The Sadness Facade is a tricky one. I have used it for a lot of my life. Weirdly, my sadness came from my desire to connect with others. As you get older you realize how many people have been abused or gone through trauma as a child. As a female, you are surrounded by eating disorders, lack of self esteem and so on. I didn’t have to endure these things. Weirdly, this made me feel a lack of connection with others. One of the biggest human needs is for love and connection. It’s all I wanted.
So I became sad. I found reasons, I marinated in them and manipulated myself to feel sad. Then I used that sadness to connect with other people. This started in my teens. I was a poet and a “closet emotional” and my sadness facade came about because of negative reinforcement. I noticed that if I was happy, confident, liked myself, etc. that people would become angry or put off by me. Because my ultimate goal was for love, connection and caring for others I felt that my happiness and contentment would make people feel worse about themselves so in order to protect them from my happiness I became sad.
Sometimes sadness is real in me. I have gone through hard things. This is not the sadness I am speaking of. Situational sadness and grieving are necessary. It’s when sadness becomes a lifestyle that holds us back from true joy and love for ourselves that it is a problem. It’s when we actually go to the point of changing our physiology to become sad when we’re either bored or desire to connect with others.
The equation goes:
I get sad=I get attention from others
I get sad=People feel sorry for me and connect with me
I get sad=I feel a deep sense of meaning
I get sad=I connect with myself in a deep way
I get sad=Bad things are happening everywhere and so I have to be sad
I get sad=People will see me as heartless if I don’t
Sometimes we aren’t actually sad, we just feel like we have to be for some reason and so we trick ourselves into it. We are “doing” sad. We hold ourselves in that place for so many reasons. A few of mine were:
-Connecting with myself
-Connecting with others
-Fear of succeeding
-Fear of making other people feel bad about themselves
-Feeling like I would be judged if I didn’t mourn the bad things happening in the world
-Getting reinforced when others would share their sadness with me
My power does not last long when I’m sad. I may have written a few great poems that way (which was another reason I liked being sad) but ultimately it keeps me from growing.
Sadness as a lifestyle is not helpful. Our culture tells us to be happy, love yourself, live without fear...but then if you actually do it people say, “You can’t be THAT happy.” “You’re conceited/arrogant.”
The feedback comes from other people's insecurities. All my life I’ve been trying to protect those people by not showing up fully in my life. I’ve been trying to protect people with insecurities by staying in sadness and discontent. I learned these things a few years ago and constantly have to work on understanding my state of being.
If we understand how we create our sadness facade then we can change.
It’s time to get sad. Answer these questions and outline how to get sad:
What do I do with my body when I get sad?
What is my posture? Where do I go?
What is my internal dialogue?
What am I saying to myself in this moment?
What could snap you out of this feeling?
If your friend was feeling this way what would you say to them?
Understanding what we do with our body and mind when we “get sad” is key to changing the pattern. You start to realize that you actually willingly change your physiology to create and environment for sadness. But we can only be sad for so long...what happens when we get tired of feeling sad?
When I get tired of being sad for so long where do I go from there?
Do you snap out of sadness with anger?
How does this anger make you feel?
Does it make you feel in control again?
How does your posture and body change when you go from sadness to anger?
In Psychology this is coined as “The Crazy 8”. Not only do humans have the need for love and connection, they also need variety and certainty. Going back and forth from sadness to anger creates this variety. Getting angry makes us feel in control again after being sad for too long. Unfortunately this pattern keeps us stagnant. We feel like we’re doing something by getting angry but soon we’ll slump back into sadness and lose that momentum. It keeps us stuck.
In order to get out of this pattern let’s do a little exercise.
Think of a time you felt accepted and understood by someone.
Think of a time you felt victorious.
Remember a time you felt excited about something.
How did the moments leading up to this feel?
Think of a time you felt peace.
Where were you? What made you feel that way?
In what moments have you felt the most free?
Who are the people you love?
How do you show them your love for them?
How do they show you love?
Think about those moments with them.
These are SPARKS.
The places, emotions, relationships and activities where we lose our holdbacks.
Where we feel that warmth in our gut and that excitement.
Staying in sadness, anger, anxiety, or whatever emotion you struggle with, will ultimately hold you back from what you’re meant to do. We are manipulating ourselves into those emotions so when we change our posture, our thoughts, our self-talk, we can snap out of them and accomplish what we are meant for. We can find our strengths if we stop holding ourselves back.
