Heather Rackham

When you Can’t fill your Own Bucket

By: Petra Williams, Be You Coaching Services

I’m currently in recovery from a difficult surgery. I had my tired-ole ankle, filled with arthritis, damaged from injury, and riddled with scars finally fixed. After a significant high school injury from a 100-meter hurdle race, a 14- year stint as a gymnast, a softball player, always being active, and 2 previous surgeries, my right ankle said out loud to me — Enough! I actually heard it! Please do something about my constant pain! So I did. I contacted the same doctor who fixed my left ankle 9 years earlier (I know, my ankles are awful) and we came up with a plan.

On December 1, 2023, my right ankle went through a 2-hour surgery that cleaned out all of the arthritis, fixed my joints with two plates placed in different spots, and a 3-inch screw through my heel to hold it all together. I have to say it creeps me out a little bit to think about it, especially the screw. I’ve had a few nightmares about that screw working its way out, but have been assured it’s very unlikely to happen, so I am going with that. Anyway, I had the surgery, and then spent the next 7 1/2 weeks in a splint, a cast to my knee, and then another cast a little shorter. All non-weight bearing and requiring crutches.

I am very comfortable being by myself and have no problem finding something to do, and can admit to watching a lot of television during my time on the couch — getting great joy from watching all 7 seasons of Jane the Virgin (highly recommended if you haven’t watched). Having taken on a lot of challenges in my life, I knew this process would be difficult, but can admit to not really anticipating the number of rough days that I would have. When you have so much uninterrupted time to think, your brain can have a heyday. I am pretty good at managing my thinking, but realized pretty quickly that the reason why I am good at it, is I do a lot to fill my bucket to manage day to day stress.

How do I typically fill my bucket? Well, with exercise. I do pilates, I walk, I go to the gym, lift weights, and I couldn’t do any of that when I was immobile and I struggled. I think it’s a testament, first to why doing things like exercise are important in having a well-rounded and productive life and second without them, my toolbox for stress and uncertainty was very low. Because of that, the “stuff” I relied on for getting me through difficulties was unavailable and I knew it. When my mind began to spiral with my inability to move, do anything for myself, and realizing my vulnerability was at an all time high, there were a few times I couldn’t catch up to it — I could actually see it coming. High stress, uneasy, uncertainty came on like a freight train.

It’s hard to predict how we will manage tough times in our life. Sometimes we can plan for them, like I knew about my surgery date for a couple of months, other times things happen to us in real time. The thing you really need to think about is are you ready for them? Do you have bucket fillers like exercise, good diet, meditation, quiet time, journaling, good friendships, a pet, do you read, or maybe you need a life coach? When you are complaining about being stressed or over emotional, do you ever ask yourself why? Things happen, life happens, good and bad things happen — these are all about your own life journey. It’s up to you to equip yourself with the bucket fillers that you need to weather every sunshiny day and storm that comes your way. Stop believing that being stressed out every day is the way you should live your life and start embracing everything that comes your way. Enjoy the process, it’s through all of your experiences that you can start to really be the person you are meant to be.

I just went to see my doctor for my 3-month checkup and am firmly on the path to a strong recovery. Since I followed the protocols for my surgery, he informed me that my ankle after 3 months, is what most of his patient’s ankles look like after 5 months. That was really encouraging. I am walking without a boot, but very slowly, trying to do a little more every day. I’ve started physical therapy and look forward to the annual bike trip I take with my good friends — Amy, Lori, Kathy, and Jen — in July. My foot is quite stiff, but much sturdier than I can even remember. It’s been a strange thing to adapt to an ankle that I can count on. Fixing things in your life takes a consistent daily commitment. Making sure you are doing it right takes incredible patience. Fill your bucket, fix or change what’s holding you back, you can do it! Stop being afraid of the process and make the decision you know you need to make to remove what might be limiting your own happiness.

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What’s your emotional temperature?

By: Carisa Peters

We all understand body temperature right? Our body is like a furnace and it puts out heat all the time. It comes from your body doing the work that keeps you alive. When it puts out more heat than usual, this is your body telling you that there is a problem.

So you get a thermometer and you check your body temperature, right? It used to be that normal was 98.6? Now they are saying it has changed and is 98.2. But the normal range for an adult is anywhere from 97 to 99. Babies and children can be a little higher and they range from 97.9 to 100.4. Now there are all types of thermometers. If you are a Mom then you know all about this. We had rectal thermometers for our babies. You could use one in the mouth, under the arm, in the ear and now they have these fancy ones that just scan your forehead. Many different ways to tell you your body temperature. So that you can be aware of what is happening in your body and take appropriate measures to support that. Whether that be medicine or checking in with a doctor to find out what is going on.

It’s kind of funny, as a mom of young children I was always a bit obsessed with their temperatures. Probably all moms have this but sometimes I could just have this sense by looking at them or slightly touching them..and know they had a fever and then go into problem-solving mode. So that is all about body temperature.

Ok…so now…. what do I mean by our emotional temperature? Well, I had this light bulb go off. Over the last couple of years, as I would be out in public, I would interact with people and I kept seeing this common theme in my mind. Everyone has an emotional temperature. That person is really losing their crap…they must be at 104! Could it help us to see it in this manner? If we had an elevated body temperature we would be much more aware of what this means and how we are potentially going to feel as a result. Like when we have a fever we may not want to be around others because we could spread illness or infection to them. We take it seriously, right? Well, what if we knew we had an elevated emotional temperature? Could we be mindful and take steps to support ourselves in a better way?

Let me paint more of a picture of what this could look like. I began to reflect on my life prior to my career change. I could see that I had a very high emotional temperature most of the time. For a long period of time, I would say my emotional temperature was consistently either a low-grade or high-grade fever. What I mean is, every day I would wake up, do what I needed to myself ready for work, and then later get the kids ready for school. I would go to work and my emotional state was in this heightened place. Like if my emotional state had a temperature reading it would range from 100 to 105. Do you follow me?

Most days when I arrived to work my emotional temperature was already elevated. Maybe it is because someone said something to me that bothered me. And then my child is not doing what I ask and I feel disrespected. Then I deal with an angry driver on the way to work and then a person cuts in front of me in the gas line. Then I have a customer being demanding and rude when it is uncalled for. I bet their temperature is elevated too.

