Hadass Eviatar

Hadass Eviatar

West Kildonan community correspondent

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. Check out her blog at: http://hadasseviatar.com/blog/

Recent articles of Hadass Eviatar

Do you feel seen?

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Do you feel seen?

Hadass Eviatar 2 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

I very nearly titled this piece “Do You Feel Invisible?”, because so many of us tiptoe through life feeling that way — as though we are ghosts or observers of our own lives. We seem a little surprised when anyone notices that we are there. We are uncomfortable with attention, even (or especially?) if it’s positive. It’s not a great way to live.

I did some research before writing this, and I’m finding that there are quite a few reasons why someone might feel invisible. Some are systemic and external — for example, people of colour or those who are gender nonconforming might feel that they are overlooked and not listened to because of stereotypes in other people’s minds. Or we may have grown up feeling small, unsafe, or a perpetual outsider, which would result in us feeling it is just safer not to be noticed. Either way, once we have become aware of this, we can decide to take action on it, if we wish.

But let’s talk about being seen, and why we might want to work on overcoming our habits of invisibility. Like anything else, there are positives and negatives to being seen. It’s great to connect with others, to feel that they understand what we are going through (in fact, on the Internet, when someone exclaims “I feel seen!” in response to a meme, it usually means that they identify with the emotion evoked by the meme).

On the other hand, it can feel scary and exposed if the response is not exactly what we wanted. There is responsibility connected to being seen and heard and taken seriously, and that can be intimidating, too. Are we ready to assume leadership?

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

Do you feel seen by your community? If not, what are you doing about it?

Talking about belonging

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Talking about belonging

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

I’m currently reading/listening to a book by Brené Brown, called Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. It’s from 2019, and it is a bit of an odd experience listening to her talk about loneliness and community, knowing what has transpired in the world in the interim. It’s still worth reading, though, because while some of what she says has not aged very well, most of it is still as relevant now as it was then.

She recounts her own experience of growing up feeling on the outside of every community, which I can relate to very strongly. She also describes how much she loved the work of the late Dr. Maya Angelou growing up, except for this quote from a 1973 interview:

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

This is a terrifying quote. We spend so much time and energy trying to fit in with communities that we think will fill the void in our hearts. We create a false persona that we think is more lovable and acceptable than who we really are. Inevitably, our expectations are disappointed and we move on, looking for the next place where we will really fit in and be at home.

Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

Author and broadcaster Brené Brown addresses community and belonging in her book, Braving the Wilderness.

Just because it’s scary …

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Just because it’s scary …

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

A couple of weeks ago, the springlike temperatures we have been enjoying plummeted back to about -12 C, and a nasty wind sprang up. I looked out my kitchen window at the swaying trees, listened to the howl, and debated whether to run outside or go and run on my basement treadmill, as I had when it was -35 C. I even asked my social media friends what they recommended. Amusingly, locals told me to go out and run outside, while people from warm climates voted for the basement. It’s all in the perception, right?

Eventually, I pulled up my big-kid panties, put on my warm coat and scarf and went outside. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had thought it would be, especially since I had thought nothing of running in -20 C during the actual winter. By the time I got home, I was carrying both the coat and the scarf, and I couldn’t help laughing at my little whine-fest earlier in the morning.

My friend Jeanie, who is also a life coach, pointed out to me that there was a lesson to be learned here. How many times do we look at something, decide it’s too scary, and then don’t even try? Or maybe, like me, we decide to be brave and do it anyway, and it turns out to be nowhere near as bad as we thought. I’m sure that has happened to you many times, as it has to me.

I find this is particularly true when heading to the dentist or preparing to undergo a medical procedure, or any other situation where discomfort is likely or even just possible. The anticipation is almost always the worst part. Why do our brains insist on imagining the worst when it’s not likely to happen, and usually doesn’t? I suppose this tendency was helpful when we needed to look out for sabre-tooth tigers, but now — not so much. It’s important to remember that our brains like to do this, so we can push past the fear when it’s really not justified.

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

A couple of weeks ago, the springlike temperatures we have been enjoying plummeted back to about -12 C, and a nasty wind sprang up. I looked out my kitchen window at the swaying trees, listened to the howl, and debated whether to run outside or go and run on my basement treadmill, as I had when it was -35 C. I even asked my social media friends what they recommended. Amusingly, locals told me to go out and run outside, while people from warm climates voted for the basement. It’s all in the perception, right?

Eventually, I pulled up my big-kid panties, put on my warm coat and scarf and went outside. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had thought it would be, especially since I had thought nothing of running in -20 C during the actual winter. By the time I got home, I was carrying both the coat and the scarf, and I couldn’t help laughing at my little whine-fest earlier in the morning.

