Posts Tagged ‘life’

Simply?  Because we get what we focus on.  Janet, change your focus and you will change the way you feel.   Change the way you feel and you will change your life.  Why?  Because what we focus on expands. 

Try this question exercise, and for this to work, actually think about the answers, don’t just read the questions:

  1. What is the biggest problem in your life right now?
  2. What areas of your life are not going well?
  3. What are you most unhappy about?

As you think about these questions, notice how you feel.  Chances are, you are feeling low, unhappy, frustrated.

Now try this (again I want you to answer them, not just read the questions):

  1. What’s going well for you right now?
  2. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  3. What are you grateful or happy for?

Notice how you feel now.  See the difference? 

Nothing changed in your circumstances between the first and second set of questions, and yet the second set of questions made you feel better.  The way you feel is largely determined by what you focus on.  You don’t need to “get a break” to start feeling better about your life, you just need to focus on the right things.

By asking yourself “Why can’t I ever get a break?”, the focus is on you as the victim in a completely hopeless situation.  This is a disempowering mindset.  You’ll never make progress as long as you keep thinking like this.

If you can control the questions you ask yourself, you can change your focus and control the way you feel regardless of your circumstances.  It doesn’t mean that your problems go away, and I’m not suggesting you ignore them.   Rather my goal for you is to put you in an empowered state, so that you can solve your problems more effectively, and confidently move forward. 

Here’s a more empowering question to ask yourself:

“What can I do right now to change this situation?”  OR

“What can I do to make the most of this situation?”

“What is the good in this situation?”

“What decision can I make right now that will propel me in a new direction?”

The list of empowering questions is endless.  The trick is to make it a habit.  Whenever you catch yourself asking a disempowering question, immediately stop yourself and switch to an empowering question.  In fact, say out loud to yourself “SWITCH”.  Do this over and over until you create a new habit.

The truth is Janet, the capacity for you to contribute is for all practical purposes, limitless.  Get creative!  Focus on making that your reality and watch your life soar!  To your success…Deb

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Carolyn so many people can relate to your experience – in fact, I’ve been there myself.  What you understand is that payment for the work we do comes in two forms: psychic rewards and physical rewards.  Psychic rewards are the “feel good” experiences which feed the mental / spiritual side of us.  It’s the reward that comes from contributing our efforts and knowing we’ve made a difference.  Physical rewards on the other hand are the tangibles we receive – money, perq’s, benefits, etc.  Both are essential.   

Here are some options for you to consider:

  1. Find a way to boost your psychic income.  Volunteer.  Sponsor a cause. Start a positive movement. Do this in your spare time. What spare time? Cut out or cut down time spent watching TV, surfing the net, reading trash – you get the picture.  Eliminating just one hour per day, “finds” you the equivalent of nine 40 hr work weeks (Amazing isn’t it!). Hey, there’s a positive movement idea for you : )
  2. Reframe the way you think about your work, your job, your employer, your industry.  Find the good in it.  Stop telling yourself that you hate what you do.  Start telling yourself that what you do creates value for other people. Remember, what you focus on expands. 
  3. Do your job from your life purpose.  Huh? For example, if you know your purpose is to serve, then think about how what you do serves others.  Dig deep.  You’ll find it if you’re looking for it. Without question, someone is benefiting from what you do. Tap into that partnership feeling and feed it.
  4. Ask yourself if you are bored? Boredom is often the sign that you are ready to be promoted…or ready for a new challenge.  Ask to lead a new project. Do your research first, and present a well thought out idea. Where is there a service gap in your company or industry? How can you fill it?
  5. Think about what you would do if you could do, then take the first step towards that.  For example, if owning your own business is your dream, then draw it up.  What would it look like?  Who would you serve? What would you offer? How would you make money? Concretize it before you leap.
  6. Think about going back to school.  Start by investigating your options.  Where do you want to grow your knowledge? How could you make it work? Is part time continuing education an option?
  7. Think about reducing your work week or changing your work hours to give you more time/flexibility to pursue other options.  Many companies offer flex week programs.  Talk to your HR dept.
  8. Start a blog. Write about what you’re passionate about.  Contribute to the discussion. Create a following, and provide value. 
  9. Pursue your hobbies.. passionately. What interest could you expand into a passion?  Find classes and interest groups to support your growth.
  10. Be grateful for the success you have.  This is a biggie.  I’m not talking about cursory gratitude here, but the type of gratitude that feeds your soul.  Think about how brilliant it is that you are where you are…that you have achieved what you have achieved…and that somebody thinks you are valuable enough to pay you well.  That is a blessing!  Start and end everyday expressing gratitude for what you have. And then pat yourself on the back for creating these positive results for yourself!

Carolyn, I hope I’ve given you much to think about.  Thank you so much for asking!  To your continued success…Deb

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Love this question Carol!  So many of my workshop participants struggle with this same problem.  Often ,when someone’s behaviour offends us personally, we lose our composure, and sometimes our emotional control.  In those moments it’s really tough to be eloquent! 

