Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Power of Metaphor

What is metaphor?

It’s a way of speaking that uses words or pictures to describe something in a symbolic way.

At the workshop I presented at today, I used both words and pictures as metaphors to bypass the conscious mind and get the participants thinking more deeply about their EQ or emotional intelligence in regard to how much balance (or not) is in their lives.

Without giving too much away…. because I’m planning on repeating the workshop quite soon….. I asked them to think about what tools that they might have on hand to apply in various situations.

Using a variety of photos, including that of my own toolbox, we segued into how they might successfully navigate situations or people using various Emotional Intelligence strategies.

My real toolbox actually contains a good selection of Homeopathic remedies and many years ago I used to take it on home visits for some clients who had children diagnosed with ADHD. Much easier than having a bored and disruptive child confined in an office and a wonderful way to observe their behaviours in their natural habitat!

The metaphoric toolbox contains various tools that can be used to change perception of self or situations, to respond rapidly to changing situations or to be creative and innovative in an approach to new or novel ideas.

Life goals are much like having a garden. You’ve set out the garden beds, carefully planned where the trees have been placed and planted a variety of plants – perhaps even a lawn area. But the work doesn’t stop here…. the lawn needs to be mowed on a regular basis, the plants need to be tended and occasionally plants, such as roses…..need to be pruned quite a lot to produce the next seasons lush growth. And so it is with life goals….. You’ve planned the goals, placed a few key elements to stand out. All this needs maintenance…constant action to keep the momentum towards the end result. Along the way you may encounter a prickly person or what you thought was a beautiful flower, turns out to be a weed and needs to be removed.

Without knowing their story, a metaphor can be transformative to many people as they apply and adapt it to their own life experience or goals and bring about an inner awareness of their own strengths or weaknesses.

Negative self-talk

Would you put up with someone you barely know constantly criticize you?

I think not.

Yet how often do you do this very same thing to yourself?

There will be some people who don’t, but many of the clients that I see, have a fair bit of negative chatter going on inside. The biggest one is “I’m not good enough”.

Not good enough at what?

When delving deeper the source of the problem usually stems from a childhood perception, although some people are unfortunate in that they have very negative or toxic parents who frequently tell the child that they are “not good enough” in so many ways.

I remember back to my own childhood when I was learning the times tables and I got stuck on 9 times something…even now I’ve filtered the memory so that I don’t feel those feelings of failure!  My brother who is three years younger piped up with the correct answer and my parents were ecstatic at his cleverness.

Cue the negative self talk.…….“I’m not good at maths”, yet years later in high school I got 100% in a geometry test, because I loved the shapes, had an eye for angles and measurement.  Later in life I developed an interest in Fibonacci numbers, Mandelbrot sets and Sacred Geometry. But because I had that label of not being good at maths and seriously didn’t (and to this day don’t) have a clue about algebra and those weird math stories to puzzle over, my teacher thought I cheated and gave me a detention.

But back to you….. and your negative self talk. Think back to a time when you were a toddler. Your subconscious mind knows what we are talking about even if your conscious mind doesn’t a memory of that time. When you were starting to walk. You pulled yourself upright and most probably sat yourself straight back down again.

Did you think you were “not good enough” then? Of course not!

Taking your first steps….. oooops! Down again.

The Japanese have a lovely saying “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” And that’s exactly what you did until you got yourself mobile. If you are prone to negative self talk then it may pay to remember this.

How to overcome the negative self talk? It will have become a habit and habits can be changed. Some habits take longer to change than others, but this depends on how motivated you are.

Practice observing and listening to others and the language you most frequently use. Notice your language. What if you could substitute some key words you are using for something more positive?

The energy of the words and the tonality are all-important ways in which we communicate subtly.

Is your language positive and empowering or do you dis-empower yourself and others when you speak?

Tony Robbins has some comprehensive language lists in Awaken the Power Within. This is just a very small sample:

Negative Transformed to…
Angry disenchanted
Depressed Not on top of it
Hate prefer
Irritated stimulated
Overwhelmed challenged
Rejected misunderstood
Sad Sorting my thoughts
Stressed busy
Terrible different

It’s time to start being mindful –  use some of these alternatives and notice the difference.



30 Days of Gratitude

It doesn’t seem like many days at first, but thinking about what to put for each day would have been a challenge had in not been for a picture that popped up on a social media site at just the right time.

I transcribed each day into my diary and then made a booklet to print off later that has space to diarize each day of gratitude. I had thought to post the next cycle on this blog, but then realized that there are days where I have little or no internet – especially when up at the retreat – so that idea won’t work.

A good friend said “Why stop at 30 days? Shouldn’t we all be grateful for something every day?” and I agree with her. However using the 30 Day Gratitude Journal creates a habit and even though it has been a couple of days since the 30 days finished, I’m finding that I still write down what I’m grateful for in my daily journal.

I will be offering the PDF Gratitude Journal to subscribers in the Autumn newsletter as a bonus for reading the newsletter.