My friend Jeanie, who is also a life coach, pointed out to me that there was a lesson to be learned here. How many times do we look at something, decide it’s too scary, and then don’t even try? Or maybe, like me, we decide to be brave and do it anyway, and it turns out to be nowhere near as bad as we thought. I’m sure that has happened to you many times, as it has to me.

I find this is particularly true when heading to the dentist or preparing to undergo a medical procedure, or any other situation where discomfort is likely or even just possible. The anticipation is almost always the worst part. Why do our brains insist on imagining the worst when it’s not likely to happen, and usually doesn’t? I suppose this tendency was helpful when we needed to look out for sabre-tooth tigers, but now — not so much. It’s important to remember that our brains like to do this, so we can push past the fear when it’s really not justified.

How lucky are you?

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Preview

How lucky are you?

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I like to listen to audiobooks while running, and then share what I learned with you. I’m currently listening to a couple of books by Denise Duffield-Thomas — she’s an Australian wife, mother and entrepreneur, and her brand is Lucky B (yes, the B stands for what you think it does — she’s Australian, after all).

Denise and her husband, Mark, recently enjoyed a six-month all-expenses-paid around-the-world vacation, staying in luxury hotels and writing reviews of their amenities for a honeymoon company. She wrote a book explaining how they won this competition — what, after all, is luck?

Denise quotes the Roman philosopher Seneca, who said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Denise and Mark were extremely prepared and worked very hard — not only in their actions, but also on their mindset and belief. As Ray Higdon says: “Why not you?”

However, most of us assume good things will not happen to us, and that we will not be lucky. Why is this?

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I like to listen to audiobooks while running, and then share what I learned with you. I’m currently listening to a couple of books by Denise Duffield-Thomas — she’s an Australian wife, mother and entrepreneur, and her brand is Lucky B (yes, the B stands for what you think it does — she’s Australian, after all).

Denise and her husband, Mark, recently enjoyed a six-month all-expenses-paid around-the-world vacation, staying in luxury hotels and writing reviews of their amenities for a honeymoon company. She wrote a book explaining how they won this competition — what, after all, is luck?

Denise quotes the Roman philosopher Seneca, who said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Denise and Mark were extremely prepared and worked very hard — not only in their actions, but also on their mindset and belief. As Ray Higdon says: “Why not you?”

However, most of us assume good things will not happen to us, and that we will not be lucky. Why is this?

Setting goals for 2022

Hadass Eviatar 6 minute read Preview

Setting goals for 2022

Hadass Eviatar 6 minute read Friday, Jan. 28, 2022

It’s that time of year again — everyone is talking about goal setting. Choose your goal for the year, then work backwards and break it down into monthly, weekly, daily goals. It’s so important to have a vision, they tell us. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. All true, but why is it so hard?New year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. In fact, the second Friday in January is known as ‘Quitter’s Day’, as that is when most people ditch them. Gyms oversell their memberships in January because they know the regulars will have plenty of room by February.The most common resolutions involve improving one’s health, both physical and financial — eat better, get more exercise, quit smoking, save more money. These are all good, common-sensical things, so why do people ditch them so quickly?In most cases, it comes down to identity. If you have always identified as a certain kind of person, then changing your outer circumstances (appearance, finances) will only stick if you are able to change your inner identity to match. This is why lottery winners tend to lose everything, and people who release a lot of weight tend to gain it back. This inner work, of changing how we see ourselves, is much harder than the external work of changing our eating habits or going to the gym.Our subconscious minds, set during our childhoods, hate change. They are always trying to keep us in the safe, familiar place we’ve always been, even if we hate it. The rabbis called that little voice that tells you not to bother with trying to change the “yetzer ha’ra” — the evil inclination. One could argue that it is not really evil, just scared — true of so many things in this world. Regardless, it is a proficient little saboteur of good intentions.So how do we quiet that little voice and get on with the work of changing ourselves for the better? We know, intellectually, that behaviours and thoughts we took on when we were children in a sometimes hostile world don’t necessarily serve us as adults. If we somehow internalized the thought that we are unworthy of good things, or that no matter what we do, it will never be good enough, then Quitter’s Day is no surprise. It’s merely another opportunity to beat ourselves up, evidence of how unworthy we are.We have to be able to figure out the program we are running, the subconscious thought that makes us give up before we even begin, or sabotage our results once we start to see success, in any realm. A coach or therapist can help us look back in order to look forward. The intention is not to wallow in the pain of the past, but to understand the shadow it casts over our present and future, so we can be released from its grip.  Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. Check out her blog at: http://hadasseviatar.com/blog/

It’s that time of year again — everyone is talking about goal setting. Choose your goal for the year, then work backwards and break it down into monthly, weekly, daily goals. It’s so important to have a vision, they tell us. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

All true, but why is it so hard?

