What does it mean to belong? Dr. Brene Brown defines true belonging as “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.”
By that definition, few or us belong. What do we do instead? We try to fit in. We envy others, we want to be like them, want to own what they have, etc. But what happens when we try to fit in?
We forget to stand out. In fitting in, we give up our own individual uniqueness to try to be like someone else. We think that if we fit in, we’ll have more friends, be happier, have more things etc.
This need to fit in has been ingrained into our nervous system since the caveman days. We had tribes in order to hunt for food and for survival. If you were outcasted, you’d die.
While it may be true that we need community and a tribe, we don’t have to give up who we are for it. True belonging, doesn’t require you to change who you are. Those around you, will accept you for you. True belonging asks you to BE who you are and those that support you will show up.
Fitting in is safer. Being like someone else is easier. It does not require you to be vulnerable, to get out of your comfort zone or to find your voice. You don’t even have to do the inner work to find out who you are because you can be someone else. Belonging, that’s tough. It requires you sacrifice. You have to be willing to be unpopular, if it means standing up for yourself. It means having the hard conversations, being present all while trying to be with others.
Belonging is for the brave. For those who are willing to take the road less travelled. Are you ready for the journey?
Need help? 613-761-1600
Being in the profession that I am in and doing the work that I do has allowed me to see first hand what an excess of perceived stress does to your body and your life. Knowing this, I put into my life, many ways to combat and release my stresses. My best practices being: spending quality time with my family and friends, exercise, journaling, meditation, reading, sleep, good nutrition, massage and regular chiropractic care.
With all these safeguards in place, it’s not often that I feel my stress is unmanageable or “getting to me”. In fact, it’s been years…..until recently. Don’t get me wrong, stress still comes about and short term stressful events will always occur, it’s all a part of life, but how it affects your body can be mitigated.
Recently, I started to notice that little things were effecting me. I was quicker to anger with my family and friends, people were started to annoy me easier at work, I was less patient, and I was having less fun in life. Even playing with my child seemed like it would require too much energy….a huge sign that I was not myself. I had to take time to pause and see how I got to where I was.
It hit me that my safeguards had slowly been falling away and I didn’t notice because the process was gradual. My exercise and sleep have been severely lacking since giving birth. My meditation has gone out the window. This was a practice that I had been doing at least 3 times a week for the past 5 years. All these I had expected to change due to a new shift in priorities i.e. baby. What I didn’t take into account was how I was going to feel having lost some of these.
Now that my son is a little older, sleeping a bit better, etc. It’s time that I start to get back on track and reconnecting with me. I am grateful for the contrast in how I was to how I am now. When things are gradual, it’s harder to notice the day to day changes. It takes a larger gap before we realise the contrast. I also recognise that the frequency that I used to do things may no longer be the same however, the elements still need to be there.
I am grateful for the awareness and the opportunity to change my habits and all the support that I have to do so.
Need help changing? 613-761-1600
Research has shown over and over again that what we seek most is a sense of belonging and connection to others. People live longer when they have a sense of community and that they contribute and matter in some way.
So, why is it that we’re feeling so disconnected, alone and depressed when what we really want is to belong? Fear.
Fear is what cuts off connection to others. We fear what we do not understand. We fear people we don’t understand. We first look for the differences in others before we look at what we have in common.
What are we so afraid of? Researcher Brene Brown says that we fear: being vulnerable, getting hurt, pain of disconnection, criticism and failure, conflict, not measuring up. So, with all this fear, we move away from the very people that we want to connect with and wonder why we are lonely.
What’s the solution?
One often meets his destiny on the road that he took to avoid it.
All the things we fear must be faced. We need to be vulnerable, even if it hurts, especially when it hurts.
Embrace criticism so that we can improve and do better. Teach others how to give criticism so that it’s positively accepted.
Celebrate failure because it means that we had the courage to try.
Go into conflict with a goal of listening and finding a resolution.
Above all, we need to see the communality in all of us and believe in love which is the power that unifies us all.
Want to be part of the solution? Give us a call. 613-761-1600
Are you lacking in courage? Wondering how others seem to have so much of it and how you don’t seem to have any? Stop beating yourself up for not having it and borrow it from someone else.
If you can’t find the courage to do something, look at someone else. Find someone who’s doing what you are afraid to do. Read their story, look at the challenges that they have overcome and that they currently face. Perhaps they have even had some of the same experiences as you have. Borrow their courage!
Sometimes, when we see courage displayed by someone, it inspires it within us. In wake of the #metoo movement, we’re seeing courageous people tell their stories and struggles. This in turn has inspired even more people to tell their stories and we can see how many people have had similar experiences. The first few people who started the movement were courageous and inspired others to be as well. We just want to know that what we want to do is possible.
