rest

Rest, Revisit and Integrate

This week we are going to rest and revisit previous blog posts. Why? Well, I’m tired. Are you tired? I’m tired. And since one of my favorite messages is that everyone is worthy of rest I think it’s essential to lead by example. So, this week we are resting. 

Rest is crucial to absorbing and retaining information. It is essential to take time to slow down if we want to perform at our best and without rest I become the grumpiest person on the planet (I make Oscar the Grouch look like an optimist).

Rest can be active (walking, moving meditations, yoga, reading) or it can be passive (napping, meditating, etc). Rest can be day dreaming, rest can be coloring. It can be spending time with family or ignoring all your calls. It’s up to you – it’s individual and you cannot do it wrong unless you don’t do it. 

This week on my Youtube channel I will be uploading a video about my struggle with setting a sleep schedule. It’s an ode to rest and I briefly touch on the importance of sleep (but if you want more I highly recommend reading Why We Sleep – it’s amazing). 

Other than the video we are going to keep new content to a minimum. Instead we are going to take some time to revisit the messages that I think need a little extra time to sink in. Ready for the schedule? 

Our Weekly Schedule

Sound fun? Follow along on instagram @btrlytho to keep up or go at your own pace. Integrate what resonates with you and let go of what doesn’t!

It’s your week to integrate and play – use it well! 

school faceless student tired

My Monkey Mind Has Taken Over

My monkey mind has taken over my life! Here’s how to identify it and how to stop it. 

Heard or experienced any of these lately? COVID brain, self-diagnosed ADHD, auto-pilot, zoning out, scattered thoughts. These responses, spacey moments or knee jerk reactions are stress responses. They are what happens when our survival instinct kicks in and our monkey mind takes control. 

Monkey Mind Defined 

Human brains are composed of three sections. They are our lizard brain, our monkey brain and our human brain.

Our lizard brains control the basic instincts, our monkey brain controls our tissue and complex things like emotions and our human brain which allows us to remove emotions from our thoughts and to think things through or practice mindfulness. This article here goes a bit more in depth if you want to dig in (it’s absolutely fascinating)! 

Our monkey mind is the part of our brain that runs the inner monologue, the part that runs wild during meditation, and it’s tied to your ego and inner critic. Monkey mind tells you that you will never be good enough, you have too much on your plate, that you need to rush rush rush and go go go. It’s important to learn how to control and quiet our monkey mind if we want to be fully present in our lives. 

Before we dig into controlling our monkey mind I want to share that our monkey and lizard brains serve a major purpose! Since our human brain is designed to analyze situations and reactions when we encounter danger or trigger our fight or flight response we rely heavily on our lizard and monkey brains to get us to safety. 

How to Spot Your Monkey Mind 

A major problem with our well working monkey mind is that when we are overwhelmed, stressed or in an extended state of being busy we default to it. Monkey mind becomes prominent when we multitask causing us to go into auto-pilot and make decisions without thinking them through. 

For example, let’s say you are stressed to the max working on a deadline, you aren’t super thrilled with your job to begin with, you’re working from home in a small apartment and your significant other comes in to ask you a question while you’re in the middle of a sentence. You are stressed, overwhelmed, grumpy and a little frustrated with the overwhelming emotions so you may respond with a default answer because you weren’t listening or snap at them for interrupting you. This is your monkey mind and it is a warning sign that you need to stop, take a break and close some of the tabs in your brain to reduce your stress levels. 

I’m anti-multitasking on important things because it is impossible for your brain to truly focus on two things at once but I double down on this stance when it comes to the truly important things like human relationships. Make time to clear your mind. 

How to Control Your Monkey Mind 

So great, you know your monkey mind is running the ship – you are on auto-pilot, not paying attention to where the car is going – now what? Here are a few ideas for you! 

Stop, take a break, take a few deep breaths and get present in your body. If you have a meditation practice try doing a mini meditation – even just a minute of meditation can help calm my monkey mind when it’s in overdrive. 

Move your body! Get up and move, go on a walk, walk around your apartment or yard, dance for a minute or just shake your arms and legs out. Moving your body helps calm down your monkey mind and helps you get present in your body. 

Write! Get the thoughts out of your brain and on paper. I find journaling SO helpful when my brain is in chaos mode. If my brain is so full of thoughts that I can’t decide what to write I’ll throw a gratitude list together and see where that takes me. Sometimes I need to exercise my thoughts, regardless of how true they are, on paper similar to moving my body. 

