Episode 070 : Grief Strategies for the Workplace Through Empathy and Compassion with Karen Millsap

Episode 070 : Grief Strategies for the Workplace Through Empathy and Compassion with Karen Millsap

Karen Millsap, the CEO (Chief Empathy Officer) of Egency and Founder of The Groflo, began her career in human resources and talent acquisition where she led countless training, new process, and change initiatives. At a young age, she suddenly became a widow when her husband was tragically murdered which completely changed the trajectory of her life. After experiencing a domino effect of other losses, she became acutely aware of the overall lack of support in our society for grieving people. We are all connected through our struggles, from the death of loved ones, to life-altering illnesses, divorce, even job loss. This realization ignited Karen’s desire to turn her pain into purpose and pay it forward to help others.

Egency is a leadership development and training firm that helps organizations create a human-centric culture with compassion and empathy. The Groflo is a community that shares mental + emotional growth tips and positive lifestyle inspiration.

Karen’s client list includes NBC’s Golf Channel, Hubspot, Universal Studio Resorts, Sprint and many more! Her work has been featured in Forbes, SHRM Magazine, on Good Morning America, MSNBC, and many others! She’s also a regular contributor to Arianna Huffington’s THRIVE Global community.  Karen is a TEDx keynote speaker who inspires audiences to embrace compassion and empathy to help alleviate other’s suffering by becoming advocates for their own adversaries.

She received her undergraduate degree in Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist through the Grief Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, California.

Questions

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey?
  • Could you share with us a little bit about empathy?
  • Where does compassion come from?
  • Does compassion come innately?
  • A taboo topic that is found in Jamaica is incest and abuse. When I hear people talk, especially when you’re talking to young girls to help them to move from that trauma and that experience because it’s something that stays with you for life, how do you respond to them in terms of, you made it through, everything’s going to be okay.
  • Do you think that traits of empathy and compassion are required more than the traits of technical competencies of doing the job because those things had to build had to build the relationship?
  • Could you share with us how do you stay motivated every day?
  • What’s the one online resource tool, website or app that you couldn’t absolutely live without in your business or life?
  • Could you share with us any books that have had the greatest or biggest impact on you?
  • What’s one thing that’s going on in your life right now that you are really excited about – either something that you’re working on to develop yourself or people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What’s one quote or saying that during times of adversity you tend to revert to that quote or saying to help you to refocus or recenter so that you can move forward?

Highlights

  • Yanique mentioned, I first phoned Karen on Good Morning America when Robin Roberts was interviewing her a couple of weeks back. And I was so impressed that we actually have people out there that are called Grief Consultants. And it was amazing to hear that she was using her pain, she’s channeled it into good to go into organizations and train leaders on how to effectively communicate with their team members and build better teams.

Karen shared that unfortunately, this knowledge and this passion came from the tragedy when her husband Richard was killed and at the time she was working in Human Resources and recruiting for a national home building company. So, her background up to that point had been in HR but touched in different pieces of recruiting and training and leadership development and all of that good stuff. So, after her husband passed, when she transitioned back to the workplace, she found that there was just this huge disconnect between the expectations of corporate America and humans, what we are capable of doing and how we process in the midst of such a delicate time. And so, when she experienced this firsthand, her immediate response was, “How can I use this to help other people?”Now, part of it was helping individuals because we definitely need help in navigating grief. It’s such a complex journey and it doesn’t look the same for everybody, but we also need help interacting with people who are going through their own grief journey. And so, that’s where her heart was initially led, although there were one off individuals, who she was helping along the way, she really honed in on creating workshops or training and leadership development tools that would help people to manage grief in the workplace. So, her company, they develop The Four Pillars of Practical Empathy and those are Awareness, Communication, Support, and Productivity. And so, as she started down that journey of talking about grief in the workplace, there was a lot of resistance as you can imagine. First of all, people don’t want to admit that there’s this elephant in the room, everybody is going through something, grief is a universal human experience. The biggest myth about grief is that we think it only occurs because of a death, but it actually comes from different losses or changes. It could be from becoming a caregiver to an elderly parent or finding out that somebody in your family or even yourself is diagnosed with a terminal illness, there’s so many different things. But again, it comes because of a change or a loss when we expect things to be different or better or more and it just doesn’t turn out that way. So, as she started to just kind of break down all of these barriers and these myths that are surrounded with grief, again, corporate America was not really receptive because by saying you want grief training would be admitting that you have a problem because brief is kind of looked at it as a problem. And so, she recognized this resistance and most of what she was teaching was really surrounded around compassion and empathy in the workplace. So, she decided to just adjust slightly and instead of leading with the problem, she led now with the solution which is compassion and empathy. And as she was pulling different resources and research articles and studies and all of this that just helps us to create a basic framework for human interaction in the workplace. As she was pulling that, she recognizes, well, it still touches on grief in the workplace because if we are operating with compassion and empathy on a day to day basis, that’s mastery preparation for the time of crisis. We’re already connecting in this space that’s just really vulnerable, we’ve established trust and respect through kindness, so when somebody does hit a tough life situation, which inevitably happens to all of us, then at least your work family is prepared to walk through those tough times with you and handle that because you guys have already established this kind of workplace. So, it’s been a journey to get to this point but she’s super grateful that she learned all that she did throughout this journey because it’s helped her to serve her clients at a whole new level, not just the basic leadership development, it really is taking it up a notch.

