Something’s Gotta Give

nickKeatThe stories you tell yourself about yourself have the ultimate impact on the way your life unfolds.

The movie Something’s Gotta Give illustrates this so beautifully.

Harry (Jack Nicholson) is a perennial bachelor who only dates women under thirty. Erica (Diane Keaton) is a successful, divorced playwright – and way over Harry’s thirty year old limit. Harry and his latest fling, who happens to be Erica’s daughter, go off to Erica’s beach house for a romantic weekend. At the beach house Harry experiences severe chest pains and Erica reluctantly agrees to nurse him back to health.

Naturally (after all this is a rom-com), Harry and Erica fall in love.

Once Harry recovers he returns to his previous bachelor life. Only now he keeps thinking of Erica. They start chatting over the Internet.

This is where you see the huge power of Harry’s story which is that he is a bachelor who has brief relationships with young, gorgeous women.

Almost without thinking, Harry types the words “I miss you” onto his screen. He about to hit send, when he hesitates.

You get a sense of his inner turmoilI don’t do this. This is not me. I don’t DO relationships. Commitment is not my game.

The story wins….

Slowly he backspaces until the message is deleted. The relationship fades away.

Harry’s story prevented him from living authentically, from following his true feelings and from experiencing love and contentment in a relationship that he craved.

What about you?

When you say/ think things like “I’m the kind of person who …..” Or ” That’s not me – I’m more like …. ” then ask yourself the following:

Spend time reflecting on how your story impacts your life.

So what happened to Harry and Erica?

You’ve probably seen the movie – it’s almost a classic! So you know the answer.

If not …. Settle on the couch with some popcorn and a blanket …. And enjoy.

Change your thoughts
and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale

Posted in Life Mastery | Leave a comment

Perspectives from Prison

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I’ve always worried about whether I should tell my story to the prisoners that I work with, or not. The team leader is adamant that I must. And so I do.

Last week I realized the value of sharing this story.

I guess I’ve been worried that the prisoners may think I’m telling my story to make them feel guilty or bad. This is not my intention.

To put this in context: I give a workshop on journaling, which is the first workshop that is part of a greater 20-week rehabilitation program, called Heartwork.

There are many uses for journaling.

Amongst them is using the journal to process a traumatic event.

I share the story of my armed robbery to illustrate how I used the trauma journal to heal and move on.

I told this story at Boksburg prison last Wednesday.

The prisoners participated, engaged with the content, and asked so many questions, we eventually had to stop and tell them they could speak to me individually during the tea break.

One man came up to me. He towered above me as he gently shook my hand.

“Miss Kirsty”, he said. “I am so sorry about what happened to you. We do this to other people, but we don’t know what it’s like on the other side. I apologize on behalf of the man who did this to you.”

I have to admit to feeling a little teary-eyed in that moment.

I realized then that the value add here was that this man was able to see things from another perspective. As soon as we are able to do that, we are able to see a bigger picture, to experience empathy, and to have better  insight and understanding of people, situations and life itself.

I have coached many people who have had ‘aha’ moments when looking a situations from another perspective. The ability to do this indicates a certain level of emotional intelligence. The deep understanding one gains from being able to see things from another perspective allows for better decision making and ultimately life mastery.

If there are situations in your life where you are struggling, look at it from a different perspective. What do you think is going on for the other person? What are their views and struggles? What can you learn from looking through their eyes? What action can you take now that adds value to everyone involved?

I’m sitting in my car writing this post. I’m parked outside Groenpunt prison in Vereeniging. It’s a sunny zero degrees outside. In a little while I’ll be talking to these prisoners about journaling. I’ll tell my story again. I wonder what the reaction will be like today….

The only thing you sometimes
have control over
is perspective.
You don’t have control over your situation.
But you have a choice about how you view it.

Chris Pine

Photo from http://ow.ly/yooMb

Posted in Life Mastery | 8 Comments

How long are you going to tolerate this?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joerg73/

I’d had enough.

This was two years ago.  I could no longer put up with a messy bathroom. So I got stuck in on Saturday  emptied the cupboards, threw away old medicine and cosmetics, sorted and cleaned.

