Visual Meditation

Recent events have meant that daily meditations have become very important. A presence on Social Media requires constant input, so rather than just sharing other peoples’ work….. I have used many of my photos to create visual meditations using positive affirmations or quotes which help me to focus my attention and share with a wider audience.

visual meditationTonight’s Full Moon encourages us to make changes . This can be done by releasing obstacles to the path forward. Or by working on what unhelpful beliefs that we may have formed as a child, that we subconsciously still hold.

Yesterday I had an insightful visual meditation session, that brought up  a fear. I was surprised where that fear came from and the beliefs that I had formed about it. It certainly wasn’t from this rather beautiful dingo that I photographed at Dalhousie Springs some years ago.  In fact, this wild creature was demonstrating no fear of human presence.

A Full Moon meditation is an ideal time to release not only obstacles but attachment to outcome.  Relationships that no longer serve your higher good and anything else that distracts you from your path can also be released.

 

 

Knowledge

Where does wisdom come from? I’m sure it can’t be learned or be acquired merely by growing older. I have met many young people who have wisdom beyond their years. Wisdom requires some sensitivity or heartfelt connection with not only our own feelings, but those of others. Reflecting further, I have come to the conclusion that wisdom comes from an ancient knowing, a sense of self  that is guided more by the heart and soul than the rational mind. Knowing is different to knowledge. There are people who are very clever, rational and knowledgeable –  but have an absence of wisdom. This absence of wisdom is reflected by becoming desensitized to our environment and inherent spirituality. Ismat Ahmed Shaikh said “Knowledge, you may get from books but wisdom is trapped within you, release it.”

Awareness

AwarenessI recently completed a 21 day guided meditation program which resonated with my belief that you CAN achieve a lot in “bite sized” pieces. I have meditated for many years and am always interested in new or alternative methods to my own practice. I often choose a random Oracle card or quote to focus on and today I chose a card from Treasures from Tikashi  …. Awareness.

Awareness is the key to spiritual growth, but watch out for that ego! For as soon as you think you are aware of it all….. You’ll find out that you aren’t.”

I was aware of the fact that prior to this program I was missing many days due to “busyness” and I did allow myself moments where I was unhappy about that. The guided meditation program was online and each day’s 10 minute meditation was available for a few hours into the next day – which was helpful when I had poor internet reception at the retreat. In that instance, I found myself stressing about the possibility of missing a day. By taking just 10 minutes a day, I re-established a pattern and looked forward to some moments where I could focus on relaxing whilst listening to the guided visualization.

A week or so on from completing the program, I am finding the time to do mini meditations during the day and really enjoying the results.

Emotional Intelligence

Strengths and VulnerabilitiesIt is accepted that IQ – the Intelligence Quotient – is fixed. You either have it or not. But Emotional Intelligence can be learned and that is why it is important to differentiate between an inherent weakness and vulnerability. To diverge slightly…. when I was training to become a homeopath, we learned that if you remove the cause (eg: poor sanitation) then health outcomes improve. When there are lifestyle changes made: such as choosing healthy foods, one’s vulnerability to poor health or disease is lessened.  Likewise with Emotional Intelligence Coaching: if you identify the vulnerability and remove or change the contributing factors, the possibilities are endless. There may be some adjustments to be made – both in mindset and in the physical body and it is similar to the aches and pains felt after starting a new workout at the gym as the muscles get stretched and adjust to new levels of fitness.

In my search for Emotional Intelligence related meanings I came across an article  that described four types of vulnerability:

  • Physical
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Attitudinal.

For instance, the dictionary definition of vulnerability states that there is “a capability or susceptibility to being wounded or hurt” which implies that it is a possibility, not necessarily a given that something will happen. Whereas weakness in one definition that I came across,  is portrayed as “a disadvantage or fault” often of character or a lack of determination.

Emotional Intelligence is not only being aware of your own emotional responses to a myriad of situations, but also being cognizant of the emotions of those around you. It’s how you manage your behavior, how optimistic or resilient you are and how you manage your stress. In your relationships, whether they are personal, social or business – it’s about how you communicate, manage conflict, build team bonds or inspire others to lead.

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Empathy

EmpathyEmpathy is one of 26 key competencies in the 4 Quadrant Model of Social + Emotional Intelligence®. Emotional Intelligence is about being aware of not only of yourself as well as others. Empathy is also about how to manage behaviours and relationships.

So what is empathy? Who has it and what are the signs of someone who doesn’t have it?

The Oxford Dictionary defines empathy as “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. The definition that I have on my own SEI profile is “- sensing others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns; the ability to put yourself in another’s place and to take that perspective into account in your relationship with the other person.”

You would expect most therapists and coaches to have empathy with their clients as they listen for and observe both spoken and unspoken cues. In my humble opinion, if you come across a therapist or coach that lacks this quality….. find someone else.  There are several signs that pinpoint that someone is lacking in this competency. Firstly, they will tend to stereotype others. Another clue is the inability to “read” people or their emotions and respond without considering how another might feel about that response. A third and telling sign is that they are often in conflict and don’t take any personal responsibility for creating these situations.

