You’re more connected than you realize…

One way I know I’m on the right track with a concept, is when I find a similar process in nature that works that way also.
We have expressions like, “Every night has it’s dawn”, or “Just keep swimming”. Examples of how nature already does, what you set out to do.
If it follows a natural process, it lessens the feeling of risk for me, because I see evidence it can work. Once I find a narrative that makes it work for me, I can plan for action.
Case in point, there’s a beautiful human experience called co-regulation. It refers to how our emotional states, and behavior are affected by each other.
We can help each other calm, cheer each other up, and suddenly find ourselves in sync. That’s co-regulation.
How deep does this process go?
On a subatomic level there’s a process called quantum-entanglement. This refers to a situation where two particles appear to be influencing each others behavior. To the point where if one particle changes its spin, the particle it’s entangled with will change its spin also.
Sometimes they just influence each other, other times they sync up. Sounds a lot like co-regulation to me.
Which stands to reason, when we help someone calm, help them find hope or discover their confidence. Aren’t we affecting them (potentially) on a quantum level as well?
When we say, “Its all connected”, we aren’t just talking philosophically. Everything is actually connected, following the same rules, and processes.
Nicola Tesla, perhaps one of the top geniuses to ever live, said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
Emotional “energy”, the “vibes” you get from someone.
We’re talking about how we show up for each other.
There are folks that make you cringe, become anxious or downright angry when in their space. You affect each other’s energy (for better or worse).
I shared this analogy with a client a bit ago, explaining the importance of surrounding yourself with people who help you regulate your nervous system.
Avoiding people who manufacture drama to keep their lives interesting. You need more road, and less rollercoaster.
Think about the energy around you, if it doesn’t help you regulate most of the time, we need to make some tweaks. Are you in?

Someone decided being creative, and being artistic were synonymous. PROBLEM!!!

Do you consider yourself creative?
Before you answer, it’s important to note someone, somewhere decided being creative, and being artistic were synonymous.
This perception of creativity is far too narrow, and denies the creative spirit guiding your every action.
Creativity is a process every cell in your body, and every response in your brain is actively involved in, every moment. Including, right now!
Your body creates energy, emotion, thoughts, inspired action, and so on.
When you smile at someone, and that someone smiles back. You’ve both created connection, together.
When they don’t, you’ve created an opportunity to connect with you.
They’ve created a boundary.
You’re both creators of your experience, and the experiences you create with others.
When you declutter a room you create more space.
When you’re safe to be with, you help create space for others to heal.
You with me on this?
If you ask yourself, “Why am I always messing up?”
Your mind will create a list of your weaknesses.
Ask yourself, “What action can I take to move things forward?”
Now you’re creating solution-focused, and action-oriented options.
Creativity is process as much as product. You can enjoy playing in the sand whether you build anything or not.
Your life may be more interpretive dance than DaVinci, yet it’s a sight to behold nonetheless.
Understanding yourself as a creator, reminds you you are active every moment in creating your experience.
If you don’t yet recognize this, it’s possible you are in survival mode. You feel it isn’t safe to pause, let down your guard long enough, to experience the emotional space you’re in.
What do you choose to create?
Where do you feel you have no choice? Is it out of your control, or have you been conditioned to believe it is?
Either way, you have a storehouse of creativity you’ve barely discovered. Because a misunderstanding of what it means to be creative, has put a film over your eyes.
Preventing you from experiencing the magnitude of your creative power, every time you take action in a deliberate way.
Your journey may not lead you to create an artistic masterpiece, write the song that inspires generations, or design the next device that forever changes our way of life.
But you can create a way of being in this world, that helps put others at ease. Helps them learn to believe in themselves, and that it’s okay to take risks to make life a little better for all of us.
Be you, THAT makes a difference.
That’s the work I’m helping every client of mine through, step-by-step, so they can live life as fully as possible.

A busy brain stifles creativity, ya know!

