Want Success in the New Decade? Then Commit to Extraordinary Self-Care. Really.

On Big Wins in 2020 with Life Coach Teresa Young

We all want success in this brand spankin’ New Decade, right? So here’s a news flash: the nose-to-the-grindstone success model you may be sweating is, well, history.

To get in on the gig-wins game in 2020 and beyond, it’s time for a new kind of superpower: extraordinary self-care. Really. So stay with me while I break down my take on what that means, toward everything you want and deserve.

But first, to back up a bit, the truth is that even the basics of self-care can be challenging in the trenches of daily 21st century life. Let’s face it, life these days can be an ongoing blur of non-stop action!

So extraordinary self-care is truly rigorous stuff, requiring constant self-examination and resulting clarity about how we use our valuable time. About how—and in what—we invest our precious life force. So let’s go there.

And if you’re inclined to stop here, thinking you’ve got no time for this, you’re exactly the kind of being to whom I am writing! So slow your roll, settle in, and consider these few minutes an act of… yes, extraordinary self-care.

Ready for a new kind of rigor?

Because the subject goes deep fast, and gets real. In fact, it begins with reflecting on our motivations, on our beliefs about life and ourselves, motivations and beliefs that may cause us to tend to drive ourselves around, pedal to the metal, like used cars we don’t even maintain.

At the most “nuts and bolts” level, that means healthy foods, fresh air, and exercise. And how about regular down time, to rest, re-charge, and synthesize what we’ve been up to, how we’re doing, and where we’re headed next? All that.

So the perhaps inconvenient truth is this: extraordinary self-care matters, and is in fact a discipline. Now stop, read that last sentence again, and take a moment to really take it in.

Extraordinary self-care is, I submit to you, a discipline. Not a sign of weakness, or selfishness, or lack of commitment. Are you with me?

Toward that end, take a memo from my now 84 year-old fitness trainer dad. He likes to cajole people into clarity with his ever-ready, “If I’d known I was gonna live this long, I’d have taken even better care of myself.”

 

If I’d known I was gonna live this long,
I’d have taken even better
care of myself.”

 

So welcome to my take on extraordinary self-care priorities toward success in the New Decade. We’ll begin with a big picture priority, drill down into some nuts and bolts, and then get into big, big picture effectiveness.

Big picture, be present to the beauty of life.

This may land as too abstract or “crunchy granola” for you, but stay with me. This is about how you do life. Toward extraordinary self-care, work at taking things in stride on the wild, wonderful journey. Because life is quite fascinating, really. So be fascinated.

Be intrigued by the big, beautiful world around you! I call this the 10,000 foot view. Way above sweating the small stuff. So toward success in the New Decade, try exploring an intention to live daily life in this kind of internal space, in awe at the simple beauty of being alive.

Now some nuts and bolts: first, eat well. I mean really.

Fresh, local, whole foods make a difference. You know it, and you deserve it. And eat less rather than more, which helps in affording quality. After all, food is pleasure as well as fuel.

Choose and consciously enjoy fine, precious bites, considering that a diet under what many of us generally consume in daily calories promotes longevity. And in the process of that daily deliciousness, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

By the way, for those of you who thought I would hammer more home right here, I say let’s not give power to any perfectionist tendencies that may weigh on you, pun intended. I say lighten up—pun intended—on the subject of food, calories, numbers on the scale, etc., while putting more and more emphasis on everything else here.

 

Fresh, local, whole foods make a
difference. You know it,
and you deserve it.

Get regular fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.

And not in a nebulous way. Schedule these healthy practices regularly, just like your other priorities. Consider them extraordinary self-care rather than something you “should” do that’s supposed to perfect you in some way. How we think about exercise matters. It’s for us, toward everything we want and deserve.

And on the subject of sunshine, yes, of course, we’ve all learned that we need sunscreen. But our brains also need the important signals that sunshine gives us, especially those of us always striving for great sleep. More on that in a second.