Can you see this? We all walk around in various states of having an emotional fever. We like to think we are pretty self-aware but the painful truth is that we are not most of the time. Because we are often thinking and acting on autopilot so our body can conserve energy. This is just how we were designed. However, taking a proactive approach and knowing what happens when our temperature gets too high can be beneficial. What happens when our emotional temperature gets too high? Well, sometimes all hell breaks loose. This is when people cross that line or go over that edge. They scream at their kids. They yell back at the rude customer. Their driving escalates to road rage. They may do self-medicating or take harmful actions against their own well-being. These could range from mild to severe actions.

So like I said, this light bulb went off for me. I recognized that I have taken many proactive steps in my life to lower my emotional temperature. I used to be that person ready to snap. Ready to cry if someone said the wrong thing to me. Ready to turn to my buffers of overworking, overdrinking alcohol, and overeating to try to make myself feel better. But those things didn’t really lower my emotional temperature. I thought they were helping but they weren’t. If it did help the reality is that it was just a temporary fix that would come with a negative consequence later. I needed more intentional actions of self-care and compassion to help me. What I would like to give you is a new tool to have in your toolbox. A tool that allows you to know what your temperature is at all times and how you can lower it if need be.

The first thing that helped me is believing in the 50/50 life concept. That I was not placed on this earth to have everything go my way and experience happiness 100% of the time. I reconciled with the truth that as a human being I actually evolve and grow through trial and adversity. Not when things are smooth and falling into place. I realized I can use that adversity to help others around me. Which is the pinnacle of life. To give back to others and leave a lasting impression on the world and the people in it. We aren’t typically thinking this way. We are all wrapped up in our own lives and we just can’t see the bigger picture. So when I wake up each day. I give my thanks for being here another day and I say to myself, this will be a 50/50 day and I will do my best to navigate that without adding more negative energy into the world.

So how do you know what your temperature is? You can evaluate this bynhaving the self-awareness to regularly check in with yourself. You can do this by:

1. journaling – writing about how you are feeling and what thoughts are creating those feelings.

2. meditating – setting aside quiet time to reflect and listen to ourselves.

3. reflection – look at the actions you are taking. Are they positive or negative? Proactive or reactive?

4. asking ourselves a great question – what do I need more or less of right now?

And after trying some or all of these things, then put a number on your emotional temperature. Awareness must come before you can change. So give yourself a number. Do I have no fever, am I a healthy normal emotional temperature right now? 98? Do I have a low-grade fever? 100? Mid-grade? 102? Do I have a high emotional fever? 105? Once you give your emotional state a number. You now have the awareness to stay there or choose to do something to change it.

So what are some ways to lower that temperature? There really are so many things you can do to support yourself by lowering your emotional temperature. I’ll just start rattling off some things and just know there are many more beyond this that could support you as a unique individual and for what you are specifically struggling with most.

-Get more sleep.

-Stop engaging or being present around gossip.

-Ask your spouse or partner for support and help with what needs to get done.

-Deep breathing exercises.

-Stop listening to the unrealistic stories your brain likes to create about what your life should be like.

-Read a good book.

-Take some time off of work or use that vacation time.

-Volunteer your time or give to someone else that needs it more than you.

-Ask yourself what has really gone wrong here? What are the facts?

-Do something that makes you happy? A walk, a massage, a trip to the zoo, exercise, dinner with a friend.

-listen to your favorite music.

-take a warm shower or bath.

-talk to your doctor, a coach, a therapist, or a counselor

Are you getting some of your own ideas of what you would do when your emotional temperature is elevated? I hope so.

I think the most important takeaway from all this. Is that you become aware that you have an emotional temperature and know when you are becoming feverish. Because we are on auto-pilot most of the time and our primitive brain is leading things this is the most crucial step. That you can pause long enough to assess your emotional temperature and place a value on it. That pause and creating awareness can be just enough to interrupt the path you are on. You can choose something different. I wish we did have a device like this that would take our emotional temperature and it would be crystal clear that we need to do something about it. But we don’t so we have to find other ways to monitor this ourselves if we want more peace and contentment in our life.

Take it from someone that lived with an elevated emotional temperature for many years and did nothing about it but complain, feel like a victim, try buffering away my feelings, and become depressed about it. If I would have known about a concept like this, I could have had a tool to interrupt what was happening and give myself a chance to modify it. The longer this goes unmanaged the harder it is to regain control. I truly felt many times I was on the verge of a mental breakdown and I just didn’t know what to do about it. My goal is to create awareness around our emotional temperatures and give us tools to support ourselves when we need it the most.

Until next time, my wish for you is that you can become aware of your emotional temperature and know when you need to go inward and focus on yourself to lower that temperature. Life is 50/50 right so we don’t need to add to the complexity of it by not being able to keep our emotions in a healthy range.

“Sometimes in life one experiences an emotion which is so strong that it is difficult to think, or to reason.” Eric Cantona

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Emotion-Hacking Technique Transforms Caregiving Perspectives

By: Terri Hayes

Emotion-Hacking Technique Transforms Caregiving Perspectives 

A ‘caregiver’ typically conjures images of family members or professionals supporting a child or an adult in need. However, these boundaries can stretch much further. Consider this: if you’re a teacher, you’re a caregiver. The same goes for a boss or supervisor. In reality, most of us extend care and support to others in various capacities beyond ourselves. 

Recently, I picked up a valuable technique from Tony Robbins. It’s a method aimed at dialing down the intensity of emotions often labeled as negative. For caregivers, this approach holds immense significance as they frequently encounter these challenging emotions. 

The process involves identifying emotions that frequently arise and then devising alternative words to disrupt these patterns or reduce their intensity. One of the emotions I fall prey to more than I’d like is frustration. Tony suggests two substitutions for frustrated – “challenged” and “fascinated.”  

