ICU BLOG

BALANCE/OFF BALANCE

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BALANCE. What does it mean? According to Google, it can be thought of as an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Balance is a part of our sensory system. It is also known as the sixth sense. Our balance system is responsible for our movements and our posture. Without a properly functioning balance system, we will be incapable of determining which direction to take and how to get where we are going. We will be incapable of good posture and stability in various conditions and activities.

We are using our senses when we learn to balance. However, balance cannot be achieved without the accompaniment of the other senses that make up our sensory system. Simply put, all our senses work together for balance to be achieved. It makes sense that in order to find balance in life, we would have to allocate an even distribution of time between the things that we have to do and the things that we want to do. This equitable distribution will enable us to remain upright and steady.

The same can be said for other situations as well such as resources used for expenditures. Resources that are spent unevenly can cause us to become imbalanced in life. We are here to recognize when we may be off balance and to find our balance. It simply makes sense to do so.

FINDING BALANCE

There are different ways that I pursue balance. If you want to learn more about how I find balance, please visit, I Got a Tool For That, and complete an inquiry form to receive this information. I also think that it is very important to learn how others recognize or pursue balance. Therefore the survey, “Off Balance” was completed by several women. These women were able to answer specific and open-ended questions about their balance from their own perspectives.

“In which areas of your life do you feel mostly balanced?” was one of the open-ended questions asked. Of course the responses varied. 12.5% of the participants responded that felt more balanced when they were taking out time for themselves and household chores, managing their time, or when they were engaged at work. 25% of the participants responded that they felt more balanced when they were engaged in spiritual activities (i.e. attending church). Another 25% of the participants responded that they felt completely imbalanced.

What does it mean to be without balance? What causes it? If we go back to review the human balance system, it is learned that balance becomes impaired when we experience diseases, injuries, trauma, and other physical and psychological problems. We can continue to infer that our other senses may not be properly accompanying our sense of balance. A different way to look at it is, when we are off balance, it doesn’t make sense.

“In which areas of your life do you feel mostly off balanced?” was the next open-ended question asked for the survey. Of course the answers were varied but there were greater frequencies of similarities in these responses. 12.5% of the participants responded that they felt more imbalanced when it came to being consistent, planning for their future, or, household responsibilities. 25% of the participants responded that they felt more imbalanced when it came to personal things in life. 37.5% of the participants responded that they felt more imbalanced when it came to time. One of the participants responded that they felt imbalanced in every area of their lives.

HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND?

How would you respond to this question, “How much attention are you devoting to health and self care?” Over 60 % of the participants in the Off Balance survey said they do this daily. In the article, “How to Claim Some Me Time”, the author suggested that we should spend anything from 5 minutes to an hour each day caring for ourselves.

How would you respond to this question, “How much attention are you devoting to managing your time?” Over 60% of the participants in the Off Balance (OB) survey said they do this daily. The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning provided what appears to be helpful tips for effective time management for college students. The principles were adapted from research and theory to encourage college students to get the most out of their time. Although, it does not answer the question of how much nor does it endorse the 80/20 rule of time management but the application may be universal.

How would you respond to this question, “How much attention are you devoting to building and maintaining relationships?” The majority of the participants who completed the OB survey said they do this daily. According to the article, “10 Tips for Being More Social on Your Own Terms”, you have the autonomy to do just that. From the author’s point of view, your level of social interaction is up to you. This infers that your effort depends upon the nature of the relationship and the social interactions.

How would you respond to this question, “How much attention are you devoting to interacting with your children. 100% of the participants who completed the OB survey said they do this daily. Making time to spend quality and meaningful time with your child(ren) is important. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. We want to ensure that they know that they are a valuable part of the family. It is important that parents translate this message properly.

How would you respond to these questions, “How much attention are you devoting to socializing?” Nearly 46% of the participants who completed the OB survey said that they do this weekly. “How much attention are you devoting to studies and schoolwork? 36% was a frequent percentage for participants who completed the OB survey. And, “How much attention are you devoting to setting goals for your future?” Nearly 46% of the participants in the OB survey said they do this weekly.

