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Posts Tagged ‘self awareness.’

Well, it’s Tuesday already…two more days until I embark on a road trip to partake in the second of three very long, but fabulous, weekends of training.  It really is a bit crazy but I’m so happykeep-calm-two-more-days to be there it doesn’t matter.  Mind you I pretty much collapse into bed but that’s okay; I have to get up early anyway!  Crazy town?  Perhaps but I can’t wait to get there.

No kidding…as long is it, you know what? In addition to being really excited about getting to hone the skills I already have and learn some new ones – I’m really excited to see the people who are going to be there.

There are some amazing – no freaking amazing people in this group.  I’ve gotten to know a few of them much better because of the way the studies are set up in between the 3-day weekends.

I can’t wait to give some of them a BIG hug.

Truly, for me half of the joy of deciding to sign up with iPEC (the school I’m training with) is finding all these people who kind of think just like me!   Holy crap they ARE out there!

I know I’ve said it before in other posts but us humans are not meant to go it alone in this life.  We are meant to make connections, learn from each other and offer that hand up when we can.  I don’t think alone is our natural state.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am very comfortable being just with myself and to be honest, sometimes I need it.  But to FEEL alone, well that is another story.  That is loneliness.  And that hurts.

It hurts more I think to feel alone in sea of people who you think care about you too.  Not being able to express your ideas, thoughts or what your soul’s light is shining is really painful and frustrating.  No one wants to feel judged because of who they are deep inside – so we keep it hidden or we feel like we are banging our heads against a wall.

Finding people who I can easily be understood by and who ‘get’ me was like unlocking a treasure box…it feels like coming home. I get what people mean now by the idea of finding your tribe.  Your tribe is people who, while not walking your path, parallel it enough that there is connection, understanding and shared excitement and joy about the same sorts of things. (tweet this)

You know what I mean?

So, I’m looking forward to seeing all of them again, learning and laughing and the occasionally teary session. Some powerful stuff coaching and we all go through it together.

Have you found some of your tribe?

 

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ps. If YOU want to become part of MY tribe too (and I hope you do!) you can start by getting my monthly newsletter in your inbox.  Just register your email here and you’re good to go. Yay!

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Many of my regular readers know that a few years ago I was in a car accident and suffered some injuries from that which left me in quite a state.

What many people don’t realize is that despite creating a lot healing in my body and mind,   I am still usually managing my life in a state of pain.  Now this ebbs and flows with how bad it actually is and for the most part I don’t allow it to impede too much of my life.

It does affect me more than I let on…but I’ve learned to be so grateful for what I can do and let the rest of it go.  I also don’t like to focus my energy on this aspect of my life and so don’t often bring it up.  I do so today because it’s part of the message and needs to be said to make the rest of this make sense.

What doctors and people don’t tell you about constant pain, even when you can get up and out to do things; is how exhausting it is.  Truly, it wears you out even when you feel like your handling it.  It’s just how it is.  I drop faster than I used to and it’s much harder to gather up my energy to push through.  I can and do, but at the same time I will not send myself into a tailspin because it’s also a much longer recovery.

What I have discovered is I have had to walk away from some people in my life who refuse to ‘hear’ what I’m telling them in any sort of compassionate way.

a_true_friend_button-p145655074167690832t5sj_400Well, to be honest, the first year of my accident really showed me who was in my life to stay and who were – what’s the phrase – fair-weather friends?

A lot of people dropped away when I couldn’t “do” for them anymore.  It hurt for a while, but now I realize that this might have been a gift.  Seeing the true colors of people also showed me who would be standing by me when I was in real need.  The colors on those folks are simply beautiful.

However, these days it’s not so black and white or colored.  Self-care is a big issue for me because I have BIG, crazy and passionate dreams to fill and that means sometimes I need to take a time out and or limit things.  I am aware I can’t do it all, at least not all the time.

In fact, I think we all do, I’m just really aware of how fast I can drop to burned out.  I can’t afford that anymore.  I learned the hard way that it’s far, FAR better for me to take a day of rest and quiet me-time than it is to push too hard and end up in worse pain that keeps me from doing anything other than basic survival for days.

