What Are You Thinking?

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You Can Control Your Emotions

Our minds are always working. Many of us meditate and can focus on our breath, or something specific such as the sounds around us, or the feel of the air on our face. But our minds are always at work. Some of our thoughts and emotions drain our energy and some can boost our energy. Ideally, we will learn how to respond to our emotions in such a way that they aren’t draining our energy.

Monkey Mind

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Do you pay attention to your thoughts? Do some thoughts overtake your mind and keep you from focusing on your current task? Do you have trouble focusing on what you are reading or a show you are watching? Would you like to control your monkey-mind? We all have monkey-mind from time to time. When this happens, it is ok to let it happen for a short time, but we don’t want that to be our normal mind. We want to be able to get the racing thoughts settled so we can be productive and do the things we want, and to be the person we want to be.


Emotions are neither good nor bad; they are all valuable and natural according to Dr. Jamie Rabin in the Chopra Newsletter. However, we do not want our emotions to control our lives. We want to control our emotions and our lives. We want to have a healthy relationship with our emotions. Let’s get started!

Some of the more common emotions we experience that intrude on our thoughts and enjoyment include:


A powerful emotion, anger, can often lead to other emotions, to uncontrolled outbursts when released, or to illnesses such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, or inflammation when suppressed.

When we have learned how to manage our anger it can be beneficial as a motivator. We can use our anger to direct us to create positive changes such as setting appropriate boundaries, letting go of unhealthy habits, or starting new healthy habits.


Anxiety can lead us to feel restless, have trouble concentrating, and feel agitated. Anxiety can cause us to have trouble sleeping, which in turn can lead to more anxiety. Over time, chronic anxiety can cause health issues such as increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, and a weakened immune system.

On the positive side, when we learn to manage our anxiety, we can choose to make necessary changes to improve our self-awareness. Anxiety can also be a warning system to potential threats to our well-being.


We have all experienced worry at some times in our life. Worry can take over all our thoughts and keep us from being productive. In addition, worry can cause us to have problems with memory and concentrating. As with other feelings for which we do not find positive coping mechanism worry can lead to physical illnesses including a weakened immune system.

When worry is balanced it can give us the boost needed for problem solving. Worry informs us that something is not right and that there is an issue to be resolved. Worry can also inspire gratitude and encourage being present.


Fear, another powerful emotion that when not addressed can lead to us to becoming insecure, to panic, to withdraw, or to avoid other people or situations. Unresolved fear can lead to sleep problems, chronic pain, a weakened immune system, or even adrenal fatigue.

On the other hand, fear warns us of danger and risks. Fear might also lead to the exploration of spiritual growth.


This emotion can cause us feelings of sorrow, exhaustion, and apathy. Once again if sadness isn’t addressed our appetite can be affected and we eat too much or not enough. Additionally, ongoing sadness can lead to lethargy and increased risk of illness.

On the positive side, sadness can be the stimulus we need to make necessary changes in our life. Exploring the reason for our sadness, learning about ourselves, and identifying things for which we are grateful can all be of benefit to our well-being.

Positive Coping

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All these emotions drain our energy. Most of us don’t have an abundance of energy. Our busy lives use up what we have, and we tend to search for ways to enhance our energy. One way to increase energy is to halt the drain caused by our unhealthy coping methods.

Of course, there are many more emotions. But let’s not overwhelm ourselves. One way to begin is to set aside a few minutes each day to look after your feelings. This is part of your self-care plan along with adequate sleep, healthy nutrition, and appropriate activity.

The Plan

Heart-Focused Breathing® is a HeartMathTechnique that I recommend. This is a technique that can be used no matter where you are, at any time.

Focus your attention in the area of your heart.

Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area.

Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual.

Suggestion: Inhale for a count of 5

Exhale for a count of 5

Or whatever rhythm is comfortable for you.

Repeat 5-10 times at least once per day.

Breathe Inhale Exhale - kathleenport / Pixabay
kathleenport / Pixabay

Another practice is one suggested in the Chopra Newsletter, by Dr. Jamie Rabin.