As you continue to pursue balance in life, it makes sense to shift things to ensure there is an even distribution of resources. Pull from those experiences in life and use such references as you problem-solve your way to a more harmonious and stable environment. Recognize those things that are making you feel imbalanced and use hindsight and insight as guides to change, to pursue, and to equalize your scale of life.

As May is considered to be the month for mental health, use this time to pursue balance. Because being imbalanced, makes no sense.

References:

How to Claim Some ‘Me Time’. Asp, Karen. 2013

https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/prioritizing-time-for-yourself-for-health

McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. Principles of Effective Time Management for Balance, Well-being, and Success.

https://mcgraw.princeton.edu/effective-time-management

10 Tips for Being More Social on Your Own Terms. Lamothe, Cindy, 2019

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-be-more-social

The Human Balance System. VEDA

https://vestibular.org/article/what-is-vestibular/the-human-balance=system/the-human-balance-system-how-do-we-maintain-our-balance

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ACES IN THEIR PLACES

Aces in their places is an idea that refers to leaders knowing the value of their people, the vision of the company, and the endeavors to bring out the best in both when filling positions (connectionculture.com). But, this blog is going to look at the value of people in a different way and change the idea of Aces in their places.  Because April is child abuse prevention month and because this blog is about empowering women, it is important to understand how we as a community of women can change the effects of childhood trauma.

ACES, if you have never heard of this acronym, stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. ACES are traumatic events that happened in childhood. These events include violence, abuse, homes of substance abuse, and other traumatic experiences (CDC).  ACES can impact a person’s health and cause an increase in other risk factors. There are shocking statics all around about the impact of ACES. For instance, the CDC shared that after surveying adults in about 25 states, there were about 61% who experienced at least one ACES. Of this same group, there were about 1 in 6 people who experienced four or more ACES.

Although a person who has high ACES scores cannot change go back to change their childhood experiences, they can work to prevent ACES by implementing strategies they can use before becoming parents or have already begun their parenting journey and by implementing strategies to address those past traumas. Therefore, it is important to put ACES in their places through awareness, seeking help, changing habits, and reducing the possibility for high ACES scores for future generations and for the community.

To explain, the higher the ACES score, the more a person is at risk for experiencing long-term negative situations. This puts a person with higher scores at risk for diseases, poverty, toxic relationships, and psychological concerns such as suicide, addiction, and depression. The hope of putting ACES in their places relies on building resilience, seeking professional help, and gaining awareness.

If building resilience is the strategy that you are considering, Peoplesense Blog shared 8 ways to build resilience in the face of trauma. These ideas range from accepting what has happened to you, setting goals, and seeking professional help. Please visit this website for the complete list. If seeking professional help is the strategy that you are considering; and you do not where to start, try EAP (Employee Assistance Program) services through your employer, check-in with your insurance network to learn where to go for mental health treatment, join support groups. Different solutions may be to consult with your church Pastor or to advocate for community programs that may change or impact the well-being of your community. Finally, seek a life coaching service such as I See You Growing Life Coaching.

If you have never taken ACES and want to know your ACES score, please complete the tool and follow the instructions for scoring. If your score is greater than 4, the more you are at risk for the impact of adverse experiences.

As a way to put ACES in their places, a group of women, including myself completed the ACES Questionnaire to learn more about our ACES scores.

As you can see, there were a total of eight women who completed the ACES surveys-including myself. Since every single item is just as important as the next, a comparison will be made for each. For question one, there was a greater number of women who answered no to this question than yes. This means there were more of us in this group who did not experience this type of physical and emotional abuse. For question two, there was a greater number of women who answered no than yes. This means there were more of us in this group who did not experience this type of physical abuse. For question three, there was a greater number of women who answered no to this question than yes. This means there were more of us in this group who did not experience this type of sexual abuse. For question four, there was a greater number of women who answered yes than no. This means there were more of us in this group who experienced this type of emotional neglect. For question five, there was a greater number of women who answered no than yes. This means there were more of us in this group who did not experience this type of physical neglect. For question six, there was a greater number of women who answered yes than no. This means there were more of us in this group who had one or more parents absent in their lives. For question seven, there was a greater number of women who answered no than yes. This means all of us in this group did not experience this type of trauma. For question eight, there was a greater number of women who answered no than yes. That means there were more of us in this group who did not experience this type of household mental illness. For question nine, there was a greater number of women who answered no than yes. This means there were more of in this group who did not witness this type of mental illness. Finally, for question 10, there was a greater number of women who answered no than yes. This means there were more of us who did not experience this type of trauma.

