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March 7, 2023

Embracing the Fragility of Life: Lessons from Ryan Gottfredson's Journey

Embracing the Fragility of Life: Lessons from Ryan Gottfredson's Journey

Life can be unpredictable and fragile, and it is up to us to cherish every moment and work towards becoming our best selves. In a recent episode of the Life Shift podcast, Ryan Gottfredson, a leadership professor at Cal State Fullerton, shared his journey toward self-discovery and healing. His story highlights the importance of embracing our past experiences and working towards healing and growth.

Gottfredson's journey began with his research on personal and leadership development, which led him to realize that development is about becoming, not just doing. Next, he delved into his childhood experiences and discovered how his parents' emotional neglect had shaped his subconscious and emotional state without him even realizing it.

Gottfredson's pivotal moment came when he picked up the book "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk. This book explores the impact of trauma on the body and mind, and Gottfredson found himself relating to the stories and research presented in it. As a result, he eventually sought a form of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). As a result, he discovered two significant moments from his childhood that had been shaping his subconscious and emotional state.

Through his journey, Gottfredson learned that trauma and emotional neglect can control how our brain operates and can be below the level of our consciousness. It can cause us to develop self-protective mindsets that hold us back from growth and development. However, with awareness and the right tools, we can overcome these obstacles and become who we are meant to be.

Here are some actionable steps we can take to embrace the fragility of life and work towards becoming our best selves:

  1. Reflect on your past experiences and identify traumas or emotional neglect that may have shaped your subconscious and emotional state.
  2. Seek out therapy or counseling to work through these experiences and develop tools for healing and growth.
  3. Practice self-awareness and be mindful of self-protective mindsets that may be holding you back from growth and development.
  4. Embrace the present moment and cherish every experience, knowing that tomorrow is not promised.

In conclusion, Gottfredson's journey reminds us that life is fragile and unpredictable, and we must embrace our past experiences to work toward healing and growth. By taking actionable steps toward self-awareness and healing, we can overcome obstacles and become our best selves. As Gottfredson said, "if we want to improve our being, how we do that is actually through healing; it's healing our body healing our body's nervous system from whatever has happened in the past."