The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. Do you know the story? In it Dr. Jekyll is lifted up as a model person by everyone he comes in contact with. Mr. Hyde is a brutal criminal. He is described almost like an animal, with no morals or scruples.
As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Mr. Hyde IS Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll creates a serum to transform himself into Hyde in order to disguise himself when he feels the need to do something unsavory. Stevenson was describing the reality of being human. We are both good and bad. We each have light and we each have a shadow.
While there are many themes in the story, my request is to focus on what happens to Jekyll when he denies that his shadow exists. By disavowing his shadow, the negative parts of who he is become stronger and eventually take over. Jekyll locks himself away to prevent Hyde from escaping.
The lesson is we all have shadow parts to who we are. It is unhealthy to deny and isolate with them. By safely acknowledging our shadows, we can shine a light on them to understand them and prevent them from fermenting and becoming dangerous. Take Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a warning. Don’t deny your shadow!
My request is the take a look at your shadows and figure out why they are there and what they need in order to be accepted as part of being a whole human being. What shadow part of yourself do you deny to the point of it hurting you? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Change happens at the boundary of growth and uncertainty. Sometimes committing to a specific transformation is too big of an obstacle in one step or in a short period of time. One tool for crossing that boundary is test driving a change.
We all want growth at some level. Life would be pretty boring if nothing ever changed. But we also struggle to balance that growth with the risks involved in changing. What will we have to give up? What if it doesn’t work? Maybe I will fail?
When you go to buy a car, it is a common experience to take it for a test drive. To see how it feels and if there is anything obviously wrong with it. A car is a big purchase, so dealerships are willing to let you test drive before making a decision.
Why not apply this same mechanism to growth? Set a small “practice round” for your change. Maybe even one week or two. Then set a time to evaluate how successful the test drive was. This reduces the risk of having to commit fully to an absolute change. If the test drive doesn’t work, you make adjustments and try again.
Where in your life are you uncertain about changing something? Why not try test driving a modification to see if you want to keep it? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
How often do you slow down long enough to contemplate describing reality? Ever wonder why we have such a hard time agreeing on what is real? Turns out there are different layers to what we believe is real. Here are three descriptions that will help!
Objective Reality – At some level this has to be measured. The temperature water boils at sea level. How much grey hair will be in my beard this year. The time the sun will rise and set on a given day.
Subjective Reality – A personal opinion or belief about something. Whether a specific sports team is the best (in a day, season, or all time). Whether the clothes I’m wearing match or clash. If the pizza in one city is better than another.
Inter-Subjective Reality – An opinion or belief that is held across groups of people. The value of a piece of paper inscribed with 20 euro, yen, or dollars. The age at which children become legal adults. Red means stop and green means go. That there should be a penalty for not stopping on red.
Are you beginning to see the complexity with which we interact not only with each other across multiple layers of reality, but also internally with ourselves as well? Defining which layer of reality we are processing on a specific topic and at a particular moment makes a BIG difference!
What is in it for you to pay attention to these layers? Where are there conflicts and misunderstandings due to talking across layers? What pitfalls do we fall into by not calibrating each layer for ourselves? What would help you in developing your understanding of which layer you are in? There are significant opportunities to relate to each other in healthier ways by paying attention to how we are describing reality! – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
It is difficult to be a complete and whole person without some understanding of my race.
One of the foundational pieces of my coaching is the idea of a whole person approach to growth and development. The intent is to develop as many of those domains as possible. As I continue exploring this myself, I’ve looked for blind spots missing in that idea of me as a whole person.
One recent revelation for me is that I have very little understanding of my own race. Because our culture and community is so oriented to the wants and needs of my race, it isn’t something I have ever needed to keep track of. It ends up being like a fish swimming in a pond. The fish doesn’t think about the water it is swimming in, it is just there.
This blind spot reduces my awareness. Awareness of my own race and the races of others; preventing me from being a whole person. By not developing my understanding of myself, I limit my ability to be aware that others around me don’t have the same experience!
My request is to start (or continue) developing this understanding for yourself. How do you understand your race? For some of us this might be a new (or difficult idea). How does your understanding (or lack of understanding) impact your daily life? Or the lives of others? Take some time in the next few weeks and mull over what exactly you understand about your race and where there are gaps in that understanding. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Allophilia is the ability to like (or hold in regard) others who aren’t like you. Professor Todd Pittinsky coined the term as way of defining the opposite of prejudice.
I’ve posted about prejudice before and finding this term helps define a target that I can aim at when attempting to reduce my own prejudices. In order to understand and develop allophilia, I must first recognize where I see differences between myself and others. As with a lot of other topics, this starts with my own self-observation.
