Category Archives: balance

Issues

We all, at some time or another, have issues.

It is our choice as to how we act or react.

If we have come from a fear or control based childhood our responses are likely to be different from someone who has come from an emotionally intelligent background.

By overcomplicating things, we can often exacerbate an issue…..  who hasn’t heard of the saying “making mountains out of molehills” ?

By learning some simple emotional intelligence strategies, we can escape the return to “default” and exercise choice in our responses. These strategies will give you the courage to identify fears or issues and by facing them, you will resolve them. For example if you have an issue with conflict, then a useful strategy is to become aware of different perspectives. Ask yourself “What alternatives and opinions can be considered instead of sticking rigidly to this perspective?”

Perception

serviceA very curious thing happened at a networking function the other evening, which relates to the title of this post.

Food had been prepared and the caterer was busy pouring drinks for the attendees, so as a committee member, I volunteered to help with the serving of the food.

Armed with platter and serviettes, I started to wander around the room, lending a helping hand.  Approaching a couple of groups of people, food was offered and I attempted to start a conversation. Quizzical looks….food was selected and conversation stopped…..This happened a couple of times and then I realized….. I was being perceived as wait staff and the expected behaviour is that wait staff don’t engage in conversation with attendees at functions!

waitstaffAs an observer of behaviour, I found this mildly amusing and decided to test by going around without a platter of food. This time I was able to engage in several conversations!

Reflecting on the experience, I began to wonder about the subconscious expectation we have about people in different roles and to use a biblical phrase “about having a servant’s heart” and how it can be applied in business.  It’s about seeing that a task needs to be done and stepping up to do it with no strings attached.

But it is also about perception… there have been reality TV shows based on just that…. where the CEO dresses casually or a little bit scruffily and wanders around his or her business to observe what is going on. Many “action” movies have the villains move about in the guise of waitstaff…. they are “invisible” as they serve.

In your daily life, have you thought about your subconscious responses to people who       serve you? We all expect good service when out for a coffee or a meal, but consider the energetic exchange when you expand your awareness to include the person serving and I am sure that it will be reciprocated.

Behaviour and Brain Function

Just over 10 years ago, I gave a presentation at the Melbourne Regional Conference for MYSA. I had returned to teaching after some time working for a private company that had developed an exercise based program for people with learning difficulties.

It was interesting to be on the other side of the teacher’s desk, listening to the frustrations of both parents and young people and to see the positive changes that they made with the program. In the past, many of these young people (and their parents) may have been students who had undiagnosed learning difficulties and were often the ones most likely to be sent to the principal’s office with “behavioural issues”.

The presentation was titled The Physiological Aspects of Brain Function and Behaviour in the Classroom. I enlisted the help of a couple of teacher friends who had also done some work with alternative therapies and were ready to help me make this an interactive presentation and push some boundaries. The room was set up with 8 to a table and the obligatory conference mints were in good supply as was a selection of brightly coloured balloons.

All started quite normally…..

Firstly I identified some common classroom behaviours and asked the audience to then consider if they had students that exhibited them. Many responded in the affirmative. I then asked them to reflect on the idea that a physiological reason for these behaviours.

Did anyone have students that constantly tipped their chairs? Once more hands were raised. The student is most likely to be doing this to stimulate the Vestibular system.

What about students that slouched in their chair or over the desk? Yet again the audience indicated with a show of hands that they had students like this. The slouching is a stimulus for both the Vestibular and somatosensory systems and in addition, the student may have poor core muscle tone.

For the student who reads better when lying down (think of the Primary School reading corner with bean bags), they are stimulating the somatosensory system by having more touch receptors engaged.

At this point, one of my friends began to tip on her chair, just often enough to visibly irritate some of the people sitting near her. I asked the audience for feedback on how they would deal with such behaviours and most indicated that for safety reasons, they would ask the student to cease the behaviour, and in some cases would issue a detention notice for bad behaviour. I then shared with the audience that I carried a “wobble board” into my classroom and students who had exhibited such behaviour were encouraged to stand on it for a minute or so when they felt the need to tip their chairs.