A busy brain stifles creativity, ya know!
The writing I’ve been producing the past few months has been a long time coming.
I’ve had this knowledge in me, locked away behind walls of fear, self-doubt, comparison, you name it. Then there are the cascades of executive functioning blips, that can make thinking feel like trying to see clearly in a snowstorm.
I gave more bandwidth to masking than self-acceptance, and consumption rather than creativity.
My inner critic developed laryngitis trying to keep me safe. It sure kept me afraid.
Like many of us, I spent years, and energy reacting to the noisy world we’ve created.
Chasing this, running from that. Constantly wondering whether I’m good enough.
You say you can’t think about trying something new because you’re too busy, too much on your mind, and so on.
What’s the truth, is your life busy or is your mind busy?
Is your life busy because you’re trying to calm an anxious mind?
How many of your +/- 60,000 thoughts per day are about good/bad, right/wrong, should/shouldn’t?
You know, all the conditioning that controls your behavior so everyone else is happy.
There was a key insight that helped unlock the ability to calm down, and open up to more creativity.
We often talk about wanting to quiet our thoughts or calm our minds, but this is only half the story.
What we know now is that the work isn’t to calm your mind, it’s to calm your nervous system.
Scientists have determined that 80% of all nerve signals don’t originate from the brain, but from the body.
So if there’s anything you need to calm down, it’s not just your mind, or your body, it’s your entire nervous system.
Your nervous system reacts to everything, in conditioned ways. It’s difficult to feel in charge of your life when you feel controlled by your triggers/conditioning.
I had a conversation with my boys this weekend about PTSD. My oldest is majoring in Social Work, and is studying childhood trauma in one of his classes.  We talked about some of the difficulties they’ve experienced, including when I divorced their mother.
When you’re too young to mentally understand what’s going on, the experience doesn’t simply pass you by.
Your body still has an experience, whether or not your mind can make sense of it. Your body will be triggered by reminders of that event (e.g. sights, smells, sounds, etc.,) even though your mind has no idea what’s going on.
Having grown up with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia and so on, none of which was identified or accommodated. I grew up feeling unsafe, and in the way. It’s been hard work, much of which I hope to spare you by sharing what I’ve learned.
Step by step, you learn to remove one pebble at a time from the path you’re on. In time, the path becomes smoother.
The pebbles become exceptions instead of the rule.
Creativity is vulnerable, curious and risky. We need to clear the path of pebbles so your creativity can flow more freely.
Will you give yourself permission to do the work?

Don’t touch me!

I remember a moment at a family gathering. A now “ex” relative I wasn’t fond of, was going around the room hugging everyone, whether she knew them or not.
I saw the facial expressions of many unwilling recipients who didn’t know how to say, “No” in this situation.
It was like a wave of awkward was growing, and headed my way. Then the inevitable happened, she came for me.
Empowered by the needs to spare myself unwanted physical contact, and put an end to the awkward feeling in the room, I acted.
I extended my arm, and with palm facing her I declared, “I’m good.”
Stopped her dead in her tracks.
This adult, ended up making a pouty face, and walking away. Even after I reassured her my issues were sensory, and not personal.
I don’t remember any feedback I received from others in the room. Doesn’t matter anyway, I feel good about how I stood up for myself in that moment by setting a boundary.
Sure I could’ve said, “Pardon me madame, but I don’t think we’ve been introduced. Would it be terribly inconvenient if I requested a simple knuckle bump this time around?”
It’s difficult to be eloquent and resourceful the more anxious you become. I went with what I could get out.
Some people on the spectrum will hit, shout or push others away, if they fear being touched in a way that feels threatening.
I’m hyper-sensitive to touch, the wrong touch can feel overwhelming, and send me into fight-or-flight. I become hostile, and want to lash out. I feel like pushing the person away. It takes a lot of strength to contain that impulse. I often feel tired afterward.
When in public, a restaurant or theater, I try to position myself so no one can brush up against me. It’s worse if I can’t see it coming. My nervous system treats it like an attack. Good old autism at play.
It’s one of the reasons I avoid handshakes. If the touch feels weird I need to rub the spot on my hand that feels weird. The deep pressure on that spot helps calm things down.
But if the other person sees you do it – Awkward!
Touch is something I wish more people would ask permission to do. I ask for permission, because I understand how it feels to sometimes fear touch.
You can imagine how stressed I already was by being at a family gathering. Now I risked being thrust closer to the edge by unwanted touching, by someone I didn’t like.
I’d had it with the input bombardment at that point. I wasn’t just setting a boundary with her. In a way, I was saying, “enough already”, to the situation.
In the years since I’ve become more skilled at diplomatic self-advocacy. I rehearse in my head, what I’ll say if I need to set a boundary in a respectful way.
I love sharing my strategies with my members, and watching their relationships transform.
When you prioritize doing what you need so you can bring your most resourceful self to the table, everybody wins.
Because in advocating for yourself, you give others permission to do the same.

