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Aug. 22, 2022

Episode 61 Bringing Your Best and Being OK With It with Linda Bjork

In this episode, DJ talks with best-selling author and fellow podcaster, Linda Bjork, about the hard times, the joyful times and how your overall attitude about parenting can make all the difference. Listen in as they discuss the worry, fear, sacrificing, protecting and paying attention to the way you show up for parenting. And the best news… We all have different approaches and there is more than one right way to do things as a parent!

Linda Bjork is a personal development expert, advocate for hope and healing, best selling author, speaker, host of "Linda's Corner" podcast, and founder of Hope for Healing non-profit charity.  Some of her books include “Crushed: A Journey Through Depression,” and Amazon best seller “You Got This! An action plan to calm fear, anxiety, worry, and stress.”  Linda’s personal mission is to empower people to become their best selves.

• [7:12]”It is okay to be imperfect, because we are.” 
• [11:35] “We have different approaches. And the cool thing is, there's more than one right way to do things.” 
• [16:08] Linda talks about treating our kids with respect and the way we’d want to be treated. 
• [18:12] Linda talks about becoming more self-aware and waking up from being on auto-pilot and that “whenever we're trying to take care of another person, it matters with how we are feeling ourselves.”

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DJ Stutz  0:13  
We think you should know that Imperfect Heroes podcast is a production of Little Hearts Academy USA. Perfect. 

You're listening to Episode 61 of Imperfect Heroes, Insights Into Parenting, the perfect podcast for imperfect parents looking to find joy in their experience of raising children in an imperfect world. I'm your host DJ Stutz. And Linda Bjork is a personal development expert. She's an advocate for hope and healing. And she's the best selling author, speaker, and the host of Linda's corner podcast. She's also the founder of hope for healing, which is a nonprofit charity, and some of her books. Just some of them are Crushed A Journey Through Depression. And then she has an Amazon bestseller. You Got This - An Action Plan to Calm Fear, Anxiety, Worry and Stress. And Linda's personal mission is to empower people to become their best selves. There's so much to learn. So let's get started.

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All right, I truly loved talking with Linda Bjork. And you can just feel the peace and the calm just from her voice. And that is exactly what she works to inspire in people. So when I was raising my kids, I found that my worst parenting occurred when I was super stressed out. And that stress was often developed or enhanced, made worse when when I was worried about what others would think or that I was worried that I'm just doing a terrible job. And that actually made it worse that maybe I was doing a worse job. Isn't it funny that these concerns were type of self fulfilling prophecy, wasting time worrying about what others think or that you're not being a good parent actually caused an increase in my poor parenting? What I'm hoping to teach in my podcast and through my coaching, and what Linda is teaching and her many efforts is to bring your best and then be okay with that. Let's listen. Hello, everyone, I'm so glad you were able to take time to join us. I am here today with podcaster. extraordinaire, Linda Bjork. And her podcast is Linda's Corner. You haven't found it yet in Me, too. So, Linda, you're also an author, your philanthropist you're involved in so many volunteers and community positive organizations? Why don't you talk to us a little bit about what you've gone on?

Linda Bjork  4:03  
Oh, absolutely. So some of the things I have going on. I am the founder of nonprofit Hope For Healing. And we offer free tools and resources to help people become their best selves to be able to be happier and more confident. And to be able to increase their self esteem to improve relationships, and also to help manage stress and overcome depression and anxiety. And we've got free ebooks and we have free audio courses. And we have free downloads, just lots of resources to help people to just have joy in life because I believe life should be joyful. And you can find that at Hope for healing

DJ Stutz  4:41  
I love it. And you know, that's kind of my tagline is let's find joy in parenting. We can look at the world with better ice and find joy every day. In every moment, even when they're hard. There's things that we can do to help us get through. It's the joy that helps us get through those Hard times, don't you think? 

Linda Bjork  5:01  
Oh, absolutely. And I'm sure you feel the same way that for me, the hardest things that I have dealt with in my life, have to do with my relationships and with my children. And the most joyful things that have come in my life have come through my relationships and my children. And so this thing that we do that is so hard called parenting, we do it because it's worth it. But sometimes you have to remind yourself that it's worth it. Because things can be hard. And our attitude, what we come into with this whole thing just makes all the difference. And I am so fortunate as a podcast host that I get to talk to awesome professionals, I get to talk to people like yourself, childhood development experts, and also mental health for children. And also for those, you know, maybe in the teen years, who are really struggling, like really, really struggling. And the thing that seems to be a common theme throughout every person that I've spoken with, is that our parenting starts with us. And it starts with where we come from, and my friend Aaron, who helps teens who are struggling, he said, you know, your best parenting from your worst place is actually worse than your worst parent parenting when you're in a good place. He says, I really care what you do I care how you do it, it matters the way that we show up.