Students who wander around  the classroom are needing to stimulate their vestibular, oculomotor and proprioceptive systems. This was the signal for my other friend to get up and start wandering around. She circled the tables and took mints from one table and gave them to someone sitting at another…. I “ignored” her and carried on….

When a student is easily distracted by movement or sound, it is likely that they have a hyper sensitive oculomotor or vestibular system. For those who constantly tap a pencil or a foot or leg, it is possible that they are stimulating their somatosensory system.

And what about those scruffy uniforms? Rather than handing out slips for uniform infringements, consider a hyper sensitive somatosensory system. Tags at the back of the neck, ties undone…all uncomfortable stimulants for a sensitive student.

Since giving the paper, there has been a greater awareness of students on the Autism Spectrum. One of the key characteristics is lack of eye contact, and forcing eye contact may cause distress as it overloads sensory perception. These students can process much better if they are not forced to interpret facial gestures and social cues. Lack of eye contact can also be associated with some cultural traditions and is something to be aware of.

The vestibular system is extremely important. It filters most motor responses to the brain and the oculomotor system is linked to it. Studies by Harold N Levinson & Barbara Phelong, discuss the importance of inner ear function and learning and further studies by the University of Melbourne have discovered that frequent ear infections impact on the student’s acquisition of language.

So what to do about these behaviours, now that it is probable that they are a result of physiology rather than “being naughty”?

For excessive movement, can you find an excuse for the student to go to the office or library?  Give a time frame for the errand and discuss this option with the relevant staff, so that they know to expect the student.  Encourage the student to do as much sport as possible, including trampolining, tae kwon do or tennis. Students with this issue will often seek out or prefer to engage in non team activities.

For the chair tipper, it is suggested that parents invest in a fit ball for the student to use when on the computer or watching TV.

The easily distracted student may be dehydrated, overtired or hungry. There may be issues at home that are taking their attention away from the learning environment.

Check that the lighting is working well. Often the flickering of a fluorescent light, and what is imperceptible to many is a nightmare or very distracting for someone with oculomotor sensitivity. Similarly an overload of external visual stimuli can be very distracting and recent studies have shown that “less is more” in the way of posters and the like in the classroom.  If the student is easily distracted by sound, then create a quiet space for them to work in. Headphones plugged into some music that is playing at a low volume will help them to focus on their work.

To further encourage more focus during class time and in conjunction with the understanding of the possible physiological causes of the behaviour, include rewarding non disruptive behaviours on the marking sheet (rubrics) for assignments. This is a bonus for students who are always on task!

And you might be wondering about those balloons… each one on the table was a different colour and shape. Some were easy to blow up and others a little harder. Some took quite a bit of persistence and I’m sad to say that some participants didn’t try at all….

Anticipation

Support for women in small or microbusinesses to help them identify their strenths

Right on the cusp of the Winter Solstice, there is not a lot of sunshine around in the southern most part of Australia. The soft, mist like rain soaking into the ground means that the soil will retain the moisture longer and there is an anticipation of lush new growth.

The spring bulbs have already pushed forth their leaves and a few “early birds” have blossomed. These bulbs have no expectations except to blossom.  The jonquil never expects to become a rose, yet within the core of its bulb it has the knowledge and wisdom of when to begin sprouting from its dormancy.  It doesn’t waste time worrying about the bulb next to it…. whether it is a hyacinth or a tulip or even onion weed… it just gets on with what it has to do and turns its face up to the sunshine when it flowers.

Yet some bulbs do better than others. They have the support of fertile, watered soil, adequate sunshine and good nutrients. Others may find themselves in a crowded position and could do with the support of a gentle gardener to place them in a less crowded place once in a while. Still others may find themselves overshadowed by a stronger shrub or bush and yet they still manage to put forth its leaves, even if this season they haven’t quite got the right conditions to flower.

