About Lynn

I'm from the Southern New Jersey/Philadelphia area

The Courage To Reach Out

It started with a mood change.

A couple of months back I felt a shift in my mood, and it took far longer than I’m proud to admit before it finally dawned on me that while the lack of sun made me wish for more beach day weather, I wasn’t taking Vitamin D like I was supposed to and it was probably the main culprit in my melancholy filled days. I’d been avoiding picking some up because I hate taking pills and I figured if I just ate enough veggies I’d be fine…blood work said otherwise, and I stopped being hard-headed and made my way to Vitamin Shoppe. After asking for some help and voicing my strong disinterest in taking pills, the store associate helped me find a liquid version that would do. 

But let me backtrack some…during this rough month of a sinking mood, I caved in on myself. I wasn’t journaling as much, but I was journaling. I didn’t exercise consistently, but I still exercised. I still went to support group and I was busy with work. I figured whatever it was, I’d get over it. Every now and again the “check on your strong friend” post comes around. And I remember  thinking, “what does that even mean?” and if I were the “strong friend” what kind of check-in would I even want that didn’t interrupt my sensibilities as an introvert? My introversion had turned down so many efforts to get me to come out and play, surely who would waste their time reaching out to me and my constant, “maybe next time” or my “I’m in between financial blessings right now”, or even my flat out, “I really don’t like being around a lot of people like that”…? 

On the flip side, I wanted to call up friends and cry or vent or rant or something, but sometimes you get so used to being the person who inspires, the person who uplifts, the person who is sending out the positive vibes in a crazy world in the hopes of giving some kind of balance between good and evil, that you forget that the ones who truly love all of you will know that you’re human and that you need a hug too sometimes. So, instead I thought, “I don’t want to be a burden.” “They’re busy with work and family stuff.” “They’re going through things too and I don’t want to give them my baggage on top of their own.” 

Beware of Stinking Thinking.

Of course, I did eventually notice where my line reasoning was heading and made the vulnerable decision to reach out until someone would listen to me as I shared my struggles and the fears that were keeping me from being…myself, I suppose. Which led my bestie who happens to be a nurse to get on me about taking my vitamins. Even I have to remind myself that loving someone, starting with myself, is hard work, and that it takes effort and a commitment to do that work. Effort presents itself in such subtle ways…ways like not making assumptions about what other people are thinking or their availability to be there for you when you need a helping hand. But also, I recognize and acknowledge that to even be at a place where I can notice my mood dropping and do something about it before it becomes more than that, took years of mental health recovery work. And that my mental health recovery and now ongoing maintenance journey was, and still is my own…

Then I thought about the fact that we are a society that salutes those who are “self-made”, those who pick themselves up by the bootstraps, and have “don’t get sick” health care plans. We wear how tired we are as badges of honor and testament to our value. We are driven by the notion that we must all be able-bodied and able-minded “strong friends”.  In which case, wouldn’t we then need to check on each other since we’re all so “strong”? Yet, we don’t.  Despite being told over and over again, either from the spirit of our hearts, the gut intuition,  or 75 year strong Harvard studies,  that the quality of our life emotionally, physically, and mentally is directly proportional to the quality of our relationships. We still struggle with the very vulnerable position of being the friend that needs to be checked on, to the point that it paralyses us from asking for help in the first place, or even receiving help when it’s offered. 

Have The Courage To Be You.

And there’s that word again, vulnerability. Relationships, whether they are friendships, romantic, business, or internal take vulnerability. And “Once [your] vulnerability is ‘regulated’ by an abiding self-acceptance, [your] sense of personal power is almost unassailable. It can no longer be threatened by some external force beyond [your] control.”  We have to have the courage to be vulnerable even though it’s uncomfortable, even though it isn’t easy…and getting comfortable with vulnerability is something we can learn. 

When I was a little girl, I can remember a time when we would have lunch and then go out for recess. There was a few times when I was slow moving and everyone had already gone on ahead and split into their friend cliques to play tag and such. As I looked over at all the fun, I really wanted to play with everyone else but they seemed so far from me…But whenever I thought to give up, to make myself small…despite my awkwardness, there would always be some kid that would run up to me and silently ask through their playful eyes, “why are you standing here all alone?” and then they’d offer me their hand, and I would in relief and graciousness take it.

The older I got, I would reach for someone’s hand and hope that they would take it. In doing so and depending on who I reached out my hand to, my hope was that they would accept my love and my vulnerability…sometimes they would and sometimes they wouldn’t. And when they wouldn’t, life would still go on…go figure! Eventually, I learned to be the friend who ran up to someone and offered my hand, my time, my resources , or simply my presence. I am constantly reminded about how wonderful it feels to both offer a hand, and to receive a hand after mustering up enough courage to reach out. 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Mental Health and Debt: A Call To Action

This blog post is part of the 3rd Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour. If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.

