How to Develop Emotional Competence.

How to Develop Emotional Competence

Dr. Saarni defined emotional competence as the human capacity to reach goals after an emotion-eliciting encounter. She defined emotions as the elementary units of self-efficacy and describes 8 emotional competence skills. You can read in the study published by the National Library of Medicine at this link.

How can we develop emotional competence for our self-efficacy, to be leaders in our lives?

There are four parts to the Emotional and Social Intelligence Leadership Competency Model developed by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management (you can read more at this link)

How does Meditation help?

Meditation and a consistent mindfulness practice are the most powerful tools to develop those competencies. Unfortunately, people consider meditation a spiritual practice intended for monks, or solitary people. We need to move beyond that mental construct. Meditation changes the structure of the brain and it is for everyone.

Benefits of Meditation

There are different science-backed benefits of meditation, such as:

    • Reduces the stress level and increases the attentiveness to the present moment 

    • Improves mood disturbance and stress

    • Reduce emotional reactivity while enhancing emotion regulation in people with Social Anxiety Disorder

    • Improves chronic illnesses

    • Helps to cope with a wide variety of clinical problems

    • Improves Self-Awareness. Meditation encourages ‘gut level’ intuition, which is governed by the insula region of the brain. The insula monitors bodily sensations and assesses whether they are benign or harmful. A strengthened insula will be better able to pick up on cues from the muscles, skin, ears, and eyes.

(reference for the above here)

    • Improves stress-related outcomes (read the study here)

    • Improves Emotional Self-Control. Meditation helps to control our immediate reactions. For example, it weakens neural connections to the fear center of the brain – the amygdala – where primal reactions such as fear and anger are triggered. In contrast, it also strengthens the neural connection to the assessment center of the brain – the prefrontal cortex – where rational thought and logic reside (click here for reference)

    • Improves Empathy. Being able to understand how others feel and tune into their emotional state, helps us become more effective communicators and therefore more effective leaders (click here for reference)

    • Improves connection between the prefrontal cortex – the ‘me center’ of the brain that references back to personal perspective and also infers other people’s state of mind – and the insula – involved in ‘gut-level’ feelings. This strengthened connection enhances our capacity to understand where another person is coming from, and put ourselves in their shoes (read the article here)

Together, a strengthened insula and prefrontal cortex help develop the ability to pause, reflect, and evaluate how we think and feel on a daily basis. This greater self-awareness can, therefore, help guide leaders when it comes to making hard decisions.

There are different studies about the benefits of MBSR and Meditation. More studies related to breathwork, relaxation techniques, stretching, and positive affirmation are available at this link. All the above are segments of FRY The Method.

This article is just a sweet taste to invite you to develop your own practice. And if you do not know how to do it, we are here to help.

FRY The method includes Meditation as it is the real brain changer. Resilience in your body but also resilience in your mind.

Tend and Be Friend, Name it to Tame it

Tend and Be Friend, Name it To Tame it

Tend and be friend and name it to tame it are processes that transform your self-judgment into self-acceptance. They better and tender your relationships. 
This transformation can be a struggle. Tara Brach, psychologist, meditator, and PhD, stated that the struggle happens because in the presence of self-judgment you have to move through three stages:
 – Learn to observe your own thoughts
Mindfully feel your feelings, and
– Offer a gesture of care to your inner self. 
The process requires an effort. It requires help sometimes.
What happens to your mind when you are caught in self-judgemental and self-harm? The more primitive part of yourselves get activated and you find ourselves in the fight-flight-freeze response. Your system is constantly looking for threats and dangers. It is physiological.
The three processes listed above instead activate the most recently evolved part of your brain: the frontal cortex and the neuropathways responsible for compassion, reason, and empathy.

Tend and Be Friend, Name it To Tame it

The three stages above move you from the fight-flight-freeze mode to a state of caring and tenderness called “tend and be friend. Through the 3 processes above you are evolving ourselves. You are moving from self-judgment and self-hatred to a more caring and intelligent perspective. That affects your relationships.
When you observe your thoughts arising, try to name them. Name also your feelings, your physical sensations, and emotions. In Vipassana, this process is calledname to tame it“. When you name your perceptions, feelings, you activate the same neuropathways that are responsible for compassion, reasoning, and empathy. The result is a more objective experience with no identification with emotions. That brings within yourselves more space to act with emotional intelligence but without emotional engagement
Your wellness is your goal, right? Factor in your mind state then. There is no other choice.
FRY highlights the importance of movement and the relationship with movement which is the real game changer.
Photo from NBCNews

Working with FASCIA is FASCIAnating.