If I didn’t tell people I need to recoup or why I have these limits, I would totally get the confusion.  But I have a couple of people in my life I’m letting go of because they refuse to accept it and refuse to show any understanding or compassion.  I’ve realized the ‘stuff’ they want to do with me isn’t about our friendship or spending time together. I’m simply a person to fill a space.

I refuse to be made to feel guilty, manipulated or shamed into doing something that will cause me grief and put a hold on my life, simply because of someone else’s desires. Clearly this does work for them some of the time with some of the people, but I gotta say,  it’s not cool to treat anyone like that.

I kid you not when I tell you I’ve been called ‘party-pooper’ and it’s been suggested I’m not ‘fun’ (all in front of a crowd!).  I’ve agreed to meet and do one activity and then been harassed and annoyed by repeated attempts to force the issue to do something else I’ve made clear I do not want to do.  Seriously?  Do those tricks work?

The favorite one is the tricky start off question.  You know…so what are you doing this Saturday?  If I said nothing in particular, they act like there is no reason you can’t come with to an event or do them a favor.  What they fail to realize is I don’t need a reason or excuse.  ‘No thanks’ works just fine.

There is one person who actually gets ticked off when they don’t get what they want.  I guess they aren’t used to someone saying no to them because of the way In-the-end-these-things-matter-most-How-well-did-you-love-How-fully-did-you-live-How-deeply-did-you-let-go-Quote-by-Buddhathey ‘ask’ for favors.  Interestingly enough, they are never able to return the favor.  I also rarely hear from this one person until the moment they want one of these favors.

And the gossip and complaining! Oh don’t even get me started on that.  I can only take so much of that on any good day.  That alone is exhausting don’t you think?

And all that is perfectly okay.  It does sort of seem that we are not sharing the same head space.  I don’t want play those games and have the kind of energy floating around.

I know that this kind of stuff isn’t what I want around me.  I dislike these forms of manipulation, but more importantly I’ve realized how lacking in compassion these relationships are.  Don’t get me wrong, I think these folks are really nice people at heart, but as I said, we aren’t in the same mindset about what life is for.

I would rather cultivate relationships that are based on mutual passions, compassion and kindnesses.  Wouldn’t you?

So yes, I’m letting go of these relationships.   Some completely, some just in a very diminished sense.  And it feels good.  It frees up space and time in my life for those who have similar mindsets to come fill.

Not every relationship is meant to be a life-long one.  I really do believe that some people come into our lives to bring lessons.  Once that lesson is learned we need to move on.

The point is, I am a lot more aware of what I will and won’t tolerate in my life and boy, does that ever make things clear!  I have also learned that things cannot drag us down if we stop holding onto them.

So I ask you.  What are you tolerating in your life that you can let go of?

 

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Have you taken a good hard look at an acorn? They actually quite small aren’t they? I mean it’s a good size meal for a squirrel I guess but even those furry guys can handle a couple at a time.

In fact, my dog likes to knock them around at the park as if they were some sort of naturally occurring super ball. Yup, they bounce pretty good, but they roll really fast so that’s exciting. It’s cute when he tosses them up in the air and catches them.

But take a closer look. They have a pretty hard, smooth brown shell that is really quite lovely with an almost cute little cap.acorn-oak-nut

Now look up and around…you see that big tree they came from? Take a moment to really let it sink in that this little acorn has all the potential in the world to grow to those heights. Really kind of amazing isn’t it?

This is what your faith in yourself can be like.

For those of us who’ve been hurt, rejected and broken our faith in who we are can seem shattered and non-existent. But it’s not. It’s in every one of us; it might feel hidden or in hibernation but it’s there.

OAKtreeKind of like the potential for amazing things is hidden inside that little acorn.  Nurture that acorn just a little and it will burst forth with all the determination you could imagine to grow and thrive into a giant, towering oak.  This little acorn doesn’t even recognize its final goal, it just knows the next step is to take the chance and break through the shell it’s been protected by for so long.

You can do that too.  Look, a little faith in your hidden acorns; your faith in your own gifts and potential, can go a long way to starting to allow yourself to grow and thrive.  To peek through that crack in your shell to see that the sun is shining.