Do less and reduce how busy you are! I know, this is the hard one! If you have the privilege and capacity to work smarter not harder – do it. Reduce the extra work in your life, limit the emotional labor you do for free, protect your energy and take the extra time to fill your own cup with self-care (the real kind not the marketing face mask kind). 

Remember: Being Busy Is Not Cool! 

Hope this helps! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about your monkey mind and I hope this encourages you to rest your brain and your body. 

Need help making a plan to work smarter and not harder? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation so we can look at your schedule together! 

Want to find a job that lets you work less and enjoy your life more? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation so we can find your dream job. 

No idea where to start? Overwhelmed? Need help calming that monkey mind? Sign up for a FREE coaching consultation or check out my Etsy for my self-paced programs. 

Sending you all lot’s of love and rest! 

**This blog is not meant to replace mental or physical health advice from your physician. Please work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health.

professionalism

Professionalism is BS

Professionalism.. doesn’t that word feel like bs? If you follow me on TikTok, Facebook or Instagram you may have already seen a little sneak peak on this subject. I’m not a huge fan of “professionalism” and how it is used against us.

By definition professionalism is the competence or skill expected of a professional, but what does that look like? 

My Professional Experience 

In my “professional” career I’ve found professionalism to be bs. Technically I’m a professional in Human Resources. I have a PHR certification that I paid a stupid amount of money to prep for & take a test on. Sure, I was REALLY good at what I did but it’s not because I had that certification – it’s because I loved the idea behind what I did. I loved my mission. I wanted to help people and my career was a way that I could do that. I left HR when it no longer resonated with me. I refused to return to HR because I didn’t want to work directly for corporations anymore – I wanted to work for people. And now, that’s what I do. And I LOVE what I do.

Now I get to use my “professional” skills to help people scratch that itch that there might be something more to life. I help people realize their full potential. I help people grow into who THEY want to be – not who they’re expected to be. So sure my professional experience helps me but if we are being honest I’m good at what I do because it aligns with me AND it aligns with me from my home, in my unprofessional oversized sweaters and shorts. 

But I’ve had it easy when it comes to professionalism. Even if I wore “unconventional” clothing to the office I was still a small, white, cis woman which gave me immense privilege in the workplace. Professionalism is a much deeper subject when we look at it from an intersectional feminist perspective. 

Professional Dress: Sexist and Racist

Our current definition of professionalism is layered with sexism and racism. While the definition on paper does not depict a specific attire or aesthetic most of us have experienced the biased societal definition of a professional needing to wear formal western clothing with specific hairstyles. 

For women this dress code is exceptionally oppressive and can often require skirts and tights or heels. It requires women to change how they appear normally for the comfort of their employer. Professional or business wear can require women to wear neutral nail polish, slick back hair, neutral clothing, less makeup for a “natural” look or some makeup to look “fresh faced”. Think Hillary Clinton style pant suits but only in neutral colors (so an absolute bore). Women cannot wear baggy or tight clothing if they want to look “professional” and they must maintain a cheery and positive demeanor for fear of coming off as too much. *cough bs cough* 

For the Black community the definition of “professional” wear becomes even more oppressive. Many organizations do not support Black employees wearing their hair in protective or natural styles – such styles such as locs have even been referred to as unprofessional by employers. This is racist. It’s a problem in the professional world and employers are given immense amounts of freedom to design their dress codes in a way that discriminates. 

Employer dress codes and professional appearances were created because employers want employees to “represent the company” but by doing this they are forcing employees to stop representing themselves and their cultures.

Professionalism in Action 

To drive the point further, even when employers create appropriate and respectful dress codes this does not prevent the discrimination employees face internally. Minorities in the workplace often face discrimination based on how they dress, how they present themselves and how they wear their hair and makeup. For POC this continues into comments on diet choices (cultural food being accused of stinking up the break room), asking BIPOC to code switch or stop using AAVE (African American Vernacular English) or participating in the tokenism of POC to show that they are a culture of inclusivity. 

Conclusion 

I believe that you should get to decide what your professional life looks like. I believe that it is bs that companies get to decide dress codes and determine professionalism based on what makes their white male leadership comfortable. I want people to get to decide how what they do everyday aligns with who they want to be. I help my clients find and work for companies (or themselves) in a way that aligns with their values and honors their authenticity without tokenism or discrimination. Ready to take the first step on reclaiming professionalism? dm me about coaching. Let’s make you happy with what you do!

