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Siobhan Kelleher Kukolic

Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

Page 3 of 54

Fear

Fear.  It can change how we move through our day.  Are we worried about our health, our job, our kids, our bills?  It can frame how we act, the decisions we make and how we take care of ourselves.

As writer Anais Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

And how are we?  What story is replaying in our head?  What are we telling ourselves about our life, our future and what we are seeing in the news?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Often the fear is worse than the narratives we worry about.

Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

We should always take realistic precautions in life.  But sometimes a wait and see mentality and an attitude of gratitude will get us where we need to go.

Despair or hope

In her book Positivity, Barbara L. Fredrickson writes, “As I see it, there are two basic responses to hardship.  Despair or hope.  In despair, you multiply your negativity.  Your fear and uncertainty can turn into stress.  Your stress can morph into hopeless sadness, which in turn can breed shame.  Worse than this mushrooming negativity, despair smothers and snuffs out all forms of positivity.  With positivity extinguished, all possibilities for genuine connections with others are lost.  Despair opens the gate to a downward spiral that may well lead you to rock bottom. 

Hope is different.  It’s not the mirror reflection of despair.  Your hope, in fact, acknowledges negativity with clear eyes.  More important, though, your hope kindles further positivity within you.  Even the most subtle shades of hope can be a springboard for you to feel love, gratitude, inspiration, and more.  And these warm and tender feelings open your mind and your heart and allow you to connect with others.  So hope opens the gate to an upward spiral that empowers you to bounce back from hardship and emerge even stronger and more resourceful than before.

Some people — either genetically or intuitively — seem to understand the gifts of positivity better than the rest of us.  We call those people resilient.  They are the ones who smile in the face of adversity, reframe bad events as opportunities, and adopt a wait-and-see attitude about future threats.  This doesn’t mean that they never feel bad.  They bleed just like everyone else.” Continue reading

Cheer

This week I watched a series on Netflix called Cheer about the road to the Nationals for a cheerleading team from a little town in Texas.  The team was from a small school, Navarro College, that was put on the map when a home-town gal decided to return to her roots after earning an MBA and coach the sport she competed in as a high school student. Continue reading

See ourselves as part of the ocean

In a recent meditation, author Tara Brach said something profound.  She said we need to see ourselves as part of the ocean.  Embracing the waves.  Not in fear of the waves or fighting the waves.  When we fear or fight the waves we end up with motion sickness.  Being tossed around in our life without control.  We have to realize that we are one with the entire ocean and that is our power. Continue reading

That space

Psychologist and author Tara Brach mentioned a quote and a poem in a meditation she offered recently that really moved me.

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychologist and Holocaust survivor said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

That space.

How many times have we reacted and regretted it immediately?  We made someone feel bad, we yelled, we pressed send, we wounded with words. Continue reading

Positivity

In her book Positivity, Barbara L. Fredrickson writes, “You are constantly changing — not just your clothes or your hairstyle, but your inner core, the very essence of your being. Change is the rule, constancy the rare exception. Consider the change underway within you at this very moment. What you know as ‘you’ is actually trillions of cells living and working together. Most only live for a few weeks or months. When they die, they are replaced by new cells. This cycle continues for as long as you live. The pace of cell renewal varies by body part. Your taste buds live only a few hours. Your white blood cells live about ten days. Your muscle cells live about three months. Even your bones are made anew time and again. Considering these differences, scientists have suggested that you replace about 1 per cent of your cells each day. That’s 1 per cent today, another 1 per cent tomorrow, amounting to roughly 30 per cent by next month and 100 per cent by next season. Seeing yourself and your cells in this way, every three months you get a whole new you. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that it takes around three months to learn a new habit or make a lifestyle change. Perhaps we can’t teach an old cell new tricks.” Continue reading

Identity theft

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen R. Covey says, “The greatest identity theft is not when someone takes your wallet or steals your credit card.  The greater theft happens when we forget who we really are, when we begin to believe that our worth and identity come from how well we stack up compared to others, instead of recognizing that each of us has immeasurable worth and potential, independent of any comparison.” Continue reading

Flow theory

Positive Psychology co-founder Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is best known for his Flow Theory.  This is when you are engaged in a task that uses your gifts while challenging your skills.  In a moment of flow, you may forget to get up, go to the washroom or even eat.  You are fully invested in something that brings you happiness and peace. Continue reading

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