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G.I.V.E. to Get

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G.I.V.E. to Get

Emotional skills are more important than ever for 21st century business. Good leadership can be quickly undermined by lack of emotional regulation. Without the skill to manage your own emotion, leaders can act impulsively. Harsh works can burn long built bridges of connection in seconds, leaving damaged working relationships in ashes. And what is ultimately damaged is trust.

So, what can you do?

First, leaders need to be self-aware of the things that cause them to be dysregulated. The body is the first clue. By scanning for sensations that signal distress, you can start to reverse the process. Sensations like a tight throat, a pounding heart, judgmental thoughts, sweaty palms, and a knot in the stomach are signals that shouldn’t be ignored. Our body gives us clues to our state of mind constantly. Understanding how your body speaks to you is worth investigating with curiosity.

Once you know what is happening, giving yourself permission to step away, take a breath, and sooth yourself. Use your five senses: focus on something beautiful, listen to music, smell something calming, put an ice cube in your mouth. By focusing on these sensations, the brain has to shift. As we calm down, you can gain perspective and choice how to respond to a situation, rather than reacting impulsively that could negatively impact important relationships.

For your teams to feel respected and valued, they need to feel heard. Listening to those around you is an important skill many leaders struggle with; however, it is critical for everyone’s success. When teams feel heard, they will not only give you their best, they will give you their loyalty.

An easy way to remember this skill is G.I.V.E. (adapted from the work of Marsha Linehan, PhD)
• (be) GENTLE: approach the conversation in a non-threatening, open, receptive and available way.
• (be) INTERESTED: John Gottman says it is more important to be interested than interesting! This
means you are attentive, curious, and focused on listening, not to just respond, but to
understand what is being said. You are allowing the time to really pay attention while
setting aside your own preconceived ideas of what might be happening.
• VALIDATE: Validation is about understanding. It is not about fixing a situation, or finding a
teaching moment. It is saying “I get it” without looking for rebuttals. The primary goal is
to have the speaker feel heard. This step MUST ALWAYS precede problem solving.
• EASY MANNER: Being approachable and creating a safe space where people can come to you with
concerns is an important skill. It allows you to be professional without being intimidating.
Safety increases trust and communication.

Remember, learning new skills is a practice, but one that is well worth it! It is not enough to work from the top down. To be truly successful, we must work from the inside out!

If you would like to listen to the show Skills of Connection follow this link to hear the replay!


Dealing with Stress Like Your Life Depends On It

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Dealing with Stress Like Your Life Depends On It

It seems that we all spend an enormous amount time trying to avoid what we feel. Every other commercial on TV or the Internet is designed to take us away from what is happening to us. Have a headache? Take this. Overwhelmed? Talk to your doctor about this new medication. Stressed? Get away to our great vacation destination. But everyone of these strategies are about avoiding what is happening to us. Although some avoidance can be a positive exercise, we can’t get away from everything that stresses us out. So, what are we supposed to do?

When we allow ourselves to pay attention to what is happening, both internally and externally, it gives us the ability to look at things in a new way. If we get curious about the sensations in our body, our thoughts and judgments going through our head, the emotions we feel, and the environment these all exit in, we can assess what is happening vs. just reacting to it. That pause, to key into ourselves, allows us to make decisions about what is needed in the moment.

One of the problems I often see is that we know what we need (to eat, to rest, to play, to be creative) but we deny ourselves these things because there are always more pressing things to do. We focus on the “to do” list and we become so enslaved to it that we put taking care of ourselves last on that list every time. We begin to glean our self-worth from how much me do and how productive we are. We wear our exhaustion like a badge of honor becoming “Human Doings” instead of “Human Beings.”

I still remember a time when we went to work from 9-5. When we arrived home, we did not engage in our work again until the next day. There was time for recreation, time for family, time of hobbies, time to just play with the kids and time to rest. But, our 21st century lives don’t work that way. We are expected to be available to our jobs nights, weekends, and holidays. There is no break because the workday never ends. And the things that are designed to keep us resilient get pushed aside.

As we continue to operate this way, is it any wonder that stress related illness is out of control? Our bodies can only take so much before they will let us know they are at the breaking point. Ignoring the signs can make us literally sick, or worse.

