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Dr. Esther Yi:Hi, everybody. Welcome to Zoom with Yi, with Dr. Esther Yi, that’s who I am. Welcome. If you’re just joining us, please make sure that you go ahead and mute yourself as we start so we don’t have any feedback there. Then as always, thank you so much Rhombus University for hosting our weekly Zoom seminars on Friday nights here.
Dr. Esther Yi:Tonight we’re going to be talking about transitions. I love this picture. I want to take a second to just acknowledge what’s happening right now in the world, especially with COVID-19. I know that some of us were maybe a little bit more prepared and then others, we just didn’t see anything like this coming and we felt like we were just pushed into this transition and that makes a difference. I want to acknowledge that, that when we expect transitions to take place, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today, we’re typically more prepared and so we adapt better. But when we’re pushed into a situation and we’re not prepared for it, oftentimes we might be in shock and so our responses look different. We don’t have to stay there, but I just want to acknowledge that so that we know that maybe we weren’t quite ready for COVID-19. Maybe we weren’t quite ready for our life to change so drastically, or our country, or our world, but there are many things that we can do to help us be flexible and adjust to these new circumstances.
Dr. Esther Yi:Today, I’m going to be talking about transitions, how they impact us and learning how to just embrace yourself in these moments of transitions. Then of course, lastly, question, answers.
Dr. Esther Yi:I wanted to go ahead and just start with the word of God, because I think that I find that it is incredibly grounding for my soul. This verse here just spoke so loudly to me and it says, “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Yes, our circumstances will change probably constantly until the day we die. But just knowing that our hearts are able to be steadfast because we can trust in the Lord, who is in control of all things, from Psalm 112:7.
Dr. Esther Yi:Let’s go ahead and talk about what transitions are. I want to just first begin with some normal transitions and what they are. There’s a lot of physical transitions that many people experience. Now, this is not something that everybody experiences and this isn’t to say if you don’t experience these things that there’s something wrong. But I do want to acknowledge that there are many physical transitions. The first one is puberty. We all know that at a certain age in our adolescence, many of us experience puberty. Menopause, when you’re an older female. Teeth growing, that’s a transition. I have a young son and any time that he has a tooth growing, there are growing pains with each tooth. How about when you’re losing teeth? Maybe the foods that you were able to enjoy before that is different, or maybe because of cavities, you’re having to lose the teeth and so your mouth is having to adjust.
Dr. Esther Yi:If there’s any type of weight gain or weight loss, that’s a transition. Pregnancy is a huge transition, loss of limbs definitely a transition. Illness, any type of illness is a transition. It’s a transition for you because your body is not maybe functioning the way that you want it to before and then also how you need to adjust and adapt today. And then lastly memory. We know that when our memory fades us, there’s a lot of transitions that happens not only for us, but also for those that are around us. Relationships, lots of transitions here. Anytime there’s a breakup or even a new relationship. Marriage is a transition, death is a transition, divorce, engaged, children moving.
Dr. Esther Yi:I want us to look at these really quick because I know that sometimes you think, “Well, transitions make it sound like it’s a bad thing,” and it’s not a bad thing because people can experience transition even when they’re good things. Imagine when somebody gets engaged, that is a transition and your new stage of life. But I find that many people have a hard time embracing that because people have the assumption, they think, “I need to be happy because I’m engaged.” And yet at the same time, there’s a loss of identity that’s taking place because you identify maybe as a single person and you’re not that anymore. You’re wondering what that looks like. Maybe you were living alone and now you’re having to live with somebody else and that’s a huge transition. I want to take a moment to just say yes, that is a big transition. It is a big deal. It’s a huge deal if your life is changing, altering in that way.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then also for work, I know that this is a really big one right now. There’s a lot of uncertainty that’s happening with people’s works and job positions and so this is a huge transition. If you have a new job or maybe even a new position because they’ve had to combine certain types of jobs and let people go. Anytime if you quit, or if you’re fired, that’s a huge transition. You know what, not everybody knows how to quit well and not everybody knows how to fire employees well. Too, it’s that transition of did you jump or did somebody push you? Then you’re just stuck into this position or pushed into this position and maybe you didn’t want it. Anytime there’s a relocation that’s involved. Lot of people are working online, I’m working online. I find that if you haven’t done this before, this is a huge transition to get used to the technology and interacting with your coworkers. Then also just staring at a screen for a super long time is tiring to somebody’s eyes. Projects and then any type of increase or decrease in finances is a transition.
