0044 Thrive and Connect: Jennifer’s Cancer Journal – Part 1

Our co-host and the General Managing of both Aurelius Press and Center for Managing Change, Jennifer Rojas, has cancer – Hodgkins lymphoma, to be specific. This is the first in a series of podcast cancer journal entries she has agreed to make.

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She remarks that up until this disease she has been relatively healthy and feels fortunate for that having been the case. Also, that asking “Why?” doesn’t really go very far. No causal effect has been found.

A small episode of self-pity surfaced because she hasn’t been able to “go out and play” like others due to her chemotherapy.

Nausea is her biggest fear – hating to vomit.

Fortunately, she and her partner, Ben, are within walking distance of the Mediterranean Sea, about which she is very appreciative. It reminds her of the reality that there is still joy, goodness, and beauty available. It’s a choice to see it. Gratitude is present for 2016 in spite of the Hodgkins. She can see abundance in her life and views herself fortunate to have a highly curable form of cancer. This being said in spite of the fact uncertainty is present.

She continues to “look for the gold” in life in spite of the sh#t that happens. Denial and refusing to see ALL of life just leads to misery.

Jennifer reminds those who are listening and have to deal with cancer that, without being pollyannish, it is important to look for what is good in life.

Medical marijuana is discussed. Gary and Jennifer joke about medical marijuana, referencing Cheech and Chong. On the serious side, Jennifer talks about being in a study of the effects of medical marijuana on the side effects of Hodgkins treatments.

The benefits of having universal health care in Israel and what it has meant to Jennifer and Ben is also discussed both in terms of timeline and quality of treatment. It was a big determinant in them not returning to the United States.

The poison associated with being stuck on the question, “Why me?” is compared to the benefits of saying, “I have cancer AND I have the rest of my life” vs “It’s cancer OR the rest of my life.” Jennifer is not naive in terms of thinking everything is going to turn out well. What she sees is the ability to set an example for those who are suffering, an example that shows one can stay in the present and experience life.

She does discuss the realities of chemotherapy and how it knocks one down for a period of time. Listening to one’s body is critical. It allows her to focus on periods of feeling well and being able to get her work  done.

Carl Jung’s description of his successful patients is brought into the discussion, i.e., using the pain felt as a tool to see parts of life that otherwise were invisible and help others in a constructive way. An opportunity is created from the pain and suffering. This is all stated based on the belief joy can be found in the middle of the difficulties.

Ben, Jennifer’s partner, and all he has done is brought into the podcast and looked at through the lens of being vulnerable.

This includes the need to find a balance between empathy and sympathy and how the boundary with regards to “self” in a relationship moves with the ups-and-downs of the disease.

Jennifer also shares how important it is for care-givers to find a sense of balance and maintain it.

The conversation shifts to maintaining a sense of balance by sticking with the slogan, “Make judgements without being judgmental.” Life is a balance between the good and the bad that is present. It’s all about establishing and maintaining balance when having cancer, experiencing chemotherapy, and having a job to work.

Well, that’s about it.

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0043 Thrive and Connect: Dealing With Fear of Rejection

This podcast is from a presentation to Awesome Women In Business

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A GUIDED MEDITATION

  • I want you to close your eyes and go back in time
  • To a time when there was no boundary between your feelings and thoughts and the outside world.
  • A time when you were free and didn’t have to double-check yourself.
  • (let a minute go by)
  • What do you notice about your surroundings?
    • are you wearing a favorite piece of clothing?
    • Are you opening a favorite box that contains everything important to you?
    • Are you at a favorite relative’s house and is something special that smells delicious in the over?
  • There’s a name for this set of physical experiences: Axis Mundi – the place where what is going on inside you connects with the outside world and you feel whole.
  • We’ll come back to this.

SOURCE OF FEAR OF REJECTION

  • Fear of rejection arises from feelings of not being good enough, of feeling unable to deal with the ups-and-downs on life on one’s own.
  • So, where does it come from? Trauma.
  • When we lack the power to protect ourselves in a traumatic situation in order to cope it can be easier to just deny the trauma occurred.
  • The problem with this is we also wall off the associated part of our psyche and the skills/capabilities that go with it.
  • We also get stuck in our head which can kill sales and the ability to perform.

SOLUTION

  • Focus on others.
  • Give to them what you need yourself.
  • By seeing yourself giving to others it eases the path towards giving to yourself, i.e., reclaiming that part of you walled off with the trauma.
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0042 Thrive and Connect: Pain, Reactivity, and Mindfulness

Our co-host, Jennifer, talks today about dealing with chronic back pain and how it affects her outlook and ability to be either proactive or reactive to life’s events.

(Her situation takes an interesting twist which will be revealed in a future podcast.)0042-image-001

The four Immeasurables are reviewed along with the power of humility.

She shares her increased empathy for those from her past who lived with chronic pain.

Chronic pain sucks the energy out of a person.

The corrosive effect of the six realms of reactivity (rage, greed, instinct, desire, jealousy, and pride) inhibits being joyful especially with jealousy, e.g., “Why can’t I have a better life like that other person?”

The use of a meditation technique, tonglin, to help dissolve reactivity is explained. It opens a door to being joyful by letting go of watching others and comparing. Loving-kindness can be restored. Energy is also saved, energy that can be distributed in a positive way.

The question surfaced, “How can we show others what works for us in terms of mindfulness?” We just look for the opportunity without forcing it upon others. Jennifer relates it to her consulting work in conflict resolution.

Working in this way helps one get out of their head and reduce suffering.

The challenges associated with push-back being generated by someone choosing to stay stuck are discussed. There is only so much we can do.

For ourselves, when we practice tonglin are acuity increases. We see more and are more present, even if the other person is resisting. We become free to just be ourselves.

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0041 Thrive and Connect: The Power of Humility – Converting Negative Energy Into Positive

Converting negative energy to positive is the topic of today’s podcast, the next in a series regarding the power of humility. Your host, Gary Monti,9844870 - battery level indicator vector symbol

 

picks up from previous episodes discussing how damaging reactive emotions can be.

The 6 reactive emotions are:

    • Rage or hatred
    • Greed
    • Instinct
    • Desire
    • Jealousy
    • Pride

The healthy counter to this are the four constructive emotions/behaviors. They are called the four immeasurables and comprise:

⁃Equanimity – being free of prejudice and treating others as equal

⁃Loving-Kindness – dropping barriers and being open to others

⁃Compassion – empathizing with those who are in pain or suffering

⁃Joy – spontaneity, being free to move without needing affirmation or approval of others.

So, the question for today’s podcast is, “How is the negative energy taken from the reactive emotions and moved in the four healthy ones?”

The answer to this is an meditation method Gary has used for years which helps him get out of the trap of reactivity and connect with life and those around him.

The Tibetan name for this method is “tonglin,” which translates to “taking and sending.” It is a somewhat counter-intuitive technique but it really works.

The technique works this way:

– take a situation that promotes reactivity within you

– imagine people having a reaction similar to yours

– as you breathe in, imagine breathing in all those negative feelings

– as you exhale imagine sending those individuals some good quality about yourself that will help them let go of their own reactivity.

This can take time but is definitely worth the effort. In addition to helping get rid of reactivity one benefit is the opening of a portal back to connecting with others, back to community. You can be freed from being trapped inside one’s head stuck with all those reactive emotions.

