It was mental health awareness week a few weeks ago and the focus was on kindness and it's into this that I going to speak. There are different kinds of kindness and I am going to share a few of these with you.
1 - Kindness to self, I am starting with this one because kindness to self is where it all starts. You need to fill yourself up with kindness so that it can overflow onto others. It is possible for you to be kind to others without being kind to yourself but this will leave you feelings depleted and can in some instances leave you feeling resentful. I have a very good friend who is incredibly kind and thoughtful. She always goes out of her way for others. However because she is not kind to herself she often feels as if her kindness is not appreciated. The most wonderful way to be kind is to be able to give kindness away without any expectation of it being returned and the only way to do this and remain whole is to be kind to yourself first.
The challenge is that critical thought in your head. The thoughts telling you that you’re not good enough, that you haven't achieved enough, that you just aren't enough. The judgment that constant berating, picking and bullying of yourself that you can’t get away from. I know I've got one of those in my head too but I have learnt to live with it and to realise that it is not the truth. It is just a programming of my subconscious mind from my parents, society and my educators.
You can't stop these thoughts especially initially but what you can do is refocus them. When you catch yourself thinking that you aren't good enough, that your body isn't the way you want it, that you haven't achieved enough, or that there's something you're not doing that you think you should be doing - instead of getting cross with yourself for thinking the thoughts which is compounding the problem, you can try and refocus and look at the things that you like about yourself. Decide to look for what you're proud of, what you're happy about and what you like about yourself. The way our thoughts work the more you choose to focus on the positives in your life in time you will find you will naturally start to do this without having to remember to do so.
The more you are kind to yourself the more you come from a beautiful space, a kind space and the more kindness and love you have to give others.
2 - The next focus I'd like to look at is kindness to those that we care about. Those that we love, our friends and our family. Quite often in our relationships with others we can look at what we want to get from those relationships. Such as wanting to be accepted, to belong, to be admired, esteemed, to be made happy, or joyful, help us have fun, to love us, or to care about us.
It takes a different mindset to start asking what can we give to them. So when we focus on being kind maybe we can focus on how we can be kind to those that we love and that we care about and the nearest and dearest to us. It might just be a message or a phone call you don’t even have to say very much. You might just say i’m thinking of you, you're in my thoughts or share a memory and just say this popped into my head didn't we have a lovely time together.
If you want to really show someone you care the greatest gift you can give somebody is understanding. When you’re coming from a space of what you can get from somebody else you are focused on yourself and your own internal dialogue and needs. When you start shifting that and looking at what you can give someone else you start to connect with people and start to really deeply listen to them and enter into a dialogue with them from curiosity. Where the curiosity is to understand the person that you are with and interacting with and that is a huge gift. It costs nothing but your focus and your time. Very few of us have ever been truly seen and deeply understood and it's an incredibly beautiful gift to be able to give somebody.
3 - The next focus that I want to look at is focusing on others. Focusing kindness on people that you don't know.
When I lived in Botswana I decided to do this little experiment - for a week while I was out driving I decided to let everyone that I could in, in front of me. At every T-junction, cross roads or if I was on a dual carriage way and someone wanted to pull in I would let them in. I did this with no with no resentment, just an open hearted feeling of being kind to those people around me. What happened was quite unexpected because in Botswana (and I don't mean this in a critical way) people don't generally tend to be that courteous when you're driving. It can be every man for himself quite often, but what I noticed over the week of me letting people in was that more people seemed to let me in. The more kind I was the more kindness I saw in others. There is no way that the people I’d let in knew and remembered me to be able to let me in when they saw me again. It was more than that that, it was bigger than that. In my excitement over my discovery I shared what had happened with a friend. She then went out and did exactly the same and excitedly came back to me and shared that she had experienced the same thing.
There are so many ways to be kind you don’t just have to let people in when you are driving. I sometimes buy an extra coffee, tea or hot chocolate if I am out and ask the teller to give it away to the next person who asks for one. The more you look for ways to be kind the more you will find.
Something else that I want to share with you as we explore kindness (and I am certainly not perfect and I don't always remember to think this way) is to try to approach people with the belief that everybody is coming from a good place. That everyone is doing the best that they possibly can in the situation that they're in, with the knowledge and the experiences that they have. When I am able to come from this space I find that I am able to be so much more kind to people. Even if they're angry, upset, hurt or cross. If I choose (and it's a choice it's not something that you necessarily are born with) to see people as all doing the best that they can then when they show up as angry or upset I am able to see past this and to see that the real truth of what the person is going through. Who we all are is just the conditioning and the behaviours that we've learned to deal with things that cause us pain. If we are able to look at people and see beyond these constructs these programs and beliefs (beliefs and constructs that we have all created in our lives) and choose to see the truth of people. Then our ability to be kind to people whoever they are in whatever circumstances they are in is so much greater.
