Do you know, like and trust yourself?

People often talk about the “know, like and trust” factor. They’re usually referring to the fact that other people want to know, like and trust you before they’re willing to do business with you. I’d like to turn the question around and ask you: Do you know, like and trust YOURSELF?

Self-awareness and self-discovery are truly a lifelong process. I’m watching my teenage kids figure it out as they grow into young adults. I’m contemplating life frequently in mid-life. I see my parents making adjustments in their 70s and 80s so that they can continue to live a fulfilling and joyful life. I even get to interact with people who are well into their 90s through my work. I’m blessed to know a handful of people who have made it to 100 and beyond.

As long as we’re still alive and breathing, we’re making choices every day that support our growth or contribute toward challenges in our lives. It’s important to ask yourself on...

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TEDx Talk on Disruption

Have you ever experienced disruption in your life?

Ok - I realize the question is rhetorical.  We've all experienced disruption - from the little things like waking up to realize that you're out of coffee to the the life-altering, remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it happened kind of disruption.  That type of disruption is usually something that happens TO you.  Disruption that starts with an external event is one type of disruption.  There's another kind of disruption - one that starts from the inside - something that you create.  Both kinds of disruption can be an opportunity for growth. 

I talked about both types of disruption recently at TEDx Sugarland.  I invite you to watch the video of my talk, then let me know how you are embracing disruption as a gateway to growth in your life.

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-movement, fluctuation or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements

-the aspect of music comprising all the elements (such as accent, meter and tempo) that relates to forward movement

-origin – middle French (rhythme), Latin (rhythmus), Greek (rhythmos), probably from rhein – to flow

Self care helps me to find rhythm between my personal, family and professional responsibilities.  The definition of rhythm indicates forward movement and flow.  I like this idea much better than work-life balance which elicits thoughts of homeostasis or walking on a tightrope.  I would much rather find a state of rhythm among the different aspects of my life.

How does rhythm relate to self care?  Each of us can find our own rhythm depending on our personality, preferences and circumstances.  The self care practices of a new parent with an infant are going to have a different rhythm from a young single person just starting a...

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-a regular course of procedure

-a habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure

-from route, traveled way, beaten path, France in the late 1600’s

Routines are an essential part of self care.  My system for self care consists of three equally important components: renewal (discussed last week – here), routines and rhythm (to be discussed next week).  These three components are like a 3-legged stool.  The three legs form a solid foundation but the stool will fall over if one of the legs is broken or missing.

Routines help us to form new habits, maintain helpful systems and replace any negative patterns in our lives.  There has been a lot of research on the nature of habits in recent years.  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg outlines the pattern of a habit.  It starts with a trigger or a cue, followed by the routine or habit then the reward.  These three steps are essential to forming and keeping healthy...

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Musings on Renewal

Something dies
Goes back in the ground

Rich soil
Nutrients seep in
Life forms
Inside out
Still in the dark
Moving up through the soil
No one can see it yet
Still stiff
Still small

Breaking ground
It's so small

Tree, plant, blossom
Swaying in the wind
Bending without breaking

Remember the darkness
Find the light
Over and over again

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Renew - to make like new*
-restore to freshness, vigor or perfection
-to make new spiritually
-to restore to existence
-to begin again
-to become new or as new
Renewal - the act or process of renewing*

Renewal is an essential part of the cycle of life.  It is a process.  It is an action.  The act or process of beginning again.  The act or process of becoming like new.  It is not an easy process.  We can learn from nature.  With plants, renewal is about a plant/seedling pushing its way up, breaking ground to emerge into the light, to rise up.  At first, it is barely visible.  It is fragile.  It has been dormant, still, frozen, in a seed state throughout the winter.  Something instinctively told it that it is time to rise, to wake up, to work its way up through the dirt and the earth and rise up toward the sun, to break through to see the sun, the light of day, to receive carbon dioxide, to take its first...

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8 Life Lessons from Wonder Woman

**A quick note from me to you: If you read my blog because you want to renew yourself and inspire others, then this is for you. Many of my readers are mental health professionals who have chosen a life of service (more than likely, your service chose you). Other readers live a life of service to their own family, from young children to aging parents. And other people serve through business and community involvement. When you read about super heroes, I want you to know that I am talking about you. You are a super hero in my eyes. You have special powers. You need to take care of yourself and your super powers and your humanness because the world needs you. We need you to be our super hero, so here are a few gentle reminders for you.**

I have always loved the universal lessons that we can learn from super heroes. For the sake of this article I will talk about the new Wonder Woman movie based on the DC Comics character Diana Prince. **Spoiler alert: Watch the movie before you read this...

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Treading Water

The reason you haven’t heard from me on the SoYoCo blog or in emails in a while is because I have been treading water.  As you know, treading water is a form of movement to keep your head above water.  The goal of treading water is to keep moving.  It’s a survival skill.  In life, it’s an effective strategy for getting through times when you are swimming in rough waters.

Since last April I have experienced a series of stressful events that have required my full attention to stay afloat.  It started with the floods in the Houston area last April and May that affected our family farm.  In October I started a new full time job as a clinical social worker in hospice care.  I have taken time to adjust to a new schedule and new responsibilities.  In the meantime, my husband and I are still busy taking care of our kids and helping a family member through a medical emergency.

I’m sure you’ve had times in your life where...

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Feeling Swamped? 5 steps to recover from life's storms- Part 2 in 2 Part Series

This is the second post in a 2-part blog series.  To read part 1 with steps 1 & 2 first, go here.

3. Clear out the clutter

This is where it starts to get real. You may think it’s over once the storm has passed, but there is still work to be done.  Floods cause a lot of damage to a home, from drenched belongings to warped floors and the risk of mold growing in your home.  You have to clear out the damage before you can do anything else.  If your house floods, you need to pull up the carpet or flooring and let everything dry.  Sometimes you have to repair the walls by ripping out the drywall – all the way down to the studs.

The same is true with your personal storms.  Being swamped with chronic or acute stress causes damage to your body and mind (your “other home”).  So how do you clear out the damage?  You need to get rid of old habits and clear out the stress and trauma.  How?  This step takes some serious...

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Feeling Swamped? 5 steps to recover from life's storms- Part 1 in 2 Part Series

Are you feeling swamped, overwhelmed, and like you are struggling to keep your head above water?  This feeling can be brought on by any number of factors:

  • too much work, too little time
  • the high intensity of your work setting (trying to help people solve complex problems, struggling to meet the demands of your job, difficult relationships with peers or supervisors)
  • trying to juggle work with family responsibilities & other areas of your life
    worry about financial security or the physical & emotional health of you and your family members

The list goes on and on.  You might even have many factors in your life that combine to create the perfect storm of challenges that makes you feel like you are wading through quicksand.

I live in the Houston metro area and we have experienced two major floods this spring.  The rain and flood conditions had an impact on our family and our farm business.  The floods gave me new opportunities to practice self care at a much...

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