New year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. In fact, the second Friday in January is known as ‘Quitter’s Day’, as that is when most people ditch them. Gyms oversell their memberships in January because they know the regulars will have plenty of room by February.

Friday, Jan. 28, 2022

Dreamstime.com
Setting goals is easy — achieving them is the hard part.

The day I ditched the heels

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Preview

The day I ditched the heels

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Friday, Dec. 17, 2021

It’s been a long pandemic, and I believe that between March 2020 and the beginning of November 2021, when my synagogue began cautious in-person services again on Saturday mornings, I had worn my high heels maybe once or twice. Not a lot of occasions to get dressed up, alas.

If you’ve never seen me in person, I’m short. So it’s not surprising that high-heeled shoes have been part of my outfit for many years, although thankfully never on a daily basis. I thought they were fun and pretty, made my legs look sexier, made me look taller and more imposing, etc. I wore them on any occasion that called for a nice dress. My feet hurt afterwards but, after all, we must “suffer to be beautiful”, right? That’s just how it is.

Like all of us, I’ve been on a journey for the past couple of years, and have been giving a lot of thought to the weighty questions of who I am and what I want to achieve in this world. With my 60th birthday fast approaching, the truth is I probably have less time ahead of me than behind me.

With this in mind, I have been choosing to abandon behaviours and choices that don’t bring me joy, to quote the great Marie Kondo.

Friday, Dec. 17, 2021

It’s been a long pandemic, and I believe that between March 2020 and the beginning of November 2021, when my synagogue began cautious in-person services again on Saturday mornings, I had worn my high heels maybe once or twice. Not a lot of occasions to get dressed up, alas.

If you’ve never seen me in person, I’m short. So it’s not surprising that high-heeled shoes have been part of my outfit for many years, although thankfully never on a daily basis. I thought they were fun and pretty, made my legs look sexier, made me look taller and more imposing, etc. I wore them on any occasion that called for a nice dress. My feet hurt afterwards but, after all, we must “suffer to be beautiful”, right? That’s just how it is.

Like all of us, I’ve been on a journey for the past couple of years, and have been giving a lot of thought to the weighty questions of who I am and what I want to achieve in this world. With my 60th birthday fast approaching, the truth is I probably have less time ahead of me than behind me.

With this in mind, I have been choosing to abandon behaviours and choices that don’t bring me joy, to quote the great Marie Kondo.

Picture yourself as clear and bright

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Picture yourself as clear and bright

Hadass Eviatar 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 19, 2021

ere in the northern hemisphere, this is the time when daylight is in retreat, especially at higher latitudes. My social media feed is full of people complaining about the darkness and how it affects their moods. Nature all around us is preparing for a long sleep, and many people are inclined to follow suit. There is even a name for the depression that many people experience when there is less sunlight — seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

We are still a month away from the winter solstice, when the days will start lengthening again, ever so slowly at first, then faster and faster. It can be a hard time. For many people, the push of unbridled consumerism and unrealistic expectations of family time over “the holidays” can make things even worse. So much stress. How can we make things better?

Making anything better starts with awareness. Try to notice when you find yourself feeling stressed, heavy or despondent. Be gentle with yourself — this is not a good time to beat yourself up for being “weak” or “broken”. You are just a human, dealing with a difficult time of year, and probably other things as well. Remember that all those people who seem to have it so much more together are dealing with their own demons, who just happen to look different from yours. There is no need to compare and despair. See if you can take a moment to be kind to yourself — a cup of tea, a few moments of rest and peace. Can you go for a walk?

The other day I participated in a lovely imagery class with the amazing teacher Carol Rose. Among other exercises, we imagined ourselves as beautiful crystals — always getting clearer and brighter. I love this image — each of us is a unique crystal, with our own way of reflecting and amplifying the light of the world.

Friday, Nov. 19, 2021

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Many people feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder at this time of year.

Are you overthinking?

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Are you overthinking?

Hadass Eviatar 2 minute read Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

The human mind is a wondrous thing - always churning away, producing thoughts. Everything that humans have done in the world, good or evil, began with a thought. It’s how we create our concepts of the world and of ourselves. If we wish to create any kind of impact in the world, it must start with a thought.

That said, many beautiful projects and ideas never come to fruition because we start with a thought and then never move forward with it.

As the author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry put it, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Wishes and dreams are wonderful but if we want more from life, we must take action. Yet we often find ourselves paralysed by fear — of the unknown, of the judgement of others, of failure, of appearing stupid — you name it, there’s a fear for it. We are very creative that way, and these fears are often based in childhood experience and trauma. It’s so much easier to just stay in our familiar discomfort than to take steps towards change. We can just keep thinking and overthinking, imagining how things could be better, without ever doing anything.

Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

Are you a catastrophizer?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

Are you a catastrophizer?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Friday, Sep. 3, 2021

Are you the kind of person who goes from “it’s getting late and the person hasn’t called” to looking up hospitals online, in the blink of an eye?

Do you think you might not have done well on an exam, and conclude that you will never get a job and will end up living under a bridge?

Do you assume that every medical test is going to show life-threatening results?

This kind of thinking is called catastrophizing, and it is often associated with anxiety or depression, and sometimes with chronic pain as well. It can be quite debilitating, as the person can be paralyzed with fear over something many people would consider a minor inconvenience. However, it’s important to realize anyone can join this dance, especially in times of stress.

Friday, Sep. 3, 2021

Are you the kind of person who goes from “it’s getting late and the person hasn’t called” to looking up hospitals online, in the blink of an eye?

Do you think you might not have done well on an exam, and conclude that you will never get a job and will end up living under a bridge?

Do you assume that every medical test is going to show life-threatening results?

This kind of thinking is called catastrophizing, and it is often associated with anxiety or depression, and sometimes with chronic pain as well. It can be quite debilitating, as the person can be paralyzed with fear over something many people would consider a minor inconvenience. However, it’s important to realize anyone can join this dance, especially in times of stress.

What are your affirmations?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

What are your affirmations?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Friday, Aug. 13, 2021

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve seen me mention Ray Higdon. He’s a remarkable man, who overcame a background of abuse and addiction to rise to become one of the best generic trainers in the network marketing sphere.

The reason? Personal development. The following reflects a recent training session with him.

Personal development is the art of changing aspects of yourself that you don’t like; changing the stories that you have always assumed to be true about yourself and others. If your story has always been that you are flawed and unworthy of success and love, likely because of childhood trauma of some sort, you may think that that is an immutable part of who you are.

As a life coach, I am here to tell you that that is not necessarily true. It may not be easy to change, but it is not impossible.

Friday, Aug. 13, 2021

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve seen me mention Ray Higdon. He’s a remarkable man, who overcame a background of abuse and addiction to rise to become one of the best generic trainers in the network marketing sphere.

The reason? Personal development. The following reflects a recent training session with him.

Personal development is the art of changing aspects of yourself that you don’t like; changing the stories that you have always assumed to be true about yourself and others. If your story has always been that you are flawed and unworthy of success and love, likely because of childhood trauma of some sort, you may think that that is an immutable part of who you are.

As a life coach, I am here to tell you that that is not necessarily true. It may not be easy to change, but it is not impossible.

Facing the challenge of emotional alchemy

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

Facing the challenge of emotional alchemy

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Friday, Jul. 2, 2021

For the past few weeks, my family of origin has been dealing with one of the primordial stresses of human life — the passing of an elder, peacefully, after a long life filled with meaning, joy and love. We will miss him beyond words.

Grief and loss are never easy to deal with, but it’s especially hard in the midst of a global pandemic and at a distance of nearly 10,000 kilometres. Thankfully we have Zoom and WhatsApp, but it’s not the same as being there. I will be travelling soon but that’s another source of stress, and I’ve been finding myself being short and snappy with my loved ones right here. It’s not a pretty picture.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because this difficult time is an opportunity for me to work on some long-buried issues that I have conveniently not had to deal with, being so far away from everyone else in my family.

Friday, Jul. 2, 2021

For the past few weeks, my family of origin has been dealing with one of the primordial stresses of human life — the passing of an elder, peacefully, after a long life filled with meaning, joy and love. We will miss him beyond words.

Grief and loss are never easy to deal with, but it’s especially hard in the midst of a global pandemic and at a distance of nearly 10,000 kilometres. Thankfully we have Zoom and WhatsApp, but it’s not the same as being there. I will be travelling soon but that’s another source of stress, and I’ve been finding myself being short and snappy with my loved ones right here. It’s not a pretty picture.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because this difficult time is an opportunity for me to work on some long-buried issues that I have conveniently not had to deal with, being so far away from everyone else in my family.

How lilacs made me cry with gratitude

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

How lilacs made me cry with gratitude

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Thursday, Jun. 10, 2021

I live in an old house in West Kildonan that was built in 1929. When we bought it in 1995, part of the reason was that we loved the many old apple and maple trees in the backyard. We later discovered that there were also two big, old lilac bushes, one white and one purple, right at the bottom of the garden, cuddled up against the back fence.

