The importance of Being Real

So what’s important about being real?

It’s good / healthy for us – if we deny ourselves or others the reality of what is true for us at any moment then that truth remains with us, unexpressed but nevertheless stored in our bodies as tension or dis-ease. If we are allowed to express what is true for us then our truth can be recognised or acknowledged in some way. That recognition gives the message that it’s ok to be where we are and ultimately this is what allows us to move on to a more resourceful state when we are ready.

Supporting others in being real also works best in our relationships. Have you ever tried to cheer someone up or calm someone down, only to find that the opposite occurs? Have you ever taken a moment to be with someone, letting them know somehow that it is ok to be angry / upset / confused …. and noticed them changing state before your very eyes?

In NLP (neuro linguistic programming) terms, this is the difference between ‘pacing’ i.e. meeting someone where they are and ‘leading’ i.e. trying to move / influence them in your preferred direction. When you focus on pacing you will be creating the conditions for the other to move naturally to a place of greater resourcefulness. And then you can join them there and choose where to go next! When you focus on leading you will notice the other resisting your attempts (however well-intentioned) to move them on and even start digging their heels in!

Apart from being the smart thing to do, pacing is also one of the ways we can connect deeply and authentically with others.

Experiment with pacing in your relationships using your words, your touch, your eyes to be with the other long enough for them to choose to be somewhere else. And start in your relationship with yourself:

When are you not saying what is true for you?

How are you holding back on being real, in an effort to avoid discomfort?

Where might you choose to go if you could pace yourself first?

If you, or someone you know, are ready to be real, I can help contact me now to find out more!

How does your body talk to you?

Back in 2003, my body got my attention in a big way.

I started experiencing severe back pain – the sort that demands cooperation and absolute commitment to change. Initially, I remember feeling pain and anxiety and frustration. Whilst the pain was limited to the area of my back, it’s impact would generate change in all areas of my life –work, play, physical exercise and emotional well-being.
 Such was my dilemma – manage the pain whilst ignoring the message it carried or listen to the demands of my body.

If my back had spoken to me then, I believe it would have said:

  • Pay attention!
  • Do only what’s right for you each day and know your limits
  • Treat me respectfully and I will be strong for you in return

Luckily, I didn’t take too long to decide on my response and to enlist the support of others in honouring my commitment.

Our bodies have an intelligence and wisdom beyond words. And when we are not behaving / living in a way that is aligned with our wellbeing our bodies will take objection to this and attempt to communicate with us. This communication typically occurs in the form of symptoms, often mild at first then increasing in severity until they cannot be ignored!

This is your body doing it’s job in the only way it knows how and it is our job to listen. And act appropriately. What I didn’t know back in 2003 was what I now teach my clients every day:

Until your body begins to feel safe in your hands, it will keep trying to get your attention, by sending you symptoms!

Can you recall a time when your body tried to get your attention?

Were you able and ready to listen?

And what happened as a result?

If you were to know, what was your body attempting to communicate to you?

How might you respond differently now and in the future?

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

If you, or someone you know, want support in listening to your body and getting rid of symptoms, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

How and why to let go!

Many years ago on holiday I experienced an incredible thing. It was the difference between holding on and being held, fighting with and playing with… ultimately the difference between pain and pleasure. And all this on water-skis! When I started to learn to ski I was holding on with every muscle in my body and with all the strength I had; I thought I would fall if I didn’t. It was exhilarating but I could feel the aches and pains afterwards. And I felt there had to be an easier way. My mind agreed and this required me to relax my muscles and start having some fun! I remember the moment I let go of the need to fight with the boat and how my focus changed from holding on (for fear of falling) to playing with the skis on the water. As I got more comfortable, I began waiving to my cheerleaders on the boat and shouting with excitement at how much fun I was having. Only then did I noticed that the view was breath-taking…

Have you ever experienced anything like that?

I believe this phenomenon occurs very often on dry land. We are presented with many opportunities to fight or hold on tight in our lives – personal or professional. This response seems to make perfect sense when we focus on what might happen if we let go. Sometimes, we are afraid to fall or lose control; at other times it is just our habit to fight or hold on tight.

Can you remember a time when you have responded in this way to something or someone in your life?  

What were you afraid of?

