Category Archives: Uncategorized

Who needs your story?

Take a look at Kindra’s message, I loved it, so you might too!

Key takeaways from her message here are 3 invaluable  points.

1.Tell SOME of your story

If your personal story is worth sharing at work, you can be 100% selective about how much or how little detail you include. Baring your soul and innermost self can be saved for that dear old diary, your sixteen year old self and your BFF. You can get your point across and still keep your deepest darkest secrets and insecurities to yourself.

2. Stories that last, will do just that.

We’ve discussed the sticky-ness or memorable quality of stories before and Kindra’s reminder to us that the stories we divulge can last and last. Once shared, our stories endure for the long haul, so it’s wise to be sure that you’re comfortable with what you’re about to share no matter how long it lasts or where it may spread.

3. Your story is needed.

Your story is a gift. Yes, a gift. Some people truly need to hear what you have to share about overcoming life’s challenges and difficulties. Choosing to share your story may be just a step to greatness that will help those you share it with achieve or realize part of their story.

BONUS! A major point, one not to be overlooked, is the very first point she makes. There’s rarely a strict yes or no as to if and when you share your story. Be fearless, taking a little time to reflect on whether you share your story by asking yourself a few questions first. You have the power to decide when and where to share your gift.

Wellness Monday: Remembering to Listen

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Here’s a broad question. What does communication mean to you?

While this is a question worth answering for yourself, to me, a huge part of effective communication has to do with listening. Often, I remind myself of the value of listening well, and it seems to be a popular topic in media too. Effective listening adds value to all interactions with others, whether it be a professional or personal relationship.

The big benefit is this, listening helps you truly hear another person’s perspective, and creates an opportunity where understanding another will likely help you get what you want as well. Here is an article that points to the benefit of listening with intention, although I think the author’s conclusion that listening to others’ will ultimately help you be “like-able” is simplistic (and not the end goal), yet the author does have a point that listening is important in every setting.

If you are the image of perfection in the listening arena, stop reading. Meanwhile, the rest of us will refer to the following pointers for listening well. One of the best ways to receive someone else’s message is to practice active listening. This is:

  • listening, without forming a response
  • eye contact and nodding, etc. to demonstrate listening
  • give feedback, by repeating what you hear to confirm you understand the speaker
  • limit distractions, try to remain focused on the speaker

This active listening behavior will encourage others to identify you as a safe person to speak with, a solutions oriented individual, and one who seeks to understand and clarify when others speak. (Editorial alert, who wouldn’t like to be perceived as this sort of person and listened to in this way?!) There is certainly an appropriate time to speak, to be sure, yet listening is a best practices skill that defuses or resolves emotionally charged situations, while promoting more meaningful relationships overall.

At this point, I hope you have a renewed intention to listen. Remember to listen, as it is a key aspect of communication.

 

Photo Source: http://theyec.org/business-leaders-are-you-listening-or-talking/

Buon Voyage!

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This week…

#handlettering #doodle #drawing #handletters #artsy #onvacation #iwish

A post shared by Elya Simukka (@elya365) on

We are not going any place special, but are simply enjoying a little relaxation. It will be quiet at the blog for this week and next. I will post next week, although not 100% on time for the usual Monday and Wednesday schedule. For now, be well, relax, and enjoy life.

IMG_1817Greetings readers!

I will post my monthly review of First Thursday for August later tonight or tomorrow. Posting later than usual is good, trust me, because I am fine tuning the content to be top-notch! I am excited to share my experience with you soon.

Did you go to First Thursday last week? Please don’t hesitate to share your review and thoughts too. Let’s have a conversation.

For now, enjoy this provoking quote by Pablo Picasso. “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Another post coming soon!

 

Wellness Monday: Acronyms Help

Disney's Human Element - "You Better Think (Think!!!)"
I am here to share that acronyms work. Especially when you could use a little help with effective communication. How is it that acronyms possibly help, you ask?

The acronym that I will elaborate on in this post is T.H.I.N.K. It is mostly a shorthand list that serves as a helpful reminder when you are trying to communicate. (Also, acronyms work as handy memory recall strategies, but that is a topic for another day.) This acronym may not be for everyone, however anyone can use it and decide if it works for their purposes.

It is often accompanied with the phrase “before you speak, THINK…”. The phrase is followed by, “Is it true? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind?” as a short questionnaire checklist.

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The bottom line is this; all of us must speak. THINK is a useful reminder when communication is an inevitable human behavior. We are social beings. We pass on information, thoughts, ideas, criticisms, and much more using our body language and the power of the spoken word. As humans we communicate with other people using words, and with ourselves via our individual internal dialogue. Whether we communicate in an effective way, or otherwise, depends on our approach.