Additionally, the ability surfaces to talk in a compassionate manner with some close who is causing difficulties. The negative energy of reactivity is converted to positive energy and you can empathetically talk with the person creating the difficulty and see if there is a solution.

Being realistic is critical. Also, tonglin provides no magic. It simply helps create energy and the ability to be present with what is going on right now and see if there are opportunities for constructively improving the relationship or situation. It may be that positive energy is used to move on by voting with your feet.

Tonglin also helps with flow by promoting a return to connectivity. This is especially helpful in business where it can be easy to agonize over problems or issues that are present. By practicing tonglin your eyes and ears can open to a situation (instead of obsessing) and the opportunity can be created to find a path — a path based on the four immeasurables, essentially taking care of yourself by taking care of your clients/customers.

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0040 Thrive and Connect: The Power of Humility – Connection Dissolves Reactive Emotions

In this episode your host, Gary Monti, continues the discussion of the power of humility in dissolving reactivity by using four other emotions/approaches to life. The six reactive emotions are discussed in greater depth:

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    • Rage
    • Greed
    • Instinct
    • Desire
    • Jealousy
    • Pride

The emphasis in this podcast, though, is counteracting reactive emotions through connections – connections with others.

The 6 reactive emotions are traps that over time create a negative karma within which we lose ourselves. A destructive, self-fulfilling perspective is created and we swear it IS the reality of the situation.

There are four emotions/behaviors which can take the place of the reactivity and lead to being present on your life. They are:

⁃Equanimity – being free of prejudice and treating others as equal

⁃Loving-Kindness – dropping barriers and being open to others

⁃Compassion – empathizing with those who are in pain or suffering

⁃Joy – spontaneity, being free to move without needing affirmation or approval of others.

By practicing humility an opportunity is created for us to wake up to life. Unfortunately, what one first sees is all the crap, all the bad consequences accrued over the years from living in reactivity as well as having fooled oneself into having been better when engaging in that reactivity. Also, the reactive habits take on a life of their own, as if they are a separate person, and fight back against constructive feelings. Consequently, it can be hard being honest with oneself, turning away from the reactivity and all that was invested in it, and turning towards the four constructive emotions.

On the positive side, there is a moving away from “you/me” to “us.” Again, when that occurs the world opens up and an opportunity to be present and free of reactivity starts developing. We can be joyful!

The power of meditation in learning to be humble and work towards building a humble frame of mind to achieve joy is discussed. Meditation helps draw the energy away from “the voices in the head” and move it into a more constructive frame-of-mind.

To do this work it is important to be in it for the long haul. It takes time and practice, practice on a daily basis. Over time, with more practice a unique ability develops, being able during difficult times to respect that pain or discomfort is being felt but being able to let go of it and not attach to it. By avoiding attachment to the pain the reactive emotions are not stimulated. The ability to see what is good in life remains and to participate as best you can. This is why humility is important. It helps avoid “why me?” or “somebody is going to pay for this!”

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0039 Thrive and Connect: The Power of Humility – Neutralizing the Poison of Reactivity

In this episode your host, Gary Monti, discusses how to neutralize one of the impediments to humility – reactivity. Topics include:

  • The danger or reactivity
  • Definition of humility and its benefits
  • Humility is contrasted with reactivity
  • A range of emotions associated with reactivity and the trouble they can cause
    • Rage
    • Greed
    • Instinct
    • Desire
    • Jealousy
    • Pride
  • Reactive patterns develop in response to the emotions if they are left unchecked
  • The patterns can grow and interlace with each other compounding the situation
  • Meditation can help dissolve the reactive patterns and return to a humble state
  • Mid-life crises are discussed and how one can work through them
  • The elusiveness of humility, especially as we get older, and its root-cause is discussed
    • Reactive patterns take on a life of their own
  • When it comes to meditating simply sitting still can be a big challenge
  • The eventual reward is to just be which makes room for joy, discipline, compassion, and empathy not to mention the opportunity to be with others and have community and a sense of flow

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0038 Thrive and Connect: Family-owned Business Succession- and Operations Legal Planning

In today’s podcast we sit down with Kwame Christian, Esq., an attorney specializing in family- and business law. We will discusslaw-resale needs license 7946993_s

  • Business Operations Planning and Continuity
  • Business Succession Planning

If you want to jump to a particular topic in the podcast click on the timestamp below.

00:00 Answer Questions Why do we need succession planning? When an owner dies what is next? Who takes care of the business after the owner dies?

03:00 Earlier The Better The funeral home is not the best time or place to start answering those questions. If left unaddressed issues from the past that need time and negotiations to resolve come to the surface and usually cause damage. Better to plan when everything is okay.

05:00 Expectations What are reasonable expectations of an attorney?

07:38 Attorney as Guide Set the stage for success by talking with your attorney before there is a problem. They attorney can guide you through the process of succession planning.

08:12 Ethics Kwame discusses ethical issues attorneys must address. This includes knowing when to withdraw due to lack of agreement between the owner and (future) survivors or between the eventual survivors themselves.

10:43 Agreement vs Disputes The law works best when used to create agreements before hand rather than as a means to resolve disputes after the owner(s) death.

11:50 Game of Thrones Kwame relates the “Game of Thrones” metaphor one of his associates uses to describe how few family-owned businesses make it to the third generation.

13:43 Plan From Beginning Succession planning works best when started at the beginning of a business. This includes:

  • putting an operation agreement in place
  • having a buy-sell agreement.

15:15 Owner’s Self-examination The difficulties associated with the owner(s) looking at their own death is discussed with regards to business succession planning and estate planning.

17:00 Peace-of-Mind There are benefits associated with planning when all is going well, the two greatest being clarity and peace-of-mind.

18:40 Costly Mistakes Unresolved issues with regards to planing for the future can lead to costly mistakes in the business today.

19:49 Arrogance and Fear Kwame discusses the toxic impact of arrogance and fear. Gary discusses some change management issues that arise in such situations – usually a sense of invincibility on the owner’s part. During family/business meetings a blanket denial of the “elephant(s) in the room” can occur making the attorney’s job that much more difficult and the number of wasted billable hours increases.

26:55 Negotiations Kwame discusses the need to negotiate and suggest going to his podcast (Negotiation For Entrepreneurs) at one of his websites, the American Negotiation Institute.

28:24 Humanity and Law The discussion shifts to humor and it reflects the challenge associated with keeping the humanity of the situation included in the legal transactions in order to avoid getting lost in the law. Kwame discusses how the law is meant to keep people within certain boundaries. The key is combining the two (humanity and law) to get to a negotiated deal that meets the participants needs.

29:46 ”Truth” Systems At least three different frame-of-mind are running through the situation:

  • operational “truth” – the way the family-owned business runs
  • emotional  “truth” – the frame-of-mind and emotional state each individual has in terms of how they perceive the situation and respond/react to that situation
  • legal “truth” – the possibilities, options, and limits present under the law

Successful negotiations are achieved when, for everyone involved, there is alignment between the three different systems.

32:30 Earlier the Better (continued) The more work done ahead of time to resolve the emotional issues the better the legal part of the work will go. Also, this will help keep costs down. Two examples are provided regarding the breakup of two partnerships – one being amicable and the other adversarial. The cost differences in terms of client base, time, money, and residual feelings where huge.

