International Women’s Day

I just read an email from Michelle Obama, celebrating International Women’s Day. It starts out:  “When I was growing up, my parents made it very clear: I could do anything my brother could do, from playing sports to going to college. That was one of the greatest gifts my family gave to me—a belief that, as a girl, my voice and my talents mattered.”

I have to say, that wasn’t my experience when I was growing up. My parents loved me, no doubt about that. But my sister and I were the ones who educated THEM about what girls could do. They “matured nicely” (as my dad would’ve said) as we proved to them over and over that women could do things that weren’t as … accepted … when they were growing up. And my nieces are reaping the rewards today.

For example, we played sports, but my coach had to talk my parents into allowing me to play basketball as a freshman, because when I begged as a 7th grader –and again as an 8th grader– they thought it was “too rough a sport for their little girl.” (Our team made it to state when I was a sophomore, and I was scoring 30 points / game by the time I was a senior.)

We were expected to go to college, but the “reason” was so that we could meet an eligible man to marry. (Neither my sister nor I met our partners in college.)

As a woman who was raised Catholic, I was taught in subtle ways over and over that my voice and my talents weren’t as important as those of men.

[“But what about honoring Mary!” (That’s my mom’s voice in my head. –I love you mom … she’s a subscriber and a huge supporter of my work.) That’s one of the best parts about Catholicism over other Christian faiths in my opinion, but I’ll leave that whole topic for another day. Forget the president, my mom wanted to be Pope when she was little, and is a fiercely strong feminist role model in her own way, although she might not call herself that. She still water-skis at 80, for example. And the times we missed mass when I was a kid, she played the role of priest. When my niece, Lily, was in 7th grade and racing the 800 meter relay against a boy’s team, her voice was right with me yelling, “BEAT THAT BOY!” and almost crying in pride as Lily did.]

I’ve been thinking about this whole women empowerment thing particularly over the past week as I’ve been finalizing my self-judgment detox and writing about the inner scripts that hold us back from becoming the amazing women we are born to be.

Plus:

  • Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race, leaving us with two old white men to choose from. (No offense to Bernie and Joe, both are WAY better choices than the godawful mysogynist dude in the office today.) But wouldn’t it be nice to have a woman president? Wouldn’t it be nice to show our daughters / granddaughters / nieces that it can happen in our country in our lifetime?
  • I learned about the awful sticker some Canadian oil company created “as a joke” that depicted Greta Thunberg being forcibly raped. (!!)
  • read a statistic that said that 90% of the world still holds a sexist viewpoint (57% in the US!)
  • And read that the # of witches (mostly girl children) being burned in the world is on the rise.
  • And then there is the on-going devastation of the planet, Mother Earth
To Honor International Women’s Day, art by Kristin Halberg

Each of these topics bears more attention than I have time for this morning. And all of them bring me to tears.

As a woman dedicated to helping change the story of women and the planet, on this International Women’s Day my call to you is this:

I am extremely grateful to all the women who have come before us, and done some amazing things to pave the way. But WE need to be the change we wish to see, and we haven’t yet done enough.

We need YOU to step into your full potential and take a stand for women and the planet.

I believe we women are uniquely positioned to shape the world’s future through our influence on our family, our community, our workplace and beyond. For most of us, to do this to our full potential we need deep transformation in the areas of self-belief, relationships, wellness, and purpose.

I believe I was put here on Earth to hold space for the part of you that yearns to unite your desire to belong with your ache to be authentically you, and to help you define, own, express and be appreciated for the gifts you bring to the world. My goal is to help you find your OWN way back to the part of you that knows EXACTLY what to do, and to listen to that wise inner voice that I call your Wild & Wise Heart.

I’ve dedicated the past twenty years of my life to learning about deep transformation, and spent the past twelve guiding women on this journey to step into their potential.

What’s holding YOU back from becoming the influential woman you were born to be?

If it’s that inner script than runs your thoughts, it’s not too late to join my 30-Day Self-Judgment Detox Challenge.

It’s so important that we ditch these inner critical voices, so that we can step into the most capable empowered versions of ourselves.

So I decided to open up the Self-Judgment Detox challenge throughout the month of March.