This past year has been rough for the plants as well as for the humans — a dry winter, not enough rain in the spring, blistering heat and then freezing temperatures, both in May.

It’s been good to see the apple blossom, and now there are lilacs everywhere in the neighbourhood. The scent is just amazing.

The other day I was sitting in my kitchen, looking out at the backyard and worrying about my lilacs. As far as I could see, there were some green leaves but I couldn’t see any blossoms. I was convinced that they were dead, after all these years, and I needed to go to a garden centre, in the middle of the worst wave of the pandemic, and buy more lilacs. I started to wonder where I should plant them, but I was mostly sad for my old friends.

Thursday, Jun. 10, 2021

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The sight of lilac blossoms through her back fence moved correspondent Hadass Eviatar to tears.

How do you know what’s important to you?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

How do you know what’s important to you?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Friday, May. 7, 2021

I was recently introduced to an interesting little website called 7levelsdeep.com

It’s a great tool for figuring out why you do what you do - so often we do things because we are expected to, they are the next obvious step, or for no really good reason. It can be a useful exercise to stop and think about why we are doing something.

Here’s how it works - you put in something you want to do, and then the website asks why that is important to you. You put in your answer, and it asks the same question again. Seven times, in fact, forcing you to dig deeper and deeper each time. Of course, you can put in surface responses, but you won’t learn much from them.

I’ve done it three times so far with my current main intention, and it’s been quite fascinating to see how I pull different answers out of my mind each time. Some of them are quite evasive, but others go pretty darned deep. It’s certainly food for thought.

Friday, May. 7, 2021

I was recently introduced to an interesting little website called 7levelsdeep.com

It’s a great tool for figuring out why you do what you do - so often we do things because we are expected to, they are the next obvious step, or for no really good reason. It can be a useful exercise to stop and think about why we are doing something.

Here’s how it works - you put in something you want to do, and then the website asks why that is important to you. You put in your answer, and it asks the same question again. Seven times, in fact, forcing you to dig deeper and deeper each time. Of course, you can put in surface responses, but you won’t learn much from them.

I’ve done it three times so far with my current main intention, and it’s been quite fascinating to see how I pull different answers out of my mind each time. Some of them are quite evasive, but others go pretty darned deep. It’s certainly food for thought.

How to become free in one quick step

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

How to become free in one quick step

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Friday, Apr. 16, 2021

The fear of what others may think of us is primal. Back in the dawn of humanity, being kicked out of our tribe was a death sentence. So the opinions of others had to be very important to us.

Nowadays, though, we are not in danger of being eaten by sabre-toothed tigers if we don’t stay by our campfires. It’s OK to go out and find another campfire that suits us better. This may ruffle a few feathers, but does that matter?

The inimitable Brené Brown once described taking a tiny piece of paper, maybe one-inch-by-one-inch, and writing on it the names of all the people whose opinions on her life and choices really mattered to her. All the other critics could be safely ignored, because they had not earned the right to her attention.

When you are as much of a public figure as she is, or as many people inadvertently become online, it’s important to understand that opinions are like rear ends — everyone has one, and most of them stink. It is really not necessary to give any kind of attention to people who have not earned it, by demonstrating that they truly care about you and your well-being.

Friday, Apr. 16, 2021

The fear of what others may think of us is primal. Back in the dawn of humanity, being kicked out of our tribe was a death sentence. So the opinions of others had to be very important to us.

Nowadays, though, we are not in danger of being eaten by sabre-toothed tigers if we don’t stay by our campfires. It’s OK to go out and find another campfire that suits us better. This may ruffle a few feathers, but does that matter?

The inimitable Brené Brown once described taking a tiny piece of paper, maybe one-inch-by-one-inch, and writing on it the names of all the people whose opinions on her life and choices really mattered to her. All the other critics could be safely ignored, because they had not earned the right to her attention.

When you are as much of a public figure as she is, or as many people inadvertently become online, it’s important to understand that opinions are like rear ends — everyone has one, and most of them stink. It is really not necessary to give any kind of attention to people who have not earned it, by demonstrating that they truly care about you and your well-being.

Do you remember to be grateful?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

Do you remember to be grateful?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Saturday, Mar. 13, 2021

The human mind is wired toward negativity. That has been a very adaptive feature of our operating system during most of our evolution - after all, if you live somewhere where there might be sabre-tooth tigers or bears who want to eat you, it’s a good thing to be alert for warning signs of danger. The same might be true if you’re living in a war zone.

Most of us are privileged to live in places where we are not constantly in danger, but our nervous systems have not caught up. A gazelle being chased by a lioness is highly stressed for a short time, but if it gets away, it is soon peacefully grazing again.