Toxic positivity

Toxic Positivity in the Professional World (Honest AF)

First off, I think the term “professional” is bullshit but it was the most applicable for this post (want to see more about this? Follow my ig or facebook page). Regardless of my views on professionalism, we live under capitalism so we function and support our living with our professions. Toxic positivity is a great marketing tool, a powerful way to get internal employee buy in and having a good attitude is valued in the professional world. I believe it’s only fair, as your life and career coach, to dig into how corporations, MLMs, coaches (yes, even my own industry) and SO MANY OTHERS use toxic positivity to gaslight people. 

Let’s jump in! 

Corporations (the “professional” world)

Efficiency is the name of the game in capitalism. At some point a study was put out that happiness was essential to employee productivity so in an effort to increase productivity companies began manufacturing happiness. The problem with manufactured happiness or toxic positivity in the workplace is that it represses negative experiences instead of embracing and fixing them. 

Creating an authentically positive culture sounds great but I’ve yet to experience one that could last. The problem usually is that leadership and employees cling SO HARD to the positive outlook that they completely ignore or reject any negativity – creating an inauthentic culture.

From my time in HR and the countless webinars, conferences and conversations I had I think it is obvious that employees do not want manufactured or forced happiness they just want to be heard, have their ideas considered and to be treated like people. Employees want authenticity not positivity. They would rather have a voice in change than be told to be “happy” about what they do. This means that corporations that are “good vibes only” need to start listening to their employees and honoring their ideas.

Other places toxic positivity can come up in the workplace include: 

  • Promotion conversations. Have you ever been told that a promotion is within your reach if you follow a specific blueprint or plan only to follow along and not get the promotion? Were you given the encouragement to “just work harder” and the promotion would be yours?
  • Watercooler chats. Have you been reprimanded for complaining about how things were going or asked to have a “positive outlook” on a situation that does not look or feel positive to you? That’s toxic positivity in action. The purpose of this conversation may have been to intimidate you back into your rose colored glasses. 
  • Have you brought up an issue only to be told to be more optimistic or have it brushed under the rug? This is toxic positivity! It invalidates your experience, thoughts and feelings and tells you that you need to only focus on the good. 

There are so many more examples of where this comes up in the workplace and it sucks! My rule of thumb with this is to try to help my clients find and apply for companies that are honest about their wins and losses, companies that allow their employees to show up as a full human with a full range of emotions and if they end up at a company that gaslights them I empower them to gtfo. 

**Yes, before it comes up positive thinking is a powerful tool but allowing the negatives in is important too. Positivity is like sugar – too much may lead to a stomach ache but don’t overdo it on negativity either. It’s all about being realistic, balanced and finding a middle ground that vibes with you! 

MLMs

Now onto the low hanging fruit! If you’re questioning how I feel about MLMs, network marketing or whatever other inverted funnel system you would like to call it take a look at this blog. In summary, I am not a fan. 

Toxic positivity is used to gaslight people into continuing to invest in their pyramid scheme. How? A few examples below: 

  • Toxic positivity can be used to oversimplify things “Hey girly! You just need to recruit 7 of your bossbabe friends to join us and you’ll make ALL your money back AND more!” 
  • Toxic positivity is used to keep people from quitting when they begin to see losses. Saying things like “If you work hard you’ll make your money back!” or “you’ve already invested this much time, why would you quit now?” to convince them that success is always JUST around the corner. 

Am I saying every person in an MLM is an evil monster and intentionally doing this? Absolutely not. But what I am saying is that toxic positivity is ingrained in the culture of this industry! 

Coaching 

The coaching industry can be similar to MLMs. There are a LOT of coaches out there that don’t really care about your success – there are ALSO a lot of wonderful coaches who truly want to help people. So how can you tell the difference? Try to figure out how they feel about real human emotions. I do this by looking for blatant toxic positivity in their content. 

