Yes. Some questions are loaded. No. It's not always the other person doing the loading.
The loaded question 🙅♀️.
Has anyone ever asked you a question that you think they already know the answer to? They ask anyway. You feel triggered. The internal battle begins 🧠.
Why are they asking? Shouldn't they know? Do they want me to justify myself? I shouldn't have to answer this! 🙇♀️
No matter what is said, it feels...disappointing. You feel misunderstood.
You go home and recite different ways you could have ’won’ the conversation in front of the mirror 🤦♀️.
Yes. Some questions are loaded.
No. It's not always the other person doing the loading.
If you notice a particular person, topic or question that continually feels loaded, it may be time to start doing some ’unloading.’
🙋♀️ “I need to take a pause real quick; I’ll be right back.”
*shuts the door, takes deep breaths, looks in the mirror and asks - what unwanted thoughts or assumptions did I bring to that conversation?
...minutes pass more deep breaths, feel a bit better, return to the conversation.
”I have to admit I started to feel _______ when we were talking; I feel ______ now and can see how I was bringing _________ to the conversation. I'd like to [start over/talk about something else/ whatever you want to do at that moment].”
🚫 There's no need to fake it, hide it, or bury it. 🚫 There's also no need to shame it, discredit it, or judge it.
Acknowledging how you feel without judgement is a crucial part of developing self-empathy ✨.
Mutually growth-enhancing, healthy relationships require both empathy AND self-empathy. No shame. No self-judgement. AUTHENTICITY.
Let me know if you've ever felt this way in the comments and what's been working or not working for you!
This past year started with me jumping back into school and falling madly in love with psychology and writing all over again. I went in with a lot of assumptions about what classes and topics I would love most.
They were great, don’t get me wrong. But they did not “light a fire in my belly” so to speak.
The fire that did rise was not at all what I expected.
During this time, I took the blandly titled and not so sexy “Foundations of Helping.” Not a class I was looking forward to; I knew what helping was.
As I read chapter after chapter of my textbook, paired with study after study about helping and the process of creating change, I was simultaneously going through my very own change process.
The ONLY lesson in Helping.
I struggle to watch Humane Society ads, Disney and Pixar movies, and those Superbowl commercials with the dogs and horses.
I also hate going to the movies. Not because I don’t love movies, good stories, or buy into the messages. Because I HATE that someone else’s emotions can bring me to tears in less than a second.
I’m a feeler.
I have always struggled to separate my emotions from those of others. I take your sadness and carry it around for days like a backpack filled with bricks I don’t want or need.
How in the hell was I going to listen to the challenges and traumas of those who would eventually sit in my chair and not lose my mind? How indeed.
I was terrified. I wasstarting to stop, find stillness and sit with my emotions more regularly. It was uncomfortable. I kind of hated it.
I felt the way I used to when I was ten, back before I learned that feeling too much was weak and dangerous.
The more I felt, the more I felt. It was exhausting.
After weeks of just letting it all go, I started to notice something. Not all of those emotions felt like they were mine. I began removing the backpacks I had been wearing for years and started to see names and labels attached to them. Mom. Dad. Teacher. Brother. Coach. Husband. Danm.
I had been carrying the expectations, emotions, and assumptions of SO MANY other people for so damn long I couldn’t tell the difference between what was mine and what was not.
It felt like a revolution in my heart.
With each day that passed and each feeling that arose, I began to make it a practice to stop, find stillness, and look for a label. Whose is this? Is it mine?
I was taking on the emotions of others because I assumed others could not handle them. I thought that I needed to be strong and carry that backpack for them because they could not.
Being a helper is NOT about fixing, removing, taking away, taking care of, or making things easier for others. It’s not taking the backpack off of another person and wearing it for them.
It’s about acknowledging that heavy-ass backpack they are wearing, giving them a safe space to open it up, unpack it, and put it back on, realizing their own bravery and strength.
It’s ok to empathize and be affected by others, but I had taken that to the extreme. I was stealing backpacks left and right. I did not know what helping was.
I’m leaving a lot of assumptions, expectations and beliefs behind in 2020. I’m ready to let go of the resistance and feel my way through a new year.
Here’s to reading labels and honouring the strength of others in 2021.
The three weirdest things motherhood has taught me about business.
Motherhood is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but there is a lot of weird, gross, goopy, and often stinky stuff that comes along with it. Here are a few odd things motherhood taught me about business.
1. Poop and Social Media. Before I had my daughter, I was pretty worried after hearing the nightmare stories from my mom and many of my friends about the crazy poops babies have. I would try to get my husband or my mom to change the poopy diapers for a while. It was kind of fun to pass my stinky daughter off and have her come back fresh and clean. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid poopy diapers as a mom, and regardless of how much help I had, I had to change a lot of them. As time went by, it got easier. Less gross. Less stinky. Not because my daughter’s poops were different, but because I got used to it. It wasn’t so bad after all, and seeing her so happy after getting cleaned up was a pretty rewarding feeling.
Now you’re probably thinking, what the heck does this have to do with social media? Well, I used to avoid it too. It seemed formidable, complicated and time-consuming. I never knew what to post, what to say, when to post, or why I was even posting in the first place. Over time, with a lot of practice (and a few social media marketing courses later), I got the hang of it and started to enjoy it. The poopy lesson is that sometimes things will start gross, challenging, and not so fun. With time and practice, you CAN begin to enjoy something you never thought you could.
2. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face or have a kid.
I am a massive advocate for planning and preparation. Still, I’m also an even bigger fan of being adaptable, fluid, and committed to finding a way regardless if it’s to plan. Having a kid threw every single plan I ever had right in the trash beside the dirty diapers. I learned that kids and parents are truly adaptable. Our ability to pivot, make do with what we have, and go with the flow will significantly increase our chances of a successful outcome (or nap). Sleep schedules, meal schedules, and screen time limits all seem excellent until they don’t work, and you need to change. Start with a plan, maybe even have a few contingencies, but be adaptable more than anything.
3. It can't all be serious.
Whether you are raising a child or building a business, there has to be some fun and play. Kids need to play, use their imaginations, and occasionally break things. They have wild dreams and can turn pretty much anything into a game. In business, finding the fun and play in the day-to-day can be the difference between running a business and LOVING your business. I’ve learned to take a much more relaxed and playful approach to my business and raising my kid. I play music at my desk, a dance between calls, and have an ongoing game of digital checkers going on with one of my clients.
I can’t say there haven't been hard times with both motherhood and running a business, but the good days outnumber the bad. By being open to learning to like things I once disliked, valuing adaptability over rigidity, and adding a lot of fun and play in my life, I’ve never been happier as a mom or a business owner.
I hope you add some fun into your day today and think of me!