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Does Your Body Rule?

January 30, 2019

In the previous article we discussed how the Body, Environment and Time can hijack our goals and leave our outcomes to chance, circumstance, and fate. So, let’s delve further into the Body.

Is is so easy to get distracted these days with 24 hour news cycles, hundreds of channels of live or programmed content, info on demand with a voice request, and smart gadgets on our arms, body or walls. That’s why it is so easy to get hijacked even before we begin our day.  The smart alarm while waking you up also tells you the headlines, many of which are negative. We must be vigilant, because, it is the start of our day, that we have the greatest chance to take control of.

1. Are You Betting on Your Body?

headache_pain_800_clr_3364.pngMany check in with their body to see what it wants and needs when they first wake up. We check to see if anything hurts, or is it hungry? Does it need to go to the bathroom or have other hygienic or biological needs or requests? Or, perhaps the body wants coffee, food, sugar, or an even worse habitual stimulants like cigarettes, alcohol, pills, or drugs.  Now, of course I am not saying to ignore the body, but realize that it is biologically programmed to alert us of any serious problems. What I am saying is to not let it rule and dictate our first thoughts and daily trajectory because energy goes where attention flows.

The body has memorized all your habits (good and bad) and uninterrupted will play the program over and over again. It is designed to conserve energy and it does that by not having to make you think.

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Most of our mornings  routines are robotic, habitual, and automatic. We do the same things. We wear the same few outfits, eat the same few meals, park in the same spots if possible, sit in the same seats, hang with the same few people, and if we drive, take the same routes. The body wants us to be comfortable and any change even the changes that are good for us are uncomfortable. Be clear, if the body rules, we are being reactive and living according to a past program, not the present.

Be Mindful of Your Physical State

With that said, the mind and body are partners and the body must be taken care of and be physically fit in order to make the most of our day. Having a physical routine that synchronizes with our mind and heart is a great way to begin our day. Yoga, a brisk walk in fresh air, and exercise are great ways to jump start your day and improve your health and well-being.

In our next post, we will discuss the impact of environment.

578239_10150981208185649_1604504171_n.jpgMy passion is in connecting hearts, to help people see our oneness and common humanity, and to teach people strategies for handling the individual, family, societal, and workplace stresses that zap our energy, enjoyment of life, productivity, and well-being. I have been training adult audiences for over 40 years.

I work with people at all levels, but especially with top leadership in organizations with a focus on employee engagement, dysfunctional teams, communication challenges, culture, implicit bias, change management, and rebuilding trust. I am a keynote speaker and also train nationally for businesses, associations, colleges, community groups, and government organizations.

My focus over the past decade has focused neuroscience of well-being, positive psychology, strengths-based leadership, generative change, emotional resilience and Appreciative Inquiry. My current or recent contracts have been working with leadership in high stress organization: correctional facilities, emergency communication centers, and high stress government agencies. I am a wife, mother of six, and entrepreneur and also an author of six books.

 

BET- What Are You Betting Your Day On Chance or Choice?

January 30, 2019

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What primes your day, your body, the environment or time?

Like priming a pump, our first thoughts in the morning and throughout our days must be intentional, positive, and proactive, otherwise we have no choice but to be reactive to what our Body, Environment, or Time dictates to our emotions.

The will of the collective mind, body, and spirit as partners in achieving our life’s mission should start our days, but unfortunately, three powerful hijackers, body, environment, and time can stress us, redirect our energies and set our day in motion and in a direction that we did not choose. This is because each of these powerful protagonists can control what we feel, think, and ultimately do or not do.

Each of these influences also has a powerful impact on our daily outcomes because over 90% of our decisions are controlled by our emotions. Clearly our reactions to and the importance we place on our body, environment, and time affect our feelings, how we start our day, and influences how we feel and act throughout our day.

Chance Is The Default

rotating_custom_dice_12396 (1).gifWe each have the power of creation in our heads, hearts, and hands and yet most of us BET our days on chance. Now, we don’t intentionally bet our precious lives on circumstance, but chance is the default if we do not proactively choose the kind of day we want and channel our creative energies (thoughts, emotions, behaviors) towards those intentional goals. Conscious intention, not fate, gives us the best chance to create the life we desire. If we convince ourselves that fate is the only power and we have no control over our lives, we are doomed to accept whatever life offers.

Put it this way, if we do not consciously and intentionally create our days, we will have to accept what fate, chance, and circumstances offer us.  Any one of these powerful hijackers, body, environment, and time can set our day in motion and in a specific direction because each of these can control what we feel, feel, and do. So, what are you betting on?  In the next post, I discuss each. 