THINK is a useful approach because it serves as a quick and easy internal checklist before communicating to ourselves with self-talk and other people with our words. Odds are, if you consider whether words prior to speaking satisfy at least one of these questions (Is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, or kind?), can be a measurement of if it should be said at all. You may also want to consider the THINK acronym in terms of your own self-talk.

A “yes” to the questions on the THINK list could mean that it will be worthwhile and solution based, while a “no” may be destructive or problem based. Words that do not meet the THINK criteria are most likely not worth your time and effort as they may not really communicate much. Similarly, your internal self-talk may be worth keeping or changing depending on the sort of language you choose and how it measures up to the THINK acronym.

With time and practice, this may become a habit of your communication strategy to yourself and everyone you interact with. It will be well worth the time and effort to adopt the, “think before speaking” approach that is immensely helpful to yourself and those you interact with from day-to-day.

Does this approach work for you? Are there other acronyms that work well?

 

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Fig. 1: William Mulready, Seven Ages of Man, Oil on canvas, 1838. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seven_ages_of_man.jpg

A favorite William Shakespeare poem of mine, “All the World’s a Stage”, is from the play, As You Like It. Based on inspiration from this poem, I will begin a new series next week with seven installments. I have been mulling over buildings and structures built through history, and will loosely translate the the seven ages of man, from infancy to old age, as a parallel to buildings and structures through time.

Beginning next week , the first post will cover a contemporary structure as the first stage of infancy. From infancy I will discuss increasingly older buildings continuing along the stages of childhood, the lover, the soldier, the justice, old age, and extreme old age. There will be a few visual Wednesday breaks in this mini series for the first Thursday review and a few other surprises I have in store. I am truly thrilled to offer seven posts purely on buildings ans structures as the topic.

While I do have an outline in mind, I am open to suggestions on specific buildings for each stage. Readers are welcome to submit ideas by leaving a comment.

Until next week, enjoy this classic poem.

All the World’s a Stage by William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Wellness Monday: Hooked on a Feeling

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Photo source: http://www.collapseboard.com.

Did you know that cows have seven chambers to digest food? The process is called rumination because the grass eaten by the cow, must be digested seven times to digest fully. Thankfully, today we will discuss the human coping behavior referred to as rumination. We will not discuss multiple stomachs further, but we will discuss the repetetive act of focusing on the past.

Before diving into rumination, I’ll preface this post to explain that I will begin a mini series on mindfulness soon. Mindfulness is a behavior that can promote wellness in leaps and bounds. It also helps you avoid the negative psychological outcomes associated with rumination.

Rumination

Rumination is a behavior that does not promote wellness, yet I suspect many of us are occasional ruminators. While rumination may be an unfamiliar term, is is important to learn about it along with the signs. This knowledge could equip you with the ability to recognize and perhaps quit this habit, if you catch yourself or another ruminating.

What is rumination?

Basically it has to do with getting hooked on negative feelings of the past. It is defined as, “the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions” according to this article.

Rumination is similar to worry. Worry is a sort of anxious obsession with the possible negative outcome of future events, whereas rumination is an anxious rehearsal of past negative experiences, feelings, or events while excluding problem solving.

Signs or red flags that may indicate rumination:

  • negative thinking
  • trouble with problem-solving
  • interference with instrumental or proactive behaviors
  • loss of social support
  • a persistent focus on the self and one’s own problems
  • self-critical or blaming self for current problems
  • low self-confidence in the ability to overcome problems
  • a sense that problems are unsolvable or overwhelming
  • depression-like symptoms

Rumination is referred to as a maladaptive coping strategy. In other words, it hinders rather than helps. Coping strategies help us effectively cope with adversity and problems when they are adaptive, while maladaptive coping strategies disrupt coping altogether. (Most, if not all adaptive coping strategies are fall under the category of problem-focused coping-strategies. Likewise, maladaptive coping-strategies such as rumination are part of a category called emotion-focused coping-strategies. More on this another day!)

Equipped with the definition and red flags of rumination, you are ready to notice ruminating on your own. Recognizing and acknowledging is the first step. Developing adaptive strategies in the problem-focused coping-strategy is the next and final step.

Rumination is not the same as nostalgia, an emotion that also involves memories of past events. I will discuss nostalgia in the upcoming Wellness Monday post next week.

To prepare yourself for the talk on nostalgia, have fun taking this quiz to measure your own level of nostalgia by clicking here.