Category: Health & Healing

Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint

Judy Wilkins-Smith is a highly regarded organizational, individual, and family patterns expert. A systemic executive coach, trainer, facilitator, thought partner, and leadership conference and motivational speaker, she has 18 years of expertise in assisting high-performance individuals, Fortune 500 executives, and legacy families to end limiting cycles and reframe challenges into lasting breakthroughs and peak performance. She is the author of the book Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint: A Powerful Guide to Transformation Through Disentangling Multigenerational Patterns.

In this inspiring podcast, Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, speaks with Judy about the deep work of transforming our ancestral patterns on the path of personal evolution. They discuss Bert Hellinger and the creation of constellations and systems-based work; engaging in a multisensorial experience of your system; reengineering what we’ve inherited as truth; illuminating our “unconscious loyalties”; how we can take a “quantum leap” that serves the entire system; how every system has its clear rules—both spoken and unspoken; Judy’s teaching on “building the weight” and doing the things you never thought possible; a constellation exercise for feeling a greater sense of belonging in our families; epigenetics and the imprinting of generational behavioral patterns; what neuroscience tells us about rewiring our thoughts, feelings, and actions; laying down a triumphant path instead of a traumatic path; decoding our emotional blueprint when we have a health challenge; and more.

Be What You Want to Receive: Three Ways to Experiment ...

At a time when we’re marinating in trauma and dealing with the test of a lifetime, we all wish things were different. When what we want from life is a million mile march from what it actually is, it can seem like we need a massive intervention to keep facing what’s at hand. 

But research shows that small things can make a big difference. Just like stress is cumulative, so are the daily steps we take to grow and give.

Microdoses of bravery add up. To start, consider moving from asking what will the world offer me, to what will I offer the world? Tiny bits of strategic courage are sources of nourishment that can help you become what you want to receive. 

Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is a tall order, but worth doing. Microdosing bravery can help us build the strength and stamina that helps us heal, create, and liberate from fear, despair, and isolation. 

Here are three ways you can experiment with microdosing bravery including journal prompts for reflection.

Worth the Risk - Be What You Want to Receive

 

BE LOVE. 

Loneliness is being called “the new smoking,” a modern health risk. For some, the global pandemic has strengthened relationships, allowing for bonding and teamwork like never before. For others, it’s wreaked havoc: leading to feeling smothered and stuck. For those living alone, distancing has been brutal, making love feel far from reach. Loss, whether through death, divorce, breakups, or other factors, singes our hearts. We can become avoidant and skeptical of our future potential to love and be loved. 

When we strive to embody love, it’s essential to keep an open mind and heart. Loving connections are protective factors to our well-being. Consider these microdoses of bravery to strengthen your relationships, your sense of belonging, and the co-creation of new love paradigms in your life:

  • Get real. Go through your friends on social media and make a list of all the real people in your life with whom you can be yourself. Make a conscious effort to spend time outside of social media. Thank them for being so real to you and vow you’ll do the same.
  • Spark connection. Initiate a conversation with a partner or friend to see if you can build greater intimacy or camaraderie. To improve your connection, ask them what would mean a lot to them, and offer your own thoughts too.
  • Seek affinity relationships. Write a short poem or essay about yourself to clarify your various identities and then seek an affinity connection. Invite that person for coffee. Don’t shy away from sharing yourself and nudging them to do the same.
  • Be innovative. Create your own bravery microdose to help you be love.

Take note:

Write down what you chose to do and reflect on how it cultivated love in your life. Consider sharing this with someone you trust to help you maximize your efforts.

BE HEALING. 

The level of trauma at hand has ravaged our lives, making healing feel elusive on a good day, impossible on a bad. Given the magnitude of suffering at hand, healing should not be trivialized as a three-step process. Healing requires enormous courage. Microdosing bravery can help us reach out and tap in to the many forms of restoration available to us.  

