Category Archives: Self Care

What Others Think of You is None of Your Business

Think of a situation where you worry about what others might be thinking of you. 

So many of us experience this. This is a big one for me – really caring about how others see me and caring about others’ experience of me. Often that takes me outside of what’s actually mine to control, what’s really my responsibility. 

So you’re worried about what others might be thinking of you. What kind of situations does this happen to you in? Maybe in some places in our lives we’re more susceptible to being worried about what someone else thinks of us. Maybe in some situations we’re less concerned about that and we feel clearer within ourselves.

Something to notice in these situations where we’re concerned about what someone else thinks of us is first we don’t get to control what others think. We’re never in their minds, even if we can play a part that might influence them one way or another. We don’t control what others think of us. 

I love a saying that I hear often and I repeat to myself often – what others think of me is none of my business. 

That’s not our business, what others think of us. 

What is more helpful and the reminder I want to share with all of us today is that I am responsible for what I think of me. What I think of myself is what matters more. 

✔Am I living up to my values?
✔Am I operating in a way that really aligns with how I want to show up in the world? 

That’s what I have control over. That’s what I can do something about. That’s the metric I want to measure and I want to live my life by. 

Whose Yard Are You In?

fenced in yard with yellow flowers and green grass with lambs laying on the ground; Tag: what others think of you

Photo by Jalen Hueser

There are two kinds of yards:

My yard >> My thoughts, my feelings, my actions, my words. 

These are all things that are mine. These are the things that live in my yard, that are in my domain. These are the things that I’m responsible for. 

Someone else’s yard >> Their thoughts, their feelings, their actions, their words. 

I can care about someone else deeply, but I can only do it from my yard. If I go over into their yard and worry about:

❌What they’re thinking about me
❌What they’re feeling
❌What they’re doing
❌What they’re saying 

Then that means I have abandoned my yard. I’ve abandoned myself. I’ve abandoned my responsibilities. I’m not taking care of me or what I need to be taking care of because I’m over there trying to take care of what they should be taking care of.  

If you find yourself in someone else’s yard, don’t worry! All you have to do is go back to your yard and remind yourself, “I’m responsible for what I think of me. What do I think of me?” 

TIP: Those thoughts we’re talking about, “what I think of me…” those are thoughts, those are like clouds that pass through our mind. We’re not even really in control of our thoughts! Thoughts come and go. They’re projections of the mind and the brain. What I’m more responsible for, if we want to get really nuanced here with our language, I’m responsible for those thoughts that I attach to, those thoughts that I believe. 

I love the sign for believe. Think – marry. 

A belief is a thought that I marry, that I attach to. I choose to bring this thought into my world. 

I get to choose what thoughts I attach to, what I believe, what I believe about myself. That’s mine to manage, that’s mine to take care of. 

brown skinned woman standing near a pink flower tree smiling with her eyes closed, Tag: what others think of you

Photo by James Resly

Final Thoughts

A reminder as you move through your days and weeks (or even just this moment):

Pay attention to what the thoughts are in your mind. Where are you worried about what someone else is thinking of you? Come back to your own yard and ask yourself these questions:

🌱What am I responsible for in this moment?
🌱What do I think of me?
🌱What am I thinking of me right now?

This is a mindfulness practice. This is just noticing where our thoughts go and gently bringing us back to our center. That’s what meditation can be. That’s what any kind of mindfulness practice can be. 

Paying attention on purpose to the present moment without judgment

Sometimes our judgments of ourselves are what we’ll really notice here. When I come back to the present moment and I pay attention to what my thoughts are, I notice — “Oh there’s a lot of judgment against myself right there.” 

Can I let that be here too? Can I come back to a place of love for myself even with my human brain that wants to judge? Because that’s what our brains do. 

Click here to participate in the discussion and let us know in the comments:

Where does this show up for you?
What is challenging about this for you?
What have you found helps you come back to responsibility for yourself and noticing what you think of yourself and really caring for that relationship that you have with yourself? 


You’re Invited

Join our free support community, The Burnout Proof Collective, to connect with interpreters, teachers, and parents who are working on taking better care of themselves too. This is the best way to get personal support from Brea and to go deeper with your self-care!

Click here to join

blue background, yellow heart, text reads: Burnout Proof Collective. Image: 2 people with arms linked, smiling at the camera, the one on the left has brown skin, short bleached hair, glasses, and a black leather biker jacket, the one on the right is white with long blonde hair walking in front of a group of smiling people of varying skin tones. Tag: what others think of you

What are your summer self-care plans?

Luna, olive-skinned person with short brown hair, lying on stomach reading a book on a green mat in the grass. Next to Luna is Athena, a white Pitbull, lying on her stomach with a book in front of her, looking up at the camera. Tag: summer self-care

Summer Self-Care Plans

The past year has been a doozy!!! As more people get vaccinated, COVID restrictions are lifting, and we are navigating the potential return to more face-to-face time.

