Category Archives: conversation

Intention

A great part of my work centres around intention. In Reiki workshops we always set an intention. Likewise in a coaching session, the intention is set to discuss a positive outcome for you. Your intention can be conscious or unconscious and a skeptic would suggest that the use of a pendulum to gauge answers has an unconscious bias.

intention and setting goalsDo you ever get an idea that needs to be recorded, but either your phone is flat or there isn’t a notepad nearby? I usually have a pen in my car or handbag and the backs of envelopes come in handy and the intention is to use or put these ideas into practice as soon as possible.  During a recent tidy up, I discovered a bundle of envelopes that were covered in notes and various ideas from several years ago. I made the decision to transcribe each one to store on the cloud. Before I knew it, I had a coaching program written and some articles for here which I would love to share with you over the next few weeks.

In setting an intention, conscious or otherwise, it is useful to use a great coaching model called Be, Do, Have.

Who are you going to be in this process? If you are going to be a leader or a teacher, you are going to have to honour yourself.  What insights are you likely to get as you lead or teach and where is the gift?

A well used saying in my Reiki training is “Energy flows, where focus goes.” For any therapist or coach, if you are focusing on a positive intention or outcome then it is most likely that you will get results.

An interesting exercise is to pick a couple of areas in your life that you want to work over the next few months and be your own hero in relation to these. As you focus on these particular areas, you engage an area within your brain called the RAS (Reticular Activating System) which will help you to filter out unnecessary stuff.

The more you become your own hero in your story, you will find that you start finding unexpected gifts, such as a calling or strength that you had put aside. If you have doubts about this, start asking yourself some harder questions – “What will happen if I decide to hang on to these doubts or unhelpful/outdated beliefs?”

A helpful strategy is to evaluate what this means to you. Are you taking responsibility for your thinking, because in a spiritual Universe, we are all perfect and doing the best we can with the resources available to us. All of this is well and good, but if you don’t take action then life will stay the same……..

If you are ready to make changes, then contact me….

[vfb id=4]

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 self talk or 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.

 

 

Abundance

Depending on your outlook, the rhythm of the seasons brings great abundance….

Each season is a cause for celebration and when observing the cycles of the seasons, there is much to be grateful for.

As Melbourne swelters through a summer heat wave, I’ve observed an abundance of short temper. In one instance the power had to be turned off to a residential area to sort out a fault that meant that industrial sized air conditioners couldn’t be run. The heat was a little uncomfortable, but bearable and the power went off just as the sun went down and came back on about two hours later. Candles were found, both ordinary and citronella (to deter the abundant mosquitoes), and a pleasant evening outside conversing by candlelight ensued. Other households did the same and mixed with the sound of chirping cicadas was the low hum of neighbours chatting. The only discord was a neighbour several houses down ranting at the workmen about how old people needed to be kept cool, which brought a wry smile to those grey haired neighbours who were standing close by to her, many of whom had grown up in smaller houses with no airconditioning.

Taking time to enjoy the evening stillness, putting aside disharmony and participating fully in life’s adventures is but one path to abundance. When you are still, both internally and externally, you allow the abundance of the universe to flow toward you.  Notice your heartbeat and see if you can calibrate it with the rhythm of life.

Mindset

ResentmentRecently I was reminded of an old folk tale coming from the Cherokee tradition.

An elder was teaching a young boy to recognize his inner self.  He told the young boy, ” I have this fight going on inside me….. it is terrible, like a fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. Full of anger, arrogance, resentment, envy, greed, lies, ego, superiority, false pride and self-doubt and self-pity.”

“The other wolf is good. This one is loving, peaceful, full of joy and compassion, hope, kindness, serenity, truthfulness and generosity.  Everyone, including you has this same fight inside.”

The young boy looked at the old man and after a moment of deep thought, asked the elder, “Which wolf wins?”

To which the elder replied, “The one you feed.”

When we feed either wolf, or our mindset, we also strengthen the neural networks within us. So if we are in a negative or fixed mindset most of the time, then that’s the one that gets fed. Likewise if it’s a growth or positive mindset.

How can we tell which is which?

A person with a fixed mindset is more likely to believe that success is achieved by innate talent. They will make excuses that they are not good at being creative, artistic, sporting and so on…and will often seek to hide or disguise their flaws. They make themselves familiar with failure and use words like “I wish……”

On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset believes that through determination and hard work,  success can and will be achievable. They seek opportunities to develop their creative, artistic, sporting skills and will create a “to do” list to address their flaws. A person with this mindset will see setbacks as challenges to overcome.

So feed the mindset that you want.

Have a vision and set some achievable goals.

Love what you do…….

 

Focus

FocusWhich senses do we engage when we focus….. truly focus on something?

