Whole Care Network → 010 Podcast: Creating A Life You Love

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The mission of LifeWork Systems is to create a world in which all people love their lives. In this friendly 31 minute interview, Chris MacLellan (founder of The Whole Care Network) interviews Judy Ryan on key social and emotional requirements people have in order to be happy and love their lives.

Interview Transcript

well greetings everyone it is Chris McClellan the bowtie guy we’re here in our international Studios in Wellington Florida and you know our guest tonight Judy Ryan is a nationally recognized award-winning speaker and founder of life work systems and has been delivering personal and professional development services since 1999 how did you get into this life work system business what what you’re so passionate about what you do tell her tell our listeners a little bit about that well thank you up are asking that I am very passionate about it and I really do feel very fortunate to know what I love to do and be able to do it the reason I got into this work is that I was raised in a really great family where there was a lot of social interest and really good values and a lot of things that I was very blessed with but as was true at the time in the 60s my parents were pretty typical and that they felt it was their job to sort of shape me and and kind of right on that blank slate which is the way that people you know thought about kids at that time and I wanted to kind of improve upon some of the great things they gave me by raising a family and helping other people around me to kind of discover their own voice their own you know their own marching orders if you will so I happen to do a lot of study and came upon some really great models for how to help people to really discover who they are here to be and yet still do that with as good citizens with really good values and care for others and that sort of thing and I feel very fortunate that it feels that I’ve kind of been guided in learning the skills to help people do that so you’ve really kind of created a life that you love I really have and I like to see when I can do that with and for others because there’s so many people that are suffering especially in the emotional social area because they simply have not been given the information or the skills to understand themselves and understand how to be in harmonious relationships with other people or to be able to stay really excited about their lives by like what you just said especially as it related to learning the skill anyway we all have we all have skills and abilities and sometimes it’s you know we think it’s it’s not just a matter turning a switch on you you really have really have to learn how to enjoy life yeah so you have to learn how to be able to be aware of yourself you have to learn how to be aware of other people you have to learn how to manage yourself in a way that’s coming from a compassionate understanding and patient place and most people think everyone else knows how to do that well and that they should know how to do that well but the truth of it is most of us have not been given really the information in the training to do that well so that’s why I think there’s a lot of unhappy people that kind of hide that they’re unhappy because you know they think I’m full starting know this and everybody else knows this yeah it’s all and I and I use this term lightly it’s almost like coming out of the closet yes yes it really is is it’s that idea that we have to kind of hide who we are so that other people won’t judge us because we’re really judging ourselves so much who you said that word judging yes it does happen in life though doesn’t it it sure does and I think part of that comes from you know we’re trying to help people grow up into good citizens and we think if they you know if we’re a little judgmental or harsh or you know let them know where we’re disappointed that that’s somehow going to help them become you know the best they can be and often times that is the worst way to bring about positive change in people with very much so you have it that’s a bad you know and your work is just spectacular and I there’s there’s just so many good things that are coming out of out of your company in st. Louis but I’m rule I’m interested if you could talk a little bit about the you know those four core special needs that that that helped us create that that life we love well that is the most important whenever I’m delivering any kind of program I always say to people if you remember nothing else that I say it’s remembering this particular concept and it’s the idea that everything that we do and the way that we think is really based on our need to feel empowered we need to feel lovable we need to feel connected in a community and we need to feel that we have opportunities to be contributing and a lot of times people are all of those but they don’t feel like they’re those those aspects and those four aspects they’re really connected together they are I mean if you it’s I always liken it to if you were in the old days when people would be on a ship on a long voyage and they would get scurvy and they didn’t realize why they would get scurvy well the reason is that they discovered that they needed vitamin C well that’s the same with these four core needs if we recognized how to create home lives schools and workplaces where these four core needs were fully supported and the things that we do to one another that diminish those four core needs were removed we would have a completely different experience of community in all of those places there’s a prison in Florida where they taught that the importance of these four core needs and how these four core needs make us all more alike than different because we all want them right and what they found is that in most prisons the recidivism