Also, don’t over-do exercise. (What?) No, really. Again, the point is to feel amazing and productive, not to pursue some ideal in ways that hijack your time and energy. Then no wonder you resist it, thus finding yourself right back at square one, on the gerbil wheel of constant busy-ness while doing nothing intentional for your physical health.

Instead, proceed in the knowledge that you’re already a beautiful being. Now get moving in ways that appeal to you and enhance the quality and durability of your life force.

Rest. Sleep. Sleep in.

Close the blinds. Get a blackout curtain if you need one. Then take some real time to renew your energy. More and more research tells us that nothing we’re doing is more important than getting the sleep we need.

And did you know that these days the most elite, highly paid athletes in the world prioritize sleep? With their physical capabilities as their bread and butter and millions of dollars on the line, what’s on their game plan designed by premiere performance specialists? Sleep, for one thing, lots of it, way more than six or seven or even eight hours a night.

So remember that used-car-that-we-don’t-maintain image? Get creative. Figure this out. Really sleep, and not just once in a while, but regularly. Get the good stuff. It’s an extraordinary self-care pursuit that I promise will jack up your productivity.

Stop, drop, and meditate. Really.

Meditation is mainstream these days. And that’s mostly amazing, except that it can become another entry in the “should” category that further confounds us in terms of time and energy. However, that danger noted, it truly is big medicine for meeting your New Decade dreams and goals.

Find an approach that appeals to you, even one as simple as sitting quietly and allowing your focus to follow your mind’s natural, perhaps rambling cadences. As you observe them, you’re interrupting the human tendency to identify completely with them.

Give yourself permission to experiment with this or more structured forms of meditation regularly, and see what peace and productivity this practice brings. Personally, I’m deep into Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work right now.

Dr. Dispenza is a research-based master teacher on the how of transformation in ways that I believe move us forward as a species. If you’re intrigued, explore my intro here.

Oh, and guess what? You can bet the world’s most elite athletes are meditating, too.

Give up what doesn’t work.

Now, are you ready for some deep truth, beyond the nuts and bolts of extraordinary self-care? Because it begins with this: Many of us are inclined to be rather masochistic, looking for love in all the wrong places.

So toward success in the New Decade, check your motivations. Why say yes? If something isn’t healthy for you, given the creature who you uniquely are, if your energy and your gut and your deepest, wisest inner voice all say no, well, that’s your cue.

And there’s no need to be mean, you can be sweet and clear, true to yourself and in fact inspiring to hear. This may take support until you get the hang of it. Learning what to set aside can be confusing. In that case, get yourself a coach. You deserve it. We all do. More on the why of that here.

 

Many of us are inclined to be rather
masochistic, looking for love
in all the wrong places.

Prioritize your pleasures as self-renewal.

And there’s a big bonus in giving up what doesn’t work: time for self-renewal. Time for fun. Because on the delicious topic of success in the New Decade, I say fun as self-renewal ranks way up there as a counter-intuitive success practice. Beautiful, right? Whew. Take a breath.

So what are some of your primary pleasures? Woodworking? Or live music? How about basketball, or taking an amazing photo? Perhaps gardening, dancing, reading, or writing? Hiking in nature? Home decor? Travel? Kickboxing?

And I’ll bet you can see how aligning exercise with fun is a self-care success practice, too. Whatever your go-to’s, schedule them, and revel in them. And not someday, or once in a blue moon. I mean regularly. Remember the 10,000 foot view?

Decades from now, the stuff you love doing is what you’ll be pleased to remember. Not how you never made time for what makes you happy. Get a clue, knock off any and all “someday” stories, and schedule regular fun time.

Don’t substitute stuff for what you really want.

Now are you ready for what I say is one of the ultimate extraordinary self-care strategies toward a new kind of superpower? Then prepare yourself, because this is gonna get real.

It’s time to get curious about your recurring cravings, thirsts, and obsessions. What might they be trying to turn you onto that will propel you into a whole new universe of possibility?

