Overcoming Issues

We all have issues… some big, some small and it is our response that determines the outcome.

Do you have a default behaviour that you return to when an issue pops its head up and confronts you?

Do you face it head on and resolve to create a positive outcome?

Do you react in ways that make you or others around you uncomfortable?

What is the risk to you if you continue to respond this way?

A client recently wanted to discuss how to handle an issue with a person that he has known for some 30 plus years. Never really close, he became aware that this person was “giving off negative vibes” but didn’t know why.

The issue came to a head recently when he was walking into a garden centre and walking straight towards him was this person. He smiled and went to say “hello”, whereupon the other person turned their head and walked off in a different direction. The client described how he felt his insides turn and he felt like a small child at school again. He described how one part of him wanted to pursue the person and confront him, yet another part of him just wanted to cry as he felt abandoned.

I handed him a poem that I have found useful to refer to over the years :

Reason, Season, Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

 Brian Andrew  Chalker

After several sessions, he came to the conclusion that any previous friendship was fractured beyond repair and decided that he would let it go. He had extended the hand of friendship and reconciliation several times over the last few years, but was being rebuffed each time …. Each time he experienced an internal response of a profound sense of rejection. He was no longer comfortable with feeling this way and wanted to change how he reacted yet  was saddened that they had not been able to communicate with each other to resolve any problems in earlier times. In the hypnotic state, the client then expressed gratitude to his friend for having been in his life for a season and asked for forgiveness for any hurts that he may have unintentionally caused.

After that session he said that he had realized it was almost like picking at a scab …..the wound opens up again, the skin weeps a bit and a new scab is formed, but if you do this too often the skin hardens up and a scar is made.

 

Letters I’ve written

Or should that be posts that I’ve written…. never meaning to send………
.. with apologies to the Moody Blues. This song came out way back, I had just moved to Melbourne for the first time (& yes, for a boy…maybe one day I will write about that).
Whenever I can catch some spare time from the clinic – usually when a client has rescheduled – I make an effort to sit down and write a few blog posts that I can post at a later date.

It’s interesting as I peruse the entries that I thought were pertinent….. so many of them no longer hold any meaning and don’t get posted. This document is like a journal, partly relating to my business persona and partly relating to events in my personal life. So often it is the writing down that leads to the catharsis and I believe it is important to leave some time and space before posting.
Just recently I’ve gone to post the next entry and hesitated…. I haven’t deleted the entry, because it was relevant at that time, but time and space has given me the wisdom to take into account whether it was a whinge or helpful to someone else.

“Beauty I’d always missed
With these eyes before,
Just what the truth is
I can’t say anymore.”

The beauty of doing this is that it is a reflection of my emotions at the time. Re-reading at a later date allows me to calibrate and look within to see if I have reacted to the situation or have applied the emotional intelligence techniques I seek to help others with.
Am I wise? Am I telling the truth?
We each have our own truth and expressing it to others may not be palatable to the recipient.

I have someone in my life who has written many letters, most probably on the advice of their therapist, and sent them….resulting in hurt and fracturing relationships. My advice is if you are to write these letters, do so and then burn them…..symbolically releasing the energy contained within to the Universe and thus letting go and letting a higher power (insert whichever deity you believe in here) take care of it for you. There have been several occasions recently when I have held my breath, waiting for a letter from this person after things didn’t go as they had planned. To tell the truth, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get one as I was looking forward to composing a reply and thus stepping out of Emotional Intelligence.

There are other times where I may write about a something that was profound and on looking back at that moment realizing that I captured a moment of beauty….of realization ….that has led to an insight that I missed at the moment of writing. Like a sunrise or sunset, nothing stays the same…. Change is inevitable and these transitions can create amazing shifts in our consciousness. It’s all about letting go…..

Simplicity

As an adult sometimes it is difficult to see the funny side of life and it takes the innocence of a child to lighten us up. Recently I attended the interment of the ashes of someone close – not a happy occasion at the best of times, but there was laughter and amusement.

It has been said that “laughter is love” and that was certainly evident as a small group of people gathered to pay their final respects.

Yes, there was sadness, but there was the delight of children as they released balloons to symbolize the letting go which was a pleasure to witness and certainly lightened my heart. Their involvement in the proceedings was simple and it was delightful to observe their pleasure in participating.

The universe also cooperated with a fairly spectacular sunset which I felt made the proceedings a little spiritual. The view from the graveside was peaceful and whilst other attendees were grieving in their own ways, I felt some sadness, yet I was quite at peace and was able to go with the flow of energy from the environment.

Often the simplicity of children is overlooked and they can be remarkably straightforward. Uncluttered by emotional baggage, not making mountains out of molehills observing children in a situation such as this gives much food for thought.

What if we could easily set that baggage down and simplify our lives….leaving the clutter of the past behind?

Sadness

It was an odd Monday afternoon a while back.

