A Story You Need to Hear

Well, it’s been quite a week—I have to comment on it. Last week didn’t start off so great, but once again I am reminded of how much more GOOD there is in the world than bad. My heart is just so warmed by this story that I can’t keep it to myself.

So our tale begins with an innocent trip to none other than Black Angus in Burbank. Real wild place. I was getting dinner with my boyfriend’s family and had a nice time catching up. Mind you, we were all particularly excited because we just got a new (used) Honda Civic. After driving a (gold) Toyota Corrolla for over ten years, I was more than ecstatic to get a new car. I had been pining for one for quite a while and was just over the moon about this new (silver) car.

So you can imagine my horror when we walked back to the parking lot and saw the glass shattered on the back passenger window. It took me a second to realize what had happened…and then after I saw the window jiggled open I knew. At first I didn’t think anything had been stolen and then I remembered. I had a testing kit, called the WISC, right in that spot. Now if you’re interested in child assessment, you would know that this test kit costs a pretty penny—over a thousand dollars to be exact. But to a thief, I can only imagine the disappointment they had when they opened the briefcase only to find blocks and children’s pictures. Almost as disappointed as me.

So the next day, with a heavy sigh, we took the car to the dealership to have the window and door fixed. $800, please. And then I went to the testing center at Pepperdine. Sorry for what happened to you, but you still owe $500. Even bigger sigh. With a big tuition bill coming up, I went numb in my seat.

And then the story changed.

Some of my classmates found out about my plight. So many of them checked in with me and said they were sorry about what happened to me. That would have been enough. But then, after I returned from my trip to State College, Pennsylvania, a classmate came up to me and handed me an envelope. In it was a card filled with kind words from all of my classmates AND almost $300 to help me pay for the WISC kit. All a surprise to me, they pooled together to help me out, just like that.

WOW.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that degree of generosity. I was floored. The amount of love and compassion sent my way was just beyond. For feeling so sad about what happened, I felt a hundred times more gratitude and hope for our world. There are such good people out there, and I’m lucky enough to have some of them in my life. Mind you, we’ve known each other for just about three months and they looked out for me. It’s comforting to know that they all have the ambition to be psychologists someday—can you define a more empathetic and understanding group of humans?

I just felt like this amount of goodness was too good to keep to myself. Stories like these should be shared. I am inspired to give when I can and take part in those acts of kindness whenever I can. My classmates showed me what true thoughtfulness is…incredible.

Can we put them on the Ellen show now?

With the holidays approaching, I hope that only wonderful things come your way. And if you have a bit of bad luck like I did, I hope there is someone who is willing to offer love and hope to remind you that there is still much more good than bad in our world.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

An Update this Fall

Hello friends!

It’s good to get back to writing on the blog. I thought this would be a good time for an update. On September 7, 2016, I started my doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. In these two (long) months, I have been challenged in so many new ways and stretched beyond what I was imagining. I call this program Brain Bootcamp because it has been nothing but studying, reading, and writing day in, day out.

But I am so glad that I going through with this. I have had days of doubt when I have wanted to give up. I have almost talked myself out of going the distance. This program will be four years, a good bit of money, and will take the majority of my time. Sacrifices have and will be made. No one said this would be easy.

But I know in the end that it will be so worth it. I am so amazed by my classmates and by the professors that are leading us. I love my classes—especially my cognitive assessment class. So many new possibilities are emerging and I am so eager to see where these next few years take me.

I also had an incredible thing happen in the past month. I got my very first Siamese kitten! To be exact he is a Chocolate Point, short-haired, Applehead, Siamese kitten. Now that’s specific. His name is Mochi and he was born August 9, 2016. I am so in love with him and I have truly never been happier. Having a little one to take care of and play with is such a tremendous joy. I’ll try not to post too many pictures of my little love but I just think the world of him.

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Many exciting things in the works currently and I’ll try to post more regularly. This has definitely been a season of change in my life and I’m adjusting in the process. I hope your fall has been a happy one and that you have something to smile about these days.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

When You Think No One Likes You

As I’ve sat with clients this past year, I’m reflecting on how many of us are secretly insecure that no one likes us. This is a big hindrance to our happiness because we are so bent on appearing “chill” that we lose ourselves in the process. Beating to our own drum—as weird and quirky as that may be—is how we embrace what brings us joy in this life.

But what does make for a likeable person per say? I was recently asked about this. As I reflect on this, there are a few key takeaways that I’ve learned. Yes, we have to own our little idiosyncrasies but there are also general things we can do to connect more with others.

Here are a few key points:

1. People love a clutz: You wouldn’t expect it but we find perfection annoying. When someone is too scripted and put together, it appears insincere and phony. We love someone who can be a little goofy and isn’t afraid to self-deprecate a bit. Take Jennifer Lawrence for example, her Academy Awards fall made her that much more famous and lovable. People like a person who is relatable.


2. People prefer someone who is agreeable rather than confrontational: This doesn’t mean you should be a pansy and bend over backwards when you strongly disagree. However, people often feel uncomfortable when someone is argumentative and finds disagreement over whether there are two clouds in the sky or four. Point being, when it comes to menial matters, it’s not worth it to pick a bone with people.

 

3. Take the time to listen: While people love to talk about themselves, they also get frustrated if you ask a question that you asked five minutes ago. Have a few key questions in your back pocket when you run into that dead silence and be ready to engage in a conversation. The majority of people don’t enjoy awkward silence and while you don’t have to be the comedian of the group, you will be likeable if you can show interest in the person rather than your phone.

The reality is that not everyone is going to like us and we are not going to like everyone. The second we relieve ourselves of this burden, the more we can enjoy the genuine company of the people that we do feel comfortable with. When you have those awkward moments, just own them. Laugh about it. Life is only awkward if you make it often!

At the end of the day, I hope you know that you are more than likeable—you are lovable!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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