Then I visited my favourite shop and bought a whole lot of pretty coloured plastic baskets in varying sizes.

The next morning I completed the task and the whole bathroom was more functional, and certainly more tidy.

Now we could actually find the things we were looking for!

As the weeks went by, I realized there was still one thing that was not working in my bathroom.

I has a basket for my face cleaner, creams and serums. Because some of the bottles were tall and thin, every time I took the basket out of the cupboard (which was twice a day), the bottles would topple over. I’d patiently put them upright, and then get on with the business of looking after my face. (as one does!)

Twice a day, for about a year, I would feel irritated every time I did my face (not such a good thing!).  How many times I had thought, “This is so irritating“, I have no idea.

Into the second year I started thinking “This is so irritating. I must sort it out“.

I hate to admit this, but it carried on far at least another year!

What I was doing, was tolerating a little thing that could easily be fixed. I was also wasting time and energy thinking about it on a very regular basis. On top of this I was experiencing negative energy because of it.

Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?

Yet, it is so easy to do.

When I start coaching a new client  one of the tasks that I set for them  is “List 5 things that you are tolerating“. Believe me, I am not the only one out there who is tolerating something that could easily be fixed.

Of course – there is a wide variety of things we do tolerate – from bad relationships, health problems, physical environment, being stuck and more. The more we are putting up with – the more it affects our emotional health.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to start shifting this is to fix the easy things that we are tolerating. Quite simple really – you just have to be aware and make a decision to change things.

Last Wednesday my irritation rallied as I, once again, took my basket out of the cupboard and all the bottles crashed as I lifted it to the bathroom counter. I walked straight out the room, went a fetched a pretty box that was lying around doing nothing. It fitted beautifully into my basket. Problem sorted. So easy.

What has surprised me is how much relief I now feel every time I do my face.

I’m trying very hard not to get irritated with myself for taking so long to sort it out!

Here’s a mid-year challenge for you:

  • List ten things that you are tolerating.
  • Choose 3 that are easy to fix.
  • Get those 3 things sorted this week.
  • Notice what shifts once you have sorted these things out.

I’m going to do the same.

Let me know how it goes.

 

You get what you tolerate.

John G Agno

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, Choices, Life Mastery | 1 Comment

The Big “F” Word

6321349925_8026e8f313_zHave you ever been tempted to blame your past for your current status?

Its such an easy trap to fall into. Yet, it dis-empowers.

One way to get around this is to look to others who have managed to overcome disastrous childhoods and to learn how they did it.

Image from Flickr

This story by Meryl  is more inspiring than most.

I am really excited to introduce you to a most inspiring person. She has given me permission to share her story. Meryl gave a speech at Toastmasters about her life’s journey entitled “The Big F Word”

Despite her childhood she is plain awesome.

WATCH THE VIDEO.

Thanks you so much to Meryl for giving me permission to share her story – and for the wisdom offered in the three steps to overcome a lousy childhood.

We are honored, we are inspired and we are privileged to hear your story.

 I knew that if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind,

I would still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela

 

 

Posted in awareness, Choices, forgiveness, Happiness, Life Mastery | 1 Comment

A SPANNER for Burnout

Judy is a fellow coach as well as a friend of mine. She has done a lot of work in the field of burnout and so I asked her to share some thoughts with us on the subject.

Judy, tell us about your work with burnout.

 Many of my clients struggle with anxiety, healthy boundaries and work-life balance.  I specialise in working with ‘adult children’ – people who had childhoods that were unpredictable or inconsistent in some way or for some time (pretty much all of us).  

A very particular set of characteristics is present in most adult children: we (I, too, am an adult child) tend to be very reactive rather than proactive, we have a hard time having fun, we feel responsible for everyone and everything (what I call being ‘others-centred’), we are super-responsible in some areas (like looking after others) and super-irresponsible in others (like looking after ourselves)… 

 Adult children also struggle to say no and find it very hard to ask for help.  This combination of characteristics and habits makes adult children particularly prone to burnout.  Because we feel we have to put everyone else’s needs, real or imagined, first (that ‘others-centeredness’) and because we do not ask for help, and also because we struggle with saying no (we tend to say yes when we mean no, or no when we mean yes) it is a relatively short journey to overwhelm, exhaustion and burnout.

