Gray Matters Coaching

October 28, 2011

Montana Pole Dancing!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heidi @ 11:07 AM

Montana Pole Dancing

October 17, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Heidi @ 11:04 PM







Pardon me Lord, Yeshua bless these folks, it’s only a simple delete button.

October 10, 2011

Identifying Negative Thoughts and Irrational Beliefs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heidi @ 6:31 PM

Many of the thoughts that automatically enter our minds are negative, irrational, or unrealistic. Although they may seem completely valid as they are running through your head, automatic thoughts can be very deceptive.

Being able to identify these thoughts can help you learn how to control your emotions. To change negative thoughts, you first have to gain an understanding of your own specific thinking patterns.

Defining Optimism and Pessimism

Ways we explain bad (or good) events in our lives
Enduring and internal trait of people
Learned in childhood and adolescence
Stems from your view of your place in the world
Can be learned or unlearned

Personal Goals

Understand the connection between our thoughts and how we feel both emotionally and physically
Define and understand what makes us optimists or pessimists
Learn to identify negative thoughts that lead to negative feelings
Develop strategies to positively explain setbacks

Embracing Optimism

Understand the connection between our thoughts and how we feel both emotionally and physically
Define and understand what makes us optimists or pessimists
Learn to identify negative thoughts that lead to negative feelings
Develop strategies to positively explain setbacks

Why Be an Optimist?

Lower incidence of depression
Greater personal achievement
Improved physical health
Improved ability to manage pain
More pleasant state of being
Ability to influence others’ optimism

Embracing Optimism: Benefits for Mind and Body:

Negative Thoughts and Traditional Beliefs

Holding pre-conceived notions
Thinking in absolute terms
Making a mountain out of molehill /molehill out of mountain
Playing the blame game
Being a negative magnet
Drawing emotional conclusions
Living under a dark cloud

Holding pre-conceived notions

Tim feels that things “never” work out for him. After being turned down for a job, he thinks, “I couldn’t get this job, why should I even look for another one? I’ll just get passed up.” Tim has formed an opinion based on a single situation and uses this to predict how similar situations will turn out in the future.

Thinking in absolute terms

Mandy tends to think of things in extremes – she doesn’t consider anything less than perfect to be acceptable. For example, she often thinks, “If I don’t exercise each day, I may as well not even bother to try.” She frequently criticizes herself and those around her for not doing things according to how they “should” be done. This often leads to her feeling angry, frustrated, and unmotivated.

Making a mountain out of molehill /molehill out of mountain

Jill often views a “small” issue in her life as something much more significant than it actually is. For example, when an idea she suggested at work was not acted upon, she considered herself a worthless employee who would most likely lose her job and never be able to find another. Even if she has done a good job, she thinks, “It’s nothing. Anyone could have done it as well or better.”

Playing the blame game

Jeff is quick to blame himself for anything that goes wrong even when he’s not entirely responsible for the outcome. Other times, he does the opposite – blaming others for situations in his life without actually looking at what he has done that could have contributed to the problem. For example, he frequently tells his wife, “It’s not my fault that I keep gaining weight. It’s you and the kids that have the junk food in the house.”

Being a negative magnet

Ryan received a lot of positive comments from his boss in his yearly review. He also received some mild constructive feedback. However, he only focused on the minor negative comments and completely discounted the rest of the review. This type of thinking tends to “attract” negative comments rather than taking all factors of the situation into consideration.

Drawing emotional conclusions

Mary often draws conclusions about what kind of a person she is based on how she feels at any given moment. For example, after feeling guilty for having forgotten to go to a friend’s graduation, she felt she was a horrible person. One morning when a co-worker didn’t say hello to her, she thought, “He must be angry with me. It’s all my fault he’s acting this way.”

Living under a dark cloud

Robert is convinced that “nothing” will ever work out for him. He views the “glass as half empty,” and even small setbacks lead him to believe that he will “never” be happy and will “always” feel miserable. Despite what anyone says to the contrary, he holds on to the notion that there is no joy in his life and that he is a miserable person. Because of this, people tend to push him away, which results in a continuous cycle of rejection.

Do you recognize any of these patterns in the way you think about yourself, your situations, or your future? Most thinking happens so quickly and so automatically that we don’t even realize it is happening.

Remember, the first step is to recognize negative thoughts. Only then can you fight against them…
Fighting Back Against Negative Thoughts

There are several ways to challenge negative thoughts. When you find yourself thinking negatively, try some of the following suggestions to help get you back on track to more positive ways of thinking:
Consider the evidence
Find other explanations
Give yourself credit
Don’t make hasty judgments
Surround yourself with positive people
Use your imagination
Smile until you mean it
Be realistic!!!

Flexible optimism… not blind optimism!

Benefits of Optimism


Consider the evidence (or lack of) that you have to support your beliefs.

Can you back up the way you are feeling?
Is there a chance that you could be wrong?
What other explanations could there be for the situation?
What other factors could have contributed to your situation?
Consider all the possible outcomes of how your situation could turn out.

Remember – nobody’s perfect!
* Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself or for others.
* Give yourself credit for your effort and accomplishments.
Be kind to yourself – treat yourself the way you would treat a friend.
* Don’t make hasty judgments when you are upset. Instead, try revisiting situations when you are in a more positive mood.
* Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
* Try to re-frame your situation as a positive learning experience.
* Look for the good in every situation. Sometimes things that are seemingly negative turn out to be blessings in disguise.
* Use phrases such as “I will”, “I can”, or “I choose”, and you just may find yourself believing them.
For example, “It’s hopeless” may be replaced with “I have the power to control how I handle this situation or I choose to …”
* Surround yourself with positive people.
* Believe in yourself and in the power you have to overcome your situation.
* Don’t give up hope.
* Use your imagination. Picture yourself successfully dealing with the situation in a positive way or imagine someone else experiencing the same situation. How would you view them?
Smile until you mean it. When you are feeling particularly negative, smiling can do wonders for your mood. If you stick with it and keep smiling no matter how bad you may be feeling, eventually your smile just might take over.
* Be realistic. Try to see the situation from a realistic point of view. Ask yourself the following questions to help put things into perspective. How long is the situation truly going to last? What’s the worst that can happen? Is the situation really unbearable, or is it just difficult?
* Are you characterizing yourself based on a single event? What are your other traits?
* Consider examples of times you have been in a similar situation and have gotten through it.
* Take care of yourself.
* Keeping fit and eating healthy can help to reduce stress and negative thoughts.

Michael Idell
A Simple Brain Injury Support Group

October 7, 2011

Blue Whales seen off the coast of San Diego/Solana Beach

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heidi @ 4:58 PM

DEL MAR: Blue whales getting closer to our shores

October 3, 2011

The disabled supply an opportunity for us to realize true human nature – this can be seen in how other people treat that individual!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heidi @ 3:42 PM

Two Choices:
What would you do?….You make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: ‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?’ The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued.. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’
Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again…. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over…. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game..

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!’ Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’ Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball; the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’! Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’ As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team. ‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!