69: How do Respect & Mindfulness go together with Holly Duckworth? Mike Domitrz asks from both personal and professional development

Dive into this conversation with Holly Duckworth, host of The Everyday Mindfulness Show on mindfulness and respect.

   

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Holly’s BIO:

Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP is a trailblazing keynote speaker and applied mindful leadership advisor. As a contributor to the New York Times, Producer/Host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show, and columnist to countless industry publications she works with stressed-out leaders to create, peace, presence, and profits. Holly’s career began in the world of non-profits and volunteer leadership teaching thousands of association staff and volunteers how to “reboot” for success. Today she takes the best of her strategic vision expertise, blends it with mindful leadership practices and her event background to curate experiential events that change hearts, minds and companies.  

Our world has become mindless. Through mindfulness training Holly works with you to know what mindfulness is, what it is not. Then apply your mindfulness techniques to produce more productive and profitable organizations.  

Holly was named Meetings Today 2018 Trend Setter for her applied mindfulness work and 2016 Smart Meetings Woman of the Year. Holly’s current book Mindful Leadership: The Stress-Free Guide to leadership is a best seller and her award-winning book Ctrl+Alt+Believe: Reboot Your Association For Success has won two national awards. Holly believes mindfulness builds leaders and organizations that work for everyone.   

 

Links to Holly:

 

  Books Holly Recommends:

Coming in September 2019

Everyday Mindfulness For Couples: How To Thrive Each Day Together

 

YOUR HOST: Mike Domitrz is the founder of The Center for Respect where he helps educational institutions, the US Military and businesses of all sizes create a culture of respect throughout their organizations. From addressing consent to helping corporations build a workplace free from fear (reducing sexual harassment and helping employees thrive by treating them with respect every day), Domitrz engages audiences by sharing skill sets they can implement into their lives immediately. As an author, trainer, keynote speaker and coach, Mike Domitrz loves working with leaders at all levels. Learn more at http://www.CenterForRespect.com

 

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE (or download the pdf):

 

Mike Domitrz:
Welcome to the Respect Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz from MikeSpeaks.com where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the US Military create a culture of respect. And respect is exactly what we discussed on this show, so let’s get started this week.

Mike Domitrz:
This week’s guest is Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, LSP and New York Times contributor, host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show, that’s a podcast for you podcast listeners, and trailblazing keynote speaker in stress reduction [inaudible 00:00:33]. She works with stressed out people to find work life integration. Thank you so much, Holly for joining us.

Holly Duckworth:
Hi Mike. It’s good to be on the show.

Mike Domitrz:
It’s great to have you on the show. So you have the Everyday Mindfulness Show. Some of my listeners are aware I used to host that a while back. Now you run it, and how’s that going for you?

Holly Duckworth:
You know, it’s a learning process. It definitely is. We’re over about 115 shows or so now. So just keeping the conversation going.

Mike Domitrz:
And you’re all about mindfulness, so how does respect… how is it critical to mindfulness?

Holly Duckworth:
Mindfulness is one of those weird words that we don’t have one agreed upon definition. And I think, you know, the more I was breaking down respect this morning in preparation for the show, I think there’s probably some commonality with that, that there’s not one agreed upon definition of respect. But I think the intersection of these two concepts is the idea of awareness.

Mike Domitrz:
And so can you dive deeper there? What do you mean the intersection? For some people they might… First of all, let’s start with what do you define as respect?

Holly Duckworth:
Well, you know, it’s fascinating because I would have said to you, respect is honoring somebody else, being aware of their presence, and yet it was fun to work this morning with the word cause it really says “No, it’s a feeling.” It’s a quality of achievement, admiration. And I don’t know if I would’ve gotten there. I mean, there’s certain amount of work you have to do to be respected, and I think in a world today people should just be respected. So I kind of was thinking about that idea of is respect deserved or earned? And I think respect is kind of that state of awareness, of being aware of other people’s feelings and honoring them. You don’t have to agree, but being aware and honoring the humanness in all of us.

Mike Domitrz:
Yes, we’re a huge believer in it’s deserved. Otherwise you’re always trying… It’s a power game otherwise. If I have to earn it than somebody has power over whether I get respected or not, versus we just treat everyone with respect, which is a very different awareness and mindfulness approach. So how do you define mindfulness, for listeners who have not gotten into to mindfulness before, how do you define it?

Holly Duckworth:
Mindfulness: The practice of being present in the moment with non-judgment.

