One person can make a difference…

I truly believe one person can make a difference, and I use this blog to do this in my own way (hopefully it’s working😉). But when I see others who think the same, I like to bring attention to it.

Now this guy has a voice, notoriety, a well-established platform and an Emmy…but it’s for his work with sharks. I want to highlight his why…and he has conveniently provided a little film for us:

WATCH THIS!

I love this film because he is open and honest and vulnerable, sharing how he always felt different. I think it’s important to share our stories to help others, and to remind young people especially, that being different can be a good thing. Accepting your own weirdness or quirkiness can unlock a whole new world for you, and it can free you to find your niche, where you feel belonging and connection and find your passion!

And of course, there’s a beautiful message here about conservation which is incredibly important…all creatures of the sea are connected and impacted by humans and what we put into the oceans. And one person CAN make a difference!

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Noticing the impact of the waves…

Over the weekend, I had a chance to spend some time on the beach. I watched boats go by, and saw the wake of each one gradually make their way to shore. It got me thinking…

Now that I’m getting better, I’m noticing things…trying to notice the impact of my actions. I used to feel like I didn’t matter, didn’t have any power, and, well…you know where I’m going with this…

So to keep my insecurities at bay, I try to notice when I have an impact…so I launch a boat, and watch the wake left behind in the water. Here are a few specific examples that have stayed on my mind:

  • I bumped into a young man I’m acquainted with at the grocery store awhile back. He was buying a lot of frozen meals. I have a tendency to be a mother hen, so I say, “be careful, those dinners are loaded with salt, you should try not to eat them so often.” Well, a few months later, he has lost 12 pounds. I asked what his secret was, “cooking more often.” And while he gave me no credit, I’m quite sure I had a little something to do with it!
  • In my work with young children, my teenage son is frequently nearby, and I’m always modeling how to resolve conflicts, meet their needs, and validate their feelings. I hear him using my words, echoing my tone, and mirroring my body language…that is one strong and persistent wave!
  • When I was finally ready to share with my mom that I was in therapy, i was nervous. I didn’t know what she’d think, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised…she has been taking inspiration from my journey, yet another ripple, long lasting.
  • I started my first blog to write about child care issues for families and providers. I eventually started this blog to share my struggle with depression, and hopefully bring awareness and help to others. Now this ripple might be a reach, because I was just a passenger in the boat that someone else was driving, but a young woman in my life started a blog sharing her thoughts as she is working to make sense of her mom’s illness. Another small ripple…
  • And my dear friend that I’ve been going back and forth with, but trying to let go…from the beginning of our friendship, I tried to impart the wisdom of my years, specifically the importance of having friends. And after almost 3 years, he is finally making an effort to connect with friends for the first time since college. Guy friends, outside of work, outside of his marriage, are becoming part of his world because I drove the loudest and fastest boat I could find. That wave hit him hard again and again!

Which one of my biggest “failures” brought me the most value?

I love this question because it takes me all the way back to why I write this blog: I failed to care for my own needs after several family issues demanded I care for others first. I ignored my need for friends and connections, my need for physical health, my professional goals, and my emotional well-being as well.

And while it’s not a choice I would make, this failure led me to where I am right now, and the value in that is immense: I AM FINALLY ME. I broke as a result of that failure and as I unraveled my failure, my life, I learned about myself, and slowly became the person I always wanted to be.

Now I am doing my best to take care of my needs, because I cannot afford to fail again, at least in that department!

Yes, I do need to be my own hero

I just got home from paddling and checking in with a friend, had a nice conversation. Came home, put some of my stuff away and opened up my social media. Lately, I’m digging Andy Grammer and his new video was posted. I gave it a listen and before it was half over, I was saying to myself, “that’s exactly what I have to do, what I’ve been trying to do!”

Check out this inspiring song

So in the interest of following what strikes me, I am going to be my own hero. I am going to look within, and look at my skills, and notice the positive impacts I can have on the people in my world. I am going to be my own hero.

Please feel free to share if I have affected you in a positive way!

Knowledge is Power: a super power, so keep learning

When I was a student, I thought this was a load of crap. Why on earth do I want to spend my time studying? I’m never going to use this stuff in real life! But you never know what you will or will not use. Now that I’m much older and wiser, I get it. Education and knowledge have only enriched and enhanced my life, my career, and my roles as leader and mentor. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish I didn’t know so much” and mean it?

Now here’s the kicker…you can apply the phrase Knowledge is Power in a variety of ways. Book smarts, math smarts, science, art…so many areas for this to apply! But I’d like to draw your attention to emotional smarts, or emotional intelligence. I was introduced to this concept at a conference this fall by the keynote speaker Debra Cannerella. She uses emotional intelligence as a tool for companies to maximize employee performance and ensure leadership success.

Emotional Intelligence is defined by Dr. Dick Thompson, President and CEO of High Performing Systems, Inc., as a person’s innate ability to perceive and manage his/her own emotions in a manner that results in successful interactions with the environment and, if others are present, to also perceive and manage their emotions in a manner that results in successful interpersonal interactions.

Learning to read facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, as well as your triggers, stress management techniques, all of these can give us information that we can use to maximize our interactions. But it also makes a big difference to know your own emotional intelligence skills, impacting interactions, and decision making.

Anyway, what I’m saying is this…keep learning. Embrace it. Seek it. At least now that I’m an adult, I can choose what I want to learn about, when, and how I learn. Growth of the mind is a valuable thing, and should never be taken for granted.