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I wanted to share this with you because the speeches in it got me thinking for the better. It was exactly what I was needing. This goes so much deeper than equestrianism. Even if you're not into horses, just listen.. & Yes, I made this video, but I do not own the clips or audio.

Posted by Kaitlyn Brooke on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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Posts in category Emotional Intelligence

12 Tips on Helping a Friend in Mourning



beingthereHaving a high level of emotional intelligence is more valuable than being the smartest in the class when is comes to comforting others who are hurting.  Feel from the heart rather than think from the brain. Listening is more important than talking in efforts of simply filling the awkward space of silence. Here is a valuable list of tips that will assist you on delivering empathy, compassion and comfort to your friends who are grieving and mourning. Kudos to you for “being there” for your friend.
 
1) Please don’t say “I am sorry” or “I know how you feel”
“I am sorry” makes me feel like I have to say “it’s okay” and obligated to console you.  It’s not okay.  It won’t be okay for a while and that’s okay.
 
“I know how you feel” hurts me.  How could you possibly know how I feel?  My loss is unique. My loved one is unique. So my grief is unique. 
 
2) Please say their name – Speaking his/her name and hearing my loved one’s name is comforting to me.  It lets me know you remember him/her.  Not saying their name is like avoiding the elephant in the room.  Talking about my loved one, sharing stories, and speaking of the death are all ways to help me cope and bring me comfort.
 
3) When I ask “why” and talk about “what if’s”, answers and solutions are not necessarily what I am seeking. Questioning, pondering and contemplation is a way for me to process my grief out loud and begin my mourning. It is not a cue for you to feel you must answer or fix the situation.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit with me, hold my hand and listen.  BE there for moral support while I try to make sense of my loss.
 
4) Please recognize I am grieving AND mourning.  My grief is what I feel inside, the roller coaster of emotions. My  mourning is how I can express my emotions on the outside.  I may yell and scream, cry, sleep, repeat, and tell my story over and over.  Please be patient with me and don’t get sick of me, I am NOT stuck.  It’s not only okay for me to feel and express all these emotions, it’s it NECESSARY.
 
5) Please remember me and don’t avoid me.  I may turn you down when you ask to come see me or invite me out. Please continue to ask me more than once to join you for coffee or the movies.  I may decline invites. Do not give up on me and avoid me.  Eventually I will have the strength and energy to join you.
 
6) Please acknowledge that I am in a time warp as my world has stopped while your world and everyone else’s is still going.  I am currently in slow motion.  I am grieving as fast as I can, working on processing the loss as my heart and head are still disconnected.  I ask for patience and understanding.
 
7) Please don’t judge me.  You are not living my journey.  I understand you are concerned about how I am sleeping and eating.  You may be tired of hearing me blubber my story.  You may feel I am not where I am supposed to be on my journey.  Instead of judging me, and possibly urging me to ‘get over it’ or ‘get on with my life’, practice kindness, be my friend.
 
8) Please forgive me if I say or do something to hurt you or don’t return phone calls.  I am not myself right now.  My emotions are all over the place and I can’t think straight.  I can be frustrated, pissed, sad, and scared all at once with no warning.  My focus and concentration is depleted.  I need patience and understanding.  I may feel and express harsh emotions. Please do not get angry with me. I may not remember you called, please call me again.
 
9) Please don’t “SHOULD” on me.  Try not to tell me what I “should” be doing or what I “need” to take care of. Be my friend and don’t try to fix me.
 
10)  Please don’t compare my loss.  It hurts and diminishes the significance of my loved one and raw emotional circumstance.  My loss is all I can see, hear, feel and breathe right now.  I don’t have the capability to think about someone else’s losses, stresses, and misfortunes right now.
 
11)  Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything”.  I have little capability to recognize what I need.  I have little to no energy to pick up the phone and reach out for help.  My head is cluttered and I am not thinking straight most of the time.  If you would like to help, bring me a meal or take the kids for the afternoon. Send me a card to let me know you are thinking of me.  Leave a voice mail or a text message. Pick up some groceries and toilet paper. Mow my grass.  Come sit with me and be my friend.
 