Understanding how resilience works is a helpful way to begin healing. Gone are the days when it was viewed as a character trait—something you’re born with or not. There’s a lot of hype about being gritty and never letting anyone see you sweat that gets in the way of us finding the right support. Here are some ways to microdose bravery to foster healing and build resilience:

  • Recognize you’re not alone. The biggest lie our difficulties tell us is that we’re the only ones dealing with such intense suffering. All of us are living in a global mental health crisis, with exorbitant pressures and crushing circumstances. Suffering is part of our shared humanity. Finding solidarity and safe community can serve as a catalyst to healing. As we get traction in our own healing process, our acts of courage can be nourishing and healing to those around us.
  • Self-advocate. Healing requires intentional change in our communication. Many of us are comfortable and willing to give help, but few are asking for it. Identify one trusted person in your life that you know has the emotional maturity and skills to listen and support you. Tell them what you’re going through and work with them to identify potential roads toward healing, such as therapy, strategic behavioral change, and targeted self-care.
  • Set boundaries. Untreated trauma and unresolved issues can haunt us and impair the quality of our lives. By paying attention to what we say yes and no to, we can ensure we are leaving space for growth after we’ve gone through significant stressors. Find language to courageously share what you can commit to, and what you cannot. Enlist support to help you firmly protect your time so that you can devote attention to healing and restoration.
  • Identify resources. Take some time to scan your direct environment for things that nurture and sustain you. Select one or two things that can be microdosed to build your bravery.

Take note:

Write down things that help you experience healing. How can you continue to build off this?

BE A LIBERATOR. 

Society can project a lot onto us, caging us into patterns of conformity that can become harmful. Freedom to live as our truest selves isn’t something that comes with safety or ease. The work of unhooking from social prescriptions and ills can be fraught and exhausting. Still, when we find the courage to call out injustice and fight for a more humane world, we can experience exuberance and help change paradigms.

When we strive to liberate, we realize that we must dismantle oppression. That we must advocate for inclusivity and human reverence, particularly for social identities that are marginalized and harmed. Constrained living hinders human progress, individually and collectively. Consider these microdoses of bravery to liberate from social constructs that are harmful:

  • Let go. Take inventory of so-called social “norms” and become less apt to cower in the face of social impositions that are dismissive and destructive toward “difference.” Embrace your own multidimensionality, and that of humanity.
  • Speak up. We all have opportunities to be active contributors rather than passive bystanders in the world. Practicing accountability means that we call out injustice and work to eradicate forms of human suffering and imprisonment—whether based on race, gender, orientation, age, place of origin, or other social identity categories.
  • Practice human reverence. Move from me to we. See the glory and wonder across the human spectrum. Honor varied identities and perspectives. Work to find and engage in diverse relationships, rather than staying insular or spending time with those that look like, love like, and think like you. Become a liberator by standing fervently with those who’ve been marginalized, oppressed, or discriminated against. Seek ways to forge change, bit by bit.
  • Break Free. Create your own bravery microdose to help you liberate.

Take note:

What do you need to be liberated from? Do you know someone who is struggling in a similar way? How might you join forces and work together to become freer?

Author Kristen LeeKristen Lee, EdD, LICSW, is an award-winning Behavioral Science and Leadership professor, clinician, researcher, activist, comedian, author of Worth the Risk: How to Microdose Bravery to Grow Resilience, Connect More, and Offer Yourself to the World, and host of Crackin’ Up. She has over two decades of clinical experience in mental health, and twelve years of teaching and leadership roles in higher education, focusing on underserved populations. She leads the Behavior Science program at Northeastern University. For more, visit kristenlee.com.

 

 

 

 

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Awe and a Meaningful Life

Dacher Keltner, PhD, is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the founding director of the university’s Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). He is the host of the GGSC’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness, and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. He has devoted his career to studying the nature of human goodness and happiness, conducting groundbreaking research on compassion, awe, laughter, and love. He is also the bestselling author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, and is a coeditor of The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness, in addition to more than 100 scientific papers and two bestselling textbooks.