Here’s my recommendation:  Memorize an intro line, that you can just whip out without struggling.  In fact, I strongly recommend you memorize this 3 step formula for asserting yourself on the spot…

  1. The first line – Memorize these 2 words:  “When you…or “When people…”(then describe what they’ve said or done)… 
  2. The second line – Memorize these 2 words:  “I feel…or “I think…”(then share 1 or 2 feelings words that describe the impact  their behaviour has on you)….You can also tag on an optional “Because” statement to explain your position.
  3. Then tell them what you want. “Please do not…”, or “Next time…”,  

I should clarify, that Step 2 – is all about your feeling response to their behaviour.  So the focus is you.  Don’t fall in the trap of saying something like “I feel you’re an idiot!’  or “I feel you don’t respect me.”  No.  This isn’t about them, this is about you.  Only describe your feelings.  And do not use more than 2 feeling words.

Strung together, the formula flows together quickly and easily.  Here are a few examples:

“When you call me that name, I feel offended.  Please do not call me by that name again.”

“When you are late for meetings, I feel annoyed.  Because it is disruptive.  I need you to be on time in future.”

“When you share inappropriate jokes, I feel embarrassed.  Please do not share jokes like this with me in the future.”

“When people speak about women in that way, I think it is disrespectful.  Please do not speak that way in my presence again.”

“When you speak to me in that manner, I feel angry and disrespected.  Please do not speak to me in that manner again.” 

“When you gossip about other people, I feel worried.  Because I wonder what you may be saying about me when I am not present.  Please don’t share this type of information with me again.”  

“When people talk about others behind their back, I worry.  Because I wonder what may be said about me when I am not present.  So I’ve made it my policy not to get involved in this type of discussion.  (same scenario, less direct)

“When you yell at me, I feel angry and defensive, and I stop listening.  Lower your volume, or I will exit the room.”

By the way, consider the “please” in these statements optional.  Omit it, and it will sound firmer.

Now, if you are thinking “this sounds harsh”, let me assure you that being direct is the most appropriate way to stand your ground and set boundaries or rules of conduct.  Assertive communication is direct.  It is firm.  And it is respectful.  And when compared to the alternatives (saying nothing, or exploding), it’s significantly more effective.

When you are speaking, make direct, but not glaring, eye contact.  Lower your tone of voice – a baby voice will weaken your message.  And watch your body language.  Don’t clench your teeth, or your fists, and don’t tense your neck.  These are hostile body movements and they will be perceived as aggressive.  

When you are done speaking – STOP!  Resist the urge to say anything else – it will weaken your message.  Stop and listen to their response if they have one.   If they apologize, accept it graciously – resist the urge to say “it’s OK”  Resist the urge to repeat yourself. 

Hope this helps Carol.

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Jan, let’s examine your guilt.  Have you done something inappropriate, offensive, illegal or immoral?  No.  So what is your guilt about?   Saying “no” to someone else’s priorities so that you can say “yes” to your own priorities?  Isn’t that a good thing?  

Now you may be thinking, “But I feel badly about disappointing them.” 

You’re a caring person, I get that.  As good as you are, you are not responsible for rescuing the world and fixing everyone’s problems.  Nor does anyone expect that of you.  “No’s” are a part of life.

Let me ask you this:

When you consistently say “no” to your priorities so that you can say “yes” to someone else’s priorities, do you feel good?

No.  You feel disappointed for not honouring yourself.   A lifetime of pleasing others means a lifetime of disappointing yourself.

Life is about choices.  The truth is, we have a finite amount of time, and only one life.  If you want a rewarding, fulfilling, authentic life, then you must live your life according to your values and priorities – based upon what will give you the highest emotional and financial rewards, in the time you have.  That means you must choose.

Whenever we say “yes” to something, we have to say “no” to something else and vice versa.  Consider this scenario: at the last minute your boss asks you to stay late because of an important deadline.  But you have promised your son you would watch his little league game.  If you say “yes” to your boss, you have to say “no” to your son.  If you say “yes” to your son, you have to say “no’ to your boss.   How will you choose? 

Your answer will depend upon many factors – most importantly, what will feel most congruent with your values and priorities.  Honour those above all. 

The good news is that people respect other people who uphold their personal values and live with integrity.  Even if it means hearing a “no”.  Will they be disappointed?  Perhaps.  Will they respect you?  Absolutely!

Now, saying “no” doesn’t mean you have to abruptly slam the proverbial door in someone’s face.  There is a gentle way to say no.  Here’s the formula that I use:

  1. Start with an understanding statement to acknowledge the reason for their request.  Could sound like: this sounds important…I see that you are stuck…I understand your situation….I’m complimented that you would ask…Thank you for considering me…
  2. Next, explain your situation.  “Unfortunately, I have other commitments…I’ve promised…I’m choosing…Here’s my situation…
  3. Consider alternatives you could offer this person.  “Can we try…What if….Could you ask…How ’bout I… Here’s what I can do…Are there other options…

This type of gentle, thoughtful “no” preserves relationships, reduces the chances of residual bad feelings, and shows that you still want to offer some level of support.  That’s a win-win! 