For instance, what kind of sweetness do you truly need, that chocolate lava cake, or the passion project you tabled? Or what’s that deep thirst for, really? Your favorite tequila, or the grand exploration off into the Great Unknown that’s on your vision board but never quite makes it to priority #1?

What are you actually browsing for on Instagram? Is it a next little hit of dopamine? Or are you hankering for an expanding sense of mission and meaning that lights up your entire body/mind/spirit as an energy system?

You get to choose, and nobody knows how this could go but you. So exercise new powers to reflect right here, and truly choose what makes up the stuff and habits of your life as consciously as possible. And for support? You guessed it. Get a coach.

And big, big picture, live the life that energizes you.

I’m talking life path now. It’s big, big picture time. What is most essential to you on this journey if you’re gonna be you? How can you honor that truth in healthy ways?

Get present to that life, both inside you and out in the beautiful world that you co-create by acting on your most essential dreams and goals. And if you find yourself feeling cynical as you read this, take note. Because I say you owe it to yourself to circle back and explore that. After all, why not?

You’ve got nothing to lose except whatever fear may be getting triggered here. Nothing except any stasis you may have settled into that negates pursuing your dreams and goals. The truth is that 21st century life is long, with more possibilities for any one lifetime than ever before. What do you really, really want?

Last but not least, really love the ones you love.

Express yo’self. Let ’em know. Create that rich reality as one satisfying way of being you in the world. Then you’re also modeling this way of making the world a better place, inspiring others by being fully yourself.

In short, cherish the folks—and other creatures—in your life who truly get you, who value, nourish, and love you. (No more looking for love in all the wrong places.) Cherish the gift they are to you. Take in their love and care, and let it energize you while you gift it right back to them.

 

Cherish the folks in your life who
truly
get you, who value,
nourish, and love you.

 

Now, after investing your valuable time and life force here, think about what extraordinary self-care means to you, given the success you intend in the New Decade. Are you ready to commit to whatever that is?

As you reflect on how to proceed in a new universe of effectiveness, be sure to take time to examine whatever tends to get in your way. And reach for support as you stretch toward big wins in 2020 and beyond!

 

Why in the World Would You Want (and Deserve) Life Coaching?

Life Coaching with Teresa Young

First, some truth from me to you: there was a time when I cringed at the term “life coaching.” Despite my passion for the profession, I tap-danced all around that particular phrase when describing what I feel privileged to do. It was funny, really. Life coaching just felt cliché somehow.

But then one intense day, a very special lady in my life, my elderly mother, unexpectedly ended all that. She got down to the essence of things the way moms do, saying, “Why beat around the bush? You’re a life coach.”

Great big wave of her little hand. Great big emphasis on life while—more truth here—at the end of her own. So, instead of feeling annoyed by her opinion, it was instant goose-bump city for me. Then I surprised myself with a wave of energy that I used to re-frame the work that I love.

So what is life coaching, really?

A few weeks ago I happened onto an insightful article about coaching. The author provided short definitions for different types. But her take on life coaching felt narrow—and flat—to me. She described it as being about personal change, with niches within it like youth, addiction, and divorce.

Of course that’s all good. Just not quite integrative enough in my book. Instead, I see life coaching as a powerful context in which to support the growth and goals of committed clients. It’s a much broader context than just the “personal”, whatever that actually means.

For me, life coaching is an opportunity to develop the whole person who we each are, toward maximum effectiveness and fulfillment. Here’s more of what I mean:

Imagine our lives as a path we’re each walking, one that’s uniquely ours to walk. Imagine how focusing on your individual path—where you’re heading, and why, and howcan generate clarity, courage, and energy. The point is a healthy, overarching sense of mission and meaning. The point may also be to create balance between the personal, the professional, the creative, and the spiritual, with body, mind and spirit “weighing in.”

So I see life coaching as holistic support through which all the different aspects of our lives can come together beautifully. Because then, when our dreams, goals, and lifestyles align with the largest, deepest, wisest parts of us, we’re truly good to go. Then look out, world!

