Change The World Today By Being A Better You
By Jennifer Baker LPC RPT ACS
I listened to Ed Mylett the other day; wow, he inspires me to be a better version of myself.
For some, he is not their cup of tea, but I invite you to look to the message of being kind and having purpose and vision in your life and disregard anything else that does not fit your mindset.
Listen to the full podcast here:
Here are some things I learned:
Be the person who is the most loving and kind: Making others, even if that person is yourself, feel that they are valuable and worthwhile. Rewrite that negative self-talk. I make a flicking gesture to get rid of mine.
Make others feel like you see and hear them, that their feelings are important, and that you understand them by reflectively verbalizing them (or a version thereof) and then asking what you can do to support them.
Just keep going for one more day. I always remind myself to reset and start the day over when I get big feelings or triggers. Moving my body helps me the most. I go for a walk, do some squats, or do yoga poses with some breathing.
This last thought was my best takeaway, and it seems that it applies to everything from being sober, having faith, being kind and loving, staying at your job, working out, being a patient parent, being strong and loving towards yourself, limiting your social media, being a better person, believing things will get better, to making a different choice this time.
Don't miss an opportunity to be kind and loving even if you have trouble with big emotions in a conversation that may be hard to hear.
Realizing that someone else is acting a certain way so that you will feel what they feel when they are around you can be mind-boggling and difficult to manage. This interaction, which may be difficult for you to stay calm in, does not have to do with you; you can choose how you will respond. You can always choose to be loving and kind even if you feel like answering with anger or frustration.
Be authentic in your response to others. Say, "Ouch, that really hurt." Then take some deep breaths to regulate your nervous system, then watch them get calmer and regulated too. I bet you didn't know how pivotal you are to repairing an attachment in a relationship when things sometimes go sideways.
Dream during the day. If you can see it in your mind, you can do it. It is a muscle to practice and will wither if not used.
You can miss so much looking in the rearview mirror and judging yourself and others. Dream of the future and operate in the present.
.....and, drum roll, please..
When you allow yourself to feel loved and valuable, you are no longer limited by your previous beliefs about yourself. Your thoughts could go from "I am not good enough" to "I can show up and try my best." An emotional learning component in your brain changes the meaning of what is happening, and you get to rewrite your own story.
Rewriting your self-talk and beliefs may help you take a risk and say 'thank you' instead of deflecting a compliment. Tell someone you love them, even if they are being or doing something you don't like. Be kind, say sorry, and tell them you see how hard they try.
I wonder if, when we stand in judgment of others, we are distracting ourselves from looking too closely at how we have contributed to the situation by:
Allowing ourselves to be treated poorly and accepting it without a gentle verbalization that may result in a course correction in the relationship.
Not letting something go that needs to be let go.
Blaming others for our actions and feelings inside. That's our stuff, not theirs.
Ignoring our boundaries by participating in a conversation when we could have said we don't want to talk about it now.
Perpetually trying to solve problems for others instead of being their cheerleader to figure it out for themselves.
Making excuses for our own or other people's bad behavior. If people are clogging up your life with negativity, how can you make room for the positive?
Tying it all together, I am leaving you with some food for thought about how to change the world, starting with yourself first. If you practice coming from, speaking from, and holding yourself to being loving and kind towards everyone, even yourself, you may see something different happen around you.
Jennifer Baker LPC RPT ACS
Jennifer has been working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings such as schools, private practice, and community agencies for over a decade. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), EMDR Certified, and a Consultant in EMDR.
She uses EMDR 1 & 2.0, Somatic Experiencing, Polyvagal Theory, the Safe & Sound Protocol, Flash Technique, Ego States, Play Therapy, Trauma-Informed Yoga, and other creative therapies in her mental health private practice.
She has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes at Monmouth University and NJCU, respectively. She writes a biweekly newsletter and would like to continue to provide training, support, and a sense of community for other therapists in the field so we can all grow toward providing inclusive, best practices for all communities.
She has served as a Board Member for: NJAPT (New Jersey Association of Play Therapy); Friends of MCCAC (Monmouth Child Advocacy Center); Play Therapy Consortium of New Jersey and served as President of NJACC 2022-2023.