Just to spark some ideas, here are a few more examples many of us might relate to: 

Angry to Disenchanted 

Anxious to Expectant or A little concerned 

Depressed to Calm before action; Not on top of it; or On the road to a turn-around  

Disappointed to Underwhelmed or Delayed 

Fearful to Wonderment or Inquiring 

I hate to I prefer 

Irritated to Stimulated 

Overwhelmed to Maximized; Busy; In demand; or Many opportunities 

Stressed to Busy; Blessed; or Energized 

Terrible to Different 

Alright, I might have gone a bit overboard on “a few,” but there’s a wealth of options! Feel free to experiment with different words that personally resonate with you. 

I implemented this technique while caring for my beloved mother who battled with dementia. There were moments when navigating her unpredictable behaviors due to this relentless disease felt challenging. However, as I replaced frustration with a genuine sense of curious fascination, I witnessed a remarkable shift in my own approach and internal state. I’m certain this shift also lightened the atmosphere in the room. 

How might reframing various emotions, from frustration to disappointment, anxiety to feeling overwhelmed, empower you in your caregiving roles or everyday interactions? As always, grace us with your comments below! 

High Five! 

Please find more goodness at my website: https://www.outofsmallthings.com/ 

And more blog posts to share here: https://outofsmallthings.wixsite.com/blog 

———- 

Link in case it’s needed again: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mind-meaning/transform-your-words-in-4-steps/ 

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This One Movie Teaches More About Identity Than 1,000 Books

By: Tyson Bradley

I’ll cut to the chase. The cartoon I’m talking about is The Lion King. And the reason why it teaches more about identity than 1,000 books is because the whole story is an identity shift. 

I actually considered putting much of what you will read below into the book I wrote Reclaim Your Inherent Identity (which currently can only be read or listened to if you join the Inherent Identity Family), but decided against it. 

All I know is that the more you learn, understand, and accept who you really are, the easier it is to create change in your life. This means that when you embrace and believe in your inherent identity, it will be easier to lose weight, earn more money, create better relationships, and achieve your goals. 

Let’s start the journey of learning the stages of identity by reading the scenes from The Lion King. As you read, I want you to see yourself in Simba’s experience. I added commentary throughout to help you connect the story to your life. 

Stage 1 – The Lie 

[There is a deep rumbling sound, and Simba looks down to where tiny stones are pattering at his paws. He looks up uncertainly. A herd of wildebeests stampedes into the gorge. Simba’s expression turns to horror.

Scar, Simba’s uncle, and the one who planned the stampede, runs to Simba’s father, Mufasa. 

Scar: Mufasa, quick. Stampede, in the gorge. Simba’s down there. 

Mufasa: [terrified] Simba? 

Mufasa manages to save his son Simba, but as he climbs to get out of the gorge, he slips and is clinging to the edge of the gorge for dear life. 

Mufasa: Scar! [Scar glares down at Mufasa from the top of the gorge. Mufasa slips and barely manages to hold on.] Brother, help me! [Mufasa’s paws scrabble for purchase, kicking bits of rock into the stampede below. Scar glares a moment longer, then rears forward, digging his claws into Mufasa’s paws.] roars [Scar leans in, grinning evilly.] 

Scar: Long live the king. [Mufasa’s face darkens with horror. Scar heaves Mufasa into the stampede. Mufasa falls, flailing.] 

Mufasa: screams [From atop the gorge, Simba witnesses Mufasa’s fall.] 

After the stampede of wildebeests diminishes, Mufasa’s body lies motionless. Simba tries to wake him up, but he doesn’t wake. He is dead. Simba is in tears. Scar appears. 

Scar: Simba…What have you done? 

Simba: There were wildebeests, and he tried to save me. It was an accident. I-I didn’t mean for it to happen. 

Scar: [with feigned pity] Of course, of course you didn’t. [Scar draws Simba against his leg. Simba nuzzles into Scar.] No one ever means for these things to happen. But the king is dead. And if it weren’t for you, he’d still be alive. [Simba stares at Scar in dismay. He slowly lowers his head and nuzzles back into Scar’s leg.] gasps [Simba looks up.] What will your mother think? 

Simba: [through labored breathing] What am I gonna do? 

Scar: Run away, Simba. Run. Run away, and never return. 

What Are Your Lies? 

Before we move to stage two, I want you to think about this experience. It’s easy to tell what Scar has done. He has convinced Simba to believe a lie. 

Simba thinks it’s his fault that his father is dead. He believes that he is bad or horrible for doing such a thing. 

He trusts Scar’s advice to run away, to hide and bury who he really is underneath the shame of his actions. 

This is no different from your experience. We’ve all had parents, teachers, and leaders teach us lies. Most of them were done unconsciously (not many parents wake up and think about how they can shame their children). 

Studies show that many of our unseen beliefs originate between the ages of 2-7. For example, around the age of 2, the amount of neural connections that occur in your brain doubles. 

Since a child’s critical thinking and reasoning doesn’t develop until later years, everything that is told to them by a trusting adult is pretty much believed

Many of the difficulties you are currently facing in life have an origination point within your childhood. There is no need to go exploring that childhood right now. You just need to know that every unhelpful belief you have about yourself is a lie. 

It’s not your fault that you have certain beliefs, like “I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough.” These are lies you learned from your childhood and they keep you from living an amazing life. 

Let’s move to stage 2. 

Stage 2 – The Distraction, Dismissal, and Denial of Your Inherent Identity 

After Simba runs away, he finds Timon and Pumba, who represent the care-free lifestyle. “Hakuna Matatta” (which means “no worries”) is their motto. Simba grows up learning how to relax, eat bugs, and have no worries. 

One day a lion named Nala (Simba’s childhood friend) attacks Timon and Pumbaa. Simba wrestles with Nala until they recognize each other. They have the following conversations… 

Nala: You’re alive. And that means…you’re the king. 

Timone: King? Pfft! [Timon approaches Simba and Nala.] Lady, have you got your lions crossed. He’s not the king. [Timon glances over one shoulder at Simba.] Are ya? 

Simba: No! 

Nala: Simba!? 

Simba: No I’m not the king, maybe I was gonna be, but that was a long time ago. 

Scene change – Simba and Nala have a private conversation. 

Nala: We’ve really needed you at home. 

Simba: No one needs me. 

Nala: [forcefully] Yes, we do. You’re the king. 

Simba: Nala, we’ve been through this. I’m not the king. Scar is. 

Nala: Simba, he let the hyenas take over the Pride Lands. 