rate which is reincarnation more than once happens about sixty to seventy percent of the time in prisons and when they taught these inmates that you know you were fighting a very counterproductive way to get those core needs mad but you don’t have to put yourself in some kind of monster box and let’s help you find a way to get those core needs met that’s more productive they had a four percent recidivism rate oh goodness so that’s how important it is so let’s kind of go down the list on these we often hear this word empowered we’re really what you know what does empowered means is it’s something that is it an internal is it external does it include the community around me how do I become how do i how does one become or how do I become empowered that is such an important question I think a lot of people are afraid of power they don’t know how to manage power they don’t know how to teach people to use power responsibly the real power truly is love that is the most empowered we are when we are with power within we are in contact with the wisdom and love that’s within us but most of the time we’ve been shown models of power over and power under so we either do things to try to be in sort of a superior position with people or we’re in a position where we feel that we have to be in the lose position with people and that is a learned behavior and that’s learned modeling that we see all over our society so you see some of the most profound leaders that we all aspire to and that inspire us are people that don’t do power over or power under when you think about you know Martin Luther King or that’s a common trait so empowerment really means a big practical way of looking at empowerment is do you know what you feel in what you want and are you willing to ask for it in the most basic simple way that’s a place that people don’t I mean people leave jobs all the time because they’re unhappy but they don’t have the courage to go and say hey I’m not really happy with this this is what I’m feeling and this is what I want is there any way we can have a conversation about that so oh well that is really yes but I can think of a few instances of that in my life mmm yes I think most of us struggle with that and even with all the things that I teach and do i still find myself at times struggling with being that real that authentic and that open about you know do you think in some people’s minds that there’s a confusion on what the difference between empowerment is an authority yes well part of the confusion is that some authority figures are truly authorities where they are living from power within and then some that have the title of authority figure are not living from the the power within their they’re often doing power over so that’s why that’s why I say to people we have a lot of fuss have issues with authority that we have to overcome so that we can be good leaders but the reason that those issues are there often in a sense not their fault it’s just that there’s so much confusion around what it means to be an authority and it’s in it’s so much about learned behavior from art from our past that we we look at one authority figure and think that they’re all they’re all the same way absolutely yeah your idea of authority is so skewed unless you have a real awareness of the various types of authority and which one is actually authentic empowerment we teach in our programs that there are three control methods that a lot of authority figures use to try to help you know raise good kids or race are you have good employees or good citizens and those are to be autocratic or to use incentives and rewards which is actually a control method right or to use judgments to try to help people to become like pleasers to just do what I want to be compliant and those are all ways that we extrinsically try to motivate people and so most leaders they’re trying to manage motivate and evaluate people and that’s not really what a good leader does a good leader mentors people into being good leaders and it’s a completely different kind of approach and when the leader does not know how to mentor that’s when the control methods come in yes because they get scared and they think well you know people should just do this because I’m the boss and I said so or let me see if I could throw some money at the situation to try to get people to be a certain way and really the role of a leader is to transfer responsibility effectively to other people and to do themselves out of a job I don’t not have a job job because there’s always the need to help other people continue to build their own leadership but I mean the job of trying to control them and then we you know obviously we all want to be lovable too but we have to be unique in that yes I mean we are unique and yet we’re afraid to be unique renea Brown is a researcher on shame and vulnerability and she says that you know we want to be we want to feel lovable and we want to feel connected but we’re afraid that the most honest authentic representation of our self is going to be rejected so it’s really a double bind we put ourselves in boy another word that you used right there shame that really that we think about that word and out and how it really has a comprehensive effect on on on people’s lives yes it really does and that’s why if we don’t learn more humane ways to help people understand themselves and to expand and to grow into you know who they really can be were we’re piling shame on instead which really mocks things up because what you think sometimes a you know with the the muck of shame that you know gets to one of the other core social needs it it doesn’t allow us to connect absolutely and isolation is really one of you know when you think about those kids that years ago we’re in Columbine in any incident like that where they shot up the school it was because they felt so isolated and that no one there