Archives for June 2018

“Can You Teach an Adult Compassion?”

 

This was a question posed by a friend on mine on Facebook. Some were under the impression that you can’t.

My answer:

“You can develop emotional intelligence through mindfulness techniques, but that would have to be voluntary.

‘I tried to find a video I saw (I thought it was Samantha Bee) where they brought global warming deniers through a kind of fun house type of experience where they experience the devastating effects of climate change for themselves. The fear inspired by the special effects changed ~60% of their minds. [I still can’t find this, but I will continue to try. Maybe it was Tosh.O or Sarah Silverman.]

‘There are experiments going on right now with virtual reality. I believe this was either Jane McGonigal or her sister who did a VR experiment on compassion and conservation. [It was Jane who mentioned it, but it was not her experiment– here is the video.] Apparently, participants who cut down a sequoia tree in virtual reality were [more likely to recycle.] Fascinating! There is so much tremendous research going on right now and breakthroughs on the way.”

I also added a fun fact to the thread:

“Did you know under normal circumstances the part of our brain responsible for emotional intelligence doesn’t start to develop until our third decade of life?” [Correction: it doesn’t become fully functional until our 3rd decade of life.]

The insula and anterior cingulate are the parts associated with self-awareness and social awareness. You can absolutely accelerate development of these parts of your brain and the neural circuits through mindfulness techniques. [Cited from Neurowisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness, and Success by Mark Waldman and Chris Manning, PhD]

I should also point out that development of this part of the brain can also be inhibited. Those who grow up bullied, overly criticized, abused, neglected, etc. are likely to become the ones whose self-talk is overly critical.

Being overly self-critical increases your tendency to find error in everything and everyone. Adjusting your self-talk to be more compassionate stimulates neural circuits associated with empathy. [Also cited from Neurowisdom.] Just like building muscle through repetitive motion and skill through practice, the more you use these neural circuits, the more you will develop compassion for yourself, and others as a byproduct.

So, to follow that further, the people who are most critical of others are the ones who are hardest on themselves.

It seems quite hypocritical to vilify people who are not demonstrating compassion. Science tells us what they need is to love and accept themselves more. This is what I imagine Ghandi meant when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s also why believers in the Law of Attraction advise you to “give what you are seeking” to shift your abundance.

If you want people to be more compassionate, show them more compassion. Show yourself more compassion!

That’s a big one! It’s why the fabulous Brené Brown’s research and teachings have been so embraced. We all crave and need more self-compassion.

There are also experiences, apps, virtual reality games, and exercises that have proven to help accelerate self-compassion as well as outward compassion. New studies are being done all the time. It’s important to note that not only can increases in neural activity associated with compassion be measured, but the neural activity DOES impact behavior.

Here are just a few options:

The Compassion Experience transports people into someone less fortunate’s life. It also is backed by research. It is created by a Christian organization and the events are held at churches over a several-day period. I found four in my local area over the summer, including one at my cousin’s church. It is intended to enhance gratitude and compassion in children and to inspire parents to donate to less fortunate children in different parts of the world. The events are free (at least the ones that I saw, but this could be church-specific.)

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian prayer said to heal and release. There are four simple lines: I love you; I’m sorry; I forgive you; Thank you. That’s it. It’s the simplest prayer ever. It can be said over and over like a chant, or you can say it every time you look in a mirror. You can say it in the morning as you wake, or at night before you sleep, or both. You can say it out loud or in your head. You can say it with your eyes closed or open. You can say it as though you are talking to yourself, or someone else. It’s not really something you can do wrong.

Mindfulness has many different connotations, and not all of them are clinical or accurate. In fact, the word has been misapplied to mean being positive or meditating. There is no particular breathing technique that you have to learn – just NOTICE your breath. Then notice your thoughts. Notice your emotions. Notice your body. Notice the tiny details of things around you. Notice the vibrancy of colors. Notice the beauty of nature or people. That’s it! That’s all there is to mindfulness. It’s an important step toward accepting and allowing what is, including you, without judgment.