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Working with FASCIA is FASCIAnating.

I found working with Fascia, FASCIAnating for the impact on my body and my mind.

It is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When stressed, guess what? it tightens up.

Fascia runs from the surface of the skin to the deep cells of the connective tissue. It is omnipresent in our bodies. As Carla Stecco, Professor of Anatomy in Padova, says “To overlook the fascia, would be like to overlook the nerves. It is an organ”

That’s the reason why we decided to incorporate a fascia training in our FRY The Method.

Healthy fascia is smooth, slippery, and flexible. Factors that cause adhesion in your fascia for it to become gummy are limited daily physical activity, trauma coming from surgery and injury, and overwork one part of the body either for a mistake or for natural imbalance in the body.

Working with FASCIA is FASCIAnating. How can I do it?

Keeping your fascia healthy has many benefits. You’ll move more easily, have a better range of motion and experience less pain.

Different technics are used to stretch the fascia and lots of marketing has been developed around it. Have a look at the web and you will discover how creative we can be: melting stretch, myofascial release, and so on. All the new age stuff recalls what has been available for us for a long time: stretching.

While the actively loaded stretch is more indicated for muscle, the melting stretch/long-lasting hold without muscle activation it is more appropriate for the deep tissue.

As everything is connected in our body, both techniques should be practiced to achieve holistic fascial health. Treat your body as a whole because the integrity and resilience of the body-net have everything to do with the integrity and resiliency of every strand. You are only as strong and pliable as your weakest link.

Download FRY The APP to follow FRY The Method for a functional and healthy body and mind. 

The pillars of well-being: Body, Breath, Mind, Diet, Recreation

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Let’s dive into the pillars of well-being: Body, Breath, Mind, Diet, and Recreation

The pillar of well-being: Body

Having a healthy body and taking care of it, stepping away from the aesthetical and focusing more on the functional. Those are all essential parts of the modern approach to wellness. In yoga, we use Asana (the poses) which provides us with many benefits. Strength, flexibility, balance, and spine health, are consequences of regular yoga practice.

We can take care of the body with many forms of exercise. Be sure in your workout there are tensions, contractions, and mild compressions for your deep tissue.

The pillar of well-being: Breath

The yoga practice bridges us to our breathing which is another pillar of our well-being. When you work with the breath, you work with your energy, you target your nervous system and so your mind. Today, modern science is confirming what the sage of the past knew: having control of your breath impacts the nervous system and helps to restore homeostasis in your body-mind system.

The pillar of well-being: Mind

The biggest challenge for every one of us. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal said “All of humanity’s problems stem from their inability to sit quietly in a room alone“. The meditation practice, which is linked to our mind, is like a mirror. It’s going to reflect whatever’s going on inside of you. Sometimes what’s going on inside of you isn’t the easiest thing to face. However, when you realize the wisdom that all things are impermanent, you begin to have the capacity to move through whatever comes up for you; to no longer run away from it but to be with it. to witness it; to watch it; to observe it. You start to see the crazy workings of your mind. The benefits of meditation are countless: stress reduction, more clarity, bigger mental focus, greater creativity, better sleep, and more. Please jump to our link to learn more about the science supporting the benefits of the practice.

The pillar of well-being: Diet

We are what we eat. We can do hours of exercise, breathing techniques, and meditation, but if we are eating junk food, it will eventually catch up to us. Eating crap nullifies the benefits of our practice. Our bodies and our mind will pay the price for our bad eating habits. A specific diet linked to our constitution, age, lifestyle, and the weather, is a must to follow for our overall wellness.

The pillar of well-being: Recreation

In the rest time, we build up our strength, we become more flexible, and we recover and replenish the stress we apply to our body during the exercise. On top of that, our mind too needs a break from everything and everyone. Take your time when needed. Step away from your schedule. Have a gentle walk. Play with your dog. Stay in nature. Eventually, you will feel better and at ease to start your wellness journey with more energy and enthusiasm.