Mike Domitrz:
All right, so there you go. So if you have non-judgment, it’s easier to give people respect because you’re not looking down at them based on judgment. You’re treating them as an equal, correct?

Holly Duckworth:
Yeah. It’s that place of connection.

Mike Domitrz:
And where do you think people struggle at in trying to be mindful? Why is it such a struggle?

Holly Duckworth:
Because we live in a world that’s 24/7. Bigger, better, faster, more. It’s all about me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. I think people struggle with mindfulness because they’re so over-programmed to be on to the next thing. And I think just even that moment to breathe, pause, and center can bring us to a place of remembering ourselves, respecting ourselves, and bring respect to the human family as we move about our workday and our personal life.

Mike Domitrz:
And what are steps people can take to recognize, first of all, when they’re not being mindful?

Holly Duckworth:
I think you can recognize when you’re not being mindful in that state of hurriedness, “Oh, I lost my keys.” “Oh, I forgot this.” “Oh, I’m not connecting to someone.” I think you can recognize mindfulness if you find yourself in a state of panic, stress, or overwhelm, not enough hours in the day.

Mike Domitrz:
And then what are the steps people should take in those moments to try to create some mindfulness?

Holly Duckworth:
You know, I think it’s Thich Nhat Hanh that has the quote, or maybe it’s even Deepak Chopra where “If you don’t have time to meditate five minutes a day, then you need to do an hour.” That it’s taking mindful pauses within the framework of your day. So, you know, I teach applied mindfulness for leadership. So I say, find a moment to stop and breathe in your car. Even if that’s at a stop sign, pause, be fully present at the stop sign. Bring in the red, you know, red power of the stop sign. Or if you’re between business meetings or, you know, today your recording a lot of podcasts, go take a second, wash your hands. Feel the stress and the overwhelm, but literally see yourself washing it down the drain. Those are a couple of of unique techniques that don’t require you to sit on a yoga mat or even do a long meditation, but just get your yourself back linked into the moment.

Mike Domitrz:
Is it possible some people can’t recognize what the stressor is?

Holly Duckworth:
Oh, absolutely. I mean, we live in a world that’s told us to go faster and almost to the point of being numb. Have that glass of wine, or watch that movie, or do that action that keeps you in that place of stress, overwhelm, and anxiety. So yeah, we’re not conditioned as a people to slow down and respect each other, be aware of one another, and be fully present with one another.

Mike Domitrz:
So how do you help that person even recognize what the stressor is? You know, you were saying wash that away, how do they recognize even what that is?

Holly Duckworth:
In my keynotes, I think oftentimes it’s just literally having them put their feet on the ground, put their pen down or their iPad down or their device down, and breathe back into their body. We’ve got to get reconnected to ourself and it’s almost that hard-stop. Wait a minute, what am I doing here?

Mike Domitrz:
So they’re breathing, they’re trying to quiet the brain, but they’re hearing a lot of noise in there, right? Things are saying, “No, I need you to do this. I need to do that.” What do they do in those moments?

Holly Duckworth:
I like to say you give the monkey a cookie and set it on the shelf. So for some people they can literally do that. They just stop, breathe, center. For others, they have to write all that stuff down, thank all that stuff, the monkey mind, the overwhelmed mind for showing up, put it aside, and just two minutes. Two minutes, two minutes, two minutes to breathe. Some people they have to write it down and capture it. Others, they can just let it go. But those are two different practices that invite people to say, “Wait a minute, this is not sustainable.” And we know that this busy, hurried life isn’t sustainable because we’ve got more people committing suicide, more people having divorces, heart attacks, health challenges as a result of not slowing down to take care of themselves and be fully present, respecting themselves and the other person.

Mike Domitrz:
And so let’s dive into this a little bit more on that end. Why do you think people fail to respect the need for just quiet and being able to just think or have no thoughts? That’s where I think people get confused, like why do I need to have no thoughts?

Holly Duckworth:
It’s that race consciousness, that society thing. We, from the minute we’re born, told we need more doing, more achieving, more attaining. So we reward, and in your word respect, people who get all the accolades, who have the busy calendar. So we’re actually a culture of architects of busy-ness versus architects of quiet. So as small communities first, larger communities, we need to build a state of gratitude and appreciation for and reward and recognize people for taking those small moments, rather than punish them for taking their vacation or taking their time off. We do live in a society that often does not reward and actually punishes people for doing calm, peaceful, centering things that make them more productive, more focused, and better able to perform in the world.