Select an emotion you want to work on – one that is causing you concern.

Identify how that emotion influences your mind and body.

Honour selected emotion by identifying ways that emotion has been of benefit to you, now or in the past.

Thank the emotion for how it has served you.

Use your breath to release the emotion. Inhale naturally. As you exhale, imagine you are releasing any attachment to that specific emotion. On the next inhalation imagine you are breathing in fresh, clean energy.

Suggestion: Repeat 10 times for best results.

This is a start toward you becoming the best you can be. Self-improvement is an on-going journey toward the life you want.

Touch: Might it Be the Key to Our Well-Being?

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Touch, One of Our 5 Senses

Touch is essential to our well-being. A June 2022 edition of National Geographic includes an article The Power of Touch by Cynthia Gorney. This article updates us on the importance of touch and what is occurring in the development of touch sensation in artificial limbs, among other things. Touch is one of our five basic senses, and one we cannot live without. Though scientists are suggesting more than five senses. I’ll leave that for another time.

Why is touch so important to our well-being? Science explains a lot. However, I think the important thing is the positive feelings we have with pleasant touch, even if we do not know the science, we know the feeling. We also know unpleasant touch and the associated feelings. Touch sensation warns us of dangers; hot, sharp, hard, cold, or sticky. What happens when we are deprived of touch?

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Isolation, Quarantine, Solitary Confinement

As a nurse I often cared for people in isolation, and as a patient I have been in isolation more than once. What does that do to our ability to heal? What happens to our mental and emotional health? What happens to the health of criminals or prisoners of war when put in solitary confinement? Hospital isolation and quarantine allow for some interaction with humans, and some touch. In prisons isolation does not offer interaction or touch. How does this affect us in the long term?

I know when I was most recently in hospital isolation, and extremely ill, my mental health suffered greatly. I was completely aware of this and despite how ill I was, I just wanted to get out of that tiny room and be home with people I loved, and my dog.

The United Nations has proclaimed solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture.

Long-term Effects of Touch Deprivation

Our skin is our largest organ. The skin sends touch sensations to our brain. Pleasant touch sends a signal to our brain causing the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is the ‘feel good’ hormone, or ‘bonding’ hormone and stimulates the release of other ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. (Reference)

What happened during COVID with the decrease in touch that most of us experienced? I know at one point I decided I just didn’t care, I needed to hug my son. I hadn’t seen him in months and wasn’t going to see him again for months. I needed to hug him and be hugged by him. How many other people have had similar experiences?

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We have been hearing about the mental health concerns resulting from the absence of human interaction over the last two-plus years. Considering what I have been reading about touch, this is not surprising. I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection between lack of touch, isolation, and long COVID. Afterall, we have been told about the effect on the immune system when we go without positive touch.

Lack of touch can cause stress, anxiety, or depression. When we are stressed the body releases cortisol, another hormone. Cortisol release causes our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate to increase, and can also cause muscle tension.

Human Development and Touch

Touch plays a significant role in our developmental well-being, both mental and physical. The importance begins from before we are born and continues throughout our life. Research has suggested the importance of touch in bonding with our babies. When my daughter was born, very prematurely in 1967, weighing only 2 pounds 4 ounces, we were not allowed to touch or hold her for 3 months, when she was nearing the time to come home. I have no idea how this might have influenced her ongoing development, but I know it was heart-breaking for me. Today, even very premature infants are held, skin-on-skin. Ferber, Feldman, and Makhoul, 2008 stated “Skin-to-skin contact [in] [sic] even in the first hours after birth has been shown to help regulate newborns’ temperature, heart rate, and breathing, and decreases crying”.

Research, as far back as 1915, identified the correlation between death under the age of 2 was ‘due to failure to thrive, related to lack of touch and affection (Chapin 1915; cited in Montagu 1986, p. 97).