I’ve got new cohorts starting every Sunday.

Join today!
$27 gets you in

“My friends, do not lose heart.  We were made for these times. … Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but in stretching out to mend the part of the world within our reach.  … Any small calm thing you do makes a difference, but the most calming and powerful action you can take is to stand up and show your soul.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

We need YOUR voice and YOUR heart and YOUR passion and YOUR most capable amazing self to STAND UP and SHOW YOUR SOUL.

XO

Much love,

Kristin

Why You Need to Challenge Your Self-Judgment Now

“If you want to clean a house, you have to see the dirt.”

Louise Hay

Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to see the dirt in other people’s houses (or establishments) than it is your own?

Photo of healthy foods with hearts invitation to join the Self Judgment Detox Challenge
Join the Self Judgment Detox Challenge Today!

In fact, when I’m super busy –like lately– I don’t even look around me much to notice the clutter, the dirt, and the dog hair. Well, I sorta do. But I can ignore it for awhile. Until I’m expecting company. Then I ask myself how in the world the house got INTO this shape to begin with and begin the mega cleaning process.

Our critical inner voice is a little like this … only we aren’t usually expecting company inside our heads. So it’s a little more like if what happened inside our head was the junk drawer … or that one closet that nobody EVER looks into. Our negative self talk is allowed to build up and build up and build up.

Around Valentine’s Day, I shared the story of my 4th grade crush, and its sad Valentine’s Day ending. Well, partially sad. Sherry, my best friend at the time, was amazing.

But have you ever heard of the negativity bias?

Essentially, it is a phenomenon whereby we humans are wired to not only NOTICE negative stimuli more frequently, but also to fixate on it. Fun, right?

What that means is we tend to:

  • Remember traumatic experiences more than good ones
  • Recall insults significantly more than praise
  • Think about negative things more frequently than positive ones (and let them run through our brains over and over and over again)
  • Respond more strongly to negative events than to equally positive ones

I have thousands of examples of how Sherry was a good friend to me. But that boy was only in our school for a year or two. Why do I even remember him?

What negativity bias ALSO means is that these seemingly uneventful events –like not getting a valentine’s day card from your boy crush– get stored away in our brains. But not just as “some little thing that happened in the 4th grade.” Instead, we make MEANING out of these events …. And the meaning we make of something as a nine year old is NOT the same meaning we might make as an adult. At least logically.

The meanings we make are going to be different depending on our own life experiences. But some possible meanings a nine year old could make of that event are:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not lovable
  • I don’t matter
  • I’m not wanted
  • I’m worthless
  • I’m not important
  • And more … you get the idea.

Now I’m just using this experience as an example. To be honest, when I penned the piece, I wrote details into the story that I don’t actually remember. I DO remember feeling crappy though. And I’ve NEVER liked valentine’s day. More on that in a bit.

We ALL have stories like my 4th grade valentine’s day in our lives. Some of them seem like they could be trivial … as grown ups, we logically know that it’s not the end of the world to not get that valentine, or to be chosen last for the spelling bee or the sports team, or whatever. But as kids, we assign them meaning … AND THEN THAT MEANING INFLUENCES EVERY OTHER EVENT IN OUR LIVES.

What happens next is that the negativity bias can lead to the confirmation bias. This is “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or strengthens one’s prior personal beliefs or hypotheses.*” (*Wikipedia)

So let’s take this same example again. From that day forward, some small part of me expected to be hurt on valentine’s day again. So what did I do the following year? I bet I didn’t risk giving a boy a super special valentine again. And even if I did, I probably put some defense mechanisms on so that I wouldn’t be AS hurt or disappointed. Do you see how this works?

One question I often get asked when I’m presenting at our local college is: “why do I have these random weird phobias … like public speaking for example.” My answer: it’s probably not random and weird at all. If you trace it back, you can probably find the source from your childhood. (And don’t even get me started about the fears we inherit!)

Over time, the meanings we made of something become beliefs. And then we start living our lives as if these beliefs were true. And then we get them confirmed, because we show up in a certain way, and etc. AND, more and more research shows that your BODY holds onto this stuff, not just your mind (which is why it’s so hard to get rid of these things.)