Maybe you think this is for someone else less compassionate than yourself. Well, statistically, people believe they are more compassionate than they are, so it stands to reason that anyone might as well become more compassionate.

Let me know if you have tried any of these methods. Let me know if you would like extra assistance with compassion for yourself or others.

Give a Little Bit Singer/Songwriter Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, with Orchestra

“Give a Little Bit has a wonderful message that makes people light up and I get them to sing with me. It really has a message that is very eternal and is needed even more today than it was when I wrote it when I was 19.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a career management firm specializing in the income-optimizing power of social media and personal branding, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify new trends in hiring and personal marketing. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.

A Power Mantra for Next-level Professionals

So What by Paolo Mazzoleni on Flickr

So What by Paolo Mazzoleni on Flickr

Two weeks ago I was going through my brother’s senior yearbook. Underneath the seniors’ pictures were captions, including favorite phrases. My niece had some trouble properly pronouncing one of my brother’s choices: “Buuuudy.” This was a quote from one of the 80s most unlikely phenomenons, Pauley Shore. It occurred to me that if he knew nearly 30 years later these phrases would be immortalized and read by his kids, he might have chosen other words, but he was 17.

I took a look at my own senior year caption. It was definitely not what my 40-year-old self would have wanted to immortalize.

So, what would I immortalize now?

I might choose something timeless. There was a phrase that I learned when I had a door-to-door sales job, which became my mantra, “Some will; some won’t; so what? NEXT!”

I still find this completely valid. That door-to-door job I worked one summer was brutal in many ways – hours of walking alone in a suit, even when it was hot and humid, even in sketchy neighborhoods with high crime and incidences of drive-by shootings. It certainly made me more street smart and thick-skinned.

Even though being successful in that job depended upon people (business owners) liking and trusting me, I learned that I didn’t need EVERYONE to like and trust me. Some people just won’t, and the faster I moved on and let go, the faster I could get to the person who would say yes.

With that realization came a level of freedom I hadn’t yet known, and so many of my past pains around not being accepted started to dissolve. Thinking about it now, this was most likely the first taste of personal development that became a hunger, and at times an obsession. I needed that to get to the next level in my profession after that job, and this mantra helped me make better choices. I remind myself of it each time I want to get to the next level, which usually comes with increased visibility…and vulnerability.

I’ve been striving ever since that realization to master being my best self by my OWN standards, and to enjoy freedom in accepting myself, while reconciling how to be the cause of transformation at the scale that I feel is necessary to really make the impact on corporate careering, hiring and engagement that I am driven to make.

So, while it can be fun and freeing to throw caution to the wind when it comes to social media, the consequences of doing that may not align with what you want for the long-term – your BIGGER why.

I’m not advising you to be anyone different for anyone’s sake. Lisa Sasevich, offer communication coach, shared a lesson her father, a famous ventriloquist, taught her, “Don’t change your act, change your audience.”

I finally got around to watching The Greatest Showman last night. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you. I will tell you that while it was inspiring, it was also a warning to not let your desire for acceptance compromise what really matters in life.

My hypnotherapy hero, Marisa Peer, has worked with royalty and rock stars, and shares just how common it is for highly successful people to suffer from not feeling like enough. In fact, it’s what drives them to achieve. Barnum was no different in the movie’s portrayal. The drive to build something extravagant was fed by his need to be accepted. So, sometimes the need for approval can be purposeful and can fuel some big dreams. However, it was also almost the demise of all he held dear.

When being intentional about your brand (you have one whether your conscious of it or not,) remember to honor who you are and what is most important to you in the grand scheme of your life.

Besides, what kind of happiness do you think you can obtain by becoming someone else? How long can that last?

You can be successful and authentic.