Yanique shared, I like the fact that you’ve mentioned that you started to lead with the solution, and you focus on empathy and compassion. And one of the things that we have identified in the whole client or customer experiences, people are driven by how they feel, their emotions play an integral part. I think even more than the intellectual because the emotion drives how the intellectual will respond. 

  • Yanique shared, I personally think that it’s not something that you’re born with, it’s a learnt behavior and it’s all dependent on how you’re socialized, what you’re exposed to, the behaviors that you see, both from your environment that you’re in as well as maybe even from things that you’re exposed to are stimulated by like the television or even social media. But not everybody knows how to be empathetic.

When asked about empathy, Karen shared yes and no to Yanique’s statement. Yes, it is something that can be learned, but no, it’s not something that people are only inheriting that ability through a learned environment. That’s not the case. People are born with empathy. There are people who are born with a lack of empathy. As a matter of fact, there’s a chemical in the front part of our brain, in our amygdala that triggers our emotions and so you could live and be raised in a very compassionate home, but you were born kind of without feelings, you don’t get too riled round up but that doesn’t mean that you didn’t have an environment that included feelings and emotions and conversations around that, it really is how we’re born. But even if people are born without or with a lack of, maybe they don’t have a lot of empathy, you still can adopt behaviors and skills and habits that bring empathy into conversations and interactions so that way the person who you are interacting with feels valued. And so, empathy is really being able to feel and understand another person’s emotions and respond with care. So again, that feeling part may not be natural for some people, but you can try to understand where they’re coming from and respond in an empathic way. So that’s how it looks and so as it pertains to their customer experience, you may not be able to completely resonate with where this customer is coming from. And she gave you an example, it’s a personal example. She bought a new car at the end of last year and the sales team, they weren’t that great but she needed to get out of her car, it had 140,000 miles on it, it was just not safe anymore. Karen said she was kind of in a rush to get into the car and didn’t do her due diligence on a few things that she noticed within 24 hours of driving off the lot. So, she immediately contacted the sales team, they were not very responsive. So, then she looked online for customer service team, they were not very responsive. So, being the person that she, she’s just saying, well this isn’t okay. So, she’s going to do her due diligence. She contacted the corporate office to say, “Listen, there are a couple of defects and this is actually not safe. So, I just purchased this car and we need to figure out a resolution.”Now up the chain of command, the customer service sucked, it was terrible. And she was telling them like the rear-view camera is not working, that is a safety issue. If she runs over a kid, do you think they’re going to say, Oops, that’s our bad, we should have responded quickly to that email.”No, she’s going to be the one who is dealing with the legal ramifications. So, she’s pushing forward and say, no, this is not okay. She felt like there was a disconnect between kind of the first level of customer service and then once you get to the executive office, once she got to the executive office and there was an individual who was assigned to work with her, he followed up, he was patient on the phone, he made sure that the service manager they got her in touch with was timely in his response. He kept Karen in the loop, even if there was going to be a waiting period, he communicated that to her and what he did that was different than the first level of customer service was he empathized with the fact that we have a single mom here who has made a very large investment and she’s not saying she got anything fancy, but when you purchase a car, lease a car, that’s an investment, you are putting your credit on the line and all of that. So, it’s not something to be taken lightly and so because of his understanding of where she was coming from and her position and her worry and concern, he made sure that he saw it all the way through. Where on the front end, that didn’t happen. Now what did he do differently than the first people who may be answered a call or answered an email? He didn’t do much in the practical sense, except for the fact that he took his time to patiently understand where she was coming from and communicate in a way that made her feel like she was being heard, that her purchase was valued, her position as a customer was valued and he wanted to make sure that we found a resolution, he responded with care. So, it didn’t take him much, but just the way that he was on top of it made a world of difference because she was ready to just blast this company, don’t ever buy from them and that’s not her character. But she felt like they did not care that we had such a major issue and it was only because, and she told him on their last call, she said, It is only because of you and how you resolved this, that I feel satisfied.” The first three months of this process, which Karen didn’t mention, it took a long time to get to that point, but the first three months was treacherous and because of this one person who showed compassion, who interacted with empathy and who made sure that a resolution was done in a caring way, she felt like, “Okay, I’m okay. I could come back and buy another car from them.”She knows that sounds bad because it was such a crazy, but he did resolve it with empathy.