cared and you know people can literally lose it go postal because of that need to feel connected and that inability to find a way to do that without all the shame and it’s I I know for myself person I think I could speak for a lot of people may I speak for you on this one chance it we really do need to feel connected yes in some way was with another person with you know with with a job with a career it’s a you know it’s about that connectedness and you know one of the things as you know my listeners know and you know I’m still kind of going through my grieving process and that’s part of the things that I’m finding that I’m missing right now is that especially as the holidays come up what what Who am I connected with yes and it you know there’s a little bit of a voi but but it’s through these conversations it’s through the friends it’s you know working with chat and having you eat that reminds you about how important it is to be connected well and is you and I I know I’ve experienced this with you it’s not only any connection it’s an authentic connection right and that’s what we’re really craving a lot of times we will take the cheap substitute but the truth is we want to be able to be fully seen and to fully see others so that their connection feels really me full because we all have special gifts it go along with our special you know with our special needs but when we can contribute at a level that is appreciated with with others whether it’s in a work situation or our family then that that that really is the fullest experience that we could have yes there’s there’s so much joy that we get and being able to give to others the problem is that we all think it’s better to give than receive and it’s not better it’s just that they’re both important so you have a lot of people that don’t want to ask for help and they don’t want to be receivers of help so therefore they inadvertently rob other people of opportunities to contribute oh boy cuz that’s a caregivers I care oh goodness and I’m speaking for myself here you know oftentimes caregivers get into that get into that predicament where they don’t ask for help yes they don’t want to be a burden and really and I you know I look back on the time’s right I really should have reached out for a little bit more help than what I did it was only because I was I was afraid yes we’re afraid to be that vulnerable we’re afraid that somehow somebody will take advantage of our vulnerability and the and it’s actually the opposite a lot of times when I’m working with organizations that are trying to get more engagement of their members or their staff or something I’ll say instead of trying to incentivize people to get involved like sometimes people even say well if we feed them they’ll calm you know and really it’s not wrong to feed them but the more important thing you could do is to let them know how important their contribution is and how much you need them and that will inspire them to get involved more than you trying to kind of coax them through some method of oats in a way of bribe you know it’s really inherent in all of us to be contributing and yeah brides just bribes just don’t work I you know pat on the backs are much better than bribes yes yes and what happens is we inadvertently you know train people to not have those opportunities to contribute and then they don’t even realize what they’re missing out on and then it and and a lot of instances they don’t even they don’t even recognize what they’ve what they’ve proved the good that they’ve provided because they’ve never been they’ve never been reinforced exactly yes how do we break this cycle how do we how do we demonstrate these four core needs to people so that they they feel fulfilled well I’m part of it is just being aware of them and to pay attention to where we’re doing things that actually make people feel disempowered make them feel not so lovable make them feel very disconnected and where we make them feel that you know that their contributions aren’t welcome so that’s one step there’s so many things that we’re doing that we’re not aware of and then how do we instead infuse opportunities so for example when my children were young we used to give him the whole lot of cash and T we taught them how to go to the store and we would just drop them off and this was before cell phones were in vogue and and we would say you know now here’s the list we taught them how to do it all but they had that sense of empowerment and contribution and the checkout people would say you did all the shopping you know and they’d say yeah my mom and dad they count on us we have to take our turn and we all cook a meal and so we just pointedly did things to help them have those four core needs Matt and there are so many ways that we could be doing that in our workplaces in homes and schools and we just haven’t thought of it it hasn’t been on our radar is it because we’re too busy um I think that in a sense it’s that we’re too busy but we also have this idea that love is kind of pampering people and so when even when I think about employees or I think about kids it’s just as harmful to pamper someone and do for them and not expect things from them and not teach them social interest in and the joy of that that it is to punish them like both of those are equally harmful very much so it’s it’s finding that it’s finding that middle ground yes absolutely and and T Jeanette I don’t know if we have time for her story about social interest but it is go far it’s important yeah I was at a grocery store not long ago and there was a little boy and he was asking his mom why can’t we park in this space and he was pointing to the handicapped space and her answer to him was do you see on their sign it says it will cost us two hundred dollars if we if we park there and the policeman’s going to get mad at us might take our car away now to me that’s a