I am a Consciousness Coach and I help people navigate the shift from automated survival to self awareness both as individuals and as businesses. If you would like to explore working with me send me an email and we can arrange a free chemistry call. I also have lots of other resources on my website which I have added in the first comments below.
So much love from me to you xx
15/5/2020 1 Comment
This week I feel called/moved/inspired to share what I understand about “Liminal Space” and transitioning liminal space. This is something that until about a year or two ago I didn’t actually know anything about. It was at a Bath Positive Living group which Niki Minter led where she introduced the concept of liminal space. And like all truths when you hear them it's like you've always known it.
I feel like this “Great Pause” as people are calling it during coronavirus is a liminal space. The word “liminal” comes from the latin word “limen” which means - threshold. The threshold from one state into another state. It can be a physical thing like a parking lot where you go because you're traveling from somewhere to somewhere or an airport lounge or a stairwell or something that links one physical space to another. I think that it also has a much deeper more significant spiritual aspect as well and that's really what I want to explore today.
For me a liminal space is a space of transition, a transition from one way of being into another. It’s not always an easy space because you bring all of your past uncertainties, insecurities, fears and hurts with you and then you sit with them. This can be incredibly uncomfortable. On top of this there's huge uncertainty because you don't know where the next path is leading you. You don't know where you're going on to, but… I'd like to put it to you that this space this liminal space this holding space is transformational in itself.
I'd like to share some tools with you to help you use this great pause this liminal space for your own transformation and transitioning. I've just read a blog post by Alan Seale - The Liminal Space - Embracing the Mystery and Power of Transition from What Has Been to What Will Be, and in it he has some beautiful quotes. One quote which I'd love to share with you is not from him actually it’s by;
Blaise Pascal - “Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known”
If you tap into your core into your truth into your soul you know the truth is - that somewhere, something incredible something amazing is waiting to be known. And we're part of that we're part of that something incredible and wonderful and what we're going through right now is a shedding, a shedding of our fears, a shedding of our insecurities, and our hurts. We can either embrace it or we can fight it and the more we fight it the more uncomfortable, the more scared and fearful we will most likely feel.
If we embrace it and with a couple of tools we step into that unknowing we step into that fear into our insecurities and we look at them see them clearly and own them. And in owning them they will lose their power. Then we ourselves transform and in us transforming we then create the something incredible because we are the something Incredible. Allen Seale also shared in his blog about the liminal space of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and I think that, that is so incredibly true. The caterpillar creates the cocoon but it most likely has no conscious knowledge that it is about to turn into a butterfly. It most likely doesn't really know why it is drawn to create this cocoon, but it follows it’s instincts and it creates it’s cocoon and it spends time cocooned in its little chrysalis before it transforms into a butterfly.
I feel that that's where we are. We are all in our homes we were all with our selves, with our thoughts and our feelings, some of us really struggling with them and others not so much. And what I've been doing and by no means am I saying this is the only way that you can support yourself through this process, but I'm going to share a couple of tools that I've been using that have helped me and might help you at this time. Because I know a lot of people have been struggling.
My commitment through this process, through the ups and downs and the fear and the anxiety is to try and remain open.
I know this is easier said than done but by using the practices I've spoken about above to help you to remain open. And in being open and allowing love and source energy to flow through you and clear and to heal and to support your transition. You might be ready to step into whatever incredible experience is awaiting on the other side of this liminal space.
Please if you’ve enjoyed - "Transitioning Liminal Space" - I would really appreciate you support in liking and sharing it.
I also offer a free five day course - Five Steps Towards Self-Awareness where you can find lots more tools to help you on your journey. For any other resources you can find them on my website which is listed in the first comment below.
If you would prefer to listen to this blog here is the podcast -
Wishing everyone love and joy this festive season.
The premise for this email is that you have the power to influence your experience. Over the festive season you will most likely see lots of friends and family and whist this can be wonderful it can also lead to some challenging situations. Old dramas, grudges and roles being played out which can mean that it is not the joyous occasion you might have hoped for. I hope to share some thoughts to help you step put of the old patterns and to start to create new ones - ones you would much rather participate in.