Mike Domitrz:
So if somebody is saying, “Yeah, but where I work doesn’t value that, so how can I just do that at work? How do I communicate that with management or leadership? Or how do I even help my spouse realize this is valuable if I say I need this quiet time?” How do we help others realize the importance of it?

Holly Duckworth:
Baby steps. I think it’s kind of different at home and at work. While they’re the same principles, I think it works… Sometimes we have to stop asking permission and almost ask forgiveness. Try these things within the framework of your day, the writing the little gratitude list or doing the five minute mindful walk, taking your lunch break, and then continue to perform at the same levels. We have to demonstrate that in the workplace, that this letting go of the stress actually makes me a better writer or a better producer, better able to connect to my customers.

Holly Duckworth:
You know, and at home I think it’s a little bit safer place to have a candid, respectful conversation. “I’m feeling X. I’d like replace the feeling of X with the feeling of Y. How can we work together as a individual, a couple or a family to create more moments of calm versus more moments of chaos?” So while I certainly specialize in doing those conversations in the workplace, sometimes you’re going to have to do it for a while and try it and see the results. I like to say that mindfulness is a practice, it’s not a perfect. And it’s no different than brushing your teeth. You know, we do it every single day for a few minutes, and certainly we receive the health benefits of that. That same thing is true for mindfulness.

Mike Domitrz:
And so if someone is being disrespected, let’s say in the home or in the workplace, how with a mindful approach, what do you teach them to do in those moments? What do you do if someone’s disrespecting you with a mindfulness approach, right? Because a mindfulness approach isn’t just going to snap. In theory, it’s going to be thoughtful in its response, so how does somebody do that?

Holly Duckworth:
First, you’ve got to be in the moment. And a great activity for this sometimes is stepping away from the heat of the moment, doing a journaling activity. What am I feeling right now? What would I like to be feeling right now? And you know, I do this at work, I do it at home. I’ll write what I call an Angel Letter, and I will write out, “This is what I want to have happen.” And you’d be surprised when you get really calm, really centered, and really clear about what you’re feeling, release it, and what you want to create instead, and then go approach that person from this new kind of place of clarity. You know what Jim, I recognize that we had a heated conversation. As a result of that conversation I walked away feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, anger.

Holly Duckworth:
I know that we’re on the same team here because we’re on the same company working for the same particular project, how can we unify together to create positive, easeful outcomes for this project and really create a dialogue? Well, I’ve been thinking, I’ve been feeling, I think Action A, Action B, Action C could work. But that pause moment to get clear in yourself and be respecting of yourself brings more respect to the coworker, in this case, it could certainly be at your partner at home.

Mike Domitrz:
So if the person’s like, “Wait a second, I don’t even understand why you were upset,” because people can do that, right? You can say to someone, “I responded, I got upset, I got angry.” It’s like, “Well, yeah, what did I do to make you angry?” You know, they take it very personal. So while you’re being mindful, they can still take it personal, so what do you do in that moment?

Holly Duckworth:
This is that gift of listening that we don’t do as a society. Help me understand, just like you do here on the show, help me understand. Let’s go a little deeper, but be respectful enough to give somebody that space of time and honor their boundaries that what you’re feeling is is valid. I think so often in our society we disrespect or dis-value somebody’s feelings. “Well, you shouldn’t feel that way. You can’t feel that way.” Well, no, actually I am entitled to my feelings, just as the other person is. But coming at it from that place of a listening heart, which is slightly different than a listening ear. I think often, “Oh yeah, I hear you, I hear you, I hear you,” but am I really truly listening? And when we can get to that place we can bring more mindfulness and respect at home and at work.

Mike Domitrz:
So why do you think respect is deteriorating for a lot of components of our society? It feels like there’s not respect there. It feels like we have to work to get it there. Why do you think that’s occurring?

Holly Duckworth:
I think it goes all the way back to the dissolving of the family, dissolving of the community, dissolving of that human skill of taking care of of one another. You know, clearly the world is whipping us up in fear right now from DACA, to drugs, to presidential issues, to global warming, to war. That fear that we’re constantly in the soup of is making disrespect okay. It’s making it normal to just bulldoze over the other person. And I think if we could go back to slowing down, to being respectful of families, even in the new dynamic of families, we don’t have that 2.3 children in a white picket fence family anymore, we can’t go back and get that, but we can honor and respect how the families evolved, respect our schools and our teachers and kind of how we’re growing.

