We at Little Warriors and the Be Brave Ranch are amazed by the power and resiliency of our children, teens, and families who we are blessed to work with. We truly cannot do the work and get the excellent results that we do without the support of all of our volunteers, donors, and those to cheer on our children and families from a distance. As a result, we wanted a way to give back!
Our amazing clinical team is excited to be able to GIVE BACK and contribute to any of you who are interested in your own life journey and your own heart and mind education. For our 12 Days of Giving…Back we are bringing a little bit of our amazing Treatment Centre to you! We will be offering you some thoughts and self reflective exercises as you begin the process of bringing 2020 to a close.
We know that the human brain is a resilient, living, constantly changing organ with great capabilities. We also know that by self reflecting and doing our own “work”, we can choose to change the way we interact not only with ourselves but with the world around us! So, grab a journal (or dust off an old one) if you like to jot thoughts down, and let’s have some fun together!!! After-all, all the gifts you ever need are already inside you…sometimes they just need encouragement to come forth!
Stay tuned for the month of December as this page is updated with 12 essential resources for you and your family.
We can think of our brain quite simply as having 3 parts: (1) the REPTILIAN Brain (oldest part of our Brian), (2) The SENSORY/SOMATIC Brain (or Mammalian /Limbic System), and (3) The Neo-Cortex (Newest part of our Brain).
The primary task of the brain is self-protection, so the Reptilian Brain will always override the other parts. It’s also important to know that the Reptilian Brain is at the base of the brain, so EVERYTHING has to go through that part first.
So – long story short – it’s important for all of us to learn strategies to deal with the Fight/Flight/Freeze response. If we can learn to “regulate” these aspects, we can deal with our emotions much better! Ultimately, this will lead to increased self-awareness, social awareness, better decision-making, improved relationship skills, and overall, better self-management.
Inner work teaches us that despite all the things that happen outside our control, our responses still mean than WE can author our own lives.Jon Kabat-Zinn
The term “mindfulness” is really overused these days, but it is truly invaluable. Mindfulness is the conscious awareness of our current thoughts, feelings, and surroundings AND accepting these things with openness. Mindfulness allows us not to live in the past and get stuck in a state of wishing for a different or better past. This often leads to depressed thoughts, feelings, and/or issues with mood. Mindfulness also allows us to be more present with ourselves instead of becoming wrapped up in what might happen (and getting too far ahead of ourselves) in the future. This often leads to anxiety.
We can’t change the past, nor do we have full control of the future. So, when we discover ways that we can become more mindful (instead of more mind FULL), we tend to feel better! One way to do this, is simple…using our breath! So, if you have joined in these 12 days (or you’re just starting now), reflect (and perhaps write) about the times in life that you have been able to be most mindful, and perhaps the things that you will commit to yourself to become even more mindful about. (Perhaps the moments that you first greet your chil(ren) or spouse, or co-worker. Or speaking kindly to your inner critic like you would your best friend.
There are only 2 days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do, and mostly Live.Dalai Lama
Depending on how we choose see things, we likely will see what we want to see. If I see myself as a victim, I will more likely feel incapable and weaker. If I see myself as resilient and a survivor, I will likely feel more empowered, strong, and able. This is exactly why we refer to Little Warriors as “Warriors”! Truly, we often do not have control of many things in our lives. But, we DO have control on how we define them (and how we define ourselves as a result). Another great quote from Dr. Dyer to sum this up is “Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same World.”
According to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the way we feel is seen to be linked to the way(s) we think about something, and not simply about the situation itself. So, if we can learn to become mindful about our thoughts, we can target them to reduce negative thoughts and negative behaviors) to improve how we feel. Many times, we can learn to challenge our “cognitive distortions” about our thoughts/attitudes/beliefs and assumptions that keep us tied in to problematic emotional and behavioral reactions. Here are some CBT distortions to reflect on…what changes/challenges do you want to make for yourself?
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.Dr. Wayne Dyer
There are a million ways that we can come to understand who we are – and, often, it is an ongoing process. Of course we hear about terms like “introvert”, or “extravert”, or “Type A” personality, but we are so much more than these things. Getting REAL with ourselves is a journey…and working WITH ourselves on this often is done best WITHIN our relationships. In our therapy at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch, we sometimes talk with adolescents about the various ‘parts’ of ourself…what we see, what others see in us, how we believe or perceive that others see us, etc.
Looking at ourselves from different perspectives can definitely be interesting. So, for today’s “gift”, perhaps consider the “Johari Window” for yourself. The Johari Window is a technique to support self-growth and self-awareness and it is based upon 2 things: (1) developing trust of others by revealing things about yourself, and (2) learning about yourself through feedback from others. To further discover and know yourself deeper, we can look at information what is KNOWN (the ‘open’ parts of ourself that we share) versus UNKNOWN to self (like our ‘blindspots’), and what is KNOWN to others versus NOT KNOWN to others.
Here’s a couple of exercises to ‘gift’ yourself:
(A) Grab your journal and reflect on the 4 quadrants in the Johari Window.
(B) Take some time and create and “About Me” poster or Vision Board. This can be done alone, with your significant other, friends, or your children! ENJOY:)
I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our assess kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.Brene Brown