The next step is then looking past my own pre-determined ideas about who someone is and looking for aspects of who they are that I can not only admit that I like, but can also lift up as valuable and important. That is a tall order given the current polarization in our communities. It is difficult to see if we aren’t intentionally looking.
An example of what allophilia looks like are the historical examples of different communities and individuals who stepped up to help the Jews escape the Nazi persecution of WWII. Individuals and and groups who took risks to assist people who were different from themselves.
Where is there an opportunity to develop your understanding of allophilia? How does it appear in your daily life? If you can’t find regard for someone different than you, it is likely you are drifting toward prejudice. Take some time and practice looking for what you like about someone different than you and observe what happens. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Just like Riley from Pixar’s “Inside Out”, you have your own version of Joy that runs around inside you. Where is your Joy? Is he/she lost or or trapped? What if you are supposed to be finding your Joy?
I suppose it may seem kind of a strange thing to have these thoughts rattling around in my head as I drive down the road. Sometimes it may be easier just to laugh at where different ideas intersect.
If you have ever coached with me for very long, you have probably heard me reference Pixar’s “Inside Out”. If you haven’t, please go watch it. The movie does a great job of describing some of the ways we develop in terms of thoughts, emotions, and memories.
It may have been obvious to others, but this week it struck me that Joy herself gets lost during the movie. Part of the story is about Riley finding Joy and Joy returning to where she needs to be.
Given all that we have been through in the last couple of years, I was relating to that thought this week and wondering about who my Joy character is inside of me. How well do you know the Joy character inside of you? Do they show up very often? Are they at the center of your story, or a secondary character? Would you know if they got lost? Where are they right now?
My request is to spend some time finding that Joy character inside yourself. How would life be different if you knew where your Joy was and had it front and center in your life? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Most of our major world religions tell us, “Do Not Be Afraid”, while at the same time our media and social outlets say the opposite. There are at least 117 times the message is delivered in the Bible – “Do Not Be Afraid”. It is the most common message delivered throughout the entire bible. Clearly it needed to be drilled home. It must be important!
At the same time The Weather Channel has been teaching us to fear the daily forecast (even if you don’t live where the severe weather is happening). Animal Planet wants us to fear Shark Week. There are multiple financial platforms wanting us to fear the market and economy collapsing. Both sides of our political spectrum want us to fear the other. We are taught to fear everything.
Part of fear ends up being a choice. Yes, there are some times where we have an instinctual/reflexive fear. But sometimes, we are choosing to be afraid. Ever payed to watch a scary movie? How many serial killer documentaries have you binge watched? Why do you watch the hurricane forecast if you don’t live on the coast?
If fear can be a choice, then it can also be practiced. You have the ability to practice choosing not being afraid. What if your spirituality and faith aligned with your daily life?
In the next week, I dare you to practice not being fearful. Pick the easy topics and reduce your fear by 10%. See what happens. How is life different for you? Then choose to reduce choosing fear by another 10%. I dare you. Practice choosing to not be afraid. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinikific.com
Mary Church Terrell is given credit for the social mindset of “Lift as we climb”. She was a civil rights activist and suffragist in the United States in the early 1900’s. Her idea being that we assist others as we ourselves grow.
“And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ‘ere long. With courage, born of success achieved in the past, with a keen sense of the responsibility which we shall continue to assume, we look forward to a future large with promise and hope. Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance.”
This is a relational statement. As much as we would like to think we are independent and work in a vacuum, nothing could be farther from the truth. Whether you want it or not, you need support in order to growth and succeed (all the way down to the wifi signal and the light in the room).
If you need the support of others to develop, then suddenly it is a benefit to lift others up while you continue to climb. No one gets left out.
Where are there opportunities to lift others up? What mountain are you climbing? Do you need lifted up? Adopting the mindset of “lift as we climb”, creates growth in ourselves and the world around us simultaneously. Where can you apply it in the coming weeks? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
We spend A LOT of time waiting! Chances are you don’t like it and you probably aren’t that good at it. It is a skill that can be developed! How are you practicing your waiting?
Ever paid attention how much time (and for how many things) you wait? It is so much a part of a daily lives that we lose track of how much of it there is. We also go to GREAT lengths to avoid it!
So where do you wait?
For the light to change? The nurse to call you back? A second interview? The next text reply? Someone to swipe right? The dryer to finish? This file to download? To be able to skip the commercial? Someone to go first?
More importantly, HOW do you wait? Are you always impatient? Always anxious or worried? Oblivious? Angry?
For me, there are very few things in life that can’t be developed as a skill. Waiting is a skill. It can be practiced and developed. Where are you most impatient? Where is waiting the most difficult? The skill comes from choosing your intention and who you want to be while you wait. How do you want to show up in the world while you are waiting? What you choose will have a big impact on how you view the world! – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com