Blog Thoughts

 
Linda Kreter

Thanksgiving in 2021

Particular times of the year bring more reminiscing than usual for many people, including me. We consider the year before, occasions many years before, and there is often strong nostalgia for pockets of treasured times.

The holidays have always been a special time for me. Not because of the trappings, the meals, or the decorations, but because they evoke warm and loving memories of those who are not at the table or sitting beside the tree. I think back over the start of traditions, the ending of others, and the hope and awe of another year winding to an end.

For me, 2021 has seemed more challenging than any other year in memory, including 2020. Durable people have needed to be stronger than ever as a season of challenge turned into multiple seasons and counting. The most amazing thing, though, is that we may miss lifting appreciation for our many joys, smiles, and blessings because it’s easy to be influenced by the distractions: chaos, media distortion, family perspectives, and the world. It has been an arduous year!

Yet. Yet, as you live your traditions through the end of the year, consider adding a new tradition. Find some time to write, journal, or share the small wins with yourself: the unexpected smiles, the surprise connections, and the hope that always springs eternal if we seek it. This is a habit, and I’m forever surprised that though each year brings some loss, the hopes and joys of the small moments always outnumber and delight. We lost a dear family member in 2021, and the mourning, and the memories are bright – and count as a joy on that list. Those who enter are lives and leave an impression are so precious.

Note the memories. Acknowledge the losses. Celebrate the quiet, wonderful, sweet moments. Dance in the kitchen, sing out loud, and know you are appreciated for all the moments of your life that make you, well, YOU.

Blessings this Thanksgiving Eve,

Linda

©WiseHealth, Inc 2021
All Rights Reserved
 
 
Linda Kreter

On Those Stuck Days…

We all have them. Wake up, good intentions, start executing on the day’s plan and — life steps in. Maybe it’s a child who needs you, an employee who made a mistake you must help fix, or maybe you received a phone call or email with disturbing news. Suddenly, you’re off-track and finding your way back is, well, further off-track.

On those days, it can be helpful to recognize you’ve been here before. Too often to count? You’re now finding you can use the lessons learned in the past to strengthen your resolve to find the answer to this newest derailment. Those who look inward for past experiences, past successes, and learned from failures are stuck for increasingly shorter periods of time.

Look at your patterns. Is this a repeat? Again, if you don’t go within, you’ll repeat and repeat ad nauseum. (That’s a pleasant thought!) Once is a mistake, twice is an oversight, but three times is a pattern. I find it helpful to pretend I’m a client — what would I ask? How would I inquire into what might help best? Since I’m good at critiquing myself, I might first have negative self-talk, which is summarily unhelpful, but then I would analyze the situation.

Some days we are too tired to regroup. That’s okay; start again the next hour, meal, project. Other days we’re frankly sick of ourselves and need a walk in nature, a shower under pounding water, or time with a pet. I recently worked with a client who said they had no time; zero, not one minute. A simple challenge to take three minutes for themselves didn’t work. I then modified the thought to “spend seven focused minutes with your pet”; no notifications, no calls, no screens or other people. He found the time for the animal, if not himself, but both benefitted.

On the days we are simply grumpy/hangry/irritated, try to find the humor in the absurd. These are the times I post photos that make me smile, laugh out loud, or cause someone else to laugh, often at my self-deprecating thought. Laughing at yourself is a solid way to regroup and move on, as few things are deadly about an “off day”. Most of the time, this puts my often tiny problem into perspective: the power is out, the laundry is still in the washer for the third go-round, or the pets decide their favorite food is now inedible.

Summary: sleep when you need to, refresh outdoors, spend time in nature, with pets, and put your experience to work to keep finding new ways to prod yourself back to center.

Life is a journey — please, please enjoy it! Remember, I’m here to take you personally from Stuck to Strength™ when you’re ready. Linda@LindaKreter.com

Warmly,

Linda

©WiseHealth, Inc 2021
All Rights Reserved
 
 
Linda Kreter

Logic Can Hold You Back

When you think of all the reasons why something seems challenging or uphill, does your mind quickly first go to all the reasons it’s not worth the effort, energy, and creativity? Are you focused on the outcome only, or do you consider the satisfaction of bringing a thought to fruition, a service that elevates others, and that anything worth doing is worth doing right? Neither is wrong, but one brings you closer to achieving dreams and accomplishments.

