership Psychology

Right, so, what in the world is leadership psychology? Well, in this context, we are going to address two main concepts. Thinking and feeling. Both are very important to understand for anyone in leadership.

If you don’t know why you think and feel as you do, you’ll never be able to understand how and why others think and feel as they do. Simple.

And, as a leader, you must understand how the people in your team, organization, business, and or family, or friend network think and feel. Very important.

Having an impact starts with us. Each of us. Understanding how and why we think and feel as we do is a necessity in any leadership role. Any and all leadership roles.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Thinking

An entire article, nay, book can be written about how we think in regards to, well, just about everything in life. Leadership included. It’s that important.

In fact, how we think drives everything else we will discuss in this article. It all starts with the mind. The quality of our mind. Meaning? Good question.

As I’ve written about in other articles, human beings are meaning-makers. Meaning, pun intended, that we take in data, information or stimuli, and we convert those stimuli, whatever they are, into narratives.

We do this to make sense of the world, and our place in it. A simple example can illustrate this point.

If my thinking is about the past, and all of the wrongs I’ve suffered, or bad things that have happened, I will bring these thoughts, feelings, verbalizations, and actions into the present moment. And?

I, in essence, will recreate the past. Reliving, as possible, past trauma again and again. And, so will everyone else I am interacting with and in relationship with.

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

However, if I am aware of my thoughts, and how I think, I can work on the thought impressions, called samskaras in sanskrit, and, over time, release them.

When they are released they stop showing up as a thought. It takes time.

These samskaras, thought impressions of old patterns and habits, loose power when you inquire into why they are there in the first place. Meaning, that creating self-awareness for a leader is a crucial aspect of leadership development.

When we have some sense of our own self, we can step outside of those thought patterns or habits and create new ones.

And, it is in the creation of new thought patterns where true empowerment is found for leaders, first, yes, for themselves, and then for their teams, organizations, families, and friends.

There are four things I do on a regular basis to increase my self-awareness.

  1. Meditation
  2. Diet
  3. Exercise
  4. Coaching

Each of these contributes to self-awareness in unique ways, and they combine to increase clarity, calmness of mind, well-being, and insight into who you are as a human being, and how you relate to yourself and everyone else. Very important.

Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash

Feeling

As was aforementioned, how we think really does affect, even predict, how we feel, speak, and act, and how we feel on a general level and even on a more specific level, which is very important.

Important to how we relate to ourselves and everyone else.

I grew up in a household where people definitely displayed emotion, yet it was still hidden, and definitely not talked about. And, that’s not a demerit. Why?

Because my parents were not shown how to understand their emotions and then how to constructively talk about them. It is far more normal, especially in the United States, than people might imagine. And?

Not helpful to your own development, nor is it to your teams, organizations, families, or friends. If you don’t know why you feel the way you do, you will not understand how others feel.

And, if you are unable to understand how you and the people around you feel, you cannot talk about feelings in productive and constructive ways.

However, when you know how you feel, understand why you feel as you do, and learn how to talk about emotions in healthy ways, you can navigate more complex conversations and situations as they arise.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

And, in leadership roles, nay, in life, complex situations and conversations happen all the time. Sometimes every day.

In addition to meditation, diet, exercise, and weekly coaching, there are a couple of other things I do to understand my feelings and emotional state.

  1. Journaling
  2. Reflecting

Journaling, and reflecting upon how you feel, is a very important process; especially when we are truly interested in understanding how and why we feel as we do. Some questions I typically ask myself are as follows.

  1. What is the feeling that I am feeling?
  2. What is the thought that is driving that feeling?
  3. Where did that thought come from?

When you understand what you’re feeling, what thought is driving the feeling, and where the thought came from, you can begin to acknowledge the feeling.

When we can acknowledge how we truly feel, we can then release that feeling once we’ve gained true understanding. And, true understanding may mean working on a thought/feeling combination for some time.

Now, I’ve written most of this section with an assumption in mind. That, the work we do to understand how we feel, is needed mostly when we experience “negative” feelings, or emotions.

The emotions and associated feelings that bring us pain, discomfort, worry, and anxiety, for instance.

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Why is it important to work on these “negative” emotions and feelings?