What helps reduce overthinking, overwhelm, and procrastination?

What helps reduce overthinking, overwhelm, and procrastination?

This is one of my favorite things to help people with.

Let’s face it, you often think of more reasons NOT to do something than to do it, right? That’s one of the reasons you experience overwhelm.

Reasons include:
1) Procrastination which causes unfinished tasks to increase in number
2) Difficulty saying, “No” results in added responsibility you have neither the time or energy for
3) Refusing to ask for help leaves you two-handed when you need at least four

As much as your executive functioning challenges (e.g. getting started, maintaining focus, doing things in order, and so on) make getting things done difficult. There’s the emotional resistance, strengthened by years of criticism, and correction. With few experiencing of useful guidance on what to do instead.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing mistakes is all you’re good for.
You’ll do anything to avoid making mistakes at this point, and the subsequent barrage of brutal,
shame frosted self-talk that follows.

This pattern is a self-fulfilling prophecy, practically guaranteeing a negative experience every time you take the slightest risk.

I suspect you’d like to explore an alternative to this, yes?

Back to the original question, “What helps reduce overthinking, overwhelm, and procrastination?”

In my experience, it’s accountability. Especially For us ADHD, Neurodivergent types.

If left to their own devices, little if anything is likely to happen in between conversations with them.
The accountability changes that.

Poor executive functions make it difficult to create, and follow a plan.
Life can feel like driving your car through yards, and over mailboxes every time you leave the house.
No plan or sense of direction.

Having an accountability partner isn’t about assigning the role of “designated nag” to someone.
It’s having someone agree to support you in creating results important to YOU. It helps to have someone there to hold your hand during the more difficult parts. Am I right?

With an accountability partner, you aren’t alone at any point in your journey.
Your partner can be a sounding board, a brainstorming partner, a voice of reason, a coach, a teacher, and sometimes a friend.

Knowing I’m there for you, and have your back. This alone reduces anxiety.

So many things happening inside you,
many working against taking risk,
experiencing growth, to remain safe from criticism.

Yet action is where the rubber meets the road. It’s a universal law – nothing happens until something moves. That includes you.

It’s the daily nudging, and guidance from me that helps make sure my clients follow through.

I have several accountability partners that help keep me from chasing every shiny object, so I concentrate on the goals, and objectives we agreed I’d focus on. They also help me get things done in a timely manner.

It isn’t a failure or weakness to need this support, it’s a reality. I can adjust to reality or resist it.

I message with my clients between sessions to help them take what’s in their minds, and turn it into action until they get the result they want. This is their opportunity to apply what they learn during our live conversations. Its also the time during which they’ll bump against a lot of self-sabotage.

There are a lot of old beliefs, and habits that showed up to protect the kid who felt they couldn’t do anything right.
Beliefs, and habits that grab onto the ankles of the adult that knows better, making it difficult to take the next step forward.

Time to step out of the past.

Let’s explore working together, because you have a life to live, a difference to make, and a legacy to leave. Sound like a plan?

What slows you doesn’t have to stop you…

One thing I hide behind my chipper demeanor,
is how much physical pain I actually experience day to day.

Yes, I’ve tried that!
Yep, that too!

I don’t talk about it every moment because there’s nothing to be accomplished by doing so.

I’m writing this from bed because the pain wipes me out.
That, and the cortisone shot for my back is wearing off.
That’ll open the floodgates to major burning, and stabbing pain from my low back down to my feet.

I share this with you because it’s a fact of my experience.
It isn’t a failure, curse or punishment. It’s simply a fact.
I also live with purpose, and have goals to accomplish.

Why should feeling sick stop me?
Sure, it slows me down.
But I’m relentless like water dripping on a stone.
I still manage to leave my mark.

Our aspirational culture bombards us with celebrities, influencers, heroes, and villains.
It has to influence, trend, be EPIC or Iconic!

