Heather Rackham

Confirmation Bias And How It Hurts Our Relationships

By Karen Edwards, CPQC

We’re all human, so we all deal with confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a phrase devised by English psychologist Peter Wason. Ultimately, it is the tendency of our brain to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existingbeliefs. It’s a survival tendency of our brain to try to prepare us for possible dangers. If our brain believes that “dogs bite”, it will find every evidence of it. If a dog runs up to you on the street, your brain will make that mean it wants to bite you. If the dog licks you, your brain will see that as evidence that the dog is getting ready to bite you. So, of course, you are guarded and fearful and the dog feels the fearful energy and tries harder to seek affection, which continues to scare you. So, your reality is that “dogs bite”.

Confirmation bias is behind most of our limiting beliefs. Whatever we think will be our reality. Our brains make assumptions constantly in an effort to protect us. And those assumptions are naturally going to be negative because that is what our survival brain is there for, to find danger.

I like to think of my survival brain as my default mode. If I don’t choose what mode my brain is in, it will just default to survival and the negative.

How is this hurting our relationships?

First, I believe that one of the best ways of showing love in our relationships is to pay attention. To pay attention to the other person and really hear and see them. Confirmation bias can definitelyinhibit your ability to do that, especially if you have known that person for a long time. Your brain just makes assumptions and isn’t able to keep discovering new things about this person. But we are all changing and growing and there are always new things to discover in our relationships. One way that I’ve seen this in my life is with my son who struggles with ADHD and anxiety. At night, when I’m going to bed, he sometimes comes into my room and wants to talk to me. I have hearing loss, so I wear hearing aids and when I go to bed, I take them out and can’t hear well at all. He sometimes comes in and starts talking to me, I have to stop him, turn on my lamp, scramble, and knock things off my nightstand while I’m searching for my hearing aids. I finally locate them and put them in my ears. I ask him to repeat what he was saying. He says something like “next time you go to the store, will you buy stuff to make pumpkin muffins?” I feel irritated because I’m thinking it could have waited until tomorrow, so I naturally act irritated. He leaves feeling a little embarrassed. The next week he comes in again and we go through the same scenario, except this time my brain says “here he comes with something unimportant to say” so I’m irritated before he even speaks. My brain believes it will be unimportant and so no matter what he says to me, it will be unimportant. It’s significant to note that I really love my son, I worry and think about him all the time and try to come up with ways to connect and help him.

Do you see the problem?This is why I do what I do. Understanding and learning about my survival brain has helped me overcome its negative thought habits in my relationships. I am now able to be more mindful and take each experience with my son as it comes, without pre-judging it. I am able to pay attention and be fully present with him. Healthy relationships don’t just happen, we have to create them with our thoughts. We do not have to stay in default mode. We have access to other regions of our brains that have other tools besides survival…tools like empathy, patience, curiosity, innovation, and discernment.

We can learn tools that help us use our agency in how we think so we can create the lives and the relationships we want. We don’t always get to choose what thoughts come into our heads, but we can choose which ones we keep thinking. My mission as a life coach is to teach these mindful tools to my clients so that they can use their agency to choose what mode their brain is in, instead of living in default mode.

To learn more about working with Karen, please visit her PROFILE

Ripple Meditation: One simple practice to keep creativity flowing

By: Shannon Borg, Art and Business Coach

As an artist and creativity coach, I think a lot about the creative process.

(Like, a LOT)

What is it, really?

How does it work?

How come it is so elusive?

Part of the problem is that every person has a different process. It can work SO many different ways. But there are ways to tap into your own process – to help understand it better and develop it more fully. 

I’ve developed a simple “creative meditation” method that has really changed everything for me in regards to:

  • how I come up with new ideas
  • how I paint
  • how I create trainings for my artist clients,
  • and how I run my business.

I believe it can help you, too.


