‘Tis The Season for Stress-Filled Laughter

‘Tis The Season For Stress-Filled Laughter

Did you know that this year Santa’s sleigh will fly with one less reindeer?  Comet has to stay home to clean the sink.

Did you at least smile with that joke?  I hope so and if you did, congratulations because you just released a LOT of stress with one little smile or laugh.

Stress affects everyone. For many people, this time of year means spending time in complex social interactions such as family and relative gatherings and often uncomfortable work-related parties.    For many around the world it is a time of trying to at leastmatch expectations, the pressure to create a ‘wonderful Christmas’ with presents and one of the most important meals of the year.  To some it feels like the holy-days-of-obligation to be someone we are not and be somewhere we prefer to avoid.  The stress of the holidays also includes those on-going stresses of the rest of the year from relationship issues, health situations, money, diet, employment, and bills and, honestly, if I keep listing them I might start feeling the stress as well!

Dealing with the stress is the key to overcoming the adverse effects of it but HOW we deal with it is critical.  Who has time right now to learn a new skill, right?  Our natural response is to put off learning a new skill, such as a new relaxation method, for another day. We feel we could manage it better if we put it off and wait for the next crisis to happen.  The truth is – time is of the essence – and putting it off only compounds our stress.

The key is to balance your stress and your periods of relaxation and wellness.  You KNOW you are going to have stressful moments but we don’t typically see them coming until we are in the midst of the moment. We must plan our wellness periods so that we have ammunition to combat the stressful moments.  It’s about optimizing experiences to gain the best potential from each one.  We need to listen to our bodies and our minds because they will tell us, often yelling it loudly, that we need to calm down.

Laugh.  It’s a quick moment in time that can have some amazing stress-releasing benefits.  According to the Mayo Clinic, a quick moment of laughter stimulates many of your internal organs by increasing oxygen intake which in turn increased endorphins that are released by the brain.  It also increased your heart rate and blood pressure momentarily which can induce a good, relaxed feeling.  Finally, it soothes tension because it stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, both of which reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.


Take a few moments today to laugh – crack a smile – and take a proactive stance in favor of your own well-being.

Did you know that according to the song, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, Santa has twelve reindeer? Sure, in the introduction it goes “There’s Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen…” That makes eight reindeer.

Then there’s Rudolph, of course, so that makes nine.

Then there’s Olive. “Olive the other reindeer used to laugh…” That makes ten.

The eleventh is Howe. “Then Howe the reindeer loved him…”

The 12thone is Andy! “Andy shouted out with glee.” The proof is in the song!

May you intentionally seek out moments to laugh and smile, taking part in your own wellness plan.  Stress will happen this time of year – how we react to that stress is critical to our success.  Be kind to yourself and don’t allow the stressful factors to win.

 

 

 

What IS Excellence?

I love this meme! Makes me smile every time!

The definition of excellence is, “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”.

Excellence is not something that is established and set in stone. It does not magically occur and become something that is a set label.  Excellence is, according to Matt Hann of Hillsong, “…an ever-changing dynamic in both our personal journey and the collective journey of our teams”[1]

When we strive for excellence, we experience true growth. When we strive for mediocrity, we experience stagnation.  When we continually offer up to our Creator the very best we have to give in ALL things that we do, then excellence becomes ACTION and it becomes HABIT.  It changes over time and redefines itself according to our experiences and our mindset.

What is excellence for you? If excellence is not an end, if it is not something to which we can arrive, than how do we achieve it?  Is it a destination or a process?  In Matt Hann’s definition, excellence is absolutely a process and is that not what the entire human experience is supposed to be? 

When we empower ourselves and those around us to make things excellent, we remove our need to examine quality control and we focus more on our actions. 

I want you to strive to be an artist of excellence.  An artist makes a difference. An artist will do something that has never been done before. An artist will dig deep within themselves to find the creative, passionate drive.  An artist will strive to plug us in to the act of making things better.  An artist of excellence is constantly in motion, is constantly changing and adapting, and is constantly striving to exceed the excellence achieved the day before.  Go forth and be excellent!

I would love to hear from you.  What are YOURS plans to achieve awesomeness in 2019.  I’m not talking resolutions – I’m talking about empowering yourself, granting yourself permission to exceed your own expectations!  Head over to the contact page (https://raushawnaprice.com/contact/) and select “I Just Want to Say Hello” and then share with me.  You can also email inquiry@raushawnaprice.com

Don’t forget to join my newsletter group HERE.

