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I Don’t Like Work

I love chatting with people to get their perspectives on life. Recently one comment by a colleague surprised me when he said “You shouldn’t use the word work because it will deter and discourage people from trying.” (You shouldn’t….always a winner of a way to start a conversation…not!) When asked why, he replied “I don’t like the word work because work is just too hard.” 
 
It has my gears turning. We all get caught up on words and our individual interpretation of them based on our life experiences. Work for him meant drudgery, oppression, being bossed around, and something to be avoided. I could only imagine how many times he sabotaged his own success by having a mental block about the word work. As a kid when he heard “do your homework” his walls instantly went up. As a budding pianist he was told it will take a lot of hard work and practice so he eventually quit playing. Throughout his adult life, he dreaded five days a week of putting on a suit to go to work or in his mind, the dungeon. For him, work is a dirty word. 
 
Work for me has a very different interpretation. I was raised by two parents whose strong message was no matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough or worthy of my love. Being an optimist I knew this couldn’t be true. There had to be some threshold of where I cleared the highest of bars and won their love, or even their approval, or if neither of those, at least they would stop their ridicule of me. 
 
Work has always been my fighting survival skill and emotional protection to say…maybe I’m not there yet but I’m going to be! A little relentless voice that says…I got a whole bunch of good stuff inside of me just waiting for the right opportunity for it to come jumping out. For me, work is a hope-filled word. 
Work results provided the internal, positive cheering for myself as I overcame exterior, negative brainwashing. 
 
As an athletic kid, I knew how great it felt to stand on the podium. I started gymnastics at age three. With both joy for the sport and a commitment to be the best gymnast I could be, I conditioned, stretched, practiced and dedicated myself. That meant I woke up early and went into the cold, dark Chicago winter mornings to run so I would have extra endurance. I wasn’t a state champion but I saw how my diligent work and big effort paid off by teaching me a life lesson that I have ability to create a better tomorrow than today.
Because I was a forthright kid who often stood up to protect my sisters when my parents were being harsh, I learned speaking truth is more important than suffering silently. I worked at my speaking skills, earning a double major in Communications and I now speak up for other abused, neglected, bullied and poorly treated kids and adults. I won’t ever get my parents love or approval, but it’s a magical feeling to hear how my voice has positively changed someone’s life. My heart overflows when I hear their commitment to work on how they think about themselves, how they allow people to treat them, and how they are going protect themselves and others. Call me a sap but that makes my eyes water every time! For me, that’s love in action. The hard work I do to create awareness on what is Authentic Health so together we can prevent and end all forms of abuse…is well worth it.
 
I don’t like work, I love it!
 
ENLIGHTEN. EMPOWER. END.
Please contact us for workshops, training, speaking and coaching.
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Declaration Beats Achievement

As a country, we celebrate our independence on the day we DECLARED it and not on the day we ACHIEVED it. I find our history intriguing and very telling of the power of unified commitment and uncompromised conviction. It says a lot to me about the spirit of our ancestors and what lies in our own DNA.

The background story is on July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence and the historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson was adopted on July 4th. It wasn’t until seven, hard, cold, costly years later, on September 3, 1783, that we signed the Treaty that gave us our independence from Britain. We were clearly the underdogs and absolutely inferior from a military perspective but there was a driving force uniting individuals, leaders and communities to band together to face their adversity and stand up for what they believed was right.

With every written word in the Declaration of Independence, they let the world know…freedom is our united truth. With every action they took, they demonstrated they would face any risk, overcome any fear and get around any obstacle, in order to achieve their vision of freedom.

Maybe the key to obtaining Authentic Health is backwards to how we normally approach problems. What if we STARTED with celebrating a shared declaration that each person deserves to be healthy and happy. Then with insights and support of our families, communities and co-workers, we buckle down and do the hard, often scary and challenging work it takes to remove the unhealthy words, actions and behaviors so we all can reach our best-self vision.

When we claim our independence from unhealthy and toxic people, we are no longer inter-dependent on them and we are free to have power and control of our lives.

