Tag Archives: self-care

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.

April 2021 Oil Protocol and Self-Care Workshops

image of tree with pink blossoms, with a yellow pine warbler bird perched on a branch. Tag: april 2021 self-care

Image credit: Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Welcome to April!

The vernal equinox on March 20th ushered in a new season that can feel like the start of the new year in the northern hemisphere.

You may be noticing new life emerging around you and feeling the urge to open the windows or blinds (depending on how cold it still is where you are!), clean and clear your space, and be outside in nature.

Here are some of the exciting things emerging this month at Burnout Proof Academy.

 

April 2021 Self-Care at Burnout Proof Academy

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

brighter focus logo with green mountains and a yellow background healing interpreter burnout: complete your stress cycle, Tag: april 2021 self-care

Healing Interpreter Burnout:
Complete Your Stress Cycle

The Insightful Interpreter is hosting the course Healing Interpreter Burnout: Complete Your Stress Cycle taught in English and ASL by Brea Cross-Caldwell.

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

0.35 GS CEUs processed by Interpretek, an approved continuing education sponsor. $70

*Videos for this course are presented in both American Sign Language and spoken English. Instructions and activities are provided in written English.

*The Insightful Interpreter recognizes that Deaf and BIPOC interpreters have unique skill sets, expertise, and valuable perspectives that benefit the interpreting field. These interpreters also experience bias, oppression, and barriers in our field and our society; in response, we offer discounts on all courses to self-identified members of these groups.

*This course is intended for working sign language interpreters, students of interpreting, and Deaf and DeafBlind community members.

Register for Healing Interpreter Burnout: Complete Your Stress Cycle here!


Burnout Proof Book Club

The long awaited Book Club is finally here! Join us for this deep dive into a foundational and transformational Burnout Proof text:

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

burnout proof book club, burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle tag: april 2021 self-care

This course is available on-demand, so you can read along at your own pace and go deeper in the online discussion forums. We’ll do a live discussion through Zoom on April 28, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm pacific – we hope to see you there! If you can’t make the live discussion, the recording will be posted so you won’t miss a thing.

1.3 GS CEUs processed by Interpretek, an RID approved continuing ed sponsor. $65

Register to Get CEUs for Reading + Discussing Here

 


 


April Oil Protocol

orange background. brighter focus logo. text: emerge oil protocol. citronella - heart space. arborvitae - in + around navel. sandalwood - crown of head. wild orange - solar plexus. @brighterfocus

 

As you apply these oils, bring your attention to your senses:

  • Inhale the fragrance of each oil separately, and the combinations
  • Feel your own touch as you apply them to your body lovingly
  • See the colors of the bottles and the amber drops of liquid
  • Set intentions with each oil application, grounding yourself in what you know to be true

Invite the properties* of each oil to inspire your intentions:

  • Citronella – the oil of appetite for life – a potent cleanser and clearer, helping us to see the path forward. Encourages healthy exchange of energy and collaboration.
  • Arborvitae – the oil of divine grace – aids in releasing what’s no longer serving us, calling in support from all directions, and embracing our humanity – in all its messy beautiful imperfection.
  • Sandalwood – the oil of sacred devotion – encourages heightened spiritual awareness and clarity. Assists in identifying the beliefs, dynamics, and behaviors that aren’t aligned with our values.
  • Wild Orange – the oil of abundance – opens the windows of our soul! Reconnects us with inspiration, joy, play, and creativity.

*From Emotions and Essential Oils: A Reference Guide for Emotional Healing

 


May you allow space for newness, for birth, for the vast unknown of possibility.

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

Signature: With love and bright focus, Brea

March 2021 Oil Protocol and Self-Care Workshops

 Welcome to March!

Spring is approaching! Who’s ready for warmer weather, flowers, sunshine, and longer days?!

As we look forward to spring, we’re also looking forward to all of the exciting things happening this month here at Burnout Proof Academy.

March 2021 Self-Care at Burnout Proof Academy

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

self care for stressful times burnout proof academy online.self care.ceus. tag: march workshops burnout proof academy

Self-Care for Stressful Times – Live Workshop
hosted by Willie Ross School for the Deaf

Willie Ross School for the Deaf is hosting Self-Care for Stressful Times taught in ASL by Brea Cross-Caldwell.  We invite all interpreters, students, and Deaf professionals in all industries to join us in slowing down and taking inventory, so we can ensure longevity in our field of service.