Logic is wonderful. It can guide us through traps we’ve been caught in before, provide new direction, and justify your action — or inaction. Where logic holds you back is in the conscious mind — “it’s just so… complicated.” Yet, if it were easy, everyone would have done the action, created the service, and the outcome would be in the rear-view mirror. Where we make the most progress is in our unconscious made conscious. Not thinking the way you’ve always done. Habitually. Rote.

Thinking is based on our beliefs. What do you believe you can do? What do you believe is holding you back? Are your fears real or perceived? Thinking is complex and thinking in new ways intentionally requires diligence, purpose, and deliberately.

Ahhh, thinking. Were you taught to think or taught what to think? Is your thinking rewarded, or is creativity stifled with logic or society telling you that thinking is “hard”, and you can get by with doing things by habit? Those who insist they multitask well — have you considered your split thinking is diminishing each task for lack of priority focus? For those with a stubborn creative streak and desire to break out of their boxes, (like most entrepreneur and free thinkers), habits can be numbing. Energy vampires. Flow stoppers.

The more self-awareness you have about what you do every day, the more you’ll find opportunity to alter that behavior, try something new, and create new logic that fits you better. Doing tasks, the same way for eons is great in manufacturing for quality control, but in thinking, it may mean you’re in a rut. Consider a “day in the life” for you; is it routinized, dull, boring, or just by rote? If this is intentional, so be it. But, if you’re looking for fresh avenues, a growth mindset, and books only go so far — then try looking inward to see what small, intentional acts may bring you.

It’s contagious! One small act of awareness, unconscious becoming conscious will inspire you to do more and be more. Logic has its place, but you get one glorious life in this world. Live it to the fullest!

Warmly,

Linda

©Linda Kreter, 2021
 
 
Linda Kreter

Boundaries are Essential

In a typical neighborhood, disputes occur, rumors fly, some true, but mostly untrue. What’s your response? Do you react? Plot revenge? Some combination of aggressive actions, and salty language?

OR do you contemplate WHY people are behaving the way they are? Because when you look at what someone does, also look at why they do it? Is it to gain a vivid reaction? Is it to elicit drama? Some people have too much time on their hands and seek mayhem. Others are super comfortable in their chaos and want to draw you in to their performance – but do you have to buy the ticket or attend the show?

Sometimes, actual physical boundaries are needed: fences, hedges, rock walls, boulders, or timbers. When this occurs, communication must occur or at least be attempted before action is taken. Escalating situations is seldom advised!

Consider your plan of action carefully. How would you wish to be approached? How do you look for a win/win scenario? And, when you create one, how do you begin your communication? I’m a big believer in clear, direct communication and surprises are seldom well accepted. Ponder, plan, strategize, then communicate your approach with the best possible potential to succeed.

I’ve found that most people avoid conflict, thinking that the issue will just go away if ignored. Like the proverbial ostrich in the sand, that often makes you blind and nothing is accomplished with your head in the ground. If it were me, (and it was), I took a direct approach. I called the neighbor’s cell phone; no answer, so on the second try, I left a message to call me about a specific issue. I also left a handwritten note in the paper box addressed to both parties in the home. No answer for a week.

I then wrote another letter, and emailed it, but I also included photos of the handwritten note and mentioned the voicemail. Still no response. Finally, two days later (two weeks have gone by), I put a hand-delivered copy of that email (that contained my detailed plan) in the paper box. Now that it was clear I would not disappear, I was approached. We calmly talked about the narrow green hedge I would plant between our properties to stop massive erosion coming from their property. No accusations, just fact. It took a LOT of personal energy, pent-up anxiety from their prior passive-aggressive acts, but those were not mentioned. I was looking for a win/win, and I earned it.