Simba: [shocked] What?…Look, sometimes, bad things happen… 

Nala: Simba! 

Simba: And there’s nothing you can do about it. So why worry? 

Nala: Because it’s your responsibility!…What’s happened to you? You’re not the Simba I remember. 

Simba: You’re right. I’m not. Now are you satisfied? 

Nala: No. Just disappointed. 

Simba: [by himself] She’s wrong. I can’t go back. What would it prove anyway? It won’t change anything. You can’t change the past. [Simba pauses and looks up at the night sky, as if talking to his dead father] You said you’d always be there for me! But you’re not. [Simba ducks his head sorrowfully.] And it’s because of me. It’s my fault. It’s my fault. cries 

Denying Your Identity 

We see within this episode that Simba has denounced his title and identity as the rightful king. He literally says “I am not the king.” He is the rightful king to the throne, but has been so distracted and removed that he doesn’t want to own the truth. 

His brain would rather tell him a lie to keep him in the familiar and comfortable life he’s living. 

This goes for you as well. Your inherent identity is that of a king or queen. This is what you were born into. And even if this belief is not a part of your religion, I want you to consider how you would show up differently if you walked around thinking to yourself “I am a queen” and actually believing it. 

It helps me to show up with confidence and power wherever I go. And it’s not like I’m looking down on anyone, or thinking that other people are my loyal subjects. I’m actually thinking that other people are kings and queens too. 

We all have a kingdom that our light touches, but if you choose to tell yourself the lie that you are not who you really are, then your performance decreases. 

Stage 3: The Remembering 

Simba runs into a baboon named Rafiki. 

Simba: I think you’re a little confused. 

Rafiki: Wrong! I’m not the one who’s confused. You don’t even know who you are. [Simba stalks off angrily.

Simba: Oh, and I suppose you know. 

Rafiki: Sure do. You’re Mufasa’s boy….Bye. [Rafiki runs away. Simba chases after him.

Simba: Hey, wait! You knew my father? 

Rafiki: Correction: I know your father. 

Simba: I hate to tell you this, but he died…a long time ago. 

Rafiki: Nope! Wrong again. [Rafiki darts away from Simba, who stares at him in confusion.

He’s alive! And I’ll show him to you. [Rafiki waves Simba forward.

You follow old Rafiki. He knows the way. Come on! [Simba follows Rafiki to the edge of the jungle. He looks hesitantly over one shoulder, then enters. He crawls under and over dark, twisting foliage.

Don’t dawdle. [From a tree, Rafiki waves Simba forward.

Hurry up! [Rafiki races away. Simba scrambles to follow him.

Simba: Hey, whoa, wait, wait! 

Rafiki: Come on. Come on! 

Simba: Would you slow down? 

Rafiki: laughs* [Simba continues to run and gets smacked in the face with a branch. Suddenly, Rafiki appears in front of Simba with his hand outstretched.

Stop! [Simba skids to a halt. Rafiki puts a finger to his lips.] 

Shhh. [Rafiki bounds over to some tall grass and pulls it aside. He motions with his staff and whispers.

Look down there. [Simba approaches Rafiki, and the two exchange looks. Simba inhales, then enters a clearing with a pool of water. He peers down at his reflection, and his expression falls.

Simba: sighs* That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection. 

Rafiki: No. [Rafiki points at the water.

Look harder [Simba looks back at his reflection, which begins to ripple and warp.

You see? [Mufasa’s face replaces Simba’s in the water.

He lives in you. 

Mufasa: [from offscreen] Simba. [Simba looks up.

Simba: Father? [In the clouds above Simba, Mufasa’s ghost strides into view.

Mufasa: Simba, you have forgotten me. 

Simba: No. How could I? 

Mufasa: You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life. 

Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be. 

Mufasa: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. 

Mufasa: Remember who you are. 

Simba: No, please! Don’t leave me! 

Mufasa: Remember 

Simba: Father! 

Mufasa: Remember 

Simba: Don’t leave me. 

Mufasa: Remember 

Remembering is one of your most powerful tools 

I would argue that this is the most powerful scene on identity in the world. Read this line from the script again… 

You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life. 
– Mufasa 

You are an eternal being. A queen or king with the DNA of Heavenly Parents. All the characteristics of God are within you… right now. 

To forget this truth is to forget who God really is. 

You are more than who you think you are. 

You are more than what other people have told you that you are. 

You are more than even the grandest dreams you’ve had for yourself. 

If you watch the clip again, you’ll notice that Simba is hesitant to go through the dark and tangled mess of trees. Just like those moments when you might question the decision to go for a big goal. 

Simba even looks back as though he is looking back to his old life and questioning whether or not to take a step in the dark and believe this crazy baboon. 

As Simba follows Rafiki through the gnarly trees, he is caught by vines and falls down a couple times. Then Rafiki stops Simba, shushing him to be quiet and still after all the running. 

Connecting, remembering, and pursuing the truth of who you really are is not easy. You too will fall down, get stuck, and need moments of silence to really connect. 

Sometimes you are so busy in all the go, go, go, go that there is no space to listen. Thus the need to create space (this is what I do for members of The Inherent Identity Family

Simba was scared to discover the truth, but he followed a mentor despire the fear. He was reminded by his father that he was the true king. 

To forget the truth that you are a king/queen is to forget the truth of where you came from. Forgetting is a choice and so is remembering. By choosing to remember who you really are, you step into your power. Thus the repeated command from Simba’s father was to do one thing… remember. 

C.S. Lewis once wrote, 

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit…” 

Stage 4 – Deciding To Restore What Was Forgotten 

Simba talks with Rafiki after Simba’s vision of his father. 

Rafiki: Ahh, change is good. 

Simba: Yeah, but it’s not easy. I know what I have to do, but…going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long. [Rafiki smacks Simba with his staff. Simba rears onto his hind legs and holds his head.] Ow! Jeez! What was that for? 

Rafiki: It doesn’t matter! It’s in the past. laughs [Simba rubs his head.

Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts. 

Rafiki: Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it. So what are you going to do? 

Simba: First, I’m gonna take your stick. 

Rafiki: No, no, no, no, no! Not the stick! [Rafiki grabs his staff. He turns back.

