Archive | August 2016

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?

 

 

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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?

 

Let Go of the Outcome

let go

At some point in our life, we all experience times when something doesn’t go our way, even when we have taken all the right actions.

For instance, we might have returned to school to study a particular trade, but didn’t land our dream job right out of school. Or we might have been turned down for a promotion we worked hard for, or didn’t get the dream house we desired after saving for many years.

It is normal to have certain expectations about the outcomes we desire. However, if we don’t get the results we want, then we have to let go in the present moment, and trust that the outcome will be better for us down the road.

Letting go, and accepting a particular outcome doesn’t mean giving up or abandoning our dreams altogether, it just means we might have to find another way, or move in a different direction for the time being.

It is usually only in hindsight, that we can see the blessings behind the postponements. Thankfully, we usually end up finding a better job, starting our own company, or finding a better house than the one we originally planned on.

Experiencing any disappointment can be a challenge while we are going through it, but finding acceptance will make it a much more peaceful process. One way to find acceptance is by being grateful for what we already have, as expressed in a section of my book below.

‘Having a grateful heart makes us aware of all the wonderful things we currently have in our life, and an appreciation for all the gifts we’ve been given in the past. Increasing our awareness on a daily basis of all the good we have now and wish to receive, begins with “gratitude thinking.”

A good way to maintain a feeling of gratitude is to write down five or more things we’re grateful for each day, and really feel the appreciation.

We can also take the written list one step further as Dr. Christiane Northrup does, and keep a video log, where we record something we are grateful for each day too! That way, we have a visual book which is fun to look at as well.

By installing a daily habit of gratitude, we are nurturing our mind and heart with loving support, and developing trust that the right outcome for us is on the way!

How do you keep positive in the face of disappointments?