For information on how we as a community can work collectively to prevent ACES and to reduce its impact, please look at the following video from the CDC.

Thank you for taking this journey with me in embracing change, expecting growth, and empowering you.

References:

Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences. CDC https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/fastfact.html

8 Ways to Build Resilience in the Face of Trauma. Anya Stephens

https://www.peoplesense.com.au/newsarticle

For the Best Teams, Put Aces in Their Places. Paul LaRue

https://www.connectionculture.com/post/for-the-best-teams-put-aces-in-their-places

COACHING SERVICES

I See You Growing Life Coaching provides coaching services to all women who are interested in improving their lives. The design of the program is to assist women in six ways (30-minute consultations, welcome gifts, coaching sessions, resources, snapshots, and check-ins). Because I See You Growing Life Coaching is designed with every woman in mind, the coaching services are based on her individual needs. Each area of the coaching services will be explained below.

THE ICU EXPERIENCE

30- Minute Consultation

This is the rapport building experience. During this time, the coach and the coaching client will determine if I See You Growing Life Coaching is the route to take for her coaching journey. The initial assessment assists the life coach in understanding more about the potential client. Explanations about the expectations of the coaching services will be shared. Once there has been a mutual agreement to continue with coaching services, coaching sessions can begin.

Coaching Sessions

The duration of the coaching sessions are 45-60 minutes. The format of the coaching session is the discovery phase, TCE-the coaching experience, Re-Soar-Sis- shared resources, TGS-the gaining statement. Each area of the coaching sessions will be explained below.

The Discovery Phase

During The Discovery Phase, the client is welcomed to I See You Growing Life Coaching. A Welcome Gift is offered and delivered. The client brings her topic or issue to the table. Every other moment of the coaching session is developed from here.

The Coaching Experience-TCE

TCE, is part of the coaching session where development of the goal-oriented process continues. It is nurtured by different coaching models that will assist the client’s needs.

Shared Resources-Re-Soar-Sis

Re-Soar-Sis is part of the coaching session where resources are shared with the coaching client. The purpose of the resources is to give the coaching client options of how to better approach goal-oriented tasks.

The Gaining Statement-TGS

TGS is part of the coaching session that allows feedback. This is the time where the life coach and the coaching client assess their time spent together. This is a crucial part of the coaching session because it allows the life coach to learn if the expected outcome of the coaching session was achieved.

The Coaching Snapshot

The Snapshot highlights the coaching session. It is shared with the coaching client at least 24 hours after the coaching session; and no more than 48 hours.

Check-Ins

Check-ins are initiated by the life coach to gain updates about the client’s coaching journey. The coaching clients are encouraged to initiate check-ins as well. Check-ins are provided in weekly and/or monthly increments by the life coach. Check-ins are determined by the need of the coaching client and align with the selected ICU Package.

Thank You for Your Business!!

WHERE THERE’S A WILL; THERE’S A WAY

When I was younger, I used to hear my grandmother say the above phrase all the time. I didn’t fully understand what she meant then; but because she always spoke it when there was a problem or challenging situation present, I thought it meant finding solutions when there appeared to be none. It was a beneficial statement to make because later I realized that this was a statement of hope.

Hope by definition is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. In other words, it is a belief that a certain thing that has not happen will happen. It can also be concluded that is impossible to say that hope was there if there is no plan to ensure that a certain thing will happen. There are other attributes of hope to consider such as determination, persistence, tenacity, self-control, willpower and waypower.