But like acorns these little nuggets of faith need to be nurtured.  They need to be brought out into the light, allowed to feel the rain and grow some roots.  And just like the acorn, this is a fragile process at first.  One that need gentleness, care and time.    You need to stretch and reach for the sun.

We have all the potential to thrive and grow into something even more amazing than we are today.  And like the acorn it takes persistence!

Find your little acorn of faith.  What can you do today to nurture it?  What little ways can you begin to starting to grow your own potential?  Little steps, small goals can add up to be quite an amazing thing don’t you agree?

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Never apologize for how you feel right here in this moment.  Good advice I think. 

This doesn’t mean you need to be a jerk about it or even that you’re in the ‘right’.  It also doesn’t provide you with special privileges.  You may learn something that changes how you feel or what you believe to be true.  Heck you might even finally realize that you are wrong about something.

That’s not the point.

If you are doing the best you can to understand something and be as empathetic as you can, there is no point in assuming that your feelings are anything other than what they are.

Apologising for that would be like saying your sorry for who you are.  neversaysorry

Of course the flip side to this is to be mindful enough to maintain an open heart and mind, so that you can learn and grow and not be stuck feeling righteous in your personal feelings.

The bit that many forget is two-fold.  First, yes you most certainly are entitled to feel how  you feel be it angry, happy, silly or whatever.  That said, you also must accept that so is every one else – no exceptions.  You don’t have to understand their feelings or agree with them in order to accept them for what they are; that isn’t always your place. 

The other bit that many forget is that empathy is a skill that needs practice.  We have yet to develop the ability to read each others minds and so being aware that others may feel differently and listening (and asking) is a huge part of being a compassionate and loving person.

We all want to connect in some way and feel understood.  It’s human nature. The best way to begin getting that, is to start GIVING that. 

Acceptance, empathy and compassion sound so simple on paper, but they can be much  harder to put into practice when we encounter difficult people.  When we are able to do this however, we bring peace to our lives rather than adding to the chaos and bitterness that so many drag with them on  daily basis. 

I have seen such a difference in my own relationships and dealings when I approach angry or upset people with a different attitude.  When I don’t allow myself to defend my thoughts and emotions and instead attempt to understand theirs. 

It’s amazing. 

Of course this doesn’t mean I’ll agree with them or they will change either.  Think on this though..the end result is still the same. No one agrees (or maybe they do) but there is much calmer process to get there.  I mean…why stress myself out if nothing is going to change anyway?  Besides I have found I get much better results when there is an attempt at compassion for the other person (no matter how distasteful the encounter might be at first).  You may never change your opinion or thoughts but it saves you a lot of extra heartache.

You may not be able to control how you feel about certain things but you can choose how you react to them.  Your emotions are just that…emotions.  You should never feel bad about feeling them.  And while they might guide you, they should never rule over you.

Your reactions to your emotions should fit the person you are choosing to become. 

 

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I read an article yesterday about some scientists who wanted to see if “The Secrets” self-help technique worked. Unfortunately I am not convinced the scientists actually read the book.  Or if they did I don’t think they quite ‘got’ it. 

To quote the article their premise was:

“The researchers wanted to see how people cope with four different challenges that life throws at us: getting a job, finding a partner, doing well in an exam and undergoing surgery (hopefully not all at the same time).

Across four studies the researchers examined how people thought about each of these challenges. They measured how much they fantasized about a positive outcome and how much they expected a positive outcome.”

They claimed that fantasies before attempting a goal, made people actually find less success.”  That said they really didn’t explain what success was.  Sure I may have accepted a lower salary job but perhaps it offered opportunities that others didn’t.   They said participants who used visualization applied for less jobs as well – that could makes sense.  When you know what you want why would you waste your time?  I think life just isn’t as simply measured as these scientists think.  They forgot to look at one very important factor…the WHY.

“They then tested the participants’ blood pressure — which indicates how much energy their body is giving them to perform a certain task — and found that people who were induced with fantastical thoughts had lower levels of energy than those who weren’t.”  This was assumed to mean that participants were feeling like they didn’t have to try hard anymore thus explaining why they didn’t do as well (ie. applied for fewer jobs, accepted less salary).  I think the assumptions may have been jumped on here.  Calming the body is a good thing when you are in a high stress situation. I myself have used visualization when I was competing in races and I know many athletes who use this to focus – successful ones.