Gathering with others in person might be what you’ve hoped and dreamed for, it might be stirring up your deepest fears and anxieties, or you may be feeling both excitement and dread simultaneously. Here’s a helpful article I read this week titled, Advice to the anxious for eventually meeting in person again.  I’m definitely in the anxious/excited mixed-emotions camp!

The bottom line is: whatever your reaction to this transition…

You’re normal!!

This is a good time to create or update your self-care plan to support your transition to summer and to ease your nervous system through another shift. Here’s part 1 of a series to help you be with difficult feelings – like the ones you might be having now – and to give you tools to take with you into the summer:

Click here to read Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 1


Summer 2021 at Burnout Proof Academy – What’s on your summer reading list?

light pink, dark pink and dark yellow stripe background, burnout proof book club, burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle, tag: summer self-care
We had such an amazing time in our first Book Club live discussion! We dove deep into Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle.

If you are reading along with us but were unable to make the live discussion, the recording is now posted here.

 

This hour was packed with poignant honesty and real-time revelations, including real talk about:

  • The ‘yuck’ that’s leftover after handling a problem.
  • How holding everything in and doing for everybody else keeps us up late at night.
  • The shame we feel from HAVING emotions.
  • Taking up a hugging practice
  • The struggle of saying what we need or how we feel.
  • The inbox in our gut where we store our uncompleted stress.
  • That it’s ok not to be ok.

This is an on-demand, self-paced book club offering worth 1.3 GS CEUs. If you haven’t yet registered just click below and you’ll get instant access to everything!

Click here for instant access


Cast Your Vote for Fall Burnout Proof Book Club

Text: What book should we read next? Take our short survey to cast your vote! Image: white distress wall with stack of old books to the right of the picture with a variety of colored pages and binding. Tag: summer self-care

Our first book club was so much fun! I can’t wait until we get started on our next book in the fall 2021. But I need your help deciding which book we’ll be reading next.

Currently tied for first:

Vote for your choice here!


Healing Interpreter Burnout: Complete Your Stress Cycle

Group Study Guide coming soon!

Image description: background image is a teal underwater shot. White text reads, "Growth requires that we step out of our comfort zone and spend time with the discomfort of change, uncertainty, getting it wrong, and trying again" -Brea Cross-Caldwell, VIEWS August 2020. Tag: summer self-care

Image: The Insightful Interpreter

Are you feeling exhausted?

Burnout and emotional exhaustion can have negative impacts on your health, relationships, and work.

It can be hard to know how to rescue yourself, let alone find the energy to take positive steps.

Good news! You don’t have to live like this. A long, fulfilling career is within your grasp. This course can help.

You will explore:

  • Your stress cycle: what it is, how to complete it, and how it affects you when you don’t
  • Techniques for self-regulation that you can use during your work day
  • How to form and integrate new, healthy habits to help heal and prevent burnout

0.35 GS CEUs through The Insightful Interpreter, processed by Interpretek

Click here for instant access


June 2021 Oil Protocol

Give yourself over to review, renewal, reflection, and rest, as you cross the threshold from spring to summer. 

Slow down. 

Give yourself permission to feel the sun on your cheek, the breath in your lungs, even the frustrations and the hurts. Make a deal with yourself to offer patience and curiosity whenever possible.

This oil protocol will serve as a reminder and energetic guide.

light blue background with a white box, rest, release, renew june oil protocol thyme sacrum, wintergreen navel to solar plexis, ylang ylang heart space, basil across back at waist, magnolia heart, throat forehead, frankincense, crown, tag: summer self-care

Thyme – release and forgive
Wintergreen – surrender
Ylang ylang – connect with your inner child
Basil – renewal
Magnolia – compassion
Frank – truth

Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil for increased efficacy and decreased skin sensitivity.


Leave a comment and let us know:

What are your self-care plans this summer? How will you rest, play, renew, and release?

May you find a growing softness within that buoys you through any storm. May the crossing of this seasonal threshold bring you a renewed sense of peace, presence, and patience. May you receive all the love, support, and grace that surrounds you.

Signature: With love and bright focus, Brea. Tag: summer self-care

Get 1.65 CEUs for taking care of yourself this month

Photo of adult, short bleached hair, golden tawny skin tone, wearing glasses and headphones, tattoos on neck and hand, hand on chest, smiling at the camera with tongue playfully out. Tag: may 2021 self-care

Image: Joshua McArthur on Unsplash

May 2021 Self-Care at Burnout Proof Academy

Welcome to May! We’ve been busy creating new burnout support offerings, and are so excited to share them with you.

Burnout Proof Book Club

burnout proof book club, burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle tag: may 2021 self-careWe had such an amazing time in our first Book Club live discussion! We dove deep into Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle.