37:16 Who Does the Attorney Represent? The question, “Who does the attorney represent?” is addressed. Representing one member of the group is much different than representing the entire group. If not careful, a circus-like atmosphere that is ridiculously expensive can be created. Ethical considerations for the attorney based on who is being represented are discussed. Essentially, and “us” frame-of-mind works much better than a “we-they” approach.

41:55 American Negotiation Institute Kwame started the American Negotiation Institute to help families and partners address the above-mentioned issues in order to achieve greater satisfaction and avoid wasting time and money not only in terms of succession and estate planning but also for day-to-day negotiations. An example is provided.

48:22 Stakeholders Kwame emphasizes the importance of considering all stakeholders when negotiating. This includes immediate family members who are not part of the negotiations but are effected by them.

49:34 Creativity and Negotiations Creativity is shown to be critical for good negotiations which includes working to understand the needs of the other sides.

50:05 Pay Me Now or Pay Me Latter The values associated with working with American Negotiation Institute when life is going well and working on issues that are present, not currently having a big impact, but can mushroom if left to linger as time goes by.

50:46 Negotiations Coaching Coaching services can be provided nationally, working either in person or via virtual sessions.

52:38 Key Professionals Needed The importance of a team of key professionals is stressed. For example, in addition to the attorney a trusted accountant and a financial advisor will help those negotiating see the consequences of their agendas and decisions being made.

Well, that concludes another podcast in the Power of Humility series.

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0037 Thrive and Connect: Humility – An Overview

Our co-host, Jennifer, listened to the three prior podcasts on humility and today she shares with Gary her view on the topics:humility

In thinking about the differences between humility and humiliation real-life experiences bubbled to the surface for Jennifer. For example, her job of 11 years where her boss had a very different management style than Jennifer. Her success in that job had a large part to do with Jennifer deflecting her boss’s micro-management style by practicing humility both with her boss and her direct reports. She kept the turnover rate on her team very low.

Jennifer then gives an example from her personal life – dealing with her ex-husband. This is contrasted with having a relationship with someone who also believes in humility. It engenders trust and improves the relationship. Which led her to the podcast on humility and abundance. No need to be perfect, just willing to make room for each other and work on the relationship.

Moving on to humility and freedom Jennifer was reminded of when early in her career she felt she had to prove herself, have no flaws, and “do it all!” without accepting help. She relates a story of regret with regards to a time someone offered her help and Jennifer initially refused, to which the woman making the offer replied, “If you never ask for help no one will ever know you are human.” Accepting that help made a great difference in Jennifer’s management style, which helped later in life with the micromanaging boss.

Jennifer and Gary discuss the impact of Jungian Type on the perceptions of humility vs humiliation.

The discussion moves to the relationship between “being right” and humility/humiliation.

Why is humility difficult to practice? The relationship between humility and karma is discussed.

The final topic is the importance of humility in promoting a sense of togetherness in a relationship.

Well, that concludes another podcast in the Power of Humility series.

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0036 Thrive and Connect: Humility and Freedom

Today’s topic, humility and freedom, is a continuation of the power of humility series.humility

Recall the definition of humility is choosing to go to a small place, representing an awareness of what one can and can’t do. One side-effect (or benefit) of humility is experiencing freedom.

To get an idea of what freedom is let’s start with defining what it isn’t. Lack of freedom is being trapped and at the core of being trapped is suffering. In turn, suffering is based on being attached to something or someone.

An example of attachment is given: hitting my thumb with a hammer. There are two distinct components to this situation: the actual pain felt and how I decided to deal with that pain. Suffering is getting hung up on the pain, e.g., feeling sorry for myself, feeling I can take it out on others, etc.

A distinction is made with regards to the value of the physical pain, i.e., getting me to pay attention to thumb to avoid hurting it further and to allow it to heal.

At the core, freedom is being present with what is occurring and letting go of suffering.

Decision points deciding to be free or suffer occur throughout the day and I do have the power to choose to suffer, e.g., pushing my child to get an A on a test, that woman will love me, boss will give a raise, etc. Or, I can choose to simply be present with what is, immerse myself in the experience and be present. Choosing the latter approach frees me to see what is available in the moment. In other words, see options.

Choosing to attach to an experience and become reactive creates tunnel vision and options fly out the window.

Presence includes being with the specific activity or person in front of me while also being aware of the environment and what is going on in the periphery.

One example of enjoying the freedom that comes with humility and being present is sitting in the sunroom in the morning with Jeny, enjoying her presence but also being aware of the squirrel outside trying to steal seed from the bird feeder, the cats vying for position on our laps, etc.

Freedom can also be present with uncomfortable tasks. The letting go of the difficulties and/or uncomfortable feelings opens up the opportunity to see and pursue options.

Astronauts formally train to do this letting go activity by going through an risk management exercise called, “The next thing that can kill me is _______ .” This helps them learn how to respond to a situation rather than react and lose site of options.

How do I get to a reactive state? By having expectations. With expectations there is a desire to control someone or something beyond my humility boundary. Attention disappears and there is just a pushing of my agenda, e.g., pushing my child to get an A or badgering my spouse or partner to be a certain way.

Expectations lead to throwing away freedom. Suffering results.

This is an age-old problem. The Roman philosopher Epictetus (c. 50 AD) stated, “There is pain and there is torture. Pain is when we now the source of our discomfort. Torture is when we don’t.” Suffering creates torture and the associated blindness. When in pain I can see the options available and decide what to do. This is exercising freedom. This also applies to when feeling well.

Expectations lead to an unrealistic sense of control, a cause-and-effect relationship between me and the person or situation I want to satisfy me expectation.

The listener is challenged to look for situations where they abandon their freedom or decide to remain humble and embrace the freedom.

Now, there is a paradox with regards to humility and ambition.  It is fine to have goals and make certain sacrifices. However, it is important to watch out for the risk of turning oneself over to the desired goal and losing oneself, only having meaning based on becoming the goal. An example is Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada.

In order to pursue ambition in a humble manner the key is forming a team with like-minded people. Doing this with a sense of abundance where the tasks and rewards are shared with others not only helps preserve freedom it creates an opportunity for abundance where what is achieved is greater than the capabilities of any one person.

This sets the stage for joy to surface!

It is difficult to maintain humility in situations such as divorce, especially when one doesn’t want it to occur.  The power to hold the marriage together is gone. Embracing this reality is essential to maintain freedom through humility. The other person is on the other side of the humility boundary.

The courage to grieve and embrace the sadness is essential in order to be free and have options.

This gets to a willingness to accept the unfairness of life in order to be free. There’s a power in embracing being in a small place.

Remember, freedom exists inside humility. By linking with others through giving up some independence interdependence develops and, again, more can be achieved. It is expansive, both in terms of being with what is immediately present as well as awareness of the environment and what is on the periphery. It’s quite a paradox!

Freedom in the presence of failure is extremely important. Character is built based on decisions made and actions taken when in a failed state. Attachment to the failure dissolves humility and a blindness to options and possibilities sets in. Freedom disappears.

Well, that concludes another podcast in the Power of Humility series.

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0035 Thrive and Connect: Humility and Abundance

Hi, and welcome to another episode of Thrive and Connect, the second in a series of podcasts dealing with the power of humility. Today I’ll talk about how the practice of humility can lead to abundance.humility

  I am your host, Gary Monti, publisher of Aurelius Press, providing the only Jungian Type assessments, the Majors PT Elements and PT Inventory, that not only provide both whole Type, those 4 letters such as ESTP, but also real-time measure of the 8 Jungian mental processes, introverted Thinking, extroverted Sensing, etc., providing information on both how one tends to think based on the neural pathways established at birth but also adaptations that have been made while moving through life. For more information go to aureliuspress.com.