When you make a declaration of freedom from abusive, traumatic, harassing, bullying and other unhealthy behaviors in yourself and others, like our ancestors, you change not only your life but the lives of generations to come…and that’s something to celebrate!

Happy 4th!

Enlighten. Empower. End.

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Who Is Being Abused?

In the next series of blogs I will answer the most commonly asked questions we receive. Most people find it kinda scary to ask about abuse and mistreatment but are grateful to learn. I want to remove that fear and offer helpful insights. I truly care about you, your well-being and your questions and concerns…and always love hearing your ideas on how we can make this a healthier world. So, let’s get started!

Question #1: WHO IS BEING ABUSED?
Abuse (by our definition “Repeated mistreatment where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person” applies to all forms of abuse including childhood, bullying, sexual harassment, neglect, domestic violence, financial abuse and more) happens to all ages of men, women, and children. It is a silent epidemic occurring right under our noses in all demographics regardless of: race, religion, occupation, income, gender, education, housing, location, socio-economic and marital status…in all countries. Hard to believe…but 100% true!

I often get told “This doesn’t happen in our community or school or work!” but the truth is…yes it does.

I get asked, “Isn’t this only a low-income problem?” The answer is, no it is not.

The reason people feel it doesn’t happen in their neck of the woods is that historically, it has not been talked about in ANY social circles. There are many reasons for this and one of the most compelling is money. In high-income circles, there is often the sentiment that there is too much to lose such as a luxury lifestyle, social status and scandal to their reputation, child custody and parenting rights, threats from the income-producing spouse of out “lawyering” the other one, and losing the financial/medical support of aging parents. In low-income circles, the drop to one income often creates a chain reaction of hardship including losing housing and having to move to less costly housing in areas with an increased exposure to violence and gangs, lose custody rights of their kids, poverty conditions, and not supporting their extended family who often are the only safe and free babysitting option.

In both income extremes, there is often verbal and very real fear tactics and threats from small and undermining “You couldn’t make it without me!” to large and actionable “I would rather see you dead than divorce me.”

Regardless of the form of abuse, when people feel they can’t speak up or are afraid to tell someone and they see no other alternative, they will stay in abusive situations. If we create a trusting avenue for talking about abuse and asking how to safely get out of an abusive relationship, we build healthy alternatives for people to take. That is why it is up to us, a society of caring people from all backgrounds, to shift the conversation about abuse from one of a social stigma to one of united support. Won’t you join us?!

Please contact us for more information and how you can help be part of the change.

Also, ask about our workshops and training as well as our Authentic Health Coaching. Current corporate workshop: Beyond Sexual Harassment…Build Authentic Health. Life-changing cognitive, behavioral and social transformations to create successful individuals and productive work environments.

We look forward to hearing from you! 720.219.3631

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Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health is often a topic we avoid discussing, reading about or asking…how does this apply to my life?! Thankfully there are people like Aimee J and her Chasing Dreams podcast who do a fantastic job of having the pro-active, positive and frank conversations on Mental Health and how it relates to our lives. Please listen in to her and my podcast conversation and read her show-notes below. I would love to know how this chat resonates with you! 

 

https://aimeej21.com/ep-141-abigail-manning-%C2%AD-building-authentic-health-to-end-abuse-in-your-life/

Aimee J’s Show-Notes:

How would you define “abuse”? Unfortunately, such a stigma exists around the idea of abuse, how it occurs, and what it entails, that people are afraid to even talk about it. The truth is that many people have some sort of abuse either in their past or in their present. This conversation is another way to honor and recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m thrilled to bring you another expert, who has amazing things to teach us today!

Abigail Manning is creating awareness on authentic health, which prevents and ends ALL forms of abuse. She has done five years of research on abuse and is an Indiana University Communications double major in cognitive, social, and behavioral theories. Combining her academic background with her personal experience with childhood abuse and domestic violence, she provides unique and transformative workshops and speeches that truly empower others.