Humans, on the other hand, have a nasty habit of replaying scary or upsetting things in our minds, bringing us into that zone again and again. As a result, what we think of as the everyday stress of modern life can keep us in a constant fight-or-flight mode, with our stress hormones always elevated. This is really bad for our health, both physical and mental.

What to do?

Saturday, Mar. 13, 2021

The human mind is wired toward negativity. That has been a very adaptive feature of our operating system during most of our evolution - after all, if you live somewhere where there might be sabre-tooth tigers or bears who want to eat you, it’s a good thing to be alert for warning signs of danger. The same might be true if you’re living in a war zone.

Most of us are privileged to live in places where we are not constantly in danger, but our nervous systems have not caught up. A gazelle being chased by a lioness is highly stressed for a short time, but if it gets away, it is soon peacefully grazing again.

Humans, on the other hand, have a nasty habit of replaying scary or upsetting things in our minds, bringing us into that zone again and again. As a result, what we think of as the everyday stress of modern life can keep us in a constant fight-or-flight mode, with our stress hormones always elevated. This is really bad for our health, both physical and mental.

What to do?

Why you need to stop doomscrolling now

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

Why you need to stop doomscrolling now

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

It’s been quite the year already, hasn’t it? Judging by my social media feed, everyone is still a little shell-shocked, one way or another. Doomscrolling is definitely making it worse.

The Urban Dictionary defines ‘doomscrolling’ as: “When you keep scrolling through all of your social media feeds, looking for the most recent upsetting news about the latest catastrophe. The amount of time spent doing this is directly proportional to how much worse you’re going to feel after you’re done.”

I was guilty of a fair amount of doomscrolling during 2020, especially in the early months of the pandemic. I was hoping that the new year would be better in that regard, as in so many others, but then 2021 said “hold my beer.”

There’s no question that doomscrolling is bad for one’s mental health. It will definitely leave you feeling more anxious and depressed than when you started. So why do we do it?

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

Dreamstime.com
We’ve all been guilty of doomscrolling for the past year or longer but now it’s time to put down the phone.

Be sure to ‘mind the gap’

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

Be sure to ‘mind the gap’

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

Lately I’ve been listening to Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable. Yes, that’s a made-up word, but it’s a very helpful book for anyone who has been floundering or unsure of how to follow their heart and do the thing (or things — Marie is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, and she shares how she discovered that) that makes them happy.

Today, I want to talk with you about a concept she mentions in the book — minding the gap. If you’ve ever been to London, you’ve seen the phrase “Mind the Gap” stencilled on the edge of the platforms in every underground station. The purpose is to make people aware of the danger of falling between the platform and the train, and to make sure they are paying attention and stepping appropriately to get on or off the train in a safe manner.

The same concept applies when you are setting out on a new adventure, especially in a creative field. You have a vision of whom you want to be and where you want to go, but you don’t quite have the abilities to take you there.

Everything that is worth doing requires a certain amount of practice — if you can do it immediately, just based on your raw talent, it’s probably not something that is going to keep you fascinated in the long run. Even if you are a “natural” (awful concept) and can do it much better than everyone else practically out of the womb, you will still not reach your full potential without practice and dedication. That’s how the world works.

Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

Dreamstime.com
The ‘mind the gap’ approach to growth encourages people to work to fill in the space between where they are and where they want to be.

Are you living under a glass bell?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

Are you living under a glass bell?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

In the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast, an enchanted rose is kept under a glass bell. You don’t glass bells around too much anymore, but in Victorian times they were used to display flowers or wax fruit in a dust-free manner. Something under a glass bell is visible, but it can’t be touched or damaged.

When I was a kid, I remember imagining myself in such a transparent bubble, safe from any harm or pain. What I didn’t realize at the time is that it’s not possible to numb the bad stuff without numbing the good stuff as well. If you don’t allow yourself to feel pain, you will also not feel joy.

I’m currently listening to Glennon Doyle’s latest book, Untamed. In it, she describes how she broke free of the life she had created according to the expectations she grew up with. She’d built a very successful career as a Christian writer, but then everything for which she had been celebrated was exposed as a sham after she fell in love with another writer, a woman, and had to rebuild her whole identity afresh, as herself.

She narrates this book herself and, as I walked the streets of my neighbourhood, listening to her describe how she learned to heal the numbness she had created in herself, I couldn’t help but cry for all of us who have numbed ourselves, to one extent or another. We think we are safe under our glass bells, but we are also not living. Is it worth it?

Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

In the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast, an enchanted rose is kept under a glass bell. You don’t glass bells around too much anymore, but in Victorian times they were used to display flowers or wax fruit in a dust-free manner. Something under a glass bell is visible, but it can’t be touched or damaged.

