Can You Recognize Overwhelm…before it happens?

AAaaagh! Stop! Just. stop.

Have you been there? Of course you have; me too. That moment when you are overwhelmed with…whatever overwhelms you. For me, Carol, sensory input can sneak up on me. I become so engage in what is being said that I can overload sometimes before I am aware it is approaching. When overwhelm occurs I tend to be less gracious. If I’m honest, I’d have to say that I can be downright cutting—that’s not my heart value. I do not value ripping someone up; I’d much rather be helpful.

The only way Chris or I have found to stay in a loving, relational spot is to recognize the cues that we are approaching overwhelmed and disengage. This one is especially sneaky for me. My husband and I can be enjoying an animated conversation when I suddenly realize that I understood each individual word he said but when they were put together into the sentence he just made I had no idea what he was talking about. That is my overwhelmed signal. I have to say something right then before I throw a relational circuit breaker.

Maybe it was too many words. Maybe I was physically tired. Maybe my spirit was busy picking up pain around us…or the Lord had called me to intercession and my mind missed the call but my spirit didn’t. It was busy interceding while my mind was trying to listen to my husband—aaagh! Too much! Overload! And I throw that relational circuit breaker.

The overwhelmed feeling could be caused by any combination of things but the important thing is to recognize it BEFORE the relational circuit is blown. At this point you use relational brain skill #9 and take a breather—a time out. The lack of comprehension  is my cue to disengage.

When you have had time to catch your breath and the “go away” signals have subsided then it is time to activate skill #15 and practice being quietly interactive. Given the breather, the mental stimulation subsides and I can re-engage at a lower intensity and comprehend once again.

As parents you do this intuitively with your children. When their signals of approaching overwhelm were ignored or not recognized, they throw a tantrum to bring it to your attention. You know talking is not going to help; their thinking brain is offline! You wait, and as emotion subsides you can cuddle; praying silently you gently rock and begin to talk. They can hear you now—this is being quietly interactive.

You learn these and other skills at Thrive Training. You will learn not only your own overwhelm cues, but those of your bonded partner. You will learn the ways in which you overwhelm others and what to do to back down the intensity, the emotional, mental and spiritual stimulation without throwing that relational circuit breaker.

They call this “training” for a special reason. When you learn you pack facts and concepts into your head. Sometimes those facts find their way to your heart and influence your actions. But training is practice and practice to develop reflexes that you don’t have to think about. For a pianist or a runner it is called developing muscle memory. Reflexes are those automatic knee jerk reactions. You can train your brain to respond to little cues that can be easily missed.

Imagine how helpful it would be in your marriage and family as well as your ministry to know when you or others are approaching the “blow mark!” The rewards of training in the ability to recognize the cues are joy in relationship and effective leadership in ministry. If you would like to learn all 19 relational brain skills or fill in the ones you’ve missed and transform you life, marriage, family and ministry come to Thrive Training.

5-day Training (Tracks I-III)

Date: July 14th – 18th, 2014                                                     Date: March 24th – 28th, 2014
Holiday Inn, East Peoria, IL. USA
Registration: Is now open!
Click here to register.                      Find Out More

Hope to see you there!

Chris & Carol,

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer,

Twitter – @coursey_chris

Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                  


Identify Heart Values From Suffering? Um…how’s that?

Chris and I have run a couple blogs about the upcoming Thrive Conference March 24-28. But that was general information for registration for those who knew they wanted to attend. Now I want to share with you a specific skill you will learn when you attend Track 1 – The track for learning to “Quiet and Rest.” If you recall Anna Hill’s testimony, the skill of quieting was transformational for her and her family. Being able to identify heart values by looking at what causes you pain, relational brain skill #6, is equally transformational.


Skill 6 is about learning to identify your heart values from your main pain—your suffering. You can tell a lot about a person’s values by what hurts them. Your “main pain” points to the main characteristic of your heart. This is something the Lord placed in you; it is part of your design.

Since this is February, the “love” month, this would be an excellent heart conversation to have with your spouse or BFF. Be intentional about understanding each other’s heart values. It may shed light on mystifying behaviors and motivations! Just clear the schedule so you have uninterrupted time and see what God reveals.

Everyone has issues that particularly hurt or bother you and always have been the way you are likely to be hurt. Looking at these lifelong issues helps identify the core values for your unique identity. You hurt more the more deeply you care. Because of how much pain your deepest values have caused, most people see these characteristics as liabilities not treasures.

  • Write down the pain that seems to consistently show up in your relationships. Chris’s example:
    • I frequently feel let down by others.
    • I seem to work harder in my relationships than other people.
  • What does this pain say about you? What qualities did God place in you that are expressed in this type of pain?

Carol’s example:

Betrayal by a trusted friend is devastating to me. Consequently, I am slow to trust. I want to know you are not going to turn on me later. I try to avoid betrayal so I can appear to be distrustful or suspicious. Once I learn I can trust you, you have a loyal friend who will go through thick and thin with you. Trust and loyalty are very high values to me and that is why betrayal of trust cuts me so deeply and takes so long to recover from.

Another characteristic that God placed in me is high sensitivity. My central nervous system picks up more sensory data than most, which means I can be easily overwhelmed…by lights, sounds, activity, temperature, people, pain…easily overwhelmed. And it can be physically painful being bombarded by all of that!

That pain points to the ability to sense, know and understand what people feel. It means I am able to also sense God’s heart and how He wants to meet and help people. He designed me as an intercessor who can pray the prayers asking for what God wants to do for hurting ones.

I can hate the pain and the way I am designed; see it as a curse or thank God for the way He made me and learn how to use the gift and work with my design. Under all the pain I feel is the heart value of desiring to help those in pain. It is my heart value to help but I must learn how to help in a way that does not overwhelm others or myself.