Yanique stated, so it’s more about listening to what the person is saying to you, understanding where they’re coming from and why this is a pain point for them. And as you said, responding in a way that, “Oh well, no big deal.”Instead in a way that, “I understand where you’re coming from and what can we do to make it better?”Because it would seem from the first level of customer service that they were more concerned about making the sale and less about providing after sales support to you.

Karen agreed and stated that it doesn’t take a lot of time, it doesn’t even take a lot of effort, you are on the exact same call with the exact same person and literally your tone can change, and your active listening skills can change the trajectory of that outcome. You just have to decide while you were in the midst of that, “How am I going to show up for this person? Am I going to be caring or am I going to be short and curt? Am I going to listen or am I just thinking about the next thing that I need to get done? Or Am I be grudgingly going through the motions?”Either way you have a choice and the energy level is the same.

  • Karen shared that she believes that the major difference between empathy and compassion is one word, Action. We are meant to put compassion into action, it’s how you are showing up for people, whether you’re showing up for a colleague who’s going through something that’s difficult or the way, for example, this gentleman responded to her. He made sure that he was calling every four days with an update to let her know what was going on because she was really left in the dark and that was frustrating. So, compassion is what you put into action. Empathy really is kind of the starting point, like she said, being able to feel and understand and then choosing to respond in a certain way but that response is your compassion. Now, one thing that she’s done through agencies, they created a Compassion Action Plan. And what it does is it addresses, if you know somebody who has experienced in the organization, who’s experienced a major loss, and they just touched on five because this is usually an activity that they do in workshops but for this eBook, what they did was, they just put five in there. And so, divorce, I’m becoming a caregiver, death, we identified those and how can you put compassion into action?So, if you just thought about it for a second and you thought about, okay, I know a colleague lost their spouse, what is a way that I can show up for them? What would be one or two ideas that come to your mind?

Yanique shared, so they’ve lost a family member and seeing that I experienced at similar situation last year, what I looked for in people who showed compassion were people who came, they were just there, they were there to support me, it’s simple things like just coming over and sitting and talking just to have the companionship at that point in time because you don’t want it to be alone because it’s an experience of trauma and being alone, your mind wanders all over the place and you feel more lonely. So, you kind of just want somebody to be there and you want them to know that you want them to be there without you having to tell them, I want you to be there.

Karen agreed and stated that she’s going to ask Yanique for another example but pausing there for a second. That is another example of how it does not take much for you to just show up for somebody, does it? She remembered at my husband’s funeral, Karen looked, and she saw at least 20 people from her office who were there, and that just made her feel so supported because you’re right. When we go through a major loss like that, somebody close to us, somebody within our inner family, our intermediate family, then we usually go to this place of isolation in our minds because you get on this emotional rollercoaster and there’s so many complex feelings, it’s hard to keep up with those thoughts. So, you really feel emotionally and mentally drained and so when you have people around you, as you mentioned, they help you to stay connected to life, so you’re not just completely caught up in your head, you’re not isolating yourself and end up on this negative thought cycle and start spiraling downward but you have somebody who’s just present. And she had somebody, her name was Jamie, she actually mentioned her in her Ted Talk because she mean this, she would just show up and just lay on the floor with her or lay in her bed or they would like walk around Target, she is one of her closest friends and she told Karen later after hearing Karen’s Ted Talk, so this was four years after this happened, but she said, “I admitted to my husband almost every night when I came home. I don’t know if I’m doing enough, I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do.”So, for four years as she is relishing this friendship and it anchored in her mind is something to teach other people, just show up. She didn’t even realize that it had made an impact on her healing journey, it made a huge impact. So, you’re right, she always tells people, we all need a Jamie. So that’s good. So, the first thing is show up, be present but what’s something else that you can do for a colleague?