And so it is, when starting out in your own business…..  There is an anticipation, a feeling of excitement as you begin your journey.  There is a delicate balance between anticipation and anxiety …. anticipation will allow you to let go of some of your expectations whilst anxiety binds you to them.  Wisdom is knowing  which is which.

Choose to be free of self imposed limitations by walking your talk and making wise decisions ……if you are having difficulty doing this look for support….you are not a failure if you ask for support and you will become stronger if you do so. The bulb needs the support of fertile soil, adequate water and sunshine, so too for you!

Are you in a crowded marketplace and need to move to more fertile soil?

Are you overshadowed by doubt or overpowered by others ?

You do have more control over your decisions than the bulb does. Acknowledge your personal power and reflect on your completeness. It may seem like hard work as you tend to your needs but the support of a coach or mentor will most often guide you to the path to your future.  Be open with them, they are not there to judge you, just as the rose does not judge the jonquil.  Check in with your feelings… if you are truly open to accepting support, then you will find that you are not defensive and effective communication will flow just like the winter creeks and rivers.

Take a moment to step out  of your own shadow and walk tall into the sunshine!

Spring Reflections

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you can now make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.

A Course in Miracles

How often do you audit your work life balance?

In business, one is encouraged to come up with  a plan which should be regularly reviewed …at least every 90 days. Achievable goals should be set and if they are not met , it’s OK to revise and tweak them so that a good outcome can be achieved. A good business plan will cover many areas, such as sales, marketing, networking and more. As the business evolves, so too does its needs. There is an ebb and flow of priorities in different areas.

For our personal lives too, we need to set goals so that we don’t just aimlessly drift into the sunset of dreams never fulfilled.  We may set a goal that  seems realistic at the time. Even setting what one networking person described to me as “a great big hairy audacious goal”.

All this is good,  but life will sometimes throw us a curve ball when we least expect it. The lessons to be learned when this happens are invaluable when we stop to reflect. Too much focus on a particular area will result in an imbalance in other areas unless we are diligent in maintaining a healthy work life balance. Many will be familiar with The Wheel of Life tool which is at the bottom of this post.

It’s important to have a positive mindset about any setbacks and ask ourselves the following questions.

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What could I do better next time?
  • What resources do I need to achieve the outcome I desire?
  • What goals do I need to set to achieve my outcome or vision?

Wheel of Life exercise

Personal Power

change from a bud to blossomIt’s curious how the mind works… we can overthink a situation or a problem and tie ourselves up in emotional knots, getting stressed or overwrought …. yet when we finally allow ourselves to feel the rhythm of life and go with the flow of nature’s wisdom, we can blossom.

Perhaps it would be wise to take note of the wisdom of nature and connect with the subconscious mind and begin to acknowledge our innermost dreams. A flower doesn’t evade its life purpose or procrastinate when the time comes to blossom.  It doesn’t seek approval from outside itself…. it takes time to form a bud and then opens up and flowers.  Occasionally there are adverse conditions which may cause it to be vulnerable, but this is a strength…..

Be the gentle gardener of your soul and connect to the universal energy that surrounds us, acknowledge your journey thus far, recognise your self worth, knowledge and open to amazing opportunities as  you blossom……..

Justice

Justice tarot cardI don’t profess to be a skilled Tarot card reader, but on occasion when I bump into a conundrum, I will shuffle the pack and deal out a card. If I have the time, I will do a full spread and consult the books and my intuition about what has been revealed.

Justice was the card that came out today.  It’s all about fairness, truth and karma. Quite fitting, considering the situation I was asking about.

The balanced scales held in the left, or feminine hand, can represent spiritual balance and intuition.  The right hand and masculine hand,  holds a double edged sword , representing logic. Justice has to balance that logic and intuition, remain impartial and choose a course of action with full awareness.

This card is about whether you have acted in fairness, truth or honesty.  Have you tipped the scales of justice affecting your karma? If you have been unfair, untruthful or dishonest in your dealings, then this is a warning to change your ways. It’s about being accountable for your actions  and making sure that you act in a fair and just manner.

So this card can then be a “call to action” in so many ways, reminding us to be even handed and balanced in our dealings with others.