578239_10150981208185649_1604504171_n.jpgMy passion is in connecting hearts, to help people see our oneness and common humanity, and to teach people strategies for handling the individual, family, societal, and workplace stresses that zap our energy, enjoyment of life, productivity, and well-being. I have been training adult audiences for over 40 years. I work with people at all levels, but especially with top leadership in organizations with a focus on employee engagement, dysfunctional teams, communication challenges, culture, implicit bias, change management, and rebuilding trust. I am a keynote speaker and also train nationally for businesses, associations, colleges, community groups, and government organizations. My focus over the past decade has focused neuroscience of well-being, positive psychology, strengths-based leadership, generative change, emotional resilience and Appreciative Inquiry. My current or recent contracts have been working with leadership in high stress organization: correctional facilities, emergency communication centers, and high stress government agencies. I am a wife, mother of six, and entrepreneur and also an author of six books.

 

 

Friend or Foe: Ingroup versus Outgroup

May 30, 2018

We tend to trust, influence, support, and are more flexible with people in our in-groups. We empathize more with, have more compassion for, and want good things to happen to people in our in-groups. In fact, since we see them as “like us”, we want for them, the same things we want for ourselves. However, we tend to patronize, harm, pity, or ignore people in our outgroups. In short, we don’t care about them so we do not take care of people in our group.

Have you ever thought about why we are instantly attracted to some people, and yet are apprehensive of others?  Logically we may be thinking that that is not fair nor does it make sense to make such snap judgments of people, especially if this is a first-time encounter or in our past.  However, if we understand that everything our brain does is to keep us safe and comfortable, then it makes a lot more sense.

trust_me_1600_clr_7204.pngTo simplify a very complex brain calculating formula, let’s just focus on two subconscious considerations at work in every moment, warmth, and competence (Cuddy and Fiske). The brain first decides emotionally if we are feeling warmth (friendliness, kindness, respect, or trust) in the encounter.

What the brain is trying to discern is, “Is this person, place, or situation safe; do they intend to harm me?”

If we feel any fear, then the offending stimuli (person, place, situation) is automatically flagged (so to speak) and the person or incident is put in the outgroup to be watched more carefully.  When we don’t trust people, they are automatically in our outgroup where information about them can be scrutinized more highly.  This outgroup processing is even performed in a different part of the brain.  However, if we’re feeling safe, warm, and fuzzy, we get one thumb up for the warmth question, but, the person is still in a holding pattern.

bully_picking_fight_800_clr_11656.pngWe need two thumbs up to get into the in-group. Even more importantly, the brain wants to know if the person is capable of harming us.

So, the brain asks the second question, “Is this person competent or capable of harming me?

We like to be around people who are credible and reliable. For, while we may feel a person might not like us, we still may not be sufficiently worried if they have no power to harm us. This harm can be perceived as physical harm, emotional harm, or even social harm (competition, unfairness, or microaggressions).  If we get a ‘no’ on the second question, the person is placed in the outgroup. The brain has done a lot of calculating based on our past beliefs, experiences, thoughts, and actions to come to its conclusion. Sometimes we are right, but many times we are wrong and base our expectations solely on erroneous stereotypes.  But when we are right, magic happens. We make connections that enhance our emotional and social well-being. We become part of a tribe. We relax and feel safe. Life is good

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If we get two thumbs up on warmth and competence, then our brains are in the reward state and tend to approach the stimuli and welcome them into our ingroup.

We tend to make mistakes sometimes because our brain uses all of our learned. imagined, or experienced information to make predictions about the future. Even when coded properly, people change.  If the stimuli are familiar and we’ve had a positive interaction in the past, we mark the incoming stimuli as safe and tend to approach it. If we’ve had a bad experience in the past, it makes sense to be cautious, so our brain sends a warning message to the amygdala to be careful. Depending on the magnitude of the fear or threat, we may automatically trigger a freeze, fight, or flight state. In these instances, we are more apprehensive and very unlikely to approach.

In summary, the brain is powerful, but it needs our conscious help. The more time you spend to get to know people better one on one, the less likely you will be blinded by stereotypes and misinformation.  You will enjoy a greater sense of belonging and unity and expand your horizons. More and more people will be in your in-group and you will have a lot less fear and stress.