I believe that getting clear about what is happening to us is not just something helpful to do, but vital to our health, well-being, and ultimately our survival. It is not optional any more. We must cultivate things in our lives that gives us resiliency to combat the stress we encounter every day. Those things can include rest, creativity, music, meditation, yoga, sport, recreation, nature, pets, volunteerism, and activism. When we make time in our lives for the things that matter, that things that are difficult get better. It is a practice, like any other Mindfulness practice. But without it, the stress of our lives can overtake us and rob us of any joy in our lives, leaving us resentful and bitter.

It is so important. Make the time. It is not optional. Engage in it like your life depends on it, because it does!

Observations on Mindfulness

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Observations on Mindfulness

Observations on Mindfulness
I know the idea of Mindfulness sounds elusive. People often envision sitting crossed-legged on the floor, repeating “OMMMM” over and over, waiting for their mind to settle down. If you are like me, that process never worked! My brain is often too busy running down rabbit holes of thoughts that lead in a million directions at ninety miles an hour. Sound familiar?
For me, Mindfulness was like a miracle. It was less about stillness, and more about observation. I would often overreact to my thoughts, believing they were telling me the truth of a situation. Learning the concepts of Mindfulness, I came to understand that my thoughts are not always facts, but are filled with judgments and assumptions that are often wrong. Yet responding in that state could drive my emotions right off a cliff, leaving me in a state of stress all the time. It was exhausting!
Observing my own thoughts gave me space. It gave me perspective. And most importantly, it gave me time to assess whether this was a thought I needed to react to or not. It gave me choice. And in that choice, whether to react or not, gave me a freedom I did not know was possible.
I always loved the analogy of the subway car. I could imagine spray painting my thoughts on a shiny silver car. And when the doors of the car opened, I could decide to get on that thought train and ride, or step back on the platform and let those thoughts speed down the track into the dark. Since learning Mindfulness almost two decades ago, I ride that train a lot less, and have created more peace in my life. Even when times are overwhelming or stress.
The great thing is this doesn’t require a lot of time. Just stop. Take a breath. Notice how you feel. Observe your thoughts. And then, decide what you want to do. I promise you, this simple exercise can create miracles for you too!

When things don’t go as planned

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When things don’t go as planned

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

My plan was to start my brand-new radio show on VoiceAmerica on Monday, November 6th. This was something way out of my comfort zone. I worked hard with my producer, Winston Price, to learn how to assemble a meaningful show, talk to guests and create interesting content. I spent the last 8 weeks focused on getting the show ready. I was nervous and excited at the same time.

Sitting in the studio, headsets on, my guest and business partner, Annie Campbell, sitting across from me, we were ready to go. And then nothing happened. Crickets.

For some reason, despite the best efforts of two hard working engineers, they could not fix the problem. The show was not going to happen. At least tonight.

My show, Innovative Mindful Solutions, is focused on how to mindfully approach our thoughts and emotions that may sabotage our businesses and our lives. I believe that when we rigidly attach ourselves to a specific outcome, not only do we create more suffering for ourselves, but that attachment may keep us from seeing other viable options and possibilities. Mindfulness allows us to step back, observe the situation and ourselves as it is in THIS moment, not as we would wish it to be. The universe was presenting me a true test of my convictions. Would I practice what I preach or succumb to my disappointment? I realized I had a choice to make.

So, taking a deep breath, I smiled at two very concerned engineers. And Annie did as well. I thanked them for their hard work and diligence in trying to fix the problem and get us on the air. I could see the relief on their faces when I told them that I was grateful for their efforts. I knew they were expecting us to be upset or angry. We decided to regroup and try again next week. I knew it would be OK.

And I realized John Lennon was right!

So, the do over of Innovative Mindful Solutions will be next Monday, November 13th at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Click the link below and join us to learn new ways to manage your business and your life when things don’t go as planned!


Whole Person Learning with Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook

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7th Wave
Whole Person Learning with Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook

 whole person living

Be sure to tune in live on Wedesnday October 23th for Wise Chats, Simple Talk, Profound Wisdom on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel on Wednesday at 11-12 am PST or 2-3 pm EST.