If you are reading along with us but were unable to make the live discussion, the recording is now posted here.

 

This hour was packed with poignant honesty and real-time revelations, including real talk about:

  • The ‘yuck’ that’s leftover after handling a problem.
  • How holding everything in and doing for everybody else keeps us up late at night.
  • The shame we feel from HAVING emotions.
  • Taking up a hugging practice
  • The struggle of saying what we need or how we feel.
  • The inbox in our gut where we store our uncompleted stress.
  • That it’s ok not to be ok.

This is an on-demand, self-paced book club offering worth 1.3 GS CEUs. If you haven’t yet registered just click below and you’ll get instant access to everything!

Click here for instant access

 


 

 Healing Interpreter Burnout: Complete Your Stress Cycle

0.35 GS CEUs through The Insightful Interpreter, processed by Interpretek

Why complete your stress cycle?

You might be experiencing burnout. Burnout and emotional exhaustion can have negative impacts on your health, relationships, and work.

It can be hard to know how to rescue yourself, let alone find the energy to take positive steps.

Good news! You don’t have to live like this. A long, fulfilling career is within your grasp. This course can help.

You will explore:

  • Your stress cycle: what it is, how to complete it, and how it affects you when you don’t
  • Techniques for self-regulation that you can use during your work day
  • How to form and integrate new, healthy habits to help heal and prevent burnout

 

Click here for instant access


May 2021 Self-Care Oil Protocol

Are you growing in new or uncomfortable ways?
Do you feel like you’re shedding an old skin?

orange background. brighter focus logo. text reads: shed the old. oregano | along spine. marjoram | across chest. arborvitae | navel + crown. neroli | heart + inside wrists. @brighterfocus Tag: may 2021 self-care

 

Oregano – Stop trying to play God. Reconnect to your own and others’ humanity. Sidestep judgement and invite compassion. Accept your imperfections while opening to curiosity and grace.

Marjoram – Connect. Connect with yourself, connect with others. Loving relationships can heal the most painful scars. Invest in them. Open to them.

Arborvitae – Grace surrounds you. Receive it. Rest in it in every moment that you’re able. Soak it up and learn to trust in it. 

Neroli – Partner with Life. Believe that it’s on your side. Acknowledge the way it works in you – your feelings and intuitions are a part of Life’s communication network.


 

May we find peace and growth in the in-between times. May the rain showers and sunbeams remind cleanse and warm us. May we keep reaching deeper inward, and ever toward one another.

I look forward to all the ways we’ll connect in the month ahead!

Signature: With love and bright focus, Brea

Give yourself permission

white woman with curly short brown hair holding a prescription bottle. tag: give yourself permission I just got a prescription for sleeping pills.

I’ve resisted this for so long. After years (a lifetime?) of disturbed sleep, waking to terrifying images that either aren’t real or are in the past, and trying to find and fix the ‘root cause’ – usually some version of believing I’m not doing enough, healed enough, evolved enough, haven’t processed enough. 

I’m ready to feel better and to not make it mean I’ve failed. 

Being a 2 on the enneagram, I’m stubbornly and persistently resistant to my own human-ness. To having needs. It leaves me feeling self-righteous, disappointed, and exhausted.

When I confessed my sleep-struggles today, my doctor peered over her mask compassionately and said, “Breana, you deserve to feel well-rested.”

Her words landed in my middle, cracking my resistant armor and seeping through like warm pudding.

I do deserve to feel well-rested.

This doesn’t preclude my desire to get to the root, to give care and attention to past trauma or current grief. This is not an either/or. 

Believing I have to choose between sleeping better or attending to my mental and emotional well-being is a lie. I can have both. And I can choose better sleep while or even before getting to the bottom of what’s keeping me awake. 

As a mental health coach I know that so many caring people feel trapped by this false choice. Parents, caregivers, and people in relational professions often struggle to prioritize their own needs. Oppression and any sense of ‘other’ness can make it even harder.

Do you relate to this struggle? 
What do you believe you have to choose between?

Let me know below. Together we can reclaim permission to care about how we feel.

January Oil Protocol + Workshops at Burnout Proof Academy

Burnout Proof Bootcamp – January 2021 Interpreter Self Care

2020 is officially over, and here at Burnout Proof Academy we’re welcoming in 2021 with a commitment to caring for ourselves and cultivating our support-systems. 

crackling campfire with hot orange sparks coming off against the dark blue night sky and black silhouettes of trees in the background "burnout proof bootcamp, make healthy habits stick, 1.5 GS RID CEUs, online, self-paced, self-care for sign language interpreters begins jan 13th www.burnoutproof.me" tag: january 2021 interpreter self care

Burnout Proof Bootcamp begins January 13th!

Explore the roots of your burnout and build habits of resilience, while connecting with a nurturing and supportive community.

