“I’m Feeling a Little Acedic”

What is acedia?  And why do you feel the way you do during this pandemic?  The antidote to acedia.Six months.  That is how far we are into the pandemic… at least in the US.  Yes, I  know.  There were cases before then.  But March marks the start of the social effects of pandemic.  Lock down.  Restrictions.  Social distance.  Six months.

And many people are feeling the effects!  I would go so far as to saying most, but plenty would contact me to tell me that they are not.

If you are feeling the effects, I am speaking to you.  Do you find yourself just… listless?  Out of sorts?  Lost in things to do, but not getting them done?

That feeling you are having is not a new one, just from the pandemic.  It dates back to the ancient Greeks.  It was an idea that Christian writers discussed as the distraction of monks and others.  In fact, it was a thought process Christian writers warned against, as it can spiral.

And here we sit, 1/2 of a year into feeling the effects of a pandemic.  And many people are feeling just a bit… acedic.  The term for this feeling was Acedia.  That listless, not caring, ought-to-be-doing-something restlessness, where nothing actually gets done.

Is that the feeling you have?

It is perfectly normal… which is different than saying it is helpful.  So while it is no surpirse you are feeling it, let’s talk about the acedia antidote.

Listen below.

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LeeBaucom.com
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How to Engage in Life

The 3 P's of living an engaged and present life. Live with passion and purpose.Wow!  What a time in history, right?  A pandemic rages.  Division is pulling us apart. Sometimes, it seems easier just to crawl under a rock and hide.

But hiding isn’t the solution.  And you have more to offer than hiding. You are built to engage the world, to make a difference.

Then why do we  “play small”?  When  there should be more to life?  More for YOU to do in life?  More your life should be about?

That life you are thinking about… that is the Engaged Life.  Living with more engagement, more depth, more meaning… more purpose.

Over the years, this has been a fairly constant refrain from clients:  “There should be more to life than THIS.”  There is….

Engaging in life.  Being engaged in life.

Living a bit deeper… a bit wider.

Over the years, 3 P’s have emerged as the Path to living an engaged life.  Those 3 P’s:  Passion, Purpose, and Presence.

When you are focused on building those 3 areas, your Engaged Life builds.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I cover the 3 P’s of Living an Engaged Life.  Listen below.

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Book:  Thrive Principles

7 Ways to Worry Less

7 ways to start worrying less immediately. Learn to deal with your worry thoughts and regain your life.Is worry robbing you of living?  Are you putting more energy into worry thoughts than you want to, leaving you less energy for where you want to spend your thoughts (and your life)?

Most people do. Worry is an aimless attempt to locate threats and mitigate them.  Why aimless?  Because worry can shift from topic to topic, issue to issue, person to person, without action or direction.

In the last Thriveology Podcast episode, I noted 6 truths about worrying. This was to provide a background understanding for taking action.  Action to reduce your worry.  Which, as promised, is the topic of this episode.

I cover 7 strategies that will help you reduce your worry (and wasted worry energy) and let you make a mental shift to more helpful thoughts.

If you worry, this episode is for you.  If you worry that you worry too much, this episode is definitely for you!  Tune in to learn how to reduce your worries — and deal with worries as they pop up.

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6 Truths about Worry
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What Stage Are You In? – Pandemic Grief

Stages of grief and the covid pandemic.Have you ever had the experience of a doctor telling you what was wrong with you, and even if you couldn’t really do anything, it helped to know what it was?  Maybe it was just an ache or pain, a small illness.  Just having a name for it — even some fancy latin term (or maybe especially some latin term) — somehow makes it seem better.  Naming something helps us feel some control.

This pandemic has stripped us of many feelings of control.  It more often feels like life is disrupted and dangerous.  Early in the pandemic — but far enough in that it was clear we were headed down a long path — I was wondering why it took me so long to process that we were in for a long-haul… with implications for every segment of life.  Why had I “missed” the signs?

Denial.  That is what I realized.  I had been playing the denial game.

Which reminded me that I was experiencing a grief response.  I was in grief!  From the pandemic.  Well, the pandemic losses and impact.