DJ Stutz  6:19  
Yeah, absolutely. And I know, raising my own kids, you know, I have five, and we adopted our youngest, which brought in a whole new dynamic and experienced our lives. I feel like I wasted a lot of time worrying about things that I really didn't need to worry about, and beating myself up for things that was just getting through life. You know, we all make mistakes. And that's why we call the podcast imperfect heroes. There's no perfect parent never has been in the history of the world. And we say there's the only perfect person, the one but even his parents, thursley parents had to be one more often. Yes, yes. And so give yourself a break people

Linda Bjork  7:12  
I know. And that really does matter. And I appreciate so much that you helped give people just that reassurance that it is okay to be imperfect, because we are. And it just it matters, I would love to talk about worry for just a second because you brought that up. And that just such a normal thing. And the thing about worrying is that it is a fear based emotion, and fear based emotions are designed to help protect us. They're designed as part of our harm avoidance system to help keep us out of trouble. And so we worry because we want to stay out of danger. But the tricky thing is, is sometimes in our mind, we get our wires crossed. And we think on some level, that worrying is what keeps our kids safe. Worrying is what makes things this is this is how I'm protecting my children. And if we get this a little bit mixed up in our head, then we will never stop worrying. Because if worrying to me is my definition of love, love equals worry, love equals keeping my children safe, it does not matter, you can show me all the research in the world that says that worrying is going to destroy my physical health, my mental my emotional health, if I feel like this is what I have to do to show my kids that I love them. And this is what I feel like I have to do to keep my children safe. I'm going to keep doing it. And when we have this sweet, sweet reasons behind it, because we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for our children. But the truth is, it doesn't actually protect them. And it doesn't actually show them that we love them. There's a better way, because worrying not only is this fear based, but it also has a fear based outcome, that we're concerned that something bad is going to happen. Where if we shift it over to a hope based outcome where it's, we have a positive expectation, like, oh, you know what, things are rough, but I trust you that you're going to work it out and that things are going to be okay in the end. And if we look to that, yeah, we're going to have rough spots, because life has rough spots. But in the end, it's going to be okay. And I have hope that it's going to be okay, I have expectations, it's going to be positive. I have trust that my kids are smart enough because I did a good job teaching them and they're going to figure it out that we don't have to worry, we can be concerned. I don't think you can get rid of that one. But it's concerned like I can see that this decision I can see this direction is not going well. Hmm. I guess you got a life lesson you need to learn, but I trust you that you're going to learn it and things you're going to be okay. And so I think it's important when we think about worrying as parents but it is actually not required.

DJ Stutz  10:02  
Yeah. And in fact, when we worry in the way that you were just talking about, you can actually hurt our relationship with our children. And it can keep them from having important rowing experiences, that we are denying them. Because we're worried. Don't climb on that wall, you might fall and get hurt. Don't climb that tree. Don't ride your bike, don't you know what I mean? And so we kind of helicopter

over our children, wanting to keep them safe. But we're actually causing damage in the long run with them. My mom doesn't trust me. I'm not smart. I'm not capable. I can't do these things. And we're actually finding now we're getting young adults. In my experience, as you know, an older teacher, and working with some of these very new young teachers. They, many of them, not all of them, but I worked with so many that really struggled with how do I solve this problem? How do I deal with this child that is on the spectrum? Or is having some of these other issues that I don't know how to problem solve this? Because they were never given the chance? Because the parents were so worried that they were going to get hurt, whether physically or emotionally or things weren't fair, things are fair. Do you see what I'm saying? Oh, absolute, you're bringing up about that. I

Linda Bjork  11:35  
agree. 100%. And I think this is so important, as we're talking about parenting, that I believe most parents are coming from a place of absolute love, we absolutely want the best for your child. And we have different approaches. And the cool thing is, there's more than one right way to do things. But not all of the ways are going to be awesome. We have answers that are that seem just to make so much sense in the short term, but they don't work very well long term. And so we need to keep both in mind, we want we want something that works maybe now. But we also need something that's going to benefit them in the long run. And I loved how you talked about when we trust our children, that you are capable, and you are smart, and you are a problem solver, and you can do all this. And those messages become part of them. And they say, You know what, I'm smart, and I'm capable, and I am a problem solver, and they become that thing. And when we don't mean to because parents are not ever trying to stymie their kids. But when we worry when we helicopter parent when we, you know try to micromanage every aspect of their lives, then they do get that message of, okay, I am not capable of making a choice. I need other people to choose what I do with my time I need other people to make my decisions for me, I need other people to solve my problems for me, I need other people to it, we can assess on the inside. Now the good news is that even if we grow up, and we had that first set of lessons, and maybe it taught us things that were not awesome, we can re program ourselves and we can still gain those skills. It's not well, you didn't get it when your kids so so sad, too bad. It's Wow. Okay, this is what I learned as a child now that I'm adult, I get to choose. And I'm going to try things a little bit different. So that's helpful as a parent too, because since as parents, we're not perfect, and we did our very best and we find out Oh, dang, I accidentally taught my kid this shoot, it doesn't mean that they're toast forever, because they can also they can learn that. So thank heavens for second chances, right?