Created for interpreters, teachers, parents, and anyone who finds it easier to care of others than to care of themselves, Burnout Proof Bootcamp is a self-paced self-care intensive that offers 1.5 GS CEUs through RID, and has the power to change your life.

From past participants:
“Strongly encourage everyone to take this workshop!  Life changing!”

“The flow and order of the workshop/course was spot on. The timing and the ability to take it at your own pace is exactly what we need as busy interpreters!”

“Brea is a masterfully mindful instructor/ coach! Such great tools, resources, guidance, nudging, and support throughout the course!  So helpful to be able to complete it at one’s own pace.  Inner work does not follow a schedule or deadlines.  THANK YOU!”

Click here to get all the details and register

Saturday School is on Hiatus

In October and November of 2020 we hosted two Saturday School workshops: Burnout Proof Academy | Saturday School. tag: january 2021 interpreter self care

Self-Care for Stressful Times

Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters

These 2-hour sessions gave us a space to connect, learn, and practice together – and they’re both now available on-demand!

In 2021 I want to try something different!

Building a strong community of heart-centered folks who are committed to caring for ourselves so we can take better care of each other is a top priority at Burnout Proof Academy.

To that end, we’re going to kick off 2021 with a high-connection offering:

Burnout Proof Book Club

I’ve been dreaming of hosting a book club for quite a while now…A space where we can learn together through reading new and transformative burnout-related books, discuss them in an informal and fun atmosphere, while getting CEUs!

If this sounds like your jam, add your name to the list so you can get all the details as soon as they’re released.

Our first book will be the must-read, can’t-put-down:

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
book cover. Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. Emily Nagoski, PhD. Amelia Nagoski, DMA. tag: january 2021 interpreter self care

I’m so excited for this fun, new way to connect and grow together!!! Don’t miss it!

January Oil Protocol

Welcome in the new year and solidify your intentions with this nourishing oil protocol.

pink and white flowers with green leaves in the background "january melaleuca - neck to sacrum along spine, clove - soles of feet, myrrh - navel, arborvitae - solar plexus to heart, neroli - heart to throat, juniper berry - forehead, cypress - top of head, wild orange - inside wrist creases" Tag: january 2021 interpreter self care

Oil Properties + Affirmations

Melaleuca – energetic boundaries – “I release what’s no longer serving me.”
Clove – boundaries – “I ground and support myself with healthy boundaries.”
Myrrh – nurturing – “I invite deep nurturing.”
Arborvitae – divine grace – “I receive divine grace.”
Neroli – shared purpose + partnership – “I open to the web of life.”
Juniper Berry – the dark – “I’m willing to stay with myself through the darkness.”
Cypress – flow – “Life is dynamic and I flow with it.”
Wild Orange – abundance – “I give thanks for the abundance in my life.”

brown dirt road winding off into the distance with green grass on either sides and mountain range in the distance with white clouds in a blue sky Tag: january 2021 interpreter self care

Photo by: Jason Abdilla

 

May this new year open many possibilities in your life. May it bring you closer to yourself and those you love. May it deepen our ability to care for ourselves and each other. 

With love and blessings,
Brea

Dear 2020: A goodbye letter

Dear 2020,

Thank you for your lessons.

stacks of journals on a multi-colored pink, orange, blue, green cloth with February, April, August titles showing tag: dear 2020

My 2020 Journals

You taught me:

  • To listen more deeply – to myself and others.
  • My needs can be an offering and opening to greater connection.
  • I am human – I can’t be everything to everyone, and I don’t have to be good to be loved.
  • Body first, business second. -Kate Northrup
  • I am not responsible for others’ growth, I’m only here to love them through it.
  • I cannot tell the future.
  • I’m willing to live with myself, no matter what. I look forward to living with myself, no matter what.
  • To live my life, let my kids live theirs, and love them fiercely while doing it.
  • The best-case scenario is just as likely as the worst. Believe in it.
  • WHEN YOU’RE STUCK: Drop down into your body. Feel. Listen. Move. Turn it over. Offer it up. Do the work that’s yours to do. Let God do theirs.
  • I am a human, standing on a dog, standing on a crocodile -Mike McHargue, You’re a Miracle (And a Pain In The Ass): Embracing the Emotions, Habits, and Mystery That Make You You
  • To pay attention to and care about how I FEEL.
  • That when I imagine a future where I get sick and die – I’m living into a scenario that is out of my control. When I imagine a future where I keep showing up to what is, with gentleness and care for myself, I feel so much less anxiety. I’m living into a scenario that is within my control.
  • If we don’t wrestle with anger, we never get to the heartbreak. And if we don’t get to the heartbreak, we don’t get to the healing. -Lama Rod Owens, Love and Rage

Thank you for the joy.