How did it feel in your body?

And what happened as a result?

Where in that experience might you now wish to let go?

What possibilities may result and how might this feel different?

This is not to say that holding on or fighting is never useful – on the contrary, it can be life saving.

The rest of the time, you may be lucky enough to save face but you will stand to lose the possibility of a bigger and better experience. You may also create pain for yourself or others in the process.

Is there an area of your life where you feel you may benefit from letting go?

Where does your attention need to be in order to let go?

When you have let go, what will you have discovered?

I invite you to pay attention to one area of your life where you may be using the strategy of holding on or fighting. Notice what it feels like in your body and what you are focusing on. Could it be easier and more fun to let go?

“It’s never to late to come home… all you need to do is stop moving away.”

Joanne Harris -5 Quarters of An Orange

If you, or someone you know, are ready to just let go, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

How is your environment working for you?

The focus so much of the time is on what we are doing and who we are doing it with and we can lose sight of the places we live in and the differences they make to our experience of life and of ourselves. When I am enjoying my surroundings I experience life differently… joyfully and peacefully…

Our environments impact us all; some of us are more aware of it than others. Our environment includes the physical space we are in, the light, the sound, the energy, the people, the smells, the colours and shapes… We operate in many different environments each day – the places where we live (sleep, eat, spend time) the places where we work and the places we visit and move through in between. Some environments are more supportive to us than others, some more restful, more energsing, more inspiring… Our mood, our experience (of ourselves and others) and our performance are all related to our environment.

Which environments / places do you enjoy being in?

Where do you feel inspired / peaceful / energised?

Where would you like to spend more time?

How would your life be different if you were to do this?

Our outer environment surely helps to create our inner one. I love to be in spaces with lots of natural light and wherever possible, water. I am always looking for ways to bring more of these elements into my life. Colour is another aspect of my environment that has a great impact and one that we can more easily change…

What changes can you make to your current environments to support you in living your life joyfully and performing at your best?

Whether you work in an office, in your home or even from your car, talking care to create the environment that supports you in your work is time well spent.

Sometimes, the places we are spending our time in simply do not work for us (energetically or aesthetically) – changing them or leaving them and finding one that does can literally change our lives!

Are there any places where you are spending your time that do not work for you?

What might happen if you created / found a new one?

However you choose to create your environment, know that you are and that it matters. From where we choose to sit in a restaurant to the position we take round a meeting table, to where we build our relationships, when we are in the right place then we are better able to go in the right direction…

If you, or someone you know, would like support in making your environment work for you, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

The truth about habits

Learn (lûrn) v. To gain knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of through experience or study.

Habit (hab’it) n. A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition.

We were all born with a great capacity for learning and our habits are the results of that learning.

Which habits have you learnt over the years?

❯   Smoking?

❯   Eating more than you need or really want?

❯   Being afraid of failure or success?

Which habits are you currently practicing?

Which new behaviours would you like to make a habit of?

❯   Exercising regularly?

❯   Taking time out?

❯   Asserting yourself?

A habit is a behaviour repeated over time so that it becomes a part of who we are and what we do. Often we are not aware of this process. Many lifestyle changes occur by incorporating small habits into our daily lives. When seen in this way habits can offer us the opportunity to generate change in the direction we desire.

Over the coming days observe your own habits. Make note of which ones serve you well and which ones interfere with your progress.

Choose a new behaviour that you would like to make a habit of and consider the context in which you will practice it. If you were to practice this behaviour every day for the next month what will this do for you? Begin today and know the extraordinary power of incremental change.

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us”


John Dryden

If you, or someone you know, wish to change your habits, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

What are you learning?

What they learn as they grow:

 

A person that lives with ridicule


Learns to be timid
.

A person that lives with criticism


Learns to condemn
.

A person that lives with distrust


 

Learns to be deceitful
.

A person that lives with antagonism

Learns to be hostile
.

A person that lives with affection


Learns to love
.

A person that lives with encouragement


Learns confidence
.

A person that lives with truth


Learns justice
.

A person that lives with sharing


Learns to be considerate
.

A person that lives with knowledge


Learns wisdom.

