Author Archives: gftadmin

All or Nothing Thinking…

Often times when it comes to a change we have this way of thinking that it has to be ALL or NOTHING. We will not allow ourselves to ease into something and step through the motions—this is relevant when it comes to healthy eating, sleep routines, exercise, employment, or even our thoughts around losing a loved one.

We have thoughts around the idea—that life is not indefinite so what is the point of embracing this for a short while. The point is—life is worth living with each embrace as long as we absorb as much as we can from each experience we will gain what we need and leave an impact. The impact we leave is up to us—

New Year’s resolutions also fall within this category— we place additional pressure on ourselves by having this notion that it is a “New Year: New Me” and now I must comply with all these goals/changes each and every moment and once I fall short once—it is all over and I might as well go back to my old ways. We force ourselves into that negative thinking loop.

Therefore, the question is how do we make this stop?—Step One: Acknowledging that this is occurring. Step Two: Determining what the goal of the behavior is. Step Three: If the goal is to better yourself—we don’t need to accomplish everything all at once. Step Four: Determine the impact we want to have on our lives and others. One item at a time will ease and train our brains into being rewired—with how I think about situations rather than forcing ourselves into this ALL or NOTHING. —-As this way of thinking is setting us up for failure. Perfectionism does not exist.

The goal is finding the beauty within our imperfection!

Internal Struggles

Wanted (Internal) Vs. Expected (External)… Patterns around determining what is wanted vs what is expected. This comes to the surface within our circumstances and environment. Often we are finding ourselves contemplating internally for what I want to occur (or set goals for) vs the external element of what others expect me to accomplish (or complete within my life).

Let’s pull on that last notion—My Life!—If you are not comfortable, passionate, and driven by your internal wants you will not be as successful. If you are making decisions for yourself based upon those external influences you may find yourself to be resentful, unfulfilled, and disconnected from your own circumstances.

It comes down to—Understanding your wants vs others expectations. Asking yourself those questions on a daily basis, Who are I doing this action for? Who is this benefiting?

*What a perfect time to start to ask those questions with the pending holiday season!

Boundary Setting

‘Allowing’ Others to Impact Our Self-Esteem… The ideal of not taking others comments, opinions, or judgements personally is our ultimate goal.

How do we accomplish this?

Often when we hear negative comments from others we attach to them and feel that this person can see into our darkest fears and worst image of ourselves. We validate it by taking it personally because once we do this we are declaring that this person is correct.

Now if we shift how we think too: When we take things personally it is an act of selfishness; as we are making the assumption that everything is about ‘me’ (Ruiz, 1997). The result of this thinking is driven by our ego—as we are taking responsibility for everything. Once we shift to this new way of thinking we can see that someone’s comment, opinion, or judgement is a reflection of them, not me.

The start is accepting: Their words—not mine!
 

Ruiz, D (1997) The Four Agreements.

The Acknowledgement of Grief…

With the changing season, it brings forth the need to acknowledge the change in circumstances. The start of fall signals as a reminder for Grief and Loss, for some; and others it’s a different season, month, date, or time.

Grief and Loss brings forward the process of remembering that person (position, role, or relationship), and how they (or it) impacted you. Remembering that loss but shifting our focus to the positive elements—What I have learned? How I have grown as a result? How it has shifted further relationships for those left?

We are all grieving—as Grief is not only reserved for death. It can be represented through the loss of anything, anyone, any role, or tie. Understanding and recognizing your grief is the first steps to transforming it. Transforming how we hold it and view our ‘new state.’ As grief is something we hold with us for an eternity. It is ever changing and transforming the impact on us, but it never ‘ends’. We are active agents within this and have the ability to assist with this transformation. That leaves the question—what impact do you want this Grief and Loss to have on you?

The pain was necessary to know the truth, but we don’t have to keep the pain alive to keep the truth alive. –Mark Nepo

Perhaps grief is not about empty, but full. The full breath of life that includes death. The completeness, the cycles, the depth, the richness, the process, the continuity and the treasure of the moment that is gone the second you are aware of it.– Alysia Reiner

Suicide Awareness…

Every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide! Over 800,000 people die each year by suicide! Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those individuals between the ages 15-29!

Suicide is a lot more than just numbers, statistics, and facts!

Suicide is a complex issue involving numerous factors and should not be attributed to any one single cause. Not all people who die by suicide have been diagnosed with a mental illness and not all people with a mental illness attempt to end their lives by suicide.