A while back I began to notice that many of my clients were in various stages of burnout – something I have experienced myself a couple of times – and started to look into burnout and how to manage it in more detail.  I developed a set of materials and tools that help my clients to understand why they are burned out (what are the thoughts, behaviours and habits that need to be changed) and I give them tools to manage and address their burnout.  I take a holistic, systemic approach and we look at the five major life realms I work with my clients; physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and relational.

I work with individuals and teams and I offer in-house Burnout Recovery workshops and programmes to organisations and companies.

How do you define overwhelm and burnout?

 For me overwhelm is a feeling of having too much to do; too many people to please, too many tasks to complete, just too much.

Burnout, on the other hand, is a feeling of not having enough; of being depleted and not able to manage the simplest tasks, let alone all of them.  

What is the difference between overwhelm and burnout?

When we are overwhelmed we tend to be fueled by a kind of nervous energy that helps us to get through everything.  When we are burned out, we have no fuel or energy to do anything.  We are totally depleted and unable to function normally or happily.

What steps should a person take if they suspect they have burnout?

The most important things you can do are to rest, to ask for (and accept) help, and to identify what (and who) you can say no to.  I always say to my clients, “what can you put down in order to pick yourself up?”.  You have to make space to rest and recharge and the only way to do that is to stop trying to do everything – particularly things that you do not want to do or that make you unhappy or stressed – and to stop trying to do it all yourself.  Say no and ask for help!

What best practices should a person adopt in their lives that will help prevent burnout?

I have a seven point plan to help to ‘regain and maintain your life force after burnout’.

The SPANNER

The seven steps are all interrelated so it isn’t like you have to do seven separate things every day – having a cup of tea in the garden every morning before you start your day will address the requirement of PEACE as well as time for yourSELF, as well as NOURISHING your need for quiet time and saying NO to chaos and rushing in the morning…..

Essentially if you do those seven steps of the SPANNER every day you will start to feel more human again very soon.

However I do also recommend working with a coach who can help you to identify the unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns that have led you to burnout, and to help you to develop string and healthy boundaries and self-care strategies so that you do not become a regular burnout sufferer.

Thanks Judy!


JudyKlipanJudy Klipin is a Master Life Coach based in Johannesburg and working internationally.  She is the author of Life Lessons for the Adult Child (Penguin 2010) and is working on her second book (on burnout).  She works with private individuals as well as corporate clients and runs regular workshops in the Johannesburg area.  You can contact her at judy@jusyklipin.com or read more on her website: judyklipin.com

 

Posted in Balance, Burnout, Life Mastery, Managing Stress | Comments Off

Warning: 10 signs that your overwhelm is actually burnout.

6153578409_0f7b92fbe5_mHave you ever felt overwhelmed by your life? You don’t feel like you are coping; You’re not enjoying your life and you’re stressed about all the things you still have to do.

This is a common phenomenon and can be treated by making different choices.

Photo by Giuseppe Savo

BUT left untreated  overwhelm can  lead to burnout.

Burnout is serious.

How do you know if you’re shifting from overwhelm to burnout?

  • You used to care about being successful at work, now you have ZERO MOTIVATION.
  • You used to have a bad day once or twice a week, now EVERY day is a LOUSY day.
  • You used to have enough energy to get through the day, now you feel EXHAUSTED all the time. You even wake up feeling exhausted.
  • You used to enjoy some parts of your job, now you experience most of your tasks as work as DULL,  overwhelming and mind-numbing.
  • You used to feel good about your contribution, now you feel that NOTHING you do makes any difference.
  • You used to feel valued, now you feel totally UNAPPRECIATED.
  • You used to look forward to weekends and spending time at home, now even that holds NO PLEASURE for you.
  • You used to be relatively healthy, now you seem to pick up EVERY BUG going around.
  • You used to feel the pressure of too much stress, now you FEEL NOTHING at all. It’s like you are empty – devoid of all feeling.
  • You used to feel physically exhausted, now you are EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED.