Let’s get back to our topic Humility and Abundance.

You might recall the last episode differentiated humility from humiliation and the results may not have been that exciting. After all, it might not sound very cheerful when even in health it’s all about going to a small place.

So what to do? This is where humility opens the door to something very powerful — abundance.

Personally, learning this lesson was a big surprise to me.

Without going into details I can say I spent a large part of my life in the confusion between humility and humiliation. The short version is I tried to make humiliation work. That created a rather painful, frustrating trap of feeling stuck in a small place with no way to get out since it was someone else’s fault I was in there and my only way out was by trying to please the other person who was rummaging around inside my head. Not a happy way to live!

In turn, I tried to compensate for this insanity by trying to please that voice inside my head believing I should be able to do everything by myself – I should be a Superman!

Well, if ever there was a death trap, that was it. No matter what was achieved it wasn’t enough. Humiliation is a black hole with an infinite appetite.

Eventually I burned out trying to fill it and started looking for something else. This something else ended up being humility, which, surprisingly, led to my discovery of abundance. Abundance makes it fine being in a small place. Abundance does this by facilitating connection.

Let me explain with a personal story — something that happened recently. I tried planning what appeared to be a rather ordinary social event. The secret reality was that while the event may appear ordinary on the surface it had importance to me. In fact it had mythic significance. Again, it was just meant to be a pleasant time, or so it seemed.

I was taken by surprise when one of the invitees said they were already planning an event around that time, it was something they did every year, the date was important, etc., etc., etc. They ended up inviting the same people that I was planning to invite. (I’ll come back to this other person later in the podcast.)

I chose to let go of my plans. This ended up being a triggering event that brought up the humiliation. Ironically, the getting past humiliations of the past was the mythic component of the event I was planning. Finally, I was free! Or so I thought. Can you believe it!

But then I thought, “Wait a minute! This is a chance to continue working with humility and getting beyond humiliation.” And that is what I did.

The work consisted of staying with the process of letting go of the reactivity humiliation creates and staying out of the personal hell created by holding on to urges to do whatever (you can fill in that blank with some of the urges you might have had in the past to set people straight, get even, etc.)

By the way, the work to free myself was done through Dharma practice (I’m a secular Buddhist) and I was able to go to the other party and actually have a good time.

But wait, there’s more! Something amazing happened at the party.

As frequently occurs at good parties, subgroups develop and I joined one. While we were sitting there talking and having a good time I asked about the cooking that others like. Several mentioned food that I had made in the past. This created an opportunity to ask, “Then what would you have for a nice meal?”

I took advantage of the situation to see if a meal could be built around the foods that I make. This led to asking, “How about Jeny and I put on a dinner party?” Everyone agreed and now we’re moving forward with the planning. The party may or may not occur. The point is, it supported me in staying with just being and connecting with myself and others.

A quiet sense of joy emerged. Behaving this way helped keep me out of the prison that hanging on to reactivity creates. Belief in abundance and committing to doing the associated work, i.e., having the dinner party, created the space within which I could experience the connection I was looking for in celebrating my release from humiliation. And if this dinner party doesn’t happen then I am free to plan something else! The abundance associated with relationships is still there because I am making the effort to care. The energy would just be moved to the work of that other event should this dinner party fall through.

In all of this it’s important to avoid sounding Pollyanna-ish. This work of abundance doesn’t come easily. Every brick on the path leading towards the creation of abundance is built from a reaction surfacing along with the urge to attach to it and then pulling energy away from that reactivity so I can let go and be free. It repeats over-and-over until the reactivity dissolves.

In Buddhism there’s a term for doing this work of sharing without expecting something in return in order to create abundance. It’s called loving-kindness. Doing the work of loving-kindness dissolves the prison created by reactive emotions.

In this case, offering to do the work of loving-kindness through a simple dinner becomes a statement to myself and to those around me that there is a way to get beyond the anger, frustration, and sense of woundedness associated with humiliation, perceived or otherwise. It can be an example for others which creates an interesting paradox. While working to take care of myself an opportunity for connecting with others is created. Pretty cool!

I want to switch back now to the individual who schedule the other party. You may have noticed during this podcast that I used the phrase, “Perceived or otherwise.” There’s a reason for doing that. When in the grip of humiliation it’s easy to perceive others with suspicion and believe they have dark motives. While these feelings may be intense they also may be inaccurate.

My feelings of humiliation actually are the reaction I choose to have in response to an action another person takes. This actually is separate from the individual’s intentions. That person may very well be intending to humiliate me or they may be doing what they honestly think is best free of intention to create harm.

This bears repeating. There are two important points here:

1. I need to take ownership of any reaction I have to someone’s behavior, and;

2. Space needs to be left to find out what the other person’s story is in order to treat them with the appropriate respect rather than trying to dump my reactive emotions on them.

Respect here simply means treating the individual appropriate for their behaviors. If I find out the person’s a jerk maybe I need to back up for a while or take action to protect myself. If the other person’s intentions are benign and I genuinely feel a sense of harm then we need to talk about making some changes. Finally, if their intentions and actions are benign then I’m back to dealing with my own reactions.

Well that’s probably more than enough for now. I hope you got something from today and can pass it on! I look forward to sharing more with you in the future.

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0034 Thrive and Connect: Humility vs Humiliation

Hi, and welcome to today’s podcast. I am your host, Gary Monti, publisher of Aurelius Press (aureliuspress.com).humility

Today’s podcast is the first in a series dealing with the power of humility. We’ll start with how humility is frequently viewed and confused with humiliation.

It would be an understatement to say in today’s world humility is not one of the desired traits needed for taking care of oneself and getting ahead in life. In fact, humility is often viewed as something for weaklings, those who don’t have what it takes to get the relationships they want and get ahead in the world. I strongly disagree and believe those criticisms are based on confusion humility with humiliation. (more on that later.)

Now, there is a real power associated with humility. In fact, when students or clients ask me what traits must a good leader possess both in personal and professional life I reply, “There are 3 key traits, courage, discipline, and humility.”

1. Courage. Leaders venture into the unknown where the rulebook increasingly loses its relevance. This is a pretty scary place to be. Courage based on the belief in oneself and the team is essential for success to occur. This is true in personal life when a couple are going through the challenges of their relationship. Also, when a parent is dealing with a change or crisis a child may be having.

2. Discipline. There are two aspects associated with discipline. The first one is having a stick-to-itiveness where one continues persevering in the face of discouragement and challenges. The second component has to do with building oneself intellectually and spiritually in order to have the personal tools needed to work through the situation. Think of how a piano student practices and practices until there actions are spinal and their hands just know what to do.

3. Humility. Simply put, humility is knowing what I can and can’t do. It is knowing where my limits are. The importance, then, of humility is understanding there are times when bringing in others for support is critical. This all sounds well and good and I would guess you are in agreement. We need, though to make this real — put some flesh and muscle on the bones of intellectual definitions.

A deeper dive will help where we look at the real challenges as well as the benefits associated with practicing humility.