The Mental Health Stigma

Do you know someone who suffers from mental illness? As more and more people are affected by backgrounds of abuse and depression, we must realize that ANYONE can suffer from mental illness. Common responses might be, “It doesn’t happen in MY family; it doesn’t happen to strong people; it doesn’t happen to smart people.” Mental health is simply a topic that we don’t talk about. Abigail’s focus is on “Authentic Health.” Depression can be a product of past abuse and can be linked to other things. Whatever the circumstance, it takes ownership to work past the struggles. Abigail tells us why the words we use really matter in getting the help we need and deserve.

TWEET: People choose #addictions to mask their feelings and sometimes see suicide as the only way out. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

Helpful Words

What are the words that a struggling person needs to hear? How about “I believe you and I care about you. Let’s get you some qualified help.” Abigail’s advice is to find a trusted person and don’t let yourself become isolated. Use language that feels comfortable to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and resources. It’s hard to look someone in the eye and reveal that you’re struggling with mental health. Find phone resources that can help. Abigail’s workshops are designed to help any group navigate through all forms of abuse and build a pathway to Authentic Health. Perpetrators want nothing more than to take your power and control. If you are strong, then no one can take that from you.

TWEET: The #1 thing an abuser or perpetrator wants to take from you is CONTROL. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

How to Look for Bullying Behavior

Have you seen bullying behavior on social media? It’s all around us in different forms. Abigail has a “purple threads” theory, showing how bullying behavior gets reinforced, either positively or negatively. She teaches people verbal skills so they don’t have to hide. Most people aren’t even aware of what abuse really is, and even though it is complicated, it’s easy to spot if you simplify the definition. Look for a repeated cycle of any psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. It takes work to strengthen yourself and become aware of abusive behavior, but Abigail can teach you how to spot the red flags in any relationship.

TWEET: Don’t go it alone. Find the qualified help you need. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [:22]  The importance of mental health
  • [2:31] The power of words
  • [3:36] How addictions mask our feelings
  • [5:39] Places to find help
  • [7:16] Abigail’s work on a national scale
  • [9:04] Going into schools and workplaces with help for the abused and the abusers
  • [13:04] Is abuse a socioeconomic issue?[
  • [14:59] Bullying
  • [19:56] What financial abuse is: using money for power and control
  • [21:19] The different forms of abuse
  • [26:19] Ways to strengthen yourself to prevent abuse
  • [33:11] The ripple effect
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If You Don’t Own Your Power & Control…Who Does?

PART FOUR: GAIN AND MAINTAIN POWER AND CONTROL
We define abuse as…”Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”

For unhealthy people, the biggest commodity isn’t money, fame or status…it is Power and Control. They desire Power and Control over everything in their life including other people. They never want to be the underdog or abused, harassed or mistreated by others so they adopt a “the best defense is a good offense” mentality.  By using manipulations they take away your Power and Control so they can dominate over you and you can’t be a threat or an obstacle to them getting their way. It’s a negative form of self-protection that is based on a deep-seated feeling of unworthiness. Often the need to self-protect, even for the harasser/abuser, is based on personal experience with trauma, hardships, abuse, or overt life challenges. What they really want is a deep feeling of self-worth. When they don’t have the skillset to obtain true self-worth, they often use their money, fame or status as bullying tools to get what they truly want….Power and Control over their own lives and confidence in their worthiness…all part of what we call “Authentic Health.”

Feeling a lack of Power & Control stems from unhealthy thinking which includes:
* Never Again Mentality
* Limited Supply Beliefs
* What Mirror Are You Looking Into?

Building Authentic Health means no one can ever take away or diminish our own Power & Control. Here’s how:
* Protect with Health Boundary Lines (HBL)
* Pull Purple Threads & Push Flip-A-Dip! (Turning negative self-talk into positive reinforcement.)
* Promise to SELF (Secure. Ethical. Loving. Fearless.)
* Practice Strength (Self-Aware, Self-Check, Self-Control & Self-Less) where you learn to calmly and confidently Respond vs React out of fear, anger or intimidation. (Fight/Flight/Freeze)

Contact us to learn how to build and strengthen your Authentic Health. When you have Authentic Health you own your Power & Control…and no one can take it from you!

Everyone deserves to live free of harm, harassment, and un-health. Everyone deserves to be their best self and live a life of health and happiness.  We can show you how!