So, when you’re faced with a lack of confidence, courage, love, strength, etc. borrow it from other people until you have enough on your own. Don’t worry, in doing so and telling your story, you will be a source of inspiration for others. Why? Because courage is contagious and everytime that you choose it, you make others around you a little better and in turn, the world becomes a little braver.
Wnat to meet some courageous people? Come to our monthly workshop. RSVP 613-761-1600
Why is it that we fear change so much? For some people, they fear change so much so that they freeze in their place and can’t move.
The reason for this is because we see change as a threat. Even if the change is something that we want, our nervous system sees it as something that is trying to attack us.
When we’re under attack or the illusion of being under attack, our body goes into fight, flight or freeze mode. This is an old system of protection for our body. It was so that back in the caveman days, if we came face to face with a bear or lion, we could run away or try to fight.
This defence mechanism is in our nervous system to protect us i.e. if we’re being chased, about to be attacked etc. but most of the time, our lives are not in danger.
Change is unknown. If you quit your job, end your relationship etc, there is no guarantee in your mind that it will all work out...even if most of the time, it does all work out. This fear, then activates your flight/ fight and you are scared into staying where you are.
So, how do you keep your system from activating? First, tell your body over and over again that it is not under attack and that it is safe (assuming that your life is not in danger). Next, you need to do the thing that you are scared to do over and over again until your nervous system no longer recognizes it as a threat.
Think back to when change was learning to sit up, stand, walk, ride a bike. Any skill that you’ve learned, you once didn’t know it. The first time might be scary but once you kept doing it, it got easier.
Remember, ships are safest in the habour but that’s not what ships are built for.
Need help finding courage, give us a call 613-761-1600
Studying your behaviours can lead to interesting revelations about your subconscious body. A while ago, one of my patients mentioned that he observed that he collected certain things (flashlights, socks, shoes, etc) and wanted to know what drew him to those objects.
We first examined why he was drawn to buying flashlights and why he had so many of them. After asking about his childhood, we discovered that he was afraid of the dark and light made him feel better. So, now, in adulthood, he collects flashlights.
With that experience, I asked what drew me to some of the things that I’ve been interested in lately. When my son was first born, I was obsessed with babywearing. Babywearing is using wraps, slings, carriers, etc to attach your baby to you instead of having to hold them with your arms. I ended up with far more carriers than I needed or used. It wasn’t until I looked at what babywearing meant to me that I understood why I wanted so many. Babywearing meant freedom for me while still being able to keep baby close. I could put him in a carrier, and still have both arms free to get things done. I could carry him with me where I went and not have to worry. Since my discovery, I have been able to get rid of some of my carriers and only keep the ones I use more often.
What are some of the things you obsess about or have too much of? What do they represent for you? Need help with this? Ask me at your next appointment and we can figure it out together.
Why are your different states important? They dictate how you view a situation and how you react. If you are in a negative state, let’s take anger as an example, then others will feel your anger. Your actions will be angry and you may say and do things that you don’t mean to in your interactions with others. If you are in a state of gratitude, you would have different, perceptions, behaviours, thoughts, etc.
Your energy state also determines how you remember something. If you are in an energy poor, tired, and drained state, when something happened to you, you would remember it as painful or a trauma. If you were energy neutral at the time, your memory would be ok. However, if you were charged and in an awesome state, you would see the gift in the situation. All the events could be the same but how you remember it is based on your energy state at the time.
So what are the different states of energy? They are energy poor, energy neutral and energy rich.
In an energy poor state, the system has no energy and it’s about survival. You need energy coming into the system to help it survive. In the body, this is when there’s tissue death, organs start to break down, pain occurs. In life, it’s when the marriage breaks up, you file for divorce, file for bankruptcy, etc. This state is about surviving for a little longer.
In an energy neutral state, there is enough energy to sustain itself as long as there are no surprises or additional stresses. This is where most of us live. This is about feeling comfortable, control and fitting in. Here, you have a story about something i.e you’re not good enough, tall enough, pretty enough, etc and you can’t go beyond it.
In an energy rich state, there is enough energy that it can give more energy to the system to help it reorganize. There’s energy left over to inspire others and think beyond the culture. Energy rich states means having more resourcefulness.
What state do you live in? Give us a call 613-761-1600
Firstly, I am mandated by the chiropractic college to have a certain about of continuing education hours each year. I have always considered this to be the minimum amount and I take more than is required, every year. This is to ensure that my skills are at the highest levels to support the type of care that I deliver and to serve my patients to the best of my abilities.
