ClicThanks to the “bomb cyclone” snowstorm I started this New Year unexpectedly gifted with an extra couple of days in New York City. Since I was unable to enjoy the city, I decided to do some digital house-keeping, deleting all emails and files that were obsolete, unwanted and irrelevant. As my inbox was downsized I realized that I needed not only to delete these emails but also to cut some of them off at the source: the source being the unsubscribe button. As I deleted subscriptions I rarely used and subscriptions that I forgot I even had, I felt cleansed in a self -congratulatory way.
I reflected on the noise that is created online, the noise I join in with, can get lost in, am amused by and even sometimes confused by. Spam has taken on new digital dimensions. Traditionally the word may bring back memories of Monty Python sketches or unappetizing school meals, yet I refer to it as the ongoing stream of marketing material that arrives in our inbox and is posted on social media.
What habit could you start today that you could continue every day for 365 days? What would make the biggest difference?
As we a approaching the Christmas break, Here are some questions to reflect in the closing days of 2017.
Was it good year?
What in particular good? Health (mental, emotional, spiritual of physical) Relationships, Finance, Career?
What was most challenging aspects of this year? Health (mental, emotional, spiritual of physical) Relationships, Finance, Career?
What made it challenging?
What was there to celebrate?
What did I try to do differently?
What worked well?
What would work even better if I did this?
What have I learnt about myself this year?
What have I learnt about others?
What gave me the most satisfaction this year?
What gave me the least satisfaction?
What do I need to take with me into 2017?
Which relationships were key throughout 2017?
What do I need to leave behind?
What were the most important lessons?
What personal habits sustained that supported me in 2017?
What top three personal daily habits will I commit to throughout 2018?
What will be my personal motto for 2018?
Wishing you a brilliant, peaceful and restorative break. I am deeply grateful to my clients and to all the people who made 2017 a very special year.
Long-term coaching ( 6 months, 9 months, 12 months to 18 months) is a commitment to achieving life goals and a solid investment in yourself. Success is built over time and incorporates firm decisions, and incremental, consistent actions. Coaching is a forward looking, committed process that will help you stay on track in the long term and help you get back on track when you wobble. Long term coaching is usually a weekly session (30 minutes) on Skype or the phone. These sessions explore and remind you of your commitments, the every days habits and the goals you set yourself each week.
1. Short term (4 sessions) can create a good shift and will put you on the right road to begin with yet for long term ambitions it is not enough. Long term coaching will help keep you there and take you beyond, to your next level.
2.Long term coaching help set direction for every area of your life and this will help you prioritise and feel in charge of the time that you have. Over time you become more time efficient and more effective in your actions.
Creating Healthy Environments: Why Words Matter
Remember the nursery rhyme that we used to fend off cutting remarks: “stick and stones will break my bones yet words will never hurt me” Yet words can and do hurt. Words have a great potency to wound but also to heal.
We can use language to heal and energises ourselves and heal and energise people around us. We create the environment within ourselves and we contribute to the emotional and psychological environment around us.
We can also use language to create systematic doubt in ourselves and in others. We can use language to attack, defile, ridicule and in doing so, destroy our own self-value and that of others. Our inner voice is as important as what we say out loud. Often we allow this to run on automatic pilot, and not consider its impact. Think about that. One of the most insidious impacts of negative self- talk and negative talk AKA gossip: is that it undermines your own self value and someone else’s reputation.
We learnt all about the power of words when we were growing up and our self-value is influenced mostly by authority figures and the people who are responsible for our safety, education and well-being, such as our parents and teachers. Careless and callous comments such as “you are not trying hard enough”, “you are not as clever as your brother” can seed in a young mind and configure the default programing. This remains dormant and maybe triggered by situations, comments and comparisons which take the person back to the emotions of the original event even though the current circumstances may be very different to the original event.
The Keys of Life: Happy Birthday Louis.
My eldest son Louis is 21 today. As I sent my good wishes to him, I wondered what I would tell my 21-year-old self? I would say the same things that I am saying to Louis now.
The First Key: Value Yourself.
