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I am Rock L's Blog

Life & Spiritual Coach | Author | Creator 💚

Gender is More than “Cell Deep”

Gender Development and Sexual Differentiation 

Sexual differentiation, in human embryology, the process by which the male and female sexual organs develop from neutral embryonic structures. The normal human fetus of either sex has the potential to develop either male or female organs, depending on genetic and hormonal influences. (sexual differentiation 2021) 

Brittanica explains it quite professionally and scientifically in this definition but basically all this means is that the human person while still being developed inside the mother can become either male or female depending on some things. What are those things you might ask? Chromosomes and autosomes are the things. They determine gender. We have tons of em. And lots of different types that do different things at different stages of development.  

Once a bundle of cells becomes a fetus, it will have structures that could become either male or female genitalia. Weird huh? What makes the difference is the addition of the chromosomes that create the masculine or feminine component. Masculine will have an X and y Chromosome and female will have 2 XX. 

Gender is socially constructed? 

Well I guess if we are all made of the same stuff all the way up until the last part of embryonic development then it would be safe to say that gender as we know it may have more to do with societal interpretations rather than X and Y chromosomes. Some of the things that begin to help us differentiate ourselves as either male or female during human development are:  

  • Types of clothing/things/toys 
  • Colors of clothing/things/toys 
  • Gender specific names 
  • Usage of makeup or not 
  • Job types 
  • The pronouns that have been used to describe us 
  • Facial and body features that were gendered 
  • Potty training time 
  • TV or social influences  
  • Hair styles  
  • Rules  

This and much more are some of the moments that allowed our own brain to form our understanding of our gender being either male or female. That being said, we would then take an even deeper dive into our personal and societal roles as a woman or a man and what behavior and actions we must exhibit in order to be the understood gender.  

So It seems gender may be a journey from Chromosomal influence all the way to young adult hood. As we put on X’s or Y’s , pink or blue, Pants or Skirts, work or nurture our children; gender is being developed. Maybe we used to think gender was only skin deep but now we know thanks to the understanding of  Sexual differentiation that gender is more like “cell deep” lol. But also an evolutionary journey of self development from the inside out.  

So in conclusion, yes proof of our gender can be found deep down in our DNA but also social constructs come into play and help to shape us into the “man” or “woman” we are today. 

References 

Utiger, Robert D.. “Sexual differentiation”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 3 Dec. 2018, https://www.britannica.com/science/sexual-differentiation. Accessed 9 April 2021. (sexual differentiation 2021) 

The Multi-tasking Momma

When I refer to the “multi tasking momma” I’m talking about the woman plagued with modern women syndrome. The lady who is trying to fulfill all the roles of the more historic version of what a women should be and also all the roles of what society expects of women today. It’s the woman who is trying to be the best mother and housewife by attending the PTA meetings, making the gluten free cookies for birthday party, doing the spring cleaning, and cooking dinner for her family that represents all the tiers on the food pyramid. It’s the women who while doing all the stuff I just said, is also trying to write back to 100 emails, make 7 meetings a week. Do the list of tasks her boss dropped on her desk yesterday, write all the papers for her online college course (because she has to further our education right?), and do it all while wearing Steve Madden heels and without dropping the ball on her side hustle. She is the woman with a spit up on her suit jacket, she is the woman with a laptop under one hand and a Starbucks coffee in the other. She is the women who can change a diaper while landing that next big client on her cell phone. She is the woman who uses her lunch break to go to the gym and thinks “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” She is the super woman. The do it all women. That Is the multi-tasking momma.  