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Seniors Need Touch Too

Seniors often live alone and as we age many of our friends are no longer with us. Thus, seniors can go for lengthy periods of time without human touch. I have been told by friends in Massage Therapy and Acupuncture Therapy there are many senior clients who come simply to be able to enjoy human touch. Think about how much that was decreased during COVID? I’d love to see some stats on the mental well-being of our senior citizens during that period.

Research indicates touch is important for the elderly, especially those with dementia. Compassionate touch has been deemed important for quality of life and for the elderly suffering with dementia, and at end of life. Touch is a form of communication we all know.

Touch boosts the immune system, improves physical health, and benefits emotional health, and is a social interaction connecting one person to another.

Get Consent

Our culture has limited the amount of casual touching deemed appropriate. As we consider the importance of touch let’s consider how we can increase touch in our life, without running into sexual harassment charges. One of the main things to remember is the importance of consent.

Some of the ways we can increase touch in our lives is by getting massages, manicures, pedicures, or having our hair done. We can make a point of shaking hands, if both parties are ok with that, even if it means using hand sanitizer following. Ask friends if it is ok to hug them, or to hold their hand while talking.

Is it ok to lay a hand on another person’s hand, arm, or shoulder? If unsure ask. These are gestures among friends that I consider important to the relationship. My husband and I make a point of hugging and usually hold hands while watching a moving or sitting visiting with others.

Touch and the State of the World

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While reading for information about touch I also discovered a proposed correlation between lack of touch and violent crimes. An affectionate society tends to be a non-violent society according to an article in Humanism by Joe.

As mentioned earlier, touch causes the release of oxytocin. Some studies suggest that oxytocin leads us to feeling more generous, empathetic, nurturing, more collaborative, and more grateful.

Do you suppose if we spent more time hugging, we might have a more peaceful world? But don’t forget to get consent before you hug.

Being In the Zone

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“In the Zone” or “Flow” is a state I enjoy. Or thought I did until I read that to get into ‘Flow’ I ‘should’ set a goal. Maybe what I thought was “Being in the Zone” or in a state of “Flow” wasn’t really what I thought. To me being in the zone is a pleasant state of being totally absorbed in what I am doing, to the point that I lose all track of time. I always thought of being in the zone as something that occurs spontaneously. If I set a goal that isn’t flow, to me that is focus. Nothing wrong with focus, but it isn’t the same as “Being in the Zone”. Obviously, I need to do more reading and gain a better understanding.

A bit of history. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is the psychologist who identified the ‘state of flow’ or ‘in the zone’. Csikszentmihalyi outlined his theory as follows

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“a state of flow—a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation.  It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter”

This is a state that I enjoy.

As I searched the terms “flow” and “zone” I was surprised to find works suggesting that to get into a state of ‘flow’ setting a goal was the place to start. I don’t think I have ever gotten into the zone when I have set a goal. I can certainly be entirely focused when I set a goal, but being focused is different from ‘in the zone’ as far as I am concerned.

Csikszentmihalyi suggests that we get into the zone or state of flow by being completely absorbed in an activity just for the sake of enjoying the activity. You lose all track of time – oh what a glorious state. The hours have flown by as you have been completely engrossed in what you were doing. If you set a goal, the state doesn’t occur spontaneously, and I have always associated that spontaneity with being in the zone.

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There are things we can do, or that are needed, to facilitate this state. Ensuring you are not interrupted is the prime one for me. Afterall, as soon as you are interrupted the state is broken. Enabling a state of flow requires loss of oneself into an activity. Have you ever gotten so absorbed in reading a book at bedtime that the next thing you know you only have a few hours until you must get up to start a new day? This has happened to me numerous times. Gardening is another activity which takes me to that other place – the zone – time doesn’t apply when I get playing in the dirt.