Worry and uncertainty make for more charged work situations, and can trigger reactions that aren’t always aligned with our values.

This workshop will teach tools from the Learning Zone Model, mindful awareness, and neuroscience to better work with our brains during times of stress.

We’ll create a triage-care practice to provide daily maintenance through stressful times while building empathy, emotional regulation, and resilience.

This workshop will be held in ASL on Tuesday, March 30th at 6:30-9:00pm Eastern time.

0.25 GS CEUs processed by MassRID, an approved continuing education sponsor. $35

Deaf practitioners (independent living assistants, counselors of all kinds, healthcare workers, school staff and faculty, first responders, case workers, interpreters, and schedulers) are invited to contact aslater@wrsdeaf.org for a discount code.

* WRSD is a “most enabling environment” and we expect and will ensure that the learning environment is safe for all.

* refund policy and cancellation policy are available on the registration website.

* The language of this workshop is ASL. We will use breakout rooms. Your participation in practice activities or discussion is required for CEU credit.

Register for Self-Care for Stressful Times here!

 

 

Burnout Proof Book Club

In case you missed the announcement last month, the long awaited Book Club is finally here! Join us for this deep dive into a foundational and transformational Burnout Proof text:

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

burnout proof book club, burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle tag: march 2021 self-care

This course is available on-demand, so you can read along at your own pace and go deeper in the online discussion forums. We’ll do a live discussion through zoom on April 28, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm pacific – we hope to see you there! If you can’t make the live discussion, the recording will be posted so you won’t miss a thing.

1.3 GS CEUs processed by Interpretek, an RID approved continuing ed sponsor. $65

 

Register to Get CEUs for Reading + Discussing Here

 


March Oil Protocol: Surrender

Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart.

All too often our so-called strength comes from fear, not love; instead of having a strong back, many of us have a defended front shielding a weak spine. In other words, we walk around brittle and defensive, trying to conceal our lack of confidence. If we strengthen our backs, metaphorically speaking, and develop a spine that’s flexible but sturdy, then we can risk having a front that’s soft and open….How can we give and accept care with strong-back, soft-front compassion, moving past fear into a place of genuine tenderness? I believe it comes about when we can be truly transparent, seeing the world clearly – and letting the world see into us.

Roshi Joan Halifax

brighter focus. surrender. wintergreen - solar plexus + heart. coriander - back of neck. fennel - inside wrist creases. vetiver - soles of feet. @brighterfocus. tag: march 2021 self-care

As you apply these oils, bring your attention to your senses:

  • Inhale the fragrance of each oil separately, and the combinations
  • Feel your own touch as you apply them to your body lovingly
  • See the colors of the bottles and the amber drops of liquid
  • Set intentions with each oil application, grounding yourself in what you know to be true

Invite the properties* of each oil to inspire your intentions:

  • Wintergreen – the oil of surrender – inspires us in being open to possibility, letting go of our drive to control what can’t be controlled, or to know what can’t be known. When we are in a posture of open hands, we practice receiving support from whatever direction it comes, and allowing our internal and external experience to act upon us – just as we act upon it.
  • Coriander – the oil of integrity – supports the “Human Givers” toward thoughtful stewardship of this one precious life. Rather than neglecting our own needs, we turn toward a willingness to identify and express our authentic desires and take action toward manifesting them.
  • Fennel – the oil of responsibility – strengthens the inner fortitude of our spine as a flexible yet sturdy structure of support. We understand that our values underpin our deepest satisfaction, and we strive to align our behaviors accordingly.
  • Vetiver – the oil of centering – urges us to connect deeply with our physical body and the support of the earth. This awakening a sense of rootedness and groundedness makes space for discomfort and difficult emotions, giving us a sturdy container to hold the complexities and paradox of ourselves and the world.

*From Emotions and Essential Oils: A Reference Guide for Emotional Healing

 


May you enjoy this time of transition in seasons and in energy. May you make space for all that’s ready to fall away and all that’s being born – within and around you.

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

Signature: With love and bright focus, Brea

February Oil Protocol and Self-Care Workshops

Welcome to February!

This new month brings with it a fresh look for Brighter Focus, as we unveil our new logo created by my talented and intuitive dear friend, Makenna O’Keeffe

 

brighter focus yellow background with green mountains, blue river, and orange sun. tag: february 2021 self-care

Look for this beauty to be popping up on social media, in emails, and on our websites – give it a like and let us know what you think!