I found joy in:

  • Deep cleaning – like, on hands and knees with a toothbrush

    middle aged white woman with short brown hair wearing a white mask on her face Tag: dear 2020

    The Necessary Accessory of 2020

  • Long baths and lots of oils
  • Family TV watching: Ted Lasso, Bob’s Burgers, Blackish
  • Long walks
  • Exploring my neighborhood
  • Rhythms + Rituals – the daily chore list, morning meditation, evening gratitude, following the lunar cycle
  • Playing games – Superfight, Monopoly, Life, Cards Against Humanity
  • Happy Hours with my parents
  • Zoom dates with friends + family
  • Naps
  • Completing my stress cycle – swamping, jumping, shaking, breathwork
  • Being home
  • Watching shows with Chris: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, United Shades of America, Better Things, One Mississippi, Schitts Creek
  • Naps
  • Podcasts – Dolly Parton’s America, Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us, Morgan Harper Nichols
  • Sunday Sabbath and State of the Unions
  • Activism – writing, texting, calling, giving money
  • Biden/Harris winning the presidential election

 


Thank you for the space to grieve.

I grieved the losses of:

  • Hugs
  • Grandma – even though she died in 2019, I felt the loss more deeply this year
  • Spending time with my siblings and their children
  • Traveling – to see Chris’ family in Boise, Oregon Country Fair, Brownlee, the beach
  • George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Riah Milton, Dominique Remmiefells
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • John Lewis
oregon state capital building with a smoky, hazy, orange sky behind the building Tag: dear 2020

Oregon State Capitol in Smoke

Thank you for the teachers and mentors.

I welcomed new teachers and mentors:

  • Rachel Cargle
  • Morgan Harper Nichols
  • Colleen Jones
  • Prentis Hemphill
  • Sarah Gottesdiener
  • Marlee Grace
  • Emily and Amelia Nagoski
  • Alex Elle
  • Drew Hart

 

My 2020 contained so many FFTs (F**ing First Times – thank you, Brene Brown, for this descriptive term) – so much tragedy, loss, confusion, and struggle. It also contained magical synchronicity, unexpected joy, opportunities for rest, and deepened connection.

May we tuck away and integrate the lessons that are ours to carry forward, and may we leave behind what no longer serves us, as we cross the threshold from one year to the next.

car rear view mirror showing a snow capped mountain range in the mirror with evergreen trees lining the road behind the car Tag: dear 2020

Photo by Jack Hodges

If you’d like support as you reflect and process all that you’re leaving behind in 2020, I made you this free Reflection Guide.

I’m wishing you joy, peace, and rest – dear one. Here’s to continuing to show up for ourselves and each other in 2021.

With so much love,

Brea

2020 Reflection: Gratitude and Grief

woman with brown hair sitting on bed with white blanket wearing a white shirt with red and orange flowers holding both hands to her heart Tag: 2020 reflection gratitude grief

Photo by Fa Barboza

Annual Reflection

The time has come to do your annual reflection. You’ve got a few hours blocked, drinks and whatever you’ll need to stay comfortable and focused as you move through the materials you gathered.

If you want a recap on the materials to gather, start here.

As you begin your reflection, I’ve created a template that you can use.

Enroll for free in this Annual Reflection course, and then you can you can save or print your Reflection Guide template here.

Gratitude and Grief

woman holding a yellow, heart shaped leaf with orange nail polish in the forefront of the picture and woman's head and trees are blurred in the background Tag: 2020 reflection gratitude grief

Photo by Jakob Owens

When you consider reflecting back over 2020, what feelings and sensations arise in your body?

Take time to notice and check in with your body this week – noticing the sensations and just observing them or moving as they call you to move. 

 

Reflecting on this intense year will likely bring up stuff for us. Part of this process is to meet what comes up – starting now – from a place of gentleness and curiosity. 

Essential oils to support reflection

Plants and elements from nature can support our emotional processing. Here’s an oil protocol to ground and center you, that encourages reflection and movement of stagnant energy. You can apply it daily during your reflection period.

person standing on the beach with the water reflecting the mountains in the distance and the blue and yellow sky "Reflect, balance | soles of feet, cardomom + arborvitae | navel, cypress | heart + foreheard, lime | solar plexus, vetiver | inside wrists, douglas fir + peppermint | back of neck, frankincense | top of head, cup hands and inhale" Tag: 2020 reflection gratitude grief

Balance – grounds your energy and spirit in your body, allowing you to access greater intuition and supporting you as you process emotions.

Cardamom – calls difficult emotions out of hiding, allowing you to move, feel, and process them to completion.

Arborvitae – brings extra support and grace to your vulnerability.

Cypress – stirs up stagnant energy and encourages movement.

Lime – eases pain, helps you connect to gratitude within Life’s lessons. 

Vetiver – helps you get in tune with your deepest emotions and desires.

Douglas Fir – calls in the wisdom and support of the generations who came before you.

Peppermint – infuses the process with clarity and playfulness.