1, You Don’t Need to Take On Other Peoples Stuff If you have ever walked in on two people arguing you know that other peoples emotions can cause quite intense reactions in yourself, especially if you are not prepared. All too often you can get drawn into other peoples stuff when you spend any amount of time with them. Now this will take some focus but it is possible for you to choose who you want to be in any situation. You might chose to be understanding, helpful, kind, loving, funny, and so on. I have been pondering how best to share this idea and have come up with this analogy. Imagine some blue coloured water. You can either be a colourless drop of water and when you are added to the mix you will just take on the blue that is already there OR you can come in with your own colour lets say yellow and change the colour of all the water from blue to green. If you were to come with a different colour lets say brown you would also change the mix but the outcome might not be so pleasant. So what colour / vibration / emotion do you want to be? Choose it before you see anyone and hold it what ever happens you don’t even need to do anything other than focus on the emotion you have chosen and let your actions come from that pace.
2, Let Go Of ExpectationsExpectations are the main cause of disappointment, anger, and frustration. Just imagine you expect that when you arrive to someones house they are ready and looking forward to seeing you. But… when you get there everything is in chaos they have dashed out to the shops and when you finally get in they need you to help clean and cook. Because you had an expectation your ego will think something is wrong because your imagined scenario didn’t happen and then cause you to have intense negative emotions. If on the other hand you are able to approach situations with no expectations you will be free to dance in the moment and accept what ever presents itself. Your ego will not be triggered and you will be ale to really be there for others. There is no pain in letting go of your thought image rather there is just the joy of being with someone you care about.
3, Be The Love You Want To Feel In The WorldI taught my children this many years ago - Not everyone is able to love you the way you would like to be loved but everyone loves to be loved. Instead of expecting (yes there is the pesky expectation again) others to give you love, BE the source of love and let it start with you. Be the one to give out hugs and tell people how much they mean to you. If my children can do it to adults (family, I didn’t shove them into the street and tell them to start loving random strangers :)) I am sure you can find the courage to step up and be the Love you want to feel in the world!
4, Focus on Gratitude and Kindness You cannot change the world but you can change who you are being in the world and through this you can change the world. By focusing on gratitude and kindness you will change the focus of your thoughts and naturally bring more joy into your life. I have been running a gratitude group (Connect with me on FaceBook and send me a message if you want to join) for close to 6 months. I am blown away by how when I focus on gratitude I just see so much more beauty and wonder in the world. We (the gratitude group) have also been doing a random acts of kindness challenge this December. At first as I went about looking for ways to be kind life seemed the same, but after doing it for about a week I found that it was harder for me to find ways to be kind because there was too much kindness flowing back towards me! I know it sounds nuts but just try it even by letting people in when you are driving, if you do it for a week or more you will see that more people start to let you in. Freaky but fun freaky!
5, Let Go Of Should’s, Shouldn’t’s, Must’s and Must Not’s. When you approach something from the point of view that it has to be the way you want it to be or else it is wrong, not only are you saying that someone else is less important than you, but you are also fighting with reality. If you think about how it feels to be less important than someone else, it does not feel very good at all, and different people react to this in different ways. Some might fight back to prove that actually you are wrong, some people back off and withdraw and others become defensive. In none of these situations is there love, understanding and joy. And… who are YOU that you get to decide what is right and what is wrong? Who died and made you God? (I love this saying of Byron Katie’s) It is quite silly when you really think about it. Let me give you an example - Let’s say you are having a big meal together and one person thinks everyone should eat early (they have young children that need to go to bed) someone else thinks that everyone should eat late (they are young and want to pop in on some friends before they come for the meal). If you were to get stuck in who is right and who is wrong it would lead to a very tense meal and no one would really enjoy it as someone would always end up feeling like they were less important. Instead what would happen if you focused on why you were all getting together. Normally this is to enjoy each other and share connection. Then the question is not who is right and who is wrong but what needs to happen so that we can all create joy? Maybe the children get fed early and everyone else eats later, or everyone who is there easts early but some food is saved for the people who want to come later and everyone looks forward to connecting when they get there. When no one is made to be wrong whatever happens there is love and joy.
When you let go of should’s and shouldn’t’s, must’s and must not’s there is space to be with what is. To really understand people and meet them where they are at and enjoy them and love them.