DJ Stutz  13:48  
And third, and fourth and

Linda Bjork  13:50  
fifth Jackson and then as many as it takes.

DJ Stutz  13:53  
Exactly. And I think that when you release yourself from that expectation of perfection, or even expectation of accomplishing something, we had a rough day. Are you going to define your entire day? By that 10 minutes that you yelled at your kid? Or that half an hour that you just sat and ate a bag of chips and watched? You know real housewives or whatever? days that's gonna define your whole day, or aren't you going to allow yourself to look at the whole picture and say, my kids got to school today. They were not in their pajamas. They had a lunch. Oh, I had a little girl This was four years ago, three or four years ago. And about half the time she came to kindergarten in her pajamas.

Linda Bjork  14:54  
But at least she made it for sure. And when we make these mistakes because we To fake presents an opportunity as a parent that we can admit to our children and say, Wow, I'm sorry, I didn't handle that very well, or, Oh, I'm sorry, I should have done this. And that not only allows us to be imperfect, and allows our children to see us, but it allows our children to understand through this modeling behavior of, oh, this is what I can do. When I make a mistake. It's like, oh, I didn't do that perfectly. But when my mom didn't do things perfectly, she didn't try to hide it, or pretend she didn't do it. She said she was sorry. So I can do that, too. And then he also learned that the rules are the same for adults and for kids. Because sometimes we say, okay, you kids, you make all the mistakes, and I get to correct you. And we all pretend non perfect. And that actually doesn't work very well, it can for a little while. But you know what they're gonna figure it out.

DJ Stutz  16:01  
They figure it out so much earlier than we wish they did. I know, right? And then you've got to deal with it.

Linda Bjork  16:08  
For sure. Yeah, since we talk about being imperfect heroes as parents, man, when you have little kids, oh, they just think you're perfect and amazing. And then they get a little older, and then they think you are the stupidest thing on the whole planet. And that is not the funnest stage of life. And then if they get past that one, then they realize, oh, you're a mix, you are an imperfect hero, you're doing your best, you love me. And then we then we kind of figured out, but I think we can kind of get to that point a little sooner. If as a parent, we remember to apologize, we remember to treat our children with respect, we remember to treat them the way that we'd want to be treated.

DJ Stutz  16:54  
And I think sometimes do when we realize that we're gonna make mistakes, we're gonna do the best we can. But when we do make mistake, it's not the end of the world. You know, we can learn from it, we can look at our situation and say, Now, I wonder why I reacted that way? What was going on with me? That made me feel the need to yell at my kids? Or why are we rushing every morning? And why are the mornings so hard? Is there something that I can do? Do I need to sit back and really look at who I am? And what's going on? Not in a judgmental way, but in a curiosity way? And saying, Wow, that was I wanted it to go. So why didn't it go that way? And then how can I make it better? And if the kids listen to you doing that self talk? And they hear you saying, Wow, I did not like the way that just went? What did I do to make things go so hard? And they hear you talking? And learning from yourself? They're going to learn that process as well.

Linda Bjork  18:12  
Isn't that wonderful. And as we mentioned before we get the second chances and third chances, because the way we grew up, no matter what it was, that is normal, that is our baseline. And we have these messages that have been put inside us from the time when we're very tiny, that just make absolute sense to us. When they're in our head. Sometimes we need to see them out loud, they don't sound quite logical. But when they're in your head, man, it just makes perfect sense. And so we have these things that we start with, and then as an adult, we have this chance to model it and to behave. And then when we do find those moments. Why did I respond that way? Why did I this is the perfect opportunity to begin kind of doing a self evaluation that allows us to heal from whatever things need to be healed, to change whatever things need to be changed so that we can start and say, oh, okay, okay, okay. That was what I thought was normal. That was what I thought I was supposed to do. That is how I thought I was supposed to respond to oh, now I get to choose. And so it's until we become self aware. We're not really making a choice. We're just running on autopilot. And sometimes autopilot works really well. That's why we have one, and sometimes not so well. And that's when we need to kind of evaluate and figure out how to how to change that a little bit and how to, you know how to do a little bit better. So before we're done today, and I'm sure we got plenty of time, but I would love to share just a quick five minute morning.