It doesn’t have to make the news, go viral or win an award to make an impact.

Persistence, a little at a time, over time, can make a big difference. Patient determination.

Somedays I can only stick my toes over the sideline, and onto the field. But I’m still in the arena.

There have been days where I did no, “work”.
But I still practiced self-compassion, and being present while waiting for the worst of it to pass.

Sometimes I want to cry, sometimes I do cry.
It’s a part of moving through the experience until it calms down.

I choose my attitude, my priorities, and which thoughts I choose to believe. Attach those to my aptitudes for resilience, and resourcefulness.

Now my everyday experiences are filtered through a solution-focused way of approaching life, that makes me virtually unstoppable. Fortunately for you, this is all teachable.

If you can’t plan your day, how can you plan your life?

Do you have trouble figuring out what you’re going to do with each day?
Do you also find it hard to figure out what to do with your life?
Wonder if the two are connected?
It’s not an accident the structure of an atom is the same as the structure of a solar system, or that a head of cauliflower looks like a human brain.
Our universe uses similar patterns repeatedly, to make everything work well together.
If the atoms start breaking down, the cell stops functioning. This can lead to disease, long term health issues and such.
It stands to reason that if your day has no sense of direction, how can your life? It’s all connected.
Our days are the building blocks of our weeks, months and years.
Not only does difficulty prioritizing, and organizing make it harder to plan. All-or-nothing thinking makes it worse.
All-or-nothing thinking can cause you to think of being present and planning for the future to be mutually exclusive.
The future often looks fuzzy to me because I have a poor sense of time, I can barely organize myself and I often don’t know where to begin.
Enter self-advocacy! I spoke with a client this morning about the importance of having an executive functioning team around her. My wife and a specific colleague are the people who help me the most.
These are not one-sided relationships, and they do not rescue me.
These relationships are reciprocal and win-win.
When you’re neurodivergent, relationships can be the hardest human experience to navigate. Yet, it’s important for helping you get past your stuck points, and get things done.
As someone living with Autism, ADHD and more, I’ve had to work very hard to figure out how to relate to others effectively even with a neurodivergent brain.
After 30 years of research, formal education, and lived experience, I can significantly reduce your learning curve.
My network and I keep each other accountable, and provide the support we need to stay focused on our priorities. You won’t accomplish much of anything if you try to do it all alone, for one simple reason.
No one has every skill they need to accomplish their goals. That’s why we have doctors, accountants, attorneys etc. We need a team!!!
There are many layers to this, I’m not trying to oversimplify it.
I often need hand holding when the task at hand stretches the capacity of my executive functions. I offer this to my clients as well. This is a perfectly acceptable way to live your life, because we’re all in this together.
Anyone claiming different is lying to themselves.
I often simply need help deciding which activity to do first, then everything falls into place. Other times, I need help creating the entire plan.
Once I have a plan, I can follow it. My team helps keep me accountable by me keeping them in the loop about what I’m doing, and how its going. My Inner Circle Community and using Voxer help my clients and I keep in touch easily.
You need to be driven to replace your self-sabotage with greater self-discipline. There will still be times you procrastinate, forget and so on.
But you’ll get a hell of a lot more done than you do now.
You’ll make more progress and have a greater sense of purpose.
Once you get the right people around you.
I can teach you exactly how to do that.

How to be a subtle superhero…

As a child, I spent a lot of time imagining myself a superhero.
Someone that couldn’t be hurt by others.

I was so used to being hurt by others. From the humiliating treatment of peers and teachers alike, it seemed no one understood me. I felt so alone in the world. I just needed to experience myself as powerful, if only for a moment.

I also wanted to be someone who could stick up for themselves, and others, so they wouldn’t get hurt.

My imagination helped me survive and persevere through the most difficult times.
Because I was able to imagine something better, a life where I didn’t suffer so much.

Here I am now, having never been bit by a radioactive spider, never figuring out how to fly or run as fast as a flash.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t suffer. In this world, suffering is an ocean we need to learn to surf.
Rescuing isn’t the answer, it reinforces the other person’s feelings of powerlessness.

As you’re surfing the flow of life, waves will on occasion, crash over you.
Your power is in getting back up, not in never having been knocked down.