February 2021 Self-Care at Burnout Proof Academy

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

Burnout Proof Book Club

The long awaited Book Club is finally here! Join us for this deep dive into a foundational and transformational Burnout Proof text:

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

burnout proof book club, burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle tag: february 2021 self-care

This course is available on-demand, so you can read along at your own pace and go deeper in the online discussion forums. We’ll do a live discussion through zoom on April 28, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm pacific – I hope to see you there! If you can’t make the live discussion, the recording will be posted so you won’t miss a thing.

Register Here

 

Self-Care Spotlight | Juggling: How To Learn About Daily Life Through Circus Skills

self care spotlight juggling life, how to learn about daily life through circus skills live in the burnout proof collective facebook group february 11th 2021 4 pm pst with sandra leith. tag: february 2021 self-care

 

Self-Care Spotlights are returning to The Burnout Proof Collective Facebook group! I’m so excited to kick off a new round with Sandra Leith, sharing her passion for juggling and how we can use circus arts to practice flexibility with LIFE.

You can catch her live broadcast in the group on Thursday, February 11th, at 4:00 pm pacific.

Healthy Boundaries has a new look!

 

After hosting the live Healthy Boundaries workshop in November, we’ve been editing and processing of the 2-hour long video to get bite-sized chunks you can stream on-demand. Online activities get added, captions are created, and now we’re ready to share the finished product with you!

You can begin the new + improved Healthy Boundaries workshop today!

Register Here

 


Who’s ‘we’?

You may have noticed that Brighter Focus is now a ‘we’ – I’m so excited to introduce you to the organizational brain behind Brighter Focus, Courtney Williams. She keeps all of our projects running on time, and has added so much joy to the process!

woman with husband and four kids standing in front of a christmas tree, tag: february 2021 self-care

Courtney began her virtual assistant journey in August of 2019. She’s an Enneagram 2 so helping people brings her so much joy! When she’s not helping Brea manage all of her projects, you can find Courtney snuggling with her 5 kids on the couch watching Disney movies, drinking sweet tea, and eating chocolate. 

Courtney also has a website where she talks about her grief journey of losing her 4-year-old son, Sam in 2017. You can read her story of loss and hope at www.unlockingjoy.com.


February Oil Protocol

February Oil Protocol. Oregano - crown of head. Lemon Eucalyptus - solar plexus. Siberian Fir - tops of shoulders. Petitgrain - soles of feet. Sandalwood - heart space. Neroli - inside wrists. @brighterfocus tag: february 2021 self-care

February entered with fresh hope and much work to be done. The focus is on embodying qualities of focus, perseverance, and wisdom – while gathering comfort and gentleness for ourselves. It can be a tricky balance some days!

As you apply these oils, bring your attention to your senses:

  • Inhale the fragrance of each oil separately, and the combinations
  • Feel your own touch as you apply them to your body lovingly
  • See the colors of the bottles and the amber drops of liquid
  • Set intentions with each oil application, grounding yourself in what you know to be true

Here are some properties of each oil*, to inspire your intentions:

  • Oregano – humility and non-attachment
  • Lemon Eucalyptus – comfort during rapid change
  • Siberian Fir – grief, perspective, adaptability 
  • Petitgrain – cultivating healthy traditions and connections
  • Sandalwood – spiritual clarity
  • Neroli – empathy, cooperation, resilience

*From Emotions and Essential Oils: A Reference Guide for Emotional Healing


May this new month bring you comfort and continued growing self-awareness. May you feel the strength to persevere in the work that’s yours to do, and may you know the grace of rest and joy. 

I’m so glad to be on this journey with you.

Signature: With love and bright focus, Brea. tag: february 2021 self-care

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

December Oil Protocol + Classes

Welcome to December, love! We made it! 

Use this month to take stock of how far you’ve come this year. Over the course of the month I’ll be posting prompts for reflection and ideas for rituals that can support us.

May we take the lessons that are ours to carry forward, and leave the rest in 2020.

pink background with blue snowflake december on guard | soles of feet, myrrh | sacrum, wild orange | navel to solar plexus, fennel | elbow creases, siberian fir | tops of shoulders, douglas fir | heart to throat, lemon | temples, frankincense | top of head, cup hands and inhale Tag: december 2020 interpreter self care

December Oil Protocol

December is a time for reflection and introspection. It’s a time to gather the lessons we learned over the course of the last year with curiosity and compassion. 