Oh, thank You that we can do to kind of help put ourselves in a good place. Because again, whenever we're trying to take care of another person, it matters with how we are feeling ourselves. And so how we feel is gonna just radiate through out the whole house all day. And so let's put ourselves in a good place first. So I've got a super easy five minute morning routine. It's m m WW, and it stands for music, movement, words and water. And I'll quickly explain what you do. And then I'll explain why it makes a difference. So for music, you pick a song, something you love, something you want to make, you want to sing something that makes you want to dance. And this is your timer. Most songs lasts between, you know, three and four minutes. And so during this time, or while your awesome song is playing, you're going to move your body. And it can be any kind of traditional exercises, you could do jump rope, ors, or situps, or that sort of thing. Or you could do stretches or tai chi or yoga, or shadowboxing, or just just dance, and just have fun. Okay, so that's your movement, then the next thing is words. And for words, you grab a notebook and a pen, and you write five things you're grateful for, then you grab a bottle of water, drink that and you're done. The whole thing takes less than five minutes, which is so awesome, because we're busy. And we can't, you know, if someone tells you this big fat routine, that's gonna make your life better. You say that's fine for those alien people who have that hour, but I don't. So the here's the magic thing of what all of this can do. So if we start with music, music is one of the most powerful and effective tools to change the way that we feel. It can affect our emotions. And research even shows that it actually our brainwaves tend to synchronize somewhat to the beat of the music. So if we're feeling stressed out, and just like, if we listen to calming, ordered music, it can literally help get our brainwaves into a calmer place so that we can, you know, be in control of ourselves. Or on the other hand, if we're struggling with motivation, like I do not want to face this day, I don't want to get out of bed, I just can't do this. If we listen to positive, happy, upbeat music, it can literally help jumpstart our brain into action, which is magical. So music does all these amazing things, it changes the way that you feel. And then the next thing is about movement. When we move our bodies, it gives us more energy. The more we move, the more energy we have, which sounds a little counterintuitive, but that's the way that it works. And also if we do exercise, it helps to reduce our stress, it helps it by relaxing our muscle tension. It helps to reduce the cortisol levels, that stress hormone in our body, it helps to increase the level of endorphins and serotonin, dopamine, those chemicals that help us to feel good. And it just as amazing thing. So all of a sudden, you're feeling better, you're feeling less stressed, you're moving your body, you're having more energy, it's amazing. And then there is another option. If you don't want to move your whole body, if you just want to move your mouth by singing along. That is also another option. Because singing does incredible things. It has some of the same benefits of exercise. It helps relax muscle tension, it helps reduce cortisol, it helps increase endorphins. And also they've done research on depression and anxiety and singing. And it does amazing things. So this study group, they took a group of people struggling with depression, anxiety, they divided it in half. They said, Okay, this group, you're our control group, don't change a thing. Keep doing what you're doing. They took the study group and they said, All right, for you guys, the only thing we want you to add as you want you to sing a song every day, 30 days later came back to see how it went control group exactly the same as they were 30 days ago, study group that had added singing had significantly lower levels of depression and anxiety. And the only thing they changed was adding singing. So we've got our music, and we've got our movement, whether it's moving our body or moving our mouse. And the next thing is about words. So writing a gratitude journal. You know, I've heard about gratitude journals. And some people think, oh, isn't that nice for those fluffy little Pollyannas who do that sort of thing. But, you know, if you've got real problems, we need real solutions. And the awesome thing is that the research shows that it does incredible things for the way that we feel. They've done fMRI scanners and found that if you are in a state of gratitude, it helps to stimulate the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which is where our conscious thought and our decision making takes place. And so if we are doing this gratitude, we're able to make better decisions, we're better able to act rather than to react very helpful as a parent. And it also helps us to be more present, which is amazing. They've also found that gratitude helps improve the neuroplasticity of the brain, which is so important for any kind of healing, for our development, and also for being able to adapt to change and for resiliency, that neuroplasticity is super, super important. And then they've done studies on gratitude and depression. They took a group of people who are struggling with severe depression and they said, okay, all we want you to do, right three things every day that went well, three things you're grateful for. And they said, Okay, so 15 days later, did it make any difference? They found that 94 per sent of participants had a noticeable improvement, they had gone from severe depression to either moderate or mild. So it's not like it solved all their problems, but I helped put them in a better place to be able to solve their own problems. And again, it wasn't just once, this was two weeks, but still two weeks is not that long, two weeks is gonna pass whether or not we write things, things that we're grateful for. But if we do, then changes happen, super, super awesome. And then the last thing of that w is water. Water is one of the most overlooked, underutilized resources that we have to improve our physical, mental and emotional health and well being our brains are about 73% water. And research shows that if we are as little as 1%, dehydrated, it begins to affect our mood, and our brain functioning. And so drinking water helps our brain to be able to work better, it helps our body to be able to work better. And so the super simple things as mmm, WW music movement words, and water has all these benefits packed in a five minutes. It's something that we can do, it's easy, and it helps put us in a better place. And then the rest of the day goes better, which is kind of magic is like, you know, we talked about getting up on the wrong side of the bed and the right side of the bed, the magic is in five minutes is kind of like you can put yourself on the right side of the bed.