What things make you lose track of time? How often does this happen? Would you like it to happen more often? I would love to get into this state more often. I love losing myself in my activities. Though Csikszentmihalyi does recommend ‘clarity of goals’ I only agree with this in a very general sense. The goal is often simply to read, plant, weed, or work in the garden, bake or cook, or sew or knit, etc. But if I was doing a SMART goal I would have to be Specific (is gardening specific enough), Measurable (I don’t tend to decide how many seeds I will plant, or weeds I will pull), being in the zone doesn’t require me to think about whether I am able to Achieve what I am doing because what I am doing is what is I plan to achieve. I don’t need to think about whether it is Realistic – it just is. If I get in the zone while reading, there is no sense of Time (being in flow a sense of time is gone). So, I just can’t link goals and being in the zone.

I find being in the zone happens spontaneously. However, there are a few things that we can do to help us get into the zone if we don’t want to wait for spontaneity: 1. Clear your mind. Don’t be thinking about other things, be focused on the task at hand – mindfulness. 2. No interruptions – turn off your cell phone, ask others to leave you alone for a while and to just let you be. Prepare snacks and have them with you, have something to drink handy, and go to the bathroom. If you are outside put on your sunscreen and insect repellent ahead of time. 3. Prepare your brain with a few deep breaths to help you relax and let go of the clutter in your brain and put the squirrels back in their cage.

Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, called ‘being in the zone’,

“doing without doing” or “trying without trying”

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Being in the zone has been likened to a “runners high”. That is the experience I associate with zone and flow. It is an ethereal experience at times, like being on a different plane of existence. I find the experience other worldly. I think I will try some of the above suggestions for getting ‘into a state of flow’ because it is a state I enjoy. I think a few minutes of meditation before starting some projects would be enough for me to wind up in a state of flow. I’m not sure about the meditation or the earlier suggestions so I will be doing a little experimentation over the next while to see if I can get “in the zone” more often.


Essential Oils for Personal Use

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I have many memories associated with a variety of scents and aromas. So, it is not surprising that I decided to take an aromatherapy course and become an Aromatherapy Practitioner. Smells bring back many pleasant memories.

Are there scents that remind you of special people or occasions? I remember how my grandma and my mom smelled, I loved them both and when I come across those smells the memories are pleasant and precious. The first perfume my husband gave me early in our relationship is a scent I still love. The smell of logs burning in the fireplace makes me feel warm and cozy, and a bit like I’m in a fairy tale world or romantic story. A walk in the forest results in a calm, serene state, and reminds me of early mornings camping with my girlfriend and her parents when we were in our teens – super great memories.

There are also memories I have of odours I experienced as a nurse. I learned what certain odours suggested, some not so nice. But being able to identify some odours could help in diagnosing specific infections and medical problems. The smells of some medicines also bring back a variety of childhood memories – Buckley’s White Rub when I had another bout of strep throat and chest infection.

With this great interest in aromas, it is no wonder that I have been drawn to essential oils for a long time. Several years ago, I took a course that I enjoyed very much. Since then, I have used many oils and made occasional products for myself, family, and friends. Then a few months ago I embarked on an Aromatherapy Practitioner Course. The course was excellent, and I have learned a great deal. But there is still so much to learn. Dabbling with a wide variety of oils has been great fun: I love combining and experimenting.

Both courses have stressed the importance of getting quality oils. They can seem to be expensive, but so little is needed, and I get such pleasure, and benefit from them that I don’t mind. Now to share with you some information about using essential oil, some of my favourite oils and their uses.

Get Started with Essential Oils

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As you start using essential oils, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Follow any label and packaging instructions.
  • Determine the specific uses and benefits of the oil you intend to use. Product Information Pages and shop pages are great sources of information.

