strengths.

#stretch #appalledniece …he’s just so cool…

β€œWe are in this together,” she said to herself thoughtfully, as she began her weekly blog post.

I get up early. I love the early morning. The collective energy is slow and quiet. I sit in the dark with several candles. A tibetan monk playlist oming in the background. I sip coffee. My mind clears. Thoughts are slow and sincere when they do show up. It’s honest. It’s real. I love knowing it exists.

I do this every morning. 

I write from this space. 

Because it is so slow paced, it’s easy to notice my thoughts. It’s easy to know what is genuine and what is reactive.

Anyone can do this, obviously. 

What are you good at? What is your spotlight? Where do you shine?

πŸ›‘ ⏸ πŸ”™

If you are unable to brake now and wonder about the questions above, read them through ‘outloud’ in your mind with genuine, curious energy – as if you were really open to knowing what the answer is. Notice how the answers may show up throughout your day. Smile in acknowledgment to yourself when it happens. So much more going on.

You were born with skillsets, talents, and abilities unique to your expression. The word ‘talent’ can be loaded with assumptions. Disrupt any assumption that limits you, and create your own definition that resonates with you. Where do you shine? What feedback do you get? Compliments, positive messages, even the messaging you attract in media, or strengths you notice in others, are forms of feedback – it is what gets your attention. It has meaning to you. It’s data.

Self-care is caring about yourself enough to acknowledge your goodness. You have strengths, talents, and abilities. You also have access to functions that manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You are the one leading the story you tell about who you are.

Back to executive functions.

You are the executive of your thinking, feeling, and behaving (response to urges, impulses). You = leader, boss, decision-maker, one in control of you. As the effective social-emotional school curriculum is titled: the LEADER (is) IN Me.

Speaking of… the Leader in Me is an elementary school version of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

When you proact to life instead of react, you initiate. You move toward discomfort with a curious mindset. The more you practice this, the more you can get ahead of potential roadblocks.

Habit 1: Be Proactive.

When you are curious about desired outcomes, you flip what you DON’T want (what is showing up) to create what you DO want.

Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind. (Focus on the desired outcome. Align with the energy of what is pulling you, rather than continuing to push against the problem).

All you ever have to do is the next thing. Orienting toward the desired outcome is really just a mindset. The more you can create what you want in your mind, the easier it is to orient toward it. Advanced skill: get underneath the condition. Chip away to the uncondition. What is the feeling state of your desired outcome?

Habit 3: Put First Things First. Do the next thing. Chip away. Incremental growth. You’ll get there. And then there will be the next thing.

Whether it’s Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits, or a series of executive function skillsets that support one’s ability to manage their thinking: initiate, working memory, plan – it’s all connected.

Next targeted skillset is monitoring the plan. You created a next step. Now what?

Take some time to be the noticer of your growth. Like the popular social media post: where I began, where I am (or something like that). This is the self-care version of one’s executive skillset: ‘monitor the plan’. Monitor your own sustainable growth. You won’t go backwards, even though it can feel like it sometimes. Ebb and flow. The more time you spend acknowledging your growth, the more you’ll notice the ebb and flow of change.

Focus on your areas of strengths and interests. Get familiar with the patterns and emotional states, while examining what goes well for you – what comes easy. And then transfer the learning to what is a bit more challenging.

I rarely let a student leave our time together without reminding them of who they are: “You were born right. There is nothing wrong with you.”

You ARE right.