What I want people to get about their brand is that it doesn’t mean just mean putting something out into the world to increase your visibility or engagement. A brand AT ITS BEST is an intentional outreach designed to resonate with and attract people who enrich your network and life experience.

If your boss enriches your life, say with a paycheck, and you want to keep that paycheck, then put things out into the world that your boss would appreciate. This implies that you would take time to understand what he or she appreciates and allows before you create and put it out there. However, if you’d rather have a different boss who lets you do you, make sure what you put out in the world reaches that kind of boss, resonates with him or her or them, and inspires them to take action.

Be willing to let go of people, like your current boss, who just don’t get you. And, be willing to give up the paycheck, too. And if you’re not, make an empowered choice to play by your boss’s rules until you gain the freedom to do you.

“Are you picking up what I’m putting down?”

That’s my favorite, more modern version of the mantra, which was the most valuable part of my door-to-door sales experience.

The freedom in this mantra comes from unapologetically and without attachment to the outcome declaring, “This is what I’m doing whether you’re with me or not. If you’re not, I’ll find somebody else who will. If you are, let’s get to work.”

If people aren’t picking up what you’re putting down, consider changing the audience, not the act.

They may not resonate with you at the moment. They may have their own set of blinders, or other priorities. It’s not personal. Move on.

P!nk – So What

P!nk’s official music video for ‘So What’. Click to listen to P!nk on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/PSpot?IQid=PSW As featured on Greatest Hits…So Far!!!.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a career management firm specializing in the income-optimizing power of social media and personal branding, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales.

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify new trends in hiring and personal marketing. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Has Overwhelm Sabotaged Your Momentum?

Wipeout by Kellinahandbasket on Flickr

Yes, I want it all. Don’t we all?

Don’t you want to be able to afford the finer things in life – to visit exotic places, and live in a beautiful home, and to give your kids the best education and experiences? You, like me, also want time to enjoy them.

You want to know that the time and talents you devote to work are well-spent, made a difference, and that they’re appreciated.

You want to know that your life made a positive difference.

You want to feel vibrant, strong, and healthy – invincible.

If your reality is far from that, the disparity can seem insurmountable to overcome at times. It can make you feel worse, which is de-motivating and leads to inaction.

Efforts to get closer to the life you want can stretch you further than feels comfortable or even possible at times.

Here was my critical revelation:

“Overwhelm is what happens when things start moving faster

than you have practiced being in alignment with.”

~ Abraham

The phrase, “Be careful what you wish for,” comes to mind. Overwhelm can cause you to kill your big dreams, temporarily or permanently.

May was my month to host book club and I chose The Originals by Adam Grant. Stamina to follow through with big initiatives is one of the key differences he identifies between those who go on to bring into the world disruptive ideas and those who have to default to lending their talents to someone else’s vision.

This was another big a-ha for me. When I first picked up the book I wanted so much to be able to see myself as an Original, and for the most part, I do. But the realization of this missing puzzle piece caused me to delve into deep self-evaluation.

Why was it that I could come up with some brilliant, game-changing ideas, but have not yet been successful in having them adopted on a large enough scale to shift the dominant paradigm in how corporate professionals career, hire, and lead?

Funny thing about questions – once you ask yourself a question, your brain starts to answer it.

I have pattern of asking for things to pick up, then they do, and I want them to slow down.

Can you relate to this?

Most of the time, I consider myself blessed to be such a great vessel for ideas and to be doing work that I find rewarding and meaningful for which I have a great passion. However, my passion is inconsistent and shifts focus. Too many of my great ideas die on the vine. I’d like to think they’re just dormant for now, but when and how do I revive them? How do I make sure that the ideas that come through me that have the potential to really make life better, easier, more fun, etc. get created and get adopted?

