The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Do you have empathy? Toolkit Tuesday

Here's a quick question to check your empathy: when driving and a driver in front of you is going slow or a driver behind you is too close do you think "what a jerk?" To practice empathy you should try to put yourself in the other driver's shoes and try to figure out why they are doing what they are doing.  Maybe they are driving slow because they are lost, scared, or are transporting something that will spill or break.  If they are driving fast maybe the are late somewhere,  rushing to the hospital,  or they need to go to the bathroom.   Think about times when you drove fast or slow- that driver could be you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

3 steps on how to move on - Toolkit Tuesday

Yesterday for Motivational Monday I wrote about Moving On - a short piece to inspire you to realize that you deserve better than settling for things that don't bring you happiness (career - relationships).  

Today, for Toolkit Tuesday I'm going to tell you HOW to move on! From time to time we all need to move on from a relationship, job, career, sport, school, or other type of situation.  This often seems easy but for some reason our egos or circumstances don't seem to allow us to actually move on - physically and/or emotionally.  

The reason it is difficult to move on is because you actually have to go through the stages of mourning and grief but people don't realize this and fight this process.  We get stuck in different stages of the grief process and sometimes go back to the person/situation/job... This only makes things more difficult so here are the 3 steps you need to follow to move on!

1.)  You need to cut off all contact.  If you really want to move on than you need to let go - get your foot off the break and move!  For some relationships with children involved and jobs where you will still need to stay connected to co-workers you need to just cut things off emotionally.  Here is where you need to know the difference between being friendly and being friends.   So don't contact them unless you really need to and if they contact you be respectful but have strong boundaries.  

2.)  Know that you will experience the five stages of normal grief explained by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Understand, the amount of time you spend in each stage will be different and you may not follow them in the same order.

  • Denial & Isolation:  We often experience this defense mechanism as a reaction to overwhelming emotions, stress, and trauma.  Even if you are the one wanting to move on you can still experience the feelings of denial that it is happening or you may feel bouts of isolation.  Just remember this is temporary and the feelings will change soon.  
  • Anger: When the denial and isolation feelings start to subside we may have intense feelings of hurt and pain.  This makes us feel vulnerable and scared so we project these feelings as anger. We may direct this anger at strangers, friends, loved ones, or even inanimate objects.  We often will be angry at the other person but this may cause us cognitive dissonance - this is where we have 2 conflicting feelings - both love and hate for the same person/job/situation.  
  • Bargaining: Again we are feeling helpless and vulnerable so we may try to work on the relationship/job/situation.  We often will say - "If I only worked harder/been nicer/was thinner..." We will either tell the other person we will fix these things about ourselves or we will just try to fix them hoping the other person will notice.  This is often a stage where we will try to fix the relationship/job/situation but it will not work because it is already over by this stage.  
  • Depression:  When we realize that bargaining didn't work and the relationship/job/situation is really over than we can sink into a depression.  Past memories can trigger a lot of sadness and tears. We can have a lot of regrets and realize all the things we are going to miss by not being in the relationship/job/situation anymore.  We can feel very lonely and on the brink of despair.  This is the time we have to remember that what we are longing for was a fantasy - a fantasy relationship/job/situation and not reality.  Letting go of a dream is extremely painful because it is the dream that is connected to us emotionally.  This is why people in abusive relationships keep going back - the dream of a great relationship even though in reality it is a living hell.  Having to face reality is too painful and depressing so many prefer to live in a fantasy.  LET GO OF THE FANTASY!  
  • Acceptance:  If you follow these steps you will eventually get to the stage of acceptance.  You will finally accept the reality that the relationship/job/situation is over and your fantasy of what you want to have happen isn't going to happen.  You can accept that you may not ever see that person, experience that career, or play that sport again but you are not still experiencing anger or depression.  You are not hoping that things will change because you are ready to move on and discover other adventures.  
3.) Forgive and love yourself.  Remember that we learn so much from our mistakes and mistakes make us better stronger people. Don't beat yourself up for getting in a bad relationship, not being a good partner, not being successful at your job or school, or for failing at something.  These events don't make YOU a bad person they are just teaching lessons.  Forgive yourself - you now know better!  Love yourself most!  When we take time to be our own best friends we support ourselves and work to improving ourselves. This isn't permission to be self-centered it means that we need to love and take-care of ourselves.  Remember from yesterday's post - don't settle because you deserve a good life!  

HUGS my friends!  You matter and have value & worth in this world!  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Motivational Monday--MOVE ON!

Have you ever been in a situation, relationship, or a job where:
~you have felt used?
~you are drained of your energy?
~you are unappreciated?
~you are taken advantage of?
~you are ignored and/or treated in a condescending way?
~you are emotionally, verbally, or physically abused?

Let me tell you that you don't have to settle for this in your life! You need to remind yourself that you are a great person and deserve to be with people (friendships/relationships/coworkers...) that respect you, appreciate you, and willing to put energy into you too.  

STOP being with people who suck the energy and life out of you!
~~~~If you are the one that gives more than you get in a relationship than GET OUT!  

STOP trying to convince yourself that it is okay because you are strong and independent and the other people need help.
~~~~If the people you are with need so much help, support, and rescuing that you always put their needs and desires first than GET OUT!

STOP justifying the behaviors of others!  
~~~~If you  have to make excuses to yourself and/or others as to why a person is treating you bad, ignoring you, giving you a silent treatment, or just treating others poorly than GET OUT!

Life is short, my dear, so stop settling for less!  When you are sitting on your rocking chair at the end of your life you will have a lot of regrets for staying in bad relationships and bad jobs but you will not regret being with people in your life who put you first, help support you, appreciate you, and make sure you know that you have value and worth. 

Stop being in one-sided relationships with people - it's a waste of your time, energy, and talent.  If a person isn't willing to see the great things you have to offer than MOVE ON!  

(Tomorrow read- Toolkit Tuesday on HOW to move on!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lessons about Cognitive Biases!

I speak, teach, and sometimes preach about our cognitive biases! We all need to become aware that we all have these biases!  That means EVERYONE!  We must understand this so we can become the best person that we can.  Knowing we have these biases makes us have more empathy.  I have found a great video that explains these biases.  Enjoy this 6 minute video!  Lesson for today: pay attention to all the biases you have - you will realize that you  have MANY!