6, Change Your Perspective (an extra one for good luck) This is a little extra one for anyone who is on their own over the festive season. It can feel like you have been forgotten or that no one cares but if you change your perspective it can be a wonderful gift. I am actually going to be on my own this Christmas (my boys are going to their fathers and my mother is going to my cousin’s) I have had a very long and challenging year so have chosen to stay at home and at first I did feel a little disregarded because my mum chose to go somewhere else. I realised that I was doing some the things I have shared with you above - expectations, should’s and shouldn’t’s and taking on other peoples stuff. When I sat with it, firstly I realised it was my choice (I could have gone to my cousins too), that I was honouring myself by giving myself some quiet time which I really need and I decided instead of feeling unloved because people should be together over Christmas I decided to make it a really special time by having a home retreat. If you are on your own what can you do to make that time really special for yourself. For me it is going to be having long sleeps, doing yoga, meditating, going for walks and eating wonderful healthy and tasty food. I realise this isn’t everyones idea of fun but with two teenage kids having the house to myself is a treat and I am going to make the most of it.
I hope you find love and joy in what ever way is most authentic to you. Sending so much love and best wishes for a phenomenal 2020!
How to leave the negative stuff behind you
As I reflect back on this year (it has been both incredibly though for me and out of this world amazing) there are “things” (learnings, understandings, experiences, and memories) that I would like to take with me into the new year. To build on and also to be grateful for. There are also “things” (hurts, frustrations, disappointments and heaviness) that I do not want to bring with me. I think one of the things that really ages us is our inability to let these negative things go. Instead we try to bury them or ignore them but they never quite disappear completely leaving us will a little less energy and vitality every year.
The consciousness tool I am going to share with you today will show you how to complete the negative things so that you can move lightly and joyfully into the New Year with more possibilities than limitations.
It can be hard to know how to handle the negative things that happen to us in life. There is no lesson at school teaching us how to handle breakups, unexpected side swipes, angry people, or other mishaps. And how we handle them will differ with each of us and with each situation. Somethings will be resolved without much thought whilst other things just seem to never quite leave you.
To be able to complete your year I first will have to show you how to recognise an incompletion and it is quite simple really;
Incompletions live in our minds and our thoughts. They are like caged animals restlessly moving around in our minds. You do not have to go looking for incompletions. All you need to do is find some quite time. You could go for a walk, or run, sit in a park or in our lounge (with all your gadgets off) and then just observe your thoughts. Where do they go? What are they worrying about or what are they working on? The way our minds work is that if something is incomplete it will automatically try to resolve it. If you think back to a time when you had an argument with someone, what happened to your thoughts after the argument? I know mine rework what I said in 100 different ways and then play out - “if I said this then that would have happened, and if I then said then this would have happened.” This hyper thinking is because you are experiencing an incompletion. Not all incompletions trigger this level of hyper thinking but if you take time to observe you will be able to see what your mind is trying to work on and then you can complete it and free yourself.
Completing - Completing these incompletions is a 3 step process
1st - Awareness
If you are not aware of your incompletion/s you will not be able to do anything about them. So use the exercise above and take some time out to observe your thoughts. Use your phone or a note pad to jot down what has been playing on your mind. Make a list.
2nd - Decision
Once you know what your incompletions are the next step is to make a decision about them. Ultimately an incompletion is a decision you have put off making. There are a few things to keep in mind when making your decisions.
a) A decision does not have to be made to take action immediately. For instance if you are in a relationship that is not 100% I am not suggesting you ditch it and move on. However you can still make a decision. You might decide to make the final decision in 3 months time after you have tried a couple of initiatives to create the relationship you really want. So this decision will be a decision to make a decision at a later specified date.
b) When making decisions it is more empowering to make them when thinking about what you want to create rather than in reaction. When we make decisions and take action from a place of reaction we end up creating the very thing that we fear. Instead ask yourself “what would I really like the outcome to be?” and then ask yourself “what decision could I make that would take me towards what I want?”. This will give you empowering decisions that will take your life in the direction you want it to go in.
3rd - Let it go
When you have made your decision you can let the incompletion go. Sometimes this can seem easier said than done and your mind might have become used to working over a particular challenge. It is impossible to get your mind not to think about something because by the very nature of instructing it not to think of something it is then thinking of it. For instance if I said don’t think about a purple spotted elephant - you are not thinking of a purple spotted elephant. However you can refocus it. Instead of letting your mind worry over your incompletion decide what you would like once you have moved past your incompletion and when you find yourself worrying over your incompletion make the choice to refocus on your desired outcome or even something completely different. I love the saying let go and let God. You can choose the god of your understanding but when I do this I feel like I am passing my troubles up and when I have done this I have often found that the answer can come to me from any where… a conversation with a friend or colleague, an article I am reading or a program I am watching. I don’t know how it works but i do know that it does work.