Life coaching as 21st century savvy in action

After all, the 21st century is an extraordinary time to be alive. Our opportunities to create lives that truly express and delight us are only limited by what we can first imagine, then get busy realizing. And that’s great news, right?

On the flip side, so many choices and so much expectation can be paralyzing, or at least intimidating. To achieve our dreams, we must at some point begin to narrow, define, and refine them. And in present time, not based on who we were in some version of the past. Instead, what feels right now? What energizes and inspires us? What do we truly want most in our heart of hearts?

The season comes to get clear on that, to commit, and to jam on nuts-and-bolts action planning. And then to follow through. It’s nitty-gritty time. Though I’ll add for good measure that every bit of all that can be enjoyable and satisfying.

That’s why, in the midst of so much choice, and to get set for all that busy-ness, savvy 21st century folks call on coaches. It’s a lot like athletes honing their game. Imagine a team—or a star player—without a coach. You just know it’s wrong. Right?

But life coaches don’t direct the action

Yep, there’s a big difference between coaching for sports and coaching for life. Because sports coaches usually write the plays, decide who starts when and where, and direct all manner of things.

But effective life coaches aren’t drill sergeants who whip you into shape. They aren’t mentors who advise you based on a path they’ve walked. They aren’t allies like my sweet mother who share opinions that may or may not be relevant.

Instead, I say great life coaches are more like midwives. A great life coach is with you in the work at hand, stimulating, challenging, inspiring, encouraging, and championing you, while you labor over and in due time give birth to whatever wants to be born in and through you.

Because you, my dear,  are ultimately the one with the answers. And great life coaches know this. They believe in the inherent wisdom of their clients. They believe in the uniqueness and beauty of their purposes and paths. Great life coaches stand for all that in you, for the unknown in you. They stand in that place of promise with you while you develop and then tell that story, the story only you can write. The story of you living your chosen life.

What’s more, I say great life coaches support, protect, and celebrate your overall development. So that ultimately you get to contribute to life in the ways that suit you best, and most sustainably, supported by life in return. And I say there isn’t much that’s more beautiful than that.

Long story short, why in the world would you want life coaching? Because. It. Works. Holistically. And why do you deserve it? Because you’re beautiful, and precious, and unique. Unrepeatable. Worthy of everything you’d love to be and contribute.

So, if  you know in your heart and mind that all signs point to get going, take the plunge. Snag yourself a coach. Because you, my dear—and I do mean you—deserve the life you’ll be thrilled to live.

 

My New Crush: The Work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, Part 2 – Essential Concepts

Dr. Joe Dispenza

I have two books by Dr. Joe Dispenza under my belt now, You Are the Placebo, and his newest, Becoming Supernatural. His work inspires and energizes me. In fact, it’s changing me, impacting my own personal process of continuing development and my work with my clients.

Because as a life coach who supports folks in living their dreams, I take  this particular kind of resource, Dr. Dispenza’s well-validated approach and results, very seriously. So I wrote Part 1 of my own intro to his work a few weeks ago.

I’ve been letting Part 2 steep since, while ruminating further on his transformative concepts and methods. My goal has been to boil all that down to what’s most essential. After all, Dr. Joe says if you can articulate it, you can do it. So this is for me and you.

As you read on, keep in mind that that the two books above have a combined total of 800 pages. So give yourself permission to take a few minutes with me here.

First a recap: what does “you are the placebo” mean?

In my words, from Part 1:

The fact that the placebo effect happens to some humans means we can learn to use it.

The placebo effect occurs because we—our hearts and minds and beliefs—are that powerful. Though maybe not naturally. Maybe not without steady work and real changes to beliefs and habits. To patterns and resulting cycles in our lives.

In fact, I regard Dr. Dispenza’s work so highly because he has mastered the how of this effect. How to apply it in our own lives. I’d say the “how” of personal transformation is his super-power. And he wants all of us in on the transformative action.