When I was a kid, I remember imagining myself in such a transparent bubble, safe from any harm or pain. What I didn’t realize at the time is that it’s not possible to numb the bad stuff without numbing the good stuff as well. If you don’t allow yourself to feel pain, you will also not feel joy.

I’m currently listening to Glennon Doyle’s latest book, Untamed. In it, she describes how she broke free of the life she had created according to the expectations she grew up with. She’d built a very successful career as a Christian writer, but then everything for which she had been celebrated was exposed as a sham after she fell in love with another writer, a woman, and had to rebuild her whole identity afresh, as herself.

She narrates this book herself and, as I walked the streets of my neighbourhood, listening to her describe how she learned to heal the numbness she had created in herself, I couldn’t help but cry for all of us who have numbed ourselves, to one extent or another. We think we are safe under our glass bells, but we are also not living. Is it worth it?

What to do when you’ve blown it

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

What to do when you’ve blown it

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

So this weekend was … interesting. I was tired, I was stressed, and I got into sugary things I shouldn’t have. I can definitely feel the result, there’s a reason why I’m not supposed to eat that stuff, and it’s not because I’m on a diet.

So now what?

In the past I would probably have spent a fair amount of time and energy beating myself up about this, and probably calling myself some unpleasant names as well. It’s amazing how mean we can be to ourselves, when we would never talk to someone we love like that.

I very nearly fell into that trap again but fortunately I have coaches and accountability partners nowadays, who help me pull myself back out.

Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

So this weekend was … interesting. I was tired, I was stressed, and I got into sugary things I shouldn’t have. I can definitely feel the result, there’s a reason why I’m not supposed to eat that stuff, and it’s not because I’m on a diet.

So now what?

In the past I would probably have spent a fair amount of time and energy beating myself up about this, and probably calling myself some unpleasant names as well. It’s amazing how mean we can be to ourselves, when we would never talk to someone we love like that.

I very nearly fell into that trap again but fortunately I have coaches and accountability partners nowadays, who help me pull myself back out.

Setting healthy boundaries with those who have none

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

Setting healthy boundaries with those who have none

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

You may know that I go live on Facebook several times a week, talking about various topics: mindset, nutrition, exercise, and so on. I have a lot of fun with these videos, and you can find them on my social media. Just search my name.

The other day, I was honoured to have a friend ask me to talk about setting boundaries with those who have none, and she particularly stipulated “without hurting their feelings.” After confirming with her that the person in question was not a child or a person with special needs, I told her the following.

Just as we cannot control other people, we also are not responsible for their feelings. Adults are responsible for their own feelings. They may need help dealing with them, so they may benefit from a referral to a life coach or a therapist. But you are never responsible for other people’s feelings. Check with yourself that you are not speaking to them with the intent to hurt. If you are being kind but firm, their anger, disappointment or tantrums are on them, not on you.

As to the boundaries themselves, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is only one reason that people feel entitled to violate our boundaries. That reason is that we have taught them that it is OK for them to do so, by tolerating their behaviour.

Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2020

You may know that I go live on Facebook several times a week, talking about various topics: mindset, nutrition, exercise, and so on. I have a lot of fun with these videos, and you can find them on my social media. Just search my name.

The other day, I was honoured to have a friend ask me to talk about setting boundaries with those who have none, and she particularly stipulated “without hurting their feelings.” After confirming with her that the person in question was not a child or a person with special needs, I told her the following.

Just as we cannot control other people, we also are not responsible for their feelings. Adults are responsible for their own feelings. They may need help dealing with them, so they may benefit from a referral to a life coach or a therapist. But you are never responsible for other people’s feelings. Check with yourself that you are not speaking to them with the intent to hurt. If you are being kind but firm, their anger, disappointment or tantrums are on them, not on you.

As to the boundaries themselves, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is only one reason that people feel entitled to violate our boundaries. That reason is that we have taught them that it is OK for them to do so, by tolerating their behaviour.

Is it guilt … or shame?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

Is it guilt … or shame?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020

I was listening to an audiobook by Mel Robbins called Work it Out, in which she coaches women who are having issues in their workplace.

Mel was coaching a young woman who was the victim of two sexual assaults within six months so, as you might expect, she carries around a fair amount of trauma,and it affects all aspects of her life — at home and at work.

The distinction between guilt and shame came up in the context of the young woman saying she felt a lot of guilt about the sexual assault. Mel stopped her and pointed out that what she was really talking about was not guilt, but shame, and it seemed to me that this distinction is worth fleshing out here.

As defined by researcher Brené Brown, guilt is when you feel bad because you’ve done something wrong.

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020

I was listening to an audiobook by Mel Robbins called Work it Out, in which she coaches women who are having issues in their workplace.