Holly Duckworth:
That’s why I think mindfulness is such a huge and growing trend in every level of the education system right now. But I think respect is deteriorating because that idea of family and human connection is deteriorating because of technology. We don’t have to connect anymore, we don’t have to go to the grocery store, we don’t have to be together. And so the less we are together, the more it’s just easy to be disrespectful of one another.

Mike Domitrz:
And so with that and how easy it is to do that, what do you think is going to be needed to create that movement, that shift in society?

Holly Duckworth:
You know, it’s shows like this, it’s conversations like this where we get the opportunity to respect one another. And I think part of what your work, especially in keynotes is, is also teaching people to agree to disagree, agree to honor the humanness. In one of my programs we just have everybody breathe together and go back to that core center of what do we have in common versus what do we not have in common. So I mean, I think a real pause to say, “Are we liking the direction we’re going as a human family or do we not?”

Holly Duckworth:
And for good, or for bad, or for interesting, clearly every four years, at least in the borders of America, we get the opportunity to be a witness to this conversation as a collective. And I’m excited to see where our conversations as a human family go. Are we going to continue to divide or are we going to continue to unite in a respectful way even though we may not agree with everything that our neighbor says, our government says our schools say? But that there’s this greater cause for human good that we can create together.

Mike Domitrz:
I love that. And in your work have you experienced times where disrespect is blatant? You had mentioned to me once that as a woman author you had different experiences, so how did that show up for you on that journey?

Holly Duckworth:
Well, I mean I think it’s sad that we still have these divides, whether it’s woman or man, or purple people or orange people, or I believe this, or I love this person or that person. And I think for me it shows up just being the mindfulness expert in my face a lot as the opportunity to ask the question: what’s going on here? I’m excited and also concerned all of the corporations now are doing all this diversity and inclusion training, and bias training, and all these things. And while there’s a great message of trying to teach people these skills of respect, part of it is living these skills of respect. So as a woman author I had to overcome that challenge and continue to do so each day. And we have to celebrate more women now are getting stage time, they’re writing award-winning books, and be willing to be that trailblazer to say “This is not working and how can we create ways to make it work?”

Mike Domitrz:
So what are ways that you felt there was not respect as an author who was a woman, that it wasn’t there? Because you said “As a woman author I did have to be mindful of what was taking place in that moment,” and some people might not recognize it. They might be like, “Well what do you mean? How would it be different for women authors?” So could you explain some examples so people might realize ways that they may do something similar even if theyre not doing it to an author, they could be doing it to somebody else?

Holly Duckworth:
Well, I mean there’s obviously the pay disparity that often shows up, access to resources, editors, technology, distribution channels. And these things are softening a bit. I mean, I wrote my first book in 2014, so things are changing. But I think if we’re looking for places that we may be disrespectful, it’s listening to your gut. Did I say or do something to somebody that has a different outward appearance than my own?

Holly Duckworth:
And you know, I joke about this in my program, while mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment without judgment, human beings are wired for judgment. So I get up there and I say something like, “Now I know I walked down here and some of you are saying, ‘God, I really love her shoes’ and some are going ‘God, I really hate her shoes.’ But I think we can increase our level of respect when we notice what we’re noticing and honor that we might accidentally fall into that place of judgment or disrespect and make it right over and over and over again as a practice. And forgive yourself and have compassion for those moments where you may judge and be disrespectful, but come at it again and try again and again and again.”

Mike Domitrz:
You really work on trying to provide people resources to explore mindfulness, to explore being respectful. What are ways you do that? What are some of your favorite resources and what are ways you help connect people to resources of leading and living a mindfulness life?

Holly Duckworth:
Well I like to first of all sort of take away some of the woo-woo and the “I’m afraid of mindfulness as spirituality or religion.” So that’s usually my first barrier, is mindfulness is a non-secular, non-religious type of thing. And you know, some of my favorite resources for that can just be found within yourself and inviting people to breathe. And in some cases take things that they may have thought were religious and bring them into a secular environment. My singing bowl is kind of becoming this famous thing because it often will trigger people, “Oh my God, she’s going to do this religious chant.” And I don’t, I mean I just ring the bowl and I talk about the scientific energy changes.

Holly Duckworth:
You know, some of my favorite resources for mindfulness in business are the book Search Inside Yourself, which is by Chade-Meng Tan, the CEO of… The Chief Jolly Good Fellow at Google. I love some of the books by the people at Aetna and some of those research. The center for mindfulness studies is another great one.