[1]https://hillsong.com/collected/blog/2014/11/what-is-excellence/#.W9sE9S2ZPUI

Epiphany Mistakes

Wikipedia defines Epiphany in this manner:

“An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of a sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.”

Maya Angelo defines epiphany like this:

“…It’s the occurrence when the mind, the body, the heart, and the soul focus together and see an old thing in a new way.”

I like to refer to an epiphany as an a-ha! Moment. It is the moment in time when something is revealed, allowing us to see it for the first time or to see something again as if for the very first time.  

These moments can be life-changing but what happens when we have spent time on something and achieved the end-goal just to learn that it was a mistake?

Dorie Clark says “Humans are highly susceptible to the sunk cost fallacy, which makes it hard for us to end something into which we’ve already put time, money, or effort” (Harvard Business Review, What To Do When You’ve Made a Bad Decision August 11, 2016).  We are victims to our own ego, not wanting to admit a mistake or a failure and many times covering it up at all costs. But imagine the POWER in admitting you failed! Sending energy of raw honest out to the world is empowering and cleansing, scary too, the first time, but worth it.  

Our moments of sudden clarity, our “a-ha” moments, are meant, I believe, to teach and  empower us to continue the forward momentum regardless of the outcome.

We failed.  

We made a mistake.

We must move on from it and allow ourselves to build upon that mistake. Don’t push it aside and try to cover it or paint it another color. You can dress a rock up in a puppy costume but it is still a rock.  You can call your failure whatever you like but it is still a failure and THAT’S OK!

We must make the decision to either “know and grow” or “whine and repine”. The choice is ours but I’m here to tell you that when we elect to grow from our mistakes the reward is just as sweet as the taste of victory!

Raushawna Price
Giver of Awesomeness (R)

Listening & Hearing: Two Different Acts of Obedience

When we speak with other people do we speak AT them or WITH them?  Is it a monologue or is it a dialogue?  When we participate in dialogue, do we listen to HEAR or listen to RESPOND?

Most people will, if they are honest with themselves, realize that they listen to respond.  Do we automatically begin writing and editing a rebuttal script before the other person completes what they are saying?  There’s a good chance there is a second monologue going on in your head WHILE you read this!

Another way to put this is to understand the difference between ACTIVE and PASSIVE listening. It is about BEHAVIOR.  Listening is not just the act of hearing something but is also the process of making sense out of what we are hearing.  ACTIVE listening is full engagement.  We can determine if people are engaged in active listening by looking for physical cues such as nodding, smiling, eye brow or forehead responses and eye contact.  The listener may ask questions, respond with non-sensible vocalizations to signify their agreement, disagreement, or understanding.  This is analytical listening – it is piecing together the information that is coming at them, ordering it in their minds, placing the words and phrases in categories, and matching them with historical references throughout our own lives.  If we are inclined to counsel individuals, we are engaging in active listening. Carl Rogers defines empathetic listening as “entering the private perceptual world of the other.”

What, then, is PASSIVE listening?  Typically, the listener is not reacting and is not listening with the goal of responding. We may be taking in and absorbing the information. The passive listener is not necessarily NOT paying attention. We are simply absorbing.

When I speak in front of small or large groups, they are typically the passive listener.  There is little two-way communication, not a lot of eye contact from the listeners, and the listener feels safe from feeling that they have to participate.  This can be very helpful to the speaker because it gives that person flexibility to drive the conversation, direct the imagery, and create emotional responses.

This all sounds pretty analytical but there is something I’m trying to point out.  In our everyday interaction with people it is helpful to know if we are being active or passive listeners. When the clerk asks, “how are you today?” are they listening for our response as an active participant in the dialogue or as a passive engager?  More than likely, a passive engagement as they are merely on cruise control and likely following the corporate script of customer engagement.  When someone approaches us with an emotional declaration such as, “I love you” or “I need to talk about something” the immediate reaction they get from us will typically set the entire tone and direction of the conversation. It will either slam the door on our availability or open it up and welcome them in to the inner circle of our undivided attention.

Counselors, especially lay-counselors (camp, church or small community helpers), are trained to face the person, not respond to other people or situations in the room, make eye contact as well as other verbal and non-verbal responses in order to establish the ground rules with a response. That response is this:  I’m going to listen OR I’m not really going to listen.