Now, to help ease your feelings of guilt, affirm your decision to yourself with this statement: “By saying no to this person, I am honouring myself and what I value most.  And that feels really good.  At the same time, I know and trust that this person is resourceful and will find a solution.”

I hope that helps you Jan. Great question.

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Great great question Teri!  You’ve clearly been following the positive thinking movement and have made the connection between thoughts and your experiences in the physical world.  In fact you’ll often hear me say: “What you think about you bring about.”  Unfortunately, these maxims are an incomplete picture of how to manifest the wealth and success you desire.  And have created much confusion.   The truth is:

Conscious thought, while important, is not nearly as important as your whole consciousNESS. 

Thinking positively is one of the functions of the conscious mind, however for all its brilliance, it controls less than 5% of your behaviour.  The real power source for you to create the results you want lies in your SUBconscious mind.  This is where your total belief system lives – your beliefs, your habits – and it is your true creative centre.  In fact, it is so powerful, it runs on autopilot in the background of your life 24/7.   It’s continuously creating for you in perfect harmony with what has been programmed into it.   

Teri, if you want to change your results, then you must examine the beliefs and habits that are not serving you.  Habits (habitual thoughts, habitual feelings, habitual actions) will be easier for you to spot, and course correct.  Not to suggest changing habits is easy, but I’m willing to bet you already know which habits need to be examined.

Beliefs however are harder to change.  They are often buried so deeply that most people have difficulty identifying them.  If I asked you what your beliefs are, could you tell me? 

Beliefs become planted at such an early age, and become such a part of our total conciousness that we are usually not aware of their shaping influence.  It takes deep introspective work, often with the support of a professional, to help us uncover the truth behind ourselves.

Thinking positive thoughts is an important part of your success strategy, along with the support of a positive belief system, and inspired action.  You are a co-creator of your reality Teri, and it is up to you, and all of us, to do our part.

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Fran, you are in good company. So many it seems are on the quest for purpose.  First of all, let’s start with this idea of “searching.”  Searching implies that the answer is “out there” outside of you.  That if you just open enough doors you’ll find it.  

The truth is, purpose isn’t something you “find”, but rather an awakening of the truth within you. 

Your job is to pay attention to when the truth resonates.  Because it is in those moments, when you are truly inspired, that you are hovering in the vicinity of purpose.  Think about those occasions when you are uplifted and highly motivated – when you didn’t have to be prodded, when you enthusiastically embraced the activity.  So much so that you lost track of time, and in fact had to pull yourself away.  What were you doing in those moments?  Explore that.

Look to your natural strengths when considering the most meaningful way for you to contribute.  You may love music, but if you are tone deaf and have no natural musical ability, then you’ll find it hard to make the world a better place with your musical career!  Don’t get me wrong, purpose does require you to develop your natural abilities, but it never requests you to start with nothing. 

While you will grow in your purpose it still must feel natural to you.  So natural in fact that it’s probably been running in the background your whole life.  Look for patterns and themes in your life.  Most people assume that what  they are good at, everyone is good at it –  so it can’t be special.  Trust me, that’s not the case.   It should feel like a natural pull of your innate talent – because it is already within you.  

What theme has always been a part of you?  Look in your bookcase, what themes do you see in the books you read?  In the conversations you have.  In the causes that tug on your heart.  In the activities that you love?  What are you drawn to?  All are clues for you.

Purpose always draws upon your natural talents… AND … your passion.  The truth is, there is so much talent bundled up inside of each person that we could easily go in 10 different career directions and create a “successful” existence….that we hate.  So talent alone is not an indicator of purpose.  It’s only when the heart is engaged alongside the talent that purpose resonates.  It must make your heart sing! 

As well, purpose is always broad in scope, meaning it is not tied to a job title, or an occupation, or an industry, or a life role.  Nobody should have a life purpose of being a vice president of marketing for example.  That’s a goal, not a purpose.  Purpose may be engaged in the pursuit of that goal but it’s certainly not defined by it.  Otherwise, should a person lose their job – do they then lose their purpose? Of course not.  In fact, it’s often in these moments that they start looking for it!  

Purpose is far reaching and can’t be contained by labels.  It’s not confined to a career, or a role in life.  It follows you wherever you take it.  Purpose reaches down into your life and shows up in everything that you do.  That’s because your life purpose is YOU – whenever you are using your talents and passion to contribute and serve meaningfully.  How you choose to express your purpose is completely up to you.  It will never lock you in to one particular path.   You just need to choose a path and follow it wherever it takes you, using your intuition to guide you as you travel.  

I hope this helps you Fran.  Thank you for asking about what so many are wondering about.

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my beautiful mother Patricia

my beautiful mother Patricia

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.

A woman who honours her experience and tells her stories.

Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who believes she is good.

A woman who trusts and respects herself.

Who listens to her needs and desires.

And meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowleges the past’s influence on the present.

A woman who has walked through her past.

Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.

A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.

Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.

A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.

Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.

A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.

Who celebrates her body’s rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honours the body of the Goddess in her changing body.

A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.

Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.

A woman who sits in circles of women.

Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

This woman is you.


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