One of the best ways to bring the concept of humility into focus is to contrast it with its nemesis, humiliation. We can start with their definitions which have some common ground but then diverge significantly.

There are two parts to the definitions of these words. The first part is the same for both and its origins are in the word “humus,” meaning rich earth. This comes from earth-based religions where one is taught to think about their roots, where they come from, who nurtured them, and that we each have a place in the world but it is a small one compared to the broader universe and is not necessarily at the center. Consequently, the first part of the definitions of humility and humiliation is “to go to a small place.”

That’s tough enough as it is. This is the 21st century. Who wants to go to a small place?! “I want it all!” “Me first!” Those are what is encouraged in order to get ahead when It’s important to win at all costs, dominate, and control. Let the other guy be humble or humiliated!

What about the second part of the definitions? This is where it gets interesting and possibly confusing.

In the case of humility I choose to go to a small place while with humiliation I am pushed there by somebody else. Can you feel the confusion? First off, I am going to a small place and, second, my options are to either go there myself or be pushed by someone else. This doesn’t sound very good.

For example, your boss might give you a job that requires 20 hours of work and you only have two hours available. You’re honest about the situations and the job doesn’t get completed. (That’s humility – you know your limits.)

If your boss is out of sorts there’s a chance you’ll be read the riot for not getting work done and might be embarrassed or have it show up on your job review. You are at risk for feeling small after all this. (That’s humiliation.)

This is where your eyes can cross! You know you’ve been humble with yourself by doing a gap analysis between the number of hours the job takes (20) versus number of hours you have available (two). On the other hand, though, you’ve just been humiliated publicly by your boss.

So the questions are, “What do you do?” and “Why would I bother with humility?”

First, what to do.

There are two options here, reacting or responding.

With reactions the individual grab onto the situation (and, figuratively, my boss) and won’t let go. Now I am locked into the negative feelings which leads to a high state of emotionality caused by replaying the event over and over and over. This is what resentment is, i.e., a re-sensing of the situation.

An interesting aspect of the human psyche is the heart does whatever the brain focuses on. By replaying the situation continually in my mind my heart says, “Oh, we are focusing on bullying today. Okay, I can do that!” I then go home kick the dog, yell at the kids, etc. You know the drill. So the outcome of that resentment is the equivalent of sitting there stabbing myself in the heart and eventually those around me. I become the object of my focus, the very thing I feel is terrible.

The other option is responding. The response is summed best by the Dalai Lama who said, “when someone humiliates you, practice humility. Let go of them and do what you can do within your limits and only focus on that.”

Now you might be wondering what that means. What the Dalai Lama is saying is you’re just one person you only have a small place in the universe, you can only do so much so why not just let go of your boss and do what you can. Instead of resenting be productive in your own way. Be nurturing in your own way. Be caring of others in your own way.

So, in conclusion, there is a real value in being humble. That value is you can keep yourself and stop the brutality of humiliation by not hurting yourself or those around you. Obviously, practicing humility is not for the faint of heart. But there is a real payoff. We’ll look at that in future podcasts.

Well, that concludes this first part of the Power of Humility. If you have a

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0033 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors: Patricia Rodemann

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.hope-candle-hands11205410_s

Today we talked with Patricia (Cia) Rodemann, the Director of Business Development and Communications for Pomegranate Health Systems, a provider of adolescent psychiatric services.

Pomegranate has both residential and crisis centers.

Pomegranate accepts patients from all over Ohio on a 24/7 basis via professional referrals only. Interventions typically start with a parent bringing a child to the emergency room or Net Care. Pediatricians and counselors can also refer directly.

If in crisis in Ohio call That Care Access, 614-276-2273, or go to the nearest emergency room. Also one can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

Cia described how a component of care is parents having a hard-to-heart connection with their children, watching for changes in mood or behaviors. It is important to pay attention to small cues.

She also discusses misconceptions and mistakes regarding suicide. She writes a personal experience where it would be better if she would have intervened.

Pomegranate has a blog serving as a resource guide for articles on adolescence mental-and behavioral health issues. The website is www.pomegranatecares.com.

In terms of periodicity, times of high drama throughout the school year can have a big impact on children.

The decision-making process has to deciding whether inpatient or outpatient care is required is discussed.

Pomegranate is performing leading-edge DNA-based diagnoses and prescribing, leading to better and more effective selection of drug regimens.

Pomegranate also provides trauma-inform care which is based on what has happened to the child.

Finally, post discharge instructions following acute care are shared.

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0032 Thrive and Connect: Interview with APTi President Amy Acker

Jung, CarlAmy Acker, president of APTi (Association of Psychological Type International) took some time to sit down with us and go over her Letter From The President, published to APTi membership.

00:00 Introduction

03:44 Current context

06:51 Board is up to the task

08:12 Value Proposition

09:27 APTi as the independent voice of Type

12:31 Dialogue with Type community

13:07 Board Agenda and Priorities

16:57 Members input: Capabilities and monitoring

18:40 Membership Survey: Understanding membership needs/concerns

23:21 Certificate of Coaching

24:33 Standards Certificate Program

25:24 Questions? Contact avenues available

27:19 Membership renewal and benefits

28:00 Strengthening and building communities

29:07 2017 Conference location

30:35 Wall of Giving/Annual Appeal

31:41 Appreciation of Support

33:41 Closing/Contact information

36:00 END

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

February 16, 2016

Dear APTi Members:

Happy New Year!  It is hard to believe we are a month into our 2016 year already and I hope that it has started off well for all of you.  I am looking forward to a productive and fun year serving as the 37th President of APTi.  I have had the good fortune since I joined the APTi Board in 2013 to watch the role modeling of three former presidents, Linda Berens, Susan Nash and last year Maryanne DiMarzo lead this organization with such great passion for serving our community, with such great commitment to forwarding the work of psychological type and with such generosity of their time and energy to this organization in general.   It is my personal goal and commitment to continue that legacy.

We have a seasoned group of professionals returning to the Board this year and several of them are in new roles.  Our newest member is Doug Woodworth who joins us as Director of Finance.  Please go to the APTi web site (www.aptinternational.org) if you are interested in the board members and their backgrounds.  As a board, I view our chief responsibility to not only lead an agenda that creates satisfaction for our membership but to also preserve and accelerate the organization.  I am confident that our board is not only committed to this but also up to the task – and there is much work to be done!

The Executive Committee of the Board spent a weekend planning session together in mid-January, heads down – aligning on our 2016 agenda and priorities.  An important point and distinction that I want to make is that I purposefully did not call it a “strategy” session because as I shared with the board, it is not my intent to call a new “strategic play” or direction for this year.  The incredibly hard work and great work that Maryanne lead the team through last year to create our new strategic direction, value proposition and values will remain – this year’s task is to ensure that we bring that value proposition to life in everything that we do – and I would add with execution excellence!!  To remind everyone, our value proposition “is to be the independent voice of type and serve as the standard bearer for psychological type lighting and enlightening ones’ journey towards type expertise…..”  I am hoping that these words sound familiar because they are part of our Mission Statement and Values.  Again, I would invite you all to visit our web site if you would like to read the entire Mission Statement and Values.

I would like to share with you our priorities for 2016 in no particular order as all are important:

1.  Better and more targeted communication with our members.  We will be launching a new membership management system on March 1st.   This will include a new front end, re-designed web site and a backend membership portal that will allow us to interact with our members and them with us with more ease.  This will be our single largest investment in our infrastructure this year and most likely in the next few years.  A lot of work is already underway and remains to be done and we are so excited to announce this!

