Who do you want to be?

 

What kind of friend, colleague, spouse, boss, parent do you want to be? 

 

One of my all time favorite books, Life's Golden Ticket (by Brendon Burchard) has a ton of great content - there needs to be a highlighter close by when you read this book!  A major takeaway for me was the notion of defining who you want to be. This vlog will hopefully give you something to think about as you are defining how you want to be known and remembered. 

Check out more from Brendon Burchard by visiting his website, www.brendon.com.

 

 

Come hear me speak at TEDxOrlando

June 24th @ Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center


Thank you, Sheryl

In my line of work, I have often discouraged from using the word "grief", like it's a dirty word or something. So needless to say, I am elated to see it on the cover of Time magazine

Grief is a natural reaction to loss or change, simple as that.

Sheryl Sandbery is the COO of Facebook, and in May 2015 her husband died suddenly while working out on vacation. I've followed her journey on life after this loss and at every turn, I continue to be impressed with her effort in using this tough life event to help others. Recently, she was the catalyst to change Facebook's bereavement policy; now, employees get 20 days off after experiencing the death of a loved one. This is a significant statement of compassion and empathy! Sadly, the standard time off for most US businesses is only 3-5 days.  

Sheryl has been a exemplary model of transparency and authenticity, as a "vulnerable leader" she openly shares her story in order to bring light to this delicate situation. We all will experience grief in our lives at some point, and I believe it's our social responsibility to share our experiences to help one another along the way.  

In her first open letter after losing her husband, shared via Facebook of course, Sheryl said we must "kick the s--- out of option B!"  And for obvious reasons, those words resonate with me deeply. 

While I'd normally offer a snippet from the article here, but in this case that'd be an injustice. Trust me, every word is worth reading.  

Two truths & a lie...

Over the weekend on a drive home I noticed my son, Caleb, staring out of the back window. He was leaning forward, almost in anticipation of something. I turned around because he was so quiet, I thought he was asleep. Usually on long rides he will watch a DVD so to my surprise he was awake and his posture implied he was in deep thought. I asked him what he was thinking, usually the response from a 6 year old is light-hearted or a typical, "I don't know."
 
But this time, the response was clear and said without hesitation.  "I was thinking - what is the name of the man who killed my daddy?"
 
Not a normal conversation between a mother and son, but this is our reality. And this moment embodied two truths and a lie that will hopefully serve you at some point along this journey of life.

First truth: it doesn’t matter how much time has passed, grief waves can hit when you least expect it.  Many times, the triggers are so subtle we don’t even recognize what stirred up the emotion. It could be a song, a phrase, a smell… But when we least expect it, a flood of emotions can consume us and change our current state. I don’t know what provoked Caleb’s thoughts about my husband’s killer, but instead of rushing past the awkward and heavy comment I paused for a moment – said a quiet prayer for clarity – and authentically responded.  I first comforted him by sharing that, I too, miss his dad and I get sad thinking about him not being here. And I then I proceeded to create a safe space by telling him it’s perfectly okay to feel sad or angry, and we can always talk about anything regarding his dad.  So when grief pops up unexpectedly, intentionally create this gentle atmosphere to help the person move through challenging emotions in a healthy way.

The second truth: just because you don’t see someone in pain doesn’t mean it’s not there.  If I hadn’t asked Caleb what he was thinking, I would’ve never known the pain he was holding in at that moment. On the outside, one could’ve assumed he was looking for a wild boar (if you’re in Florida you know these are often seen off the turnpike), but on the inside he was processing something inconceivable. So during your interactions with others, keep in mind you never know what difficulties or hardships that person may be bearing. And while it’s impossible to read their mind, I encourage you to lead with kindness and make a conscious effort to be the type of energy that no matter where you go, or where you are, you always add value to the lives of those around you.

The lie: you have to have all of the right words to be effectively supportive. Sometimes you don't have to have words at all, just being "there" is enough. After I thought I said all of the right things, Caleb looked over to me and said in a quiet voice, "I don't want to talk right now, Mommy." Have you ever had that moment before? I know I have. I had a friend who would come over and just lay on the floor with me, and that was always enough. 

Reflect on this - if you are ever in a position where someone is vulnerable and shares deep pain with you, consider it an honor. By them coming to you, they are showing that they respect you as a safe space; and you can honor their emotions by being present, authentic and comforting.

Are you taking care of your mental well-being?

We can't change the state of the world or our families, but we can change our mindsets. By implementing mind shift exercises, you can build your mental endurance to overcome life's challenges and setbacks. 

Taking care of your emotional and mental well-being is critical - here are some tips that will help you get started. 


Constantly tired, unmotivated, feeling unproductive, or just burnt out? It may be because you aren't properly caring for your total well-being. If so, the time to hit reset is NOW! Learn more about how Well Now Global Retreats can enrich your life by giving you easy to integrate healthy lifestyle solutions. 