12)  Please don’t say, “At Least”.  At least you had ‘X’ amount of years together.  At least he/she is in a better place. At least he/she is out of pain.  Saying things like this only hurts more and diminishes the significance of my loved one, the love we shared.  I wanted more years! The best place was here with me! I do not have the capacity to see or hear the silver lining. I am hurting, I miss my loved one and I want (need) to feel this pain.

I hope this article brought you some insight and comfort.  I wish you peace and joy in your hearts and love and happiness in your souls.

CynthiaGossman/Emotional Wellness & Balance Center
A Happy You A Happy Life

Circle the Date



circlethedate

Throughout the years, I have been blessed by walking with so many on their journey of loss, grief and mourning and helping them reach the path of healing. I have also been blessed with a voice to advocate for the griever and educate the non-grievers/companions on how to help their friends and loved ones who are hurting.  Here’s one of my favorite tips:

Circle the date of the loss on the calendar in every month for a year. Life resumes normalcy quick after the funeral for friends and companions, yet the griever’s life has come to a complete stop, is in slow motion, and time is greatly distorted. While the griever is chartering unknown territory, the pain, lonesomeness, confusion, and so much more slaps ‘doses of reality’ of the death in their face over and over.

A few months down the road when everyone else is back living their own lives (the out of town company has gone back home, the food and meals aren’t being dropped off anymore, the phone calls/texts are few and far between, the flourish of cards and condolences are not arriving in the mailbox anymore) the griever is often left feeling even more lost and alone.

When we (the companion to the griever) ‘remember’, it brings tremendous comfort to the griever. So, Circle the date and let that be a gentle reminder to you to send a ‘thinking of you’ card, invite them out for lunch, or swing by for a cup of coffee.  Disconnection is transparent and your act of love and kindness by ‘remembering’ will bring a sense of connection and diminish the feelings of isolation.

Love and JOY,
Cynthia

4 Lessons – Book Review of. . . Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman



Why IQ isn’t everything and the role EQ plays in doing and being well in life.

Lesson One:
The Ventilation Fallacy
Lesson Two:
Don’t Ruminate When You Are Sad, Distract Yourself Instead
Lesson Three:
The Artful Critique
Lesson Four:
Emotional Contagion

For more information on emotional intelligence and to schedule your complimentary strategy session contact
Cynthia Gossman, Emotional Wellness & Balance Center
cynthia@cynthiagossman.com
www.cynthiagossman.com
757-635-5379

5 Metastasizing Emotional Cancers



I have had the privilege of sharing pertinent information on emotional wellness and balance for nearly 20 years.  One of my absolute favorite teachings comes from Stephen Covey.  He is highly recognized for his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Do you know about the 8th Habit?  More specifically the 5 Metastasizing Emotional Cancers and how as leaders (in our personal life as well as in business), we must create an awareness of these 5 emotional cancers and choose to disengage. The 5 are: Complaining, Comparing, Criticizing, Competing and Contending. Here is a video of Stephen Covey himself on this subject. Enjoy!

Has The Emotional Garbage in Your Life Hardened You?



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Has the emotional garbage in your life hardened you? Are you aware?

‘Soft skills’ is not a representation of begin soft.  ‘Soft skills’ is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.

How’s that emotional garbage in your life working for you?

Many high-potential leaders are derailed because they lack emotional awareness, emotion management, and appropriate interpersonal social skills such as the ability to work in teams and a tolerance for change.

Do you know your EQ emotional intelligence quotient?  

Guessing is NOT an accurate or effective way of determining your level of EQ.  Many relationships will be taxed while not knowing the areas that could be improved.

four areas of EI

How is EQ measured?  

The EQ-i® is the first scientifically validated emotional intelligence tool in the world.” ~ It is a highly actionable tool for: personal, professional, leadership, team or organization development” – MHS Multi Health Systems Publisher

CG Coaching & Consulting Emotional Wellness and Balance Center is licensed and certified to administer the EQ-i2.0 and EQ360 assessment tools AND provide state of the art training and coaching to help you achieve your peak performance.