People who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings are suffering with tremendous emotional pain. People who have died by suicide typically had overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness. Suicide is not about a moral weakness or a character flaw. People considering suicide feel as though their pain will never end and that suicide is the only way to stop the suffering.

Many factors and circumstances can contribute to someone’s decision to end their life. Factors such as loss, addictions, trauma, depression, serious physical illness, and major life changes—can make some people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. It is important to remember that it isn’t necessarily the nature of the loss or stressor that is as important as the individual’s experience of these things feeling unbearable.

Suicide prevention is all of our responsibility! By reducing the stigma through the language we use, and the support we offer those around us. Our first step towards accomplishing this is through leaving judgement at the door!

Communication…

How effectively do you believe we communicate as a: Generation? Society? or Species? Overall—the evidence shows that we have vast need for improvement.

Some key steps in addressing  this would be to acknowledge the barriers, remove them (as best as possible), and improve our skills. Resulting in an effective two-way dialogue. 
 
Barriers (not an exhaustive list):
  • Judgements (of the situation, person, or self).
  • Distractions (environmental, electronic, or internal).
  • Inability to understand the other (jumping to conclusions, only listening for what you’re wanting to hear, or giving what you would want rather than what the other needs).

 Skill Improvement (not an exhaustive list):
  • Actively being present (body language, non-verbal queues, and acknowledgment).
  • Actively listening (allowing space for words-and-silence both equally).
  • Not coming to the conversation with an answer or a goal to “FIX” their concern (this action also takes the pressure off of you).
Within the fast pace world that we live we are often looking for quick solutions and want to speed up the process while we are in conflict. The challenge is as we rush things with the mentality of a “quick fix”—we prolong the conflict. As each individual is not getting what they are needing.

Let’s make that commitment to slow down—- by giving the space and time—- which will allow us to remain open in our communication!

Judgments: Changing Our Perceptions!…

Seeing someone at surface level can be completely debilitating (on ourselves and others). As humans we naturally judge our surroundings and those within it, this is innate within us. Built into our survival instincts.

So the question is— how can we use our judgments for the positive rather than viewing people with negativity?

First it is important to understand the other side of our natural judgments. The person you are viewing and placing judgments on, ‘possibility such as less or unfortunate’ is someone’s child, partner, friend, buddy, lifeline, hero, parent, family—- most importantly they are a person. A human-being!

Second comes a shift—Rather than having a critical point of view of others and their circumstances. —- Lets change that to having a genuine inquisitive view point. Being interested in how others overcome obstacles and build their resilience.

Making this shift and devotement will only improve our perspectives of the world and how we interact within it.

Seeing others for more than just the surface. Seeing them for what they are, by overcoming these obstacles, events and heartache.

Giving others the care and support THEY desire, rather than imposing our judgments onto them.

Ponder for a moment if within this world each one of us treated others as they wanted to be treated rather than imposing our perspective and judgement upon them!

Growth…

Summer is a continuous reminder of growth!—All things surrounding us are growing and developing. This is when reflection is the highest: What have I accomplished? What direction am I headed? This can be an empowering movement but also an overwhelming one.

Take a moment. Breathe.

Rather than overwhelming our minds lets continue to foster this growth in a helpful and supportive way. Being inquisitive rather than demanding on ourselves. Being open to new opportunities rather than needing to know what is coming after each turn.

Allowing our minds to wonder can be a healing reality. It allows us to foster our creativity.

How will you allow yourself to wonder today?

Your Mental Health

Happiness or Contentment… There are two distinguishing factors when it comes to the difference between Happiness and Contentment:

1. Happiness can fluctuate each moment, but contentment is stable.
2. We tend to seek to increase happiness by adding things (food, excitement, objects, others) but contentment is a skill that allows you to subtract things and still be content.

Next comes the how—how can you build contentment within yourself?

Build self-trust. The only way to fix a lack of trust is by taking small steps. Assess the items that you have control over and that you can enforce a positive change, today.

Notice your ideals. The other challenge for finding contentment is that we are constantly feeling bad about ourselves, because the reality of ourselves does not meet some ideal we hold. The truth is, the reality of ourselves is not bad, it’s only bad in relation to the ideal that we have about ourselves (unrealistic). When we let go of the ideal, we are left with the reality that can be judged as a unique human being who is beautiful in its own way.

Let go of the ideals. Once we notice the ideals, we need to stop comparing ourselves to them. Let it go. The main way to let go of the ideal is to see the pain that it’s causing in yourself.

Give yourself credit where credit is due!—You are worth more than you are accounting for.