No wonder we need to go in and detox our self-judgments every once in awhile!!

Are you in?

This Four-Step Self-Judgment Detox challenge will:

  • Help you identify the most common messages you receive from your critical voice
  • Teach you four + practices to honor and release old wounds from your emotions, mind and body
  • Provide guided meditations and creative exercises to heal old stories
  • Guide you in a practice of surrender and self forgiveness
  • Teach the six principles of self-compassion
  • Reconnect you with your Spirit Self (or what I call your Wild and Wise Heart)

Included:

  • Bi-weekly emails for four weeks, (approximate value, $50 / week)
  • Made for you matrixes and journal prompts to help you track your journey and ask yourself deep reflective questions; (value, $97)
  • Inspiration, Knowledge and Motivational check-ins; (value, $900)
  • Optional Bonus: Individual answers and encouragement from me via email or text; value $75 / week)
  • Deep life transformation and tools you can use forever, priceless

All this can be yours for $27, for a limited time.

Join Now!

Or visit my site at The Dream Hatchery.

Could Self Judgment Be Holding You Back from Success?

Research says yes.

I bet when you think of all the things that might be holding you back from attaining the life you desire –career, relationship, love, friendships, support, health, creativity, finances, etc.– you don’t automatically put self judgment at the top of your list.

Critical Reflections by Kristin Halberg

In fact, many high achieving people, perfectionists included, think that negative self talk is beneficial.

But the research shows a different story:

“The #1 barrier [to a willingness to learn how to release self judgment and learn] self-compassion is fear of being complacent and losing your edge. And all the research shows that’s not true. It’s just the opposite,” 

Dr. Kristin Neff, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin

In fact, according to Dr. Neff, there are five myths about self-compassion that keep us stuck in the negative mindset loop.

  1. Self-compassion is a form of self pity. ➡️ The research shows that compassion and pity are actually near enemies. Pity is a form of separation, while compassion allows us to see ourselves and all of humanity as imperfect evolving beings.
  2. Self-compassion is a sign of weakness. ➡️ The research shows that self-compassion leads to higher levels of resilience, inner strength, and achievement.
  3. Self-compassion will lead to self-indulgence. ➡️ The research shows that replacing self-judgment with self-compassion is actually linked to healthier behaviors.
  4. Self-compassion is selfish. ➡️ Research shows that self-compassionate people have more concern for and are more caring and supportive and forgiving … and that this is reciprocated in their relationships.
  5. Self-compassion will undermine my motivation ➡️ The research shows that self-compassion is actually linked to higher motivation. Our personal standards remain high but we have less fear of failure and more grit and determination to succeed.

Let’s look at another researcher:

“Self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies. It can lead to ruminative thoughts that interfere with our productivity, and it can impact our bodies by stimulating inflammatory mechanisms that lead to chronic illness and accelerate aging.” 

–Dr. Richard Davidson, founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Does that sound like something you want in your life?

Choose to interrupt those negative patterns and replace them with a new soundtrack.

Join me in the month of March for a 30-Day Self Judgment Detox Challenge.

$27 will get you in … but only for a limited time.

This challenge will guide you through:

  • A four step detox process
  • Four + practices to honor and release old wounds
  • Meditations and creative practices for healing old stories
  • Self forgiveness
  • The principles of self-compassion

You will get:

  • Bi-weekly emails with specific instruction to help you detox from your self-judgment loop
  • Made for you matrixes and journal prompts to help you track your journey
  • Encouragement and inspiration
  • Optional Bonus: Personal check-ins from me via email or text

Join Now!

Learn more.

Are You Unknowingly Contributing to the Negativity in the World?

How often do you judge yourself in any given day?

Cat Judgment is the Best
Everything I learned about judging
I learned from my cat!

If you’re anything like me, it’s more often than you realize.

Last Lent, I chose to give up judgment. Going in, I didn’t think I was a very judgmental person. But I figured it was a good thing to do anyway. “Even a little judgment goes a long way, and the world is a better place without it,” I said to myself smugly, (unaware that I was already judging those people I know who are always judging others.) 