Over the next few weeks, as I talked with individuals and organizations, I noticed that we were all in collective grief, as well as experiencing the individual grief.  And as the pandemic has continued, I have noticed that people are experiencing the different stages of grief at different times.  That very fact seems to be at the root of much of the struggles I see played out on social media and regular media.  Clashing stages.

Still, stages.  Grief comes in stages. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted 5 stages.  Her colleague, David Kessler, has more recently added a potential 6th stage (an aspirational stage for many).  The point of describing the stages is not so much to force people on through the stages.  It is more for being able to name the stage for what it is.  The capacity of looking at where you are and naming the stage gives a sense of control.  And when we have some sense of control, we can choose whether we are where we want to be, or if we would rather shift.  The shift becomes an option.

Or we can just name the stage and know that is what we are experiencing.

What stage of grief are you in?  I discuss the 5+1 stages in this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

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Medium Article by Lee Baucom on Grief
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Finding Moments of Calm in Times of Chaos

David Dachinger and Tamara Green, how to find calm in chaotic times, using the Loving Meditations App.What a chaotic time we are in!  Even without a pandemic, it was already chaotic, what with politics and changes in society. Stir in a pandemic, and there is NO way to be calm.

Right?

Or maybe….

Maybe calm is not about what is happening around you, outside of you. Perhaps it comes from somewhere within you. Somewhere that knows you are separate from the external chaos.

Our internal response to a chaotic world can be chaos… or we might be able to find calm. Especially if we can separate our thoughts from the events and emotions. If we can find a space between what is happening and how we respond.  A space that is rooted in peace.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I have a chance to speak with David Dachinger and Tamara Green.  David is a firefighter and a Grammy nominated music composer (quite the contrast there!).  And Tamara is an author and licensed therapist.

When David was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (there IS no stage 5), his world shifted chaos from fighting fires to fighting cancer. He and Tamara realized that they needed to rally their resources to help in David’s health and healing. That included meditation and mindfulness. The resources they developed are now helping others to find calm in the midst of chaos.

Not a bad goal in today’s world, is it?

Listen below to hear their story and their method of bringing calm to the world through an app.

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LovingMeditations App
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Thinking Through The Pandemic

Coping with COVID Series

 

Donald Robertson, modern Stoic philosopher and therapist.I was at a book signing a while back, signing a book of mine that is a few years old.  This person picked it up, looked at the publication date, put it down, and said, “I was looking for something more recent.”

That had me pondering… how long is information valid?  Sure, I would not likely want to read a computer book about the Windows 98 operating system, or about the coming “Y2K crisis.”  But what about transformational information?  When does that lose value?

Human brains have not changed in structure for millenia.  Which is why we still garner insight and understanding from books written millenia ago.  Ancient thoughts and texts still illuminate us these days.

Which brings me to my guest this week on the Thriveology Podcast.  I asked Donald Robertson to talk with me about some pretty old thoughts.  No, Donald is not millenia old.  But the philosophy he espouses and teaches is.  Donald is a modern Stoic philosopher, drawing on ancient Stoicism and what it offers to us in our current world.

And in our current pandemic situation, Stoic thought has LOTS to teach us.  In fact, Stoic thought is the underlying philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the cornerstone of modern mental health counseling.

Donald discusses the relevance of Stoic philosophy in today’s world, and how we can apply it to the pandemic in which we find ourselves.  Listen in as Donald Robertson gives some powerful help in dealing with our thoughts and our emotions in the midst of today’s (and future) struggles.

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DonaldRobertson.name
ModernStoicism.com
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Challenge Makes Us Grow

Steve Sims and how challenge helps us to grow.When I was a kid, I hit this point when I was growing fast.  So fast that my limbs hurt, I constantly tripped, and knocked everthing over as my hand got there before I expected.  Growth was a challenge.

Generally, though, it works the other way.  When we are challenged (and take it on), we grow.  A child wants to crawl, then walk, then run.  But wanting to is not the same as being able to.  Crawling ends up being a bellyflop.  Walking leads to teetering bottom-bumps.  And running… well, that just leads to face-plants.  But so far, I have never seen a child give up and say, “Well, I just can’t do that.  I guess I’m not meant to crawl/walk/run.”  The child just tries again.