So now (drum roll)… let’s get to it.

Meditation is key

I found Susan’s testimonial on YouTube last night. A straight-talking, 72 year-old woman is standing on stage, with Dr. Dispenza seated on a stool across from her. Her story starts with You Are the Placebo arriving in the mail for some reason. She hadn’t ordered it.

She says she quickly thumbed through it before planning to put it on her recycle pile. But then the word Parkinsons popped out. This got her attention. Because she has it.

So she read the whole book. And she started meditating, about three times a week at that point. She expected little, but noticed three things in quick succession:

  1.  While out in her yard one day, she smelled freshly mown grass. Her olfactory sense was returning.
  2.  Then she absentmindedly slipped on both shoes while standing. She hadn’t been able to do this for some time because one foot had become unresponsive.
  3.  And while showing a friend her bad hand’s involuntary curl, she realized it was functioning normally.

By the time she’s talking on stage with Dr. Dispenza in August 2018, she says she’s at 98% of her physical capability overall. And she never skips meditating. I laughed out loud watching her dance around and kick up her legs at the end of her testimonial.

Oh, and one more thing: Susan’s seminar experience had included a group healing the day before. A topic for another day. Maybe Part 3. :)

Note what you’re thinking right… now

As you take in Susan’s experience, is there a “split” in your view of what we’ll call the body/mind? Like the mind is one thing, and the body is something else entirely? With our minds as super-computers that drive our increasingly “used car” bodies around, while physician-mechanics try to maintain them?

And yet these days we know that stress affects our physical health. Right? We know that our mental health affects our bodies. That depression depresses the immune system.

On the flip side, we also know that premiere athletes and performers of all kinds use mental techniques to heighten physical performance. So stay with me here.

But meditating how, exactly?

And know this: these meditation techniques are specific. Dr. Dispenza continues to hone them as his team of researchers and neuroscientists map the affects of meditation on more and more human brains and bodies. The fact is, they’re tracking the successes of his seminar participants all over the world.

I’m struck in particular by one aspect of his technique that I’ll try to describe. Otherwise it may be a bit of a head-scratcher when you first sit for one of his guided meditations.

Inner ‘space’, toward inner calm

Because Dr. Dispenza uses the word space in two ways that pop up right away. In his first use of space, it seems to me that he invites us into a sensory experience. He directs us to be aware of internal space. Space inside our bodies.

Examples include the space between our ears. The space within the throat. Or within the heart center. These are specific points of focus that I think of as micro.

Notice how this differs from working to stop our thoughts, an approach that causes many of us to declare that we just can’t meditate because of our busy minds. Instead… eureka! He directs our busy minds, and very, very specifically.

And on out to ‘outer’ space

In any meditation, Dr. Dispenza then guides us to experience what I think of as a macro focus. The space around the body. The space within the room. And all the way out into the universe.

Evidently, thousands of brain scans show that this switch from internal to external awareness calms brainwave patterns, the central nervous system, and ultimately the body/mind. This shifting focus, from inner to outer and back, teases our minds out of their regular feedback loops of familiar thoughts, feelings, beliefs, expectations, and more. Which prepares us for, well, literally no-thing.

Heading ‘nowhere’

Whaaaaat?, you may be saying. But hang tight. This is so good.

Dr. Dispenza describes this state as getting to “nowhere, no time, nothing, and nobody.” Beyond the bio-chemicals that our body/minds constantly generate based on the past, our old thoughts, beliefs, and experiences.

Because all this familiarity is how we end up in static phases in which our past continues to create our future, and nothing new ever really happens. Or worse: depression and/or disease set in.

In contrast:

In Dr. Dispenza’s work, that transcendent state—beyond all that’s so familiar that we come to associate with ourselves—activates neural processes that bathe the body/mind in healing, re-generating bio-chemicals and electromagnetic currents. These natural elixirs and energetic frequencies promote healthy changes and positive, even transformative, developments.

And I know that’s a lot to take in. Read the bold sentence above again.