In this podcast, Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, speaks with Dr. Dacher Keltner about his inspiring work and his exploration of how the experience of awe, gratitude, empathy, and other prosocial emotions is intimately tied to our capacity to live a life of meaning. Tami and Dacher discuss Charles Darwin’s study of emotions and how “survival of the kindest” may be more true than “survival of the fittest”; the connection between emotions and ethics and the changing nature of power; the instinct of sympathy; making kindness your core principle; choosing prosocial emotions in stressful, energy-draining situations; “vagal superstars” and the practice of compassion; establishing healthy boundaries to avoid empathic distress (or taking in other people’s suffering); creating positive changes in the health-care system; the experience of awe in the presence of another person; and more.

How Do We Sustain an Open Heart?

Eve Ekman, PhD, MSW, is a senior fellow at the Greater Good Science Center. A skilled speaker, researcher, and group facilitator with experience working in emergency rooms and other health-care settings, she brings a unique background ideally suited to training individuals and organizations in the science of resilience, compassion, mindfulness, and emotional awareness. With Sounds True, she is coauthor (with Dacher Keltner, PhD) of the online program The Greater Good Training for Health Professionals

In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Eve Ekman about deepening our emotional awareness and developing our capacity to keep our hearts open, especially when working with others. Their conversation explores why some people experience burnout while others do not in the same situation; Eve’s work with her father on the Atlas of Emotions and its goal to help us calm the mind; the concept of emotion granularity; the practice of decentering to diffuse the power of an emotional experience; interoception and how it relates to being present; “unhooking from the narrative” when we find an emotion has been re-triggered; emotions as timelines that tell a story; the ongoing debate about the nature of anger; using technology as a force for good; sustainable empathy; emotional resonance and cognitive appraisal, and how these become a crucial juncture for empathy; repairing our health-care system while empowering those who work in it; what the research tells us about the importance of finding meaning; and more.

The Life-Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing

Dr. Jeffrey Rediger is a licensed physician and board certified psychiatrist who also has a master’s of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. An assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the medical director at McLean Hospital, Dr. Rediger has spent almost 20 years researching the factors present in cases labeled as spontaneous healing—the topic explored in his bestselling book Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life.

In this eye-opening, hope-giving podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Rediger about his personal journey—from an upbringing in a traditional Amish household, to how he “ran away to college” and began a deep exploration of the connection between faith and medicine, and what is truly possible on the journey toward health and healing. Tami and Dr. Rediger discuss the sometimes competing, sometimes cooperating worldviews of science and spirituality; the unfortunate absence of curiosity in so much of science and medicine; lifestyle illnesses as the root cause of most health challenges in the Western world; his four pillars of health: nutrition, immunity, stress response, and what he calls “healing your identity”; retraining the beliefs that are holding us back; understanding and healing trauma; facing our shadows and waking up to our own inherent value and dignity; and much more.

Let Us Make Sanctuary

Bayo Akomolafe, PhD, was born in Nigeria and steeped in Yoruba teachings as well as Western academia. Trained in clinical psychology, he refers to himself as a “renegade academic” and is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, and soul-stirring views on our current global crisis and the opportunities we now have for social change. 

In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Akomolafe about how sanctuary is where slowing down and healing happens. They discuss: how the function of slowing down in urgent times is not about simply resting so that we can continue forward in the same direction, but about how to engage in deep inquiry about where we are going; pouring drink to earth—an African spiritual technology that expresses our indebtedness to our ancestors and all that makes life possible; standing at the crossroads—how the ground underneath us is going through a seismic shift that is allowing the unsaid to now be spoken and intelligible; the invitation of the slave ship as a place of spiritual contemplation and as a site of renewing our connections with grief, loss, trauma, and tragedy; grieving as a form of activism; and more.

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