The Stress Related trait of Multi-Tasking 

So if my rant about trying to do it all didn’t give it away already, I’m talking about the stress related trait of Multi tasking. You may also be able to tell that I have a personal connection to this topic (he he). The relationship between multi tasking and stress is simple. The anxiety is leading to an overwhelming need to try to figure out a way to do it all and micro time management has become the solution. The multi-tasking momma has the hyper vigilant ability to identify every single spare second of the day and formulate a plan to utilize that second in the most effective way in order to shrink the size of her to-do list.  This isn’t #momlife anymore….this is #WAR (dun dun dunnnn!) And the multi tasking momma is soldier driven by her over stimulated amygdala. With a media temporal lobe lit up like a christmas tree…finding the most opportune moment to get another task done isn’t just a small success it is achievement of AVAIDING DEATH ITSELF! This is her life on the line people! This is her role in society, her self image, her reputation a woman, ITS SERIOUS! If someone has this trait they are much more prone to stress and anxiety then the average single task person. As a multitasking momma myself who struggles to keep her stress levels at bay, It is no surprise to me that there is a link between this behavior and stress.  

XOXO,

Rachel @iamrockl

http://www.iamrockl.com

XOXO,

Rachel

Can you feel others feelings? Empathy, sympathy, feelings oh my!

What is empathy? 

Empathy is the act of embodying how someone else feels. It is the art of putting yourself into someone else’s shoes. Empathy is feeling someone else’s pain or joy almost as if it were your own. Empathy is when you can vividly imagine what it would be like to be in another’s situation. This is an important skill in communication because we need it in order to understand other people. And in order to full listen, like listen with the ability to truly hear what they are saying, then we must be able to understand them. Most of the time people are not yearning to be listened to, they are yearning to be understood. They are yearning to share their feelings with another person to the point where they KNOW that someone else truly gets their pain or is just as elated at their accomplishments as they are. True communication requires connection, and true connection requires empathy.  

Empathy Vs. Sympathy 

Sometimes folks think that they understand or that they know what another is going through because they sympathize with them. However sympathy is something much different than empathy. Sympathy is when you know in your mind that what someone else is going through should result in certain feelings and you get it on a mental level. Like, it makes sense to you why they would feel how they feel. But you can’t really know because you don’t know what it feels like.  

Feeling makes all the difference in the empathy vs. Sympathy thing. If you can feel it then you are probably using empathy skills. If you can’t feel emotion over it, it’s probably just sympathizing. Now don’t get me wrong, I say “just sympathizing” but it doesn’t mean sympathy is bad. Sympathy is a beautiful thing. It means you still care about that someone else feels the way they feel and you feel bad for them that they are experiencing bad feelings. But, you can’t feel the bad feelings yourself the same way that they feel the bad feelings. Ya know? I hope that makes sense lol  
 

When empathy is required 

Empathy is required during tough stuff normally. The times that I have had to pull out my big empathy guns were under some intense conditions. Here are examples of 3 statements that would require an empathetic response and examples of the type of responses that I might use: 

  1. Statement: “I have to get better, my mental illness is ruining my life” 

Response: “I remember feeling exactly like that at the beginning of my journey, I know that it feels like you are the only one that has ever felt this awful…but you’re not. I was in your shoes before and I know that there is solutions.” 

  1. Statement: “I’m so stressed out, I never have enough time to get everything done” 

Response: “I know exactly how you feel! I’m super busy too and ya know, balance is the hardest thing to figure out. It feels like no matter how much you do you can never get ahead of the game…but I have some great work/life balance tips that can help.” 

  1. Statement: “I just had my first baby 2 months ago” 

Response: “Oh my Goodness, that is so amazing! Being a new mom is exciting, scary, beautiful, spiritual, and emotional draining all at the same time. It’s literally the craziest experience, tell me what has been the best part for you so far?  

So there you have my take on empathy, sympathy and feelings, oh my! So ask yourself, have you been just understanding others feelings or can you feel all the feels like they’re your own?

xoxo,

Rachel D. Greenwell

@iamrockl on social

http://www.iamrockl.com

What are you doing right? Let’s talk positive psychology

So what is positive psychology? Positive psychology is basically the scientific study of what makes life most worth living. It’s the art of asking the question “what is right with you?” rather than “what is wrong with you?” It focuses on the idea that building of strengths are just as important as repairing the damaged parts. It is absolutely not a replacement for traditional therapy or psychology, but it is designed to work in conjunction with these other methods in order to create a more well rounded picture of health. It focuses on creating a sense of well being in the individuals it helps.  