Challenge is something we can rise to, expand into.  And when we do, challenge is the impetus for growth.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I talk with Steve Sims.  At the age of 15, Steve finished his schooling in England, and stepped right into what seemed to be his destiny:  masonry.  Just like his father, his grandfather, his uncles, and his cousins.  In an instant of inspiration, Steve looked at his family and realized this was not his destiny.  As he told me, it was not that he was better than his family, but that he thought there was something better for him.

That set him on a search for his own destiny, a way to see the world and meet people with different viewpoints and lifestyles.  This twisted path has led to now.  Through taking on challenges and growing through them.

Listen in as Steve and I discuss his life, his challenges, and the success of taking on those challenges.

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How to Hope in Tough Times

Coping with COVID Series

How to have hope in tough times — coronavirus and other times.Let me just say, I am a bit weary.  How about you?

This has been a wearying time for so many of us.  Nobody is unaffected by this pandemic.  And we can’t even point to an end to the crisis.  Take a guess, and your guess is probably as good as any other.

What do we do?  Everything seems to be upside-down, inside-out, and topsy-turvy.  It’s hard to figure out what happens next and what to do next.

Which means that some people are beginning to feel hopeless.

Early in my career, as a hospital chaplain, I saw what happens when people have hope… and when they lose hope.  But I didn’t really have any way to help people who were hitting hopelessness.  I just saw the damage.

Thanks to other researchers, I am more clear about how we can build and hold hope, even in tough times.  If you can’t hold it in tough times, it just needs some boosting, and some knowledge.

Let’s talk about hope, tough times, and the Hope Formula.  Listen below.

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Alignment Toward Thriving

Are you in alignment?  Want better alignment?  Tune in as I talk with Jani and Bri, alignment experts.Are you in alignment?

I had a friend whose hips were out of alignment.  It was no big deal for a long time.  Just simply a matter of one leg being a bit longer than the other.  But every day, she just kept on going.  She walked and ran… and just lived life.  Then… her back started hurting… her hips started hurting… her knees started hurting… even her ankles started hurting!  The doctor was concerned that she was facing disability and lifetime pain.

The doctors worked to get her hips and legs into alignment.  It was pretty simple.  Just a lift in her shoes.  But that little shift put her back into alignment.  And suddenly, everything was working the way it should.  It took awhile.  But slowly, the pain disappeared.

That is a very practical way to think about alignment.  But life alignment is broader than that.  Are you surrounded with people who are in alignment with your goals and values?  Is your work aligned with your values and purpose?  Do you live in alignment and balance in life and in your body?

In this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we explore life alignment with Jani Roberts and Bri Ursaner… alignment experts and pretty tough individuals.  Listen in as we discuss what alignment is… and how to get there.

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Paths to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is such a buzzword these days that you may find yourself “tuning out” when you hear the term.  Ironic, since that is quite the opposite of being mindful!

Simply put, mindfulness is the state of being present with your body in the present moment.  In other words, you are aware of your bodily experience of this immediate moment.

The nice thing about mindfulness is that it is easy to practice, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.  It is simply a matter of calling yourself back to this moment, in your own body.

And then… it slips away again, through distractions and thoughts.  Thoughts about the past and future pull us from the present.  We distract ourselves right out of the experience of living in this moment.

Joanne King, Pathways to Mindfulness.  Mindful eating and ending dieting.My guest on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, Joanne King, offers a number of pathways to mindfulness.

Of particular interest is Joanne’s approach to mindful eating.  How often do you find yourself scarfing down a meal, not even noticing the taste, texture, spices, smells, and ingredients… the experience of eating?  I have.

According to Joanne, this means that we often eat beyond what we need… and not necessarily even what we need to eat.  When people shift to mindful eating, Joanne reports, they eat better and naturally lose weight.

And… it is an opportunity to enter into mindfulness.

Join me as I discuss pathways to mindfulness with Joanne King.

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