Yanique shared that when she lost her dad last year, it was also important, and I guess that would link back to being present. To assist me with anything, low hanging fruits that would distract me or make me feel not supported.

Karen shared that the difference there is, is that what they did was they stepped in to respond to your basic needs because it could have been like handling bills, it could have been like handling other logistics that when you’re in that mental fog, you don’t really have the capacity to do so. And so, if you have people who you trust, who are near you, this could be different for colleagues. For colleagues showing up and responding to basic needs is like making sure you have food. Creating a food calendar or just saying, “Hey, it’s okay if you need to take longer than five days.” Because usually that’s the bereavement period, it’s like five days for somebody in your intermediate family but they can say, “You know what? I know you have this project going on, I’ll help you with that. What’s your client’s name? Let me step in, just give me a couple of details and I’ll go into the system and I’ll figure out the rest. But you don’t worry about it.”That’s responding to a basic need that’s helping them to keep their life afloat and that is putting compassion into action.

  • When asked if compassion come innately, Karen stated that in our world, in our society, it’s just awkward. Grief is just awkward, and some people feel like, Oh, I don’t know if I’ll say the right thing. I don’t know if I have enough time to be there.” We come up with all of these different barriers in our mind and the difference between holding onto those barriers and acting like Jamie will say as a reference point is she just leaned in without knowing if what she was doing was enough, but her heart just led her to do that. What happens is we stop our heart from responding naturally because then our mind starts to take over to think that we need to say the right thing, we have to be perfect on how we show up, what if it’s not enough? Our heart and mind starts to battle. But you’re right, it is an innate response. It’s just our mind can start to suppress that response because we start to feel awkward and that’s her mission is to make grief less awkward, let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about all of this because again, it is a universal human experience, we are all going to go through it. Karen thinks if we have these conversations, for example, Yanique having her on the podcast again, thank you because it’s helping to reach different people and to open up a different mindset so we can respond differently. Because right now, we’re perpetuating suppression and isolation and that’s what’s making our journeys unhealthy. If we just opened our heart up to respond in a natural way, that doesn’t look perfect and here’s an example. If somebody at work tells you, “I just found out that my spouse has cancer, or I have cancer.” Instead of not knowing what to say and then not saying anything, which is actually worse. If somebody didn’t acknowledge or say it’s the first time seeing them that Richard had died, she felt like, “Well wow, that was kind of a big deal. Like we’re not going to say anything about it.”We don’t have to go down the rabbit hole. But anyhow, if somebody shares some tragic news with you, you can say this, you can say, “I am so sorry that you’re going through this. We don’t know what is going to happen at the end of the day, but I know you are strong. I know that you have this light inside of you that you can just push through and I’m here with you, like anything that you need work related, if you just need to take a walk, if you need to get out of the office or if he just needed somebody to talk to for a few minutes, just know that you’re not alone.”That’s not giving false hope, that’s not saying everything’s going to be great or just pray on it, it’s not giving any of that. It’s just saying, “I‘m meeting you where you are and yeah, this is hard. This suck, but you’re not alone.” That is enough.

Yanique asked, what do you think about situations when someone shares with you for example, that they had a tragedy and they’re going through grief like a death for example. And the person responds and says, I know exactly what you’re going through because I find that grief is different for everyone and you may lose someone, and you respond in a different way. It impacts you in a different way and I may lose someone, and it may not impact me in that way, or it might impact me worse or less. Do you think it’s a safe to say, I know exactly what you’re going through? How do you know? 