Dr. Esther Yi:When you take a look at all of these things, people think, “Wow, I can start living my life when these transitions are over.” But if you think about it, there’s not really a period or a time of your life where there isn’t maybe a transition that’s taking place. There could be, there definitely could be. Maybe you are at a job and you’ve been at the job for two, three, four, five years and you plan on staying at the job, so you feel like there is this consistency there. But I also find that transitions is just a normal part of anybody’s life. I encourage you not to wait to live your life for these transitions to end, but to live through these transitions. To think to yourself, “Who do I want to be through this? Who do I want to be through this?” Think about the type of person that you would like to be. Be that person.
Dr. Esther Yi:Change is a part of life and we’ve talked a lot about the importance of naming it to tame it. We want to identify what’s happening to us because when our brains don’t understand what’s happening, we get confused. Sometimes that part of our brain that kicks off is the brain’s like, “I don’t feel safe,” and so we want to help our brains. We want to help ourselves understand what is taking place, what’s happening. Identifying as change, change is taking place, reminding ourselves that there is nothing wrong with change. There’s nothing wrong with it. It is not your fault. COVID-19 is not anybody’s fault, it’s not your fault. There is a season for everything and like seasons, they aren’t forever. Meaning that seasons do pass.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then with that, everything does not need to be now. Sometimes we get it in our heads that everything needs to happen right now. We might feel impatient, like we have to get the job right now. We have to complete this right now. Now there are things that have a timeline, so I want to provide space for those things. But there are certain things that they don’t need to happen right now. Consider what is a priority for you in this season of life and this change that’s taking place because not everything can happen right now. There may be some things that you need to let go and that’s okay.
Dr. Esther Yi:Sometimes we cannot change our circumstances. No matter how much we want to change what’s happening with the world, sometimes there is just things that are outside of our control. It’s really important to acknowledge that because that’s when we’re torn, where we start to feel like I want to take control of something and I have absolutely no control over it. Let’s make sure that maybe sometimes our effort that we’re saving those things with things that we can control and letting go of the things that we cannot control. You may not be able to control the circumstances or what’s happening in the world, but you can control how you respond. I want to make sure that there is not this misunderstanding that when I say that change is a part of life, you just let life run all over you. No, I think we need to be conscious about our decisions. We need to be purposeful about the decisions that we make and so you can control how you respond. Think to yourself, how do you want to respond?
Dr. Esther Yi:I want to look into some of the impacts of change. Again, this is another verse that I find that helps me stay grounded in when there’s a lot of change happening. It says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Dr. Esther Yi:What might be some reactions that we do? When a lot of change is taking place, we feel like man, we can’t control anything. Typically, what I find is a reaction is that people want to take more control. They want to grab onto things and try to control things because they feel like their life is spinning out of control. It’s this reaction to protect ourselves because when things are chaotic, that makes us uncomfortable. We talked about the fight, flight or freeze before. I want to use this to integrate into how this might happen during change.
Dr. Esther Yi:We might start to fight people. I don’t know if you guys have noticed on the news, there has been different states and different statistics that have been occurring about whether or not there has been an increase of domestic violence and child abuse that’s taking place in our country and we’re seeing all different types of statistics. I think it might be too soon to tell, but we can see that the dynamic has changed. When people are stressed out sometimes people take it out on those that they are near. That might be family members, work people, just people who are around us. Also, we might fight the change. We might fight the change within us. We might fight the change in other people. We might fight the change with people who are trying to implement change. Rather than trying to come from a place of being curious of what’s happening and embracing this change that’s taking place, we may be going into this place of our brains where we’re trying to protect ourselves, so we want to fight back.