Yoga & Weight Training

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Yoga & Weight Training

Practicing Yoga & Weight Training is like having your PB & Jam Toast: you benefit from muscle building, but you also get muscle endurance, balance, and flexibility.

The impact of “eating your PB & Jam Toast” is understandable: if you only lift weights, you only benefit from strength building at the expense of flexibility.

Why adding yoga is beneficial

Adding functional yoga movements to your weight-lifting routine allows you to maintain dexterity, muscle endurance, and flexibility. Slow and constant pace, holding the posture for an extended time to tense muscles, apply contraction and compression between the tissue is what your body needs to be healthy.

On top of that, the emphasis on breathing we put during our class allows you to get rid of the practice of holding your breath. That occurs when your body and mind are under tension and pressure. This is a bad pattern and can easily become a habit that can be eliminated with breathing exercises which is one of the big components of the yoga practice.

By becoming aware of your breathing and oxygenating your body more you can benefit more from the muscle-building workout.

By adding functional Yoga movement to your wellness routine, you can improve your range of motion and encourage better posture and you’ll be far less likely to get injured by weight lifting. A better range of motion equals a safer weight lift.

Stress Management

Are you looking for Stress Management activities? Yoga and meditation are major stress relievers, which promote better emotional health. Strength training can help to control anger and aggression with explosive movements. That, combined with Yoga and meditation, can help you to end that feeling of being in control and become more relaxed.

There is no absolute: keep lifting but add functional Yoga movements and meditation for your mental and body wellness. 

FRY is here to help you to manage your strength practice, stretch your muscles and tissue, add breathwork to your schedule, and learn how to meditate, how to relax, and how to use positive affirmation to better your life.

You are not alone! 

FRY is your 24/7 Buddy Support System

Handshaking our Beautiful Monsters.

FRY_Beautiful Monster

Handshaking our Beautiful Monsters

I read an article by Tsoknyi Rinpoche on How to Make Friends with our Beautiful Monsters. 

I had a feeling to share that experience. I found it aligned with what we offer at FRY. 

We emphasize the relationship we need to have with the movement and the feelings that come from it.

Handshaking our Beautiful Monsters. Who are they?

Anger, fear, envy. You name it. Those are all feelings we experience in our life. Instead of fighting them make friends with them.

You want to better your life. So, you might decide to read some self-help books written by well-known authors. Some of you had the fortune to talk to some mentors. And it seems you get it up in your head. It seems you have a clearer vision of your life experiences. Yet, you are still stuck in the same emotional and energetic habit patterns. 

That happens because there is no communication between mind, body, and feelings. Your understanding is not digested at the level of body and feeling. It is at the level of the intellectual mind. It is not deeply integrated.

We often feel ashamed of our emotional patterns. Those emotions make our lives and relationships difficult.

We resist and react to what we feel. 

We hate what we feel. 

We just want all our feelings to go away.

Practicing handshaking with our Beautiful Monsters

As suggested by Tsonknyi Rinpoche, we need to learn to look at them as “Beautiful Monsters”. If we think of them as just “Monsters”, we solidify our aversion toward them. If we think of them as just “Beautiful”, we are denying the destructive potential they have and the suffering they can cause.

It’s important to understand that they are both friends and enemies. It is like looking at your hand: it has two sides; it exists with two sides. You cannot consider the functionality of your hands by only considering one side. The bottom side of the hand exists because its top side exists.

Rinpoche describes our “Beautiful Monsters” like ice. Their nature is water. We don’t have to destroy the ice but melt it and free it and let it flow. Our “Beautiful Monsters” are like that. They are frozen patterns of reacting and resisting. To melt the ice and so our “friendly enemies”, we need to use the warmth of our kindness toward them, without any judgmental mind. 

We have to learn to have a “handshake attitude” between our awareness and our feelings. Not running away from our feeling. Not fighting them. Just meeting them in full awareness.

Remind yourself to “allow the chin to dip down a little bit” when you feel defeated. 

The old Taoist text “Tao Te Ching” talks about being the Valley of the Universe. It says: Know honour, yet keep humility! Be the valley of the universe! You don’t always have to strive to be the mountain, the highest point, the biggest thing around. Feel the power of what Gandhi described as “coming back to zero”: that selfless space where what becomes zero is the ego or the identity. And you begin to access that place beyond time, place and space. Going beyond every label that we’ve ever been given. Our name, our gender, our ethnicity, our nationality, job occupation. 