Putting yourself in the correct mindset can change everything.  Fantasy doesn’t do that.  Self awareness and choice does.
 
I don’t think using real manifesting and visualization techniques in a lab is a true test.  It takes a lot of time and practice and mindset shifts to truly shift your energy.  One go at itknowyoruself certainly won’t change much. 
For the record, Fantasy and visualization are not the same thing.  Expectations of success can be wildly different and change often.  Add into the fact that no one who has a clue, has ever suggested that simply thinking about a ‘new boat’ will make it magically appear. You still have to DO THE WORK. 

Manifesting your life is not about sitting around and fantasising and pretending. 

It is about choosing where to put your thoughts, your energy and your focus.  

It’s about changing the energy that your internal beacon is giving off so that you attract things into you life that you want to be there.

It’s about awareness of your actions and the opportunities that come your way.  It’s about recognizing those opportunities for what they are.

Sorry guys but I think your premise is lacking and your testing is missing some key important elements.  Personal experience also has taught me that when used properly visualization is a powerful tool towards transformation. 

Interestingly enough they did find that what they call positive thinking made for a happier person overall – but not success.   I had to shake my head.  If being happy in your life today, as it is, isn’t success…then what is?

 

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Ooh..I haven’t had a good rant for a while.

I’m not sure what’s been going on lately, but boy I’m getting tired of people who act like they are a victim in order to be horrible to others.  Justifying your crappy behaviour by acting like you have it so hard or that you are so much better or smarter or whatever and are trying to ‘help’  doesn’t make it any better.  It just doesn’t.

I know, I know…some of you might be saying “that’s what you see if you spend enough time on the internet”.  I wish it was just some crazy post on the net.  While that might be true I haven’t seen this many people unable to ‘hear’ themselves for some time both on and off line.

The nice girl part of me wants to apologise for this rant but I’m not going to.  It’s probably going to stir up some uncomfortable feelings for a few people and that’s good in my opinion. All I ask is that you try to hear the message.  

I’m fed up with folks who call out others for ‘picking on them’ and in the same breath try to knock down someone else.  Really?  Listen to your self!  I’ve had too many examples of this lately I don’t even know where to start.  

I suppose a perfect example of this is what a few of my friends have posted on Facebook.  Fox had some of its newscasters bash and mock Wiccan and Pagan religion.  (You can see the video here) In the same breath the female reporter complains that she isn’t supposed to say Merry Christmas and infers at the plight of Christians.   Sigh.   I have to say I was aghast that these people were not taken to task by the network, but more importantly I was flabbergasted that they couldn’t see the conflict in what they were saying. 

Or the case of listening to some adults make fun of a woman and her child because their clothes were worn and outdated.  I kid you not.  And in the same breath these women complain that they have such a hard time keeping up with their own childrens’ clothing wants.  I’m pretty sure they saw me looking at them in confusion.  Guess who is making that trendy clothing thing an issue?  

And this sort of thing has happened a fair bit lately.  Or maybe I’m just aware of it?  I’m not sure, but it’s really bugging me.

You know it’s like when people say ‘No offense but…” and then they are really offensive?  But think it’s okay because they qualified it with ‘no offense’.   For the record…It Isn’t Okay!

Aggg!  I get so frustrated when I see people so afraid that they might be diminished if someone else is able to hold their own differeing thoughts, opinions and beliefs.  Truly if yours are so shaky they can’t handle it perhaps you need to look at that.  If you feel so afraid to be the real you that you must cover it all up with “I’m a victim” and nastiness perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror and decide what it is you want to see.

Reminds me of the kid who isn’t winning and so takes his ball and goes home in a huff.   Belief systems, opinions, ideas are not about winning

Or the adult who says “but I only stated the truth” when saying something that is out of line or harsh and un-needed.  Please, there is truth and there is pointedly trying to seem better than everyone and make someone feel like crap.  Yes you are entitled to your opinion…but you can keep it to yourself.  My grandmother used to say be kind or be quiet.