Instead of swooping in to save the day, using your physical power.
You can remind others of their own power.

Stand by their side with patience, compassion and encouragement.
Impress upon them their ability to make decisions and take action to better their lives.

Show them how to save themselves, from the suffering within their power to manage.
The suffering created between their own ears.

With your steadfast presence, and ability to maintain your emotional integrity, while helping them learn to surf.
You show them the power you’re encouraging them to discover for themselves.
You’re being a subtle superhero. No grand entrance, no cheering crowd. It’s not about the audience, it’s about the principle. The principle of showing up.

You show up and use your power to think, and act more deliberately, less reactively.
You show people the power of showing up for others, and for yourself.

You don’t need to be able to hold a garbage truck over your head either.
Holding space for another soul is enough.

Your way of being offers safety, and protection. With the knowledge YOU are someone least likely to contribute suffering to their lives. They know they can trust you, be vulnerable and do the work.

What’s more powerful than being able to do that for someone?
That’s being a subtle superhero.

Following through when you have a neurodivergent mind…

Following through on your goals can feel like wading through concrete in a windstorm. Especially when you have executive functioning gaps, with a thick side serving of self-sabotage sauce.
I can get the best advice in the world, and do nothing with it. Not because I’m not motivated. But because my brain is ill-equipped to create the map.
One of the primary ways I use to help make sure I do the work, to create the results I want, is through accountability.
Having someone help me create the plan, establish deadlines, and give feedback throughout the process is absolutely necessary for me. Otherwise my hours would end up going toward a Master’s in Social Media Scrolling.
I find the same is true for my clients with ADHD, Autism and other styles of Neurodivergence.
We can talk for an hour and agree on action steps that never happen. It’s what happens after the call, applying what was discussed, where the most support is needed.
That’s where the inertia, the sabotage, and gaps slam the brakes on your progress. Unless someone is there to hold your feet to the fire, and hold your hand during more vulnerable moments.
Using programs like Voxer, is like having me on-call 24/7, so you don’t feel alone in your journey. One of the hardest feelings to experience is loneliness. That people don’t understand. They don’t know how to help.
But I’m there with my clients, every step of the way. Two brains are often better than one when it comes to managing executive functioning gaps.
I had a great conversation this morning with someone who can give me a great deal of support, in an area of my business that’s been holding me back.
Together we’ll build a bridge between here and there. We’re in this together is never more true than for people with chronic challenges.
Interdependence is the bedrock of our relationships, while much of the world chases the myth of independence. Out to prove how much they don’t need help.
But you and I understand through our lived experience, with the right help, we can get through anything.
Here for you, every step of the way.

What were we talking about again?

May be an image of 1 person and textIt’s a running joke that when people ask me to repeat something I said, I often forget what I said.
In fact, I usually forget what I’m saying as I’m saying it. When I was assessed and diagnosed with ADHD, and dyslexia, my working memory was measured in the 3rd percentile.
There seems to be just enough room to think of what I want to say, and remember it long enough to say it.
Then it’s ejected, and replaced by the next thought or statement.
Much of what I write is created with ideas that show up a bit at a time. It’s not uncommon for me to write a thought, then scroll a bit or start reading an article, then in pops the next idea for the article I’m writing.
I have a program called that could actually transcribe conversations in real time.
I can see it now, me meeting up with a friend, and whipping out my phone. Only to fire up the app to help remind me what the heck we’re talking about.
Just ask my clients how often, and how quickly I lose my place in a conversation. They’re used to me asking, “What was your original question?” Or, “What were we talking about just now?”
I find my memory improves when I focus on being as calm as possible. I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to do this. Thank you meditation and mindfulness.
I’ve taken to making notes of things I want to say, ask and so on. I’m frank with people about what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.
They’re totally okay with it, because it shows them I’m invested in the conversation, that I care about listening well, and being conscientious of how I respond.
Not allowing myself this accommodation is tantamount to self-harm. Like choosing to walk when I honestly need my wheelchair.
Sure I can do it, but it makes getting from here to there much harder, and with significantly more stumbles.
It simply makes sense to use what you must to become more effective at connecting with the people you care about.
Effective communication begins with learning to listen to yourself.