Where there’s a will… Will in this context is the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action. It can also be defined as showing control. Willpower -which is an attribute of hope- is the energy that we use or actions that we take in order to motivate us to do something or not to do something. A great example of showing willpower is to resist eating sweets when you are doing a 28-day cleanse or to study because you want to pass a test.

Willpower can also be seen as an inner strength or inner motivation that we all have inside of us. It is definitely connected to self-control, paying attention to the things that are working and those that are not, and making things happen. As we look at our willpower, we have to pull from both our current and past experiences (i.e. successes and failures) in life (i.e distractions). Understanding our willpower helps us to understand where we stand in setting resolutions and completing them, understand our thoughts about setting certain goals, and understand what motivates us to follow through on set goals or what demotivates us.

“You do because you believe; you believe because you do.”

….There’s a Way: Way is a method, style, or manner of doing something. It is a course of action. Waypower-which is another attribute of hope-is the divergent thinking process that we use to determine different ways to get things done. A good example of waypower is partnering with a friend during the 28-day cleanse or scheduling time to study.

Waypower thinking requires examining and planning. You are thinking of all of the possibilities to get to your destination. You are using cognitive abilities such as imagining and envisioning the outcomes to assist you in coming up with ideas . As we look at our waypower, we have to believe that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Addressing the barriers in life ( i.e. distractions) that always present themselves when we are setting goals is essential to creating waypower thinking. The waypower type of thinking is the type of initiation that keeps us moving towards our goal no matter how challenging it may seem. Another great example of waypower is from the children’s book, “The Little Engine that Could”. We all remember how the little engine struggled to climb up the big mountain. There had to be somewhere in the mind of the engine (that this story personifies) that she thought she couldn’t but apparently, she saw there was a way. So she did. As we continue to think of waypower, “I think I can” sums it all up when we are really trying to pursue a goal.

Willpower + Waypower=Hope. But, what if willpower is limited or not there? We must think of this as we would a mathematical equation. If willpower is limited or not there, this leaves us approaching hope with only waypower. Because we can not have hope without willpower, we end up pursuing the dreams and goals that others want for us and not that we want for ourselves. What to do? One thing to do is to focus on how to surround yourself with people that encourage and support you. Another to thing to do is to change your mindset from a fixed mindset to one that encourages growth. This includes replacing negative and irrational thinking with more optimism. Seek professional counseling. Seek a life coach. Find your supports.

But, what if waypower is limited or not there? Again, let’s think about this mathematically. If waypower is limited or not there, this leaves us approaching hope with only willpower. Because we can not have hope without waypower, we end up pursuing our dreams and goals while becoming slaves to other people knowledge and ideas. We become dependent on what others can do for us; and we are in jeopardy of loosing our autonomy. We forget that we have the power to help ourselves. We lose our voice and simply become disempowered. What to do? Connect with people to help you think strategically about the ways to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. These people are unique because they are not there to think for you but to challenge and to empower you to think for yourself.

Hope is a powerful tool. It should be used for our survival, our aspirations, and our future; from generation to generation. It is never false or abusive. It is part of goal-directed thinking that people down through the years had to rely on. The idea of willpower and waypower were adopted from the Hope Scale (Snyder et al.). If you are interested in understanding more about your willpower; your waypower; or how your hope is measured, please take the time to complete the Hope Scale that is seen below. Once you have completed this scale to learn what you believe about your inner motivation (willpower) and your problem-solving (waypower) strategies, the next step is to determine how you will approach goal planning and completion.

HOPE SCALE

https://www.fetzer.com
Hope Scale Survey Sample

Since the Hope Scale is a goal-directed instrument-if used-it plays a part in raising self awareness for the person who is completing it and in assisting the life coach in being a better support person to every client, The data shown in chart above reflect the responses of a group of women that completed the Hope Scale. The age groups of these women vary. They range from mid 20s to mid 50s. The responses were collected in the form of a survey so that true expressions could be made. There are no individual scores in this data. The individual scores are represented by averages only.