18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence



3Are you emotionally intelligent? Here’s how to know for sure.

1People with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly-held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

2Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that we know 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

3When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding:

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

You can take a scientifically validated test, EQ-i2.0, through CG Coaching & Consulting in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that will measure how much emotional intelligence you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid EQ tests aren’t free.

Here is a list of behaviors that ‘are the hallmarks of a high EQ’ that Travis Bradberry originally published on LinkedIn Pulse. (add’l hyperlinks have been removed)

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary.
All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 percent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.

2. You’re curious about people.
It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. You embrace change.
Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. You’re a good judge of character.
Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend.
If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others).
Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes.
Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

9. You give and expect nothing in return.
When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

10. You don’t hold grudges.
The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people.
Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You don’t seek perfection.
Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

13. You appreciate what you have.
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

14. You disconnect.
Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to keep your stress under control and to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake.
Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks.
The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

18. You won’t let anyone limit your joy.
When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

Source: Success.com article 1, 2, 3

For more information on taking your own EQ-i2.0 assessment, please contact CG Coaching & Consulting Emotional Wellness and Balance Center.

Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance



I found this article fascinating.  Check it out.{BF8CD119-362E-4262-8E05-829E27318C02}Img400

” . . .We’ve recently compiled two years of new research that, we suspect, will elicit the same kind of reaction. People will first exclaim, “No way,” then quickly add, “But of course.” We found that of all the elements affecting bottom-line performance, the importance of the leader’s mood and its attendant behaviors are most surprising. That powerful pair set off a chain reaction: The leader’s mood and behaviors drive the moods and behaviors of everyone else. A cranky and ruthless boss creates a toxic organization filled with negative underachievers who ignore opportunities; an inspirational, inclusive leader spawns acolytes for whom any challenge is surmountable. The final link in the chain is performance: profit or loss.”

Source: hbr.org https://hbr.org/2001/12/primal-leadership-the-hidden-driver-of-great-performance

Want to improve your leadership? CG Coaching & Consulting offers LeadYourShip Training including the EQ-i and EQ360 assessments. Cynthia@CynthiaGossman.com; www.CynthiaGossman.com;

Cultivate Success, Balance and Happiness



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90 days to a healthier more joyful you. Join forces with like women in cultivating success, balance and happiness and drop the drama!

Open Enrollment Through 2/8

Evening Mastermind Begins 2/18 Click here for full details and registration information

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Special Pricing for previous clients of CG Coaching & Consulting

 

What does EQ have to do with managing change?



What does EQ have to do with managing change?emotional

Everything!

If you can create awareness of the way you respond to life events, such as change, and manage your response to the event you’re well on your way to effectively managing change.

You’ve heard the saying, ‘It’s not what happens that matters but how you respond to it that really counts’, increasing awareness is a vital key in managing how you respond.

EQ gives you the awareness and mindfulness you need to increase your ability to distinguish between the event that happens, and the way you respond to it. Simply being aware of your response means you can make changes that benefit you. Being emotionally intelligent allows you to manage your emotions such as anger, anxiety, frustration, and fear which in turn relieves stress in your life.

So, what does it mean to be emotionally intelligent?

EI has been coined by Daniel Goleman in 1995 the theory emphasizes the importance of awareness, control and management of our emotions and the emotions of other people.

The skills, sometimes referred to as learned competencies, are recognized as the fundamentals to success in leadership to your ability to manage life’s curve balls – often defined as change. We are creatures of habit and naturally resist change. EQ gives you the tools needed to welcome change effectively.

Being emotionally intelligent includes the following abilities:

  • Self Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand feelings and emotion, and the ability to understand your responses to situations and other people’s actions.
  • Self-Management: The ability to choose how we think, how we feel, the actions we take, and to motivate ourselves; also known as self-regulation.
  • Social Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand the feelings and emotions of others. This includes skills in empathy.
  • Relationship Management: The ability to express your emotions and to communicate effectively.