Direct communication is clear communication. It doesn’t come as a surprise, and it’s written with little emotion. Fact-based and indisputable makes for less drama, and a higher chance for success. KNOW that Durable People think before they act, and they do it with a positive outcome in mind.

Moving from Stuck to Strength™ – Linda Kreter

©Linda Kreter, 2021
 
 
Linda Kreter

Let’s go from Stuck to Strength™!

You are unique. One of a kind. Yet, it’s all too easy to lose yourself in the day-to-day tasks, the external chaos, and the general relentless barrage of distractions in our days. We become increasingly tired, resigned, and eventually accept the dull, stale days. The weekend is coming, right?

Creating a life you need not escape from is possible. It’s a matter of recognizing your personal worthiness, your personal values, and recognizing happiness; a change from inside you to not accept subpar living. We are not given a limitless number of days, but we are each given 24 hours to live our lives. No more, no less. (Okay, there’s Leap Year…)

Often, the cause of exhaustion and uninspired thinking comes from our need to please others – and in the process lose ourselves. Think about it – when you put yourself last in all things, fail to sustain yourself with vital coping tools and skills, your days and life become lackluster. It need not be that way!

Why work with me? I’ve been battered and betrayed too: personally, professionally, and spiritually. Each time, though not quickly at first, I rose again, and never lost my sense of wonder and curiosity. Resilience and durability are now second nature and I’m renewed faster each time. I’d love to share these skills with you. While opportunity is external, your capabilities and potential are all within you; coaching and training assist you in realizing your giftedness – and stepping forward to thrive.

Do you feel you’re making a difference, at home, office, or in organizations? What’s your daily purpose? What are your self-limiting beliefs? Are external pressures causing you to shift or abandon any of your beliefs? Living outside your values is exhausting, and though choices may be limited right now for you, I can help you subtly shift to clearer communication, effective boundaries, managing toxic people, and realize your value daily. We may be too close to ourselves to see the patterns, but they exist.

I would love to help you make your life one of intentional choices that uplift, not deplete you. Adaptability and taking small steps to redirect add up to confidence, clarity, creativity, growth, and joy. It all starts with you. Unique, wonderful you. Click here to email me: Linda@LindaKreter.com to get started.

With gratitude,

Linda Kreter

©Linda Kreter, 2021
 
 

Trauma Responses You Thought Were Gone…

Yesterday I had a very negative experience. You may have also? In thinking through my process to wholeness emotionally, we are all a work in progress and here’s a quick summary to consider.

Most of us have experienced trauma — even if you don’t name it. It’s not uncommon for those who’ve undergone challenging circumstances, chronic toxic exchanges, and “baked in” responses to occasionally feel the same way again, long after you’ve mastered the practice of internal responses and external actions. You’ve heard of muscle memory, and emotional memory can remain potent, even when you mostly have mastered smarter responses. As this happened, perspective and experience gave me insights into how to move forward, and to keep myself whole. It’s a gift!

You’ll see I avoided the word “triggered”, as that implies someone has caused me to respond in a particular way. I disagree with that, since it’s up to me to either allow, dismiss, or process the response now that I have adequate tools and routines to walk me through it. One thing I’ve learned to avoid is ruminating or dwelling on what has occurred and beating myself up over my (genuinely earned) response learned through experience. Negatively talking to yourself is not healthy, and it also ingrains negative neural pathways that may become entrenched. Overthinking ingrains the negative. Be kind to yourself.

elephant

There’s good news. You learned from your life experiences in the past. You now know (or want to learn to know) how to best manage incidents like these in a more positive and smooth manner. (Contact me for coaching or training: lkreter@lindakreter.com.) Adversity is a key learning space, and if we build upon the experiences learned, we help ourselves and those around us immeasurably. Heal thyself — because if you don’t, you may waste precious time and energy, berating yourself, and wounding others because you are still healing. We are all a work in progress.

Often the most interesting people have complicated pasts. Taking steps to become a newer, more empowered version of yourself keeps you moving forward. After all, if you keep carrying the same bricks repeatedly, the new house you’ll build will look (and feel) the same as the old one. Or, as I like to put it: I want to make new mistakes, not repeat old ones. And, when you have awareness of an old experience and feel yourself defaulting to past habits, fresh awareness will help you manage differently — and leave it behind. Put your muddy bricks down, and stride forward. It’s not only possible, but essential.