Take Your Broken Heart, Make It Into Art

Last night Meryl Streep said “take your broken heart make it into art” she was quoting her dear departed friend Carrie Fisher. Unfortunately, those words have fallen in the shadows of her Trump comments, but they are actually the answer to this new wave of healing that's needed in our culture.

I love what Carrie said, but the second part of that sentence can be filled in and uniquely aligned to our abilities, our talents and our resources. It could say for you, take your broken heart and teach others. Take your broken heart, and serve others. Take your broken heart and make a business out of it. Take your broken heart and..... you fill in the blank. The point is to take a tragedy and use it in a productive way that will positively impact the lives of others.

Sadly, similarly to the journalists that Meryl Streep referenced, we are not reporting the truth - about ourselves. We are not being honest about pain we are feeling, and if we don't start telling the truth it will continue to perpetuate fear and even unhealthy behavior. In her speech, Merrill also said that "disrespect invites disrespect, and violence incites violence." She's right - and that also goes for pain, untreated or neglected pain will stimulate more pain.

So let's use our broken hearts to make art, let's use our broken hearts to help others, let's use our broken hearts to start a movement of healing that is critical right now in our world.

Watch her speech here. 

What an unpredictable world we live in

Last year we were all left shocked at the countless losses, changes and tragedies that occurred in our world. It was an emotional roller-coaster from deaths (see the full list of 151 notable deaths in 2016 as reported by CBS Sunday Morning), to global events and even election results. 2016 was a year full of unpredictability and 2017 is starting to begin on the same note.

This past Friday in Fort Lauderdale, five people were killed in a shooting and several others were injured. Yet another incident that exemplifies how erratic life can be.

So how do we cope and begin healing in lieu of these random occurrences? It’s easy, we simply need to start talking. Tragic events can’t be a hashtag for a day and glanced over. Sincere dialogue about pain stimulates a deep human connection which as a result, brings about unity.  

Anderson Cooper said in an interview where he was speaking about his brother's suicide that, “One of the difficult things about grief is we live in a society where it’s difficult to bring grief up, it makes people feel awkward.

But why is that? Well, I believe it’s because we are expected to suppress our emotional distress, when instead we should be connecting through these feelings. In another interview Cooper says, “Dealing with grief, dealing with loss-- there is power in hearing how other people have dealt with it and power in hearing how other people have faced it and live with it.” 

That’s exactly right, Anderson! Talking about life’s curve balls is the antidote to repressed pain!

So as we move through this year of unexpected events, don't bottle up - open up! Try these… 

 1.      Call on a friend or loved one. Text, call or chat over a meal or drink. Texting is a great way to get the pain off your chest without the vulnerability of face to face interaction. But truly, an in person connection can be the most liberating, and it’s definitely better with food and/or drink.  Brunch, dinner…. coffee, wine… whatever your flare, enjoy it with someone who you feel safe being completely open with. 

(Friend Tip: When you asked to be a listening ear, don’t try to “fix” their problems. Be an active listener and a good outlet for them to embrace their complex emotions.)

2.      Find a life coach or counselor.  It doesn't matter which profession you choose, what matters is your connection with the individual and their supportive and progressive guidance to healing.   Find someone who uses strategic exercises to build up your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well being.   

3.      Become an advocate for your adversity.  As Anderson said, there is power in hearing how other people overcome their challenges. Every pair of eyes reading this article has either experienced a major loss or change, or knows someone who has, and if not – you will.  We should share our experiences to help other know they aren't alone, to give hope to overcome challenges, and to start this much needed movement of healing in our world. 

Here's the question to consider: What can we do better in this upcoming year of inevitable events?

And here's the answer: We need to encourage psychologically safe environments at home, work, school etc… We do this by talking about our complex emotions: sadness, fear, hurt; that way we can work through them with healthy, focused and unified approaches.  We must also lay down our judgement and expectations of how we expect others to grieve and instead embrace them where they are.  

The decisions we make today will shape our destiny, so let's proactively address life's setbacks to minimize additional pain or other losses. 

 

 

3 Tips to Build Resilience

3 Tips to Build Resilience

Resilience is an essential component to life because we all experience hardships, change and/or pain. The beauty in the ashes is that we can use these difficulties to build our resilience which continues to serve us along this journey of life.  But let’s not be selfish! We are all connected through struggle and with that, it’s our social responsibility to uplift one another by sharing our pain and our progress!

What Really Happens When You Pull the Trigger

What Really Happens When You Pull the Trigger

Everywhere hearts are breaking for the recent shootings in our country. Children, harmless men and women, civilian, law enforcement…. It seems that no one is safe. We see angered facebook posts, outraged tweets, and cries of fear all over social media; but the raw reality is, these incidents are not just a hashtag or news story for the week. There is a ripple effect that changes lives forever.