Positive psychology is built upon 5 pillars of health that create the state that is called wellbeing. The 5 pillars are: 

  1. Positive Emotion 
  1. Engagement  
  1. Relationships 
  1. Meaning 
  1. Accomplishment 

Flow, mindfulness, and learned optimism are some of the areas of positive psychology that differentiate this practice from other forms of psychology. It primarily assists people in development the areas of life that bring about things like fulfillment, joy, meaning, fun, empowerment, hope, optimism, resilience, and all of those other “positive” things. Hence the name, Positive Psychology.  

Positive Psychology was the filler of a void in the psychology world. There was a lot of ideas that would now be considered outdated and almost laughable to modern day psychologists  as treatment options for the mentally ill. Such as bloodletting, and drilling holes in the skull in order to let out evil spirits that were trapped inside the head. As psychology grew from the study of the soul and spirits to treating mental illness as more of a medical condition, the field changed significantly by focusing solely on the problems that people had and attempting to remove barriers and issues from the patients lives in order to relieve them from their distress. Medication became more prevalent in the field and then the focus shifted to “what things can make people feel better?” Rather than just removing things that made them feel bad, physiatrists began assisting people with adding and implementing the things that they knew to ultimately make people feel good.  

A couple people who were huge factors in the history of positive psychology were Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. Abraham Maslow studied dominance in monkeys. His research led him to do the same thing but with people. He attempted to define what made a “good human specimen” and I guess that meant what made a “happy” human specimen. He was the first dude to begin studying the healthy human beings instead of the unhealthy ones. Maslow figured out all the things that make up these super functioning, happy, healthy human specimens and created the Maslows Hierarchy of needs featuring the 5 levels of human need which is super well known in the field for how relevant and useful it is for all types of patients and illnesses.  

Carl Rogers believed people seek self-actualization He thought everybody lived in their own reality. He also believed that helping people develop a sense of self and worth can help them get better. He thought it could help people if they focused on their self and moved toward actualization. He developed an approach known as person centered therapy that helps individuals become fully functioning people by achieving their own goals in alignment with their own value systems. This therapy tends to focus heavily on the things that make a person “feel better” and thus it’s application to positive psychology.  

So, there you have it…positive psychology in a nutshell (get it, in a “nut” shell….like as in “being nuts”…ok yeah you get it lol)

The take away from today is, if you’re current methods of therapy aren’t working and you’ve been focused primarily on the things that are wrong….maybe a shift to positive psychology could give you the sense of wellbeing that you are looking for.

XOXO,

Rachel D. Greenwell

@iamrockl on social

http://www.iamrockl.com

References: 

 InspireCorps: Origins of Positive Psychology. (2018, July 13). Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51L9NLoY1N4 

TestPrepGurus. (2012, October 10). What is Positive Psychology? Retrieved January 13, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qJvS8v0TTI&feature=youtu.be 

Solution Focused Shit! Oh yeah!

Problem solving techniques are tools that help us to figure out the solutions to our problems which makes my little life coach heart sing!!!!!! LA la la! I LOVE solution focused shit! YES! So if you were in the market for some new problem solving techniques that can super charge you into a solution focused fabulous type…you are in luck!

Some examples of common problem solving technique are: 

  • Clearly defining the problem-involves stating the true issue in the simplest terms in order to better find a solution. 
  • Try different approaches-involves coming at the problem in many different ways to see which solution works best. 
  • 7 levels deep-involves asking why questions repeatedly in order to find the root cause of the issue. 
  • Getting away from the problem-involves taking a break from the issue in order to clear the mind and then coming back with a fresh start. 
  • Involving other people or group mind-involves getting the opinions of multiple people to be armed with more information from a group conscious perspective 

Two of these problem solving techniques that work best for me is: 

