The Catalyst

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather… I possess a tremendous power to make a…life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a (person) humanized or dehumanized.”  – Haim G. Ginott

IMG_5221I want to share why I chose my blog name; The Catalyst. But to do that I need to backtrack several years.

My oldest daughter and I read the novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Not the most fascinating book (in my personal opinion) and certainly not like Hollywood likes to portray but it indeed had a profound effect on me.

The novel shares Dr. Jekyll’s perspective and his struggle with the duality of man. He said that he, himself, was 90% a good solid, respectable citizen. But there was this 10% of him that was “evil” – or I’m going to venture to say the “natural man” – lower brain talking – ego – etc. You get the point. For the most part he was a high functioning, contributing to society, good guy but when he fed that 10% -the challenge arose and welcome, welcome Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde grew stronger and took over more control the more he’d entertain the negative thoughts and personality of Mr. Hyde and I won’t spoil it for you…go read it…but as you all can guess…Havoc ensued.

At the time I was having a bit of a struggle myself. I felt that I was, like good ol’ Dr. Jekyll, a good, productive, trying so hard to do the right thing, contributing member of society. But then that darned 10%…I can’t say it was “evil” but it wasn’t positive. I struggled with trying to do what’s right and being HAPPY all the time while struggling with real life feelings: disappointment, frustration, overwhelm, loneliness, feeling different, etc.

And…as you might have pieced together already the more I’d think or dwell on these feelings the worse things got. After a while it all weighed on me and there was this all out war between the me, who I thought I SHOULD be vs. the REAL HUMAN that I was.

Then one glorious morning as I was sitting in my car I stumbled upon Jody Moore’s podcast: Bold New Mom and I was forever changed.

I needed help. I was blinded by this high, unrealistic expectation of myself and didn’t see that I was the cause of my problems and negativity. I didn’t need to see a psychologist – I didn’t think I needed a therapist – I just needed new eyes and to be taught how to navigate my thoughts in a more healthy way.

Through the teachings at the Life Coach School I was able to FINALLY piece together the missing link that kept me stuck and feeling like I was split. She taught me that I am in complete control over my thoughts and what I choose to do with those- as Elder Bednar states:

We are AGENTS who ACT…not OBJECTS to be acted upon- I’d learned this concept before – many times actually and I knew it LOGICALLY but I didn’t quite realize HOW to apply it. I didn’t realize that I was truly the decisive element in my life – creating the life I experienced.

In life we encounter circumstances each day that trigger our thoughts…some good, some less worthy but I decide which thoughts to keep, what I believe, and then it’s those thoughts that determine how I feel.

I’m not an object to be tossed to and fro by feelings I thought I couldn’t control but I am the decisive element in my life that gets to decide what kind of life I experience REGARDLESS of circumstances.

This was so liberating to me. My thoughts create my feelings which will determine how I react. I’m in control of my life and it doesn’t matter what circumstances arise – I can STILL CHOOSE to create loving, peaceful thoughts which generate loving, peaceful feelings, which motivate me to act out of love and peace.

I love this work!
This is why I chose the name: The Catalyst- because WE ARE the decisive element for our lives- we are the only ones who can create a major shift/change in our lives. There will always be things out of our control BUT we get to CHOOSE which path we want to take, how we’ll view the circumstance, and how to act. The Dr. Jekyll route or the Mr. Hyde route (figuratively speaking). YOU are the Catalyst for change in your life. You are the agent to act and not to be acted upon.

Which path are you taking?

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4 comments on “The Catalyst

  1. Kelli Pearman

    You are so right on Hannah!!! Thank you for creating beauty in my life!!

  2. Natalie

    I love how beautifully this work goes hand in hand with the gospel. Agency and love!! I recently gave a lesson using Elder Bednar’s talk on choosing to act or being acted upon. Such a good talk!

    • Did you?! I’d love to hear it! and yes, I agree. This work goes PERFECTLY with the gospel – I’m sure that’s why it resonates with me so strongly. It’s amazing!

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