Because if we don’t understand how we feel and why we feel as we do, we will regularly give out all of that “negative” emotion to other people. And?

And, then, yes, we are giving out all of our anger, frustration, sadness, or whatever other feeling we have to everyone around us, and we are doing so unintentionally.

If you want to see an example of how this looks, just go to the grocery store and hang out for a while. You will encounter someone that is completely unaware of their emotional state. It won’t take long.

It happens all the time, every day. As was aforementioned, especially in the United States, where there is still, yes even in 2020, stigma about talking about our emotions. Not helpful and extremely unhealthy.

Now, understanding our feelings does not mean that we run out and tell everyone that we meet that we are frustrated, for instance, and here are the reasons why. A paradox? Yes?

Understanding your emotions and why you feel as you do, helps you do the exact opposite.

When we understand why we feel as we do, we can hold our emotions more, and find the right times to talk about them in appropriate ways; meaning healthy and constructive ways. Very important.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

In Closing

Alright, though I have more to say on both of the aforementioned topics, for now, that concludes the first part of this second installment in the leadership series. Next?

We will take a look at Leadership Sociology. And, yep, you are correct, Leadership Sociology and Leadership Psychology are connected. They influence each other. A reciprocal relationship, if you like.

For now, remember, leadership psychology as defined here, understanding how we think and feel is an important first step in developing ourselves, yes, as leaders, and even more importantly as human beings.

When we are open to our own development, we can create contexts that are growth-oriented for everyone. It works that way.

Remember, it starts with you, with me, with each of us. Therefore, when we catch ourselves looking outside of ourselves for answers to why we think and feel as we do, we must remember to look within.

Because, my friends, within ourselves is the only place we will find the answers.

#coaching, #diet, #emotionalintelligence, #emotions, #exercise, #feeling, #journaling, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #leadershippsychology, #meditation, #mindfulness, #reflecting, #samskaras, #self-development, #thinking, #thinkingandfeeling, #thoughtimpressions, #understandingyourself

What Does Being Present Really Mean, and Why Does it Matter?

A Paradoxical Skill for Life

Just want the world to READ.

Have you ever thought about what it really means to be present? I mean really present. Present to yourself, to those that surround you, and to all that is around you? Hm.

For a long time, being present wasn’t something that was, well, present for me. Not so today. Being present is something that I am always present to; does that sound funny? Well, it is true.

And, yep, being present is a paradox, like most things in life. Meaning? Good question.

Meaning that being present is actually quite simple, and, yet, many people find it difficult. Why? Well, people are often focused on two other things. What two? Yep. Here you go.

  1. The Past – when you are focused on yesterday, you cannot be present today, in this moment.
  2. The Future – similarly, when you are focused on tomorrow, you cannot be present today, in this moment.

Hm. What to do?

Well, there are four strategies that I’ve found over the past three years that have increased my ability to let go of yesterday and tomorrow, and be present today. Yep. What are they?

Ready? Here we go.

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

Meditation

In the post, Creating a Meditation Practice: 3 Steps in 4 Minutes, I write about three simple steps you can institute to develop a meditation practice.

Meditation is and has been an experience that, well, quite frankly, has transformed my life. How? Yep. Here are three ways.

  1. Increased focus – the focus you develop in meditation, focusing on the breath, or some other object, carries out to every area of your life.
  2. Developed patience – sitting for any duration of time, free of people and distractions, can be difficult, thus, doing so, greatly develops your ability to be patient. Both with yourself, and, of course, with others.
  3. Greater presence – when you sit in deep concentration, you also get to know your own mind much better. Meaning, that you can see your mind as your awareness grows. And, with a more expansive awareness comes an ability to shift your attention from yesterday and tomorrow to today.

When we intentionally create quiet time for ourselves, to be with ourselves, away from all people and distractions, we are able to breathe, reflect, and just be.

It takes time and assistance to develop a meditation practice. I mean to really develop a practice that is sustainable.

Meaning, learning from someone that has been schooled in the art of meditation is helpful. I still see someone regularly about my meditation practice, and, well, as I’ve written before, about all of life.

Remember, it takes time to develop a meditation practice. Example? Sure, here you go.

