Monday, January 25, 2016

Just take a seat

I normally don’t participate in the silly #ManCrushMonday stuff. If I did, my man crush would be the legendary Bruce Lee. I only have a general knowledge of his work. What I know about him though impresses me. How he moved his body alone made him a work of art. There was more to him though. It’s his philosophy that continues to live on and inspire to this day, especially his demonstration of stillness.

Take this scene from Enter the Dragon. Like I said, poetry in motion. He was really kicking butt for a while. However, if you wait for the ending, you’ll see that he gets captured. One by one, the walls close in on him and it becomes apparent there’s no way out. What does he do when there’s no way to escape? He sits down. To me, that act of sitting down demonstrated more skill and power than all fighting that preceded it. How many of us could discipline ourselves to sit and be at peace when life closes in? I can tell you that’s definitely not my first reaction.

Sure, I might appear relatively composed on the outside (at times). But I’m usually freaking out on the inside. I try to predict what’ll happen. I fuss, fight, and rage against a certain outcome. I expend needless energy resisting reality. Then, usually when I finally take a seat, it’s more like collapsing in surrender rather than holding my peace. Can anyone relate?

There’s a balance to this. A posture of peace isn’t passivity, nor is it resignation. It’s not about learned helplessness where you refuse to act when it’s in your power and expect someone else to save you. Rather, it’s the maturity to discern when to fight and when to be still and accept reality for what it is. Here’s the challenge. In my opinion, if you can master your soul you can master your life. Seek wisdom and understanding about when to stand up, when to move forward, and when to just take a seat.

If you are looking to cultivate more mindfulness in your daily living, Gambrell Wellness LLC can help! As a licensed professional counselor and certified personal trainer, Dr. Crista Gambrell is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals for total health, both inside and out. Begin your journey to wholeness today. Visit for more information. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Time to be gangsta

“You’re allowed 5 emotional minutes a day and then you’ve got to be a gangsta” (Unknown). I knew I liked this quotation as soon as I came across it. It resonates with me on so many levels. You see, I live in the feelings realm both personally and professionally. It’s part of what makes me an effective helper. I can discern the subtlest shifts and changes in people. I can anticipate how they might feel about something even if they don’t have the language for it. There is a downside to an empathic nature though. When you feel everything so intensely, when you are so sensitive all the time, then you end up hurting a lot. And it’s just not healthy for anyone.

When I saw this charge to, “be a gangsta,” I knew there was wisdom to it. Don’t get me wrong. You don’t want you to ignore and stuff your feelings down. There are definite consequences to blocking things out like they don’t exist. You just can’t live in your feelings as if they are 100% true. They’re not. I think we’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t believe everything you feel.” Again, there’s wisdom to that. Your feelings are valid. Your feelings matter. Your feelings are not, however, the entire reality of a situation. They are simply reactions to what you perceive in a given moment. Just consider how you feel differently once you perceive differently. If feelings can change that easily, can you really afford to place full stock in them?

I once heard it explained this way. Think of your feelings like a wave. They come up to the surface and then they go. When they come up and get stuck, then we have problems. So, here’s how we find balance. Leave room each day (5 minutes or more) to check in with yourself and make sense of what’s happening inside. Notice what you feel. Honor what you feel. Process it. Discuss it. Express it. Then, let it go. No more losing hours, days, or even weeks stuck in your feelings. It’s time to make moves. It’s time to be a gangsta.    

Do you need more balance and stability in your emotional life? Are you ready to manage your feelings so they aren't managing you? Gambrell Wellness LLC can help! As a licensed professional counselor and certified personal trainer, Dr. Crista Gambrell is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals for total health, both inside and out. Begin your journey to wholeness today. Visit for more information or like us on Facebook at

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why dreamers ride the hardest

Last Sunday I started a new year’s tradition that I hope to continue. I had several friends over for a vision board party. It was a lovely afternoon of snacks, wine, crafts, and conversation. Even though I was the only link between everyone, it didn’t take long for my guests to connect and laugh together like old friends. As one friend was leaving, she remarked on the pleasant vibe among all of us. “It was just such a nice atmosphere. Everyone was so warm and encouraging. They weren’t mean girls. This was just so awesome.” I thought to myself, well yeah, I’m generally not friends with jerks. After more reflection though, I realized there’s more to it than that. People who are actively working toward a vision support others who are doing the same. Here’s why.

People who are chasing their dreams face countless obstacles before that dream is realized. It doesn’t just happen overnight. There’s usually a climb and a bit of a discrepancy between the time you start toward a goal and the time others see the results. Therefore, it’s incredibly vulnerable to say to the world (or even to yourself), hey, I want to use my gifts to make a meaningful contribution. I want to do something good and help others. I want a platform to influence people in a positive way. I think most of us want those things. It’s just that some will be relentless in our pursuit of them and others won’t.

In Dr. Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she has a message for all the haters and naysayers.

If you aren’t in the arena getting your butt kicked too, I am not interested in your feedback. For example, if you’re in the cheap seats, not putting yourself on the line and just talking about how I could do it better, I am in no way interested in your feedback (Brown, 2012).

Can we just pause right here and say Amen? This is so true. The ones that are trying to start a business, write a book, grow their performing career, continue their education or invent something new, generally aren’t going to be snide and discouraging of other dreamers. They know how much courage and perseverance it takes to step out and go for something. They are your biggest cheerleaders. The biggest critics, however, are usually the ones on the sidelines. They are vocal about other people’s faults, but they don’t have the willingness to make themselves vulnerable and get in the game. Although they are the loudest, these people matter least. Until they step out and do something really hard, they really don’t get a say.

With it being a new year, I think most of us have some goals we’ve set or dreams we’re ready to pursue. Over the next few months, I encourage you to reflect on people’s response to your aspirations.  Whether it’s friends and colleagues you’ve known awhile or newer associates, consider who is supportive and encouraging of your goals. Who is open and collaborative? Who shares resources with you and follows up on how things are going? Who offers constructive critiques from a loving place in order to help you improve? Who genuinely cheers when you make it? I bet you’ll find it’s the ones who are going after something too. It’s been my experience that only fellow dreamers ride the hardest for you.