How to Apply Essential Oils

There are three ways to use essential oils:

Through smellAromatic use of essential oils includes any application method that helps you experience the aroma of the oil. You can use essential oils aromatically by:

-Diffusing in an essential oil diffuser

-Applying a drop to your hands and inhaling

-Wearing as a personal fragrance

On your skin. Topical application of essential oils allows the oil to absorb into the skin. You can use essential oils on your skin by:

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-Incorporating them into a massage

-Applying to targeted areas

-Adding to lotions or moisturizers

By Ingesting. Internal use of certain essential oils can be beneficial to the body and add unique flavours to dishes and beverages. *First, make sure the essential oil is safe for internal use, and then try taking essential oils internally by using one of these methods:

-Add to a glass of water, milk, or juice, or to a favorite tea or smoothie

-Include in recipes

-Take in a veggie capsule

-Put a drop under your tongue

Here are the 10 most popular doTERRA Canada essential oils:

Frankincense essential oil: Called the “king of oils,” Frankincense is one of the most prized and precious essential oils. For centuries, Frankincense has been used for its beautifying characteristics—particularly for rejuvenating the appearance of skin and promoting an atmosphere of relaxation. When used topically, Frankincense can help soothe and moisturize dry skin, promote a clear complexion, and can help maintain healthy-looking fingernails.

Lavender essential oil: Lavender oil has been cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, cooking, and as a perfume. Today, Lavender is a must-have oil because of its rich, versatile uses. Topically, Lavender oil has a cooling and soothing effect and can improve the look of healthy skin. Aromatically, Lavender produces a powdery, floral scent famed for relaxing qualities.

Copaiba essential oil: Copaiba has a calming, woody aroma. Copaiba has a thick, soft consistency and is soothing to the skin. Copaiba is widely used to improve the appearance of skin.

Lemon essential oil: Cold pressed from the peels of the bright, yellow lemon fruit, it is a favourite because of its versatility. Lemon oil is frequently added to food to enhance the flavour of desserts and main dishes. When added to water, Lemon oil gives a bright taste that helps encourage hydration throughout the day. Lemon can be used as a naturally sourced cleaning agent in the home or diffused to brighten a room with its invigorating aroma.

Wild Orange essential oil: Wild Orange amplifies the sweet, citrus aroma and taste of orange. An uplifting and refreshing aroma, Wild Orange enhances any essential oil blend as a bright, refreshing addition and is a naturally sourced cleansing agent.

Peppermint essential oil: Peppermint oil has a wide range of benefits from freshening breath to its energizing aroma. Peppermint essential oil is always useful to have handy.

Tea Tree essential oil: The Aborigines of Australia used the leaves of the Melaleuca tree for centuries. The oil promotes feelings of clear breathing. This makes Tea Tree ideal for using in aromatherapy to relieve coughs and colds.

Ginger essential oil: Ginger has a hot, spicy flavour that can take the place of whole ginger in recipes or add a warm, sweet taste when added to your favourite herbal tea. Ginger oil can also be applied topically or inhaled for a soothing aroma.

Grapefruit essential oil: Known for its energizing and invigorating aroma, Grapefruit oil helps create an aromatically uplifting environment. Grapefruit essential oil is also renowned for its cleansing properties and is frequently used in skin care to promote the appearance of clear, healthy-looking skin.

Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus is a refreshing, airy aroma, with topical cleansing benefits. The invigorating qualities of Eucalyptus oil can be enjoyed by rubbing a drop between your hands or adding several drops to the bottom of the shower and inhaling the energizing, earthy aroma. When applied topically, Eucalyptus oil can provide a cooling sensation and helps to clean and revitalize the look of healthy skin, especially when used during a personal massage.

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The following are some oils I like and use quite often:

Bergamot: Bergamot essential oil has a calming yet uplifting aroma and is packed full of cleansing properties. Sweet yet bitter in taste, soothing yet joyful in scent, and delicate yet strong in nature, Bergamot oil is a delightful contradiction in the citrus world.

Capsicum: Capsicum is commonly used for nerve pain and other painful conditions. It is also used for many other purposes, including digestion problems, conditions of the heart and blood vessels, and many others.

Clary Sage: Clary Sage oil is known for its calming properties and benefits to the skin. The main chemical component is linalyl acetate, part of the esters group, making it one of the most relaxing, soothing, and balancing essential oils. In the Middle Ages, the Clary Sage plant was frequently used to soothe skin. Inhaling Clary Sage essential oil adds to a relaxing environment, and internal use promotes a restful night’s sleep*.