The challenge induced me to pay attention to all the different ways I judged. I was blown away by how often I really did judge other people, especially loved ones, and even more amazed by how often I judged myself!

Of course, judging in its principle form is neutral. You’ve just formed an opinion of something. “Judgment is a good thing, really,” I can hear you saying to yourself. “Without good judgment, people make poor decisions.” 👉 (I’m imagining a finger wagging lecture here.)

But (without going into the difference between judgment and discernment,) many times our opinions are toxic and mean, and they contribute to the toxicity of the world (even if we don’t mean for them to.)

We get a fix of self righteousness for judging others. And for a minute, it makes us feel better than them.

But what about what it’s doing to us after that first minute? What’s causing us to feel those feelings that come before we judge another anyway? Perhaps we feel hurt, or betrayed, insecure, disappointed, or vulnerable. After all, we’ve probably been judging ourselves all day.

According to research, all that negative self talk is the root of many of our other struggles.

“Self judgment leads to feelings of shame and unworthiness, and is the basis of many problems we experience with our relationships, careers, and creative endeavors.” –Clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Tara Brach

Hmmm. Self judgment could be the root cause of those areas where I’m still feeling stuck?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself 

  • Have you done tons of personal growth work, yet still feel like you’re hitting a brick wall in an area (or two?)
  • Are you tired of being single, but have trouble finding the trust you require in a relationship?
  • Or are you married but your relationship isn’t giving you the strength and joy you need?
  • Do you have an idea for the next phase of your life but feel afraid of letting go of the known to make that next leap into the unknown?
  • Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying something new FOR FOREVER, but stay frozen in indecision, unable to be sure it is right for you.
  • Do you want to feel supported, but struggle to ask for and accept help?
  • Do you have good solid friendships and a full life, but still feel alone?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

See, here’s the thing: all these negative thoughts running through your mind turn into beliefs when they’re repeated often enough. And beliefs are the hidden scripts that run our lives.

“Your beliefs are THE master commanders of your behavior and your results. Beliefs control our bodies and how we respond to crises, criticisms and opportunities. They tell us what to notice, what to focus on, what it means, and what to do about it. “ –Marie Forleo, entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist

And on top of that, beliefs beget behavior.

Which is a fancy alliterative way of saying that the script running through your mind all day long can keep you stuck …

OR you can choose to interrupt those negative patterns and replace them with a new soundtrack.

Transform Self Judgment ~ Transform Your Life ~ Transform the World
I’m the Self Judgment Fairy Godspider.
Interrupt your negative patterns
and replace them with a new soundtrack.

I found the detox process so valuable, I put together a 30-Day Challenge so I could offer it to you this year.

Join me in the month of March for a 30-Day Self Judgment Detox Challenge.

Get in for $27, for a limited time.

This challenge will guide you through:

  • A six step detox process
  • Four + practices to honor and release old wounds
  • Meditations and creative practices for healing old stories
  • Self forgiveness
  • The principles of self-compassion

You will get:

  • Bi-weekly emails with specific instruction
  • Made for you matrixes and journal prompts to help you track your journey
  • Encouragement and inspiration
  • Optional Bonus: Personal check-ins from me via email or text

Join me.

I’d love to hear from you … when are you at your most self-judgmental? What have you noticed about how you feel inside just before you snap a judgment about someone else? What practice(s) have you found most valuable to curb your natural judgmental tendencies? Do you –like I did– think of yourself as a mostly non-judgmental person?

Today is the International Day of Self Love

It’s Valentines week … how are you feeling?

Personally, I’ve always had a love / hate relationship with Valentine’s Day … here’s where it started:

When I was in the 4th grade, I had a huge crush on this new dark haired boy in my class named Daniel.

I’d like to tell you that it was because he was kind, or brilliant, or the best speller in the class. But honestly, it was just because he was new, and I thought he was cute. And maybe because he was shy, and that seemed sweet.

I kept my feelings hidden to anyone but myself and my best friend Sherry –who liked him too– for months. We both spent many a daydream sitting by him in class, hanging out with him at recess, and other acts of 4th grade love.

Finally, on Valentine’s Day, we decided to reveal our secret crushes.