I remember when the hip-hop song came out called “Mo Money Mo Problems”. In my mind, that didn’t seem right. Since I had plenty of problems and no money. Where I came from, poor was an economic reality, but admittedly, it was also a state of mind. To me, it made perfect sense why “being broke” was…depressing. In a 2010 review of 115 studies that spanned 33 countries across the developed and developing worlds, nearly 80 percent of the studies showed that poverty comes with higher rates of mental illness. Among people living in poverty, those studies also found, mental illnesses were more severe, lasted longer, and had worse outcomes.

Keeping those statistics in mind, when I first started to do research for my book “Success to Die For” as much as I tried to be unbiased, I knew it was better to acknowledge my very real biases and work through them to reveal the truth as it became clear to me. I went in assuming my fellow struggling small business owners would report higher rates of depression and possibly thoughts of suicide, but I was proven wrong. Though, my investigation is a far cry from an academic study it was enough to say with a humble confidence that mental health issues don’t discriminate. And with several high-profile suicide deaths getting media attention as of late, perhaps there’s some truth to that song. Perhaps there are several reasons why the super (financially) successful get depressed.

Because there are several studies pointing to either side of the “who has it the worst”, I’d rather be more productive and talk shared humanity and solutions. I think that the one thing both sides of the equation can potentially face is the proverbial fall from grace. The roller coaster of life that has ups and downs.

Whether poverty-stricken or wealthy, losing something of value to you hurts. If you live in a developing country and you find joy in being a farmer, but suddenly experience an accident that takes away your ability to make a living, of course, you’re going to be affected by it. Likewise, if you live in a wealthier country, walk into work one day and find that your entire board voted you out of the company you founded, your best friend is sleeping with your spouse, and they wiped your account clean and sailed off into the sunset…that’s enough to drive a person mad. (That second scenario may seem unrealistic, but I actually met a man who shared the 1st part of that story with me and met others who shared the other parts.) Or how about the middle class man in his 50s who gave one job all of his years of loyalty and dedication, let the job give him an identity and a purpose in life based off of that identity tied to said job only to be let go right after he took out that 2nd mortgage on his house for a family medical emergency. I learned through fellow mental health advocate, Mettie Spiess that 70% of the suicide deaths in 2016 were middle-aged men.

If I could rewrite the song title I’d say something along the lines of “Mo Debt Mo Problems”. In each of those scenarios, there is much more going on than the loss of money, but money has become, through collective agreement, one of the most essential social constructions in our societies. It is because of money, whether the loss of it or the fear of losing it, that mental health issues are triggered for some or become a stronghold to others who already have a history of mental health issues. The treatment time for clinical depression is said to be exacerbated by up to 18 months if you also have financial issues.

And I believe, as the founders of Global Women 4 Wellbeing often say, that we can do more good together. 

So while I think awareness and end the stigma campaigns are super necessary, I’d personally love to see collective policy change. I’d love to see more entrepreneurs and business leaders support one another through our mental health and debt issues so that we can create and provide more opportunities, jobs, and resources from a place a love and wholeness. I’d also love to see more developments in technology to help people with mental health issues and debt problems. (As a starting point, I’m glad to see a report on how FinTech can support people experiencing mental health problems.)

“The walk” to back up “the talk” not only prevents suicides but also sustains our mental health and financial recovery for the long-haul as we learn to build roller coaster resilience and maybe even shape our societies to cultivate things like equanimity and equity for the total wellness of all.

Do More Good Together with us! 

Love Yourself Love Your Business in collaboration with Butterfly Love, LLC will be participating in the Out of the Darkness Philadelphia Community Walk to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Join our team and walk with us, or donate to the cause!

 

Resources

NAMI Suicide Prevention Month Advocacy

Crisis Text Line — Text HOME to 741741

International Association for Suicide Prevention

Debtors Anonymous

 

Related Posts

Suicide Prevention where Money and Mental Health Issues Collide

Passive Suicidal Ideation: A Discussion About Money + Mental Health

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Emily Wu Truong

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Sabrina Umstead Smith

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 3 – Featuring: Sabrina Umstead Smith, Grief Specialist and Advocate for Special Needs Families

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7eUDATvTl3Y

About

Sabrina is the author of Gratefully Disappointed – Learn Through Forgiveness her inspirational and encouraging memoir. Sabrina shares her journey to remind us no matter what we experience there is a lesson for us to share. Sabrina is the creator of Forgive4U, a program that defines the six essential steps to overcome emotional roadblocks. She coaches clients one-on-one and spreads the Forgive4U principles through professional speaking engagements. Sabrina and her husband Roosevelt (Rosy) founded, Erick’s Place, a non-profit organization named after her son, a special needs child, who passed away at the age of 3. She is also a contributing author to two books: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made and; the Amazon Best Seller, Pathways to Vibrant Health and Well-Being.

Visit Sabrina’s website: www.gratefullydisappointed.com for additional information and resources.

How You Can Help

Support Erick’s Place and help chronically ill children as well as the hospitals, facilities and people who care for them get the resources they need.