If any of these statements resonate, it’s time to take a closer look and make some changes.

First: Get a sense of your emotional state.

Awareness is always the first step to change. Use the list above to asses your emotional state. If two or more items on the list feel true for you and especially if you feel empty most of the time, then know this:

You must take the next two steps, or else the universe will do it for you.

Second: Get Support

Do nothing else today besides reaching out for support. There is so much help available so make a decision  and reach out to somebody. Once you have taken this step, you are putting yourself on the path to recovery.

Here are some options: Speak to your Human Resources department, your manager,  your priest/ pastor, a psychologist, a counselor, a  life coach, your family doctor OR  call Life Line or FAMSA.

I don’t really care what you do, as long as you speak to someone.

Third: Build your stamina

Once you have started on your healing journey and when you are feeling a bit stronger, start thinking about how you can build your physical and emotional stamina. You can discuss this with your support practitioner as well. Take care of your physical  heath by eating healthily and getting plenty of rest. Take care of our emotional health by introducing time for daily reflection – try meditation, reading, writing, or doing something creative like painting. Building your stamina takes time and patience – but it is this that will sustain you in the long run. Make a commitment to yourself that this is a top priority in your life.

Burnout is not the end of your life.

It is a new beginning.

Burnout is the beginning of a life of balance and fun, a life where you value and care for yourself, a life where you feel emotions again.

Burnout is an opportunity to shift from enduring life to embracing life. Start today.

No one needs a smile

as much as a person who fails to give one.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Burnout, Life Mastery, Managing Stress | 1 Comment

How to shift out of overwhelm into productivity

8039674995_37db0158a8_mCancer and a mastectomy, death of a parent, marriage difficulties, teenage terrors – if you experienced all of the above in the space of a six-month period wouldn’t it be appropriate to feel overwhelmed? How about if three weeks ago you buried someone with whom you had been friends for thirty years?

                                                                                                        Photo by Jenifer Williams

These are just some of the things readers shared with me when I asked what you know about overwhelm.

Overwhelm is a feeling of  incapacitating emotional or mental stress.

It is often brought on by ourselves or our experiences.

Searching for ‘overwhelm’ on the internet revealed hundreds of articles – most of which dealt with that anxious feeling of overwhelm when you have too much to do and too little time.

What these readers, authors and bloggers showed me are that there are degrees of overwhelm.

If overwhelm is on one end of the scale, managing life effectively and being productive lies on the other end.

It looks something like this:    Productive-OverwhelmScaleWhere do you think you are on the scale?

Of course, I wouldn’t be much of a Life Coach if I didn’t ask the next question:

What do you need in order to shift more to the left on the scale?

AND

What do you need to let go of to shift more to the left?

Sometimes life sends us much to deal with, as with the readers that I mentioned at the start of this post. Your feelings of overwhelm may be totally appropriate for the time and space that you find yourself in. It is useful to acknowledge that and to spend some time finding your way and growing into acceptance.

What you need to watch out for is staying stuck in this space for an extended period time.

There is also the overwhelm that is experienced by so many of us that comes from the way we view our very busy, very hectic and very full lives. 

I have worked with many clients during the past few years in this situation. Some of the common observations I have made are: some people push themselves too much; some people can be unrealistic about how much work they choose to do in a day vs. the number of hours in the day; some people sabotage themselves by saying YES too often.

Some people don’t like it when they come to this realisation in my coaching room and I am going to say it anyway: Saying you are overwhelmed is your way of giving yourself permission to be less productive, inefficient and not accountable.

Decide where you fit on the scale.

Now consider which of these actions would help you to shift:

1. If you are far to the right on the scale, please get professional help – there is so much available – therapists/ counsellors/ pastors/ FAMSA/ LIFELINE. Whether your feelings are appropriate or not, get yourself some support. You do not have to cope with this all on your own. When you are stuck in such deep overwhelm that you battle to get out of bed in the mornings – do only one thing today and that is to get the support you need.