This process is for:
  • Artists
  • Writers
  • Makers
  • Thinkers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Coaches
  • Healers
  • Creative Humans
  • Humans that want to be more creative

I’m sharing this process with you in a video (below) because I think it is so helpful to see the whole process unfold.

But before we dive into the Ripple Meditation technique, let’s break down the creative process a bit.
What is the Creative Process?

The Creative Process is defined in many ways, but I’ve found that this definition makes the most sense to me:

Solving problems through innovation.

It can look like the traditional 5-step process that designer Graham Wallas came up with waaay back in 1926 (of course, the so-called “creative process” has worked nonstop since the beginning of time. Even BEFORE time existed.)

Graham Wallas’ “Creative Process:

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But sometimes, the creative process seems more like this:

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Or this:

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Just know that every human has their own way of allowing and cultivating creativity in their lives.
Everyone has their own path.

As I was starting to paint and create a business, I REALLY needed a little calm and focus in my life to help me manage:

  • Negative self-talk
  • Idea overwhelm
  • Impostor Syndrome

There is no magic pill for this – but I have done a lot of work around these ideas to help my clients – and myself.

This is how it worked for me.

Step One:

First, I started meditating – just to calm the fuck down.

I would just sit quietly for 10 minutes and breathe. Try to calm my mind.

Step Two:

Then, those meditation moments started revealing new ideas – at first I called it “Creative Meditation.” I would write ideas that came to me down in my journal as I sat and breathed, just trying to let my mind rest so new ideas could be heard.

Then, I found my mind was working on a creative solution.

I thought the ‘creative process’  just happened in the studio – but of course not! (duh.)

It is happening all the time, in our brains.

The Result

Next, this  “creative meditation” practice morphed into a more intentional practice I call Ripple Meditation.

After my coach, Brooke Castillo, talked about the concept of the “Idea Baby,” I saw how my creative meditation practice was similar – and so instead of ONE idea, I started using TWO “thought pebbles.” 

Here are a few examples of the results from a few of my Ripple Meditations (Thought Pebble #1 + Thought Pebble #2 = Creative “Idea Baby” that I then developed into a painting, teaching or process):

Light + Color = my Lunaria paintings

The 4 Seasons + Business = The 4 Hats of Artists in Business training

Artist’s Struggle + The Model = The Struggle Button training

Here are the basics:



Ripple Meditation:

  • Sit quietly for 10 – 20 minutes
  • Use soft music without words if that helps set the mood
  • Choose one idea, thought, or concept. Drop that “thought pebble” into the pond of your mind. Watch your mind work with that thought – let it “ripple out” where it will.
  • Jot ideas/thoughts down in your journal
  • Now, drop ANOTHER “thought pebble” into your mind’s pond – and watch to see where the ripples overlap and create “Interference.” The “interference” is where the new “idea baby” is born! 
  • Take notes, draw, look things up, go down rabbit holes, or free write as you go. ALL that is allowed!
  • With your new insights and ideas, go create something new!

I hope this process was productive for you. If you’d like to watch the whole Ripple Meditation Training, you can find it here: 
Where do you get your ideas?: One simple process to keep creativity flowing)
Or, here’s the link: https://www.shannonborg.com/get-ripple-meditation 
If you are curious about how creativity coaching can help you and your business, sign up for a free consultation, and we can chat about your creative process, your business, and how you can create the results you want.

Thank you!

Shannon Borg

Art & Business Coach

www.shannonborg.com

hello@shannonborg.com

Follow me on Instagram: @shannonborg 

How is self-care transformative?

By: April Yee

We’ve likely all heard about “self-love” and “loving yourself.” These concepts may seem good to do and have, but they may also seem lofty and hard to attain. 

How do we love ourselves and have self-love? Where do we start, especially when we’ve been our harshest critics or engage in self-loathing thinking and behaviors?

Some ways that we hear about self-care are to get a massage, to get a pedicure or manicure, to treat ourselves to a new outfit or electronic device, or to enjoy a frothy, sweet drink. These are definitely a few ways to show care for ourselves, but at a somewhat superficial level. 