The active listening test:

We can check whether people are engaged in active listening by asking questions about the content and about their emotional reaction to what was said.  We can paraphrase what we heard, or ‘parrot’ back to the speaker what we believe we just heard. We can check on the perception of both listener as well as speaker by asking for confirmations, affirmations, or clarifications.


Specifically, for me, I am a very active listener when I am in Church.  I grew up in an AME church and when my Pastor asked for an amen, you responded.  Today, I give an “amen” without being prompted, to show my active listening and to solidify the statements within my understanding.  I am sure, if you stopped and thought about it, you could think of times when you were a very active listener.  Maybe with your children as they are sharing their day, or with a coworker who is discussing a concern.

 

 

We can all continue to improve our listening skills and today I want to encourage us to do that by simply being more aware of our bodies and our minds while someone is talking with us.  is the inner monologues in our heads louder than the speakers’ voice?  Are we solely listening to respond or are we listening to understand? There is a time and place for both these acts of obedience and it is our job to determine what is appropriate for each setting in which we find ourselves.

 

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Click HERE to book an information call about how a partnership with Raushawna, as your coach, can help change the direction of your personal and business life.

Reduce Work Load and Increase Results

I have dedicated my life for many years to helping people achieve more than they ever thought was possible.  In the past ten years, we have seen people work harder and longer. Retiring at 65 years of age just is not “a thing” anymore.  Take a look at your local chain stores and you’ll find more and more seniors still being part of the work force.  Unfortunately, the pay hasn’t kept pace with our efforts, and we often excel at the expense of our health, relationships, and even free time. Our stress has increased, and our health has decreased.

 

 

There are a few tips I want to share with you on how to reduce your workload while increasing your results at the same time. Yes – it is possible.

 

  1. REDUCE YOUR TASK LIST: First, if you have an assistant make sure you don’t mind delegating. Just taking even one task off your plate will give you an amazing sense of relief.
    You shouldn’t work in the order the tasks arrive in your inbox or by who screams the loudest.  Remain flexible at all times, realizing that priorities can shift on the fly and something can suddenly take higher priority than the ones that were high on your list earlier that same day. Be flexible and stop thinking that it is a “must do it now” list.  If possible, focus on the things that are going to have a long-term consequence for you and then delegate the lower priority items to your assistant.

 

  1. CUT BACK ON YOUR OBLIGATIONS: You have to have the time to do those items on your to-do list or it becomes your “won’t get done list” and that does wonders for beating down your self-confidence and feelings of self-worth!

 

  1. SAY NO ONCE IN AWHILE: It is perfectly acceptable to say no. What MATTERS, is HOW you say it.  If you can follow up a, “no” with an action step/idea that will still get the results requested, even better!  You have to have discernment and vision to make the right choices and determine when is the right time to say either, “yes”, or “not right now” or “no”.

 

  1. REDUCE DISTRACTIONS: Even as I’m writing this I had to intentionally, just now, shut down a few browser windows and turn off my email because it was too distracting. It took me about 20 minutes just to get to this spot in this article. That’s unacceptable.  Be AWARE of your distractions and get rid of them.

 

  1. REDUCE ENERGY WASTE: If something is taking a lot of your energy, perhaps you’re going about it the wrong way.  Don’t spend an hour doing something that should only take 15 minutes.  Become aware of the things and situation that pull juice from your personal battery.  Someone I know would say to me all the time when she was hungry, “my battery needs recharging. I have to stop.” You MUST realize you can only go so far until you have to recharge. Don’t push your car to see how far you can go with the ‘low fuel’ light on. Life doesn’t work out well when we continually operate in that manner.

 

  1. SLEEP, EAT, AND BE MERRY: Get plenty of sleep and rest, eat good food that is healthy for you and tasty. Tasty food brings a smile to our faces and our souls.  And be happy. Make sure you are making the conscious choice each day to face the day with a smile.

 

Our mental, spiritual, and physical health do NOT have to take a back seat to our success. We can succeed AND have strong minds, hearts, bodies, and spiritual lives.  Go forth and be filled with joy and purpose.

 

To learn more about Raushawna Price, Giver of Awesomeness™, please visit www.raushawnaprice.com or contact her today at inquiry@raushawnaprice.com  Providing individual and group coaching services.

Dream the POSSIBLE Dream

TO DREAM THE POSSIBLE DREAM

“The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” is a popular song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. Don Quixote first sings the complete song as he stands vigil over his armor, in response to Aldonza (Dulcinea)’s question about what he means by “following the quest.”