  • For me, it’s ok if they occasionally post content that plays into toxic positivity (I’ve done and said things that fit in this category under the ignorant guise of motivation) but if they react negatively to you calling that content out they probably aren’t the perfect coach for you. 
  • Another way to look into this is to identify if they repress or accept negative emotions. Do they only post about the positives or do they talk about the hard work it takes to make change? The realistic timeline of how long the process will take? Are they selling something that feels “too good to be true”? If so, really evaluate their content and make sure you aren’t getting conned. 
  • Red Flag warning: If they say things like “only focus on the positives” or “invest in you even if it doesn’t make sense” 
    • These are on the nose toxic positivity and sales tactics. The first one is classic toxic positivity. It’s like the meme of the dog in the burning building. You cannot IGNORE the negatives to make them go away. Think of your triggers and feelings like a mosquito in your bedroom. You cannot ignore it away. You either kill it, lose your mind or open a window and pray it leaves. You have to take action, usually, if you want it to go. 
    • The second one is garbage. Asking someone to invest in themselves – even when it doesn’t make sense makes absolutely 0 sense! (I know this because I have fallen for this line). The whole sentence is nonsense and I see it EVERYWHERE. The honest and less sexy version should be “investing in yourself makes sense if you want to grow quickly and you have the financial stability to invest” but in the end the choice is up to you. YOU CAN STILL GROW WITHOUT SPENDING MONEY – it just depends on who you are, what resources you can access and how you learn. 

My “Professional” Opinion

As a coach OF COURSE I want people to buy what I’m selling but I never want people to feel dependent on me to make change or that my 1×1’s or programs are their only options. Your change comes from within you – it’s all about how you work on yourself and what works for you. You do not NEED me to make change in your life, in fact even if you hire me you still have to do the work, I just help make things easier and more manageable! I’m here to help and I promise not to lie to you – even if the lie would be good for my sales! 

Gratitude, Spiritual Bypassing & Toxic Positivity: Why We Need to Embrace Our Triggers

Are you ready to face your triggers? Last week we deep dived into the basics of toxic positivity, the beautiful lies society loves to weave with it and the importance of recognizing privilege in our quest for success. This week I wanted to add more pieces to the positivity puzzle: triggers and gratitude

I love gratitude, I have a daily gratitude practice, I can HONESTLY say that having a gratitude practice changed my life but the only reason it was effective is because it was authentic. It would not have worked if I was not truly in a place where I could be grateful for the things in my life or if I had used the list of what I had to blatantly ignore what I was missing in my life. 

When we are authentically grateful, or want to be grateful, we are able to tap into the mindset benefits of gratitude. If we don’t believe the gratitude statements or affirmations we are saying they do not have the same effect on our mindset. When we use gratitude as a way to repress or escape from our thoughts or negative behaviors we are repressing emotions that NEED to come up and be processed.

Spiritual Bypassing 

Spiritual practices that encourage “love and light” or “positivity” only can intensify this issue. This practice of actively suppressing, ignoring or rejecting negative emotions through spiritual beliefs is called spiritual bypassing. Most major religions have practitioners that live and preach like this. There are individuals who believe that their faith calls for them to not experience negativity and disregard hard or uncomfortable situations.They may say toxic positivity phrases like “God will always take care of it;” they mean well but they might also be excluding themselves from taking responsibility for their actions. I believe that it is ok to be supported by your faith and to ask for guidance but if you do not take action and sit with the hard moments nothing will change. 

People who participate in spiritual bypassing are ironically stunting their growth under the guise of being evolved. By refusing to acknowledge the uncomfortable and hard experiences in life they are exhibiting an inordinate amount of privilege and diminishing any authentic human emotions.

In summary, spiritual bypassing is using faith or trust in the universe as an excuse to run from our challenges instead of mustering up the courage to grow from them. Spiritual bypassing adopts the idea of gratitude and uses it as a toxic positivity tool to tell others to “always look at the glass half full” or “look at the bright side” without leaving space for people to process negative emotions. 

I think we can all admit to being guilty at feeding someone an inauthentic toxic positivity lie. So how do we overcome this issue? 

Embrace Triggers to Process Emotions 

The best way to combat toxic positivity and spiritual bypassing is to embrace what triggers us. *This is referring to trigger in a day to day scenario such as social media, things that irk us and benign annoyances. If you have larger triggers due to past experiences I highly recommend working with a mental health professional on this! 

To face our triggers we need to stick with what we are feeling and face the emotions head on. When something triggers us we have the opportunity to do some deep self-reflection to get to know ourselves a little better. 

If we want to be authentically positive we have to wade through the muck and get to know who we are! If we do the hard work when our emotions come up we can move out of the negative space and into our positive space faster. 

It’s hard work but we don’t have to go at it alone. I’ve got a program on triggers that includes a 30 minute 1×1 session available if you want to face this with a buddy! Regardless of how you approach it the most important factor is to make sure you embrace the emotions, accept how you feel for what it is and then you can work through it and make your way to Good-vibes-ville (if you want)!