Guests: Akamai University Doug Capogrossi, President, Christine Ross, PhD, Graduate in Energy Medicine and Leslie Whitcomb, MA, Doctoral Student Applied EcoPsychology

Evolutionary Education what is it?  Why do we need it?  How is this education different?  Dr. Doug Capogrossi, Akamai University President and Dr. Mary Jo Bulbrook, Director of Complementary Therapies will describe some exciting opportunities offered through AU.  Whole Person Learning will be illustrated by Leslie Whitcomb who has an innovative model of education based on her years of study, interest and research in applied ecopsychology. Dr. Christina Ross research is on the cutting edge of medical science conducted at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  Her research investigated how the body used various electrmagnetic frequencies to transmit different types of information from cell to cell when the body is recovering from disease. The scope of what is possible when a scholarly environment is provided for faculty and students to engage in visionary learning that gets to address questions that solve problems for planet earth and those who are caretakers of this rich resource.  Evolutionary Education: Whole Person Learning time has come! 

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Aloha. Welcome to the Akamai University!                                                                                            

Akamai is an international university operating at the frontier of higher learning.  As a nonprofit non-governmental organization, we have dedicated our efforts toward the betterment of the human condition and sustainability of the planet.

Together, we strive for a world filled with greater peace, balance, cooperation, and the promise of an evolved human fellowship.


Guest Speakers:

Dr. Douglas Capogrossi, President of Akamai University

Dr. Capogrossi earned his Bachelors in Business Administration, his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and his Ph.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Cornell University, where he completed an extensive dissertation investigating the effectiveness of the American education system. Dr. Capogrossi has administered a variety of formal and non-formal education programs including distance learning colleges, trade apprenticeships, work experience projects and on-the-job training within industry and the human services, distance learning training programs for industry, and adult job training through center-based programs. He has coordinated innovative community-based education and work-experience projects for troubled youth at public and private institutions, and has more than eight years’ experience developing and instructing innovative education programs for adult inmates in Hawaii correctional facilities.

Dr. Christina Ross, Recent PhD Graduate of AU

Christina Ross, PhD, is a board-certified Polarity Practitioner (BCPP) practicing energy medicine for over a decade.  She has received bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and physics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD in Energy Medicine from Akamai University in Hilo, Hi.  Her dissertation involved research at the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, studying the effect of pulsed electromagnetic field on cell signaling in an inflammatory response model.  Her recent published text is:  Christina L. Ross, PhD, BCPP. Etiology: How to Detect Disease in Your Energy Field Before It Manifests in Your Body. Copyright© 2013 by Christina L. Ross. Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (March 13, 2013), Library of Congress control number: ISBN-13: 978-1479781690.  This scholarly work offers the definitive work in Energy Medicine.

Leslie Whitcomb, Phd Candidate in Applied EcoPsychologyLeslie Whitcomb, M.Sc., Ph.D. candidate, Child Development in Applied Ecopsychology has been counseling and educating families for thirty years. Her early focus on Post-Partum Adjustment and training in Parent-Infant Mental Health inform her understanding of how biology, neurodevelopment and cultural family patterns impact child and family wellness.  Leslie’s indigenous heritage and her immersion in Earth based ways of knowing and learning impact her understanding of the importance of recognizing sensory interconnection as well as empirical analysis in family studies and research. Leslie is currently finishing a dissertation detailing the ecopsychology of child development. Her research design is based in defining ontologies for, and recording longitudinal data from, self-efficacy measures in learning outcomes. Specifically, learning outcomes from courses designed to balance cognitive learning with sensory learning activities

8 Key Words:  Holistic, Evolutionary Education, Innovative, Comprehensive Whole Person Learning,


Emails:  Dr. Doug Capogrossi,  dcapogrossi@gmail.com (Hawaii), Christina Ross, PhD, chrross@wakehealth.edu,  Leslie Whitcomb, Leslielynn13@gmail.com


Dr Bulbrook was co-founder and director of training of  Hospice Salt Lake in Utah during the 1970’s.  In that role she became intimately aware of individuals, families and communities needs during dying and death.  Walking with a person and family during the dying process enriches one’s life beyond words.  Opening to “see on the other side” however came not in that role but through her early spiritual life.  Spirits starting coming to her and speaking at an early age but this ability did not take shape until her adult life.  During her studies in Healing Touch and through her own work as a family therapist and psychotherapist, doors opened to other dimensions as she developed her senses beyond the ordinary five.  She became a channel to receive and give messages to clients from the other side and vice versa.  She has presented at the  Rhine center, an international community dedicated to research and discovery of paranormal phenomena as well at other professional meetings worldwide.

Website: www.energymedicinepartnerships.com

Email: maryjo@energymedicinepartnerships.com


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