The exercise above is meant to get you excited. It’s meant to transport you into the moments and memories in your life where you felt the most alive. Meditate on those memories, draw them into yourself and transport them into the future. We’ve all overcome things, experience adventure, recklessness, excitement, happiness, love, acceptance and so on. We can cultivate THESE emotions instead of emotions like sadness. The first step is realizing that we hold ourselves in those emotions because we are meeting our needs. We have to learn to meet our needs for love, connection, significance, certainty, variety and contribution in other/healthy ways.
Are you getting off on sadness or some other detrimental emotion?
What if I approached life like a video game? Something like World of Warcraft comes to mind, though I know next to nothing about it. I am my character. Every problem or difficulty I encounter is a challenge that, should I prevail, allows me to advance to the next level. Through training, learning, and practice, I can level up my character. Thus I can add weapons to my arsenal and skills to my repertoire.
Like any well-designed game, life is inherently challenging. Often our model of the world is that life should be easy, or at least difficult only when we want it to be; when we are feeling bored. What if a person’s favorite game was easy? It probably wouldn’t be much fun. I don’t play Scrabble with Bailey because I win every time. I crave the challenge.
When I face a problem in life, I can default to getting angry or depressed. Or, I can stare down the problem like a high level player in the game of life. I can take a stance of enthusiastic curiosity. I can look for the unique quality of this individual problem; the opportunity it affords to push beyond my present understanding of my limits and what is possible. I can allow the desire to know what’s on the other side, on the next level, be my motivation as I craft an elegant, creative solution.
Once on the other side, there are a couple things I can know for sure: the problems of my past have brought me here to this level, and another challenge is on its way. I wonder what this one will be like?
I'm proud to officially announce my next certification journey has begun!
It's common for people to ask me if I went/go to college. I tried this avenue for about a year and a half but only thrived in three classes: Psychology, Public Speaking and Writing.
This should have been enough information to lead me where I needed to go. Unfortunately it's difficult to see when you're freshly out of high school and carrying the weight of pursuing a career for security instead of passion. Not only that, but I've always had a hard time in school.
So instead I decided to "create my own major"
Well, I didn't actually decide this at one moment in time…it just sort of happened.
From the age of 21-27 I've completed (or am completing) these certifications:
Floral Design Institute
Beginner + Advanced Herbalism
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
Strategic Intervention Coach
The last three certifications will go beautifully together. Although Floral Design seems unrelated it has actually been the job I needed to accomplish the other three. Normally I'd have to work at least 4 days a week to make the money I do as a floral designer in the summer months and other weekends throughout the year. Because I was given the gift of time I decided to use it to pursue the "job" I actually wanted.
I created this job. It's me, it's my desires.
You could call it a Wellness Coach…I haven't decided on the best term.
It comes out of my deep desire to THRIVE.
My life question has been, "what makes some people thrive or experience happiness and what makes others get stuck and feel depressed?"
I noticed there was no relation to life circumstances and how someone reacted to them. Some people have a very hard life yet they thrive. Some people have a relatively easy life and they don't. And vice versa.
"Pain is a damn good thing if you use it." -Tony Robbins
I understood that happiness is not one thing. It's a lifestyle.
Health is not one thing. It's a lifestyle.
I wanted to thrive in mind and body and see other people do the same.
This final certification (probably not the last!) is honestly the one I am most excited about.
Psychology, emotions and the way we use them is the subject I am most obsessed with, always have been.
I am so thankful to have the knowledge of food and herbs as they are equally important in this equation.
So here is where you come in.
Over the next few months I will need volunteers to practice my skills in this next certification.
So if you are someone who has felt bogged down, stuck, depressed, anxious and angry in life this is for you. Or if you have a problem in life you are trying to solve, this is for you.
Or if you want to discover your passion and learn how to pursue it, this is for you.
This will basically be a few months of FREE life coaching/nutritional therapy/herbs.
At the end of my certification I will be hosting an overnight workshop for a discounted price so let me know who is interested in being a part of that as well!
Send me an email if you're interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
People commonly ask how Johnny and I take on so many things. The answer to that question is highly involved but could be boiled down into two words: Passion and Obsession.
“Great…” you may be saying, “but how do you cultivate that?”
A lot of people mention their lack of time, energy or motivation.
Some people always put it off for the future, which we’ve been guilty of ourselves, saying, “when I get “there” I will start pouring into what I love.”
Some people just have no idea what they want to pursue...there is this huge looming idea that we have to know what our life vision is right now! And then we need to pursue it with everything we have, make a difference and change the entire world!
There is a lot of unnecessary pressure.