2. If you are somewhere in the middle here are some options:

  • Sign up to a blog such as this one (there are plenty of others). Study appropriate posts. Decide on a small change to implement every week and do it.
  • Start each day in a calm and peaceful way. Meditate/ pray/ read/ reflect. The way you start your day paves the way for the rest of the day.
  • Watch out for my next post on dealing with “too much to do – too little time”
  •  Learn about yourself – self-reflection and journaling can teach you much.
  • Find a buddy to work with – keep each other accountable, share what works and doesn’t work with each other.
  • Get a mentor/ Life Coach

3. If you are on the far left of the scale, wonderful! You’re on the path to self-actualisation. As you no doubt know, there is always more – more to learn, more to achieve, more to grow. How will you ensure your continued growth, development and enthusiasm?

The mantra I offer, as usual, is awareness first, action second.

This is how you change your way of being in the world and hence your life. This is also how you deal with overwhelm.

My next blog post will look specifically at the phenomenon of the 21st century – too much to do, too little time – which leads to overwhelm. And, of course, some ways of shifting this!

Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed by a situation –

when you’re in the darkest of darkness –

that’s when your priorities are reordered.

Phoebe Snow

Posted in Life Mastery, Managing Stress, Way of Being | 3 Comments

A Formula for Letting Go

DSC06366Emotional pain arises from holding onto past issues.

Letting go bring peace and contentment.

How do you do that?

Follow the 5 step formula below.

Know this before you begin: you have to go through the process. You have to do the work. You have to dedicate the time for yourself to do this.

Holding on keeps you stuck. Letting go frees you.

Step 1: Awareness

If you feel emotional pain on a regular basis, there’s a strong possibility you are holding onto some issue. Start with this post to increase your awareness . Decide on one issue to work on at a time – it always helps to narrow the focus and give yourself time to process the steps. Remember letting go is a journey, not a single action. Write down the issue you have identified in clear and simple words. Be specific.

For example:

  • I am not good enough.
  • I can’t live without my ex.
  • That armed robbery proves that I will never be safe.
  • I know the best way to bring up the kids.
  • I am better than my spouse.
  • I will never pass these exams.
  • I am fat and ugly.
  • I hate my marriage.
  • I’ll never get all my work done.
  • I don’t deserve a rest.
  • Younger, smarter people will take my job.
  • etc

Step2:  Process

Give yourself the gift of reflection. You need about two or three hours to really work through this step. You will need  journal and a pen that writes easily and smoothly.

Start by calming yourself down. You may want to stare at a lit candle or listen to soothing music. Breathe deeply and slowly for a few minutes. Now begin to write. Answer these questions:

  • How does holding onto this thought play out in your life?
  • Make a list of 50 to 100 examples in your life that disproves the thought. Do not move on until you are finished. Yes this is tough – believe me the evidence is there – open your eyes.
  • Acknowledge that there is some truth for and some truth against your thought. Acknowledge that the thought is jut a thought. See the devastating way that holding onto this thought impacts your life.
  • Write down an opposing thought. For instance, if you wrote “I am not good enough”, swop it for “I am absolutely ok”. Describe your life if THIS new thought was the one that occupied your mind on a regular basis instead of your original destructive thought. How would this play out in your life?
  • If you never ever thought this thought again – how would that be?
  • For more on this part of the process visit Byron Katie

Step 3: Identify learnings 

Take a break of a few days after Step 2.

Now schedule an hour of your time for journal work. As before, get yourself calm and quiet before you begin.Answer these questions:

  • What are the lessons that you have learnt from completing Step 1 and 2?
  • What have you learnt from your experience of holding onto this issue?
  • What have you learnt about in your whole life that will hold you in good stead as you move forwards?
  • Look at all the lessons you have written down. Which three lessons will make the most difference for you as you move forwards into your future?

Additional exercise: Become calm and quiet. Write a letter to your Future Self ( your self in twenty years time). Tell your Future Self about your experience of letting go. Ask him/ her anything else you need to know. Ask for some advice on how to proceed in the future. When you are done – take a twenty minute break.