My initial meditation practice, what I then called breathing, was only once or twice a day for 2 to 5 minutes at a time. I could literally only sit still for that long. Yep. Today? Well, today, my meditation practice is much longer.

It just takes a dedication to practice. Practice daily, get some coaching, and it will come. Really, it will.

Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

Diet

Someone once told me, we are what we put into our bodies. I know, I know. A very common saying, and you’re right. Yet, it is also very true.

I spent a lot of years putting very unhealthy things into my body, yet have learned the truth of the aforementioned statement.

It’s really about energy and clarity. When you eat more whole foods and put less refined sugars into your body, you do have more energy, and equally more clarity.

What does that look like? Well, there are countless iterations of healthy diets. Really. What does mine look like today? Sure. It’s pretty simple.

  1. Fruits and veggies
  2. Beans, nuts, and some grains
  3. Greens

That’s basically it. Now, there are other things I do eat, for instance, I removed dairy from my diet about a year ago, so I now eat a dairyless oatmeal yogurt product. However, the core of my diet is listed above.

Now, also know that diets iterate. For instance, though at the moment, I’m not eating eggs, for example, eggs have been in and out of my diet several times in the past three years. Yep.

And?

Well, when you combine eating healthier with meditation, guess what? Your ability to be present also increases. And, there is another benefit. What, you ask? Yep.

Clarity. With a healthier diet and regular quiet time for ourselves comes more clarity. Fun.

Photo by Gervyn Louis on Unsplash

Exercise

This is a fun one, as there are two ways I think about exercise today. Ready? Here we go.

  1. Cardio and exercising to exercise – sounds funny, maybe? Well, what I mean is exercise, such as running, jogging, or hiking, lifting weights, if you like, and biking.
  2. Contemplative exercise – yep, really. What I mean here is taking a walk, by yourself, no headphones, phones, or other distractions, and just walk. Just like that. Contemplation time, just for you.

Both are important. Why?

Well, being active, and in motion, is good for the body and mind. It gets all of your muscles and joints moving, and gets your heart rate up.

And, spending time with yourself on a walk, for instance, is very healthy for your mind, and yes, your body too.

We all need time by ourselves, to contemplate, to just be present to all that’s around us, free of the myriad of distractions that typically hold our attention. Very helpful.

Photo by Rustam Mussabekov on Unsplash

Emotions

Okay, this is a very important one for me today, and, well, it is also important for you, and for everyone.

When we spend time inquiring into why we feel the way we do, we gain insight on what’s happening with ourselves, yes, true, and we also gain a better sense of our own humanity, and our shared humanity. Truth.

When we ignore our emotions, regardless of the type, guess what? They just sit under the surface, and sort of fester, if you will.

They don’t just go away, especially those emotions we would associate with “negative” experiences, thoughts, or feelings, such as sadness, worry, or anxiety. Yep.

Spending time writing out how we feel daily, if possible, has been a helpful practice for me. When we do this, we can ask ourselves questions, such as, why did that incident or situation, bother me?

We can then trace it back to where the originally thought, experience, or feeling originated. Takes practice, yet is a super helpful and therapeutic experience. And?

As we work through our emotions, we become lighter. Really. We end up carrying less emotionalness inside of us. And? Yep, we also become more present. True.

Alright, so we’ve covered 4 areas that contribute to our overall well-being, and presence. That was fun.

Here are some closing thoughts to round out our discussion.

Photo by 30daysreplay Marketingberatung on Unsplash

Closing Thoughts

When we

  • Meditate, or create quiet time for ourselves
  • Watch what we eat, reducing our intake of refined sugars and increasing our intake of whole foods
  • Get exercise, including contemplation time
  • Work on our inner-selves and our emotional well-being, well?

We understand ourselves much better. And?

When we understand ourselves better, guess what? We know when we are present, and when we are not; and, when we catch ourselves being distracted, we can let go of that distraction, regardless of what it is, and refocus on the present moment.

After all, it is really only the present moment that we ever have. Yesterday and tomorrow do not exist. Really. And guess what?

The more present you become to yourself, the more present you become to everyone and everything. It works that way; and is presently beautiful that way.