Hey! Where are you going? [Simba runs off into the grass. He looks over one shoulder at Rafiki.

Simba: I’m going back! 

What Is Your Decision? 

I don’t think we are deliberately running away from our past. We’ve just developed habits of thinking over the years and don’t realize that it is our unhelpful beliefs of the past that are keeping us down. 

For example, one of my clients was deathly afraid of speaking on stages. She would shake every time she got up to speak and it was always difficult for her to get the words out. 

This challenge of speaking up originated from her past. She shared how growing up her family would read scriptures every day. And on one specific occasion, her dad corrected her multiple times after she had made some mistakes while reading. The experience left her with a deep fear of making mistakes in front of others. 

The association her brain made was this – if I speak up, I might make a mistake…if I make a mistake, then I won’t be loved…if I am not loved, then I won’t belong…and if I don’t belong, then I will be left alone and die. 

I know this sounds extreme, but in a way, our brain makes these kinds of connections in an effort to keep us safe. 

In working with my client, the helpful thing was not just facing her past head on, but rather remembering her Inherent Identity. You too can find great strength by focusing on and remembering the truth of who you really are. 

Stage 5 – Facing The Lie Head On 

Nala and Simba speak before going to face Scar. 

Nala: What made you come back? 

Simba: I finally got some sense knocked into me, and I’ve got the bump to prove it. Besides, this is my kingdom. If I don’t fight for it, who will? 

In this one statement from Simba, we see a change. He has chosen to remember and claim his rightful place as the true king. If you don’t fight for your own kingdom, then who will? If you don’t fight for your own dreams, then who will? 

Scene continued… 

Simba and Scar face off in front of the lion pack. Among the lions in the pack is Simba’s mother, Sarabi. 

Scar: Oh, must this all end in violence? I’d hate to be responsible for the death of a family member. Wouldn’t you agree, Simba? 

Simba: That’s not gonna work, Scar. I’ve put it behind me. 

Scar: But what about your faithful subjects? Have they put it behind them? 

Nala: Simba, what is he talking about? 

Scar: Ah, so you haven’t told them your little secret. Well, Simba, now’s your chance to tell them. [Scar paces past the lionesses.] 

Tell them who is responsible for Mufasa’s death. [Nala and Sarabi look expectantly at Simba, who steps forward.] 

Simba: I am. [Nala and Sarabi stare at Simba in horror.] 

Sarabi: It’s not true. Tell me it’s not true. 

Simba: It’s true. 

Scar: You see? He admits it? Murderer! 

Simba: No, it was an accident! 

Scar: If it weren’t for you, Mufasa would still be alive. It’s your fault he’s dead! Do you deny it? 

Simba: No. 

Scar: Then you’re guilty. 

Simba: No, I’m not a murderer! 

Scar: Oh, Simba, you’re in trouble again. But this time, Daddy isn’t here to save you. And now everyone knows why! [Scar lunges at Simba, who slips and barely catches on to the ledge.] 

Nala: Simba! 

[Lightning strikes the foliage below Pride Rock, setting it ablaze. Simba dangles from the promontory, while Scar looms over him.] 

Scar: Now, this looks familiar. [Scar holds a claw to his face in mock contemplation.] 

Hmm. [Simba struggles to hold on, hanging only by his paws.] 

Where have I seen this before? Let me think. Hmm. [in mock realization] 

Oh, yes! I remember. This is just the way your father looked before he died. [Simba nearly loses his grip. Scar sinks his claws into Simba’s paws.] 

And here’s my little secret. [Scar leans in close to whisper in Simba’s ear.] 

I killed Mufasa. 

Simba: No! [Simba leaps up Pride Rock and pins Scar.] Murderer! [The lionesses stare in alarm.] 

Scar: No, Simba, please. 

Simba: Tell them the truth. 

Scar: Truth? But truth is in the eye of the beho… [Simba presses a paw to Scar’s throat, choking him. Scar speaks in a croak.] 

All right. All right! [whispering] I did it. 

Simba: So they can hear you. 

Scar: [in a louder voice] I killed Mufasa! 

Scar: Simba, Simba, please. [Scar crouches.] Please, have mercy. I beg you. 

Simba: You don’t deserve to live. 

Scar: [hyperventilating] But, Simba, [through labored breaths] I am family. [Scar stands up straight.] 

It’s the hyenas who are the real enemy. [Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed listen to Scar’s betrayal from behind the flames.] 

It was their fault. It was their idea. 

Simba: Why should I believe you? Everything you ever told me was a lie

Scar: What are you going to do? [Scar grins.] You wouldn’t kill your own uncle… 

Simba: [glowering] No, Scar. I’m not like you. 

Scar: Oh, Simba, thank you. You are truly noble. I’ll make it up to you, I promise. [Scar stands.] And, uh, how can I prove myself to you? [Scar gestures definitively.] Tell me, I mean, anything. 

Simba: Run. [Scar’s face falls.] Run away, Scar. And never return. 

Scar: [haltingly] Yes. [Scar slinks past Simba, who glares at him.] Of course. As you wish… 

Scar and Simba end up fighting more. Simba uses Scars momentum to kick him away and send him flying off Pride Rock. The hyena’s attack Scar off screen. 

Facing Your Lies 

Part of the work I do with my clients is simply helping them to identify the lies that are holding them back. For example, can you tell me what false identities are stopping you from eating healthy? You might be able to share some thoughts around why it’s hard, but most likely it’ll be difficult for you to spot. 

If the core of change centers around identity, then knowing how to spot the wounded identity is pretty key. 

I’ll offer one method at the end that I think will be helpful, but you could also join The Inherent Identity Family for further help. 

Scene 6 – Fully Stepping Into Who You Really Are 

One of the last scenes shows Simba at the top of pride rock overlooking the grasslands, Mufasa’s voice speaks from above in the clouds…”remember.” 

Besides the closing song, the final words of the entire film was this…”remember”. 

Stepping into who you really are is easier said than done. It is a process of uncovering, redefining, reclaiming, and honoring. With each action you take towards being the Inherent queen or king that you are, the more you step into your truth. 

– 

What does this have to do with your identity? 