Dr. Esther Yi:Flight. Maybe you’re a runner, something’s happening and it’s too big and you just want to run away. Sometimes I’ve met people who have a history of breaking off relationships when they get tough. Is that you? Do you run away from a conversation, an opportunity? Whatever that might be, consider for yourself if this is something that you might be doing. You might also abandon other people. It’s not about you caring for them, it might be just because you don’t know how to respond to this situation. Your way of controlling the situation is just abandon it. Where you’re trying to escape it, your mind is trying to escape it. You might get frozen like a deer in headlights and you might just freeze and you’re like, “I can’t do anything.” You’re not able to focus, so there’s a lack of focus there.
Dr. Esther Yi:Maybe you’re having a hard time concentrating at work and a conversation with people, small things like grocery shopping, creating a list. You’re like, “I just can’t seem to focus.” Or maybe that you’re having a hard time making a decision. You know you need to make a decision and you’re just like, “I don’t think I can.” You might even numb yourself. Some ways that people tend to numb themselves is through maybe even hobbies or even substances. If you are consuming more alcohol than you did before, we have seen an increase of alcohol purchases. I’m assuming that people aren’t just buying alcohol, they’re probably also consuming it in maybe larger numbers. We’ll see when the statistics come out. Also, drugs, food, Netflix, anything that helps you to numb out and space out from something. You might realize that you feel like I’m just barely living. I’m just dragging my feet and not really living my life. Ways that we find that when we’re trying to protect ourselves, the things that we can sometimes control, we have a hard time doing those things.
Dr. Esther Yi:The things that get impacted, I put it at the very top there, is sleep. Consider are you sleeping normal seven to eight hours? Are you sleeping more? Are you sleeping less? How about your eating? Has your eating changed? Has your eating habits changed? Do you notice if you are eating more, if you’re eating less? How about your motivation to do things? Are you motivated? Do you find no motivation in things? Your relationships, have they changed for the better, for worse? Then how about your job situation? Are you finding that it’s hard to perform your duties at your job? Or do you find yourself continuing to excel in your job position? These are some things that change can impact.
Dr. Esther Yi:As change is taking place, sometimes we respond or react. Remember one of the ways I say the difference between the two is when you respond, I typically think of somebody who makes a wise decision. They identify their emotions, they identify the different thoughts and they’re aware of the big picture. Then they make a decision, it’s conscientious. Rather than a reaction, I think of a knee jerk reaction.
Dr. Esther Yi:When change takes place, I find that sometimes we walk away with a lot of self-criticism. We say a lot of hurtful things to ourself. I want to ask you the question, what do you believe about yourself during this time of change? Do you start to think, “I’m all alone. Nobody cares about me. I must not be valued and that’s why I lost my job,” or, “That’s why they didn’t give me a promotion,” or, “They cut my hours,” or, “They combined me and moved me at work.” Ask yourself some of these questions, what do you believe about yourself? With self-criticism, we find in research that it tends to also be tied to experiences of anxiety and in depression. I know that being harsh and mean to yourself, it doesn’t just stop there, but it really does impact your mental health. You might get into this mode of reacting so you’re just used to it. You react to everything rather than taking a pause and slowing down and responding to a situation.
Dr. Esther Yi:When change is taking place, it’s important for us to reassess. Reassess what’s important to us, and what’s not important to us. But sometimes during transition, we forget to do that. We forget to acknowledge that our life has changed and we forget to find the importance and the value of reassessing. Because things have changed and you may not be the same person and that’s okay. Let’s reassess who do you want to be? Who do you want to be through this? What are some things that you would like to do or grow? What are your desires? What are things that maybe you want to cut out of your life? Reassessing is this period of getting to know yourself better.
Dr. Esther Yi:During change sometimes we see a situation and what appears as a certain situation may not actually be what’s happening. Just because you see a situation, is it possible that your perception of something is not 100% accurate? We find this a lot during change and transitions, that what’s happening in front of us, maybe we don’t have a totally accurate perception of what’s occurring. What I mean by this is it’s interesting because when let’s say a car accident were to take place and you have different bystanders there. You’ll find that people all tend to have different experiences of what they saw and yet it was only one car accident that took place. Even in this moment of crisis with COVID-19 or any time that your life changes, it may be one moment. But your perception of that moment, it may be different from one person to another.