2. Better understanding of our members’ needs and concerns – this is something that the entire board is so passionate about.  As such, we will be doing a “Membership Survey” sometime mid-year.  We have a wonderfully, diverse membership.  Some of our members join for personal passion and development, some join to contribute to forwarding the research and thinking in the area of type, some join to enhance their knowledge of the practical application of type as they try to grow their own business in this area, and some join to enjoy the sense of community around type…… and there are many more reasons for sure.  Trying to meet the needs of this diverse community and be inclusive of those needs can be a challenge.  We believe as a board that a good first step to understanding and inclusiveness is to ask.

3. Membership renewals – APTi is built on its membership.  Fay Roseman will be leading up the communication with our members to remind them of the benefits we offer and ensuring that they update their membership for 2016.

4.  Continuing to strengthen and build all of our “communities” will continue to be a priority.  As an aside, under the board’s leadership last year there was a re-newed sense of energy to embrace our communities.  These communities include our Chapters, Interest Areas (IAs), and our global “sister” organizations such as BAPT and the Australian APT.  In fact, BAPT generously started sharing their quarterly publication “Typeface” with our members last year.  We in turn will reciprocate this year when we launch our new APTi newsletter.

5. Planning for the 2017 APTi Conference.  We are already at work looking for locations and venues.  Our goal is to announce the location and venue sometime early in Q2 and then the real work begins.  Thank you to all of our 2015 conference attendees who gave feedback on what locations would be most appealing!!

6. Finally, I think it is important to mention that we will continue two very important initiatives that the board approved at the end of 2015.  First, the creation of a “Wall of Giving” that will be prominently displayed on our web site’s homepage.  This “Wall of Giving” will recognize those individuals who have given generously of their time, talent, service and donations to APTi.  Second, we will continue with our Annual Appeal later in the year which is so critical to our ability to invest in such important items like our new membership management system.

So, a lot to accomplish in these next 11 months!!

In closing, I would like to thank all of our members who continue to be a part of such a great and diverse community that is rich in its history and the gifts that it has given to the world of type.  I am looking forward to working with our members, our communities and our board this year to continue to add to APTi’s history.

All the best for a healthy and prosperous 2016!

Amy

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0031 Thrive and Connect: Wherever I Go, There I Am: Romance and Jung

In today’s podcast we show how the Jungian Type assessment, the Majors PT Elements, can be used with a couple to assess their relationship and decide in a very conscious way whatromance-and-jung to do with it. The couple, who have agreed to be public about the assessment are Jennifer from Aurelius Press and her partner Ben.

For more on the specifics regarding the personal response to this work go to Jennifer’s blog on Aurelius Press’s website, “Wherever I Go, There I Am: Romance and Jung.”

There are four considerations when listening to this podcast:

1. Some technical terms will be presented in fleshing out the specifics of Jennifer and Ben’s relationship. If there is any confusion regarding these terms please feel free to contact us either by clicking on the voicemail link at the right of this page, or using the comments capability indicated at the end of the show notes.

2. The personality formation component of the Majors PT Elements is discussed reflecting its two components, i.e., perseverance (reliance on oneself) and level of adaptation (how one chooses to work, or not, with others).

3. Native Type, i.e., the preferred pathways within the brain that we are born with. This is commonly reflected in the four character dichotomous code, e.g., ESTJ.

4. The eight Majors-Jungian process scores which show how one chooses to use the eight function-attitudes currently (introverted Sensing, extroverted Feeling, etc.). This is a real-time measure of how one is reacting/responding/adapting and walking through life using the eight function-attitudes.

The discussion expands to show the power of understanding both one’s native type, what one is born with, as well as what one is doing with his/her potential. This understanding rolls into being able to negotiate and build a loving relationship by seeing very consciously where connections occur along with any disconnects. The couple is then empowered to decide how they want to change personally for the sake of self and the relationship. It’s all about growth, love, and abundance.

Ethical considerations using an assessment such as the Majors PT Elements and other Jungian assessments are discussed. This includes avoiding using assessments to gather information that can be used against someone else, using assessments as job selection tools, or trying to pigeonhole someone based on their assessment results. The focus is on gaining understanding in order to decide which path is appropriate for taking care of oneself and moving through life today and into the future.

For more on the Majors PT Elements and PT Inventory go to www.aureliuspress.com/assessments.

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0030 Thrive and Connect: Holidays vs Holy Days – Presence vs Presents

Gary discusses a personal transformation with regards to the holiday season – switch from holidays to holy days. Rather Santa-Buddhathan promoting a specific religous approach the value of a secular Buddhist practice for improving everyday living is presented. This has led to greater enjoyment of this time of year.

His story starts over 23 years ago when still suffering 2 years after a divorce and feeling stuck. The desire to get un-stuck merged with the mediation portion of the 11th step in a 12 Step program. The insight gained was this: addiction is associated with expectations. Gary came to call the holiday season, “The Disneyland of Addiction.” A time of high emotionality and expectations where trying to satisfy feelings, similar to a child in the “terrible twos,” takes precedence over principle-based behavior. It can lead to suffering. This is contrasted with healthy emotional responses in line with principle-based behavior.

Consequently, holidays are about expectations while for Gary holy days are about being responsible, living by one’s principles, and treating others in a compassionate, respectful manner. Said more simply, the goal of this work is to:

“Have my butt and my brain in the same place and time zone.”

It’s about being present, which is where secular Buddhism comes into play, i.e., developing daily habits that keep Gary present, aware, and “in” life moment by moment. This leads to loving-kindness for self and others. It puts the “holy” in holy days.

The switch to holy days allowed a breaking out from the trap of expectations. Life got simpler. Pain didn’t necessarily go away but suffering lessened. This led to an increase of acceptance in contrast to just being patient. Life is as it is. Accept and decide.

Acceptance has led to the development of options and better decision-making rather than being hung up on a given expectation.

A not-so-obvious option is being prepared to still take care of self even when plans fail. Take the energy from the disappointment and move it into something construction. And, if a plan does come to fruition move that energy as well into something greater than can be built.

It’s all about abundance and expanding the space in which the abundance can grow. Joy can result!

In contrast, when there is a hanging onto expectations a tightfistedness sets in that is very controlling and leads to misery.

Gary closes with the lifestyle he has now, i.e., having left the Catholic Church but enjoying his Italian-Catholic heritage, Christmas music, cooking,etc., all of which leaves room for others, their beliefs and practices.

The listener is encouraged to have a Merry __________ . (fill in the blank with what is important to you this time of year.)

0029 Thrive and Connect: Majors Jungian Assessments: Foundations – Part 2

For more on the Majors PT Elements and PT Inventory go to www.aureliuspress.com/assessments.Jung

Gary Monti with Aurelius Press continues the interview with Dr. Mark Majors with regards to Carl Jung, his approach to therapy, and the relationship to psychological assessments.

00:48 Review of Jung and Assessments: Foundations – Part 1. The topics discussed in part one are reviewed. This includes the origins of the assessments created by Mark along with the approach that Carl Jung took and Isabel Myers approach. Mark emphasizes how young focused on what was observable and patterns within those observations versus theory. The importance of avoiding what Mark calls “theoretical punishment” is emphasized.