We all have the same value as human beings regardless of our status, talents or accomplishments. In the closing scenes of the TV drama-series “The Feud”, Bette Davis (played by Susan Sarandon) asked Joan Crawford (played by Jessica Lange) what it felt like to be most beautiful girl in the world. Joan replied that “It felt wonderful, and it was never enough.” Joan then asked Bette what it felt like to be the most talented girl in the world and Bette replied that “It was great, and it was never enough.” Real self-value is always enough.
The Second Key: Hold A Personal Vision For Your Life
If I had known this at 21, I would have worried a lot less about the things that didn’t work out and I would have wasted a lot less time on projects and people that were going frankly nowhere. It took another 10 years for me to discover that if we don’t have our own vision for our life then we are probably living someone else’s vision. Live your own personal vision.
Sometimes all that is required of us is that we listen to what is being said. We don't need to comment, to offer an opinion, to agree or disagree or to offer a solution. When we listen mindfully we are present with the speaker, not second guessing what they have to say, approving or disapproving their content or waiting for a gap to say something and thereby hijacking the conversation. We drop the notion of having to influence or persuade or the need to alter their content in any way than it has been presented to us.
Often we stop listening because we have a voice in our own head that won't be silenced due to the internal running commentary on our lives which constantly judges, evaluates and works things out. Sometimes we can't listen because of our own opinions and strong judgements, biases and even prejudices. Sometimes we don't listen because we are distracted by our own worries and concerns and sometimes we don't listen because we are so tired, so worn out that we just don't even have the energy to listen.
When we are truly listening we give the speaker our full attention. We find stillness inside of us and remove the element of impatience, censorship, distraction and agitation. When we listen the speaker can hear themselves talk and that is maybe all they need from us, we might need to add very little because the very act of our listening has at some level been healing.
In Native American traditions there was the ritual known as the talking stick. When the person held the talking stick they were given permission to speak and they held the full attention of the group with out being interrupted by others.. When we allow people to speak in groups without been interrupted, censored or ridiculed, we develop a capacity to have the patience to listen with respect and to value the truth of others not because we necessarily agree with them but because to speak your truth and to be witnessed is a basic human requirement.
We sometimes have a narrative running in our minds. . Sometimes these stories do not reflect the true nature of the situation, They are stories that we have created to make sense of our reality. When we go into a story we stop noticing what is happening in reality, We stop noticing what happening in our bodies. We stop listening to our logic and we cannot access our intuition. We are enveloped in the narrative. This can carry us into a fantasy of our own making that has little correlation to our own world or the world of another person.
When you feel yourself telling a story, stop and breath and ask yourself,:
What am I telling myself?.
Is this really true?
What evidence do I have?
What do I feel about this really?
Where would I be without this story?
We then can start to observe the thoughts that create the story rather than be dictated that they are the facts. They are not. Thoughts are not facts. A stream of thoughts can be interesting and amusing. Yet they do not necessarily reflect reality, yours or another persons.
If we sit quietly and breathe we can create some distance between the thoughts and start to observe the present.
We can notice and create space that enables us to respond instead of reacting.
Every time we go into an altered state of reality created by thoughts alone, we have lost our present moment awareness and that drains our power. Stay with your thoughts yet remember. Thoughts are not facts.
Miguel Ruiz many years ago wrote a book called The Four Agreements. All of the agreements are based based on Totlec philosophy.
The agreements require self-reflection, to respond to situations rather than react to them. There is a moment when something triggers us and the trigger comes from the environment or in our own mind. We can react immediately or we can slow down, take a deep breath and respond. It is in that that gap where we can chose differently. When we do, we avoid the trap of going into automatic mode, a mode where we have no choice but to run on old fear based programmes.
The agreements are described below. If we make them active questions that these can be tools for mindful living. Asking them every day reminds us of the very things that can sabotage us: self-judgement , judgment of others, not being present and not being aware. These descriptive paragraph below is taken from Ruiz's book The Four Agreements:
We spoke to Cathy Dixon a therapist, but not as you know them. She is a coach and a mentor who founded Energy Roots after being trained in several healing modalities including Shiatsu, acupuncture, Chi Kung and hypnotherapy.Cathy came to our studio and we spoke about the narratives imposed on our lives by institutions, by others and even by ourselves. We learned of the wonders of the energy nodes in the human body, how beliefs are attached to emotions and the myopic mistake of talking about good and bad energies. All in all, a stimulating and cathartic converstion which now you can listen to. With Andre López Turner and Juan Toledo