Three Thoughts for Thursday – October 2021

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Fall or Autumn, how do you refer to this season?

I recently overheard a conversation where someone exclaimed, “I’m so excited for the fall!” “The fall of what?” the person she was with asked. This question made me pause and smile.  I assumed the exclaimed statement meant the woman was looking forward to the season of autumn, but then had to rethink this assumption as I let the question of her companion sit with me.  I love words and their different meanings, and I am also fascinated by the variety of perceptions and assumptions of people based on the diversity of their human experience.

Autumn, with the falling leaves, rich, vibrant changing colors, and transition to winter is such a great season and reminder to me to really reflect upon and embrace all the colorful diversity of beings, ways of seeing and thinking, and to bring awareness to my own experiences, assumptions, and lenses.  I love pondering the lessons of nature, especially trees and seasons, and the wisdom they hold that so aptly translates to our human experience. I treasure this season for its reminder to take all that I’ve learned, experienced and collected over the year, see its color and beauty, then let it all go to become compost that will enrich my own continued growth.

How do you refer to this season we are in, autumn or fall?  What do you love or dislike about it and why?  How might your perspective change by taking on this new lens I offer? What have you experienced, learned, discovered, endured, enjoyed this year that will become the compost for your ongoing growth?

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Quote I’m Pondering:

it’s hard to enjoy

what you’re running towards

if you’re not at peace

with what you’re running from.

~ Adam Roa

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Book I’m reading/listening to:

Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters and How to Harness It

By Ethan Kross


An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how to harness it to combat anxiety, improve physical and mental health, and deepen our relationships with others.

“A masterpiece.” (Angela Duckworth, best-selling author of Grit)

Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel H. Pink’s Next Big Idea Club Winter 2021 Winning Selection

One of the best new books of the year – The Washington Post, BBC, USA TodayCNN Underscored, Shape, Behavioral Scientist, PopSugar  Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness starred reviews

Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we’re facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus – you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I’m going to fail. They’ll all laugh at me. What’s the use?

In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies – from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy – Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk – what he calls “chatter” – can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure.

But the good news is that we’re already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight – in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces.

Brilliantly argued, expertly researched, and filled with compelling stories, Chatter gives us the power to change the most important conversation we have each day: the one we have with ourselves.


Something that is sticking with me is this idea of taking a step back to see yourself and your situation from a distance, creating a third-person dynamic, and even referring to oneself in the third person.  I will confess, I often call myself by my maiden name, “Briel” to muster focus or strength. “Briel, you can do this!” or “Briel, focus, you’ve got this!”  I like the idea that we can use this same thinking to see our situations from a different angle or through a different lens. Does anyone else use third-person references to coach themselves?

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Podcast I’m enjoying:

A Slight Change of Plans with Dr. Maya Shankar

Host Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change. You’ll hear intimate conversations that give an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds – like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, Amanda Knox, and Riz Ahmed, as well as real-life inspirations, like John, who undergoes experimental brain stimulation to deepen his emotional intelligence; Shapearl, who takes on the role of private investigator to uncover the truth about her son’s death; and Daryl, a Black jazz musician who convinces hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan. The show also features interviews with science experts like Adam Grant, Angele Duckworth, and Katy Milkman who share strategies for how we can live happier and more fulfilling lives.  You’ll leave every episode thinking differently about change in your own life. 

I am enjoying this podcast for the way the host presents change as ongoing and human, for the stories she shares that illustrate the humanness of our experiences and reactions to change and life. In one episode, she presents this idea that we do things for where they are going to get us and boredom for instance, is now something to strive for as it has been found to be essential for creativity.  In another episode, Maya tells her own story of an unexpected and painful experience on her journey to become a mother, and notes “life is not just about achieving a series of outcomes, it also about letting in and creating space for unexpected, beautiful gifts.” 

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Please check out my latest blog post, Be Careful, Recipes and Inspiration Yield Different Results! You can find my most recent post, Losing Sight, and my September edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday here, on my blog, as well. Beginning April 27th, I have had the privilege of Co-Hosting with Kathy Hadizadeh, the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA.  We have one session left in 2021 – please join us for our November 30th session, Creating Choices with our Clients with Arnaud Complainville and Veronica Brejan.  If you are interested in joining and co-creating this learning community, please use the link above to find out more and to come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!

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