One of the biggest challenges to self-care is that it means different things to different people.
Is it bubble baths and facials? Nice vacations and or buying a coveted outfit or pair of shoes? Or is it advocating for reasonable wages and safe working conditions?
For some, self-care is a justification to splurge or just take a dang day off when a justification sadly should not be needed. For others, self-care is a means of survival and maintaining the capacity to keep moving forward when things feel bleak.
And all too often, self-care is now presented with an individualist lens that puts the onus firmly on us and ignores the systemic influences that get in the way of caring for ourselves, and the very real need for community and support in our lives.
Self-care is not a problem that can be solved through consumption or a prescriptive plan but is both an individual practice and deeply relational and connected to the communal.
So when I read an article by...
Conscious consumption is one of the hottest trends in retail marketing.
We shop to make a difference, have an impact, build a better world.
But many of the businesses that claim to be doing good are running on business models or operating principles that are hardly disruptive.
Instead, they're counting on consumers' desire to both have their cake and eat it too.
The more companies can convince us that shopping equals advocacy, the more we'll buy.
With all that said, I was curious what a company would look like - beyond the marketing pulling at my heartstrings - running with the full awareness of what it means to truly disrupt exploitation.
A company that honors transparency and relationships will have the answers to our questions without defaulting to marketing speak or trendy buzz words, and that’s why I wanted to speak with today’s guest.
Leading a fashion lifestyle brand might be an unlikely role for someone self-described as...
The mental load we all carry right now is next level.
But just because this load is invisible does not make it any less important.
Kids, pets, aging family members, school, work, the economy, democracy, access to safe and affordable health care, chronic health issues - the list goes on and on, and feels like it keeps piling on without relief or end in sight.
On top of this, we carry past pains and difficult life experiences too.
And most of us don’t realize how much pain we carry until we end up on the brink.
Many people face systemic barriers that make that load heavier, and don’t have access to time and resources to find relief. And we’re also bombarded with messages like, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” that make carrying a lot a badge of honor.
What if our places of work cultivated spaces that supported healing instead of perpetuating over-functioning and over-working?
If you want to cultivate...
There is a difference between nice and kind.
Niceness is appeasing and complacent. Kindness is loving and generous.
Niceness, in IFS terms, can be experienced as a strong protector shielding us from vulnerability and risk by over-accommodating others. True kindness, on the other hand, connects us to our compassion and our values.
We sacrifice our integrity to play nice, to go along to get along. When we lead from niceness, we sugar coat and people please. While this may offer some relief, this posture usually creates more stress and internal dissonance.
To lead with kindness, you need the capacity to receive and navigate the responses of others. Kindness stirs up vulnerability because we do not know how we will be received, how we will be perceived, or how others will respond.
And these fears are especially common when navigating conversations and feedback around race, gender, ability, and so much more.
My guest today helps me dig deep into the intersection of niceness,...
We all carry pain. All of us.
We navigate the vice grip of the pains from our past along with the pains from the present while trying to keep it all together.
And when things break, we often carry the blame and responsibility for our pain because we’ve absorbed the messages that our struggles are our sole responsibility; neglecting to see the systems, the business practices, and the cultural norms that weigh us down, too.
As a result, the desire to control our emotions and our environments runs deep.
And our protectors are often on high alert editing our words, our tones, and how we express emotions–especially the difficult ones.
But when we seek to control both our inner world and our external world as a means of creating safety, we end up having the opposite effect.
To counter these toxic messages and systems, we need to do our own inner work and set the foundation for the capacity to make changes in the spaces where we live and work.
Quick-fix solutions abound for mental health challenges.
As leaders, we’re fed the same advice over and over again. Generic one-size-fits-all “thought work” designed to alleviate our gloom and get us back on the road to success.
But that generic advice comes up short. And much of it further stigmatizes mental health struggles, failure, and doubt to the point where people fake it until they make it and then end up face down in a serious mental health crisis.
We as leaders and business owners have a responsibility to offer something other than quick fixes or bandaids. We have to do the work to create spaces for the nuances of life to show up.
We need to make mental health a priority in our businesses. How we all approach mental well-being can shift the stigmas around struggle while honoring the whole person with as much care as our bottom line.
Today’s guest joins me for an important and nuanced conversation about the intersection...
We often look at the results of quizzes and personality assessments for language to help describe ourselves to others. And to better understand ourselves.
These assessments can help us manage how we hire, date, and even want others perceive us.
The language of these tests can fuel connection and belonging within and with others–to an extent.
But it can also be used to sort, judge, or even shame aspects of another’s personality. These assessments can be used to silo an aspect of how people show up or experience the world, into something that becomes polarizing or seen as “good” or “bad.”
We react to judgments of a trait in someone else instead of being present to someone’s full identity.
Yet, used with self-reflection and curiosity, assessment systems like the Enneagram can further a deeper understanding of ourselves, so we can in turn lead ourselves and others from a place of health.
My guest today is shaking things up...
How you talk to yourself often reflects how you lead and how you talk with others.
The harshness of your inner conversations seeps through into your conversations with others. The vice grip of judgment, resentment, and out of aligned expectations you’re holding combined with the burdens from difficult life experiences make it loud between the ears.
We navigate our internal conversations while simultaneously engaging in conversations with others. It gets messy and the inner conversations eventually spill out to our external conversations.
But our inner conversations of doubt, shame, and judgment are not a moral failure but a reflection of our past pain plus the world we live in and the thousands of messages we get everyday focused on questioning our health and our worth.
The message that we are the problem when we are struggling with how we talk to ourselves leaves out the responsibility of our history, our current culture that conflates...
When you experience something that elicits an emotional response at work, you respond according to the extent of the emotional burdens you carry.
Our burdens come from our past traumas combined with the real-time heart-wrenching news–on repeat–we are moving through right now in our country.
And our places of work can also be ground zero for some really painful experiences or where we relive difficult life experiences.
When we can connect the impact of our traumatic and difficult life experiences to how we lead, that builds the foundation for a trauma-informed culture.
It also moves us out of an individualistic lens to a collective approach to healing and change.
And when we can name the traumatic experiences that happen in our places of work without retribution and move to accountability and repair, this also builds a trauma informed culture that moves us beyond pathologizing pain and struggle to normalizing. Even healing it.
When the whole...
When we spend most of our time trying to prove our worth, our proving shifts to looking for safety and validation from external sources and delegates our worth to others.
When we engage in this kind of proving, we end up in what I call the “not enough” loop.
The not enough loop is rooted in the belief that if you can change or fix yourself based on these external metrics–the standard of enough–you’ll get relief and feel more secure and capable.
But it only deepens our feelings of insecurity, comparison, and scarcity, which loops back to looking outside ourselves for validation. The not enough loop counts on us to externalize our worthiness.
When we fall into the not enough loop in our work, we often hear blanket labels like “imposter syndrome” that place responsibility on the individual and shut down conversations about the biases and pressures that make imposter syndrome and the not enough loop so much more prevalent for anyone who...