DJ Stutz  26:22  
I love that. And I'll tell you a gratitude journal. I believe with all my heart, saved my marriage, it completely changed my life. When I quit journaling, oh, this happened. And that happened. And I had some friends that gave me some bad advice and said, you know, you need to work through all the we were going through a rough time, not just with my husband, but was the adoption and things were hard. And just write down all the things that all your bad emotions and work it out. And I was getting worse. I was not getting better. But what I realized that I thought I ripped out pages of that notebook, and started new. And I started writing only things that I noticed that were wonderful, whether it was in one of my kids or my husband or someone at work a neighbor, someone from church. And it started fiddling with all these amazing. And what I found was, during the day, when I'm looking for something good to write about, I would find that if I was looking for things that will have X go on in the journal and it's negative, and so on, so did that, I would find those things too. And so I love what you said about those words, and how important that is. Thank you so much for that.

Linda Bjork  27:57  
Oh, and thank you for sharing your example, because it makes a difference when we've had any personal experience with this. And it's kind of interesting, we can talk about things. And we can learn. And that's, that's nice learning is important. But it's not until we do it that it makes that change. And when you notice the change from where your focus and where things went. And I'm sure that the intention that was given of write out those feelings, get those negative feelings out, that actually can work. But if you just build the negative, you creates a problem. But we do have to get it out. Because if we just swallow it, it actually can hurt our bodies, which is so crazy. In fact, I talked to a doctor who she practiced for 40 years. And she said, my experience and also the CDC data also verifies that 80 to 85% of the things that we go to doctors for are either stress related or childhood trauma. And so by working out our stress, but I would say if someone is going to write those things that you don't like, I would say, Okay, let's write him, let's get him out. I'm angry, it's better to write it out than it is to yell at my kids. So I'm going to write it out. Right, right. I remember I remember. And then I'm going to either tear it up, or I'm going to burn it. And that kind of sends a symbolic message to my mind of okay, I had all those feelings, but I'm choosing to let them go. They went through me, and now I'm letting him go. And then from there making a conscious decision to Okay, now what's gonna stay in my journal are those positive things. And so I'm so proud of you for figuring that out on your own. And you literally tore them from the book. And that that makes a difference because then it's like, I don't want to hold on to these feelings. And it's important to acknowledge that we've had those feelings. We don't pretend we don't. It's like yeah, that really hurt me. That was really frustrating. I am so disappointed. I am so angry. This is really hard and When we acknowledge those things, then we don't swallow them. And then they don't make us physically sick. But if we have to let it pass through, and say, Okay, let it go, kind of like a like a, like a freshwater lake versus a saltwater lake, I live in Utah and a freshwater lake and a saltwater lake and a freshwater lake is called Utah Lake. And then the the water we have a lot of inlet that comes in, and then when it goes out, and then there's that called the Great Salt Lake, and that one is there. It has an inlet, when there's no outlet. And it's full of salt. It's just full, full, full, full, full, and you know, stuff can live there. So probably a better example would be like the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. But we have feelings, and we don't have to pretend we don't we don't have to dam up, but we let it flow through us like, okay. And if we let it flow through us, we can still be that freshwater source where things can thrive. And if we just keep it in, then we kind of die inside, which is not healthy.

DJ Stutz  30:57  
Right? Right. And I do have to say that the act of tearing those pages out was freeing as well. And it's funny because now, I've had people when the hard times don't go away, do they? Oh, no,

Linda Bjork  31:15  
darn it. No, we haven't.

DJ Stutz  31:19  
But when our attitude changes, the hard times do change in a lot of ways. And I've actually even had people come up to me, when there have been difficult things to work through with work or whatever. And they say, I don't know how you keep your attitude. And for me, man, I'm holding on to that, that's what gets me through is that there's this going to pass, we're going to be fine. I'm upset right now. And I love the way that you were just explaining that it's, it's right on.

