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Disruption Brings Opportunity

Have you ever felt that your world was falling apart? That your familiar life was being ripped away and you were left not knowing what to do next?

I have. And I imagine you have too.
The news is filled with stories of people losing loved ones, homes and livelihood to fire, flood, earthquakes, mass shootings, war…pick your disaster.

Disruption is everywhere. It’s part of life. It can feel overwhelming, especially when it’s happening to you. A major effect of disruption is the feeling of loss of control. The landscape changes. Familiar landmarks disappear. Relationships are altered. We lose our bearings.

In the event of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.

Simple advice, but not always easy to do.

While it may seem selfish or unnatural to take care of ourselves when others are suffering, we can do more when we are centered and resourceful. Here are a few simple steps to help stabilize you and activate resiliency during stressful times.
1. Breathe – deeply and regularly. Oxygen to the brain and regular rhythms send messages to your body and brain that you are calm and in control.

2. Release and relax – recognize that you can be more resourceful when you are flowing with the situation, not resisting it.

3. Focus – give your mind a place to land where it can do its best work in creating a positive outcome. The following strategic questions engage the mind in constructive, creative thinking. Write down the answers and don’t let the negative thoughts insert themselves or take over. Staying focused on next actions is a discipline that yields better results.

  • What do I need? – Rest? Food? Shelter? Physical activity? Assurance? What can you provide yourself right now that gives you relief? What can you ask of others?
  • What do I wantinstead of what is happening? Sometimes we can only focus on what’s not working. When looking at what we don’t want and asking, “What do I want instead?” will often reveal important information such as, “to feel safe,” “to have support,” “to feel competent,” “to be resourceful.” Our brains are natural problem-solvers. Give yours something constructive to focus on.
  • What is the next action? Just one next action that will move you in the right direction. It doesn’t have to be a whole plan. You don’t have to know how the situation will turn out. Just determine what the next step is…and take it. Maybe it’s to take a walk and clear your head. Maybe it’s to call a friend or coach for assurance and guidance. Maybe it’s to make a list of all the things that are swirling around in your head just to get them out so you can triage and plan. Get momentum started now.

First and foremost…take care of your precious self. YOU are a gift. You deserve to live your best life. Shine on!

Stuck about what to do next? Contact us for your free Discovery Session. It’s our gift to you.


Conscious Leadership for the 21st Century

What is conscious leadership…and why is it important?

Let’s look at consciousness first. Consciousness is that to which we pay attention. What we focus on and what we act upon.

The problem with this is that our mind is going all the time and our attention is affected by our beliefs…not actual facts. Too often we are informed by our inner views, rather than the bigger picture. Our consciousness is shaped by our experiences, what we have been told, what we’ve chosen to believe…about ourselves and the world.

“There are those who say that seeing is believing. I am telling you that believing is seeing.”
Neale Donald Walsch

As we develop consciousness, we start to understand that our perspective is just that — our own viewpoint. And what’s real is much larger, more complex and nuanced than how we are seeing a situation. As consciousness grows, so does humility…along with personal power and choices. Life and work can become more interesting as we move beyond our boundaries of beliefs and seek to understand others’ perspectives, alternatives, and facts.

Conscious Leaders are aware of their thoughts. They can witness their reactions and feelings. They seek facts and opinions outside of themselves to make better decisions. They often operate with a beginner’s mind. This is having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

Conscious Leaders don’t seek to be “right” or the ultimate authority. They are more interested in having better outcomes, sustainable solutions, and synergistic relationships. They are lifelong learners with voracious curiosity. They know how to ask questions that engage others in seeing the bigger picture and finding solutions. They seek understanding of root causes and implications before declaring a decision.
How to become a Conscious Leader?1. Notice your thoughts. Are they affirming or judgmental?2. If judgmental (about others, a situation or yourself), ask yourself, “Is this
true? What evidence do I have? How does it serve to have this thought? Is
there a more useful thought?”3. Seek facts, other perspectives, evidence.4. Cultivate clarity…in your thinking, problem-solving and communications5. Choose thoughts and focus that nourish and sustain you and your team.

Seeing-is-believing is a blind spot in man’s vision.”
Buckminster Fuller
Resources for Conscious Leaders

Bredenberg Associates’ programs equip leaders and teams with tools and techniques for conscious leadership. Schedule a complimentary 20-minute Discovery Session to start addressing your leadership challenges and needs. Schedule


Rise & Shine! Start the Day Off Right

How do you start your day?
Do you jump out of bed ready to go with energy and positive anticipation of what the day will bring?
Maybe the sounds of children, animals or other creatures rouse you to your day and there’s no time to think before you’re doing your morning routines getting yourself and everyone else underway.
Or maybe you’re more like I’ve been… Waking with anxiety and a bit of dread and pushing the snooze button for an extra 10 minutes, hoping I’ll feel better the next time it sounds.
Our morning mindset sets the stage for the rest of the day. We CAN affect, if not totally control, our moods. Here are a few tips for getting a great start to your day. Try them out and let us know how they work for you.
1. CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE The powerful practice of Circle of Excellence is designed to put you in a mental and physical “state” of wellbeing with a positive, confident mindset. The simple 3 steps are described here: They can be used anytime and in many situations. I start my day by tossing my imaginary Circle of Excellence on the floor next to my bed, so as soon as my feet hit the floor, I’m in the bright circle. I pause there for just a moment, imagining myself in a circle of radiant light and energy, take a deep breath, stretch, and say out loud, “It’s a great day! Everything is going to be alright!” Then I “pick up” the circle (nice back stretch), place it in my imaginary pocket (I’m still in pajamas) and head to the bathroom for morning ablutions.
2. ENERGIZING SHOWER Like many people, I take a shower in the morning. I start with warm water to clean and open pores, and then end with only cold water. Bracing! The pores slam shut and I’m fully awake. Singing or sounding is also energizing and good for stimulating the thymus gland (strengthens immune functions). 3. BRUSH TEETH WITH NON-DOMINANT HAND We have so many routines in our lives that we hardly need to think as we do them. Brushing with our non-dominant hand stimulates other parts of the brain and brings us into the present moment. While it may take awhile to become competent, (electric toothbrushes make it easier) it’s a great way to improve dexterity. Use it as a meditation for being in the present moment. Don’t forget to wink and smile at your cute self the mirror.
These practices take only a few moments, but they can launch you into your day with more energy, enthusiasm, and enjoyment (or at least a giggle).
Try them. If you like them, comment here. Or share your own morning rituals that get you going. We’d love to hear from you!
Make it a great day!