03:33 Avoid the Guru trap: Life of Brian. The review concludes with Mark’s comments on avoiding the “Guru Trap,” which Mark expands upon.

04:45 Theory has its place. While theory has its place, it is important to remember that the unfocused on the observable and associated patterns. The function of theory is to serve those observations rather than replace them and predict what an individual “is about” without making a direct connection. There is a risk of falsify the individuals life.

06:09 Traits vs Motivation: the risk of introducing bias. The discussion turns towards the importance of paying attention to the client’s motivations in order to better understand how to help them improve versus simply observing traits in making judgments as to how best to put those traits to work. The individual interpreting the assessment results needs to connect directly with the client to avoid making erroneous judgments and risk being abusive.

08:25 Trait bias: an example.

09:08 Interpretation bias and ethics. it is important that the client the results and interpretation of the assessment. Traits may in fact be based upon coping mechanisms that are unhealthy for the client.

10:15 Majors PT Elements (PTE)-personality formation scores: empathy & ethics. Mark shares how the personality formation scores in the Majors PT Elements can be used to ensure the client is treated empathetically and fairly.

11:33 Psychometric- and theoretical narcissism. A danger is present when an assessor assumes they can draw conclusions about the client without checking in with them. No serious perfect.

12:09 Advice to practitioners new to assessments. At the center of this work is the individual who is then surrounded with the tools and assessments. It is important for the assessor to develop their own process, which takes time.

14:44 Intentionality. Mark continues with his advice to the new practitioner. The practitioner must consciously decide how the assessment will be used. The individual must always be the focus of attention without the assessor being by theory or the assessor’s own personal experiences. There is a need to continually check with the individual for accuracy.

15:38 MPTE wealth of information/formulating questions/possible pathways. Use the scores from the personality formation portion of the Majors PT Elements to formulate questions that facilitate the client opening up and stating the extent to which they connect with the assessment results as well as what those results mean to them. Our job is to offer possible hypotheses regarding the road they would like to take. Don’t declare, ask questions, be humble.

18:18 Taking your own journey to help your clients. The importance of the assessor going through their own therapeutic process is emphasized.

21:21 The limits of free assessments/“coffee shop” conversations/ discipline. When the connection is established the conversation becomes more personal and may appear to be informal but the reality is the assessor is bringing to bear their discipline in humility to help the client go within and explore himself.

23:01 Discipline/Intentionality/Humility. The discipline of intentionality is expressed through the humility of the professional. All behaviors are focused on the intentionality of helping the client. An authoritarian approach is damaging to the client. Being authoritarian puts the focus on the assessor rather than the client.

26:28 Theory abuse. Putting the theory and assessment before the client adds to the damage done by the authoritarian approach.

27: 21 The business world: change managers, assessments, character traits. The courage required to stay with the intentionality when working in the business world is discussed.

28:33 Transaction-oriented clients vs. the unfolding of understanding. The inherent conflict between the process oriented approach of counseling and the transaction approach typically found in business is discussed.

28:48 The impact of 3rd party payment

 – Payback expectations with limited sessions

– Working with conflicting intentionalities: bottom line vs healthy. The conflict inherent with the transaction approach is exacerbated frequently by limitations placed by third-party payers.

34:30 PTE enhances the brief therapeutic process. The benefits of using the Majors PT Elements in these conflicted situations are explained. In a limited-session environment having not only the type but also the personality formation scores along with real-time measurement of the eight majors-Jungian processes provides information otherwise not available, information which can help the client oriented and decide what direction to take in terms of behavioral changes that are in their best interest.

39:57 Client ownership of issues vs deferring to the therapist. Some clients are able to benefit well from the limited number of sessions when sufficient information has been provided. The important thing is they own their situation and choose to put the information to work. It is critical to the client avoids turning responsibility for their growth over to the therapist.

40:39 Dr. Dick Thomson’s research: work vs home Type.   http://www.hpsys.com/About_DrThompson.htm Individuals can display two distinct types, one at home and want to work. Understanding this and integrating the information is critical for health.

41:22 Advice for neophyte counselors: intellect vs empathy. It is better for people this work to focus on maintaining humility in developing a sense of empathy and not over-focus on intellectual mastery of the theory, assessment, and methods. It is important to use the information to look for opportunities where the information can be used to support the client in the unfolding of their understanding of themselves.

43:16 Transaction-oriented clients vs. the individual’s unfolding of understanding (con’t.). It is important for the assessor to be prepared to offer the benefits of a process-oriented approach in a transactional environment. There is a definite return on investment. Specifically, the process of allowing the clients to develop an understanding of themselves can be brought back to the workplace where it can aid in changing the way work is executed to the betterment of the organization.

45:14 Ipsitive prognoses vs unfolding in team setting. Mark discusses the benefit of using the information to show the need for change by using ipsitive approach, which has to do with dealing with the extremes in the Majors-Jungian processes.

46:45 The power of the MPTE and the eight Majors-Jungian process scores. An example of the ipsitive approach in an organization is provided. Individuals at some level no the changes needed but the information provided by the Majors PT Elements provides a basis to create a healthy challenge. It freezes them in their tracks and gets them to consider changing behaviors. Progress is based on those with the power having the courage to take your hands off the system and allow healthier behavior to unfold.

48:55 Ipsitive defined. Mark provides a formal definition of the ipsitive approach. The two highest and to lowest Majors-Jungian process scores are used for each individual to show the greatest ranks and weaknesses and how, as a team, the organization behaves. It provides a high level of predictability as to what to anticipate behaviorally. This serves as the basis for bringing about change.

50:44 Speak plainly. Avoid getting caught up in theory. Rather than being an evangelist for the theory, which can create confusion, it is important to speak to the individuals in terms of what they are saying about themselves in a manner that the lay person could understand. Most people are not interested in becoming a type-savvy individual.

51:22 Jung, “Use Type to help people rather than teach Type theory.” Jung was not interested in educating people about psychological Type. He was simply interested in helping people help themselves. An example is provided.

53:40 When To You Stop With a Client. When ownership of issues has reached a plateau it is time to take a break and possibly revisit sometime in the future. One sign of needing to take a break is the therapist, change manager, or life coach is experiencing increased stress and a significant drop in energy. One of the best ways to test for this is to bring up a specific issue that needs to be addressed and see whether or not the client will take ownership.

1:00:10 CONCLUSION

For more on the Majors PT Elements and PT Inventory go to www.aureliuspress.com/assessments.

Your feedback is important. Choose from the following options:

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  • send any comments along with your name to comments@thriveandconnect.com or
  • call us at 614-664-7650.

Listen to future episodes for our reply.

0028 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors – LOSSTeam: Dr. Lee LeGrice

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

In the Dallas – Ft. Worth area you can get help at Mental Health of America of Greater Tarrant County’s web site (http://www.mhatc.org/) or call (817) 546-7826.hope-candle-hands11205410_s

LOSSTeam information can be gotten at www.lossteam.com.

02:41 Introduction.

03:08 1-in-4 effected by mental health issues. Dr. Lee LeGrice (DrLeeLeGrice.com) starts by saying 1 in 4 Americans are impacted by mental health issues.

04:11 LOSSTeam formation and being a survivor. She proceeds to discuss how the LOSSTeam came about by the efforts by her and others (Regina Preatorious and Lezlie Culver). She shares the impact of her own story as a suicide survivor who lost a high school friend and how it provided impetus to be involved in creating the LOSSTeam. Similar to other survivors, she still thinks about and feels the loss of that friend and its impact, especially wondering if there was something different she could have done to help that friend. That thinking ranges out to include the lost loved one’s family and other friends.