Whether you believe in unseen energies or not, humans are energy beings and the research undertaken by the HeartMath Institute has shown that the energy field generated by the heart can influence both our emotional responses and those of others nearby. Of course, you don’t have to be a therapist to have empathy, you may be a good listener – which is always a good start.

The good news is, that if someone is lacking in empathy, there are ways to develop this important emotional intelligence competency. It is possible to learn how to become more empathetic. For instance, to be a good listener, you first need to quiet the chatter in your mind. Too often people are forming responses before the speaker has finished. Above all, a regular meditation practice will help you to listen with a clear mind. Practice the power of the pause.  This will help you to respond in a manner that shows sensitivity to the speaker. Learn to paraphrase what you think you have heard and most importantly withhold judgement as everyone has a different perspective.

Needless to say, if you feel that you need to develop this particular intelligence or any of the other 26 competencies for Emotional Intelligence, then schedule a Discovery Session or some coaching sessions.

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Ripples

Watching the ripples expand across the water in ever increasing circles. Just stepping into the water  – a simple action – started this reaction.

Dr Randolph Stone, the creator of Polarity Therapy wrote “Energy must have a center to  move from and an objective to flow to”. The ripples are energy made visible. Other energies such as thoughts are unseen, but they too can have a ripple effect. Emotions – both positive and negative can wash over us and the ripples can be far reaching. Polarity Therapy subscribes to the belief in 5 elements, but these differ slightly to the traditional Chinese Medicine ones. They are Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The Water element qualities are receptivity, intuition, nurture and creativity. The flow of water, as opposed to stagnation, nourishes and connects.

Little wonder that ripples on a body of water create such a powerful metaphor  – the ripples as they reach out further and further, begin to flatten out as this subtle energy dissipates and surface tension returns to what it previously was before the disturbance. Yet below the surface or where the ripples or waves have made constant contact, there may be profound changes.

I am reminded of this poem by James W. Foley

Drop a Pebble in the Water

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy a-circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

 

 

All a matter of perspective

When you look at this photo – what do you see? What is your perspective?

Do you see a cold, foggy morning and subconsciously shiver and look away?

Or is your perspective from the artist’s point of view with the droplets of dew twinkling like jewels in the muted light as the mist envelopes everything in a soft cloak that nourishes the plants?

Where is Spirit leading you?

You know you are on the right path, when you feel that tingle of anticipation. A combination of expectancy and apprehension….The path ahead may look a little less travelled and there is that brief moment of discomfort as you step out of the familiar (or same old, same old …… others may be blunter and call it a rut) and into the new and exciting future.

Imagine….. that this path leads you to discover some amazing insights and to connect with people just like you. Imagine… as you step into this energy that you know that Spirit has led you home.

Whatever stage you are on your journey, there are guides there supporting you. Some are visible, others may be glimpsed briefly and there may be some that have chosen not to reveal themselves to you at this stage. All you need to do is accept the signs and the help that is offered.

Listening

Recently I found that I wasn’t listening as well as I should. Quite apart from the slight deafness that has come about after decades of poor fitting motorcycle helmets.

I came to realize that in some of my conversations with colleagues that I was interrupting their conversations. It doesn’t help that my mind races at a million miles per hour when I am in a creative moment, but it is important for me, as a therapist, to correct that behaviour.

When training to become a homeopath, it was instilled in us that “a case well taken, is a case likely to succeed” and this meant not only asking the right questions, but listening carefully to the replies. Or what was not said. In homeopathy there is what is called a PQRS – peculiar, queer(it had a very different meaning back a couple of centuries ago), rare and strange symptom. This will be so different to the usual symptoms of a complaint that it will often lead directly to a remedy.
Similarly in coaching and hypnotherapy, listening carefully to the client will often result in an intuitive response that leads to great insights. Intuition is enhanced by taking time to still your own mind and stop those thoughts or impulsive answers. As the mind chatter subsides you can also become aware of your own, considered responses. Ask yourself “Is my language positive?”

A great acronym to remember is THINK –
Is it
– True?
– Helpful?
– Inspiring?
– Necessary?
– Kind?

Power

I’m not talking about power in the sense of others or the power of leaders, but more about the power and capabilities that you have.

What is it that you can do?

If you feel that you are lacking in power, then it is possible to build up and improve your skills by focusing firstly on your strengths and then on areas of vulnerability.

Personal power can be eroded by poor boundaries and a lack of confidence in your skill set or abilities. To build this up, a simple exercise is to draw up a list of the things that you are good at and identify what emotions you feel when you do these things. When you are being your best at what you do, then positive neural pathways are formed.

Now let yourself dream a little…. and envisage yourself being the very best you can be as you do that…..