sad story yes because what I would have rather she said is you know what we are so lucky that we live in this loving community or together we’ve all agreed that it’s important that we help each other and some people can’t walk easily to the door and so we’re so fortunate that we have healthy legs and then we’re able to provide spaces for them so do you see how one is teaching the joy of community and and social interest in caring and the other is protect yourself care about what’s the consequence to you so if the day comes where I don’t think I’m going to have that consequence happen to me I’m gonna Park in that space ok teaching is focus on what you can get out of everything and that isn’t really teaching happiness Boyan that you know creating that joy of community it it’s a part of creating the life that we love it really is yes and happiness comes from wholeness more than our circumstances whoo yes I’m you thought were you caught me off guard on that one that’s a that is very good that is very good indeed yes yeah how do we get there you know well there’s lots of ways to get there but I think it helps to see people that look like they have it all and they’re not so happy exactly I love Jim Carrey and he said in one of his recent really amazing talks he said that he wishes everybody could achieve all the fame and all the wealth that they want so that they say realize that isn’t the source of happiness that the source of happiness is you know living to your purpose and being with who you’re here to truly be and all of that living to your purpose boy that goodness that’s another that’s a we could do a whole show on that one too living to your purpose you’ve you have stumped the host because that that you you know i’m i’m trying to do that right now through my show I think that you are the message that I’m trying to bring through in a nullity caregivers but you know to everybody out there that it when you find your purpose then you then you’re ready to rock and roll absolutely and you are living it I can feel it well I appreciate that you know yeah I owe it to you know people like yourself and some of my main supporters and you know we’re just we’re just going at it and we’re trying we’re trying to make healing ties not only in my life but in people that I’m associated with in communities I think it’s all about connecting people to health happiness and prosperity yes yes absolutely well kind of got off target but not really but I wanted to talk other if it relates to happiness as you know was forced this four stages of caring relationships that you talked about I love that work for anybody that’s listening in that has familiarity with em Scott Peck he wrote the road less traveled in a different drum and numerous books that he passed away a couple of years ago but he was always one of my favorite authors and he talked a lot about the four stages that happen either between you know two people or within a community of people and they have just informed so much for me in terms of really paying attention to where I’m at or where others are at in that and those stages of teamwork and so he talks about how we start every relationship to some degree in pseudo community where we’re really focusing it which is not a bad place to start at all right it’s the place of excitement and joy in looking and finding all those common common ground places that we have with each other but what often happens with people is that they don’t want to risk the harmony that feel at that stage to go past that stage and if you get stuck in that stage your relationship with people becomes very sterile and very boring and very safe because we only focus on what we agree on and we keep peace at all costs so what happens is that people enjoy that stage but when they get stuck in it they become unhappy or they move into the second stage which is actually progress but it doesn’t necessarily sound like progress and it’s a stage called the stage of chaos and in chaos what happens is you start to get real with yourself and with others about the places you don’t have in common and while that doesn’t have to be a source of pain and unhappiness between people if you can’t maneuver through that stage without falling into the trap of trying to fix and convert and change and even heal or fix other people you’re really that’s where power struggles start to happen and people start to be at odds with each other and they start trying to you know really the bottom line of that stages I want you to be me and you want me to be you that is that is a beautiful analogy yes so that’s the place where most people say I think I picked the wrong job I need to quit this job or oh I think I pick pick the wrong partner I need to quit this partner or you know that’s the place where we’ll either run and leave and usually not under really good conditions or will slip back and forth between that stage and pseudo community to try to restore some harmony so we’ll go back into kind of playing it safe and then you know between those two stages it becomes pretty on a pretty unhappy situation I could see that happening sure so and then this is where our company does a lot of really important work we help people move out of this stage of chaos where they’re trying to change someone into the stage which is called empty an empty sounds like a like a depressing lonely place but what empty really means is that you make room for you open the space for true trust building and true community with people and so what it requires is that in the state of md you don’t hold an agenda of trying to change anyone and our egos don’t like that because our egos are saying well nothing’s going to happen if you’re if you’re not trying to make something happen but the truth of it is if you can be open and honest and straightforward and receptive and respectful and you can in your giving recognition for