Dr. Esther Yi:I want to have you guys ask the hard question that is it possible that your perception of something is not accurate? If it’s not that’s okay, let’s consider what can we do to get an accurate perception of what is happening because our perceptions of things are influenced by our situation. I know that when I’m hungry, when I’m tired, when I didn’t get enough sleep, when I’m starting to feel alone, I’m having to do things all by myself, my perception of a situation is not very pretty when I’m not feeling good about myself. Your feelings, your emotions, are you down, or are you happy?
Dr. Esther Yi:Or what about your personal experiences? Have you been hurt by people in the past? Then do you carry that to other situations where you have a hard time trusting other people? You think, “Everybody’s going to leave me, everybody’s going to abandon me. Nobody cares about me.” Your own personal experiences may impact your perception of what’s actually taking place. Then also just others. You know that sometimes you walk into a situation and maybe what you think about the situation is completely different than what somebody else thinks about the situation. Other person’s opinions may impact your perception of something.
Dr. Esther Yi:What I want you to do is think about the truth. Acknowledge your thoughts, acknowledge your feelings. Yes, it’s okay that you feel tired. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep. It’s 1:30 and you didn’t have breakfast or lunch. It’s normal to feel hungry when you don’t feed your body. Acknowledging some of these things and this perception you’re just reacting maybe. Being grounded in truth, you’re reminding yourself of what’s taking place. There’s wisdom in seeking counsel, but not all counsel is wise. There is wisdom in seeking counsel, but not all counsel is wise.
Dr. Esther Yi:You know some of your friends who just say things that are not helpful, but they may be hurtful. Maybe they mean well, but we find that it’s not always helpful. No, when you’re going through something, maybe they’re not the person to go to. I’m sure they have plenty of other strengths. Possibly giving you advice is not one of them. Find people, find mentors who can pour onto you, who can give you good advice and then also God’s word. Our circumstances will always be changing, his word will never turn void and it is always true. Think about to yourself, what you’re thinking, is it aligned with his truth? It’s a really good way to measure that.
Dr. Esther Yi:In this moment of transition and lots of change, I want to take a bulk of the time just thinking about how you’re able to be you, embracing yourself and saying, “It’s okay to feel super happy and joyful and it’s all so really okay to feel like crap and depressed and sad and hurt and lonely,” and whatever emotions in between. It is okay because you are human and humans experience a wide range of emotions and that is normal. This work is hard. I find that when I was preparing for this particular topic, I found myself exhausted because I’d had to do a lot of self-reflection. You may not be able to do all these things right now, but I want to just start planting seeds in your mind to teach you how to be a safe person for yourself, a person that is kind to yourself, a person that teaches you how to love yourself unconditionally. To think about those things as I’m talking through how to do these things with tools.
Dr. Esther Yi:This verse again, “Be still, and know that I am God,” I like the verse and then I think to myself, “What does that even mean? How do you be still?” I was reading this earlier and this person was talking about not doing, but being. You’re not a human doer, you are a human being. Just to be and what that includes is being still is just not planning anything. You don’t have to solve anything, just to rest and to be. Why is this important to learn how to be still? Because it gives you perspective. It gives you perspective so that you know what’s important to you and what’s not important to you. I think that we can admit that when we’re on the go all the time and we don’t give ourself a moment to take a break and to breathe and to relax, we start to forget what’s important. We get caught up in the moment. It can happen to anybody. Being still allows us to have perspective, to think about what is important, who is important.
Dr. Esther Yi:It also allows us to have gratitude, to have thankful hearts, to think less about yourself and about others. Being still allows you to get to know who you are. It’s not measured by just what you’re doing or your level of productivity, or maybe what others think that you’re doing that’s amazing and what the world defines is amazing. But you’re able to define those things for yourself. Being still allows you to know who you are. I don’t know if you can stay super, super busy and get to know yourself. I think it’s actually a very easy way to lose yourself.