When we do things that bring us joy, that is part of self-care.

I want to offer that self-care also looks like this:

  • Drinking enough water to stay hydrated and alert
  • Speaking to yourself with kindness instead of punishing yourself
  • Eating nutritious food to fuel your body
  • Going to the bathroom when you need to go
  • Sleeping enough to allow your body to rest and repair
  • Moving your body enough
  • Committing to the things you want to do for yourself
  • Thinking generous thoughts about yourself instead of critical thoughts
  • Connecting with yourself and your body – listening to what you need
  • Creating a supportive relationship with yourself
  • Maintaining healthy boundaries with yourself and others

We can build our self-care muscles by practicing daily. Just like any other muscle we want to build, it takes time, effort, and commitment along with the desire to do so. We get to create our own journey to self-love and I believe these are some of the practices that carry us along the way. 

When we realize how powerful it is to keep a commitment to ourselves, we start to build trust with ourselves and learn that we can have our own back, no matter what. This is how self-care can be transformative.

Our longest relationship we’ll have is the relationship we have with ourselves. What would our lives be like if that relationship is supportive, loving, kind, reliable, and trusting? 

“When you’re at peace with yourself and love yourself, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.”

Wayne Dyer

Your turn: What self-care practices are you open to committing to today? What would you do differently when you trust yourself to do the things you want to do for yourself? How would your life be different when you love yourself no matter what? 

Uplift Your Mood With These 6 Gratitude-Building Strategies

By: Angela Vale

Most of us are constantly under pressure and on the go with our fast-paced lifestyles. It’s only natural for us to occasionally feel worn out or even a bit down from time to time.

The good news is that something as simple as refocusing your attention from your challenges to acknowledging the things that you are grateful for in your life can instantly boost your mood. 

Studies show that practicing gratitude on a regular basis can raise your mood and also boost your self-esteem, will power, long term health, and even your level of success in life! 

Beat the blues with these practices to help you develop your sense of gratitude: 

1.  Keep a list of the things you’re grateful for. The next time that you feel angry, frustrated, or a bit depressed, make a list and literally count your blessings. Making a list helps you to stop obsessing over the current situation.

·  Don’t stop at just one list. Consider keeping a journal to record the things and events in your life for which you are grateful. Over time, you create a tangible record of all of the positive aspects of your life.

2.  Start the day on a positive note. Set the tone and focus for the rest of your day by taking a few moments each morning to review the positive things in your life.  

·  Self-questions can be a great way to focus on the positive aspects of your life. Good questions to ask include: “What’s something good that is happening right now,” “What opportunities await me today,” or “Whose love am I grateful for?”

3.  Be alert to the goodness all around you. It’s hard to have a positive attitude if you focus on only the negative things happening around you. Make a point to consciously seek the good in everything, especially in small, simple things such as a child’s innocent laughter or the beauty found in nature.

4.  Perform random acts of kindness. You can increase your own gratitude by being someone else’s reason for thankfulness. Practice random acts of kindness by unexpectedly helping others. 

·  What may seem like a small act to you can be a very large act of generosity to someone who is in need. Look for opportunities each day to help someone else. The other person will be thankful for your generosity and you’ll be grateful for the boost in your self-esteem and mood.

5.  A picture is worth a thousand words. Why not document the things that you’re grateful for by recording them with a photo? You can even spread the good thoughts around by sharing your gratitude pictures on your social media accounts.

6.  Save notes of gratitude, instead of loose change, in a jar. Too busy to make gratitude lists or keep a gratitude journal? Try writing short notes about gratitude to yourself and keeping them in a jar!

·  Whenever you need an encouraging word, remove one of the notes and read it to instantly perk up your mood!

·  As the end of the year draws to a close, look back over your gratitude notes to be reminded of all of the good things that happened to you throughout the year.