Linda Bjork  31:50  
I appreciate that you bring up that that life is hard. And then if we I think if we expect it to be all sunshine and roses and rainbows, we're going to be disappointed that we have unmet expectations, because real life unfortunately, isn't that way. But the good news is that even when things are hard and challenging, like you said, we can be happier. And I love that you just gave an example of how to do that. And that's one way is to look at the bigger picture. Because when things are in front of us, oh my goodness, like if you put your hand in front of your face, that's all I can see. And we have problems, and sometimes are right in front of our face. But if we can take one step back, we can still see that hand. But now I can also see other things around it and know that things are going to be okay. One of my favorite books is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I'm sure you're familiar with it. But he was a psychologist, and he was a Jew. And he was imprisoned in the concentration camps during World War Two. And he just used his skills of observation and the education that he had to pay attention. He said, Man, we are living in circumstances that we all should be dead. I mean, with the way that we're not getting fed the way that we're being treated, we're not being protected from the elements. It's amazing that anyone is still alive. And he wondered, well, why are some people surviving? And why are some people not? And he tried to narrow it down. He says, Okay, here's the difference. It is our response to it. We can't choose what's happening. But we can choose our response. And so he made such an effort to look for positive things. He was just anything. It's like, Oh, I saw sunrise today I saw a bird that flew overhead. And he he had just this amazing. One of the things he said is, is if you have a wife to live, we can deal with anyhow. And so for him his why to live is I got to live because he had a wife, his wife was pregnant. They were both in prison. They were sent to separate camps, his family, his parents, his siblings, everyone was in prison. And he said, I just My wife is a light in the darkness. She is my reason for living. And I have to get through this. And three years later, when he was finally released, he found that his wife and that unborn child were dead. And his parents were dead and his siblings were dead except one sister. And so he went through the he tried so hard. And then it was everything that I lived for is gone. And he struggled with depression. And then he thought, okay, okay, okay, the things that I've learned, let's apply him How can I really put this situation together? Do I have meaning? When my meaning changed? Can I still find meaning? And he said, Yes, yes, I can. My new meaning my new purpose in life is to spread the word, the importance of meaning. And so he wrote this book, and it became one of the most influential books of all time, because what he teaches are true principles. And when you've seen mankind thriving under the worst circumstances, then we can apply that template and say, well, if they can do it there, that that means I can get through my heart per day. And I can get through this. So just an amazing story. Sad, but it turned out to be just a blessing to everyone who's ever read or even heard of

DJ Stutz  35:11  
the book? Yeah. And so just for our listeners, I'm going to be sure and put the information on that book in our show notes. Good idea. Hope they want to go and look great, great book. And now that you bring it up, I realized I probably need to read it again.

Linda Bjork  35:26  
I was thinking that too. It's like, you know, I've read it a few times. But it's been a while it's one of those where every once in a while, I'll be able to pick it up again. Go through it cycle. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. My life is okay, I'm doing great. In fact, man, I got the best, I get to sleep in a nice bed with clean sheets, I have running water, I've got a flush toilet, nobody's beating me up, and just all these awesome things. So we have things to be grateful for that we forget that we forget. Because we take things for granted. It's really easy. So the practice of writing in a gratitude journal helps us remember, oh, have running water, right in my own house. Isn't that the coolest thing in the world have got food in my fridge and in my cupboards, I'm safe, I'm comfortable. You know, I've got an air conditioner when it's hot outside, and I've got a heater when it's cold outside, you know, we have wonderful things to be grateful for. And if we remind ourselves that we become happier, isn't that awesome?

DJ Stutz  36:28  
Yeah, it's life inspiring. And imagine if we can take these wonderful directions that you've helped us reconnect with, and model them and talk about them with our little guys. Imagine the difference we can make in their lives. And so I think about a three year old can do this. A two year old can do this. Not all day, every day. But, you know, in those quiet moments, and they're snuggled in, you're just combing their hair with your fingers or massaging their hands, and and you can talk about what is your favorite thing? What do you like best about Sister, aren't we lucky, we have this lovely home, I'm really lucky, we have such a great daddy or whatever it is. And letting them participate that if we can instill that in a very earliest years, that's when that becomes foundational in who they become,

Linda Bjork  37:34  
and who they learn to look for. And you know, it comes so natural for children. If you've ever heard a child pray, Oh, I love those prayers are so cool. It's like, and thanks for my dog and thinks that we had chips with our sandwiches today. And thanks. You know, because they notice and they appreciate the little tiny things. And so it comes supernatural. And I love that you mentioned that as we apply these things, not only for ourselves, but we use these, these teaching opportunities that come so natural. One thing that we did in our family, at the dinner table, we ate dinner together as a family. And we would take turns going around the table and sharing two good things about your day. So simple, simple thing. And that way each person had an opportunity to share something that went well. So you're thinking well, what did go well, today? What was a good thing about today? And then also, it gives them a chance to be heard? Yeah, which matters so much. And research again shows that having dinners together as a family is one of the most important times where conversation takes place, especially with when teens when they get a little older, and that they really appreciate that. Sometimes they don't always show it. But if you have those systems in place, then they know someone's going to listen to me today. Somebody notices somebody cares. And that is, I think, very important message for our children.