Source unknown

 

When we are young those around us, our “teachers”, are largely responsible for what we learn – about ourselves, others and the world. As we grow older, our learnings begin to manifest in our relationships with ourselves and others. We rarely pay much attention to what it is we have learnt but simply accept our experience for what it is, confusing at best.

We are learning all the time. And we act on what we learn. However, our learnings are not always useful and for this reason we need to keep a check on them. What we learn in one context or with one person often gets generalized to all times and all people – in this we limit ourselves and what is possible for us in the future.

For example: men / women are not to be trusted; life is meant to be a struggle; my feelings are not important; I am not enough…

It is only in identifying our learnings, useful or not, that we have the opportunity to challenge and re-evaluate them:

What have you been learning and where did it come from?

How useful is this learning?

Is it really true? At all times? With all people? Who says?

What happens when you learn this?

Which new / revised / updated learning might serve you better?

What would happen if you started to learn this?

As we become more aware of what we are learning we can focus our attention in the direction of our choosing and learn that which will support us in moving forward.

It is for this reason that one of my favourite questions remains, “what are you learning?”

“Whoever cares to learn will always find a teacher. “
 German proverb

At this point in your life:

What do you care to learn?

And where might you find your teacher?

If you, or someone you know, wish to know what you are learning, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

Are you spending your time wisely?

Imagine…

There is a bank that credits your account each morning with £86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
 What would you do? 


Draw out all of it, of course!!!

Each of us has such a bank. 
It’s name is TIME. 
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. 
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to good purpose. 
It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!

The clock is running. Make the most of today.


To realise the value of ONE YEAR, ask the student who failed a grade.

To realise the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

time

To realise the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realise the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realise the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realise the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

To realise the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won silver medal in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special – special enough to spend your time with.

And remember that time waits for no one.

Yesterday is History. 
Tomorrow is a Mystery. Today is a Gift. That’s why it’s called The Present.

Source unknown

How have you been investing your time lately?

Consider the return on your investment – have you been getting happier, healthier and more successful? If you are feeling somewhat short-changed, why not re-think your investment strategy… or at least think about having one?

You may have heard that “time is money”. Indeed, there is a common perception that there is never enough of it (we even make efforts to save it) and we enjoy spending it! However, in reality, our time is limited and we are all blessed with an equal amount of time to spend each and every day. This is not true of money – we can make more or less of it depending on what we do with the amount we have and with ourselves.

It may be a comfort to know that there are many financial advisors out there happy to show you how to spend your money. But who is the expert on spending time? When it comes to spending your time you alone can be that expert.

How do you recognise time well spent?

What does it look like, sound like or feel like to you?

If you were to know, what would be your secret(s) to experiencing this more often?

What, if anything, might get in the way and how might you minimize this interference?

Where does your attention need to be when considering how to spend your time?

You may find it helpful to be reminded of your focus in spending time. For example, by asking yourself “will spending my time this way make me happy / healthy / successful (or any other experience you desire)?”

I invite you to become more of an expert on spending your time and to find new ways to enjoy your gift that is The Present.

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

Carl Sandburg (1878 – 1967)

If you, or someone you know, wish to invest your time more wisely, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

The magic formula for success!

Had a certain divorced single mother, living on welfare in a tiny Edinburgh flat, been more concerned with regrets of the past or anxieties for the future, the world might not have marvelled at the adventures of a young wizard named Harry!

Great performers in all fields of endeavor need to apply this magic formula to realise their dreams:

P = p – i

where P is performance, p is potential and i is interference

– Tim Gallwey

Let’s look at some of the ways in which we create interference in our lives by answering this question:

How do you let your power /energy leak away?

Your life energy is a resource. Do you spend it wisely or squander it?

Take a look at this list to see if any of these habits are familiar:

❯   Being pessimistic

❯   Judging yourself

❯   Pleasing others

❯   Regretting the past

❯   Replaying conversations in your head

❯   Thinking about how unfair things are

❯   Thinking about revenge

❯   Thinking of lost opportunities

❯   Trying to control others

❯   Worrying about what might happen

❯   Wishing things were different

❯   Anything else that leaves you less than resourceful

How much of your time and energy do you assign to these activities?

How ready are you to minimise that time and energy?

What will you do with all the extra time and energy you will create?

Which one will you tackle first and how will you know success?

