Resist Jumping to Conclusions

jump-to-conclusions

How we interpret a situation, and the conclusions we draw are not always accurate. This is humorously depicted in some of the funniest sitcoms where continuous misunderstandings are creating constant confusion between the characters.

For instance, in watching the show Modern Family the other night, one of the characters, Mitchell, was holding hands with a supposedly comatose grandmother, when suddenly she grabs his hair, and he yells out “Let go!”

The rest of the family didn’t see the hair grabbing incident, but heard Mitchell yelling for the grandmother to let go, and concluded he meant letting go of her life, and not his hair.

Until he was able to explain what happened, the family was very upset with him based on their interpretation of the situation. Though funny on a TV show, it can be less humorous in our own lives when confusions occur, and our behavior or words are misconstrued.

I remember years ago giving a talk about the dynamics of my first marriage to a group exploring relationship issues. I was telling them that my relationship was like the one demonstrated in the old television show Moonlighting, with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

The characters on the show used to bicker with each other a lot, and that’s how my partner and I communicated with each other much of the time.

Some years later, I ran into a woman who had attended that group, and in our conversation it became clear that she thought I’d been comparing my physical appearance to Cybill Shepherd, rather than comparing my relationship to the one between the program’s characters.

She ultimately admitted that her interpretation of my talk was that I had been bragging about my looks, and how negatively that impacted her feelings about me.

Good reminder to not jump to conclusions, and let go of our certainty that we understand a situation fully when perhaps we don’t have all the facts.

Are you able to resist jumping to conclusions, and consider other possible explanations for what occurs?

Embrace the Truth

love-warrior-2

In recent weeks, I’ve come across several different websites that were talking about author Glennon Doyle Melton, who wrote the newest Oprah Book Club selection, Love Warrior.

In learning more about her, I found her to be refreshingly honest and wise, as demonstrated in her interview on Super Soul Sunday. In the snippet from the show, she discusses the “I’m fine” response.

We may indeed be fine today, but we might also be scared or hurt or confused on other days. I’m sure many of us can relate to feeling one way on the inside, and ‘acting’ quite differently on the outside by saying all the right things.

There does seem to be a common indoctrination to truth telling, that rewards all our positive feelings and gives less approval to the painful ones.

However, embracing the truth about our internal world, and sharing it with those we trust, is a healthy step to growth and transformation.

Are you able to accept your true feelings, or do you judge yourself for being less than fine?

 

 

Give Yourself Permission

permission

Cheryl Richardson and Christiane Northrup are authors I really connect with on all matters relating to self-care. That being said, below are some wonderful permission slips offered on Dr. Northrup’s blog for taking better care of ourselves.

Enjoy!

  1. Rest when you need to. If you are tired, give yourself permission to sleep. The dishes, the laundry, and the work you didn’t finish today will still be waiting for you tomorrow.
  1. Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
  1. Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
  1. Love your body. Stop comparing yourself to the air brushed models in the media. Dress the way you want. Do your hair the way you like it.  If this is difficult, do mirror work and tell your body how much you love it.
  1. Trust your intuition. Step out of your comfort zone and go for whatever feels right – maybe it is a new career path, a new health or fitness program, or simply speaking up when you feel the need.
  1. Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
  1. Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
  1. Say “yes.” Saying “yes” to yourself is empowering. Say “yes” to whatever you want in your life, and say “no” to whatever you don’t want.
  1. Feel the guilt. Realize that the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
  1. Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.

Which one speaks loudest to you today?

 

Change Your State

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins

Changing our state of mind and feelings can be challenging, but it can also be very exciting, empowering, and exhilarating too!

We all tend to have certain thinking and behavior patterns, which affects the unfolding of our life experiences, and the feelings we have about ourselves as well.

For instance, worry or other stressful thinking, never works in creating joyful feelings for us but definitely works against us, by creating suffering.

Fortunately, we can take steps to elevate our emotional life through awareness and action.