06:36 Overcoming stigma-being there for others. Dr LeGrice encourages the listener to approach someone they may feel is at risk and get beyond the possible though, “If I bring it up I’ll be putting the idea of suicide in their mind.” If a person is at risk they are already thinking about suicide so push through the discomfort and reach out.

07:40 The LOSSTeam and community. By participating with the LOSSTeam you might just help someone who is suffering mental health issues and/or is at risk for completing suicide. It is this spirit that brought the team members together.

08:53 The importance of survivors to the LOSSTeam. Dr. LeGrice mentions the major contribution made by Lezlie Culver in getting the team started and bringing it to community.

09:54 Shame, confusion, and ambivalence. The signs of suicide may not be that clear. People at risk can be ambivalent and go back and forth between living and wanting to die. One should stay away from blaming self for missing signs of suicide because it may not be that clear.

11:56 The challenge of making sense. The difficult feelings can arise from our desire to make sense of the suicide, an event that turns one’s world upside down. Acceptance and finding a place within oneself for the lost loved one is discussed.

13:14 If at risk…connect…create a space. Having friends and being able to broach difficult topics such as suicide is recommended. It is normal to have periodic thoughts about suicide so the risk of bringing up the topic may be less than anticipated. By broaching the subject the stigma can be reduced. Dr. LeGrice recommends coming up along side the at-risk individual and listen, offer connect. Doing that first will help the person in finding a solution to the problem they are trying to solve.

18:15 LOSSTeam members walk along side. The ability to be with a recent survivor and calmly provide acceptance and understanding, even without speaking, is one of the powers of the LOSSTeam member.

19:38 Mythology – the common experience. The LOSSTeam member brings the universality of the experience of loss to the situation and is able to help the recent survivor, at times starting at eye contact.

20:56 What if they ARE having suicidal thoughts? Training models can be found that help in answering that question. It’s important, though, to be able to talk with an at-risk friend in a simple, direct, supportive manner. In other words, a lot of times it really helps for a friend to just be with the at-risk individual and affirm the sharing of the suicidal thoughts. The importance of finding a mental health professional after a conversation is opened is stressed. The friend just provides friendship. Counseling is for others.

23:59 Professionals and their understanding/training. Dr. LeGrice discusses resources available to professionals in a metropolitan area vs. more sparsely populated areas. The importance of primary care physicians including screening as part of intake interviews as well as periodically is stressed. This is especially true when dealing with a person not showing outward symptoms. Web and phone capabilities are discussed as well. LOSSTeam.com is referenced as a good place to start in looking for resources.

28:24 Personal impact of LOSSTeam work on Dr. LeGrice. Dr. LeGrice shares the growth experiences she has experienced by performing the challenging work associated with being a suicide survivor as well as a mental health professional. She shares the story of being called out in response to a 16 year old having completed suicide and having to be with the parents — the same day she was celebrating her 10 year old son’s birthday and the resulting confluence. Not only did it have a personal impact it influenced her professional practice. She discusses the heightened awareness of life and the fact we don’t know what our tomorrow will bring so enjoy what one has today.

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

In the Dallas – Ft. Worth area you can get help at Mental Health of America of Greater Tarrant County’s web site (http://www.mhatc.org/) or call (817) 546-7826.

LOSSTeam information can be gotten at www.lossteam.com.

Comments or questions? Send and email including your name to comments@thriveandconnect.com or leave a message at 614-664-7650. We will respond in a later episode.

35:45 END

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0027 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors – LOSSTeam: Jennifer Fry

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

Jennifer is a LOSSTeam. More information on the LOSSTeam is available at  (http://www.lossteam.com/hope-candle-hands11205410_s)

Jennifer is the Suicide Outreach Coordinator (OC) for the State of Nebraska as well as being a suicide survivor and can be reached at nebraskalossteam@gmail.com.

We talked about misconceptions regarding suicide and common triggers.

As to the triggers, some common ones include:

  • relationship breakups
  • financial difficulties
  • retirement

With regards to misconceptions: those close to the at-risk individual tend to think the person will be okay with time. Frequently the family dynamic can be broken up because no one knows what to say nor how to respond to the loss of a loved one. In her case, there was no LOSSTeam in Nebraska.

Jennifer spoke of her own journey and how it brought her to her current professional position – she had lost a cousin to whom she was very close. This led her to continue her course work and research into suicide  and connecting with Dr. BeLau. Her position as the OC for Nebraska functions as the central hub for those in Nebraska who need information.

In her work on the LOSSTeam recent survivors can get a sense of understanding and support since Jennifer and others on the team bring their personal experience and, in Jennifer’s case, professional experience.

Part of the outreach work is with county boards of health and clinicians helping raise their awareness and understanding with regards to suicide, at-risk individuals, and responding to situations. This work includes working directly with clinicians, providing training in peer support, signs to watch for, and role-play training.

In determining how to work with those beyond the immediate family and friends there is only anecdotal evidence as to the effectiveness of the outreach program.

Jennifer’s team is working with the Nebraska Work Well Program to provide information for prevention and postvention as to what to do in the work place with potentially at-risk individuals as well as survivors of suicide.

In terms of what has been rewarding for her, she’s found her place in doing work about which she is very passionate.

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0026 Thrive and Connect: APTi President, Maryanne DiMarzo

Maryanne Dimarzo, president of APTi (Association of Psychological Type International) took some time to sit down with us and offer her thoughts about APTi’s history, where it is now, and where she sees it going in the future. This was woven in with aspects of her personal journey, a journey that led to a commit to the organization.

Jung, Carl

00:26 Introduction – What APTi is about.

01:38 Independent of publishers

02:03 Product agnostic

02:07 Dedicated to high quality

03:48 Free assessments, people in a box, and Maryanne’s journey into Type

06:39 Helpers along the way and commitment to APTi

07:41 Product agnostic: The elephant in the room – 2 views

10:24 What about Jung?

11:00 So what’s the controversy?

13:22 Finding a balance as a practitioner

14:42 A constructive view: History and the value of diversity

18:20 Principles, respect, emotionality, and culture

20:48 Isabel, values, and finding common ground

24:03 APTi value statement, chapters, and members

25:43 Leadership, organization, diversity, and resistance

29:18 Membership: Standards in practice and what to offer

35:21 APTi Standards: Reversing the mis-use of type

40:55 Who does APTi want to attract?

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0024 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors: Chris Pinkelman

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.hope-candle-hands11205410_s

Chris Pinkelman is with TCN Behavioral Health Services, Inc. He works with colleges and universities to help at-risk students adapt and integrate into college life. Insurance, financial, prescriptions, and other issues are addressed along with the stressors and other risk factors associated with leaving home.

One of the keys is the health care provider getting in with the schools and working with the resident’s assistance programs.

Students working in the Health Care Coalition were tapped for creating videos, brochures, etc.

A series of recommendations were made that can help the parents and students prepare ahead of time to facilitate integration and lower risks. This includes city, county, and state services that may not be on campus.

Students and parents working ahead of time can help reduce the sense of shame that can be present with mental illness and addiction. This is especially important if the community lacks an understanding of the difficulties.

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