Am I procrastinating about what should be done….. the right action?

Is my work life balance or my logic intuition balance OK?

Am I taking full responsibility for my actions…..past, present and future?

This card tells me that I need to rely more on my intuition, particularly in regards to working with others who may not have the same values of fairness, integrity or honesty. The card shows me that I must take responsibility for my actions and accept the lessons learned when dishonesty appears in my day. Moving on from the experience is part of the journey, as is accepting the karma as a result of the actions.

Health

HealthAt a networking meeting that I co-host, I had a conversation with a couple of Reiki Masters….

I haven’t had a Reiki for myself for some time and have kept myself busy in various ways…. working on my business, the retreat…family…..day to day stuff…..

The question was asked…”what are you doing for YOU?” as I coughed, feeling it deep within my chest…. “what are you telling YOUR clients and not doing for yourself?”…..

I knew then, that there was no hiding…. no excuses! I couldn’t blame the alignment of the planets, other people…

Time to ‘fess up, so as to speak. Isn’t that what the metaphysics is all about? Oh Dear!! I felt all teary!     Cough…Throat Chakra? One of the Reiki Masters chuckled… that’s her speciality… pushing buttons…..

Yes… I needed that…. someone to ‘call me’ on my authenticity!

isn’t it amusing how the Universe works? It sends you clients who tell you “stuff” that you need to work on for yourself.

There are two options..

  1. Be like the metaphorical ostrich and stick your head in the sand and ignore what is going on – pretend nothing is wrong and carry on….
  2. Do something about it…. take the oxygen mask that has dropped down and look after yourself first before looking after others…

I shared a little of what I was feeling at the meeting, still holding back on other issues that I thought I would work some more on changing my mindset.

A colleague popped her head into my office between clients and offered an opinion – and  another friend phoned during a free moment…

I was feeling exhausted and hoping for the Universe to offer a solution….. which of course it did later this evening

… so with a few minutes left of a busy day, I have resolved to take up the offer of a Reiki and deal with some personal issues – so that I can be more present for the clients that have chosen to book in with me…..

 

 

The Outer Circle

Moving out aswalking ring 3 1st Chakra if in a centrifuge, the next ring walked is the outermost circle. This Chakra is where we identify how we present to the world.

The colour associated with this chakra is red; vibrant and masculine; energetic and in its opposite – slothful. This is about the physical nature of the walk…the longest ring where the eye which still needs to focus on the path, cannot help but be drawn to the space at the centre. The Base Chakra is about our physical, earthly functions, our base instinct for survival and tribal in nature. Here we are challenged to throw off the veils of illusion and to release energetic blocks in the body, and one therapy that works well with balancing this earth energy (as well as all the other elements) is Polarity Therapy.

An Earth element balance looks at the relationship between the neck, colon and knees, all of which can get out  of balance with the stress of meeting our basic survival needs. Fear is the undercurrent to this imbalance and the positive polarity is courage. Fear contracts us, both in the physical and emotional. Too much and we become frozen or immobilized, our thoughts and emotions become narrow and rigid.

Little wonder then, that this is the longest path….allowing us to become grounded in the physical reality of placing each foot in front of the other. It is important to move in a balanced way…not  to “plod”, lest our thinking become limited, nor to step so lightly that our energies seem spaced out.  There is a fine line to walk here.  We depend on the earth for so many things as well as the “grounding” energies…. for food, buildings and more. …. and then we step into the next ring and discover the energy and qualities of the next chakra…….

To find out more about the seven session Labyrinth of Life program and to experience the therapies call or use the web enquiry to find out more…..

The Labyrinth of Life

Over the long weekend I stayed home alone and wandered along the Spiral Path. I was drawn to do this as it can be as private or public as I choose it to be. The course appealed to me as whilst I have  a couple of physical labyrinths to walk and some finger labyrinths to play with, there still seemed to be something missing. Some of the journalling prompts are challenging, but that’s the purpose. Continue reading The Labyrinth of Life