Moving from Stuck to Strength – Linda Kreter

 

Durable People Give and Receive

The Bible (and conventional wisdom) tells us that it’s better to give than to receive; that generosity is the best way when given a choice. Most of us are very comfortable with this concept, and I still remember my mother, then me, giving my children or friends the best … cupcake, hug, bunch of grapes – virtually anything. It’s what parents and dear friends often do.

My parents did that frequently. Yet – in the effort to give, give, give, we were not also taught that receiving from others allows them to practice the giving act. And the more we have to share, the less likely we are to allow or permit someone else to share. But doesn’t that take away the joy of giving to the other person? Does it allow them to feel good about sharing what they choose as well?

Yes, it does.

One-sided giving and receiving is difficult. We don’t always feel comfortable receiving a gift (whether food, tickets, a ride, or anything else) when we know we can provide it more easily than the other person. We may believe it’s a sacrifice for the other person. But, if it is, isn’t it that much more meaningful to be gifted? Depriving others who want to support or give or share is missing an opportunity for their gifts. Being gracious to them and appreciative is a lovely way to grow a relationship.

Often, we don’t wish to receive because we are not the one in control. Ahhh, control! So many feel this is the most organized, structured, and predictable way to be. Yet if you’re always controlling, how do you then learn to gracefully receive? Please note the root word “grace” in both gracious, graceful – and ultimately grateful. This is a challenging lesson to learn, but it’s very important for others’ self-worth. Once realized, we are now aware of the beauty in building a relationship with real value and maximizing our gifts. We feel good when we help others’ feel good.

meditate

Another example is when one person predominantly pays the bill when socializing. It’s also acceptable to split the bill, or to switch off on paying the bill so it feels more of an equal friendship, even if the general financial situation may be a larger sacrifice by the other person. It may mean going to that person’s home instead of out to an expensive restaurant to share a meal or social hour. Self-sufficiency and independence are individual, and we can help by appreciating the contribution of others instead of assuming you are the only one to provide. Durable people have often lived on both sides of this divide and being aware of sharing our giving and our receiving grows us as individuals.

It’s not always easy to step back and accept help. But it’s a gift from the other person to you, there is no keeping score, and you are grateful and appreciative, it’s a true gift altogether! Incidentally, if people are “keeping score”, then this may be a person you wish to limit your time with, as a “winner” means someone else is the “loser”. Hopefully, our friends and family wish only the best for us and we for them. Winners all…

Durable people live and learn daily. Receiving is an important skill to learn, refine, and appreciate — just as much as giving.

#WeKeepGoing,

Linda Kreter

 

When Ignorance and Incivility Abounds

It’s May 2021, and the world is emerging slowing from a collective trauma. For some, things are feeling discernibly better. For others, fear is the overwhelming emotion. For most everyone, there is a disconnect as we approach “re-entry”.

One of the hardest things for me to understand is the unusual unawareness of communications. Words are weaponized, fear seldom brings out the best in others, and as we all know – words can pierce. Perhaps it’s the very, very different experiences we’ve all had during a common pandemic experience? And, perhaps, if self-awareness is a gift you hold, you realize that some may not possess your coping skills, or even your intentional outlook.

Those of the Durable Mindset will recognize another (oh yay…) opportunity to muster resilience, kind words, and a forgiving perspective. And, for those who think it is easy or a habit we have, please recognize it takes all our skills to muster those thoughts of fortitude and to keep going. Experience tells us that so far, we have a 100% record of managing hard times. It isn’t often pretty, we may wish to avoid the reality, but ignoring hard things doesn’t make them disappear.

meditate

Digging deep means what to you? For me, it means putting the current episode into a larger picture. Does this person know that instigating negativity in others is wrong? Does this person lash out because they themselves are hurting? If so, have you set a firm but kind boundary to protect yourself from being drawn into the chaos? And, if there is nothing you can do to remedy the situation, how do you breathe, and intentionally process the emotions and chalk it up to experience? This — this is wisdom.