Karen shared that she thinks that this is another uncomfortable yet common response because it’s true, it’s a common response only because people feel uncomfortable and they’re just kind of like, “Ah, what do I say?”And it just comes out so naturally and that’s not really what they mean. They’re not saying, I know exactly what you’re going through because somebody has said that to her and she’s like, “Oh, your husband’s been murdered. I didn’t know that that happened to you.” And not to even downplay it, because some people will compare losses, they’ll say, “Oh, well I went through a divorce and so I know how that feels.” Again, no, you don’t know how it feels, but their heart is in the right place. So, the first thing she would say is if you’re on the receiving end of that comment is to give that person a little bit of grace because at least they’re trying to be there. Do not take offense to that and kind of see through their words to see their heart and their intentions and their heart and their intentions is to comfort you in the moment. But Karen’s advice to the person who wants to say that and guess what? Karen has said that to people before in a different light. And before all of this happened, before she became more aware of some of the myths that we use to comfort people. But if you are about to say that, hold your tongue real quick and then just think about saying something along these lines.

Again, “I don’t know what you’re going through, but I went through a situation and I know that pain is real. I know that those hard times can come in waves. I know that sometimes it can just feel really consuming and so if you feel anything that is just so painful and it feels hard for you to manage, you can come talk to me. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I know what pain feels like and I’m willing to just be here for you.”

 It’s authentic in the sense that she can relate to your pain even though she hasn’t experienced the same loss. And here’s the thing, two siblings could lose the same parent and feel completely different about it. So, imagine the differences of somebody who says, “Oh, I went through a divorce too,”or “Yeah, I also had a miscarriage.”or “Oh, when my mom was sick.” We compare them but there’s so many different factors that make that situation so different and unique, but at least being able to relate through the pain, Karen thinks that’s the authentic place to be.

  • Karen shared that there are pains like that where, for example, she has a friend and her parents were not kind growing up, they just weren’t, and she doesn’t have a relationship with them now. Now she doesn’t know that she’s experienced any kind of sexual abuse. She knows that has had happened in her family, but it did not happen to her. However, the abandonment of your parents and them not wanting to be with you, it’s a pain that stays with you through adulthood. A physical kind of trauma is also something that stays with you through adulthood and sometimes you have to see your abuser. And so, it’s like how do you live in that space? So, what she encourages people to do is to create healthy boundaries, they can’t always be physical. A lot of times they have to be mental and emotional.So, the person again who is hearing something like that, they’re on the receiving end of that comment, you have to create an emotional and mental boundary just knowing that whatever they’re saying to me, if it is not resonating with my heart, with pure comfort and peace and, and even empathy, than I’m not going to receive that, you choose if you’re going to receive their words are not. Now for the person who is trying to comfort or build them up because a lot of times they’re thinking if you’ve been a victim, what I need to do is pour into you that you are strong, pour into you that you have gotten over it, kind of build up your confidence and resilience but again, sometimes we just fumble over those words and so instead of saying something that is diminishing their past, meet them where they are. Again, the same starting, 

“I can’t imagine what you have gone through, but I see who you are today and I see that you are a fighter, I see that you are a survivor and even if those pains are still being held with you, which I’m sure that they are, I can only imagine that they are. There is something in you that is not giving up and I admire that in you.”

That is truth. That is absolute truth. It does not diminish the pain that they have experienced, but it is uplifting them to say, I have seen that you did not give up. And I applaud you for that. But it is okay if you’re still feeling and battling all of the wounds, the emotional wounds and mental wounds that you carry with you, but it’s still, it uplifts them and it builds them up and that’s at the end of the day, what we should be doing for each other is to build one another up so we feel safe, so we feel protected.

  • When asked about traits of empathy and compassion that leaders should have in order to build a team. Karen agreed and shared that one of her favorite Richard Branson quotes is, “When you take care of your people, your people will take care of your business.” And that is the absolute truth. A lot of times leaders are driven by the numbers and the data, but you have to remember there are people behind those numbers and that data it didn’t just magically appear, this is coming from somebody’s knowledge capacity, their relationship building, their goal setting. There are people who are driving these numbers and so you have to get to the source of your success, the source of your success is your people and how you treat people is how they produce at work. Now, a lot of times people, Karen kind of hears two things most often. One is, leader say, “I want to be a better leader, I want to connect with my people, I want to help them in a different way. Basically, build up their personal success but I don’t know how.” And that’s because we have to kind of get past that old adage of leave your personal stuff at the door and so, she thinks that again, leaders want to, but we are shifting society and we’re shifting how we show up at work. So, that’s why it’s such a great time to really live out her passion because people are more receptive to this message and they need just some structure, some framework behind it. That’s the first thing, but then the other thing is there are leaders who are naturally showing up with kindness and they are seeing just amazing, powerful results.