To tear down another person does not elevate you.   It never has and never will.   Be it about what someone is wearing, their faith, their job or whatever.  Listen to what you are saying!

You know you can either give someone and hand up if you have the resources, or you can give them a push up if you only have love to offer.  Both of those things lift everyone up and the world gets better.  Rip them down and the word of hurt you are creating is the same one you have to live in.  Choose.

Ending rant here.   

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Life and love…they are messy!  And that is one of the things that makes them so amazingly beautiful and so frustratingly difficult.

You know what else I know?  Far too often we are killing ourselves with stress over things that don’t really matter and are already good enough.

I had to learn the hard way that sometimes ‘good enough’ is perfectly good.

Early on I got taught this lesson by my first true love – my boy Jackson.  He was a golden retriever who I was blessed with when he was 12 weeks old and I am still so grateful for all the lessons he taught me in his far too short life.   Honestly, he must have been the easiest puppy to raise ever (as I later learned with my next boy lol). He was completely house trained by 4 months old without any problems at all.  Nice right? 

Real love is perfect!

I was used to a certain routine in the morning before I ever brought a puppy into my house.  I used to not leave the house without my hair done and at least a bit of mascara and lip gloss.  Clothes were ironed and fur-free.  Heels..loved ’em!  I thought I needed to look like I had it together you know?

Enter a puppy who needs to go outside to pee at 4am.  Or even the same puppy at 7am on a Saturday.  You see where I’m going right? 

I started to have clothes for dog walking and re-kindled my love affair with hats and rainboots.  There was no time to prep and primp to walk a puppy.  He couldn’t wait around and I had to adjust.  Totally worth it and you know what? I learned to relax about appearances.  The neighbours I saw could have cared less how I looked; I mean, have you SEEN a golden puppy?  And let me tell you with all sorts of unbiased opinion that Jackson was the cutest of the cute!

Later on, I had my next big lesson around letting go of worrying about things being perfect.  After my car accident, my injuries made day-to-day life pretty difficult.  I couldn’t do many things and certainly not up to my usual standards.  And when I say couldn’t, I mean could not physically or mentally – not just that it was hard. 

So I either learned to adapt or I spent my life miserable. 

A great example to explain this  is around food.  I mean, I had to eat.  Big full meals were not in my scope at all.  Good enough meant throwing vegetables into the crock pot for soup and letting the crock pot do the work.  I might have soup to eat for 2 or 3 days but it was healthy and manageable.  Back in the day I’d have to make dinner rolls or fresh bread and salad too.  Maybe even fancy up the soup.  That wasn’t going to happen at that time.  Heck…some days making a bowl of cereal was all I could manage and ended up being ‘good enough’ for that day.

Good enough became what I strove for.  Fabulous, wonderful and certainly perfection were not in my mind at all anymore.  I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I was simply trying not to lose my sense of being enough and to be able to keep getting better instead of getting stuck.

Good enough also meant I let others do things to help, even though they may not do it my way.  For example, my boyfriend may have done a load of laundry for me and I learned that it was good enough that I had clean clothes, even if they weren’t folded the way I prefer…or at all lol.

Good enough also works into being grateful for what we already have.  I think we get so caught up these days in having the latest, greatest, biggest or smallest thing that we forget that what we already have is pretty great.  The day I realized that I not only found a great deal of peace within, but stepped out of that race.  My iPhone is old sure, but it works just fine and I see no reason to spend hundreds of dollars for a newer one.  Drives my techie friends crazy!  I simply tell them that if it doesn’t serve a purpose or create beauty I have no useyou-are-good-enough for it in my life. 

We also need to stop beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve what we want right out of the box.  Life is about attempting, growing and learning. It’s not about only ever being perfect or making people think you are.  You are more than good enough right now and right here.  Your failures are attempts and for this moment that is also good enough.  You learn from new experiences even when they are not what you expected and that is fabulously good enough.

I think we need to let go of wasting so much energy on perfection and embrace good enough for some things.  Life doesn’t care about perfection after all.  Life isn’t perfect.  But when you let go of the need to make it so, you learn that it is actually pretty freakin beautiful in all its messy wonderfulness. 

Think about it…good enough by its own definition is (shockingly) good enough!

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