Frankincense – opens you to divine wisdom, guidance, and truth.

Review

In order to cull all of the memories, milestones, themes and lessons from the past year, I first go back and do a month-by-month review. 

Monthly Play-by-Play: Milestones, Important Events, Memories, Themes

Using your calendar, journals, notes, and photos, rewind to January. Put yourself back in that month, as gently as possible, and remember what you experienced.

open calendar on desk with gold candles, flowers, brown straw hat, pen and marker, white sheet Tag: 2020 reflection gratitude grief

Photo by Estee Janssens

 

On your Reflection Guide under the section titled “Monthly Play-by-Play”, make notes about each month. 

  • What milestones did you cross?
  • What important events took place?
  • What memories do you have?
  • What themes were you working on or learning about?
  • What losses did you experience?
  • What did you celebrate?
  • What did you learn?

Stay with yourself

As you recall these memories, your nervous system will respond in kind. Let it.

Notice the emotions and sensations that are stirred in you. Breathe with them. Move with them. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Shake with them. 

Be gentle and patient with yourself as you do the work of completing the stress cycle. This is a key practice in moving away from burnout.

If you want support in being with these emotions, please reach out to me.

Highlights

man holding black framed glasses in the forefront with the man and background blurred Tag: 2020 reflection gratitude grief

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

Once you’ve made notes on each month of the past year, you’re ready to reflect on the year as a whole.

On your Reflection Guide, consider the highlights of the year. 

  • What were the most important events of the whole year?
  • What were the major milestones?
  • What themes emerged and played out over the course of the year?
  • What were the main lessons?

Favorites

Now let yourself have some fun, recalling all of your favorites from the last year. Use the template categories to inspire your reminiscing, and add categories of your own!

Takeaways

Spend some time reflecting on, synthesizing, and summarizing your takeaways from the past year.

  • What are you ready to forgive yourself for?
  • What are you thankful for?
  • What are you grieving?
  • What will you leave in 2020?
  • What are you welcoming into your life in 2021?

Closing Ceremony

Congratulations!! You’ve completed your annual reflection. 

You may feel many emotions after taking in your year as a whole. Closure, grief, gratitude, and sadness are all common. Completing a closing ceremony can help you to honor and embody all that you’ve reflected on.

There’s no right or wrong way to do a closing ceremony, so let yourself get creative. It can be as simple or as complex as you want! 

The goal is to allow the energy from your reflections to manifest or be expressed tangibly.

Some ideas to inspire you:

  • Write on pieces of paper all that you’re grieving, forgiving, or wanting to leave behind, and then burn them in a fire.
  • Use flying wish paper to release your lessons or desires.
  • Summarize your lessons on a 3×5 card and place it on your altar.
  • Create something with the energy and emotions you’re feeling: a dance, a poem, a painting, a hat, a cake…
  • Donate your time or money to an organization whose mission aligns with one of your lessons, griefs, or gratitudes.

Hello 2021

In the coming weeks I’ll begin my visioning for 2021, and look forward to sharing that process with you as well!

For now, I’m sending you so much love as you look back over your year. May we all be extra gentle with ourselves through this process. 

woman standing on the outside of a blue guard rail holding both hands out while she looks out at the blue ocean Tag: 2020 reflection gratitude grief

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

So much love,
Brea

Healthy Boundaries: Walk Yourself Home

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Healthy boundaries can be hard to identify and maintain. Here’s one concept that can help.


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We’ll be diving further into Healthy Boundaries this weekend in our LIVE Saturday School workshop on November 21st, 2020.
Check it out and register here to join us!

 


Let’s start with a really tangible definition for the often nebulous concept of ‘boundaries’:

A boundary is a property line, as defined by Dr. Henry Cloud. 

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Photo by Rodrigo Kugnharski

The boundary tells you who controls the property, who has freedom and choices over the property, and who is responsible for the property.

Now let’s take that definition into the realm of our everyday lives, and pair it with a concept that can help us decipher our property lines.

 

 

Types of property

The property that boundaries are helpful for include:

  • Emotional – your feelings
  • Material – your things
  • Mental – your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs
  • Physical – your body
  • Time and Energy – your time and energy

 

Who owns the property?

According to Byron Katie, there are three kinds of ‘business’ in the universe. I like to think of this as ‘Who owns the property?’

  1. Mine
  2. Yours
  3. The Rest (aka: God/Goddess/Universe/life/reality’s – pick the descriptor you resonate with)

I like to think of these three kinds of ‘business’ as three separate yards – like three pieces of property. 

Mine – My yard contains those pieces of property that I control and am responsible for: what I do, what I say, how I feel*, how I spend my time and energy, my possessions and what I believe.

*Feelings get a little star, because they are by-products of our thoughts, beliefs, and circumstances – not as easily in our control, but nevertheless, still our property. You can read more about getting to know your garden here.