The weather was about to change from hot to a thunderstorm and I had just had a conversation with an old (long time) friend when I was suddenly overcome by a wave of sadness.

It was similar to a feeling experienced when I was walking the labyrinth one Sunday morning – the sadness coming like a roller coaster wave that dumps you in the sand. On returning home to the city we discovered that the aging cat had died in her basket. She was still a little warm, so she must have crossed that rainbow bridge around the time that I felt that sadness a few hours previously.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone I knew had died, but refrained from voicing my concern as I am still familiarizing myself with intuitive feelings and didn’t want to alarm anyone.

Then on the Tuesday afternoon the news came through. An acquaintance in another state had passed away over the weekend and the feeling of sadness suddenly made sense.

As I finally spend more time on a regular meditation practice and teaching more Reiki, I find that I am more “in tune” with events and emotions around me.

Boundaries

A recent workshop that I had the pleasure to deliver was about Boundaries – Personal and Professional. 30 people were booked to attend and a fraction of that actually attended, which I found interesting given the topic.

The attendees and I mused that it may be fear of missing out on something better or because it was free of charge to them and they didn’t value what the presentation might give them. (I got paid to present regardless of how many turned up) Those who did turn up were volunteers and prospective volunteers and from all walks of life. As someone who volunteers on a regular basis, I feel it is important to recognize and set boundaries, as volunteer “burnout” is all too common.

I’m not going to bore you with the actual presentation that I prepared, but one thing that I felt was an important message to get across, was to recognize WHY one becomes a volunteer and WHO is benefiting from the volunteering.

Is it therapeutic to the volunteer or the client?

By asking these questions of yourself,  you can then start to identify where your boundaries start.

I’m a visual learner so I created a graphic to help me to look at the different elements to consider. Discussion led on to Cultural boundaries and making sure we learn about cultures we work with so as to be respectful in our interaction and how boundaries can become blurred. Too often we read in the newspaper about a therapist or carer who has crossed the professional boundaries with a client.

As a volunteer you can be friendly with a client, but establishing a friendship is quite a different thing and may well cross professional boundaries that should be in place. This not only applies to the volunteer/client relationship but should be considered in peer to peer relationships in any workplace.

There is often over disclosure of personal information within the workplace.

It is far better to find a trusted person, usually a counselor to disclose to if there is a problem.

The organization should have systems and protocols in place that educate employees and volunteers about personal, cultural and social expectations and boundaries. Ideally there should be a structure in place for the volunteers to “download” or supervision process, so that they don’t burn out emotionally.

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Mindful May

With the new month just days away and it being promoted as Mindful May,  I was very mindful myself (pardon the pun) to finally complete my online meditation course.

It was started sometime ago, but somehow most of the audio that I recorded for it disappeared into the ether when updating some software.

The next hurdle to overcome was Mercury in Retrograde, noted for issues with electronics and the like……  I couldn’t get rid of the noise of the computer fan that ran in the background. Eventually I found an app that I could use with an iPad and completed the last of the recordings just in time to get the course up and running for May.

If you have never meditated before and are not sure how to or what sort of meditation suits you, then this introduction to meditation will help you work that out.

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Communication

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”  John C Maxwell

Communication is about quite often about what you are not saying, and this was very apparent during the visit of the German Chancellor to the USA to meet the current president.. to use a well worn metaphor… you could have cut the air with a knife with the attitude in that meeting. It was suggested to me that he IS an elderly chap…. Gentleman is not a word that fits this man….. who possibly has a hearing problem and that this was the problem, but it appears not.

Richard Branson has said “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess” and went on to say that he relied on it in his business to make his company successful.

Another quote from Mother Theresa is “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” 

I’ve certainly had the experience of words delivered with a smile on the face to me, but with the deadly intent to strike at the core of my heart….  a mismatch between the energy of the words and the attitude.

Inspiration

Breathe……

…. the inward breath or inspiration is what draws the oxygen deep into your body.

Inspiration is also the ability to take that breath and see it as a spark of the divine within you as you light a fire within your soul.

Allow the flow of inspiration to help you create magic. As you allow this inspiration to flow, allow more love and light into your essential being and breathe new life into your  dreams and desires.

When encountering obstacles or difficulties along the way, remember to breathe…. Taking a deep belly breath in to fill the lungs and exhale the stale, used air.

Breathing deeply and with mindfulness will help to take the oxygen to the brain and help you to think more clearly.  Take a deep breath in and hold, then let go. There are several breathing patterns and techniques  that you can explore, but the one that is most comfortable is the one that will benefit you the greatest. As you breathe in and hold; for a moment take your mind to your staying power, your tenacity and think about any challenges that you have overcome.

Exhale and let go .. of fear; of limitations and feel yourself become lighter. Nurture yourself with the regular practice of breath centred meditation. This is like using the oxygen mask for yourself before others.

As you practice this, you will replenish your  energy. When you care for your own body and soul, then there is space to reach out and nurture and inspire others.