Dr. Joe often notes that in his own daily meditations, he doesn’t get up until he reaches a markedly different state than he was in when he sat down. In my view, he means:

  • mentally relaxed, with the brain and nervous system calm
  • emotionally uplifted, which we’ll get into next
  • physically energized from this calm, uplifted experience

This heightened state then sets the stage for the unexpected in terms of inner—and outer—results.

Now. Ready to get down to the core of all this deliciousness?

And on to elevated emotions

Oh, how I love this part! There’s some elevated emotion for you. :) In fact, I believe this concept is the key to transforming our lives with less rather than more effort.

This part of Dr. Joe’s approach seems to me closely aligned with Gregg Braden’s visionary work, which allows me to grasp it in a way that may take time for some folks to get. At least it took time for me.

In truth, I often felt, while trying to understand Gregg’s key ideas, that I would get this one for a second, just to feel it slip through my fingers the next. Through my thinking mind.

So take your time here. This is a very different way of creating change than we’re accustomed to in our rational modern lives.

Now, imagine yourself feeling fantastic. And I do mean emotionally right now, rather than physically. What’s the feeling? As another way to access the idea of elevated emotion, what’s the feeling as you imagine accomplishing what you want most?

A list of elevated emotions follows. Take a moment to enjoy them.

Abundance
Acceptance
Appreciation
Awe
Benevolence
Clarity
Compassion
Connection
Courage
Empowerment
Forgiveness
Gratitude
Inner Peace
Inspiration
Kindness
Joy
Invincibility
Liberation
Limitless energy
Love
Passion
Strength
Surrender
Trust
Unity

And down into this power principle

Long story short, achieving and maintaining an elevated emotional state during and beyond meditation changes our body/minds, and thus our lives.

From reading and listening to Gregg Braden’s fundamental ideas since 2014, and now studying this aspect of the work of Dr. Dispenza, I finally really got this key idea. So I’ll state it again in more detail as I’ve come to understand and practice it. And now I’ll fold in the impact that religion has had on many of us so far:

Mainstream religious traditions in the western world include a central error, at least in common practice. One that our increasing access to knowledge of indigenous cultures and ancient spiritual practices is helping us to correct. Because we in the west—and really think about this as you read—tend to consider the words we speak in prayer the actual prayer.

While, in fact, if you’re looking for real results, the feeling is the prayer. The feeling is the point. Elevated emotion infuses our body/minds with an elixir of regenerating bio-chemicals and electromagnetic energy that literally re-charges us, fueling the internal fire with which we pursue our goals.

Wow. Game-changer!!

Unconditional power

In fact, the most important act of power we can take on is to maintain elevated emotional states, living and working and pursuing our goals within them. Not allowing our emotional states to be conditional. Not operating from an “I’ll feel good someday when…” way of moving through life in which we believe all will be wonderful once—after—this or that occurs. That’s backwards.

Again, eureka! The. Feeling. Comes. First.

The feeling generates power. It generates results, through the actions we’re then inspired and energized to take. Delicious! Right?!

Pause here. Reflect on that. It’s an approach that takes real time and exploration to hold onto. Because we’ve all been taught and trained by individuals, organizations, and institutions around us to “do life” very, very differently.

Then welcome yourself to a whole new level of personal effectiveness.  Welcome to your new superpower to create and enjoy the wild, wonderful journey of your precious life!

The work of Dr. Dispenza, one more time, with feeling :)

It may be hard to believe, but there is so much more I could explore here of Dr. Dispenza’s truly revolutionary work. Instead, I’ll pass the baton to you. I heartily encourage you to dive into this delicious, potentially transformative mode of being, thinking, feeling, and taking action. After all, why not, right? As you live your dream. For real.

 

 

Life Coach Teresa Young's Bio

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Painful Times, Stay Strong with Non-Judgment

Try Non-Judgment - Life Coaching with Teresa Young

We all experience challenging, painful, even heartbreaking moments. They’ve been part of life’s journey since, well, forever.