Photo by Andrew Liu on Unsplash 

The story of Simba is your story. You were born of a king, a Heavenly King. Most know him to be God. Some call him Heavenly Father. Regardless of what you call it. You were born to rule a kingdom. You were born to fulfill a purpose. 

The problem is that long ago, you were told a series of lies. These lies kept you down, caused you to hide in shame. In a way, you ran away from your calling. You ran away from the noble quest that was yours to fulfill. 

Maybe it was your teachers that told you you weren’t good at art. Maybe it was your parents that told you that unless you behave perfectly, you are not good enough. They may not have used those exact words, but that is what you believed. Because in order for you to receive any love from your parents, certain obligations needed to be met. And when you didn’t fulfill those obligations, they were mad, and there was disapproval. 

This is how so many people grow up. We all grow up with a shame and an idea that we are not good. That we are not good enough. That there is something wrong with us and thus we are not deserving of anything great…and so we hide. 

It isn’t until someone outside of us comes and reminds us of who he really was that we progress. Simba could’ve lived a very comfortable life with no worries. Same goes for you, but there’s something within you that wants to grow. That wants to become something more. The yearning for growth and expansion is an inherited trait. It’s something that most humans have in common. 

You want to achieve higher goals. The biggest challenge in you accomplishing any goal is not about your skill level. It’s not about how much time you’ve spent on it. It comes down to one thing…remembering your inherent identity. By focusing your time and attention on the truth that you are an unlimited being, you create instant confidence and insight to fulfill any dream. 

This One Movie Teaches More About Identity Than 1,000 Books Read More »

Triple Threat

By: Terri Hayes

I was first introduced to the term “triple threat” in the context of basketball. My coach taught me that when you get the ball, you have three options: pass, dribble, or shoot. As players become more skilled, they figure out the best move to make during every game moment. 

In our daily lives, we face a constant feed of diverse “balls” representing words from others. These might come in the form of a critical review from a boss or colleague, an unwelcome label, a sharp remark, or a harsh judgment. They’re all part of the mix, challenging us in various ways. 

We have triple threat options with every “ball” we are thrown in the form of words. So, someone “throws” us words. Begin by thoughtfully evaluating those words for accuracy, seeking out any elements of truth. This isn’t about casting shame upon oneself, but rather approaching it with honesty and curiosity. Then go to the “triple threat” options: 

#1 –If you find there’s validity in what’s been said, one avenue to explore is making adjustments. Consider how you might navigate this in the future or what present practices could be refined to bolster your skills in handling similar situations. 

#2 – If you find there is truth in the words, choose to refrain from immediate action. There’s no shame in opting to postpone addressing an issue if your reasons for doing so align with your values. Personally, and I’m sure many can relate, an extensive list of improvements can become overwhelming, hindering progress on any one item. Therefore, sometimes I opt to postpone a change until I can give it the focused attention it deserves. 

#3 – Should you determine it doesn’t align with the truth, simply let the person hold their perception of you. This approach has truly transformed things for me. It’s not always easy. Our natural inclination is to attempt to convince others differently when they misunderstand us or our intentions. This often expends energy in an unproductive way. Occasionally, there are instances where clarification is necessary, but in most cases, simply acknowledging the other person might lack the full context or information suffices. It’s a kind gesture to grant them the space to hold an incorrect belief. Understanding our own intentions, nature, and inherent goodness, allows us to be compassionate towards others who might not see things as we do, releasing the need to rectify their perceptions. 

The short version of our options when someone throws us sentences: There are truths, make adjustments; there are truths, don’t make adjustments; there are no truths – allow the other person to be mistaken about you or your intentions.  

Similar to adept athletes who review game footage for learning—not for dwelling or self-deprecation—we, too, can grow. Now equipped with options for every incoming thought, you’re empowered. This is your opportunity to respond proactively and extract wisdom from them. Perfection isn’t the goal; it’s about polishing your skills through every encounter. 

High Five! 

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Frankengoals

By: Terri Hayes

I’ve noticed a trend lately when people talk about something undesirable to them, they stick “Franken” in front of the word or concept. “Franken,” as in short for Frankenstein. Something scary, unnerving or unsettling.  

As the New Year begins, we often feel compelled towards resolutions and aspirations. Some are eager to set goals, make plans, and envision the versions of ourselves we wish to become. Yet, others might feel a bit queasy at the mention of ‘goals,’ perceiving them as an obligation rather than a genuine desire. But amidst this excitement… or anxiety, let’s pause for a moment and ponder over a thought-provoking idea:  

The purpose of setting a goal isn’t just about the destination; it’s about the person we evolve into along the way. 

Once we commence on the goal-setting path, it’s easy to fixate on the endpoint, the finish line that gleams brightly in our mind’s eye. We meticulously outline the steps, envision the outcomes, and set our sights on the target. Yet, what truly matters isn’t just the destination—it’s the transformation that occurs within us as we journey towards our goals. 

Let’s say you decide to learn a new language, aiming to master it within a year. Along the way, you experience the thrill of grasping new words, the frustration of stumbling over complex grammar, and the joy of connecting with others through this newfound skill. The goal wasn’t solely about fluency; it was about evolving into someone patient, persistent, and open to embracing challenges. 

In our everyday lives, whether it’s committing to a healthier lifestyle, nurturing relationships, or advancing in our careers, the essence remains the same. It’s not solely about shedding those pounds, but about cultivating discipline, self-care, and resilience. It’s not merely about climbing the corporate ladder, but about honing leadership, teamwork, and adaptability. 

Take Jane, for instance, an aspiring leader in the corporate world. Her goal isn’t just to secure that promotion; it’s about developing empathy, effective communication, and visionary thinking along the way. She engages in mentorship, seeks feedback, and learns from setbacks, becoming a leader long before the title lands on her desk. When we focus more on the journey of a goal, it’s about not only achieving milestones but evolving into leaders who inspire, innovators who challenge the status quo, and collaborators who build bridges across industries. 

So, as we gear up to set our goals for the coming year, let’s enjoy the journey at least as much as the destination. Celebrate the small victories, learn from the detours, and embrace the person we’re evolving into along the way. 

Remember, the beauty lies not just in reaching the summit but in the person we become while climbing. Here’s to a New Year filled not only with achievements but with growth, resilience, and a deeper understanding of who we are becoming. 