All these labels are not the things that really define Who You Are. 

Who you truly are is boundless, infinite, eternal, and incredibly sacred. And ego stands for Edging Goodness Out!


Being More Productive

Being more productive can be challenging. Your brain can propel you to get things done and be more productive.
In the 1920s Russian psychologist, Doctor Zeigarnik discovered that we remember unfinished tasks better than completed tasks. The Zeigarnik effect postulates that we tend to focus on the things that are not done versus the things that are done.

Being more productive: Why is it a challenge?

The things that are not done own your mental energy till they are completed.
Why do we have this effect?
Because our brain is wired to focus on open loops, the unfinished tasks. When the loop is open, you want to see that loop closed: you start seeing a movie and then you want to finish that movie.  If something is not completed and needs to be done, we tend to focus on that a lot more. When we do not complete a task, our brain will be still thinking about it until is done
That mental process is hard-wired in our brains and it is energy-consuming. Stress and anxiety start to kick in for the many things you have to complete. You start feeling drained by your stress.
The Zeigarnik effect can drive you to mental discomfort. However, it can also drive you to complete the task if it is used correctly.

Being More Productive: How to?

The Zeigarnik effect can hold you back but can also push you forward. In which way? By recognizing it and using it to propel yourself.
Try to focus on one task at a time.
Start with the more important task. You want to see it complete and you start being pushed by the Zeigarnik effect to complete it.
Then try to break down your tasks. Alternate focused work sessions with frequent short breaks. That can promote sustained concentration and stave off mental fatigue.

Eating Bitter.

Difficulties cannot be avoided. The only way out is the way through. 
Every one of us faces hardship during our life and in our line of duty. For enduring hardship the old Chinese culture suggests an approach: “eating bitter“. It means to endure something unpleasant in good humour. To continue despite difficulties, to persevere through hardship without complaint.
That Chinese motto has also a side effect. The ability to withstand intense hardship may prevent people from seeking help. You can fool yourself and those around you into thinking you are fine when you might be in pain.
We at FRY help you to be aware of your needs and to develop the attitude of accepting what you cannot change. It is not the movement that changes you. The game changer is the relationship you have with the movement. The awareness about your breathing and your body’s sensation when you stress it.
That’s what we do at FRY. We push you to positively stress your mind-body system to make it stronger, more resilient, and more pliable.
Download FRY The APP, your 24/7 Buddy Support Service.

The Culture of Happiness

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The Culture of Happiness.

The culture of happiness is in some ways related to having material needs met and experiencing pleasure. But we as human beings are accountable for our well-being. Our responsibilities have changed from our ancestors. Living a good life does not mean anymore having shelter, food, and entertainment.

Being accountable for the well-being recall the responsibility we have towards:

  • Our mind-body system
  • The others’ needs, which are connected to ours, and
  • The earth-care, is a necessary and compulsory attitude we need to develop

Let’s talk about mind-body wellness, which is the focus in this “community for a better life” called FRY.

Let’s see how we can develop a culture of happiness.

The Culture of Happiness. How to create it?

How do we create a culture of happiness? The answer is quite easy. By:

  • Start Being Happy 

“Why is happiness the key to happiness and positivity attracts positivity? Neuroscience shows us that this is for two main reasons. One, because when you create a habit in the way you think, this habit will subconsciously repeat itself. For most people, this subconscious habit is automatically negative in some way or another. Secondly, when we have positive energy within our bodies, we naturally attract positivity from every other aspect of life. This effect has long been noticed and is referred to as the Maharishi Effect.”

(Excerpt from “The Key to Happiness” by Sasy Cacace available on Amazon at this link)

  • Asking Yourself “Where Am I Going?

Where are you going? No matter how your life is now, amazing or horrible, what is important is where you are going. We live in a world where everything is at hand. We do not even need to stand up to cook or order some food. We simply need an APP and ask Uber or other platforms to deliver what we need. All that happens in minutes.

However, building up yourself needs time. Building up good habits and changing your mind takes time. Changing all the subconscious patter that run your life after the age of 35 takes time. Everyone wants speed but that is not the way the world works. Everything takes time.