#beingpresent, #developingpresence, #emotionalintelligence, #emotions, #exercise, #healthydiet, #humandevelopment, #meditation, #presenceasaparadox, #psychology, #selfimprovement

A Bloggers Diary 10/14/20: On COVID-19, Breakdowns, and Our Emotional Self

Right, so I was getting ready to write this post about something totally different. Namely, about Medium, the writing I’m working on this week, and one or two other topics. And, then?

Well, it occurred to me that I’ve not written about COVID-19 in a while, and I wanted to return, as if I’d ever really left, to the pandemic to discuss what some people are talking about, and some are not. Why? It’s hard.

Breakdowns, breakthroughs, and our emotional self. Hm. Alright, stay with me.

A couple of months ago I did a video and an accompanying blog called, A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough, and then a few weeks ago I wrote the post, Experiencing and Coping with Our Emotions: There is A Different Way Why?

Because destigmatizing breakdowns is important. They happen to us all. Really. Even if we don’t have access to the language to know that we are in an emotional breakdown, for instance, they happen. And?

A Journey from Breakdown to Breakthrough

Acknowledging and accepting our breakdowns is important to fully understand what’s happening within ourselves; and, to get to that insight delivered via breakthrough that will come on the other side of our breakdown.

Example? Sure. It’s very present for me.

In conversation with the team yesterday, well, some of the team, I received feedback that I didn’t see coming. Not at all. And?

Well, the feedback was excellent, and was timely and needed, yet the due date for the work that is affected by this new information is this week.

Phew. Pressure.

Right, so I went into breakdown, and stayed there for a couple of hours. What did this look like? Well, it looked like I was doing the rest of my day, driving to physical therapy, then to the store, then finally home.

When I got home?

Well, I showered, and then sat for my evening meditation. And? On the other side of my meditation, many insights occurred, which I captured for the following morning, this morning, in fact. And?

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

Well, getting back into the conversation this morning with new insight, a new perspective, and an additional colleague created a new way forward.

Yep. Did I see that possibility while I was in breakdown last night? Nope, not at all.

Yet, the more breakdowns and breakthroughs I go through, the more inner-knowing I have that an insight, or a combination of insights and perspectives, will deliver a solution to the issue.

Meaning that, yes, the changes that will need to be made will take time and coordination, yet there is workability. There is a way forward. And, there always is.

And, when we are in breakdown, we can’t always see these possibilities. And, that’s okay. Yes, scary at times, yet perfectly normal.

That, for me anyway, is the essence of a breakdown. Being unable to see far enough, due to my entanglement, in those moments, within my own self.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

Being in touch with our emotional self has never been more important than it is today.

The pandemic has ushered in many more unknowns. Really. Many more unknowns for all of us. Personally, familially, organizationally, nationally, culturally, at every level. Every level.

Tonight I am very present to the beauty in accepting and being with my breakdowns as they occur. Staying with them, going inside of myself to see what’s there, and to the knowing that insights will come. They always do.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and a breakdown is imminent, remember, you are not alone. They happen to us all, and in the long run they are beneficial.

They simply mean you are growing as a human being. Growing into yourself, through yourself. Beautiful.

Be well, and have a lovely week.

#blog, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #breakdowns, #breakdowntobreakthrough, #breakthroughs, #covid-19, #diary, #emotionalself, #emotions

The Paradox and Gift of Being A Highly Sensitive Person: Clear and Strong, Not Hurt and Damaged

Have you ever heard of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? Hm. Either way, know that although I’ve been a highly sensitive person my whole life, I had never heard this phrase until about 2 years ago. Here’s what happened.

About 2 years ago I was at a team building event, and we had one of our instructors come and talk about the highly sensitive person.

It only took about 10 minutes for me to get it. Yep. Then?

I read some of The Highly Sensitive Person book, by Elaine Aron; and took the HSP test. Yep, confirmed.

As I reflected upon the information I received at the teambuilding, and the new information from the book, so many things occured to me about my childhood, youthood, and adulthood.

I could clearly see my high sensitivity, what was then labeled as shyness or actually derogatorily called being sensitive.

I internalized my shyness and sensitivity as a problem for many, many years.