Barbara Talley
Educator, Facilitator, Keynote Speaker
Appreciative Inquiry Interventions
Strengths-based Leadership
Generative Leadership
Heartmath Certified Instructor
Brain-based Conversations Coach

 

I “AM”

December 30, 2017

“WHOO HOO, SO MANY BLESSINGS FOR 2017!” As I conclude 2017, I am choosing to think about and to be thankful for all the things that I am. There is nothing more powerful than whatever follows the words “I am!”  “I am” has an attractive force, is creative and visionary, and should only be followed by what we want.  I am blessed! I am grateful! I am wise!  I am enough! I am wealthy! I am thankful!  I am loved! I am loving! WHAT FOLLOWS YOUR “I AM?”

Thoughts become things and every thought has its own frequency.  Whatever you focus your energy on, finds you. We attract those things that are in the frequency of what we think about and more importantly feel about. When I articulate that I am blessed, I think about my blessings, feel more grateful,  and as a result, attract more blessings to me. When I articulate I am enough, that eliminates thoughts of lack. Like the two sides of a coin, you can only view heads or tails at any given time and not both.

If we follow up the word after “I am” with “for”  or “because”, we open up a whole new world of creative possibilities because a grateful heart attracts blessings. heart_made_of_words_16347.png

I am grateful for …

I am thankful for …

I am blessed because…

Unfortunately, too many people misuse their creative power by attracting through their words, emotions, and deeds the very things that they do NOT want to create. We have a choice in what follows “I am!”  Just keep in mind that you are not just describing with I am, you are attracting and creating what follows it.

I am beautiful! OR  I am ugly!
I am tired! OR I am energized!
I am powerful! OR I am weak!
I am blessed! OR  I am forsaken!
I am at peace! OR I am angry!
I am appreciative! OR I am upset!
I am hopeful!  OR I am depressed!
I am healing! OR I am sick!

Yes, “I am” can be a descriptive label;  I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a friend. I am a soul!  I am a poet. I am an entrepreneur.  I am a wife. We must be very careful because labels can be positive or negative. Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “When you label me, you negate me!”  Clearly, we are far more than our labels, but labels can be powerful guides. I am unlucky! I am doomed!  I am powerless!  I am a minority! I am hated!  Sometimes, we choose labels that limit us. At other times, people may try to put a label on us. Just remember,  we don’t have to claim any labels that do not uplift us. My daughter Radiance just shared a quote that I’d like to share with you to remind you of how special and important you are.

“Whenever you feel sad, just remember that there are billions of cells in your body and all they care about is you.” @MindsetOfGreatness

We have a choice;  “I am” can also be empowering or debilitating!  I choose to focus on the life-enhancing power. I am is visionary!  I am healed!  I am can also be limiting if you allow it to be.   Now, I ask you this question, “When you use “I AM” in a sentence, what generally follows?”

The late Wayne Dyer explained, “We don’t describe the world we see, we see the world we describe.”

Put succinctly, what we see in our minds is what we end up creating in reality. The things we hold in our minds become us, for the reality of man is his thought.  A new year is upon us and we have the opportunity to create what we want it to be.  So, define and create your “I am!”

Happy New Year

Thinking Beyond Dichotomies

May 22, 2017

I’m trying to rise above dichotomous thinking of all or nothing. Perhaps it’s possible to adhere to  “everything in moderation” and “to thine own self be true.” There is a lot of gradient between dropping people completely or being around them all the time.  Part of me doesn’t want to waste my time on the people that cause me to feel badly about my light. It takes too much energy to get back to homeostasis. It’s a heart thing and the heart matters.  Another part feels the need to bring light to darkness. Therein lies the dilemma for which moderation can provide the answer. Above all, I know that this life is fleeting and temporary, and while I don’t like wasting my time, I also feel the responsibility to help guide people to the light.

Place Your Plant in the Correct Amount of Light

We have been given free-will and choice to choose the amount of light in life that allows us to grow.

People, like plants, require differing amounts of light to grow. If you give some plants too much light, they will die.

Others in that same light actually thrive and grow. That’s where the “to thine own self be true” part comes in.  Perhaps some can only handle so much light, while others like me thrive in bright light.  We tend to give what we like. However, one of my children once told me that while I seem to get energy from large groups of people, too many people actually drain their energy. Now, that’s food for thought!  How much light can or should you give? How much light can you handle? How much light do you require? I guess these are questions that we all must eventually ponder.

I, just as everyone else, am a unique creation of God, endowed with gifts and strengths to share with the world. As a poet, author, speaker, coach, and trainer, the gifts of a loud voice, high energy, and a sense of responsibility to share and inspire what I’ve learned, assist greatly in being able to do what I was born to do. These same gifts while appropriate on stage, might not be in other settings. Other people have their unique gifts and purposes that do not require the same tools that I was blessed with. The great thing is that this world is filled with diversity and there is a space and place for us all.

Barbara

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