Dr. Esther Yi:How might we be able to do this? Let’s think about practically how can you be still? First, I would say pick a place. Pick a place in your house, outside, wherever. Pick a place that you find that you are relaxed and comfortable and allows you to be still. Pick a time. Is it every day when you wake up, enjoying a cup of coffee? Is it before lunch, after lunch, before you go to bed? Pick a time that works best for you. I know that for me, my time of being still is going to be needing to be a time when my toddler’s probably asleep. That helps me be successful in being still. Think about how long you want to practice doing this. Start with two or three minutes, because it’s hard to sit still. Or maybe you’re 10 or 15 minutes and you want to build up to that.
Dr. Esther Yi:Relax your body. If you have a hard time relaxing your body, maybe finding something that helps you do a mindless activity. Watching a water flow, watching, observing something. It’s okay to go outside in nature. Something mindless that doesn’t require a lot of thinking. Closing your eyes, I find that helps to turn down the world a little bit. Just listening, listening to the sounds that are around you. If you’re outside listening to the animals outside, the wind, the cars that are passing, the people that are walking, the sound of a bicycle, a child laughing. These are all sounds that you can listen to that helps maybe calm and relax us.
Dr. Esther Yi:Observe non-judgmentally. This is super important because I find that you start to observe things and you’re like, “Relax,” and then you’re like, “Why aren’t they wearing a mask?” Oh, that might irk some of us. Why are they out? Why is their child out? Who wears that nowadays? My language is very judgemental. Think for yourself, how can I change my language so that it is not judgemental, maybe it’s neutral language? It’s okay if your mind wanders. I found that especially on a busy day, I have lots of things to do, I have a to-do list, naturally my mind starts to wander. I’m still and then I think, “Well I got to do this and then I do this,” and then I just identify, “Hey, your mind’s wandering, let’s come back.” Today I laid on my bed and I focused on the air vents that was blowing out my air condition. It helped relax me today. The sound of air blowing relaxed me. Counting the slits in my vent helped me to do a mindless activity to stay focused so I can continue to be still.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then another aspect of learning how to be still, I would say is finding a calm place for you, but in your mind. Maybe you’re not able to go to the most perfect calm place that you wish that you could have gone to. Think of a place that brings you peace, that is still. I know for me, one of the places that I imagine is Santorini, because I remember when I was at a cliff, it was silent and yet it was grand. Seeing the gorgeous color of the blue water, and the depth of it, and the mountains around, and the sand, and the very clear skies because there’s very little pollution there. It had just rained and that smell of just that clean air, that brings me peace. It’s been years since I’ve gone back, but that’s a common place that I find that helps me to stay relaxed and to be still and to allow my mind to travel there.
Dr. Esther Yi:With change, I want to acknowledge that it takes sometimes for us to just grieve and it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to be sad about the things that we’re supposed to happen and they’re not going to happen anymore. It’s okay to grieve who we were supposed to meet, what we were supposed to do, with the different projects. It’s okay to grieve all of that. I want to acknowledge that and I want to encourage you to take a moment to grieve some of those things. You might be surprised of how much your heart might have hurt because you were disappointed that a lot of these different changes took place. Grieve what was, what life used to be like, and maybe what is. Because maybe you can’t wait until you get to go back to work and you see your friends, and hug them, and celebrate, and do graduations, and birthdays, and getting out of the house and going to just normal places. Take a moment to grieve what was lost. Did you lose anybody during this time? Did you lose yourself a little bit? Did you lose your job?
Dr. Esther Yi:Grieving even the things that you gained. Did you gain a little bit more stress and you’re like, “I don’t want my life to be this way.” Taking a moment to grieve those things. Then also like I previously shared, grieving what was meant to be in the future. Maybe you had a trip planned out. You want to take a moment to grieve that. Maybe you were looking forward to something. A project, a person, a conversation, consider grieving some of those things and being kind to yourself. Say, “It’s okay.”