Mel was coaching a young woman who was the victim of two sexual assaults within six months so, as you might expect, she carries around a fair amount of trauma,and it affects all aspects of her life — at home and at work.

The distinction between guilt and shame came up in the context of the young woman saying she felt a lot of guilt about the sexual assault. Mel stopped her and pointed out that what she was really talking about was not guilt, but shame, and it seemed to me that this distinction is worth fleshing out here.

As defined by researcher Brené Brown, guilt is when you feel bad because you’ve done something wrong.

Why is mindset so important?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

Why is mindset so important?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020

Do you believe that you can develop new talents and abilities, or that what you have is all you’ll ever have in that department?

In 2006, psychologist Carol Dweck took the world by storm with her concept of two kinds of mindset. In a 2012 interview, she described those two mindsets as follows:

“In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.

“In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

Tuesday, Jul. 7, 2020

Do you believe that you can develop new talents and abilities, or that what you have is all you’ll ever have in that department?

In 2006, psychologist Carol Dweck took the world by storm with her concept of two kinds of mindset. In a 2012 interview, she described those two mindsets as follows:

“In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.

“In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

What is the opposite of fear?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Preview

What is the opposite of fear?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 8, 2020

We are living in a time full of fear. Between the pandemic and its economic effects and the situation in some major cities in North America, it’s not surprising if you just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.

Believe me, I know. That’s assuming you have the privilege of staying home — not everyone does. We are all grateful to the courageous souls who go out and keep our society functioning, our vulnerable ones taken care of, and the health-care system working.

You might be tempted to think that courage is the opposite of fear but I believe you would be wrong. Fearless people go out and do things and we often admire them. But truly courageous people are not immune to fear — they feel the fear and keep going anyway. I believe those people are the true heroes.

So what is the opposite of fear? How about love?

Monday, Jun. 8, 2020

We are living in a time full of fear. Between the pandemic and its economic effects and the situation in some major cities in North America, it’s not surprising if you just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head.

Believe me, I know. That’s assuming you have the privilege of staying home — not everyone does. We are all grateful to the courageous souls who go out and keep our society functioning, our vulnerable ones taken care of, and the health-care system working.

You might be tempted to think that courage is the opposite of fear but I believe you would be wrong. Fearless people go out and do things and we often admire them. But truly courageous people are not immune to fear — they feel the fear and keep going anyway. I believe those people are the true heroes.

So what is the opposite of fear? How about love?

What’s in your ‘Sunshine File’?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Preview

What’s in your ‘Sunshine File’?

Hadass Eviatar - Community Correspondent 2 minute read Monday, May. 11, 2020

Do you ever have one of those wall-kicking days, when nothing seems to go right, people are mean to you, and it seems like your mission is destined to fail?

I know I do. That’s when my Sunshine File kicks into action. It cheers me up, reminds me that what I do brings value to the world, and that most people are actually kind and encouraging. It nourishes my soul and helps me get over those difficult moments. It helps me brush off the inevitable haters who are bound to show up if you are playing big enough.So what is the ‘Sunshine File’?

It’s a Google Doc on my computer, into which I cut and paste every time somebody says something nice about me or my work online. Every thank you, every expression of appreciation, every reminder that what I do is helpful to actual humans — not some faceless trolls online, but real people who are grateful and appreciative.

We are all programmed to lean toward the negative — to take every criticism, every bad review, as if it is the totality of our experience. It is a well-known phenomenon — even people who are highly successful have this bad habit of obsessing over the odd one-star review, rather than celebrating the many five-star reviews they receive. I’m sure you can think of situations where you have done something similar. I know I have.

Monday, May. 11, 2020

Do you ever have one of those wall-kicking days, when nothing seems to go right, people are mean to you, and it seems like your mission is destined to fail?

I know I do. That’s when my Sunshine File kicks into action. It cheers me up, reminds me that what I do brings value to the world, and that most people are actually kind and encouraging. It nourishes my soul and helps me get over those difficult moments. It helps me brush off the inevitable haters who are bound to show up if you are playing big enough.So what is the ‘Sunshine File’?

It’s a Google Doc on my computer, into which I cut and paste every time somebody says something nice about me or my work online. Every thank you, every expression of appreciation, every reminder that what I do is helpful to actual humans — not some faceless trolls online, but real people who are grateful and appreciative.

We are all programmed to lean toward the negative — to take every criticism, every bad review, as if it is the totality of our experience. It is a well-known phenomenon — even people who are highly successful have this bad habit of obsessing over the odd one-star review, rather than celebrating the many five-star reviews they receive. I’m sure you can think of situations where you have done something similar. I know I have.