  1. Getting away from the problem-I often get overloaded in my thinking and I’m an awful multitasker so sometimes I can just fry my brain to the point where I can’t think about the issue anymore and staying there trying to figure it out just seems to make it worse. I do this when I’m creating content like books or courses often. When I get to that mind numbing fried feeling…it’s best to just back away and go outside and take a break from it all. After taking care of me and letting my brain relax, I usually come back in and have new perspective and can easily work out whatever issue I had. So if you can’t solve your problem…just take a fucking break already lol
  1. 7 levels deep challenge- As an entrepreneur I’ve been working very hard to change my money mindset. I had a huge problem with accepting money for my services and product when I first began. It’s better now. Not good, but better. I found that there is so many belief systems that we have about money, abundance, accepting, spending, and so on and so forth that keep us from being able to make money for our own business. I found the 7 levels deep challenge from Dean Gratziosi- a self made millionaire, author, and motivational speaker. I did used this challenge to figure out the true reason why making more money was something I wanted in my life. I started with, “well, because I wouldn’t have to worry about bills and stuff” and then you ask why is that a good thing 6 more times until you are left with your root reason for something. I found my root reason for wanting to increase my income was to fulfill my souls mission in the world, be more connected to the people I love, and feel true freedom. Knowing that my root reason was far from superficial (one of my bad belief systems about wanting more money) I was able to move into the direction of furthering my business. So if you are having a tough time making that big change…go a little deeper to find the real problem and the real solution to go with it! Focus on the right shit and you’ll get the right result! BOOM

Well that’s it! I hope you liked my tips for problem solving. Stay solution focused yall!

XOXO,

Rachel D. Greenwell

@iamrockl on all social

Do You Compute?

Human Cognition: 

How the brain works like a computer 

 

I believe that the human brain works like a computer. I have been teaching on this subject in relation to my work for years. I use this theory in teaching meditation when explaining how the brain works to help people gain control over their minds. I say to folks “the thoughts are like tabs on your computer screen, meditation is the process of looking through each tab and deciding If you can close it or not. When all the tabs are closed and the you are just on the home screen…that’s the meditative state” I encourage people to think of the brain as something separate from the. I AM not my mind I AM the owner of the mind..right? If I own the mind the I can control the mind, not the other way around. This concept is discussed on www. Mindmatters.com when Winston Ewert says “the conscious mind is better understood as something that interacts with the computer than the computer itself” 

This type of computer like brain functioning works on so many different levels however and doesn’t just apply to meditation and self talk like I use it in my work. You can apply this to memory with short term and long term memory being like if I saved a document to my desktop or hard drive. We could tie the spiritual in by relating the cloud storage to soul memories of past life events. We can equate the way that a computer needs a power source and time powered off to our needing food and rest. We can even relate different types of processers to different types of brain activities like an ADD person could be said to have a multi processer. Even my iPhone intuitively knows what I want it to next sometimes just like an empathetic human being…there is really so many ways that I believe that this works and I think that the more that humans develop computers and technology the more technology will mimic the human mind. Because afterall, we created it in our likeness right? 

References: 

Ewert, W. (2019, July 25). Is the Human Mind a Computer? Retrieved October 12, 2020, from https://mindmatters.ai/2019/07/is-the-human-mind-a-computer/ 

Neuroplasticity and breaking habits

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Turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks 

Once upon a time some scientists theorized that the human brain stopped developing at a certain age. Yup that’s right, hit that milestone and your done. No more cognitive growth for you. But it turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks Afterall. Once upon another time, another group of scientists found out that wasn’t true and we now know for a fact that the human brain has the capacity to to change and develop throughout the ENTIRE course of a persons lifetime. That’s right, we never stop learning and growing. This is great news! You can go back to college, you can start your business, you can figure out how to break that bad habit, or finally learn how to flip houses for passive income. So, start thinking about what is that you want to learn, I’m gonna make you use it later.  

 

What the hell is Neuroplasticity?  

The definition of Neuroplasticity is something along the lines of (clear throat and tighten neck tie): The ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections.  