What I could have never known as a child, youth, or even as an adult previous to a couple of years ago, is that being a highly sensitive person is also a paradox, and a gift. Yep. How, you ask?

Sure. One, question first.

What do you think of when you imagine someone that is highly sensitive; or what association do you make? It’s okay. It’s not a judgement.

Did you see someone in a position of weakness, or in need of help? It’s okay if you did, today it’s normal.

What I am showing you is that in language being sensitive is associated with weakness; and, that that same language is what is used to experientially socialize children to think of high sensitivity as a weakness.

Here, let me show you.

sensitive

1: SENSORY sense 2

2a: receptive to sense impressions

b: capable of being stimulated or excited by external agents (such as light, gravity, or contact) sensitive cells

3: highly responsive or susceptible: such as

(1): easily hurt or damaged especiallyeasily hurt emotionally

(2): delicately aware of the attitudes and feelings of others

Merriam Webster

Now, though I am pleasantly surprised that the definition leads with receptivity and capability, it soon enough gets to easily hurt or damaged. Unfortunate, and just plainly not ture.

What is true is that being a person with high sensitivity, like most things in life, is a paradox. How, you ask? Right, well, let’s take a look shall we.

First, let’s explore high sensitivity. Now, know that my experience with the topic of high sensitivity is in being a person with high sensitivity. Meaning, that I’ve not read much about the topic.

Alright, ready? let’s go.

Photo by IIONA VIRGIN on Unsplash

What is High Sensitivity?

Having high senstiivty pretty much means as it sounds. That, in some aspects, people with high sensitivity are more sensitive to external and internal stimulation.

Here are a couple of examples.

People might be highly sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, smell, and emotions, both their own, and other peoples. There are many ways these sensitivities manifest, which you can check out on the Highly Sensitive Person website.

More often than not, people that have high sensitivity do not know it. Some don’t ever end up knowing it, and some, like myself, do. Approximately 15 to 20% of the population has high sensitivity.

The issue with not knowing, is that people with high sensitivity may end up internalizing their sensitivity as a problem, which is unhealthy and can be destructive.

Many people with high sensitivity end up using unhealthy coping mechanisms, like substance abuse, to bury their sensitivity and inability to understand and cope in more healthy ways.

And, the paradox? Yep, here we go.

Photo by IIONA VIRGIN on Unsplash

High Sensitivity as A Paradox

I label high sensitivity as a paradox to push the limits of language and experience, of what is known. Important. Example? Of course.

I know several people with high sensitivity; and, all of them are clear and strong.

Yep, they are sensitive, and sensitive in different ways, yet that sensitivity makes them clearer and stronger.

A paradox.

In language, as we discussed, sensitivity is associated with a weakness, or deficit, which is simply not the case.

When people that are highly sensitive know about their sensitivity, they can learn to cope with their higher sensitivity, and, in many cases, higher emotional input and output in more healthy ways.

Further, because emotions are felt more, both internal and external, it provides the highly sensitive person with a gift.

The gift of feeling more, knowing more, and loving more.

Another gift is being able to sense where people are at emotionally. Super helpful always, and even more so in leadership roles.

It gives you the opportunity to meet people exactly where they are, free of any judgement. You understand your emotions more, and so you understand other people’s emotions more too. It works like that.

Photo by Vladyslava Andriyenko on Unsplash

Being a person with high sensitivity has been a journey from thinking for many, many years that I was broken to the realization that I am clear about my emotions and stronger for my sensitivities. Much Stronger.

If you think you might be a person living with high sensitivity, I recommend you take the sensitivity quiz on the Highly Sensitive Person website.

Regardless of whether you are a person living with high sensitivity or not, it is important to remember that our senses and emotions are part of being human. We all have them.

Yes, some people are more sensitive than others to their senses and emotions. However, we all need to take the time to understand our sensations and emotions; time to be with them, and greet them with compassion and grace.

Along the way, please also don’t forget to continue to extend yourself that same compassion and grace. You deserve it.

#emotional-intelligence, #emotions, #highlysensitivepeople, #highsensitivity, #hsp, #humandevelopment, #livingwithhighsensitivity, #psychology, #selfdevelopment, #senses, #shynessandsensitivity