Some of my setbacks I wouldn’t change; while my big initiatives are important, my kids are my #1 priority. I have allowed myself a certain amount of grace because I made a conscious choice to be at home with them while they were little, but they’re getting bigger and I have to notice what ELSE I let slow me down. Next year my kids will both be in school full-time, and I can start to assume a more conventional workweek. It’s time to make sure that I take full advantage of the time I have, to figure out how to ride a wave of momentum instead of letting it take me under and wipe out.

I realized that the pattern isn’t just exclusive to my work life, but my fitness, creativity, and social life as well. I go in bursts, and then I shift focus.

But why? I can easily rationalize that it’s because I like variety – I like to be dynamic. I can choose to just be empowered and accept that this is the way I am and the way I like it. However, in order to accept that I’d have to ignore the fact that my professional mission isn’t being fulfilled. I started multiple related initiatives over the years, but didn’t finish the majority of them, such as my app. Whenever I was advised that something had to become my obsession or a full-time job, I took my foot off the gas and put that initiative on a back-burner.

Again, I can justify it, and that’s worked up to now, but I once the kids are in school full-time, a big concession goes away, and I don’t want to let another concession take its place.

  • I have to start seeing myself as someone who makes big things happen in the world, and as someone who can handle all that brings with it.
  • I have to start being bigger than my problems.
  • I have to embody the vision by loving myself into a greater version of myself.
  • I have to trust that it will happen no matter what by embracing the good and the bad that happen along the way as part of my journey, instead of seeing the bad things as obstacles intended by the Universe to thwart me.
  • I have to achieve greater balance in all of the areas of my life that are important to me, so that a sense of deprivation doesn’t lead me to justify stepping back or stepping down from my mission.

The intention is to get aligned with the version of myself that is all of thee above, and to expand my self-image to be the version of myself who welcomes and manages success well.

So, I have a plan and tools to share, and if you have found yourself slowing things down just when they’re getting good, join me.

The tools I will use are time management through block scheduling, and reframing fear and challenges through meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis.

I will use these tools to generate greater self-awareness so that I continue to refine my plans and actions and continue to make significant consistent progress.

I will label time blocks on a physical calendar in ways that help me keep the bigger picture in mind. For instance, a time block allocated to organizing my desk will be “Getting it Together,” time blocks allocated to paying bills will be “Spreading the Wealth,” and time blocks allocated to fitness will be “Loving the Skin I’m In.” Following this schedule will create balance and freedom, since it will include time for all that’s important for me.

Any time overwhelm occurs, I will tune into my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. I will listen to the conversation I am having with myself that is causing me to feel as though all that is happening is too big or too much for me. I will use self-hypnosis to flip those beliefs around one at a time (which is how hypnosis is done.)

When an opportunity comes along, I will use meditation to make a decision based on my inner-knowing, also known as intuition, to avoid making any decision based on fear – fear of missing out, fear of disappointing, fear of lack of other opportunities. I will only move forward with opportunities with which I feel aligned and that will benefit the greatest number of people and myself, regardless of the potential visibility and/or money. Saying yes to everything has been a recipe for burn out in the past.

When a challenge comes along, I will meditate and ask myself why this is happening FOR me, instead of TO me, and I will tap into intuition that will guide inspired action so that I am pulled to make bold movements forward versus pushing myself and acting with resistance, which has only led in the past to feeling overworked and under-rewarded.

I will be ritualistic about using visualization to maintain a sense of joy in my work, which will help me generate the magnetism that inspires others to get on board with my vision.

I expect that by following this plan, overwhelm will subside and I’ll generate a new sense of power. It may still happen, but I vow to not let it stop me any more. Even by acknowledging it, I am already starting to take away its power.

Stay tuned, and share with me your experience with overwhelm. Tell me I’m not alone. Together, we’ll become expert momentum surfers and bring much-needed solutions into the world.

“The ones crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

~ Steve Jobs

Foo Fighters – Big Me

Foo Fighters’ official music video for ‘Big Me’. Click to listen to Foo Fighters on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/FooFSpotify?IQid=FooFBM As featured on Greatest Hits.