Audience: “Uhhhhhh, what?” Yeah, I know that’s a mouthful and a brain-ful. It basically means, YOU CAN REWIRE YOUR BRAIN DUDE! Like, isn’t that GREAT!!?? And in all actuality you just have to understand the natural process of the brain called synaptic pruning.  

 

If you don’t use it you lose it 

Synaptic pruning is a process that takes place in the brain. Basically if you don’t use it, you lose it. The brain will natural destroy synapsis in the brain that you haven’t been using. A synapse is a connection in the brain between one thing and another thing The brain notices which of these connections you haven’t been using and deems them unimportant and gets rid of them so that more attention and energy can be spent on the ones that you are using.  

 

Neurons that fire together wire together 

Another important factor is the understanding that anything you do in repetition will strengthen the synapsis (the connections) between the neurons (the things that the connections are well, connected to). This means you can create the type of connections you want just by doing the same things over and over again.  

 

Why should I care about Neuroplasticity? 

Neuroplasticity means that normal everyday people like you and I have the personal power to create the lives we desire and become the type of people we want to be. It’s all about habits and repetition. Simple practices like saying gratitude affirmations every night before bed will lead to more restful sleep and increase health and happiness. The other important thing to remember is to avoid the things you would like your brain to eliminate in its next synaptic pruning process. If you hate the way you self judge then actively and consciously work to cut those thoughts off when they pop in your head and you will prune those annoying synaptic thoughts right outta that brain of yours. Okay, I may make it seem a lot easier than it is. It is a difficult process to process to change habits but it is pretty simple.  

 

My story  

So I preached a lot of Neuroplasticity and it’s because I’ve really used this knowledge to change my own life. I have broken many bad habits. Like many, many, many, many MANY MAAAANNNNNNYYYY ( ok you get the point) really bad habits using this technique. Everything from smoking cigarettes to gossiping from negative self talk to staying up too late. You name it I’ve probably done it and also changed it thanks to understanding my brain and it’s ability to naturally rid itself of old connections. It has helped me become the person I want to be and the life coach I want to be. I’ve also implemented a lot of new positive behavior into my life with this information as well, like a daily meditation practice, exercise routines, and a boss like work ethic. I’m proud to say that Neuroplasticity has helped me create a life I love.  

 

Conclusion 

Okay time to break out that thing you thought you couldn’t learn, start Googling and get to setting some new habits for yourself. You now have the knowledge and the power to create the new you thanks to Neuroplasticity.  

Addiction, Treatment, & Truth

Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over clear blue sky, Addiction and Life signs, Choice conceptual image
Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over clear blue sky, Addiction and Life signs, Choice conceptual image

 

I don’t like to take on the label of “addict” but addiction is part of my history. In my personal and professional experience with addiction in mental health, since I have been in both sides, I actually feel that the professionals being heavily trained about addiction hinders their ability to help to some degree. We realized that our providers were clueless about addictions and went to action taking all of the educations and information possible and making sure it was available for all the clinicians and therapists to get their hands on. It was meant to be helpful. It had good intentions.

What it does however, is prevent providers from seeing people who are struggling with addiction as people and puts them into a small box. “Hey provider, if someone fits this image then they go over there to the addicts spot”. Then they pawned off to “addiction only” treatment centers and then they stuck in a place that doesn’t look at any other aspect of their health and healing needs except for the drug use. Yes, addiction recovery taps into other areas if they are good or refers them out but I feel like stating that addiction is a “primary condition” always (which I heard repeatedly throughout the years) was harmful. Yes, we must help people get off drugs if we can do anything else to help them. So I get it. I’m not knocking it or saying we shouldn’t have addiction only facilities. I just want addiction treatment traps where people cycle in and out and never really get help or feel seen or heard or “fully” helped.

For me addiction was never a primary condition. It was a big symptom. A manifestation  of of all my other issues. Mainly, and at the core of it all, a low sense of self worth. I even wrote a book on low self worth because I saw that so many people ended up in addiction when they could have avoided it I’d they only loved themselves more earlier. And a lot of people could get out of addiction by loving themselves better.