Come back. preferably sit in another chair, write with another pen and if possible write with your other hand. Now write an answer from your Future Self back to the Present You.

Spend some time contemplating the advice from your Future Self as well as your three most important lessons. Picture yourself moving on.

Step4: Closing Ritual

Once again, make time for yourself and become calm and quiet. Reflect on the process that you have been through.

Tear out the pages in your journal from Step 1 and 2. Briefly read through them and remind yourself that this era of your life is past.

Commit to letting go and moving on.

Tear up those pages or burn them (if you have a safe way of doing so). As you do this, tell yourself repeatedly that you are closing this chapter so you can move on.

Tidy up your space. Put things away. Spend some time in gratefulness and hope for your future.

Step 5: Move on

 It can take a while to train your thoughts on this issue to stop arriving. For a while they may continue to pop into your head uninvited. Thoughts do that. This step is crucial so apply your determination to work with dedication for a few weeks.

Here’s what you do: every time a thought about that issue arrives in your head, notice it, say “Oh well” and then purposely focus on what you are currently doing. Don’t shout at yourself or get upset. Just notice, comment and shift focus. These thoughts will soon fade away due to the lack of air-time they receive.

That’s the formula: Awareness; Process; Identify learnings; Closing Ritual; Move on

Guess what? It’s work. It’s a process. It’s necessary.

Give yourself a better future: commit to following the steps and taking the time for you.

Now let go and move on.

Stand up and walk out of your history.
Phil McGraw

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, Feelings, Happiness, Life Mastery, Thought Patterns | 1 Comment

Warning: Holding onto these ten things will stunt your growth

Holding onto issues keeps you stuck.2349798104_fd15441544_m

You will live with emotional pain as long as you identify  with the problems/ issues of the past.

Holding on is about believing in the past.

Letting go is about moving on so you can create a better, brighter and bolder future.

You probably know this already. The big question is HOW?

You start with self-reflection – you can’t let go of something if you don’t know you’re holding onto it!

Here are ten things that humans commonly hold onto:

  1. Discontent with self: You re-live past mistakes, playing them  over and over in your mind for months or even years. Your inner critic is so harsh that your self-esteems is a crumpled mess. You will never be good enough or successful enough. EVER.
  2. Stress: You experience feelings of overwhelm on a daily basis. You continually think about all the work you have to do and stress abut how you’ll never get it done. Your shoulders are tense, your back is full of knots and you don’t actually know how to relax your body. You have to be doing something constructive every minute of every day. You sleep badly at night and skip exercise, healthy eating and nurturing yourself because you are too busy.
  3. Worries: You worry about everything. The most common thought in your head starts with ‘What if…” . You often lie awake at night worrying about the future. You feel helpless because so many things can go wrong and you want to control everything.
  4. Relationships (unhealthy ones and past ones): Your current relationship is unhealthy and unhappy and yet you do nothing to change it – except think about it and complain about it continually. OR – you think about a past relationship all the time, wishing it could have been different, moping about the fact that that its over, telling yourself over and over that you actually can’t live without that person; you spend every spare minute stalking them on social media and plotting how you can get them back.
  5. Negative feelings like anger/ bitterness / resentment/ revenge: Your daily focus is on what the person did to you. You think about the circumstances over and over, allowing the anger and bitterness to fill your entire being. You plot your revenge and resentfully think about how they have ruined your life. You almost enjoy those negative feelings and wallow in them whenever you can.
  6. Bad habits: Self-sabotage is the name of your game. You know the actions you are taking are bad for you, yet you choose not to change. You have a list of handy excuses so that you are able to rationalize your behaviors. You truly believe you can’t help yourself and so you let yourself off the hook.
  7. Fear: You hold onto living a small and mediocre life. You are scared to try new things, you are scared to be bold in your choices, you’re scared to ruffle feathers. You refuse to do anything unless you are almost guaranteed that it will work. Failure is not an option in your life.
  8. Being right: You are always right. You feel indignant when other people don’t see it your way. Your rigidity and inflexibility cause unhappiness in others and you don’t care. You are not a listener: you might pretend to hear the other side of the story, but are busy preparing the defense of your idea whilst they speak. You judge others harshly. You refuse to entertain any other possibilities because you know you are right – so why bother?
  9. Unhappy circumstances: You hate your job or your partner or your life. Yet you stay. You use your misery to get sympathy from others or to manipulate others. You complain bitterly about your life and yet you take no action to change anything. You feel like a martyr because you are able to live with what you despise. You believe this makes you a better person.
  10. Expectations: You experience disappointment at every turn of life. People disappoint you. Holidays disappoint you. Work disappoints you. Nothing is ever good enough. Nothing ever works out. Most of your sentences contain the word ‘should’. He should be… ; They should have been… ; I should ….

