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  • Mental Health Matters

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  • Heroes Journey April 2021

    Building Heroes: April 2021

    We often talk about the importance of focusing on what we can control.  It is interesting how sometimes the easiest of concepts ring so true.  And as I think about this and talk to others, I find myself thinking that perhaps even more important is the idea of controlling what we need to control for us.  Each person is different and each of us needs to control different things to feel like we can thrive.  So, let’s be honest with ourselves about what we need to be the best version of ourselves.  Rather than be frustrated, let’s pay attention and learn what we need to take care of in order to be our best selves.

    Breathing is a great tool for helping us stay in control.  This 10-minute TedTalk teaches us how breathing works and helps.  I personally love the tactical breathing that comes from this talk.  In for 4, hold for 4, out for 6, hold for 2.  I always feel better when I take time to breathe.

    I ran across this podcast with Brene Brown and Simon Sinek where they talk about the idea of life being an infinite game.  We can have finite goals within that.  But ultimately it is so important that we align finite objectives within the infinite goals we have for ourselves in who we want to become in our lives.

    You do not have to settle.  We are often told limiting conversations about what we can possibly become.  We do not realize it, but we set limits based on what we see and how we are built.  What if was truly a matter not of whether we could do something, but rather how we WILL do it.  Working with Paralympic athletes has inspired this perspective for me.  I wonder how many of us place similar limits on ourselves and what we are capable of accomplishing.  A couple of resources in this space.

    And perhaps stepping back and realizing that the present moment is beautiful and the same for everyone is incredibly empowering.  Let’s own more moments in our life.  For those who want help being reminded of this.  Sign up for the Daily Stoic with Ryan Holiday.  Below is a portion of the daily reminder email which was sent on the 25th of January 2021 where Ryan talks with us about Marcus Aurelius:

    “The present moment is the same for everyone, he said, no matter their job, no matter how well or how terribly things have been going. The present is all anyone possesses. To waste it, to let it escape you, to fritter it away with fear or frustration, is not only to set yourself up for failure, it is a rejection of a beautiful gift.   Focus on the now. Be where you are…while you still can.”

    Our latest Heroes and the end of Season One:

    Kylo Harris.  Coach and Sport Administrator.  “Be purposeful and be open.  Be purposeful in what you do, do it with some intent, and be open to the opportunity. None of my success has really come from me being self-directed in it, it’s been being open to what’s been presented.”

    Leisha Strachan. Professor and Coach.  “The idea of allyship, I think is really, really important. You know, that’s not just us trying to push our agenda, but that we have friends who are there and supportive and will have our back and listen to the things that we want to talk about and change in our communities. And that’s just so key.”

    Nadya Crossman-Serb (Team Canada Canoe Kayak).  “It felt like I belonged in there in that place [in my boat] and it felt like I was connecting to my Métis ancestors”. 

    Shannon Kehler.  High School Coach.  “Be grateful for all moments.”

    Michelle Sawtzky-Koop.  Olympian & Heroes In Our Midst Co-Founder.  “I decided to be the best I could be and not try to be better than anyone else.”

    What is next with Heroes?  Well, Season Two of course.  We will be launching the second season in April called “undeniably human” where we will speak with many heroes from all walks of life.  From a firefighter who returned to work after experiencing PTSD to an RCMP emergency response team member, a high school Principal and an emergency medical doctor.  Oh and we have people you will recognize from sport too including Blue Bomber head coach Mike O’Shea, Hockey Night in Canada strong hold Ron Maclean and local legend Andrew Harris.  But here is the thing we hope you learn from listening.  Regardless of who they are or what they do, they are all human.  And when they are the best versions of themselves, they are all heroes.  When we embrace our humanity, we elevate our performance.  And that is why we love the stories we hear at Heroes in Our Midst and why we are so proud and thankful to be able to share them with each of you.  Subscribe.  Tell others.  Enjoy these heroes and the gift of their story.

    Also check out our partnership with Football Manitoba.  We are partnering on the HUMAN series and you can find some great podcasts and resources at either @football.manitoba or @buildingsheroesmb on Instagram.

    Toogood Consulting

  • The Heroes Journey March 2021

    We are all products of our environment and that’s okay.  Every one of us was raised by people.  It may have been a biological or nuclear family or it even may be more than one person or home, but regardless of who our ‘family’ was, we all grew up somewhere.  And where and how and by whom we grew up had an impact on us and that’s okay.  I know for myself, I continue to learn about the impact of where I came from on who I am and the decisions I make.  On occasion, I gain insight into why I respond a certain way to people or situations.  And when that insight happens, I have choice.  I can learn and grow and make changes.  Or I can continue to respond in that same, familiar way.  Being kind and compassionate in those moments can allow us to get closer to the truth.  If we are kind, we are better able to learn.  Below is a podcast that was shared with me that talks a bit about the power of being kind … to ourselves.

    This is a podcast that talks about how being kind to ourselves makes us better.  Kristin Neff, the founder of self-compassion theory, helps us understand the underpinnings of this process.

    This is an article from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) on the importance of being kind of yourself:

    This is a link that describes the 3 insights people have when they think about past trauma and those are:

    • Violation of Human Rights.  It’s against the law. 
    • If the mind of the person who hurt you did not exist, you would not have been hurt and harmed. 
    • Traumatized minds make traumatized choices.

    Dr. Leslie-Toogood was featured by the Canadian Psychological Association during February in celebration of Psychology Month. 

    Adrienne and Michelle were on a podcast with California Prunes discussing the importance of maintaining mental and physical health during the global pandemic.  It is a 20-minute conversation that I think you will enjoy.

    Our latest Heroes:

    Jocelyne Larocque.  Olympic Hockey Player.  “Pressure is privilege, that’s how I see pressure. I think it’s exciting.” 

    Jayme Menzies.  Founder, Agoojin Volleyball Club; MASRC Female Coach of the Decade.  “…over the course of the past 15 years I’ve worked really hard to actually make that idea a practice and to make it a part of my coaching every day. And not only to bring my whole self but to allow space for my athletes’ whole selves.”

    Donna Harris.  Certified Professional Coach.  “Recovery is really important.  When I’m talking about recovery I’m not talking about holidays and extended vacations, I’m talking about daily self-care.”

    Season Two, ‘Unapologetically Human’ starts in April.  We cannot wait to introduce you to our latest heroes.

    Please also find additional tools and resources at ‘buildingheroesmb’ on Instagram.

    Take good care.  Be well.

    Toogood Consulting