Dr. Esther Yi:Setting yourself up for success in the midst of transitions. Now there are certain transitions that we may not be aware of and we may not know going into it, but I find that these are just common practices that you can do right now so that when transitions do take place, it’s helpful. First, I would say know yourself. What are your strengths? What are you good at? Create a list of what your strengths are and then I want you to ask yourself, “What do they look like?” I commonly do this with my clients. I say, “Hey, tell me about what are some things that you’re good at?” I do occasionally have clients who are like, “I don’t think I’m good at anything.” Okay, fair. Then tell me what are some things that people have applauded you, commended you, said that you were good at, that they appreciate about you? I want to hear some of those things. I want to hear how the people who care about you, how they describe you because oftentimes I find that there are many great strengths in there.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then be specific. A lot of people are kind, a lot of people are caring and I don’t want to minimize those things. I just want to know what does that look like for you? How are you kind? How are you caring? Also, be real, you’re human and there’s things that are going to make you mad, that tick you off, that there are conversations that you have with people and you roll your eyes. There are people that you look at and you’re like, “Stop talking.” Everybody has triggers. Be real with yourself and think, “What are my triggers?” What are your triggers and how might that happen where your triggers are going off? What might you be like when triggers go off? Probably not very pleasant.
Dr. Esther Yi:Think about what calms you, because what calms you does not calm everybody else. Get to know yourself in detail. What are some things that calm you? Who calms you and how are you going to calm yourself? Because it’s not just enough to say, “Blank, blank, blank calms me.” Have the tools readily available to help calm yourself. You may not be able to change the situation or the context of what’s happening, but you can change how you respond. Then ask yourself, do you have any blind spots, because I’m sure all of us do. We get caught up in things and we have blind spots. Who’s your team? Who’s your teammate that has your blind spot who can help you look out for you? Who can help support you in your best interest?
Dr. Esther Yi:Think about your capacity, because again, like I said before, you can’t do everything all at once and that’s okay. Save your energy for your priorities. Save your energy for the good stuff, for the important stuff. For the people that you care about. Not for the things that are not important, cut those things out. You don’t need them, they just take energy from you.
Dr. Esther Yi:Prepare yourself. Prepare yourself for these transitions. Think to yourself what might happen, what might take place. This is a good time to ask other people who have experienced some of these things before you. Maybe you’re sick and you don’t know what it’s like. I’m sure that there’s a lot of videos right now of COVID-19. Let’s say you unfortunately did get sick with it. You might want to look up on the CDC what are some common symptoms of it? What are some things that people have experienced? Just so that you’re prepared, so you know going into it. So your brain is not continuing to fire and freaking out. You could say, “Well, this is what’s happening and that’s very normal.” Normalizing things helps calm people down. It will help calm you down.
Dr. Esther Yi:Asking yourself, “Is this a good time for you?” A lot of people have a lot of goals. There are things that we want to achieve, but I want you to ask yourself, “Is this a good time for you?” Because it may not be the best time for you to achieve certain things right now in this moment. It may be more wise to wait, to be patient. It doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. It just means that sometimes there are better timing for certain things.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then asking yourself, lastly, “What do you need? What do you need to set yourself up for success? What do you need to be successful?” I know that in order for me to be successful the next day, it’s really important for me to get good sleep. There are certain times, or even if I’m not tired, I got to turn off my phone. I sleep with my phone on for the most part on silent except for my favorites list. If you’re in my favorite list, my phone will go off. But I know that if I have it even on vibrate, that I’ll have a hard time sleeping. Asking yourself what do you need to be successful and making sure that you have the tools for those things.
Dr. Esther Yi:Tools to move forward because change happens and we don’t want to just stay stuck when the change is taking place. What are some things that you can do when change is taking place? Create a schedule. Today I spent some time reading, just going back into the book of Genesis. I found that God had created just the schedule when he created the whole universe and each day he had a schedule. Morning and night, morning and night, morning and night and then he rested on the seventh day. It’s like he was trying to model for us when you’re moving forward and when you’re doing things, it’s important to create a schedule because not everything can happen all at once and that’s okay.