I work with people and we are dynamic beings, always moving, changing, growing, evolving and new techniques and technologies are required to adapt to the ever changing needs of a person.
In April, I went to an intermediate and advanced technique workshop and I was conflicted in going. I wanted to go because I was excited to learn and yet I felt guilty because I would be away from my young child for the entire workweek and then the weekend. I hemmed and hawed and signed up for the course. I told myself, that if I were to go, I would need to be fully present because it would have to be worth my time away from my family….and it was.
Firstly, I learned more technical skills to improve the quality of care that I am giving. I built upon what I already knew and further refined care at the higher levels. This itself has made a world of difference.
More importantly, I improved upon myself, the person delivering the care. I realised that I’ve been operating out of habit and on auto-pilot and that I was getting bored. There were moments where I was inspired but it was never long lasting.
During the workshop, I had the chance and was forced to see how I had been operating and given the opportunity to increase my energy levels to operate at a new capacity. The result being, an increased level of presence in the office, renewed joy while working with patients, gratitude for my family and feeling more of who I know myself to be.
When I change myself, and it is a conscious choice to change, and shift my state; I affect everyone that I come in contact with which in turns affects those that others come in contact with. Over time, you never know how far reaching each interaction can be.
Are there areas in your life where you are just getting by? Are there any areas that require more attention or focus? Come to an advanced workshop 613-761-1600
Similar to leaving your fingerprints everywhere you go, you also leave a trace of your emotions.
I was watching a cooking show called Master Chef and one of the cooks was getting frustrated because his dish was not going as planned and the time was running out. One of the judges came by and told him that he was cooking with anger and showed him how it showed up in the food he was making. His pasta was ripping and smushed up. He was putting his anger into his food and the person who ate it, would then receive the emotions.
This happens when we cook at home as well. If we’re tired from a long work day and come home, the way we chop our food, the way we stir our dishes, etc. will also be transferred into our food. When our family eats it, they will feel that way also.
This is the same in all other aspects of your life. If you are angry when you get home, what emotional blueprints do you leave behind? When you cook, clean and interact with your family what emotions are present?
Take note and if you are not happy with what you’re leaving, change your state. Perhaps try cooking with gratitude and love. See how this affects your food….and in turn your life.
I did this experiment personally as well. I was getting tired of pumping milk for baby Lincoln several times a day while at work and was starting to think of it as a chore. One day, while I was pumping, I thought, what else could I be doing while I’m pumping to improve upon this experience? I came up with, I could infuse gratitude into this experience. So, I thought of all the people and things in my life that I was grateful for. I thought of how pumping milk provides nourishment and comfort to my child and how many people can’t or struggle to do this. By the end of my session, I was so happy for this experience. I know that this milk he drinks will be even better than the previous.
What can you do to change your emotional blueprint for yourself, those around you, your community, and all of humanity. Leave your comments below.
Shiny object syndrome is a disease of distraction. It happens whenever something new and exciting comes along and makes you want to change the direction in your life, health, finances, etc.
It’s similar to a young child who chases shiny objects. Once they catch it, play with it for a bit, they lose interests and then search for the next shiny item. Adults do the same, they search for the new trends, new ideas, new things to make them happy and it does temporarily and then they go on the search again.
Do you sometimes find yourself searching for the next new diet, or the next new business idea or even the newest cure for your health issues or disease? Only to find yourself excited for the moment and then eventually ending up back where you were before or even more frustrated? Perhaps you have shiny object syndrome.
What’s the best way to combat this? Priorities and goals.
Businesses, health, wealth, connections, love, community are not built over a day. They require dedication and time. If you are constantly jumping from one thing to the next, it will be hard to build the life that you want.
Each year, choose priorities or goals that you want to focus on. This way, when something new comes up, you can ask yourself, is this getting me closer to my goal. If not, then you put it off to try another time.
When I was a student, I had to prioritize my spending. To combat shiny object syndrome, I made a 30 day rule on things I wanted to buy. If I wanted to buy something, I would keep track on a list of what I wanted to buy and put the date 30 days later beside it. In 30 days, I would look at the item again and decide if I still wanted/needed it. This cut down a lots of spontaneous spending. If I still required an item, 30 days later, I would buy it at that time.
In my practice, I love learning and taking seminars. There also needs to be a limit as well. Firstly, I need time to integrate what I learned into my practice and secondly, my family life would suffer if I spent all my weekends away on training. Each year, I also decide which seminars I would take and which ones I need to evaluate for next year.
Is there an area in your life that needs more prioritizing? Leave a comment below.
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.