Yours – Your business is what you control and are responsible for. All those same bits of property: emotional, material, mental, physical, time and energy.

Life’s/God’s/reality – This is made up of all the things that are outside of my control and your control. Examples include: the past and the future, as well as elements of the weather, accidents, traffic, etc. 

 

aerial view of a twisty road with cars driving the road and houses and buildings on both sides of the road with green trees scattered throughout Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

Photo by Brandon Nelson

Your map 

With my yard, your yard, and Life’s yard, we’ve basically drawn ourselves a map of our existential ‘neighborhood’. Maps are cool on their own, don’t get me wrong, but the magic comes when we use them to navigate.

Some scenarios where this map comes in handy:

  • When you’re feeling stressed.
  • When you’re afraid someone will be upset with you.
  • When you feel compelled to say ‘yes’ even though you want to say ‘no’.
  • When you’re caught in the mental loop of ‘what if’s – worrying about the future.
  • When you’re upset or angry with someone else.

In any of these not-so-hypothetical cases, you can pull out your map and ask yourself:
Where am I?

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Photo by Daniel Gonzalez

Find yourself on the map: “Where am I?”

Let’s use an example from above, and ask this question: “Where am I?”

When I’m afraid you will be upset with me, the property I’m focused on is your feelings – specifically your feelings of being upset with me.

Whose yard do other people’s feelings reside in? Their yard. Their feelings are their responsibility. When I’m trying to take responsibility for them, I’ve left my own yard – walked right off my own property and onto theirs – which leaves no one home to care for me.

Walk yourself home

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When you’ve found yourself trying to manage someone else’s property, walk yourself back home by asking:

“What’s my business?”

Identify what is in your control, or what is your responsibility, and take action.

 

That could look like:

Do boundaries make me self-centered?

At first glance, boundaries can seem like a way to stop caring about anyone but yourself. 

Let’s just sit with that. If you’re anything like me, that idea brings up a lot of fear about being selfish, putting my needs ahead of others, etc. When I pause, put my hand on my heart, and just feel those feelings of fear and guilt and breathe through them without feeding them more thoughts, they’re usually a lot quieter in 90 seconds or less. 

Here’s the real truth that I invite you to experiment with for yourself, straight from Brene Brown’s research: 

The most compassionate people are absolutely the most boundaried.

Let that sink in.

The more I leave you to your work/business/journey/lessons, and the more I take responsibility for my own work/business/journey/lessons – the more compassion I’m able to have for you and what you’re going through!

Healthy boundaries are the foundation of empathy, authenticity, and accountability – and they’re an integral part of self-care.

For more on staying in your own business and listening to your intuition as an interpreter, check out this RID VIEWS column –  Self-Care: Caring For Ourselves Within a Community.

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Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters

I hope you’ll join us November 21st, 2020 for Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters. We’ll explore what healthy boundaries are, what makes them hard to hold, how to tune into your guidance system, and how to communicate your boundaries in a kind and honest way. I can’t wait to spend this time with you!

Get all the info and register here

 

Reflection

Take a few minutes to journal and reflect, and then share with us in the comments:

Describe a time that healthy boundaries – yours or someone else’s – created a space for more compassion.

 

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Plant New Seeds | Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 6

Over the course of this series on self-care strategies for fear, we’ve:

  1. Become aware of and named our fears in part 1
  2. Separated the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in part 2.
  3. Spent time enjoying ourselves in part 3.
  4. Tended our feelings in part 4.
  5. Pulled the weeds of unhelpful thoughts in part 5.

Let’s round out our gardening metaphor by planting new seeds in the fertile soil!

black soil with 2 green sprouts with red stems coming out of the ground Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by Daniel Hajdacki

Once you’ve made space in your garden by pulling the weeds, it’s time to plant new seeds. New seeds are the thoughts and beliefs that you want to cultivate, that will serve you and help you to be your best. You can identify these thoughts by the way they make you feel: empowered, at peace, and motivated.

Affirmations

Creating affirmations is one way to plant new seeds of helpful thoughts.

After identifying the unhelpful weed and pulling it, ask yourself:

“What’s a more empowering, kind, and true version of this story? What else might be going on here?”

Let’s take this unhelpful thought as an example: 

“She doesn’t care about my needs.”

I notice that when I think this thought I feel sad, rejected, unimportant, and hurt. Not helpful in aligning me with my values of connection and curiosity. I feel shut down and withdrawn – rather than connected or curious.

So I ask myself, “What’s a more empowering, kind, and true version of this story? What else might be going on here?’ I like to use my journal for these questions, and just free write whatever comes to mind. You could also talk this through with a friend or therapist, or simply think about it throughout the day.

What else might be going on here?