Are you following a quest?  Do you have a dream, a calling, a deep inner purpose that motivates you every single day to achieve?  I do.  It’s a remarkable sensation, but many people become so overwhelmed with the emotions of the quest that they fail to put it into action.

The dream within should inspire your courage and thereby bring harmony to your life and the lives of those with whom you encounter.  At least, that’s what it should do.  But as I said, for many people it does the opposite – it awakens fear of the unknown, self-doubt, and it eats away their courage and strength to persevere.

We are granted the gift of dreams, and these dreams are planted deep within our hearts, and we know it but we it takes courage to bring them to fruition.  That courage only comes from inspiration.

During Robert F. Kennedy’s long-shot campaign for the presidency in 1968, Senator George McGovern introduced him in South Dakota by quoting from The Impossible Dream. Afterward, Kennedy questioned McGovern whether he thought it was impossible. McGovern replied, “No, I don’t think it’s impossible. I just… wanted the audience to understand it’s worth making an effort, whether you win or lose.”

I want to encourage all of us today to grab the impossible – reach out for that brass ring, stretch just a little bit farther than you ever thought you could, and be inspired.  You DO have what it takes to bring action to your dreams and when you begin that forward momentum you will find an incredible peace about that journey.  It is not about grabbing the brass ring instead it is about winning the journey.  That peace is called harmony, and I want all of us to experience it today.

Leave a comment and let me know what dream you are working to bring to life.  Tell me about ways you are conquering your fears and about those times when it is hard to keep going.  Trust me, I know, which is why I want you to know you are not alone and can keep going.

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Unplugged or Plugged…That Is the Question

don’t miss the little things…

I recently spent some amazing quality time with several important people in my life. My amazing husband, my fantastic children, and myself.  Although I believe that each and every moment with my family is amazing, I sometimes forget the importance of spending quality time with myself as well.

During a recent vacation, I had an important decision to make. I brought my laptop and was prepared to do some work during my down times.  What harm would it do if I simply etched out a little bit of “me” time and got caught up on some work?

Then it hit me. I needed to spend quality “me” time AWAY from the big things and spend that time focused on what my body, mind, heart and spirit were truly wanting – rest and reflection.

I made the decision to remain unplugged the entire time.  Not even my assistant could find me!  You know what happened during that time?  No crisis – no issues – nothing that could not wait until I returned to my office.  My business aspects continued moving forward while I took some time to stop.

When I returned to work I had not lost any momentum. Instead I had a new-found clarity and my purpose seemed to be in more focus that ever before.  It was because I unplugged and gave myself permission to step away from the big things and focus on the small things.  In reality, what I was truly doing was unplugging from the small things and spending some incredible time with the BIG things – my family and myself.

Psalm 46:10 makes a GREAT breath prayer.  What’s a breath prayer?  First you unplug – shut it all down. Then take a deep breath in and out and repeating in your head a quick prayer.  For me, I breath in while hearing the words, “Be still and know…” in my head and then as I breath out, my head completes the scripture by saying, “…that I am God”.

Remember to unplug on a regular basis.  The rewards for doing this are far greater than ANY reward you will get from remaining plugged in with your head and face buried in work.  Take true ME TIME and unplug from technology and plugin to th

e reality that is your life:  your loved ones, your surroundings, the creating Spirit that is all around us, constantly creating in and through and around us, and yourself.

For more information and a unique guide for breath prayer, check out the Contemplative Monk here: http://contemplativemonk.com/breath-prayer/

DREAM IT and Keep the Forward Momentum

Dream It and Do It
Walt Disney, If you can dream it, you can do it…

Walt Disney is credited with saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it”.  WOW, did he have a dream or what?  I wonder what he would have to say now to see the empire that was birthed from his initial vision of a mouse.  Did you know that Mickey Mouse was NOT the actual start of it all?

Walt and his team created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and when Walt’s contract came up for review in 1928, he THOUGHT he was riding strong because of the amazing success of Oswald.  But that’s when the studio executives pulled a fast one, fired his entire design team AND retained the rights to the rabbit.  He and one loyal animator stayed behind and hit the drawing pads and created what we now know as Mickey (and we have Walt’s wife to thank for the name otherwise it would be Mortimer!).  A Hollywood walk of fame star and 130 movies later, Mickey is leading an empire that started with a short black and white film in 1928 called, Steamboat Willie. You can read the entire story HERE.