Cheers to the journey ahead! 

High Five! 

Please find more goodness at my website: https://www.outofsmallthings.com/ 

And more blog posts to share here: https://outofsmallthings.wixsite.com/blog 

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Unlocking Teen Potential

By: Joey Mascio

Hey amazing teens! Ever find yourself yearning for a bit more excitement in your social life, struggling with confidence, or feeling a bit out of place? You’re not alone. These are challenges all teenagers face today. Let’s explore a solution that’s both fun and impactful. 

Navigating the middle school or high school social scene can be tricky. Sure, you’ve got some friends, but forging connections beyond that circle is challenging. Confidence? It’s there, but maybe not as robust as you’d like. Ever felt like you just don’t quite fit in? Yeah, we’ve all been there. 

Then there are those days that feel like a bit of a slog. It’s not a full-blown battle with depression, but motivation seems to be on vacation. Stress and anxiety throw their hats into the ring, making life feel like a bit too much. The struggle is real. 

What about personal goals? You’ve got them, but distractions seem to be ever-present. Video games, YouTube, Netflix – they’re all beckoning for your attention. It’s the classic tug-of-war between what you want to achieve and what ends up grabbing your focus. 

Does it feel like I’m reading your mind? That’s because adolescents everywhere are experiencing what psychologist Viktor Frankl calls the Mass Neurotic Triad, which is depression, addiction, and aggression. That may sound a bit much for what you’re experiencing, but it’s translated for teens as “I don’t feel like it, I don’t have enough time, people are stupid.” Familiar, right? 

This general feeling of being down, distracted, disconnected may come from teens spending a lot of time with “imaginary friends.” No, not the imaginary friends from childhood. These imaginary friends are the influencers, video game characters, and binge-worthy show protagonists. Spending too much time with them may be entertaining, but it won’t help you grow into the incredible person you aspire to become. 

Now, I’m not suggesting a complete digital detox. But what if those moments of feeling down, disconnected, and distracted are a result of spending more time in someone else’s world than your own? 

Introducing the Live Your Own Life Challenge. Here’s the gist: prioritize spending more time living your life before delving into the virtual worlds of influencers, video games, or shows. Everyday, take concrete actions towards your goals – whether it’s working out, pursuing a hobby, or taking steps to become the person you envision. 

Balance is the key. For every two hours invested in creating something amazing in your real life, allocate just one hour to your virtual escapes. Do this consistently, and you’ll witness a positive shift. 

The promise of this challenge? Less of those down days, reduced feelings of being distracted and disconnected, and a surge in feelings of accomplishment, motivation, and personal value. 

So, incredible tweens and teens, are you up for the challenge? It’s time to unlock your awesomeness and fully embrace living your own life! 

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Dissection: A Lesson From Freshman Biology 101

By: Meagan Skidmore

The year is 1987. A literal bell rings and threatens to shatter my eardrums.

The students hustle and clamor as they rush into the classroom just barely avoiding a tardy. Enter Biology 101- where the culmination of the school years’ work is in the earning the privilege and “getting to” dissect a fetal pig. Not a fulfillment of any hopes and dreams of this young high school freshman. 

And yet, dissection is the one sure fire way to learn biology piece by piece, taking it physically apart in order to be put back together again, physically and cognitively speaking. 

Literally and figuratively, we took our specimen and stretched, pinned, snipped, opened, poked, prodded, and removed some things in the way in order to “see” as much as we could. To a young teen this was disgusting (the formaldehyde stench was potent) but it did result in a better understanding of my own biology as far as it related to a fetal pig’s.

Imagine if only that class were Psychology 101 where we poked, prodded, and opened our proverbial mind to reveal our thoughts and beliefs and dissected those. I think I could have gotten more excited about that sort of assignment.

Indulge me and let’s dissect the anatomy of a belief. 

Class. Is. In. 

What is a belief?

First something must happen that creates curiosity or an impetus for a need to know or understand. Ideally this happens in a situation conducive to learning, asking questions, inquisitiveness and so on.

Pathways in the brain aremade by connections between neurons (nerve cells). When a behavior is performed, the connections between these cells change with the frequency of the behavior performed. These neural pathways are like grooves in the road maps of our brain. 

The more frequently we travel the road, the stronger and more second nature the behavior. You can practice traveling down “new roads” or neural pathways by performing a new behavior with frequent repetition, connecting new beliefs to support the new behavior, as well as visualizing a positive outcome resulting from these new behaviors. (Source: Dr. Susan Rieck, The brain and our habits: Natural pathways to wellness, https://maximus.com/the-brain-our-habits)

….or in this case, for the purposes of our discussion, a thought.

A belief is simply a thought that you have thought over and over and over again

The more we have a certain thought the more ingrained it becomes in our brains, literally. They are called neural pathwaysfor a reason. As I mentioned before, our brains are all about efficiency and so will always go to our habit brain to pick from our thoughts. The brain will pick the ones we use (or think) the most.

Those thought(s) ultimately produce our feelings.

And then that thought (or thoughts) feels true because you believe it is true. 

I call this the anatomy of a belief. You can learn more about it by listening to Episode #3 on my podcast, Beyond the Shadow of Doubt™ (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-3-the-anatomy-of-a-belief/id1641584986?i=1000577877697).

I believe we feel threatened as humans in challenging a belief when we forget to come back to the basics of what a belief actually is and from where it originated.

We forget that we got to choose it in the first place; we may not realize that we did, in fact, chose it.

Father Richard Rohr talks about this idea of awakening to our power when it comes to what we think or believe. He describes this idea of shifting our locus of authority in his book The Universal Christ.

“An utterly new idea from Paul was that the Gospel was not about following some criteria outsideof the human person—which he called “the law,” but that the locus of authority had changed to insidethe the human person. This is why he rails against law so strongly and surprisingly in both Romans and Galations. The real and “new” law is an actual participation with Someone inside of us: the “love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5 and throughout). This Inner Authority, this personal moral compass, will guide us more than any outer pressure or law, he believes, and it is available to everyone.” – Father R. Rohr

The process of learning to become autonomous over our beings is so important. It is empowering and where the growth happens! 