In this scenario where I’m believing “She doesn’t care about my needs,” what else might be going on here is that she might be really focused on her own needs. I’m believing that she should be taking care of my needs – which on second glance I don’t actually agree with. A truer statement might be that I support her in taking care of her own needs, and I support me in taking care of mine.

This makes me curious about how I actually may not have been taking care of my own needs. I’ve been upset that she wasn’t caring for my needs, when in reality I was the one who was prioritizing her needs over my own.

The new seed 

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photo by David Travis

A more helpful thought could be:
“I care about my needs,” or “I’m responsible for caring about my own needs.”

Check in with feelings

After identifying new seeds to plant, check out what feelings they spark. 

When I think these new thoughts: “I care about my needs,” and “I’m responsible for caring about my own needs,” I feel a softening inside. I feel myself turn back toward myself, instead of being so focused on what the other person isn’t giving me. 

I highly recommend printing out a list of feeling words for reference as you do this work.

When I think these new thoughts, I feel more calm, relieved, open-hearted, and curious. I feel more connected to myself, and I actually feel more connected to the other person as well.

Plant the seed  

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a lock screen reminder you can save on your phone

Planting the seed of this new helpful thought means installing it into your operating system, so that it can grow and flourish. This takes time and exposure. Reminders can be helpful!

I’m such a fan of sticky notes and lock screen reminders. 

Sticky notes can go on your computer monitor, bathroom mirror, nightstand, kitchen cupboard, dashboard of your car, or anywhere else you spend time during the day.

A lock screen reminder is easy to create for your smartphone using an app like Word Swag or Canva.

Whatever will help you keep your new thought top-of-mind so it can grow roots and take hold.

Why isn’t my seed taking hold? 

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photo by Atanas Dzhingarov

Sometimes a new thought is too much of a stretch for our psyche to believe.

If you read your affirmation or new helpful thought, and you feel emotions or sensations like doubt, resistance, or skepticism, those emotions need tending before your new seed will take root.

Return to part 4 and give space and compassion to these emotions. Sometimes they just need to be witnessed, and they will dissipate on their own. Other times you may want to create a helpful thought that is more believable.

For example, if I felt skeptical when I thought, “I care about my needs,” that may simply not be true yet. 

First, I would sit with the emotions that come up. I may feel sad that I haven’t cared about my own needs in the past. I might feel distrustful that I can be counted on to care about my own needs. I may feel doubtful that I can even figure out what my own needs are. 

Just naming and witnessing these feelings is powerful. Placing a hand on your chest and imagining what you would say to a friend who was feeling these things can help you find compassion for yourself.

If at this point I decide that I want to find a new thought that’s more accessible or believable, I might play around with a few. Try them on and see how they feel! Some alternate, less-of-a-stretch thoughts might be:

  • I’m curious about my needs.
  • I’m willing to practice caring about my needs.
  • I’m willing to have needs.

When you land on a new thought that feels believable and helpful, then create your reminders and start rehearsing this new thought every chance you get!

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photo by Douglas Hawkins

The gardening process

Pulling weeds and growing new plants is an ongoing process. Tending to our thoughts as we tend to a garden over time culminates in rich, fertile soil and a vibrant ecosystem of diverse, healthy life. It’s a moment-by-moment process that requires patience, persistence, and lots of self-compassion…and it’s so worth it. 

You are so worth it!

Resources for planting new seeds:

  1. 101 Best Louise Hay Affirmations of All Time
  2. Sitting With The Turnarounds – Byron Katie
  3. Watch your mouth! How the stories you tell may be making you miserable – Brighter Focus blog

Tiny Action

Spend 5 minutes with your journal and one weed (unhelpful thought). Make a list of possible new helpful thoughts, and then try each of them on to see which feels best and is most believable.

Once you’ve identified the new seed you want to plant, create a reminder and put it somewhere you’ll see it daily!

Reflection

Let us know in the comments:

What new seed are you planting?

a close up of a field of yellow tulip flowers with green stems and blue sky in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by Sergey Shmidt

 

 

In The Waiting

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Photo by Dan Gold

Taking a break this week from our Self-Care Strategies for Fear series, to just be with the ever-shifting emotions I’m feeling as we navigate the election here in the United States. We’ll be back with part 6 next week. If you want support for being with your emotions this week, check out part 4.

For now – a prayer for the waiting, for anyone who needs it.

Presence of Love,

Please be with me today.

Soothe my nerves and help me to be gentle with myself. 

Give me focus and purpose –
even one so inconsequential as washing a dish or a window with care.

Give me the courage to feel what’s mine to feel,
to stay with myself and in my body
through the waves of emotion.
Remind me that feelings always have an end.

Give me hope in humanity,
in the miraculous and unexpected,
in my own ability to handle hard things.

Thank you for every bit of joy and comfort I find today.
May I receive it fully and use it to fuel my own pursuits of love and justice.

With love and gratitude,

xo, Breana