“Do not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” 


James Thurber

If you, or someone you know, are ready to get out of the way, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

Express Yourself!

How do you do it? Why bother? What gets in the way?
And how could you do it better?

Express – verb

  1. To put something into words.
  2. To indicate or represent something with looks, actions, symbols, etc.
  3. To show or reveal
Chambers

21st Century Dictionary

How do you express yourself best?

Do you express yourself best with words (spoken or written), actions or maybe a telling look / expression?

What is the purpose of expressing yourself?

 

Expressing ourselves is vital to our growth, health and wellbeing. It is how we come to know ourselves, heal ourselves and keep ourselves and others entertained!

It is also important to express ourselves in our relationships (with ourselves and others) – both personally and professionally. The purpose of this might be, for example:

❯   To share / connect with others

❯   To know / understand ourselves better – and help others to know and understand us (sometimes clarity comes through expression)

❯   To present ourselves and our experiences in life

How do you most enjoy expressing yourself?

Many of my clients express themselves creatively – often through the art of story-telling – be it with words, pictures or music…
This creative process is a unique expression of life in those moments and a wonderful opportunity to reveal our brilliance. This can also be a source of inspiration to others, serving as a catalyst to their own expression.

What gets in the way of you expressing yourself?

❯   Pain (physical and emotional)?

❯   Fear?

❯   Limiting beliefs? (for example, he/she won’t listen anyway so why bother… he/she won’t like what I have to say so I’d better not rock the boat… my feelings/thoughts/ideas are not important enough to express so I’ll keep them to myself…)

Sometimes, in an effort to express ourselves, we experience cultural or language barriers. This may lead to inhibition and resignation, which in turn can result in confusion. An awareness of this (with humour) will help to facilitate better communication.

Your expression must be tailored to your audience. What is the message/ expression about? Are you simply sharing information/ ideas? Are you setting the tone by the way you are expressing yourself in that relationship? Or are you just being you and expressing what you have to offer?

It is said that, “the meaning of a communication is the response it elicits”. What responses have you noticed when you are expressing yourself?

Sometimes we confuse the need to express ourselves with the need for attention and this can elicit all manner of responses, which simply serve to direct us away from ourselves…

The ways in which we express ourselves personally can shape our relationships for better or worse. Professionally, expressing what is unique about us and what we have to offer (our personal brand) will determine our success.

Where in your life would you like to express yourself more effectively?

How will you and others benefit?

Which new message(s) would you like to give yourself and others?

Where will you begin?

If you, or someone you know, wish to express yourself more effectively, I can help – contact me now to find out more!

The Power of Beliefs

“There is something I know about you that you may not even know yourself. You have within you more resources of energy than have ever been tapped, more talent than has ever been exploited, more strength than has ever been tested and more to give than you have ever given.”

John Gardner – American novelist (1933- 1982)

When you read this, how do you feel? – thankful? hopeful? surprised? confused? suspicious?

When I first read this (on a WH Smith’s carrier bag) I felt mostly excited. For two reasons – because this is what I know to be true about myself and indeed this is what I believe to be true about every client I have ever worked with.

And, when I believe this, there are consequences – both for myself and for my clients. When I recognise this truth it is communicated in my questions, challenges and relationship with my clients –like holding up a mirror to show them the greatest reflection of who they are. And that feels good! Then it creates the opportunity for them to discover their own resources, talent, strength and offerings.

The question remains, is this merely a belief or is it true? Does it matter? I would suggest that believing this helps to make it true. When we believe something and act as if it were true, we manifest it in our lives. This, is turn, helps to strengthen the belief and so on…
This can work for or against us, depending on what we believe to be true!

Have you ever firmly believed that something would work out /prove possible against the odds? What happened?

Have you ever firmly believed that a situation was hopeless / would be too difficult in some way and then found that to be true?

This is the extraordinary power of beliefs. So I believe it matters not whether something is true or not… only whether it is useful to believe.

What would be the most useful thing you could be believing right now? (about yourself, the world, your relationship(s) your work…)

Would you be willing to firmly believe it (and act as if it were true) over the next week and notice what happens?

Of course, I would love to hear the results!

If you, or someone you know, wish to explore your beliefs and how how useful they are, I can help – contact me now to find out more!