When ignorance and incivility abound, it is all the more important that we keep our heads steady, and our words kind. Considering actions that uplift, or at least don’t make the situation worse is important. Sometimes, only listening and not feeding the drama is the only possible action. Even fireworks eventually fizzle out, and it’s avoiding the burns that leaves you to carry on.

The world is a strange place today. Vicarious pandemic trauma, absences, losses, changes in daily life, the uncovering of priority in our lives all factor into the whole. Notice I said “priority”, not priorities. It is a rather recent semantic shift, since not everything can be a priority. As you engage with others, walk calmly, choose your words intentionally, adjust and adapt your personal boundaries to thrive, and know that taking the high road is the best way. Finally, process then let go of unnecessary drama; send it into the atmosphere!

Moving from Stuck to Strength – Linda Kreter

 

2020 Required Durability from Everyone

In 2020, no matter how resilient you were, times were uncertain, we were facing information overload (or deficit), and we had choices to make. On a scale of 1–5, how did you manage?

No single way fit everyone. Many took the time to reconnect with family (initially) and flourished if fortunate to work from home. Others had little change, because they were deemed “essential” and had to report to work or had a position that required to be in the workplace. As we all now know, what started as 14 or 30 days was extended, and extended. Whinging between family members *may* have ensued, and others painfully isolated. Living with uncertainty can be unsettling. Loss of family and friends to illness, isolation, and life changes may bring a chronic level of grief.

Durability was hard to muster. As we learned more about the virus, we gained knowledge. From my background in clinical studies, I knew that immunity could be boosted, good habits build routines and structure, and when life feels slippery, we do better with a faith or spiritual foundation. We had choices to make – renew healthy habits, or fall back to or invent poor ones. Many did both. Looking back, I know that daily exercise (online, indoors), outdoor walks when possible, eating right, striving to sleep more (that’s always a tough one), and bringing back enjoyable habits (gardening, knitting, and written notes to friends) helped me immensely. Pets — pets were invaluable!

cat

How did you manage? Durable people take self-check-ins seriously. When I felt myself slipping, I stepped up the areas of need. I firmly confirmed that people matter, and even a walk-by in a mask with a kind word helped versus no contact. Gratitude flowed high, since I had choices that others may not have, and I tried to support groups I belong to with outreach (which helped me most of all!) And, fear is unhelpful, reducing immunity and confidence…

The more challenging aspects of durability like the discipline of structure, the many daily choices took intention. Yet, the intentional pause, the knowledge that some of the daily options were in our own hands gave me hope. And hope is sometimes the most powerful impetus to keep going! I once had a wooden angel with a quote on it. In a darker time of my life, I’d covered it over. During the Spring of COVID, I uncovered it. Ha! The joke was on me — the quote stated this: “Never Lose Hope”!

never lose hope

Seeking to keep going is often hard, but well worth it. I’d love to hear what or who supported you in that challenging year? Plus, just surviving this year is a magnificent accomplishment! Well done!

Linda Kreter

 

Leadership Skills Growth

Leadership expert John C. Maxwell talks about leadership as a continuous learning process, and one where success means growing other leaders. In other words, leadership is influence. If you don’t influence others, you’re not leading a group, you’re walking alone.

What if you’re a strong leader already? It’s probable you are still constantly and intentionally learning more about yourself, and about your abilities to communicate and engage. Most leaders find camaraderie in sharing ideas with others, receiving feedback, and debating the finer points of a difference of opinion. Leaders are inquisitive, questioning, and often seeking. Personally I love to read books, and listen to podcasts and videos about communication, including varied viewpoints on persuasion, techniques on asking questions, and the way we can encourage others to safely tell their stories – because everyone has a story.

Engagement has a different meaning in a world gone largely virtual. Your words and phrases matter, along with your tone, your body language, and your demeanor. The best outcome of a discussion with anyone, is rapport, a greater understanding of the other person’s viewpoint, a possible shift based on learning what the other person finds important, and most of all, valuing the other person. If you manage staff, speaking to someone with their position and perspective in mind is vitally important. Plus, improving your communication skills (tone, presence, body language, preparation and more) acting a leader rather than someone to be reckoned with is an advantage. This is leadership skills and mindset growth.