There are difficult times in everyone’s life, but practicing gratitude on a regular basis gives you the power and inspiration to remain positive as you overcome challenges.

Want to know more about my Gratitude Practice? Book a free session with me!

BOOK HERE!

SANITY (and the art of remaining calm through the storm)

By: Lisa Christy

E-MOTION is energy in motion. One takes you forward and one keeps you stuck. Which would you prefer?

Did you ever have a day where it seemed like nothing went right?

Did you ever have a week like that?

Nothing was going right. Everything was off. And you just were hanging out in depression, sadness, or worry. Perhaps even crying. Maybe even feeling a bit insane.

Heavy, right?

It feels enormous. You wonder when it will end.

But……you do know it will end, right?

This cycle of life we go through feels SO big and real. The experiences, the circumstances, the relationships. They consume us at times. They feel HUGE.

We make them that way. With our mind drama, we make them as BIG as they feel.

Well…………in reality, they are not as BIG as we make them out to be.

It’s the mind drama, and the meaning we put to the things going on and going wrong.

We sit in the negative feeling. And we sit. And sit. And sit.

And then we may throw a little extra helping of self-loathing or self-bashing on top of it all……..

………until we feel utterly hopeless and helpless.

There is another way, friends.

Things DO happen to us. Sometimes really bad things. Sometimes really big and bad things.

But we have in us this amazing capability and capacity to feel our feelings and then choose to move on.

Feeling feelings is a process. When we feel sadness, for example, we may feel a heaviness in our chest or a welling up of tears in our eyes.

These are just sensations or vibrations in our body. That is ALL that is happening when we feel a negative feeling.

So, we get the choice to sit with the sensation, the sadness. Sit with it, close our eyes for 60-90 seconds and really really feel the sadness and feel it in our body.

That is ALL that is going on. When we feel sadness, no buildings are falling down, and no one is dying. We are JUST FEELING A STRONG NEGATIVE EMOTION OR AN UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING.

When we process this feeling, for the 60-90 seconds (or longer, if needed), the negative feeling dissipates. It gently subsides and slowly goes away and lifts. When it does that, we are just left with ourselves.

What we tend to do, though, is perpetuate the negative feeling by thinking and thinking and thinking about it and what caused it and how awful it feels. And then we talk about it with others and get their sympathy and their consoling. And then we blog about it or post it on social media and get other’s thoughts and comments about it.

We create such a huge drama, that the negative feeling lasts and lasts and lasts.  It becomes even bigger and consumes our days.

So rather than just processing through it and allowing ourselves to feel it with love and calm, and then moving on, we keep it. It’s almost like a prize we wear.

“Here I am feeling this negative feeling and please feel sorry for me and show me you love because in this moment, I have chosen not to show love to myself.”

It is always our choice regarding how to work through our emotions. And ALL emotions are good. But we don’t want to dwell in the negative because in that moment, we strip ourselves of our own beautiful power and give it over to drama. We present ourselves as weak, and needy, and unable to handle it ourselves. We tell ourselves we NEED others to talk to and we NEED others to feel sorry for us.

And then we may even overeat and overdrink or take naps because it numbs the negative feeling so we don’t have to feel it at all.

SO MUCH DRAMA and so much time focusing on a negative emotion.

When in an instant, we can, ourselves, because we are so powerful on our own, work through it and process it. Or have a friend or a life coach, coach you through it.

Bam done!! Gone!!

It’s the difference between staying calm in the storm and staying sane, or getting all worked up and a little crazy.  We create the experience we choose to focus on.

How do you process your emotions? I’d love to hear from you and discuss this.

Feel free to set up a FREE 45-minute mini session with me at this link: https://calendly.com/lisachristycalendar/free45minuteminisession or email me at coachincouragelifecoaching@gmail.com.

It’s always your choice, folks. 

E-MOTION is energy in motion. One takes you forward and one keeps you stuck. So which do you prefer?