I think it is Important to have people well trained in addiction. I think maybe the training needs to be better than what I’ve seen. More person first, person centered education so we don’t lose that compassion. More empowerment for the people in treatment. I hate hearing people get told they are powerless over drugs and alcohol. No we are not. Instead I teach personal power in my methodology. I teach that we are spiritual beings inhabiting our body and that we are the master of this vessel. We are the owners of the human suit and therefore I get to make choices for what happens to it. We are the powerful bosses of our life and we can choose to do better things for ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our lives. ALL people. Not just those who do or don’t struggle with addiction.

Narcan training is crucial. I can’t save a dead persons life. So, Yes omg train everybody on Narcan and keep people alive So we can heal them. I’m all for that. Yes! do whatever we have to do to create safe spaces where those with addiction issues can flock to and know they can sleep and eat and do all the life giving things they need to feel okay for long enough to think about living a different way. However, stop creating environments that make them small, that tell them they are weak, that tell them they will be sick forever, that tell them they must have certain characteristics just because they take drugs, or especially that tell them they have to claim a label of sickness forever just to stay healthy. Stop enforcing that people who struggle with addiction should refer to themselves as “addict” it’s not helpful and only reinforces negative behavior we are trying to change. This is hurtful not helpful.

I think my biggest thing is, bringing the deepest emotional and spiritual aspects to the forefront. Showing people the core of their issues weather it be self worth like mine was or something else. We have to show people their potential and the truth of their nature as a human and spiritual being. We have to allow them the space and to become everything that they are meant to be and not keep them stuck in a low vibration simply because we don’t understand how they will get out of it. Some things, as providers, are not meant for us to understand or fully see. We just have to know a and have faith that it is possible for our clients.

 

-Rachel D. Greenwell

Author of How to wear a crown: a practical guide to knowing your worth

Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over clear blue sky, Addiction and Life signs, Choice conceptual image

Can you learn, heal, and even break habits in your sleep?

Advanced-Clinical-Hypnotherapy-Sleep-hypnosis

I have been using sleep hypnosis and recordings that feed positive affirmations to my subconscious mind as a therapeutic and spiritual practice for many many years. I learned about the brain and how it works and the different levels and what waves are admitted during what sleep stages and all of that fun stuff. I dug deep into learning and memory and how to break bad habits with self talk and changing our subconscious belief systems. I remember feeling that I was wasting time during sleep that I could be using to super charge my habit breaking ability. So I hit up my go to resource. YouTube of course and went down a rabbit whole of sleep meditations. I discovered self hypnosis for sleep. I found out what the hell binaural beats are and why I would want to listen to them. I found tracks that consisted of 8-10 hours of positive affirmations on any and every topic you could think of. There is a affirmation audio designed to help you break any bad habit you could have. All for free on YouTube. I was obsessed. I loved bedtime I could consciously pick out which one of these tools I could use to do powerful soul expanding mind opening or emotional work while fast asleep. I got to rest while my brain still acquired more information and wake up feeling a little more healed. Well, uh YES! As a self help junkie, this was the best news since sliced bread to me!

Now, where a lot of scientific articles will talk about the history of sleep and memory forming and how many have tried and practiced this technique over the years and it has been deemed pseudoscience and then made its way back into the professional science arena and blah blah blah! Many people still don’t know about it or take it very serious. I however take it very serious. For me, the proof is in the pudding. If I feel depressed and I put on a sleep track for depression, I wake up feeling better. Feeling no so confident lately. Throw on those self esteem boosting affirmations for my 8 hour sleep session and wake up ready to take on the world. Utilizing sleep time and space in order to boost your self help and self development processes has been so life changing for me that I tell all my clients to practice this too. I will forever use this practice in my own healing journey and I super encourage whoever is reading this blog right now…to do the same. Hey, it’s worth a try isn’t it? And if it changes your life anything like it has changed mine then you will be soooooo glad you did! 

-Rachel D. Greenwell

@iamrockl

 

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