Willpower is measured by items 2, 9, 10. 12. The chart shows the score for item 2 group score to be 45 and the average score to be 6.45; for item 9 the group score is 44 and average score is 6.29; for item 10 the group score is 45 and the average score is 6.43; for item 12 the group score is 43 and the average score is 6.14. Although there are distractions, we see that the willpower of the group and average scores outweigh those of the distractions.

Waypower is measured by items 1,4,6, 8. The chart shows the score for item 1 group score to be 40 and the average score is 5.71; item 4 to be 51 and the average score is 7.29; item 6 to be 45 and the average score is 6.43; and item 8 to be 43 and the average score is 6.14. Although there are distractions, we see that the waypower of the group and their averages outweigh those of the distractions

The hope score of the group is taken by adding the scores of willpower and waypower together. The score comes close to 51. Based on the scoring rubric, this group of women have greater possibilities for hope. However, there is always room for improvement. This is where individual goals are examined and each person has an opportunity to initiate their movements according to when and where they want to be in life. For all participants of this study who wants to look at your measurement of hope another time to gain perspective, I encourage you to redo the hope scale measurement, compare it to your current realities and where you want to be, and seek I See You Growing Life Coaching Services as an avenue and support to get goals accomplished.

Your idea come to life when your mind tell it to do so.

References:

Hope Score Results, https://www.hopescore.com

Self Report Measures, https://www.fetzer.com

Adult Hope Scale, https://www.kristenmallot.com

Google English dictionary provided by Oxford Lanaguages, https://www.languages.oup.com

BRIDGING THE GAP

What are your gaps…the differences between your current situation and the things that you want to achieve? How would you classify your gaps- skill oriented (communication, ability), personal (relationship issues, conflict resolution), or professional?  Are you dealing with external gaps that serve as barriers to achieving your goals (gender equality, equal pay for equal work)? What are they?

I think that it is important for us as women to be aware of our current realities and to learn the benefits of such awareness. Knowing our current realities can be seen as a resourceful tool that aids our forward movement. A good way to show how our current realities can be seen as a resource that aids  forward movement is to provide an explanation of building resilience when addressing life’s barriers and stressors that erode possibilities and strengths. Resilience is a tool that aids us in bouncing back from challenging, unexpected circumstances. Although life can bring challenges that can cause gaps in our personal development and self improvement,  resilience can be seen as a form of protection that prevents deterrence and stagnation.

Not knowing our current realities can be seen as a weapon that deters forward movement and enables stagnation. Wondering how to become unstuck or to become less stagnant in life is a type of reflection that we must all pursue. Sometimes in our pursuit, we learn that our realities can cause stress, not just the normal stress that can be resolved quickly; but the type of stress that can cloud our judgments. It is at that moment when thoughts of being resilient or feeling strong begin to become cluttered. The thoughts and feelings that movement should happen are there but the plan to execute this action is unclear so movement becomes delayed. From here, the downward spiral begins. Unaware of the strength that is within, the inability to feel tough enough to bounce back. being consumed with the idea of paying attention to weaknesses that always represent themselves, setting goals that often fail, and being forced to think there are no solutions is what we often face. Is that it? No. There are solutions.  Even the impractical ones can ignite our brain cells to discover ideas for change and provide hope and produce enough energy to get us moving in a positive direction.

How  to get there- to that positive direction? What type of support is needed to assist and guide you in focusing on your strengths instead of always focusing on your weaknesses? What do you need to assist you in closing these gaps in your life that your current realities have presented before you to make it seem like even the most simplest goal is unattainable?  And, what do you need to promote a level of encouragement in understanding what is achievable?

A life coach can get you moving in a positive direction. I See You Growing Life Coaching can serve as a powerful tool to help bridge the gaps. We can guide you to insightful change and achievable outcomes. The days where achieving the simplest goal have to no longer represent a dream that is deferred. Every coaching session is individualized with you in mind. You become aware of your abilities, your perceptions, your complex thinking and use them as strategies. When this happens, the way you plan your next step changes. You can now see the path to get there  because your plans are S.M.A.R.T., intentional; and you are ready.

Thank you for allowing I See You Growing Life Coaching to assist you in the bridging the gaps.