My Heart Value clip_image004  My Main Pain

  • If God placed the heart value in you that you have identified, do you feel it is a weakness to despise, or a gift to embrace?
  • How would Jesus live with your heart values and main pain? What 2 responses come to mind about who Jesus would be under varying conditions?

FootprintsAction Step: Take these questions and have a discussion with your spouse or BFF and identify some your heart values. As my husband and I did this we found ourselves strategizing how we could support the other’s values. It also gave us insight into avoidance behaviors that caused us to question the other’s motivations. This is a very helpful little exercise. You will learn more about Skill #6 at Thrive as well as  additional skills.

If interested, Click here to register. Find Out More

May your JOY be full!

Chris & Carol,

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer, 

Twitter – @coursey_chris

Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                  

The Difference Thrive Makes!

Chris and I have said that learning the relational brain skills can change your life. Now we want you to hear what attendees have to say about the training.

                           Changing My Generation                               Thrive Training Will Change Your Family

“I would say THRIVE has changed my ENTIRE LIFE.”


-I have never experienced a conference like this before! I not only increased my helping skills but also improved my relationships and capacity for joy. THRIVE fully nurtured my body, soul and spirit! Thank you!

First time attendee

You may think that I can teach THRIVE brain skills because I have had them all my life but the truth is just the opposite. When I attended my first THRIVE in 2002 I was on disability for my emotional instability.

Jen Coursey, THRIVE Coordinator

I found this conference life-changing. I now see explanations for my mental state and behaviors. THRIVE gave me tools to change my mind ‘patterns’ and return to joy. I met many great people.


I now embrace my salvation as I never have before. I began to see the restoration of the traumas Jesus allowed in my 62 years of life would become the heart that Jesus gave me. I praise God that I’m now thriving in areas I never thought I could. I will be forever indebted for the investment you have made in my life.


I wanted to share with you what has happened to me since the conference. The biggest grace I’ve noticed is that I have developed a habit of quieting myself daily. Quiet has always been a struggle for me, but NO MORE! I’m very excited and grateful to the Lord for that. I look forward to the next Edmonton THRIVE conference.

Track I attendee

Changing My Generation
Brain skill training changed my life

I enjoyed the discussion (the exercises) would evoke. Afterwards you could almost feel a change in your right brain.

Track I attendee

I enjoyed learning the skills not just in my head but also in my heart.

Minister, Counselor

-THRIVE has amazing value for changing the brain especially for the amount of money it costs. I am in the business world and over the last four years I have hired a mentor for three days that cost me over $20,000 along with a business coach that costs me $2000 per month. There are tons of very expensive self-help gurus which are excellent, but their material is primarily book smart and theory. Chris and Jen take the hands-on approach to the brain, by building joy, knowing how to quiet and more for essentially 1/10 the cost of regular coaching. Where in the world can you get an all day training course for roughly $100 a day? I never heard of it until I was introduced to THRIVE.


The exercises were hard, but very beneficial. It is so important for us all to practice synchronizing and story-telling.

THRIVE attendee

Changing My Generation
How the Life Model changed my professional life

-I am a professional counselor now for 33 years. I have trained thousands of professionals through my private practice as a consultant. However, I have never been impacted in the manner in which I was through the THRIVE Conference. It has changed my life forever.


The (brain) levels and solutions will truly benefit my approach to people…it already has.

Lay Minister

I enjoyed the opportunity to get help. I was stuck dealing with the fear that has debilitated me in the last year in a couple of pastoral crises. I needed resources. Very timely!


I learned so much at both left and right brain levels. I met many others (colleagues) which was essential for me right now.

THRIVE attendee

I continue to see God use me through Emmanuel prayer in amazing ways. I believe He has both gifted and called me to use Emmanuel prayer and to train others to use it. (Not to mention the great benefits I have personally received).

Pastor from Kansas

I feel confident that I will be sharing THRIVE principles and experiences in my religious community, my therapy work and likely as a speaker in our affiliated churches.


Relational brain skills really do make a difference–in your family, your church, your ministry, your community and your life. If you feel “something is missing” and you need/want “the more,” there is still time…you can register.

5-day Training (Tracks I-III)

Date: March 24th – 28th, 2014

Date: July 14th – 18th, 2014

Location: Holiday Inn, East Peoria, IL. USA
Registration: Is now open!
Click here to register.
Find Out

May your JOY be full!

Chris & Carol,

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer,

Twitter – @coursey_chris

Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                  

More About Thrive Training

If you have been thinking about attending the Thrive

Training, there is still  time to take advantage of

early registration savings!



Dr. Jim Wilder, author and developer of THRIVE Training

will be on site duringTHRIV E this March 24-28th to lead

God’s Hour sessions and more. Here is your opportunity

to interact and experience Dr. Wilder’s dream to see relational

skills restored for families and communities around the globe.

You will learn how to:

  • Grow Joy with Ed and Martiza Khouri in Track One.
  • Return to Joy with Kitty Wilder in Track Two.
  • Apply solutions for the 5 levels of pain with Chris Coursey in                  Track Three

The early registration deadline has been

extended to February 6, 2014 

for the March 2014 THRIVE Training!


Chris & Jen video

Hear how THRIVE changed everything

for Chris & Jen, THRIVE Trainers.

THRIVE starts

some serious joy!


Come join us: March 24th – 28th

or July 14th – 18th










3 interactive training tracks,

19 skills to change your life!


 “I now embrace salvation as I never have before!”

THRIVE Attendee



Can’t wait to get started?

THRIVE in 3 steps:RegisterPrepare

We can’t wait to see you there!

Chris & Jen Coursey

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive                                              Trainer, 

Twitter – @coursey_chris

Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity                                           and Highly Sensitive