We tend to overestimate what we can do in a year but we underestimate what we can do in 5 or 10 years.

The Secret is…

Having a long-term vision.

Knowing where you are heading and where you are going.

All that is more important than the point you are stuck on right now.

Heading in the right direction without stopping will bring you there; you will get your results. It does matter how long it takes.

Make it very clear where you want to go, write it down, and journal it on paper, not in your fleeting memory. You want to see it every single day, every single moment you come back to your journal. Make a daily check on your plan and direction.

We at FRY help First Responders to develop strength, focus, mindfulness, and overall healthiness through the:

  • Online and live courses & events
  • live classes
  • movement
  • breathwork
  • meditation and
  • workplace Mindfulness Facilitation.

All of the above at a push of a button through our FRY The APP. Download FRY The APP Right Now, choose your membership, and start your journey toward “the better you” right now!

We got your six!


FRY Consistency

Consistency is your keystone.

The idea of being motivated and waiting to do something when you are motivated is wrong.

We cannot wait to be motivated to start our personal journey, whatever that means for you.

You cannot wait to be motivated to become more fit, better your health, and manage your emotions.

Consistency. What is that?

What you need is consistency. Consistency means to be committed to your path, to your goal whatever it takes. Motivation cannot be a prerequisite to action. It follows action instead. Taking action becomes your personal motivation.

How can you be more consistent?

  • Pick ONE thing to do for the next short time span and do it. You cannot revamp your all entire life as that will not happen. You will sabotage yourself and your goal. Instead choose one thing, one thing only, and go for it
  • Journal your moves and your efforts. Write them down. Journal will be the keystone of your consistency, of the habit you start building. It will change other aspects of your life too. It boosts you to do better in other parts of your life.

No doubt that change is difficult. We all know it.

Why is that? Because of something called Confirmation Bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports your beliefs or values.

Recognize that confirmation bias can be a way to search and be curious about “the new”, and what is different. Maybe you will discover better and more intelligent behavior. Perhaps you will find something that won’t create any cognitive dissonance with yourself; that mental conflict occurs when your beliefs don’t line up with your actions.

For this 2023 I wish you all more consistent behavior to better your life.

Here is a list of all FRY Courses & Events.

If you need help if you want to bring Mindfulness into your workplace contact us.

We got your six!

The Practice of Community. What is that?

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The Practice of Community.

Being a First Responder has different duties. The “Practice of Community”, such as serving and protecting, is part of them.

By serving and protecting your community you learn more every day. You learn about patience, persistence, and relationship building. Also, you learn about the diversities and tensions always present in a community.

The Practice of Community. Its deep meaning.

The practice of community has indeed the broadest sense. And you need to take it into account for a better understanding of your life and who you are.

Patricia Ikeda, Buddhist, and secular mindfulness teacher and anti-racism activist, says:

The practice of community, is more than including beyond all people, even all beings. It means including all thoughts, all emotions, all realities — the bad as well as the good”.

You can listen to some of Ikeda’s podcasts here

Embrace the moment because the only way out of it is the way through. This is the deep meaning of the practice of community.

It would help if you went through your inner landscape. You need to dive into your inner dimension. There you will find your emotions, hopes, undefeatable fears, and doubts.

There is no other way to move forward than to look within your “community”. Without rejecting anything.

This is the practice of “omitting none”.

As Rumi said:

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

The new year is born and normally we make commitments for the next 12 months. Be focused on the gains and not on the gaps then. Embrace the community within yourself; all sensations and emotions that will manifest; all your failures, your mistakes, and your pains.

You will feel them because you are alive. A good way to start your new year and rejoice in this journey called life.

Practicing mindfulness, the moment-to-moment presence, helps your self-control.

It increases your tolerance and enhances your emotional intelligence.

It improves the ability to relate to others with kindness, acceptance, and compassion.

This is why meditation is one of the “segments” of FRY The Method.

Our CEO Julia Long is available to offer Mindfulness Sessions for your Workplace. She is a certified Mindfulness Facilitator with Mindful Leader.

Sign up to FRY The APP and start your journey towards your Mind-Body Wellness and Resilience. We are here to help!

Download FRY The APP here