Our best laid plans are often re-structured for us due to life events and circumstances.  Our ability or inability to adapt to those changes will dictate our success rate.  Walt was a master at adaptation and that is why he was successful. He didn’t see obstacles he only saw options.

dreaming at the setting of the sun
Sunrise Sunset

What is your dream?  Can you see it? Have you named it? Do you have the steps laid out that are going to take you there?  Start moving – one step at a time so you don’t trip over your own feet.  Gradually, slowly, and steadily, move forward towards your dream and during the process of forward momentum, I want you to also watch for the changes that take place.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a sunset over the water.  I wanted to walk to the edge of the water to watch it but I was running a tad late. I started to walk towards the sunset and I kept marveling at the minute-by-minute changes that I was witnessing during my short journey to the shoreline.  When I got there, it was nothing like I was expecting. I was expecting to sit and watch it from start to finish but instead, I got more. I got to witness the PROCESS.

I want you to dream it and I want you to know that the process will likely change how you get there, with whom you get there, and how the finished product looks.  But that’s not the point – the point is DO IT and keep the forward momentum.

Take In the Beauty of the Small Things

small thingsI recently thought about how easy it is to find beauty everywhere when everything is going my way. When I am meeting my goals, experiencing success in my business, seeing my family growing and knowing they are healthy, I tend to be content and happy. And, when I am truly happy, I can easily find the beauty in little things.

On the flip side, I realize that when things aren’t going my way, I can easily slip into being negative. In this negative state of mind, I can withdraw into my own grey world of not enjoying the beauty in little things. I know that I am not alone in this. At one time or another, each of us can experience a life situation which will bring us down, if we let it. It could be a family member diagnosed with an illness, losing a job, the death of a loved one, a child struggling in school, or even a car breaking down.

So what can we do in those times when we struggle to see the beauty in even the little things? Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking about what you can implement to remain aware of the beauty:

  1. Have an attitude of gratitude. Take time at least once a week to write down at least five things that you are grateful for (it’s even better if you can do this every day). Consider such things as having a roof over your head, food to eat, loved ones around you, employment or other sources of income, your health, feeling the sun shining down, hearing a child laugh, having a favorite blanket to wrap up in, getting a new toothbrush or other self-care item, having the sense of sight or hearing, etc.
  2. Focus on joyful moments. Even when we are experiencing days of having to deal with a negative life event, such as a death in our family, we are able to find something that will bring a smile to our face, or joy to our heart (such as sharing stories about them that will make us smile). In all situations, consider what has cheered you up in the past, and reach out for it. Maybe it is a song, a movie, a place, or an activity.
  3. Do something physical. This can be exercise, a walk, painting, riding a bike, working in a garden, etc. If it is an activity that gets you moving, it is physical. Physical movement (especially exercise) releases a chemical in our brain called dopamine (aka happiness neurotransmitter).
  4. Get plenty of sleep. When we do not get enough sleep, it can cause our brain to become exhausted. This then leads to many negative issues, such as mood changes, which can lead to depression and more.

motivateI encourage you to stop and take in the beauty of the small things. As you make an effort to do this, it will get easier and easier over time. Before you know it, you will be able to see the beauty in the most mundane tasks, or most difficult moments in your life.

I invite you to take five minutes of your time, turn the volume up, and watch this video to help you take in the little things. https://youtu.be/Qzfh0q0ybKk 

fence scene

Where Do Limits Come From?

I’ve been asking myself this question lately and seeking an answer.

I have come up with this answer…My mind.

The statement, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”, is true because of the potential power that is lost!  It is the first place creation happens. It is where the builder first sees the blueprint, the teacher first creates the lesson or the musician composes the song.

This is why our environment is extremely important. Not just the space we take up but who occupies that space with us. Limited people create other limited people, not because they want to but because there is no other frame of reference within the space they occupy. It is a comfortable place for limits to exist. They can be secure and they can make people and things seem better than they are.

It is important to make adjustments to your environment from time to time or maybe even more often than that. Do you find yourself in a place where you aren’t sure if your environment is holding you back or helping to move you forward?  Below are a few common things I have noticed about limiting environments:

  • Questions Create Discomfort
  • Sameness is Celebrated
  • Permission Must Be Granted
  • Errors are Feared
  • Learning is Limited

Sometimes a limiting environment can be hard to notice at first. Especially if the environment shifts or if you are a person who takes your queues from others. They may not see what you see or hear what you hear. Pay attention and notice what is happening around you and make a choice to stay and change it or find a new environment. The choice will always be yours and your mind will help guide you.

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