I scrutinized my entire box of Valentine’s cards to find the perfect phrase — one that said “I really like you a LOT” but that could also pass for just an average valentine’s card in case I needed to save face.

Valentines cards circa 1970's
1970’s Valentine Card examples

Probably something like one of these:

Next, I spent days agonizing over whether or not to sign my name or to be anonymous.

In a big burst of courage, Sherry decided she was going to sign her name to her card, so I was encouraged to risk it too. And then just to be certain he knew it was a special card for a special person, I also added a handful of cut out hearts inside the envelope.

Crescent School 4th Grade www.thedreamhatchery.com
4th Grade Class Photo. I’m the one in the far back right side. Sherry is on the bottom, far right. Daniel is right next to her.

Man. I still remember the breathless anticipation of waiting for acknowledgement… in vain … inspecting each of the valentines I received … breathlessly anticipating one with his signature. … Nothing!

And then the masterfully orchestrated denial that fell into place …. First, I convinced myself he hadn’t given valentines to anyone.

And then, once I knew I’d been dissed after Sherry reluctantly showed me her card (with such grace and genuine sadness for me, and no gloating at all)  she suggested that his card to me must have fallen out and been accidentally thrown away by the janitor.

Because that’s the kind of friend she was.

My second major Valentine’s Day memory is from years later, when I was a junior in high school. I was the publicity manager of our student council, and that year we decided to sell carnations as a fund raiser.

By lunch time, it felt like everyone in the school had received a carnation –except me!

I was pretty forlorn and feeling sorry for myself, and my best friend Sherry had transferred to another school, so there was no one there to convince me my carnation had been dropped and accidentally thrown away by the janitor.

Just when I was ready to throw myself off the second floor balcony, the delivery person handed me a pink carnation –for friendship– from one of my guy friends.

I will never forget that small kindness.

Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Let’s pause for a moment to consider …

It’s wonderful to have amazing friends who will either help you concoct the perfect face saving excuse when you didn’t get that valentine from the boy you liked, or that interview … or that second date, or whatever.

Or one who will supply you with exactly the encouragement you need at exactly the right time … whether that comes in the form of a pink carnation or a beautifully selected card, or simply kind words on a rough day.

I wish those kinds of friendships for you. Always.

But …

Wouldn’t it also be amazing if you could always be that kind of friend … to YOURSELF?

Here’s a little quiz for you:

https://www.thedreamhatchery.com/self-judgment-detox.html
What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror?
  1. Do you often call yourself names (like dummy or stupid or ugly or fat)?
  2. How often do you treat yourself with sarcasm?
  3. Do you criticize yourself frequently?
  4. Do you always say kind things to yourself when you look in the mirror?
  5. Do you isolate yourself when you’re feeling most down?
  6. When you’re having a bad day, do you obsess or fixate on everything that’s going wrong?
  7. How do you treat yourself when you’re going through pain?
  8. When you’re feeling inadequate about something, do you compare yourself to everyone else who seems to be better at it than you are?
  9. How do you treat the parts of yourself that you don’t like?
  10. When something painful happens, do you find yourself thinking about it over and over?

Based on your answers above, if YOU were your own best friend, would you even hang out with yourself?

For most women, the answer is no. And if someone was treating OUR best friend the way we treat ourselves, we’d tell them to end that friendship immediately. Right?

Even if not all of your answers to the questions were terrible, I bet there is still room for improvement, am I right?

So what can you do to practice being a better friend to yourself?

Join me in March for a 30-Day Self Judgment Detox.

This $27 mini-course will teach you:

https://www.thedreamhatchery.com/self-judgment-detox.html
Join the Self Judgment Detox Challenge and be a better friend to yourself.
  • A four step process to detox from self-judgment
  • Four + practices to honor and release old wounds
  • Meditations and creative practices for emancipating old stories
  • How to finally forgive yourself
  • Lessons in becoming a best friend to yourself

You will get:

  • Bi-weekly emails with specific instruction over 30 days
  • Made for you matrixes to help you track your journey
  • Encouragement and inspiration along the way

Interested? Know someone else who might be?

Sign up now by clicking this link.

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” –Brene’ Brown