At its foundation, the true beauty of a beliefis that WE CHOSE IT.

Whether we are aware or not of this fact is separate.

Think about it.

Even if we were taught a certain way of being or doing from a young age, there were still other options. Whether or not we were aware of them, they still existed. 

It’s the WHY we chose the belief that matters most—that is usually where we have less clarity.

—did we take it on someone else’s authority (parent/teacher/religious leader/other adult)?

—did we look inward and ask our Inner Wisdom? Or did we only look outward?

—did we “go along with it” because peers did too?

Raising our conscious awareness of our beliefs is key to gaining more clarity. 

My coach Amber Smith taught that “…the most dangerous beliefs are the ones we don’t challenge.” In our interview, Episode #52 of my podcast Beyond the Shadow of Doubt™ (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-52-the-most-dangerous-questions-are-the-ones/id1641584986?i=1000622361815), she shared further:“Before I started doing belief work…(where I was willing to look at what I believe) I had a story in my head about how I was and I thought I was just saying what was true about me. Like ‘I’m not creative’ or ‘I don’t have a good imagination’ or ‘I don’t have a lot of persistence’ or whatever.When I started a business, probably like you, there’s a lot of beliefs that you have to challenge about yourself. And I realized some of the stories that I had believed about myself were not true.Growing up I would hear, ‘oh, Amber is so athletic’ or ‘Amber is such a peacemaker.’ And I thought that was just trueand this is why it’s so dangerous! It’s because there’s other stories! Those probably serve me —being athletic, right? I was an athlete, but there’s other ones like ‘I’m not creative,’ that really hurt me in the beginning of my business.

I was like, ‘Well, I’m just not creative! I don’t have good ideas’ or another one is ‘I’m not that interesting’ and I just thought it was true. I thought this is who I was. This is how it is. This is why it’s dangerous!” – Amber Smith

I would love to know how that lands for you?

What comes up for you as you consider challenging a belief? If we like a belief because it “works” for us we tend to keep homeostasis. We don’t want to rock our boat. However when you become aware that the belief doesn’t “work” for or actually causes harm to some individuals, it often brings up cognitive dissonance. You are now faced with the choice to examine the belief and rethink it or challenge it. 

Or not.

The choice is yours.

It’s hard.

Painful.

Sometimes devastating.

You begin to question not just that belief but perhaps others that you have long held dear.

Cue what I call a pivot in our journey, whether that’s a faith journey or fill in the blank….We may view our beliefs as a state of being. If a belief is tied up in our identity it is harder to question or re-evaluate it. 

A belief is NOT you. You are the one “listening” to the belief (or thought).

You are also the one who can change it.

You are much more expansive and exist beyond your beliefs.I’d love to know your thoughts. 

Class dismissed.

PS: If you would like to join my free coaching group CLICK HERE

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High Five! 

By: Terri Hayes

I use the term “High Five” quite often. This dates me a little because “High Fives” preceded the fist-bump, but to me, a High Five sparks much more “good job” than a fist-bump.  

I was a tomboy growing up… I still identify with that label and wear it proudly. I played sports my whole life and High Fives were used in abundance throughout those competitive years.  

But here’s where we’re going to apply High Five to life. All too often as humans, we tend to focus on the negative. There have been studies proving this is the natural inclination, but I’m not going to get into the social science today, just trust me (or go look it up).  

We notice all the things we’re doing wrong or could improve on. We beat ourselves up over not being a better spouse, parent, child, sibling, athlete, artist, dancer, friend, Christian, [insert your self-abuse equivalency here]. When we focus so much on what we’re not, we miss out on all we ARE!  

I had a client who was so committed to self-improvement that she had concocted a brilliant plan. It was pretty much the financial debt snowball concept, only with perceived weaknesses. Initially it seemed like a great plan. She had already figured out that trying to work on too many “weaknesses” at once usually results in overwhelm and slow progress. The idea was to focus on one weakness and overcome it to a satisfactory degree. Once she felt good about the progress made there, the momentum could then be used to tackle the next taxing perceived weakness. Probably a perceived weakness that was more challenging (the bigger debt) than the previous. But since the “conquered weakness” was out of the way, there was more energy to be applied to the next weakness challenge.  

The debt snowball is a great tool for getting out of financial debt, but a tool that works well in one application isn’t necessarily ideal in another. I have an alternative idea I feel is much more effective in this scenario.  

We get whatever we focus on in life. If we keep focusing on what we don’t want, we’ll have more of it. The first step to creating any change is deciding what you DO want so you have something to move toward.  

My challenge to her, to me, and to you is this. Take one week off from overcoming all perceived weaknesses. I know it will be hard but try not to even look at them! They are going in time-out for a week! Instead, focus on your awesomeness and the good things you do. They don’t have to be big things! They can be, but if you look for both, even the most minute things, you can find a LOT!  

You didn’t make the snarky comment when you really wanted to. Give yourself a High Five! 

You got right out of bed and didn’t hit the snooze. Give yourself a High Five! 

You did a favor for someone. Give yourself a High Five! 

You told someone kindly you couldn’t do a favor. Give yourself a High Five! 

You smiled at someone today. Give yourself a High Five! 

Fill in the blank: I love ______________ about my body. Give yourself a High Five! 

Fill in the blank: I love ______________ about my personality. Give yourself a High Five! 

Fill in the blank: I love ______________ about my living situation. Give yourself a High Five! 

I appreciate _____________ about myself. Give yourself a High Five! 

I changed the toilet paper roll. Give yourself a High Five! 

I texted someone just so they knew I was thinking about them. Give yourself a High Five! 

I took two extra seconds to look someone in the eye with love. Give yourself a High Five! 

I am __________________ [fill in with favorable attribute]. Give yourself a High Five! 

I suggest the “I am [______favorable attribute________] at LEAST once a day.  

If you want to step it up a notch, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and say your acknowledgement out loud to yourself and do a physical High Five to that remarkable person in the mirror.  

As you set your mind on a mission to notice the good you are and the good you do, and acknowledge those with a High Five, it may surprise you how many perceived weaknesses just kind of vanish or become much less important when you do!   

If you could use some support in focusing more on what you want in life, come visit my online home or schedule a session to explore the possibilities. 

High Five! 

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