An example of this is, uh, one of her clients from Sprint, this gentleman is the general manager of one of their four business units, and they have been the number one team for the last 15 years straight. Fifteen years they have consistently outperformed the rest of the company and when she met him, she asked him to come onto her podcast, Invest Humanand she said, we just need to talk about what this is and he said, one word, “Kindness.”It is all about how you treat your people. Now when she goes into organizations, she breaks this down through like communication, interactions, conflict resolution, like how do we bring it into that. But it really all has to do with kindness because when you treat people well, then employees become more enthusiastic about their work and if they are enthusiastic about their work, what happens to their performance, it improves. What happens to the customer experience because of the person that they’re interacting with. It’s like again a no brainer, it should be a no brainer, but she thinks what the shift that’s happening is that people just kind of need permission and they need that framework because for so long we’ve lived in this space of kind of being robotic at work and only expecting or evaluating someone’s performance and not opening up the experience, the actual employee experience.

Yanique shared that the interpersonal skills, the soft skills, showing kindness and ensuring that you exercise empathy and compassion, those are definitely characteristics and traits that as a leader will take you much further than any technical competence.

  • Karen stated that that is such a good question – how she stays motivated daily. She doesn’t live in a constant state of motivation. She has learned through different personality tests and stuff, she does have a natural personality that is drawn to the silver lining. So, she doesn’t stay in a dark place for too long. However, and when you’ve experienced this kind of tragedy, you can’t help but to be in a dark space for a while. So, what she learned during that time, her most trying times so far in her life, it’s absolutely critical for us to build a foundation of healthy habits so that we can navigate any hard time when it comes. Life isn’t fair so you’re not going to go just through one thing, it’s not a one and done. And there are every day stressors that we have to work through, relationships, traffic, personalities that are not meshing. There’s just so many different stressors that can make us feel weary and burnt out. So, it’s not that you can live in this constant state of up because what goes up must come down, but you have to learn to find that balance when you do come down and how do you take care of yourself. So, for Karen, whenever she’s going through a challenging time, smaller or large, it’s just a matter of tapping into those habits that she established when she was in the midst of her darkest hours with grief and she wasn’t intentional then, she was very set on her why, her why was her son. She knew that she wanted to be a good mom for him and didn’t want to be living in this state of like brokenness and in this victim mindset, like it wouldn’t have been healthy for him in the long run. And so, as she focused on him, then she started to create these healthy habits that just made a huge impact on her total wellbeing. So, when you are feeling down, take a break, that’s okay. Go for a walk, do a breathing exercise. There’re so many different habits on your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing that once you know what those habits are, then you can tap into them regardless of the low that you’re feeling because they are tried and true. They helped you in a dark, dark place or they help you in a, I’m frustrated and burnt out place as well.
  • When asked about an online app or tool that she couldn’t live without, Karen stated that she thinks she would have to answer two ways. One is she really strive for strong organizational skills. She has very strong organizational skills, but she does that because she has a bad memory. She’s just going to be vulnerable here for a second, but Karen recognizes that her mind being an entrepreneur, being a single mom, having experienced trauma, she just has a bad memory and so she compensates by having really strong organizational skills. And one of the tools that she loves is Google Keep, it helps her because it just allows her to brain dump and when she is able to brain dump all of the different distractions that come into her mind, she’s creating that space of mental clarity so that she can stay focused on her priorities. So, Google Keep has been really helpful. But there was also an app that helped her early on in my grief with mindfulness and meditation and that was called Headspace, and she just signed up for the free version because she wanted to see what it was about, and it helped her because a lot of times we get into negative thoughts cycles at night before we’re going to sleep. Our mind is just racing and then we start feeling like, I don’t have enough time. What do I do tomorrow? Did I not do this today? And so that on top of any kind of trauma that you may be working through, Headspace taught a breathing pattern that she was even able to teach to her son, that at night if she can’t fall asleep, it works wonders. And so it’s really simple, it’s just a matter of counting your breaths when you inhale and exhale, when you inhale, you count one when you exhale, two inhale again, three and so on up to 10, you don’t change your breathing pattern, you’re not, you don’t have to take long, deep breaths, but when you get to 10 you start back at one and there’s something about that Karen said she could do that three, maybe four times at the most, and then she pass out, she’s knocked out. It’s taught her such a powerful breathing technique that she shares that with almost anybody she interacts with because she thinks we’re all a victim of those nighttime blues when it’s kind of hard to fall asleep. 