Conclusion

Yes, having a gratitude practice is great if it feels authentic to you! Participating in spiritual beliefs is a wonderful way to live your life – as long as you aren’t negating your human experience! Yes, you need to face your triggers head on if you want to grow from them. Your positive experiences are beautiful and valid but don’t forget to accept the beauty in the negative and neutral! 

Hope this helps you and inspires you to live a more authentic life! 

*I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Please work with a licensed professional on all health changes. 

Authenticity and Bravery Go Hand in Hand

I’ve talked about bravery before but lately I’ve had a bravery break through that I wanted to share. If you read the last post about bravery you might have a clue – it’s all about the importance of authenticity. 

In that post I chatted about the importance of authenticity and how to embody it but this time I want to elaborate.

And before we begin, yes, it is cheesy but the whole “be you everyone else is taken” can ring true. Stay with me as we dig into this!

Authenticity

Being authentic is the bravest choice you can make. Showing up unapologetically you (but obviously with kindness and good intentions) is the most important thing you can do – be you – it’s cheesy but you were meant to do big things. 

If we believe in higher power, God, Spirit, Energy, Source whatever caused us to be here – right now- then we are likely to believe that we were put here at this time for a specific reason. We were designed to exist as who we are for a specific reason. We were meant to have the wants, dreams, qualities and passions for a reason and this reason is SPECIFIC and individual to all of us. It is authentic. This individuality is why we have so many opinions on everything and everyone and why we judge other people or worry about them judging us. 

It’s messy – but it’s also liberating! Everyone is not supposed to follow the same path. If we all did the exact same thing that would be 1) boring 2) useless and 3) creates a homogenous world filled with things we could all do ourselves. We have to embrace our unique gifts and authenticity – we have to believe in our unique personal mission – we have to trust that there is some sort of plan or purpose and we have to be willing to be brave to find it. Our bravery is what allows us to follow our mission – allows us to be our most authentic selves. 

Being authentic is crucial to our success but we avoid it. Why?

Fear & Scarcity Mindset

We love to let our fear and scarcity mindset get in the way. Instead of listening to our inner guidance about our wants and passions we get caught up with our What If Monster and Shoulds. 

What If Monster

Our What If Monster is a jerk. We talk about him a lot in WDYW but to keep it brief he feeds off of fears and loves to stop us from doing new things under the guise of keeping us safe. He attacks using “logic” and scares us into staying the same. Our What If Monster says things like: 

  • What if I’m not “allowed” to have success?
  • What if I’m not meant to follow my dreams?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if people think I’m stupid for doing this?

He’s a real asshole. Every time we give in to his antics and hesitate from a place of fear (or hold ourselves back) we give him more fuel. We fill him up and make him so big that every little task feels impossible. Any new opportunity feels like it could be a threat. 

Stop Feeding the Monster

What we forget in this scenario is that we have the power to cut him off. We have the power to overcome him. All we have to do is stop feeding him. There are a couple techniques for this but one of my favorites is to play my What If scenario out.

What if people judge me? Then people judge me. I let other people’s potential opinions keep me from doing something I want to do. People judging me is a reflection on them not me. We can go on and on from here and in the end we usually come to the same place. IF the big scary what if happens then we will be ok, we will have done the big exciting thing we wanted to do and we will have learned something new. As long as we aren’t endangering ourselves or others we need to stop feeding the What If Monster so we can take away his power. 

Shoulds 

We love shoulding all over ourselves. Shoulding is another way we dim our inner voice and authenticity and tune into the way we think we were supposed to do things because of our childhood, lifestyle or opinions of others. Shoulding sucks. 

We should all over ourselves when we say things like

  • I should go on a diet 
  • I should go on a run 
  • I should get up and clean the house 

Shoulding forces us to ignore our wants and our wants are where our authenticity hides. We need to pay attention to our usage of should and try to frame things in a way that inspires us instead of bringing us down! 

Authenticity & Bravery

When we start noticing our shoulds and what ifs we begin to find our authenticity.By tuning out the noise from the outside we can listen to ourselves within. When we start to listen to our inner voice or intuition to be ourselves – that’s the bravest thing we can do. 

Being brave doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid. Being brave means we show up anyway even when we are scared shitless. 

Showing up as our most authentic selves is an act of bravery. It’s the bravest thing we can do. Taking an open and honest look at ourselves is BRAVE af. Looking inside, getting to know all of ourselves and loving ourselves along the way is BRAVE af. 

Being you is the bravest thing you can do. Ready to tap into your inner badass? Sign up for a program or schedule a 1×1 (while spots are still available). We can access your bravest most badass self. Details here.