Negative draining incompletions are not the only incompletions we can have. We can also have positive creative incompletions. This is when you have just started something in your life or a new project. It is something that it at the beginning of its creation and you might think about it a lot but it is exciting and joyous. You could use one of these to focus on once you let go of your negative incompletion.
I am doing a few webinars and short courses as well as sharing more consciousness tools. If you want to stay in the loop remember to stay connected.
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Wishing you a fabulous festive season and a wondrous New Year.
I was struck recently by the passion of people towards an event that did not involve them. It was the news that Ronaldo was being accused of rape. I was in the car with a couple of people and they started talking about this incident. They are ardent football supporters and Ronaldo is a particular hero of theirs. Needless to say they took his side with determined loyalty. What interested me was that without ever having met him they were so sure of his innocence and of Ronaldo’s accusers malicious intent. Needless to say they were then dragged into a conversation about reality and illusion.
I call our opinions illusions because we tend to think that what we believe about something really matters. In the course of this article you might begin to see that it doesn’t at least when you are trying to change reality.
This conversation made me think how often in life we think that our opinions are the truth. That the truth is the truth because we wish it so, but there are two things to remember about indulging in our opinions (illusions);
1, It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are they can never change reality. Reality is and nothing you think about it
will change it.
Lets look at the above example - Does how my friends think about the Ronaldo’s rape accusation change the reality that someone has accused Ronaldo of rape? No, no matter how passionately they believe and argue that Ronaldo has been wrongly accused it does not change the reality that he has been accused.
Lets pick another example - Donald Trump - one of the most controversial people alive today. Love him or hate him your emotions are all based upon opinion. The fact is that what you think of him does not change anything. Does how you feel stop him from being President of the USA? No. Does whether you think he is right or wrong in his actions change what he does? No. If you are able to feel/sense or picture this situation how does it make you feel energetically? For me it makes me feel tight, anxious, enraged, and ultimately powerless. Not a pleasant experience and one (should I be fixed on my opinion) I would have created entirely on my own.
2, When you form an opinion you make yourself right and then automatically someone else needs to be wrong. When
you think you are right and someone else thinks you are wrong this leads to a need to defend your position. All conflict
in life comes from this, our need to be right.
Imagine how different things would be if we were to look at the reality of a situation without the need to make it right or wrong. Lets take the Ronaldo incident again. What were the facts? Someone has accused Ronaldo of rape. Other than this there are no facts that we were aware of. So what is to be done. If we were to accept reality we would not get emotionally invested in the event. To accept that we know nothing of the details or of the people and to allow the courts and police to get on with evaluating the evidence. The event would pass without much notice and we would all get on with living our lives. The people involved would go through their experience without the added pressure from all sorts of people all around the world judging them and making a tragic situation even more tragic.
Taking the Trump example if we were to resist the urge to make him right or wrong how would this change your interaction with the situation? Would you feel the way you did initially? Or would you feel calmer and more centred?
When we are emotionally charged (like we are when we are opinionated) we lose access to our higher thinking and are more likely to be rash. This is a physiological reaction to stress and when we feel over emotional about a situation we become stressed. The way we are created when our body experiences stress it goes into survival mode. In survival mode there is no need to think of philosophical outcomes and our brain redirects our processing to our more base animal survival reactions such as fight, flight or freeze.
When we are in a calmer place (acceptance) we are able to make more impactful choices that will take us towards an end result that we really want rather than a reaction based action that would lead to the opposite.
Our thoughts about a situation can never change a situation the only thing that changes reality is ACTION.
If the example with Ronaldo is upsetting for you, you can choose to do something about this by either working with men to find a way that positively empowers them in this new world or work with woman who have been sexually abused to support them past this.
In the Trump example you could march in protest, start a career in developing conscious leadership so that there are more conscious leaders to choose from in the future and so on, by the way although Donald Trump was not around when I started my career there were enough ego driven leaders to inspire me to do something about it.
I am not saying you have to take these particular actions but if you brainstorm you will be able to come up with some that feel right to you. Taking action does not change what has happened but it can energise your actions going forwards and help you create a future you would want to be a part of.
This is only one step in creating greater self empowerment if you want to hear a few more join me on Tuesday the 4th of December at 12.00 midday. If you can’t make it sign up anyway and I will send you a recording. Just email me by clicking here CLICK and I will send you the link to sign on with.