Tag Archives: values

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 I feel shut down and withdrawn – rather than connected or curious.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  

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

 

 

Learn to Love ‘No’: Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters

Red background, stenciled and distressed lettering in yellow, "No". Tags: healthy boundaries interpreters

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

“No” is a complete sentence.

What do you think about that? Do you actually believe it? As a hard-core people pleaser, I thought it was total BS. I’ve had a difficult history with this tiny two-letter sentence. Every time I wanted to use it, I’d feel such a rush of guilt, pressure, and fear that I’d say ‘yes’ instead, just to avoid those feelings.

I’d think:

‘What if I upset the person I’m saying ‘no’ to?’
‘What if they don’t like me anymore? What if they think I’m inconsiderate, lazy, mean. Or what if they think that I don’t like them?!”
‘Is there any way that I could do this thing they’re asking me to do?’

I’d do anything to avoid saying ‘no,’ at the expense of my health, peace of mind, and even my relationship with the other person. Yes – even my relationships were at stake. Because, like any good people-pleaser, I was an expert at resentment. I would say ‘yes,’ to avoid saying ‘no,’ and then I would be so upset with myself that it would bleed into our relationship – I’d be upset with them by proxy.

As I became aware of the effects my unwillingness to say ‘no’ was having, there’s something that helped this lesson to sink in.

When you say “no” to one thing, you’re saying “yes” to something else.
When you say “yes” to one thing, you’re saying “no” to something else.

Ahh…now things started to get interesting! There are two sides to this coin – a relationship between what I choose to give my time and energy to and what I don’t.

I began to see that I was always saying ‘no’ to something! Just, sometimes I wasn’t aware of it. And you know what I think about awareness…it’s the first magic-key to everything we want.

Dark wall background with white neon sign, "YES YES". Tags: healthy boundaries interpreters

Photo by Michèle Eckert on Unsplash

Start with ‘Yes’

Saying ‘no’ is a bazillion times easier when you’re clear on what you’re saying ‘yes’ to instead. Know your top priorities. Identify your values or guiding principles.

If you’ve already identified that one of your core values is ‘family’, and you get a job request at the same time that your child has a special dance performance, it’s easier to know which to say ‘yes’ to (the dance performance!).

If your focus for the month is on improving your organizational systems for your business, and you come across a parenting conference that sparks your interest, you can check with your current priorities to know that the parenting conference can wait until next year. You’re saying ‘yes’ to sticking with your organizational focus.

Ask for Time

Jiu jitsu is one of my favorite sports. One of the reasons is because being good at it doesn’t rely on strength or size. Practitioners who excel are masters at using natural forces of gravity and leverage to assist their bodies in subduing their opponents.

Background half pink, half blue, with an old fashioned alarm clock in the middle. Tags: healthy boundaries interpreters

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Here’s a jiu jitsu move for learning to love ‘no’:
Ask for time to consider the request.

Practice these phrases:

“Let me think about it.”
“Let me check in with my  priorities/needs/calendar.”
“I’ll get back to you.”

And don’t forget your love or kind regard for the person to whom you’re speaking! Put these phrases together with your genuine feelings, and you become a master at communicating your boundaries in a way that actually strengthens relationships.

“Thanks so much for the invitation! Let me check in with my priorities for that week and I’ll get back to you tomorrow. Does that sound ok?”

Take action

Here’s something you can do today to baby-step your way toward learning to love no:
Download the “Hell, YES!” Checklist, and use it to help you tune into your inner “YES.”
Comment below to share what you use it for and how it goes.

Reflection

Grab your journal and reflect:

  • What, in the last week, did you want to say ‘no’ to, but didn’t?
  • When you think of that moment that you wanted to say ‘no’, what feelings and sensations were you having in your body?
  • What did you actually want to say ‘yes’ to, in that situation?
  • If you had a ‘do-over’, what would you rather have said?

Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters

Four resources to deepen your exploration with healthy boundaries:

Nope Hand Lettering On Wood and Glass. Tags: healthy boundaries interpreters

Photo by Daniel Herron on Unsplash

  1. Register for Burnout Proof 101 – A live one-hour webinar workshop exploring boundaries, joy, energy and more. Sept 30th, 2020. 0.1 CEUs.
  2. Self-Care: Thriving in Times of Uncertainty – RID VIEWS Nov 2019 Self-Care column with tips for tending to the body, mind, and heart during stressful times.
  3. Brene Brown’s advice on how to set boundaries – article from Brene Brown on setting boundaries
  4. Boundaries with Brene Brown – YouTube interview with Brene Brown

We are all in this together, dear one, and we need your deepest inner knowing and wisdom engaged as we work to create this equitable new world. Take it one tiny baby-step at a time, and remember I’m here to support you!

Sending so much love today and every day.
xo,
Brea