Five Self Care Tips from My Dogs

My dogs have been troopers throughout this pandemic. Even when we had to make an emergency trip to the Oregon coast to take care of Justin’s boat after some homeless drug addicts broke in and started living on it. So I thought I’d share a few self care tips for you on living life authentically. Mick and Blue wanted to chime in.

1) Go with the Flow.

Blue and Mick on the Beach

Mick: Mama and Papa take us everywhere with them. Well, almost. We spend hours in the truck without them when they are on the boatBut then Mama comes to take us for a walk and we get to sniff everything! There are so many exciting sounds and smells. This is my first time being so far away from home and staying in a motel.

What could you adjust to allow yourself to go with the flow like Mick?

2) Take Lots of naps.

Mick: I’m lying beside Mama on the couch as she stares at that silly machine on her lap. I might as well take a nap. Blue is nearby. We nap in the truck when we’re waiting too. It’s pretty comfortable back there although I got my head stuck in the window while we were driving yesterday. I really wanted a nap after that!!

Let go of any fear and try to relax into a nap.

3) Accept Your New Reality Without Complaint.

Kristin: When Mick impaled himself on a stick, I didn’t even know it happened until I got out the hose to wash off the mud. When he got home from the vet, he shrieked in pain the first day, but by the next morning he’d adjusted to his new reality of pain and wanted to get back to life as usual.

So he did.

(He got his stitches out Friday and was given a clean bill of health by the vet, btw. He’s back to normal except his fur needs to grow back where they shaved it.)

How can you shift your attitude to adjust to this new reality?

4) Ask for Reassurance When You Need It.

Blue: I like traveling with mama and papa. I’ve been on trips all up and down the west coast. The best part is when mama finds fun new places for us to explore. But sometimes I get scared when I hear loud noises. Like that sound at the drive-through bank. I like that they give us treats, but I want to climb into mama’s lap when that noise starts. And any loud noise that sounds like gun shuts … or fire crackers … or the lawn mower backfiring … or driving over a grate in the road …  My mama always pets my head and tells me its going to be okay. I know it is, but it scares me anyway and its nice to get snuggles from my mama.

Who can you reach out to for reassurance when you need it?

5) Make Your Exercise Fun.

Blue: I LOVE going for walks on the beach. It’s my absolute favorite. The sand feels good under my feet and I love to chase birds and sniff along the shoreline. I also love it when Mick chases me and we both chase birds and get splashed by the waves. Sometimes Mick gets a little annoying when he tries to slow me down and barks and bites at me. Sometimes I instigate it so he gets in trouble and I can run along by myself again and sniff things. B

Even when I have to stay connected to my mama with that long cord, it’s still fun to sniff along the ground to see what interesting things have been there before me. I get so excited I drag mama along sometimes even though I know it makes her mad.

What can you do to make your exercise time more fun?

I hope you enjoyed these five self-care tips from my dogs.

Did you try any of them? Which was your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

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.

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