Use this oil protocol to support your meditation and intention toward forgiveness, responsibility, and generational healing.

On Guard – Protective Blend – healthy boundaries, a sense of being protected and reinforced

Myrrh – The Oil of The Mother – a sense of safety in the world, healthy attachments, trust, and groundedness

Wild Orange – playfulness, creativity, joy

Fennel – taking responsibility, claiming oneself, developing a strong connection with one’s body, healing shame

Siberian Fir – forgiveness, generational healing, perspective, and wisdom

Douglas Fir – learning from the past, generational healing, renewed energy for a new chapter

Lemon – clarity, focus, supports thoughts which contribute to well-being

Frankincense – The Oil of The Father – truth, release lies and limiting beliefs, a sense of discernment, protection, and valuing oneself

Apply daily before meditation, journaling, bathtime, bedtime, or any other reflective practice.

Burnout Proof Academy Upcoming Workshops + Updates

We’re taking December off from Saturday School at Burnout Proof Academy. Thanks to everyone who attended November’s Healthy Boundaries LIVE workshop. It was a success! We had a wonderful turnout and so much rich discussion! It’s now available as a self-paced online course – you can get all the info and register here.

Wrapping up courses is our focus for December. If you are enrolled in a course that you would like CEUs for in 2020 and you haven’t yet completed and received your certificate – the deadline for completion is December 14th, 2020.

Looking Ahead to 2021

Our community has grown so much in 2020, and I’m so excited for all that’s in store in 2021. More opportunities for connection, learning, and self-reflection abound!

multi-colored confetti in the background with an orange square on top, stack of 3 books "burnout proof book club" Tag: december 2020 interpreter self careBurnout Proof Book ClubBurnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

We will be kicking off the year with the inaugural gathering of our book club! This book is foundational to everything we practice, so I hope you’ll join us. Add your name to the interest list here to be notified of important dates. Get a copy of the book to prepare!

I needed the paperback and audio versions of this one, it’s just that good.

 

teal blue circle with a pink and blue backpack and yellow hearts "burnout proof academy saturday school" Tag: december 2020 interpreter self careBack to Basics Saturday School LIVE Workshop – tentative date sometime in February 2021

Kickstart your new year by getting back to the basics with us! We’ll explore the foundational self-care practices of getting enough sleep, daily movement (aka: exercise), drinking enough water, and eating food that supports our well-being. Make sure you’re on the mailing list to get info about this workshop!

 

Burnout Proof Collective Gatherings

Our private Facebook group has grown so much closer in the last few months, and I’m so excited to deepen those relationships in 2021!! We’re working on plans for potential lesson units, virtual social gatherings, skill sharing, and mentoring. If you’d like to be a part of the fun, make sure you’ve joined the group here and turned on notifications!


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Subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss an ounce of self-care goodness!


Wishing you peace and joy and rest this weekend, friends! Until next week.

xo,
b

Healthy Boundaries: Walk Yourself Home

gray rock mountain range with green pine tries, pink sky, and sun rays in top right corner with quote from Brene Brown "Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others." Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

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


dark blue background fading to light blue "healthy boundaries for interpreters november 21, 2020 10:00 am - noon pacific burnout proof academy online self care ceus to register: burnoutproof.me" Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

 

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. 

aerial view of blue rectangle tennis court with 2 people playing tennis with a green border around the tennis court and a fence around the court Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

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?

woman with blond hair wearing a brown sweater with a blue jean jacket and black pants standing in the middle of the road holding a map with green trees on the side of the road and white fog in the distance Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

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

black background with a yellow heart on top of circle shaped picture of a white picket fence with purple and pink flowers growing on the fence with a white arrow pointing to "walk yourself home @brighterfocus" Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

 

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.

green pine trees with green and brown grass in the background with a white transparent square including text "compassionate people ask for what they need. they say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. they're compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment. brene brown, rising strong" Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

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.

 

pink heart with pink lines around the heart Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

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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 

yellow sunflower with black center and blue sky in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

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  

snow capped mountain peaks with a orange, pink, and red sunset behind the mountains with white text "i care about my needs" Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

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? 

light brown twisted tree root with dark brown pine straw in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

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!

brown tree trunk with green vines wrapping around trunk with a red ribbon tied around the trunk with green leaves and other trees in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

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