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Episode 018: Creating Resilience within Ourselves and our Village with Nicole Bradford

Jan 07, 2020


Creating Resilience Within Ourselves and Our Village

This week we have the amazing Nicole Bradford on the podcast, where we talk with her about creating resilience within ourselves as a necessary part of being an active part of a village. Lately, in the permaculture and sustainability spheres, there’s a big move towards trying to separate from traditional urban or suburban living and moving to an eco-village of some sort. Ideally in that type of environment, you would be around like-minded people, and create a culture around what matters most to the group. While this is a worthy pursuit and lifestyle, we must be careful to jump into that type of environment, without taking care of and strengthening our own mindset first.

Getting Along With Ourselves

In the episode, Josh and Nicole talked about how in order to get along with others, we must first get along with ourselves. This is so incredibly important. 


If we come into a village without our own head and emotions managed and in control, we’re bringing chaos and disorder to the environment we originally sought peace in. Bad habits like emotional hijacking, emotional unloading, resentment, negative internal dialogue, fear of judgment, among others, will distance yourself from the members of the village and spiral into other problems.


But how do we get along with ourselves? We start the same way we could get along with someone we just met - understanding them.


It’s actually pretty rare to run into someone who has a deep understanding of themselves - their strengths, their weakness, their emotional anchors and their purpose. If we can dive into who we are, what we’re about, and start changing the internal dialogue from negative to positive, we can be more resilient, contributing members of our village and be an uplifting force there.

Clarifying Purpose

What’s your purpose? What’s your WHY? 


If you’ve been following along with these blog posts then you’ve seen us mentioning the WHY here and there, and you’ve watched us go on and on about how it’s SOOO important to start with and what it means in your life. If you’ve missed that explanation of the WHY, check it out in our blog post HERE


But I’m not going to rehash all of the reasoning and dissecting of the WHY here.


The point I want to make in this section is that if you cannot answer, “What’s your purpose?” clearly, concisely, and within 15 seconds of being asked, then you’ve got some clarifying to do.


Let me tell you that with the mentees I’ve worked with, those who are clear in their purpose are WAY more productive, empowered, and driven towards creating the change they wish to see in the world. 


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a huge topic. If you’ve ever read the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (and you should totally read it, not listen to the audiobook version), you know that true emotional intelligence is a HUGE topic and lifelong journey.


For those of you who are less familiar with that term, emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.


So there are two sides of the coin, managing your internal emotional landscape, and how that interacts with those around you.


To start the journey towards emotional intelligence, it’s imperative that you start tuning in, and paying attention to the internal dialogue that you have throughout the day. If you’re the type of person who is aware when negative thoughts pop up, things like “I knew I would be able to make that happen,” “I will never have that level of success,” or “My home will never grow as much food as theirs,” then you’re already starting out with an advantage - you just have to start cluing into those negative thoughts and then you’ll be able to start turning them around.


If you’re the type of person who believes that you don’t have any negative dialogue, and you just let things go and nothing can touch you, there’s an extra level of work to do. You’re out of tune with your internal dialogue. It’s not uncommon for our brain to not acknowledge the negative thoughts we have because it’s scared of being hurt by them. So start REALLY listening to the things that are going on inside, before pushing into “I’m 100% positive and untouchable” mode. 


Why is it important to focus on uncovering the negative thoughts? Isn’t that going to keep me dwelling on the negativity?


The point of identifying the negative thoughts is to uncover the weaknesses so that we can turn them into strengths. You must see where you’re weak in order to build that part of you up to be strong. Identify it, acknowledge its existence, then turn it around and put it to work for you. We go into this in-depth in our Module 1 of our Pando Academy Online.


But That’s How My Momma Did It

We learn A LOT from our parents, which they learned from their parents before them and so on. Some of those things are fantastic - trades, stories, family history… But we also inherit a lot of NOT so great things from them, like our relationship with money, our relationship with time, and how to deal with and unload our emotions.


The great thing is though, these things aren’t in our DNA, we can change them - if we can identify what they are. If you can clearly see how your parents handled their emotions and how you are handling yours, you can start changing that story, and not perpetuate that cycle of *probably* not so great emotional unloading.


In the episode, Nicole talked about this generational emotional unloading and offered one strategy for a healthy reaction to conflict. 

  1. She mentioned taking a minute to fully feel our feelings. Feelings aren’t inherently bad, they’re just how we choose to see our emotions. In order to move through them, we must fully feel them.
  2. Nicole said it’s important to give ourselves a time out. However, this can often be seen as running away from the conflict, so it’s important to communicate with the other person that because you value your relationship with them, you need to step away to move through some emotions and that you will come back to finish working through the topic at hand. 
  3. Go and reset. Nicole mentioned that if you can, go to nature. Nature is a great place to dump negative emotional energy and be refilled by positive vibration. However, that’s not always doable. If you find yourself without a conducive environment to reset your energy, you can do a Release Tension and Set Intention practice. Basically, you take five big deep breaths, and each time you exhale, you say in your mind and ideally out loud the word “Release.” After those five deep breaths, you consciously set your intention to how you want the interaction to go ON YOUR END. Choose your emotion to bring to the table and clearly imagine how you want the interaction to play out. When you’re ready to work through the conflict with your intention at the forefront of your mind.


Power in Community

Community is a powerful thing. If you read any books on successful people and businesses, there’s always a “mastermind” aspect to their success. Nicole mentioned in the interview that change is catalyzed by collective intelligence. If we can bring our struggles to the table in a safe community or village environment, we can have tools and experiences to learn from that we never had to live through that can help us overcome the obstacles we face and to move forward.


Many people these days are lacking connection, safety, and a sense of belonging. They are lacking community. A world riddled with interactions via social media and fake personas creates a huge disconnect in the lives of millions of people. It is definitely less in the permaculture sphere, as we make a connection with the earth and community a definite priority. 


However, we can always be more engaged. We can always take a more active part in our community, and fulfill a need that we did notice before. Working on ourselves will help us to be more in tune, and a better contributor to our village, which will, in turn, feed our spirit and mindset. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

Thanks for being part of this amazing community we’re growing at Seeds of Tao. If you’d like to continue to grow in a community and haven’t joined our Community, you can check that out HERE. And if you’ve realized that your mindset needs some definite improvement, start with our FREE Dreamcatcher Mini-Course which will get you grounded in your WHY and help you set a goal to move forward. 


Keep Growing!