DJ Stutz  38:58  
I agree. I think it was on there's a TV show called family rules. I think you can find it on YouTube or whatever, where they interview just different families and how their families work and all of this. And one thing that really hit me was they were talking to a family and at their dinner table. They had to share one way someone helped them that day. And one way they helped someone else. Love it. And that was their dinner concert every night. And it was funny talking to the kids because much they're similar to my experience of knowing I needed to find something to write in my gratitude journal by the end. So I was looking for it. The kids were talking about I know I've got to have something when I go to the tables. I'm looking for times that somebody's helped me that maybe I haven't realized before and still for apparently maybe I'm driving down at someone made room for me in the lane when I was trying to cross over and I really appreciated that because If there's a lot of profit, you can find some very simple things to share.

Linda Bjork  40:05  
I love that. And isn't it wonderful that there's more than one right way to do it? Like, you can say, Oh, our tradition is this. And someone can say, Oh, our tradition is that. And then when you hear someone else's tradition, you don't say, oh, man, I'm such a failure as a parent, because I'm not doing every single thing that every single person mentioned. It's like, you know what, it's okay. Find something that works for your family. And now we just share two beautiful examples, two options to say these are things that help us to be able to, we're going to have some dinner conversation, because we already know what we're supposed to say, we literally have something to bring to the table. Because we know we're going to be asked, you know, what are two good things about your day? Or how have you been served, and how have you served someone else, we create those opportunities, if I've gotta serve somebody before I get to there today. So here, you know, let me I'll pick up a toy here, I'll you know, I'll do something to help somebody. So I can show up and be prepared.

DJ Stutz  41:03  
Yeah. But it's really cute. Like, when you have the little two year old, I let the dog lick my sucker. Nasty, are nasty. But there's technical things that things that our little guys will come up with, and then this net add to your joy. And that brings us right back around kind of to where we began, doesn't it is finding joy, and showing up in a joyful manner, in whatever way that works for you, and manifests within you.

Linda Bjork  41:35  
And isn't that wonderful, that we can have that joy, and we can create that joy. I've recently been reading a book atomic habits by James clear. And one of the things he says is, the best way to create a habit is identify that way, if we say man, I am a joyful person, I am a joyful parent, I am a positive, whatever, come up with the thing that you want. And he said, and the most practical way to become who I now I'm going to mess this up who you are, he says it's by what you, too. So who we are and what we do. So if we say I'm not, I'm cranky, or, and we want to be that joyful person. Awesome. You can totally do that. And the way you do it is by doing something, doing something joyful, looking for the small things, starting a little system like hey, we're gonna share to the things are how we serve, writing in a gratitude journal, dancing and having some music in our lives and taking care of ourselves. We can do these things and then become the someone that we're that we like ourselves. You know what I mean? Yeah.

DJ Stutz  42:43  
So I'll put that information in our notes as well. Yeah, great button. Yes. And I love having these resources available to our listeners and giving them a chance to find something that might help them along that they were unaware of before. So I'm sure it's a great thing. And so Linda, I know that you've got your podcast, what days do you drop your new episodes? And how often do you drop?

Linda Bjork  43:08  
Excellent question. So right now I'm doing two a week. And I've been doing Monday, Thursday, I'm gonna kind of switch to Tuesday, Friday, because I don't know just sounds like a good idea. And you can find it's called Linda's corner podcast. And you can find it wherever you find podcasts, of course. And also, I have a website called Linda's corner And I also would just invite your listeners, please come to hope for healing and just enjoy those free resources. It's hoped for healing

DJ Stutz  43:35  
Thank you. And again, that'll all be down below. Perfect. Just go down there and click away on the information. So as we come to the end of our conversation, I'm going to ask you what I traditionally asked my guests. How would you describe a successful parent?

Linda Bjork  43:54  
Isn't that a wonderful question? Because we really want to be successful parents. And I think successful parenting is about first of all, giving a stable place for our children to know that they are loved, and valued and appreciated. And it's also instilling that, that trust that I believe in you, I believe in you. And I know that you can do great things, and then being patient while they make their mistakes. And you know, sometimes we don't always get the exact results that we're hoping for right away, which is kind of frustrating because then we can't say, Well, my result is that I'm a perfect parent, therefore I have a perfect child because they still have their agency and their choice. But I think part of the successful parenting is to love and trust them regardless of where they are. And to be able to to help continue to be an influence even after they've grown up and moved away.