Wintergreen: The main chemical component in Wintergreen oil, methyl salicylate, is used in topical creams and massage blends because of its soothing properties. In fact, Wintergreen and Birch are the only plants in the world that contain methyl salicylate naturally. As a flavoring, small amounts of Wintergreen oil are used in candies, toothpaste, and chewing gum. When diffused, Wintergreen oil has a refreshing aroma that’s uplifting and stimulating.

The following information is taken from doTerra website.

If you have specific concerns about the essential oil you intend to use, consult with a healthcare professional first.

I will share more information about essential oils and aromatherapy as time passes.

How does this align with leadership? Anything that brings pleasure, calmness, and good feelings are important for leaders to understand as they work to build teams, provide support and guidance, and encourage both personal and professional development.

Order Out of Chaos: Bringing Care Back to the World

I first learned about order out of chaos, during my doctoral process.

The current state of the world and behaviour of the people demands action to restore or create new order.

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My doctoral studies, in management and organizational leadership, revealed concepts I liked, Complexity Theory, Chaos Theory, and Complexity Leadership. What I have learned from these theories gives me hope for our world despite the current state of chaos.

I’m starting with some definitions/explanations to lay the foundation for my thoughts.


1. a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.

2. any confused, disorderly mass


Complexity Theory

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Jason Collins explains complexity theory this way:

While chaos theory is not complexity theory, it is closely related. It was in chaos theory where some of the analytic tools used in complexity science were first explored. Chaos theory is concerned with the special case of complex systems, where the emergent state of the system has no order whatsoever—and is literally chaotic.


Keeping these theories in mind and believing humans are intrinsically good, I plan to share my hopes for the future. Complexity theory can be understood, in part, by considering the Butterfly Effect. Collins goes on to state:

[A] contribution of chaos theory is demonstrating … dynamical systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions. …sometimes referred to as the butterfly effect. This refers to the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil might precipitate a tornado in Texas. This evocative—if unrealistic—image conveys the notion that small differences in the initial conditions can lead to a wide range of outcomes.


The small behaviours and actions of each of us can lead to many bigger outcomes. Thus, we can hope our behaviours and actions can adapt in a way to ensure a beautiful world of love, peace, caring, and respect. Every choice you make is important and can make a significant difference. Change will happen. We need to decide what change we want and make the appropriate choices to ensure our wants and needs are met.

Maybe our leaders do not understand this concept, or maybe they understand, choosing to take actions that will not result in the beautiful world I believe we can have and deserve. Let’s ask ourselves what the driving force for the events that have us in this current state of war, crime, killing, and unrest.

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I say it is greed. Everyone seems to want more. More of everything – money, power, stuff – without thought to costs. Health concerns are in the forefront because of the pandemic. This might be good. Why, you ask; because the pandemic has forced us to examine health and health care. The pandemic has also forced us to recognize the importance of social contact. However, like an iceberg, many of the problems lie beneath the surface.

Have you heard the phrase treat others as they would want you to treat them? This is a paraphrase of the Platinum Rule. This might be a new concept for many. This rule takes into consideration the different values, beliefs, expectations, and preferences of the individual. Though we are all the same, we have our differences, and those deserve to be recognized. Can you imagine what that world would look like?


Strawberry Fields, Central Park, New York

Imagine a world where we recognize and respect differences in beliefs, values, principles, and expectations though we don’t agree. There are benefits to differences. An example that comes readily to my mind, having just adopted a mixed-breed dog, is what has unfortunately happened to many purebred dogs. The flaws in a specific breed become predominant to the point of being a detriment of the dog: for example – bad hips, such a smushed in nose that the dog can’t breathe properly. This happens within organizations when there is a practice of only promoting from within. As nice as it is to know that if you put in the time, you will be rewarded, it is also a limiting factor for the organization and all members. Disagreements, different beliefs, different values, and different expectations, when discussed respectfully, can result in creativity, new ideas, and changes allowing growth and development in positive ways. ‘This is the way we have always done it’, is a phrase that needs to be retired. We want to always be open to examine and consider a better way. Sitting back and doing nothing is a choice, consider the action you will pursue.