Dr. Esther Yi:Identifying a support system. You can’t do life alone. We’ve already seen the negative impacts that loneliness can have on a person. It can cut your life short. Literally, it can cut your life short. Instead, we find that when you have a great, fantastic support system, our problems look smaller, even if they didn’t change at all. Who is your support system during this time? Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve reached out to them, reach out to them. Maybe they’re not good at supporting you. Then you reflect and you ask, “Okay, well that’s a boundary. They’re not very good at supporting me. I’m going to find somebody else to be my support system.”
Dr. Esther Yi:Invite nature. Invite going outside, breathing the air, looking at the trees. I don’t know where you live, maybe you live in a desert or there are trees, or no trees, or grass, or no grass, or flowers and mountains, hills, whatever it is, invite it into your mind. Because I find that for whatever reason, nature calms us. Moving forward, it is important to know how to calm and ground yourself and also rest. It’s not a waste of time to rest. It actually allows you to refocus and energize yourself to start a new day.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then lastly, with the tips of moving forward, set a goal. You can’t complete everything in one day or in one moment. Think to yourself, what will you accomplish today and how will you accomplish these things? You’re going to need tools to accomplish whatever goals that you have. Let’s make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success. If you are considering learning how to bake, you got to have the ingredients, those are part of your tools. Another part of your tools, looking up videos of other people who have baked and who can show you how to bake. Another tool that you’re going to need on how to bake is you’re going to need to have a car probably to drive to get these ingredients like yeast. Think for yourself if it’s the end of the day and you don’t have any ingredients and you’ve never seen a video on baking bread, I don’t know how tasty your bread is going to end up at the end of the day. Set yourself up for success so you can create the most tastiest, fresh bread.
Dr. Esther Yi:While you’re going through a lot of these different changes, it is so, so important to not judge yourself while you’re doing these things because there’s no one right way to do things. It’s totally okay to fall down and make a mistake. I want you to notice and be aware of your thoughts. What’s happening, what are you thinking? Asking yourself, would you think this about another person or how would you feel if somebody thought those things about you and they said it out loud? Are your thoughts kind? Asking yourself to be curious. Wow, I’m going through a lot of changes, COVID-19 is happening. I have a job, but I don’t know how secure it is. You might want to just be curious where you’re asking yourself, “Tell me more. Tell me more of how I’m feeling. [crosstalk 00:38:18] what might it look like to invite [crosstalk 00:38:22] person. Tell me more [crosstalk 00:38:27] more feeling of grief. What does that look like in myself?”
Dr. Esther Yi:None of these things that I’m saying or asking is judgmental, I’m just being curious. There’s no goal to it except I’m just getting to learn about myself more. Making sure that your language is a soft language, a neutral language. Trying to stay away from words that are shameful or shame based, utilizing words that are compassionate. Rather than saying, “Why did you do this? Why didn’t you do this?” or, “You should do this.” A lot of those phrases shame us and it keeps us feeling lost and we just don’t feel good about ourselves.
Dr. Esther Yi:I’m not saying be fake, be realistic. See yourself for who you are, be kind though. You don’t have to be mean. I find that being mean, it’s not helpful, actually. It’s more hurtful to you. You have a goal of where you want to get to. Let me tell you, being mean to yourself is usually not the best way to get there. There’s a different way to get there. Empathy, stepping into your own shoes, thinking to yourself, “Man, what has this really been like for me?” Because being empathetic is feeling what somebody else might be feeling, putting yourself in another person’s shoes. But I want you to do that to your own self, which requires you to take a step back and to look at yourself and to think, “Well, how am I feeling?” You can feel more than one thing at the same time. Thankful that you have a job and sad that people are losing their life. You can feel both.
Dr. Esther Yi:Looking at the people. Who do you surround yourself with? I find this super important because if you’re surrounding yourself with people who are constantly judging others, who are harsh with their language and who are mean, you might pick up on some of those things. What would it be like if you surrounded yourself with people who encouraged you and who loved you for who you were, and yet also encouraged you to be the best version of yourself and not anybody else? But you knew that their love for you was not based on anything of how you performed or what value that you have based on the world’s standards. Ask yourself who do you surround yourself with? I hope this is a good time to think about that and it is okay to cut people out. It’s okay to let them in just a little bit, if that’s what you’re okay with. Then practice. Learning not to judge yourself, takes a lot of practice. It takes time and let’s repeat some of these things that I’ve been talking about.