In the video conversation above, bestselling author and life strategist Tony Robbins discusses tips on ‘priming’ ourselves to feel good, and how emotion is created by motion.

What daily preparations do you install for lifting your emotions to a higher state?

 

 

Be a Good Listener

good listener

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”  Ralph Nichols

On a scale of one to ten, how good of a listener are you?

The value of listening cannot be overstated enough, as being one of the most effective ways to help another, and heal ourselves as well. Offering a nonjudgmental listening space can work wonders when someone is struggling.

Rarely, can we talk someone into wellness, but we can listen our way into helping another feel heard and understood.

Giving our undivided attention is not always easy; as we can get distracted and unintentionally short-circuit a conversation, by giving a one size fits all solution to what we think we heard.

Unfortunately, this can cause many problems, and misunderstanding in our relationships.

Therefore, I have provided a brief listening self-assessment inventory below, which I shared several years ago. It is a great personal growth tool, for gauging our current listening abilities and bringing attention to areas we might want to improve upon.

It is not meant to be used as a way to beat ourselves up, but rather, as a way to take an active role in improving our listening skills, so we can really hear what others are saying.

Hope you will look through the following 15 items, and congratulate yourself on all the ‘rarely’ responses you discover.

Enjoy!

Listening Self-Assessment Inventory

(Frequently, Sometimes, Rarely)

1.   I interrupt people when they are talking.
2.   I multitask at the same time I am listening.
3.   I am uncomfortable being silent during a conversation.
4.   If someone pauses to think of a word, I give it to them.
5.   I wait for the other person to pause so I can jump in and make my point.
6.   I listen for the “gist” of what’s said rather than to each word.
7.   I stop listening if someone is too detailed or verbose.
8.   I am easily distracted while I am listening.
9.   I convey resistance, disagreement or non-interest with my body language (arms folded in front of my chest, looking around room).
10.     I fake listening.
11.     I decide the merits of the other person’s message based on his/her appearance, status, age, race, etc.
12.     I think about what’s wrong with the other person’s point/idea as I listen.
13.     I don’t give feedback to the other person about what he/she has said.
14.     I listen impatiently (fidgeting, looking at watch, etc.)
15.     I don’t make eye contact when I’m listening.

 

Say Yes!

say yes 2

It’s funny how the smallest of decisions can have an enormous effect on our day, and life. For instance, I attended a function on Saturday, where I didn’t know any of the other attendees.

When the event concluded, I intended to head to my car and return directly home. However, instead, I decided to hang around for a bit afterwards, which led to a great discussion with a few other attendees who were planning to head home as well.

Our great connection, led to a really enjoyable impromptu lunch, and plans to get together again soon! We were all pleased with how we took the action and said yes, to getting out of our comfort zones, and going with the flow.

On my way home and feeling great from this encounter, I heard on the radio that our local professional football team was doing their summer training at a facility not far from our house.

So, spontaneously, my husband and I decided to go the stadium and watch their practice, which was not in our original chore listed plans for the day. However, we said yes to the moment and just followed the flow of the day.

We met a great couple in the seats next to us, and more great connections for the day resulted, including meeting this little cutie below in the seats in front of us. She is a great cheerleader!

Little cheerleader

Too often, it is easier to stick with a set plan, and not be open to new opportunities. By taking just a few unexpected actions that day, I met new friends from my event, and my husband and I had a fun experience at the football practice.

Carrying the spirit of saying yes to new experiences, and allowing some spontaneity into our life in large and small ways, creates a positive emotional state change which we often try to get just by thinking good thoughts.

Thinking our way to good feelings is very valuable, but also doing fun and different things gives us a natural high, and gets us out of our heads! A vacation from thinking and just doing is a real treat too!

Fear is usually the culprit which keeps us from initiating conversations with others, or attending certain events. A book I read many years ago called, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers, really addresses this issue in depth.

It’s a great reminder that it is natural and normal to experience feelings of fear, but to not let them stop us from saying yes because of them.

What a freedom!

Do you consider yourself a spontaneous person?