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We must act. We have a job to do, and it needs to be done now. Our world is in turmoil, chaos, a state of depravity. Our world is also beautiful, full of wonder, magnificence, caring, and miracles.

We need to choose the future.

From chaos we can achieve order.

Don Brown (2016) wrote:

As a leader of others, your job, too, is to create order out of chaos for others, every day. If you sell, serve or lead, you influence others for a living. You are responsible for helping others make sense of what swirls around them every day…to help them create order out of their chaos. And the best way to do that? Figure out your rules of engagement.


Brown, (2016), goes further suggesting the establishment of a new set of rules of engagement to set your standards of excellence. Leading has changed, he says, but new rules will help us create order out of chaos. These are his suggested rules:

Discover what your people want you to know and do.

Master today’s #1 leadership competency: being present with others.

Learn to ask more and tell less.

Target your influence where you can make the most of every leadership moment.

Learn to follow an influence protocol to calibrate need and create positive movement in others. Discover what your people want you to know and do.

https://trainingindustry com/blog/leadership/to-create-order-out-of-chaos/

These rules might not suit everyone. However, they provide you with a starting point. Afterall, we don’t all have to agree. We can look for other rules or choose to add to or subtract from what is presented here. We do, however, need to act now to influence the future in ways that are positive and sustainable.

I don’t know if what I write, state, and share with others will have an enormous influence on anyone, I hope it will. But I can and will continue to share my thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and what I learn so that everyone can consider their own actions and behaviours. We can have a beautiful world and a beautiful life. What you choose to do is up to you, but I beg you to do something.

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You Are Enough: 7 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

7 Ways to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

What is inadequacy and how do you work through it?

Have you ever struggled to feel good about yourself? Do you wonder if you’re good enough? Do you question whether you’re competent enough? Then you may be dealing with feelings of inadequacy. Many of us go through this at some point, some of us go through it a lot of the time. You are not alone. Remember, You Are Good Enough!!

Feelings of inadequacy are when we feel we’re not enough or not good enough. These feelings usually have nothing to do with our actual performance or abilities. In fact, these feelings may have a lot more to do with low self-esteem or low self-confidence than any fact-based measure of ability or competence. This sounds like there might be a bit of a connection to Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome: this is when you doubt your ability and feel like a fraud. Do you see the similarity? I can’t say this enough You Are Good Enough!

The American Psychological Association defines an inadequacy complex (more commonly known as an inferiority complex) as a feeling of inadequacy or insecurity coming from actual or imagined physical or psychological deficiencies. This feeling of being “less-than” or “inferior to” others can often cause us to shut down (withdraw) or act aggressively depending on our coping styles.

Feelings of Inadequacy, Imposter Syndrome, Inferiority Complex, Lack of Confidence – these seem to all relate to the feeling that we need to be more. Of course, we can always learn and improve ourselves. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with how we are now. What is important is that you address your fears.

How do you know if you are feeling inadequate, or are lacking self-confidence? If you are experiencing the following six (6) signs they are suggesting, you might be feeling inadequate:

  1. Withdrawn/shy/quiet
  2. Insecure
  3. Negative
  4. Unhappy
  5. Angry/hostile
  6. Unmotivated (Guindon, 2002)

We all feel these emotions to some extent. Some of us just feel more inadequate than others (Heidbreder, 1927). We all have a wide array of feelings and emotions and there is nothing wrong with any of them. However, some of these feelings and emotions cause us to react in ways that aren’t beneficial. That can be changed. Having become a Certified HeartMath Trainer and Coach I am very aware of emotions and how we can learn to respond rather than react. In learning these skills, you also save energy. Fear, anger, guilt, self-loathing, frustration all sucks our energy. If you are like me, you don’t need anything draining your energy.