Holly Duckworth:
And then of course, you know my podcast. And after we made the transition on the podcast, I wrote a book called Everyday Mindfulness: From Chaos to Calm in a Crazy World, and it’s a daily reader that invites people to setting a daily intention and then working to live that intention. If we can set our energy everyday to be more respectful, more kind, more joy filled, we can invite more kindness and joy and intentionality into our world. So that’s couple of the resources that I love.

Mike Domitrz:
And so how can people find your show?

Holly Duckworth:
You know, HollyDuckworth.com is a great way. And then of course the Everyday Mindfulness Show, just ThatEverydayMindfulnessShow.com.

Mike Domitrz:
Awesome. Thank you so much, Holly for joining us.

Holly Duckworth:
You’re welcome. Thank you, Mike. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Mike Domitrz:
Absolutely, and once again, everybody that’s HollyDuckworth.com, super easy, just like it sounds. We’ll have all of this in the show notes. And for our listeners, you know what’s coming up next, that is question of the week. Before I answer this week’s question of the week, I’d love to ask you a question, would you please subscribe to this podcast, The Respect Podcast with Mike Domitrz? By subscribing you can make a huge impact. Now you might be wondering, “Mike, how does my subscribing to your podcast make a huge impact?” Well, here’s how: For every person that subscribes, it raises the rankings of the show on the search engines. So for people who care about respect like yourself, when they’re doing a search for podcasts, they’re more likely to find this show, thus providing an awesome opportunity for us to spread more respect around this world. And all you do is hit subscribe under your podcast.

Mike Domitrz:
Plus, the second benefit is by subscribing you automatically get every episode right into your phone or whatever device you are listening to the podcast on. It happens automatically. So subscribing also makes your life easier. Now let’s get into this week’s question of the week. Oh, and by the way, you can always ask your questions of the week by joining us on Facebook and our discussion group. It’s called The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Go there on Facebook and ask whatever questions you would like me to answer and/or address in this segment of the show and then listen to each episode to find out when your question is included.

Mike Domitrz:
And this week’s question is, “Hey Mike, what is an exercise you’ve done that really helped you understand you and your mission on this planet?” And for me that is an easy answer because it was such a powerful exercise. It’s actually a book that takes you through the exercise. It’s called Your Unique Ability. Unique Ability. And what it really helps you understand is what since you’ve been a child, since you’ve been born, has shown to be your innate talent and skill that you continually can hone and work on to give back to this world that creates a natural high in your life and serves others. And it will be there all of your life when you do the digging, and it’s a cool thing. The book is Unique Ability, it’ll take you on this journey that is so powerful.

Mike Domitrz:
I’ll tell you mine, yours will be different because everybody’s is different because it’s your unique ability, not mine and mine is mine, not yours. Mine is to create aha moments that uncover discoveries. To create aha moments and uncover discoveries. And I loved doing that as a child. When I would perform I loved seeing the audience have the aha, the light bulb go off. And as an adult I love, whether I’m on stage or I’m being interviewed on TV, I love when I see the light bulbs go off and people going, “Whoa, I never thought of that before.”

Mike Domitrz:
And it’s not anything to do with what I said that gets the high off that, it’s watching that experience for the audience, for that person. Seeing that aha moment that creates a discovery for them, I love it. If I’m with my family traveling, I love it when I’ve planned something and I get to see them have the aha moment of “Wow, this experience we’re having.” It just puts me on another high and so it applies to my work, my personal. I hope you’ll check it out, it’s such a powerful concept. Unique Ability is the book.

Mike Domitrz:
Do you know what I would love? I would love to hear your answer to this week’s question of the week. So would you please answer what your answer would have been if you were asked that question today on the show. All you do is go to our Facebook page, we have a special group where we have these discussions called The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. So The Respect Podcast Discussion Group and share with us what would your answer have been to this week’s question of the week. And if you take a moment, post us a new question for future episodes. What question would you like to hear me answer on an upcoming episode? That’s all done on Facebook in our special group, which is The Respect Podcast Discussion Group. Can’t wait to see you there.

Mike Domitrz:
Thank you for joining us in this episode of The Respect Podcast, exploring work love and life. And this episode, like every episode, is brought to you by our organization, The Center For Respect, which you can find at CenterForRespect.com. And of course you can find me your host, Mike Domitrz at MikeSpeaks.com. Thank you so much for joining us.

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