Cut to these days, and we’re all increasingly connected through our smart devices. Indeed, besides whatever complexities we may be managing, troubling news and even horrific developments can come at us 24 and 7. And at times, they do.

It’s a constant onslaught to process. To feel our way through, in ways that can drain us energetically.

So consider this potential energy conservation method: In the midst of everything we can’t control, the ancient discipline of non-judgment can aid us. It can soothe us. Then we can pass some peace forward.

First, limit the constant onslaught. Really.

My dear friend Kim, an amazing attorney and child advocate, doesn’t “do the news.” She’s disciplined about it. Her determination to live and work in a radically calm zone allows her to stay healthy for her own intense work in the world. For her unique contribution.

And of course Kim’s approach works for her. For her life and work.

The truth is, we each have to find our own threshold for taking in terrible—even terrifying—news. If we stick with default mode in these wired times, any and all troubling developments immediately arrive as notifications in our lives.

The good news is that there’s middle ground between disconnected and hyper-connected. These days, choosing our place along that continuum requires conscious decision-making, and discipline.

We can take time and give ourselves permission to craft our own approach, our own boundaries, toward relative peace of mind and productivity. Because the world needs the unique contribution we’re each here to make.

Yes, we’re each part of the continuing evolution of our species at a critical juncture. Pause for a moment here. Take that in.

Now try limiting the judgments you form. Really.

Coaches know that non-judgment is an essential tool in our work. We practice it to avoid laying the templates of our personal values and opinions on the unique humans we’re privileged to serve. Those templates, our particular filters for living our own lives, could keep us from actually hearing and seeing and getting who others are.

So the truth is that we can also practice non-judgment when the news is especially tough. And let me be clear: The point of non-judgment isn’t saintliness. Non-judgment isn’t about letting perpetrators off the hook.

The point is our own mental and emotional health and productivity during gut-wrenching times. As we keep our own energy flowing, as we stay focused on our missions and goals, we help keep everyone moving forward. It’s in fact a critical contribution.

And of course some of us contribute by being on the front lines of tragic or terrifying situations in utterly necessary ways. Thank you. Bless you.

Also, honestly, there are people in our lives, or looming large on our smart devices, whose choices and actions don’t work for us. We may not be able to relate to where they’re coming from. To what they do, or with whom they sympathize.

Of course the truth is also that we only know what we know. What we think and feel. The truth is, it takes real time, patience, and due diligence to understand the motivations—conscious and unconscious—of another.

Reflect in “empty” space, with compassion

As observers of current events from local to global, how can we grapple with what’s terrible in empty space, rather than filling it with all our assumptions, or our fears? This is space for our fellow humans to be the complex central characters in their own poignant, perhaps tragic life stories.

Can we avoid judgments that fill in the blanks with our beliefs, interests, and values? Can we accept the fact that we can’t really know the reasons for the struggles or failures or darkness of others?

In fact, I believe we can compassionately witness troubling, even catastrophic events with as much heart and soul as we can muster. And further, we can benefit from the sense of control this particular form of self-discipline gives us. Because the reality is that non-judgment is freeing.

Seek and find whatever meaning moves you forward

Is anyone else thinking of Viktor Frankl in this moment? A 20th century psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, he made major contributions to our understanding of the human spirit through writing about our fundamental human freedom to find our own meaning in anything.

Because he learned and then shared that we can choose—even in the most dire circumstance, a Nazi death camp—to motivate ourselves. To find meaning in pain. And to carry on. Bottom line, Frankl’s most creative contribution to humankind came directly from his own most intense period of suffering.

Repeat as needed

In your own approach to painful times, try non-judgment. Feel it all, and protect your personal boundaries. Guard your energy and your goals.

And as you feel it all, if you feel derailed by what you’re feeling, reach out for support. You deserve it. After all, the world needs the unique something that you’re here to contribute.

 

 

Life Coach Teresa Young's Bio