Dreams or Visions?

“All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”  Edgar Allen Poe

A sojourn at the retreat a short time ago had me revisiting a vision book that I began at the start of the quest to find the property that I saw in a dream.  I was showing it to some long time friends.  Not surprisingly, if you subscribe to the effectiveness of manifesting through vision books, I realised that many of the things that I had written or drawn down had come to fruition.

Creating a vision board, or as in my case – a vision book – is not difficult. All it requires is some time and a few simple steps.

I like to work on my vision books at two specific times. Yes, I have a couple – one is specifically for the retreat and the other is more personal but includes the retreat.

The New Moon and the Full Moon are my favoured times, but any time that you are comfortable with will suffice.  Some pages are for the month and some are for several months and may resemble a business planning document. I use a variety of goal setting techniques in formulating what goes onto the page. My favourite at the moment is the GROW model.

Goals

Realistic/Reachable

Obstacles/Opportunities and

Way Forward

 

Most importantly I put the date on the page. I may divide the page up into various topics or headings and these may be small sketches or pictures or words cut out from a magazine that has taken my fancy. I then set aside some time to meditate before starting. I set the intent that what comes out on the page is just right. During the course of the session, it becomes apparent that there is a synergy between many of the things that appear on the page.  Arrows, links, pictures and words appear.

For instance in January I had as one of my things on the page was health. I applied the GROW model to this and added in the “R” section a date that I wanted to achieve my goal. Having spent the last few months of 2016 with pneumonia and finding that I was recovering slowly from it, this was a priority, not only from the business point of view, but a vision of improving my health and longevity by focussing on it. I asked myself “What is my Why?” and reflected on what came out of that meditation. Two months later, I revisited the page and realized that I was “on track” for most of what I had written.  The areas that I still need to achieve are transferred to the next page and I find that by setting down my thoughts and goals, that I become more accountable to myself.

The pages are a mixture of goal setting and dreaming…… for  with the retreat there needs to be a certain amount of dreaming and it is in the dreams that I feel that anything can be possible.

Some of the actions that I am taking as a result of these will only ever be a dream for me, but may be a future generation’s reality.  On these pages I dream of planting trees. In fact on the last visit I planted 3 more. These were grown from seeds of a gum tree that were no bigger than a pin head, yet the parent tree was a magnificent 40 metre high specimen with a trunk that had a girth too big to encircle with my arms.

Other trees that I have planted are Oak trees, grown from gathered acorns and nurtured to young seedlings. Yet I will never see these trees in their full majesty – they will remain for me, just a vision of what might become, just as willing gardeners planted the stately oaks in the main streets of the nearby country towns.

I may draw other things on the page… it becomes a de facto “To Do” list. Again I find another page that has more to do with trees…. on February’s page was a section on finding a spot for the Casuarina or She Oaks saplings that I have also grown from seed…. They have yet to be planted as I’m searching for the right spot for them and reading about their physical needs as well as the metaphysical significance of them, just as I did when I was searching for the right spot to construct the first labyrinth.

Pages in my vision book may include a word picture of an ideal client and I am always pleasantly surprised when the phone rings and he or she introduces themselves and makes an appointment!

The reward for keeping these vision books is in going back over them and putting a big tick next to those great big audacious dreams that have been achieved – perhaps they should have a gold star!

It is interesting that some of the things put down that weren’t achieved were in fact “pipe dreams” … dreams that if they had been fulfilled would have taken me further away from where I am now and in retrospect, I’m pleased that they haven’t come into fruition.

It is also interesting to read back over vision  books from years gone by and see that there is a common thread running through all of them…. and to be grateful for the things that have manifested.

Simplicity

It’s always good to be reminded of the KISS (keep it simple sweetheart) principle.

Too often, when presented with a problem, we default to overthinking, resulting in a mindstorm of “what ifs” and making mountains out of molehills.

So how to simplify?

It may be that you need not only to de-clutter your mind, but your surroundings as well.  What are you holding onto metaphorically that is no longer needed?

I recently had a bit of a tidy up and discovered a box under the house that had been unopened since moving in some 15 years ago. It contained four years of university notes and other items that I obviously thought important enough to save all those years ago. Apart from a couple of things, like the outline for the thesis I never started, the mountain of paper grew and filled the recycle bin. Other things that I retained were some letters from family and friends.

Meeting up with friends on Australia Day reminded me that true friendship is a simple, enduring affection that can be picked up and resumed without needing to explain anything. Life can be challenging and unpredictable at times and unconditional acceptance by friends helps to overcome adversity.

Simplicity offers us freedom…. It’s about not being concerned or attached to what others think about us and having the wisdom to live our lives in a way that lets us follow our hearts and dreams, yet being mindful as we go along our way.

It takes courage to simplify.

By divesting yourself of the things and thoughts that keep you imprisoned, you can open the door to a more creative and simple life.