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Outsmart Manipulators

PART THREE: MANIPULATION
We define abuse as…”Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”

The more practiced the “one person” is, the more “talented” they are in using manipulation tools and techniques. For them, it is an intricate game of ducking and weaving to create confusion so they can gain control and exert their power over someone else.

But have a steady heart…we can and will outsmart them with proper training! Be patient when meeting new people or looking at old friendships to ensure you can really “hear” and “see” them for what they are and not what they present themselves to be.

* BEST SINGLE TIP = Ask yourself, does their behavior match their words? When you hear warning bells, write them down so it is easier for you to track if the person’s values match their actions. Emotions can cloud the facts which abusers are counting on. When we are emotionally involved with a manipulator, our brains get hi-jacked which sends our bodies into Fight, Flight or Freeze mode.

FORMS OF MANIPULATION INCLUDE:
* False Promises Appearing Real
* Normalizing
* Finger Pointing
* Guilt
* Isolation
* Physical Intimidation
* Emotional Fear
* Changing the Rules…Moving the Goal Posts
* Gaslighting
* Grooming
* Shame & Blame
* Threats

Protect yourself and those around you by learning to identify and stop manipulators from using their tools and techniques of manipulation. Contact us for more information or to schedule an insightful workshop at your work, organization or school! 720.334.4135 

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The Power of a Single Person

PART TWO: ONE PERSON

The power of one person behaving negatively can be incredibly destructive. The power of another person speaking, acting and living positively and pro-actively is magnificently constructive.

We define abuse as…”Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”

* Notice we didn’t say the word “abuser” but one “person.” Why?! Because typically calling someone an abuser, makes them harder to spot. Your brain doesn’t want to believe your boss, teacher, parent, neighbor or coach could be an abuser so it prevents us from seeing the person in that light. People tend to think an abuser will be easy to spot because they look creepy, ugly, sinister…right? WRONG! Many abusers are talented and have learned how to make themselves harder to detect by developing successful lives, charming personalities, and attractive outward appearances. They often present one personality in public and another one behind closed doors.

* Other words for abuser include: harasser, neglecter, tormenter, manipulator and bully.

* If something feels off about your interactions with someone, trust your gut! Your intuition is ringing warning bells for you. Learn to recognize them.

* People who mistreat others do it one-on-one. By making another person physically or emotionally alone or isolated, they have more influence and intimidation, especially if they are in a higher position. Boss to employee. Coach to athlete. Parent to child.

* When someone, especially a child, confides in you about an incident with someone…listen to them! Violations typically come from a person of authority and those who are considered trustworthy like a teacher, coach, friend of the family, family member, boss or neighbor. Too often the person harmed isn’t believed. It takes bravery to come forward. Be a safe person for others to tell their experiences to. You don’t have to have the answers but be an open ear and direct them to professional help from a counselor, human resource specialist or crisis center advocate.

* Knowledge is Power…keep on learning! Prevent. Protect. Provide Support for Others.

We love hearing from you! Please leave your comments, insights, feedback, and questions. You can also email or call us with your personal experiences with repeated mistreatment.

Please remember, you are not alone. We care about you! We are here as a support to you while you learn more about all forms of abuse. We are also here with encouragement as you move along your path to Authentic Health!  

720.219.3631 or contact me directly at Abigail@AbigailGManning.com

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Redefining is the Key to Easily Recognize Unhealthy Behaviors

In the next four blogs, we will be walking through our definition of abuse which includes unhealthy behavior, harassment, neglect, bullying, and mistreatment. By clearly defining the problem it is easier to recognize, understand and prevent all forms of abuse.

We truly care about you and encourage you to live your best life. No one ever deserves to be abused, mistreated or neglected. It is our intent to provide the skills to help you create the fulfilling life you deserve!

We define abuse as…“Repeated mistreatment, where one person uses manipulations to gain and maintain power and control over another person.”

PART ONE: REPEATED MISTREATMENT
* This means it happens more than one time…it’s repeated! There is a pattern or a cycle to the mistreatment.