DJ Stutz  44:53  
Yeah, I agree. And now I'm living part of that all my kids are grown up and moved away. And so I'm just trying to move to get closer to more of them as many of them as I can and, and you see their lives and they might not be making the choice that you would make, but we trust them and we love them. But we're still parents.

Linda Bjork  45:16  
Exactly. And we're still hoping for that positive outcome. Just everything is going to be okay. Even if I don't know what okay looks like. And even if it's not what I expected, and even if it takes a little longer than I hoped for. That's all right. It's going to be okay.

DJ Stutz  45:32  
Have you ever just been surprised at what Okay, winds up being? Like, oh, wow, look at here we are. And I was so afraid. But we're okay.

Linda Bjork  45:44  
Isn't that wonderful? Yeah. Okay, can look like can look like different things. So we deal with different things for one of my Okay, well, I guess we're closing your mind? No, no, I have I have a beautiful grandson who had a seizure when he was nine months old. And we almost lost him. He was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital. And they did emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, followed by a very delicate brain surgery, he had a hydrocephalus, which, you know, you'll learn some stuff, when you go through these things. It was we have fluid that goes through our brains, and then it's supposed to drain down our spinal column. And for him that was blocked, and so his sweet little brain is just filled and filled and filled with fluid and his brain was compressed, and it caused brain damage. And so for our Okay, we have this beautiful child who fortunately survived. That mean there is brain damage, and it has affected his beautiful little body and, and it is okay. It is not what we hoped for. But he is just such a joy to us. So, sometimes, Okay, looks like we're gonna we're gonna do hard things. And that's okay, too.

DJ Stutz  46:58  
Yeah, exactly. Well, Linda, thank you so much for spending this time with us and sharing your insights. I just love what you do. I love your podcast. And so I would just encourage everyone to go down and look into our show notes and click on some of the things that we're going to have there. And hopefully, we'll be able to talk again sometime.

Linda Bjork  47:22  
Oh, that would be lovely. DJ, thank you so much for letting me be here today.

DJ Stutz  47:28  
What Linda brought to this conversation was so important, and I hope you didn't miss it. Trust in your love and what you have to give your family, be honest with yourself and constantly be on the lookout for resources that will help you be better. We all have something to improve on. But that doesn't make us bad people, or even bad parents. Just find the love and the joy in the moment. And if you're interested in finding Linda, all her contact information is there in the show notes along with the two main books that we were talking about. Man's Search for Meaning. And Atomic Habits, along with a couple of the shows that we talked about are all linked in the show notes. So give yourself a minute to go down and and look at those. 

Let me tell you that registration is now closed for the Cicerone Society my group coaching program, we're going to open it again in November. But in the meantime, you are always welcome to participate in some one on one counseling. And with that, I will always give you one personal phone call session at no charge with a one on one coaching, you're gonna have access to two hours of personal zoom conversations every month, and then unlimited access through emails to parent coaching that will address concerns and growth specific to you and your family. And so the link to that program is in our show notes as well. And so since you're spending so much time down on the show notes, I keep asking, but while you are looking, go ahead and leave us a review, rating and follow the podcast taking the time to give the podcast that five star rating and then leaving a review really does make the podcast easier to find. And then we're able to help more families. So remember to join me every Tuesday night for my Facebook Live event. The new podcast comes out on Mondays. And so this actually gives you two full days all day Monday, all day Tuesday to listen and then join us then at the live and ask questions. Share your stories, your thoughts about the episode. It's so much fun. You can find me at Imperfect Heroes podcast on Facebook, check it out at 7pm Mountain Time and then coming in September. That's going to be a test month and I am going to do an Instagram Live on Wednesdays at 6pm Mountain Time. And I'm just kind of going to see what kind of participation we get. And if I need to make some changes on where I am live and what best serves my listeners and those who are interested in improving their parenting skills. So for that month you're going to have two opportunities to learn more, and participate free of charge. Next week I am talking with Dr. Carrie Gilbert and he's the family therapist that really gets it from being present to being thoughtful about the media they watch. We are talking about it all. So give us a listen. And until next week, let's find joy in parenting.

Transcribed by

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Linda Bjork


Linda Bjork is a personal development expert, advocate for hope and healing, best selling author, speaker, host of "Linda's Corner" podcast, and founder of Hope for Healing non-profit charity. Some of her books include “Crushed: A Journey Through Depression,” and Amazon best seller “You Got This! An action plan to calm fear, anxiety, worry, and stress.” Linda’s personal mission is to empower people to become their best selves.