Dr. Esther Yi:The last verse for tonight is from I Corinthians 15 through 58 and it says, Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” The work that you’re doing, guys, it is not in vain. It will produce fruit. Maybe not right now. Maybe you’re watering your seed. Maybe you’re pulling the weeds out. But at the end it will not be in vain.
Dr. Esther Yi:Then lastly, the question that I want to ask you before we end tonight is, how can you meet yourself where you are at? Today, where you’re at as a person and as a human being. Think to yourself, how can you best support and embrace yourself? Some of the ways that you might be able to do this is by asking the question, what do you need? Right now what do you need? Do you need sleep? Get some more sleep. Let’s create that extra time to sleep. Do you need a moment to cry? Give yourself a moment to cry. Do you need the physical, the support of an animal? Hug your dog, pet your dog. Do you need to call somebody? Whatever it is, think about what do you need and to give yourself those needs. Healthy things, of course.
Dr. Esther Yi:What do you need to hear? Do you need to hear from yourself that it’s okay to be angry because life is changing too quickly? Do you need to hear from yourself that wow, it hurts to be left out of things? Do you need to hear what about me? I’m hurt and I’m lost and I feel like I’ve been forgotten. It is helpful to identify where you’re at. Instead of waiting for others to meet all of your needs, there are some things that you can do for yourself. Do those things. There is not a single person that can complete you and meet all of your needs. Friendships and marriage and romantic relationships, coworkers, whatever it is, I find that creates this unrealistic expectation and people get hurt. Think to yourself, what do you need and are there things that you could do to meet those needs rather than just being paralyzed and waiting for needs to just fall?
Dr. Esther Yi:While you’re doing these things, you don’t need to prove yourself to anybody or to yourself. There’s not an end goal to this. You’re just getting to know yourself of who you are today. You don’t have to share everything. I know that sometimes people have had life experiences that were difficult. Maybe you’re thinking about certain things and you’re like, “I don’t even know how to say it. And I don’t even know if I want to say it,” and that’s okay. You don’t have to share everything. It’s okay to wait and share things when you’re ready to share. It’s okay to grow and forgive without ever saying anything to somebody.
Dr. Esther Yi:As we wrap up, lastly, think of this question of how can you meet yourself where you are at. I find that a good way to measure this is that there’s a lot of conflict when we’re not meeting where we’re at. What I mean by that is when you’re tired, when you try to push yourself to do more, I feel there is conflict there. You might lash out, you might get angry, you might indulge in something that you know that’s going to make you feel like crap. Rather than where you’re at is if I’m tired, let’s make some space so that I can sleep.
Dr. Esther Yi:I find that there are certain periods of the day that I’m most productive. Utilizing that time to be most productive during that time helps me so that I know that I can have a slower pace of a day in other times. I know that sometimes if I have a cup of coffee that I can look forward to, it’s a good pick me up. I’m meeting myself where I’m at because I know that my energy changes throughout the day. I know that I need to have meals in between while I’m working. I know that my son needs the love of physical touch throughout the day. It’s important for me to put things away so he has my undivided attention. Thinking about where you can meet yourself, where you’re at.
Dr. Esther Yi:Thank you so much again you guys for joining. Again, this is just a reminder that tonight this is our last one for the time being. I’ve been spending a lot of good time creating this family conference that’s going to be coming up on the first Saturday of June. If you missed today’s talk or if you know somebody who might be able to use this talk, you can always find the previous Zoom with Yi at rhombusuniversity.com/blog. If you’re interested in the family conference, that’s the website that you can go to. Then of course, this is my professional email that you can also email me at. Then I did put just a little bit of information about the family conference for those that are interested. You can either go to this Go Rhombus, or you can go to the family conference.info to be able to register and to share. We’ve already seen really good feedback from not only the speakers, but also for those that are looking forward to attending and registering.
Dr. Esther Yi:Thank you guys so much. I will be here to answer some questions if you have it. I’m going to go ahead and stop the recording for tonight and then open up for a time of just question, answer.
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