Leadership

You cannot always change the situation around you, but you can change your response to it. The confidence with becoming a more assured leader will help you in every aspect of your life. There is enormous value in being able to express yourself well and to show in subtle ways you are resourceful, knowledgeable and worth listening to in your role. Intentionally, taking even 10 minutes each day to read, listen, journal, discuss, mentor, or learn will make you a stronger, more empathetic leader, able to surmount challenges with grace. Leadership skills are always evolving; enjoy the process!

 

Gnarly is the Most Interesting

Do you have a fondness for driftwood like I do? I’ve dragged an interesting piece for miles and then let it dry out for three months if it was sufficiently unique!

Fascinating driftwood is often the tumbled root section of a tree. I spent time this weekend thinking about roots. Roots of our families. Roots of our friendships. Roots from our past that make us who we are today.

Our roots begin within our families, and if we’re fortunate, any dysfunction is manageable and safe. Roots continue to grow and spread as we learn and grow older, putting out tender shoots that grow stronger as we discern our path. Through experience and hard-earned wisdom, we learn how to prune the roots that are unhealthy, and how to nurture the ones we need to be stronger. But sometimes, even with help, we cannot self-prune or self-nurture our roots and we must learn to live with a discrepancy in our lives. And, we do it well!

Have you ever seen the root of a great tree that at one time ran into an obstacle and was forced to change direction to stay alive? It’s not predictable or “regular”. That tree, like you, is determined to keep growing. The root of a tree that has circumvented an obstacle and kept on, lifting branches to the sky is often the most remarkable. For example, consider the roots that grew around an underground pipe, pressed up through the concrete, or burrow out of the side of a mountain. They kept growing. I contend that some of the most interesting driftwood pieces – and durable people are those experienced a challenged root system.

Wood

Consider yourself in a new light. Think of a stunning piece of driftwood art in the garden, a driftwood piece like you – unwavering, gnarly but tenacious, with some knotholes and scars, and learn to admire that driftwood all the more for the progress it made along the way.

May you be grateful for gnarly, intriguing roots in your life for your demonstration of durability. Challenges met – durability rises again!

 

The Magic of Durability

Ahh, superpowers and magic! Durability is usually a plain word that describes buckets and boots, but the magic of durability is – you can always enhance and strengthen it. It’s never too late. Durability is a time-honored description for those who wake each day with purpose, walk with courage despite obstacles, and serve others at home, at the office, and in life.

Durable people have met personal challenges, faced the options, and chosen intentionally to carry on, especially when the options are bad, poor, and worse. We are not merely weary troupers, we have perseverance, a flame inside that won’t go out, and if it flickers, we rest, quiet ourselves and others, and seek strength to continue. Not all people are naturally durable, yet durability is also resilience, and resilience skills may be taught, emphasized, and maintained.

A durable person has a personal awareness and a knowing they have weathered hard circumstances before – and prevailed. That experience gives a hard-earned wisdom, and also a supportive timber to take the first step. Again. Wisdom comes with age and experience, yet it’s an advantage to learn and apply these skills earlier in life. We model durable behavior for our peers at work, and for our children at home. Application of self-awareness, strong communication, wellhoned boundaries, and compassion with strength is a powerful combination.

Many cast empathy and compassion into the “soft skills” arena, implying these are not as functional or practical as other skill sets easier to quantify. Yet, the best communicators in life understand that caring, applying the right words to the right situation, and following other principles taught in kindergarten are vital to influencing others positively. Durable people use these skills (innate or fostered) in all communications to create a relationship, rapport, and harmony.

The magic of durability endures and sustains. Durability is a superpower! Augment your natural resilience, fortitude, persistence, strength, grit, character, courage, and endurability and achieve your personal best. Contact me at linda@lindakreter.com and schedule your free 15-minute consultation. Durable people thrive in all aspects of their lives!

Linda Kreter

Comments are closed.