gifts and strengths and opinions and viewpoints and perspectives and you’re able to be seeking an excellence with people and really following through on things that you say you’re going to do all of those happen in the state of empty where there’s no agenda to try to get somebody to be somebody that they’re not well it’s actually it’s a real positive way to use that word because you in Flint sometimes you just don’t connect to something positive to the word empty yes yes I mean really when you think about it and I know this I don’t know why this popped in my head but you know with the experience that you went through losing your partner it’s sometimes when we’re losing a loved one that there’s a space of open and empty when my father was dying one of my brothers came to me and said you know dad and I usually have this very kind of fun combative relationship but now that he’s dying I don’t know how to communicate with him in a way that doesn’t feel painful and he had to learn how to communicate differently with my father to slow everything down and let my father say the things he needed to say before he laughed and it was actually a really beautiful experience but in that sometimes we wait until we’re on her deathbed or we are someone else is on their deathbed to learn the lesson of opening the space so that we really hear one another and so rather than learn that lesson at the deathbed we could learn it sooner you know that that that communication skill that often goes on taught listening yes yes it’s very takes a lot of self-discipline and a lot of emotional and social intelligence to be a really productive listener and to not and to not hold an agenda that I want change you while I’m listening to you right mm-hmm and yet it’s so funny because when we get into that state of empty that’s where real change happens I always say it’s kind of like that story I think it’s called the gift of the magi where the husband and wife are married and the husband doesn’t know how he’s gonna buy his wife a Christmas present so he sells his watch to buy her combs for her long hair and she cuts off her long hair to buy him a chain on his watch very good that’s and that’s what happens when we do empty well people think if I don’t push for something it’s not going to change but the truth of it is if I stop pushing and I’m just open and honest with someone change happens from a place that’s really a different kind of seed then the seed that comes from pressure and force and criticism and judgment mmm powerful stuff powerful stuff goodness and there’s one more component to the caring role the final component is that there’s this incredible experience when you’ve when you’ve really reached true authentic community and so it’s actually given its own state its own you know compartment if you will because there is an experience in it that’s pretty transcendent and I’m just gonna give you a simple little experience I had just the other day I’ve my youngest child I have five kids my oldest is 34 and my youngest is 17 and she’s the only one at home with now and I’ve never had she’s very trustworthy I’ve never had to give her curfews and things like that and she was really pushing the boundaries on how she wasn’t she wasn’t getting good sleep and she wasn’t being reasonable with it and wasn’t you know getting up on time a few times and so I said we need to sit down and have this dialogue over this because we have this tool we use called dialogue tool and it’s one where you slow everything down in whoever speaking the other person does mirroring validating and empathizing and that’s a real deep listening of the the person’s words their perspective and their feelings and so we had this dialogue and it was so amazing the things that came out because when she talked she said you know Mom I just want to say I’ve been lying to myself I’ve been staying up later and later and telling myself it’s not affecting me and I’ve just haven’t been willing to look at that so because she was listening to herself talk she started being that honest and open with me and then the next thing out of my mouth was you know I really can understand that because I’ve been doing that with my diet lately I’ve fallen off the wagon I keep acting like it’s not gonna hurt me and rice been tighter and you know so by the end of it she was saying you know what I’m gonna get on track with this I’m gonna go to bed at ten every night on school nights and you know she was coming up because we were really hearing each other and we were hearing ourselves Judy we just got a couple of minutes left I wanted to you don’t want to tell our listeners that you know you’re going to be appearing regularly in 2015 through I you know we’re talking about whether it’s the motivational men at the leadership minute but it’s going to be a minute we are so with you in 2015 and we’re looking at doing a we’re going to be doing a cruise together as well yes I’m very honored to be part of this and very honored to have those minutes with you and whatever amount of time we we have on the shows and and it’s very excited about our future cruise we’re going to have it’s going to be awesome and how and how can people get in touch with you well the best way really is our phone number and my email address is all over my website so my website would be a really great place there’s tons of information on there and the website is wwf/e workin cmwm and so it’s a it’s a singular on work but it’s it’s plural on systems com so life work systems com Judy I it’s it’s great to connect with you I know you got an event in Ferguson Missouri this evening and hopefully we can find some time to talk about that the next time you’re on yes thank you so much Chris you were absolutely right this went by goes by fast yeah yeah Judy will be in touch thanks so much thank you


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