Passion comes when we pursue our obsessions.
Passion comes when we fuel our bodies and minds with good food.
Passion comes when we create rituals and take time for self-care.
Passion comes when we stop looking at it as the end all be all.
Passion comes when we do the thing that makes time stand still for us.
Passion comes when we explore, adventure, try new things, fail over and over.
There are steps to feeling fulfilled in life. These are things that I have tried myself.
FIRST. If we aren’t eating well we won’t be fueling our bodies to wake up and live to our fullest potential. Not only that, but certain foods affect how our mind works and if we aren’t digesting well then we won’t be receiving the building blocks we need to have a clear mind. How are we to follow our passions and live life if we always feel bogged down in our body?
A few quick nutrition tips:
-Take Bitters before every meal to stimulate digestion. That way your brain and body will receive the vitamins, minerals and other materials it needs to thrive.
-Consume healthy fats. Fats make up the barrier of every single cell in our body, this affects the transport of nutrients into the cells which affects EVERYTHING. Fat also satiates us and gives us long burning energy for those days that we are kicking ass! Some ideas: coconut oil, pastured butter, raw olive oil, avocado, wild caught sardines, raw milk products, pastured animal products.
-Consume high quality protein. Proteins are broken down by optimal digestion into Amino Acids which are the building blocks of our Neurotransmitters, the things in our brain that create our feel-good emotions. Without protein we can become deficient in these and slip into depression, anger and lack of motivation. Consume PROTEIN for PASSION!
-Consume a variety of vegetables/fruit. The colors and types of vegetables/fruit have different benefits. We’ve become a society that has a lack of variety in our food. Eat seasonally, go to the farmer's market, try new things.
SECOND. If you don’t know what you want to pursue but you don’t go out and try things then how will you discover it? A common issue is that people don’t even know where to start. If that is you then answer these questions:
Where do these lists all align?
Once you’ve got an idea or direction:
THIRD. Take the lists and writing you did above and start researching or trying things out. Most people don’t choose their passion the moment they graduate highschool and go full throttle. The reason Johnny and I look like we’re doing so many things is because we are trying stuff out. We’re seeing what works, what doesn’t, what makes us feel alive, we’re researching, experimenting and ultimately FAILING a lot. You have to take calculated risks and you have to fail. I don’t like failing...but I see the purpose of it now.
If you truly find your passion then you’ll become a force to be reckoned with!
No one could stop you once you find it and all you want to do is learn more, try things out, fail and succeed.
My hope is that more people take the risks needed to find their passion.
And once you find yours, or if you have the resources, help others find theirs.
I have an obsession. I always have.
My obsession has been to answer a question.
“What makes us thrive?”
I have followed this obsession through the years, down roads in need of clearing. I found it when my memories began; in my climbing tree where I spoke to God. Where I asked deep questions that swirl inside every single six year old’s mind. Children know more than we think. And from that moment on, I pursued the answer, through faith, through adventure, through writing, asking, seeking, failing, depression, elation, facing fears, getting married, traveling, friendships...LIFE. This was my schooling.
My obsession is to live free.
To find the tools that transcend bad days.
To understand how pain can be used.
How happiness can be created and cultivated.
How to not get swallowed up by fear, depression and anxiety.
How to take risks instead of staying safe.
How to fuel the body chemically and emotionally with food.
To create rituals that invigorate on the daily.
To make changes.
To admit fault.
To find another door unopened.
Another key that unlocks another way.
To meet the common human needs we all share.
To meet them in positive ways.
To dissect emotions, cues and actions.
To see behind things and through things.
To kick ass.
I am and always have been: A Self Development Coach. Everything I’ve pursued points to this.
And now I dive deeply into Self Development training. I will forever be learning, growing and changing. My hope is to help others live life with freedom. Cause that’s what we all want, right?
We all want:
Connection & Love
To Contribute Beyond Ourselves
To obtain these needs we use positive or negative things. We either take care of ourselves and others or we hurt ourselves and others. Surprisingly, these needs can be met either way. How do you want your needs to be met? Do you want to live your life at full capacity, taking risks that move you forward? Or do you want to replace this epic life with addiction, anxiety, depression and anger?
Over the next few months I will be adding to my skill set more direct personal development skills in order to lead people through the muck of life and discover how to thrive. I’ll be looking for some pro bono clients to work with as I build this business combining Nutritional Therapy, Herbalism and Self Development. If you are someone who suffers with low motivation in life and find yourself in disappointing patterns whether physical or mental, please get in contact with me for the possibility of working together!
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David