We can focus our eyes on something….I’m long sighted but have also developed a strong peripheral vision, which is useful when giving a public talk, wandering in the bush or just being aware of what’s going on around me. It’s kept me safe in dark car parks late at night.

We can focus our hearing… and as I become more aware that I’m losing some hearing in my left ear, it becomes important to place myself so that I do hear conversations. But listening isn’t just about what we hear, it’s also about “listening” to our inner voice or intuition.  When we listen to others it’s important to not only hear what is being said, but what is not. It’s about being present for the other person whilst putting our own inner chatter on hold as the conversation progresses.

We can focus on what we feel….. this could be a simple touch, a brush of a soft silk scarf or an emotion. Some emotions can catch us unawares, like the sudden gut wrenching sadness as we grieve the death of a loved one, a rush to the heart of love as you look down on the sleeping face of a young child. For some people, experiencing strong emotions are taking them into uncharted waters and when they let go and surrender to them, rather than being scared or uncertain, having a sense of wonder as they allow the energy to lead to personal transformation.

Transformation can be as quick or gradual as you allow it to be. It can be a pleasant journey into the future as we set down the burdens or baggage of the past. Forgiveness and gratitude are two companions that make that journey easier. Taking time to rest and reflect are also helpful in your quest to move forward. The letting go of what no longer serves you, perhaps participating in a “cutting the ties” visualization, remembering to breathe deeply and open yourself to new beginnings.

Focus on the breath…… What do you feel?

Close your eyes and breathe deeply again…. What do you see?

And once more…… eyes closed, breathe deeply…… focus……. What do you hear?

Change

“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”  Ping Fu

Another word for change is transformation. There needs to be a certain amount of flexibility when making a change because if you hold on to something too rigidly, either it or you may break.

Sometimes change is forced upon us…..loss of a family member, redundancy or ill health and you need to call upon your reserves of resilience, be tenacious and hold on without being stubborn or inflexible.

There is room at these times for both sadness and laughter.  Allowing yourself to be in the moment and recognising ……and naming…..what emotion you are feeling, certainly helps. When the challenges occur, they are often pathways or stepping stones not only for your own healing but for those of others.

labryinth in green and blueRecently as my father in law was making his transition, I took some time out to do the shopping. About to return home, a friend in a similar circumstance called. Still in the car park, we had a long conversation about death, dying, unsaid conversations with loved ones and supporting those who are left behind. It was a hot summer evening and I had the window down. So totally involved in the conversation, I hadn’t noticed until it finished that there was another car next to me also with the window down. As I started the engine and glanced over, I observed the woman in it sobbing, tears running down her face.  I realized that she had listened to the whole, emotionally raw conversation and that it had touched hlabyrinth painting in red and orangeer as well.

In the days following there was the funeral – tears, sadness and yes, laughter. This was a who lived his life fully. Friends rallied around the family and there was laughter at shared memories. Grief is expressed in many ways and being non judgmental, opens a space within you for growth and change. Times like this give you a different perspective.  The same event is perceived quite differently by each participant. With this in mind there is the  opportunity to slow down, meditate and learn to trust yourself and thus transform.

Like walking the labyrinth, you enter into it and find yourself firstly traveling in one direction and then another. Tantalizingly, you approach what might be that peaceful space in the centre, then move away again. Mindful of the steps that you take, there is a slowing down as the centre is reached and you can rest awhile.

Here is the space and time to have the courage to face your inner conflicts, the grief, the burdens and set them down or offer them up gently and peacefully to the universe/angels or whatever deity you believe in.  Spend as much time here in the centre as you need and then begin to walk the pathway out. You can’t get lost, there is only the one path and you might begin to notice that your step is a little lighter. Allow yourself to feel any emotions, again take note and name them – are they the same as before? Is what is coming up for you negative or positive? What are the triggers? Are you able to clearly communicate your thoughts and feelings to someone who will listen? Be in the moment and breathe……

 

A balanced end to 2013

A big grass fire up near Tooleen on Boxing Day, helped us to make the decision to postpone our trip to the block in the interests of staying safe.
Temperatures in the high 30’s are much more pleasant when spent around a home pool rather than a dubiously muddy dam….
With the CFA Fire Ready & VicTraffic apps downloaded, we loaded up the camper and car and set off. The journey up was incident free and took around two and a half hours including a stop (mistake) for fast food on the outskirts of Melbourne. We would have been better off, financially and healthwise had we waited for the healthier option of a salad roll at the Heathcote Bakery.
Gate unlocked and we took a slightly different route in (2nd mistake) and arrived to notice a rear tyre rapidly deflating.
We unpacked to lighten the car and the tyre was repaired.