These skills can be learned – and used well can help you manage change and achieve success in life.

Take an EQ-i2.0 self-assessment to discover your strengths and areas requiring development.  Contact Cynthia Gossman, Emotional Intelligence Expert and Facilitator today, cynthia@cynthiagossman.com or 757-635-5379.

Warmly,

Cynthia Gossman, Your Personal JOY Restoration Coach

Look For The Pony



ponyblogThere were two little boys quite opposite of each other.  One day both of the boys were given a circumstance of life and the people observed. (story improvised from original version)

The first little boy stood skeptically in the doorway of the room full of toys not sure if he should enter. But with a little prodding and hearing, “Go on in, they are all yours”, he finally walked over the first toy. What happened next shocked and stunned the people. Instead of playing gleefully the little boy systematically opened every single package in the room and rejected each of the toys in turn. The people heard him whining: “These aren’t like my toys at home. These toys will never work. Where are the video games! “It’s hot in here. I don’t have any friends to play with.”  The complaining went on and on until soon, exhausted from his own negativity, he sat down in the middle of the room and with a big pout on his face he angrily shouted “I’m bored and I want to go home.”

The people had been so mesmerized by this display of pessimism and negativity that they had almost forgotten about the second little boy who had been place in the room full of manure. They quickly shifted their attention to the second room and peering through the observation window, were stopped in their tracks. They had expected to see the little boy sitting on the pile sad and crying. But instead, he was standing on top of the pile wildly shoveling horse manure. To the amazement of the people, he was animated, excited, alive, and happy. He kept digging and digging and shouting with glee. He was covered with manure from head to toe and he was ecstatic. The people looked at one another in awe – the child seemed delirious.

The people opened the door to the room and tried to get the boy’s attention.  However, he was so focused on digging that it took a few minutes to get his attention. Finally the boy stopped what he was doing, turned around, and faced the people. Looking with amazement at the manure covered child one of the people asked, “Son, what in the world are you doing?” With that question, a huge grin crossed the boy’s face and with the same enthusiasm he had given to digging he replied, “Sir, with all this manure I just know there is pony in here somewhere and I’m going to find him!”  With that he turned around and started digging.

Two Power Principles for Finding Your Pony

Choose Your Focus: In every circle of influence there are some people who use their time and energy complaining about their circumstances and others who are carrying shovels looking for ponies. The only difference between these two groups is the choices that they make about how they respond to their circumstances. It is difficult, if not impossible, to control what life, friends, family, work, or society throw at us. Sometimes what we get is fantastic and sometimes it is a pile of horse poop. However, it is completely in our control to find opportunity in each situation and instead of complaining, dig.

Get a Pep Talk: We all have bad days and we all get crapped on from time to time, and though it is easy to write that you have the power to choose your attitude, it is much harder to do it when you feel like circumstances are not on your side. As growing human beings, leaders, matriarchs, parents, WE ALL require a pep talk as much as any other person. When in these situations it is hard to see the forest for the trees or perhaps the pony for the manure. Surrounding yourself with successful optimistic people is the cure.

Love and JOY, Cynthia

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Great Books

"The Gift of Change - Spirtual Guidance for a Radically New Life"
by Marianne Williamson

"The Best Year Of Your Life - dream it.plan it.live it"
by Debbie Ford

"The Aladdin Factor"
by: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

"What is Your WHAT?"
by: Steve Olsher

"The Slight Edge"
by: Jeff Olson

"Wherever You Go There You Are"
by: Jon Kabat-Zinn

"Play - How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul"
by: Stuart Brown, MD with Christopher Vaughan

"The Tools - Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity"
by: Phil Stutz and Barry Michels

"Unglued - Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw Emotions"
by: Lysa Terkeurst

"Excuses Begone! - How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits"
by: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

"Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway"
by: Susan Jeffers, Ph.D

"MAKE MONEY Not Excuses - Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever"
by: Jean Chatzky

"Who Moved My Cheese?"
by: Spencer Johnson, M.D.

"What's Worth Knowing"
by: Wendy Lustbader

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