Yanique then stated, that seems to be a popular app. I’ve actually downloaded it on my phone, but I haven’t clicked on it because things have been so busy. But I had a guest that was on our podcast and maybe two, three weeks ago and that was one of his recommendations. I find it interesting that shortly after, I’m getting the same recommendation, so that app must be really good. So, I think today I’m going to make sure I click on the app since it’s on the phone and I haven’t actually used it yet to see what it’s all about. I have no problems falling asleep though but sometimes I do get distracted, like I’m doing something, and I start thinking about something else and I jump from one thing to the next. So, if Headspace can help me to refocus at times, that would be wonderful.

Karen stated that she thinks that it definitely, what she liked about it most was in the free version, it teaches you where some people just embark on this meditation journey and you’re like, “Ah, how do I do this? I’m falling asleep. No, wait, I can’t stop these thoughts.”There are so many barriers and she liked how in the free version it actually teaches you some of the techniques that are helpful.

  • Karen was asked about books that have had the biggest impact and she stated that there is a lot. She shared that she was not a reader until she was 30 years old. She hated reading growing up but after her husband died, she became obsessed with reading about heaven because she just needed that confirmation that he was okay, and she would see him again. And that’s what kind of got her down this journey. So, she’ll say the two, there really are so many but to that she thinks made such a huge impact one was Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. It teaches you how you can change your mindset from being a victim or living in a fixed mindset to having a growth mindset. And again, it gives applicable takeaways on how you can teach even children, how you can teach, whether you’re a teacher, a parent, a coach, it just helps in that state, how you can also use it in the workplace. So, Mindset by Carol Dweck was amazing. And then also it’s kind of a tie between these two, Life’s Golden Ticket: A Story about Second Chances by Brendon Burchardbecause it’s a fiction book, but it gives you this visualization of you having a choice and kind of revisiting different people or moments in your past that have led you up to where you are today and accept where you are today so that you can move forward. And then the other one is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which she knows is a lot of people’s favorites, but it’s one of hers particularly because it was suggested to her probably almost three years ago now, but she just read it at the end of last year and she believes in just divine timing and at the time it came to her life, she wasn’t ready to read it, but when she read it, it was exactly the time that she was supposed to just digest that. So, it’s a great book again for people who are just wondering, “Man, does all of this mean something? How do I know I’m headed down the right path.” So, that’s why she loves that book so much.
  • Karen shared that she’s super excited about launching her new group coaching program. She’s going to be doing a group coaching and it is called, “Soul Care Coaching with Karen”and so she wants to create a network, this specific offer is for women, but she wanted to create a network for women where they are able to just grow, they are able to find healing and just become the best version of their self. And so, just sharing herself and stories but also sharing other coaches along the way. So, she’s really excited about that. But then she also launched her first eCourse, Heal Forwardand that’s for anybody who has experienced a major loss or a hardship or they’re just feeling depleted in life and they want to heal and move forward. It’s a six-week series that just gives a whole bunch of selfcare habits and tips, worksheets, videos, all that good stuff. It loads you up so that you can build that foundation that she talked about of healthy habits. So, she’s excited about those two. The eCourse just launched and the coaching will launch in March 2019.
  • Karenshared listeners can find her at –

www.karenmillsap.com 

  • Karen shared that regarding quotes or sayings that she tends to revert to, that ironically, it’s like a little plaque that she found and it’s on her desk as she’s looking at it right now. It is her favorite, it says, “Everything’s going to be all right. Yep even that one thing.”Bob Marley said that. But she likes how it says, “Yep”, even that one thing because it’s like yeah, you can get really stuck on something, it’s like no, no, no, everything is going to be okay. Even that one thing, and she loves her some Bob Marley, so it resonated right away.

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