Resources mentioned

Sabrina’s other book mentioned: Pathways to Vibrant Health & Well-Being

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Dior Vargas

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Autumn Tompkins

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Faith Waringa Odhiambo

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

 

Be The Change Interview Featuring: Global Women 4 Wellbeing

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 2 – Featuring: Mim Senft and Nancy Board of Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W)

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xYz2Eujm7aY

About

GW4W is on a mission to Empower healthy female leaders for a more sustainable world. They accomplish this by:

*Honoring that true gender equity is about addressing both diversity and inclusion issues

*Welcoming women from all backgrounds who want to see positive change and the great men that stand beside us

*Producing quality, unbiased research for women’s health, wellbeing and leadership challenges

*Inspiring through sharing our stories, our wisdom, mentoring and advocacy

*Highlighting self-care for leaders for personal empowerment and to be a role model for those you lead

Mim Senft, CWWS GBA AAI RYT / CEO – Global Women 4 Wellbeing
LinkedIn

Mim Senft has over 20 years of corporate experience in project management, benefits design and wellness program strategy and implementation. She specializes in providing companies with strategies that positively impact culture and create team innovation. She is a certified as a Worksite Wellness Specialist through the National Wellness Institute; has her GBA group benefits designation through the International Foundation of Benefit Professionals (IFEBP); her property and casualty insurance certification, Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI), through the Insurance Institute of America; and became a certified yoga instructor in 2006. Prior to founding Motivity Partnerships, she worked with over 70 clients in a variety of industries including finance, manufacturing, law, fashion/retail and not-for-profit. Some representative companies include Optum @ Goldman Sachs, Springleaf Financial, Tory Burch, Steptoe and Johnson Law Firm, Natures Path, Open Door and Consolidated Precision Products.

Mim is a co-founder of Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W), served on the Board of Directors for the National Wellness Institute and is a member of The Global Wellness Institute’s Future of Well Work Initiative. She is a regular speaker at conferences and roundtable discussions on topics related to employee benefits, corporate wellness/wellbeing programs, and keeping a competitive edge in today’s workplace.

Nancy Board, MSW – Co-Founder / COO – Global Women 4 Wellbeing
LinkedIn

Nancy Board is a long time EAP professional, experienced in corporate health and wellbeing globally, and a leader in workplace mental health, trauma response, risk management and women’s issues. She is also a sought after speaker, facilitator and international trainer for women’s health & wellbeing worldwide, having worked with thousands of women to help them remove barriers to achieving success.

Previously Nancy was Vice President of Healthcare, EAP and Wellness for JP Morgan In the Asia Pacific region, responsible for over 38,000 employees in 18 countries. She is a versatile, technically savvy, culturally competent leader. Having also led individuals, teams and organizations through the chaos and grief of workplace violence and major disasters, Nancy has a unique lens from which to gauge and teach personal resiliency, recovery and trust. As Co-Founder of Global Women 4 WellBeing, she is passionate about doing more good to create gender equity and build inclusive, respectful workplaces for women to become thriving, healthy leaders.

Nancy received her Master’s degree in Social Work/Behavioral Medicine from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo, certification as a Global Professional in Human Resources and certification as Facilitator and Guide for Women’s Circles through the non-profit organization, Woman Within, International.

How You Can Help

You can visit https://gw4w.org/ to find ways to get involved with GW4W and their global mission to empower healthy female leaders.

Resources mentioned

Women won’t have equality for 100 years – World Economic Forum

The medical research gender gap: how excluding women from clinical trials is hurting our health

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring ChopArt

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Faith Waringa Odhiambo

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

 

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Karla Thut

The 2018 Be The Change Interview Series

Week 1 – Featuring: Karla Thut, Trauma Specialist and Immigrant Advocate

Here’s the direct link to the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PNc4LFLItBM

About

Karla Thut was born and grew up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She graduated from Goshen College with a BA in Social Work and Temple University with a Masters in Social Work. She has worked as a family therapist in the city of Philadelphia for 15 years primarily with co-victims of homicide and survivors of domestic violence and other violent crimes. During this time Karla trained at the Philadelphia Child and Family Training Center as a family therapist and at the Philadelphia Family and Children’s Play Therapy Training Center where she trained in Contextual and Structural Family therapy and play therapy. In addition to working as a therapist Karla teaches part time at Chestnut Hill College in the Masters in Counseling Psychology department in their trauma studies concentration and is on the board at La Puerta Abierta. La Puerta Abierta is a non-profit in Philadelphia that provides mental health services to immigrant youth and their families. Karla lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

How You Can Help

Support La Puerta Abierta whose mission is “To improve access to quality, culturally and trauma-informed mental health support in the immigrant and refugee community through collaboration, training and service”.

Contact Karla to learn more about her private practice mental health care services, or healing trauma training services at: karlathut (at) gmail (dot) com

Resources mentioned

The movie I was referencing was called Inside Out

 

Related Posts

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Sarah Fader

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Emily Wu Truong

Be The Change Series Interviews- Featuring: Mia Anika

 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.