* Mistreatment is typically one of the “Big 5” forms of abuse: Psychological, Verbal, Physical, Sexual or Financial. Throughout the life-span of a relationship, the mistreatment often changes in intensities going from mild to severe and everything in-between. It also changes forms…bouncing from one type of the Big 5 to another. By using different forms and intensities, it makes it harder to track and more confusing for the person being mistreated to recognize a pattern. That’s the offender’s point…to confuse you!

* People debate which form of abuse is “worse”…trust me, they are all “worse!” Examples include: “She just belittles me all the time, it’s not like she’s hitting me.” “My father hit me a lot but it wasn’t as bad as my friend who experienced sexual abuse.” Justifying, minimizing and comparing any negative behavior is a form of self-protection. Fear will make many of us bury our heads…but that continues the cycle of abuse. All forms of abuse are unacceptable and by knowing how to pro-actively address the mistreatment, the abused is empowered to successfully face the fear and end the cycle.

* Mistreatments start small (think of it as them testing the water to see how you will respond) and grown big. They ALWAYS grow big. There are warning signs but most of us haven’t been trained to recognize them…until now!

* Side Note: Assault includes physical contact and does not always have warning signs and certainly does not need to be repeated in order for it to be abuse.

We love hearing from you! Please leave your comments, insights, feedback, and questions. You can also email or call us with your personal experiences with repeated mistreatment.

Please remember, you are not alone. We care about you! We are here as a support to you while you learn more about all forms of abuse. We are also here with encouragement as you move along your path to Authentic Health!  

720.219.3631 or contact me directly at Abigail@AbigailGManning.com

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Sexual Harassment Workshop Registration Is Now Open!

Sexual Harassment: Protect Yourself

Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 9:00am – 12:00pm in Denver, CO

  • Sexual harassment can dramatically change your life.
  • Your career and personal happiness depend on living without abuse and harassment.
  • Learn to recognize, prevent and protect yourself from being harassed, becoming a harasser or fighting a false claim.
  • Together we will strengthen the individual and change the culture!

Participants’ Feedback: “innovative, inspiring and informative…engaging in telling what we can do to make the workplace healthier for everyone…eye-opening…a new take on sexual harassment and abuse…pleasantly surprised on a typically unpleasant topic…would like to see more of this training every year…”

Limited Seats, please register now at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sexual-harassment-protect-yourself-tickets-44689051155

Contact us to bring this workshop to your office!

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Video Conversation on Creating Authentic Health

Jess Dewell, the bubbly host of Voice of Bold Business Radio, invited me on her show to have a conversation on how to Build Awareness & Act! I truly enjoyed our conversation and the opportunity to explain my ideas and theories including how to create Authentic Health, throwing out the measuring stick of “normal” and pulling Purple Threads.

What You Will Hear:

  • Awareness, empathy and a unique view of the world.
  • Throw away the measuring stick we use as our normal.
  • What to do when someone puts walls up and stops conversations.
  • Purple Threads are lies that other people have told us, limiting statements.
  • The ‘I am’ mirror exercise finds Purple Threads.
  • Abigail’s acronym for T.R.U.S.T.
    • Truth
    • Respect
    • Unity
    • Safety
    • Transparency
  • Rebuilding trust when it’s broken is tricky.

Notable & Quotable:

  • Abigail Manning: I can understand simplicity, it integrates better into life.
  • Abigail Manning: On the inside, you can’t lie to yourself.
  • Abigail Manning: Throw away a preconceived notion of normal based on your circumstances versus who you are, what ability you have, and who you dream yourself to be.
  • Jess Dewell: Awareness allows us to create a place of safety for yourself and others.
  • Abigail Manning: Find the threads of unworthiness and rip them out.
  • Abigail Manning: When you are a person of power and authority, what you say is believed.
  • Abigail Manning: Find the goodness in each person, and connect on that goodness.
  • Jess Dewell: We don’t see the impact we have on other people after we are out of a situation.
  • Abigail Manning: Look at a person’s behavior (actions)…not the words.

Click here to listen in! 

https://youtu.be/Ry260LV_n_E

If this conversation resonates with you, please comment or share this video to help spread the message.       Enlighten. Empower. End.

Please call 720.219.3631 to schedule your next 
Workshop, Training or Consulting.