There is a common thread that runs through all these. Can you think what it is?

As you read through the list, you may have recognized something that will help you to identify what you are holding onto that is keeping you from moving forward.

Alternatively, take a solid chunk of time for yourself. Reflect on your life.

Answer these questions:

  • What is working in your life? What can you continue doing/ thinking/ being that is supporting those parts of your life that are working for you?
  • What is not working in your life? What are you being that is contributing to those circumstances? What are you holding onto that is not serving you well? (NOTE there is no space here for blaming someone else – this is about being empowered by being accountable!)
  • What steps can you take to let go and so move forward?

Have you worked out  the common thread amongst the ten issues?

Each and every one of them has to do with the kinds of thoughts you have in your head. Most of them start with the thoughts you are thinking.

Change your thoughts and move on.

Congratulations. The first step on becoming unstuck and moving forwards is identifying  what is holding you back.

If you need a formula for letting go – watch out for the next blog post.

In the meantime – continue reflecting and identifying what you’re holding onto that is keeping you stuck.

Holding on to anger

is like grasping a hot coal

with the intent of throwing it

at someone else;

you are the one who gets burned.

Buddha

 

Posted in awareness, Choices, Life Mastery, Thought Patterns, Way of Being | 5 Comments

The ONLY way to fulfillment

Massage tables are difficult to climb onto, aren’t they?6790337465_804c467321_m

I made myself comfortable on the shaky bed, and waited restlessly for the massage to begin.

As the masseuse rustled around softly, I smelled the heady aroma of essential oils.

This is going to be good, I thought. I need this. It’s been  tough few months and I’m so stressed. That issue with my client left me depleted. The disconnect between ….

And so off my mind went, visiting all the stresses and problems, turning them over, analysing, obsessing and resolving.

The masseuse did her job very well. I think.

I did not do mine so well.

Later, when I looked back on the experience, (analysing once more!) I realised that I was not present in that massage. I was not focussing on the physical sensations. I was not allowing the experience to infuse my senses.

You may be asking, what does this have to do with fulfilment?

The ONLY way to experience fulfilment is to be present in the moment – good or bad.

Let’s take your work for example.

Lack of fulfilment comes from lack of presence at work, not the work itself.

Your mind makes a judgement about how your work should be.

Your work is not how you believe it should be. Your mind resists your work because it does not fit in with your belief about work.

You start fantasizing about another job. You focus on what your job lacks, and how you hate it.

You are not present to your task. You experience feelings of lack, unhappiness and resentment.

These feelings are the consequences of your belief.

Become present to the task, even if you don’t like it and your feelings will hover around peace and contentment. Focus 100% in the task at hand. Give your best to what you are doing in the present moment.

This is the ONLY way to fulfilment.

Don’t focus on your opinion of the task you are doing. Rather focus on the task itself.

The more you do this, the more often you will experience a state of fulfilment.

My opinion was that I needed that massage. I focussed on why I needed that massage and off my mind went. I missed the massage.

I am having another massage today. I have no intention of missing this one.

Do this: Choose one task every day that you will focus on 100% and put everything you’ve got into that task. Record your feelings and experiences in your journal every day. The following week, focus 100% on two tasks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Share your experiences here in the comments or email Kirsten@coach4life.co.za.

 It  is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfilment,

it is in the  happiness of pursuit.

Denis Waitley

Picture From Flickr

Posted in Life Mastery, Thought Patterns, Way of Being | 2 Comments