This trip saw us taking up a few 20 litre buckets and a newly constructed toilet pedestal for a composting toilet, as well as a small supply of solar lights and some other bits and pieces that we intended to leave up there.
The toilet was placed in the “en suite” that sits high on the hill.

No water or plumbing connected, but it has potential to have it connected as well as an external power point to plug in the power.

However we solved the lighting problem by installing a solar shed light that reflects into the mirror, giving lots of light.

The porcelain septic pedestal was removed and the wooden pedestal placed over a bucket, which will be used for composting in about 12 months time.
Another large bucket of sawdust fits into the cubicle and that is used in lieu of flushing with water.
Handwashing is either with antiseptic hand wash or in a bucket of water outside, to be used later to water some of the succulent plants that are scattered around the living area.

 The view from the loo is quite peaceful as well, looking towards the back fence and small birds can be observed in the trees.
We discovered that they like to forage for small insects and spiders in the dead mistletoe  high up in the branches.

On our second day, we had day visitors for lunch in the cottage.
 Having the futon  and a card table has made a difference to our seating arrangements and we decided against eating in the shed as it warms up quickly. No doubt it will be chilly in there in winter.
The paddock bomb was fired up and taken for a drive, needing one rescue by the Patrol when the battery died…. It got going again and the visitors were taken for a tour of the boundary fences…. doing a bit of bush bashing through the scrub that needs to be slashed. 

Another visitor for dinner that night, our good friend Peter, who has built a mudbrick cottage some 16kms away. (It is on his property that I have built the labyrinths). Good wine, good conversation and and agreement to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a similar fashion…..

The morning chores done, I sat down to do a little crochet, a little reading…..

Peter arrived late afternoon and we strolled down to the top dam. The kangaroos didn’t seem too perturbed by our presence and allowed us to get within about 20 metres before hopping off.
The temperature was somewhat cooler down by the dam and we wandered down to the lower dam to watch the sun go down.
All very peaceful….

Realizing that it was after 9pm, we strolled back up to the cottage and sat outside with fruit and wine to observe the stars.

I’m thinking that my next purchase for the block will be some banana lounges so that our necks don’t get cricked looking up at the Milky Way.

Satellites crisscrossed the skies at regular intervals, some traversing North/South, some the other way and others travelling West to East.

Suddenly we realized it was approaching the magic hour when the year ticks over to the next…..
….and there it was….. a new year, with a new moon on New Year’s Day.
What a great start …..!!

Trust


Trust is like an egg and it’s not like an egg.

If you want to break an egg you have to do it from the outside. 
The only way to break up a trust is from the inside.
O. Henry

Agaricus Muscaris – Beautiful but deadly…..the toxins in this toadstool act on the brain, producing vertigo and delirium …. with the symptoms developing after a period of 12 – 14 hours. There is no antidote and the end result is total paralysis.
Homeopathically, it can be used for neuralgia, vertigo and some skin conditions. In the homeopathic preparation, it is not toxic when used appropriately. The poison resembles that of the rattlesnake and acts on the red blood corpuscles……..Trust as I’d trust a rattlesnake —Anon
There is a restlessness from violent itching and on falling asleep will start and twitch, waking often. ……

Walking away from a conversation several months back, I had the feeling that I shouldn’t have shared a personal comment. I don’t sleep well at the best of times and often the subconscious mind will take a while to process.  Head … awhirl with doubts like a sky full of starlings — George Garrett …..and I will often find myself awake in the early hours of the morning, sitting bolt upright with an idea or a revelation. 
I had a niggling feeling that the conversation would be repeated, but decided to give the person the benefit of doubt. 
In coaching, there is an exercise that is useful in deciding if a relationship is open and honest. So I asked myself the following questions:

  • How comfortable am I with this person now?
  • Am I able to express myself freely with this person in the future?
  • Will I avoid talking about certain subjects or situations with this person
  • Am I lying to this person, by hiding the truth?
  • Does this person ever avoid talking about similar things with me?

No more to be trusted (with news) than a cat with a saucer of milk —Christopher Isherwood …..another social situation and a different person in the social group makes an interesting, but off-topic comment……didn’t think much of it at the time……. but a week or so later, the penny dropped. The trust that I placed in my “friend” was misplaced….. A secret in his [the gossip’s] mouth is like a wild bird put into a cage; whose door no sooner opens, but it is out —Ben Jonson
So, with this person I will become like the echidna who curls up into a ball, so that the soft underbelly is protected by spikes, until the threat is past. I will carefully choose my words in her company. I no longer feel comfortable in her company, as I will be avoiding divulging anything personal or emotional. I will form my conversation around questions about her, not to share the elicited answers but to engage her in conversation about herself and fill the time.

 Friendship is like a butterfly’s wing, once it’s torn it may never fly again 
– Anon