7 Tips to Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

If you’re feeling inadequate in general—or about something specific—below are approaches that research shows can help you to feel better:

  1. Modify your expectations and ideals. If we’re constantly falling short of our expectations and ideals, it may be that we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and what we would be able to accomplish. Though I don’t like to suggest you worry about what others think, in this case you might want to ask someone what they think. Or you might want to turn your thinking around – if you were assessing someone doing what you are doing what would your thoughts be? Would you think that person was inadequate?
  2. Seek help from others. Identify areas where you feel inadequate and seek help with those. If you don’t feel capable and you know someone who could teach you what you need to know, reaching out to them can be helpful. Asking questions to help you learn and understand is one way to boost your confidence. You can also seek out a life-coach to help you through these feelings and emotions. I’d be more than willing to have a chat and coach you myself or refer you to someone who addresses your specific concerns.
  3. Build skills and expertise. I encourage life-long learning. If you’re feeling inadequate at a particular task, take time to build your skills in that area. You didn’t learn to walk or talk overnight. We keep trying, we fall, but always get up one more time than you fall. Eventually, you’ll feel more competent and capable. No one is good at something right away, so try not to get down on yourself for being a beginner at something (Lindqvist, Weurlander, Wernerson, & Thornberg, 2017). Be kind to yourself and be patient.
  4. Cultivate emotion regulation skills. We often feel most inadequate in difficult situations (Lindqvist, Weurlander, Wernerson, & Thornberg, 2017). But we can learn effective ways to respond to our our emotions in these difficult situations. I love the HeartMath approach, the skills are easy to learn, they do, however, require practice. With time you will learn to respond rather than react and feel good about yourself. Remember, there is nothing wrong with our emotions and feelings, but we can learn to make them work for us, rather than against us.
  5. Practice self-compassion. Regardless of how competent we are at a given task, we have value and are worthy of self-kindness. Practice showing yourself self-compassion and using loving-kindness meditation to grow your love for yourself and others. Practicing self-love, self-compassion, and kindness are things we all need. You Are Good Enough! Also check out my blog https://leadnurses.com/emotions-heart-stress-be-in-charge-of-your-emotions/ to learn about being in charge of your emotions.
  6. Build a growth mindset. A growth mindset is when we believe we have the ability to grow and improve. If you don’t have this mindset, I once again encourage you to seek out a coach with whom you can work to create this mindset and help develop your self-confidence. This growth mindset will help to overcome skill deficits more easily. In many cases, depending on the skill, all that is needed is practice. We know we can improve so we put more effort into improving ourselves. As a result, we can end up more skilled than we ever imagined.
  7. Focus on your strengths. We all have strengths. By finding your strengths and capitalizing on them, you focus your attention more on what you’re good at than what you’re not good at. Plus, you can put your strengths to work and succeed in areas that rely on these strengths. Identifying our strengths is something many of us find difficult. Once again, a life-coach can help you uncover your strengths. There are also online quizzes you can take that will help you identify some. If you go for the online approach, I encourage you to also seek out someone to help you dig a bit deeper to uncover some strengths of which you might not have been aware. Check out this link to help you identify your strengths https://4b8psy2uo4yodnurz3750edr-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Identifying_Your_Strengths.pdf

Putting any of these ideas into action can help you feel more competent and comfortable in situations that have produced feelings of inadequacy in the past and teach you to approach similar situations in a more positive manner.

It’s normal to feel inadequate from time to time. If we work at it, we can reduce the amount of time we spend feeling this way and we can leave more room for self-confidence. Give me a shout and I will be happy to guide you in a direction that will work for you.


  • Guindon, M. H. (2002). Toward Accountability in the Use of the Self‐Esteem Construct. Journal of Counseling & Development, 80(2), 204-214.
  • Heidbreder, E. F. (1927). The normal inferiority complex. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 22(3), 243.
  • Lindqvist, H., Weurlander, M., Wernerson, A., & Thornberg, R. (2017). Resolving feelings of professional inadequacy: Student teachers’ coping with distressful situations. Teaching and Teacher Education, 64, 270-279.