Tag Archives: meditation

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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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.

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.

Setting up for New Year

Within youThis time of year can be filled with frantic activity to finish off chores, projects and to socialize, eat, drink and be merry.

It’s important to look after yourself and part of doing the best you can is to make sure that you don’t “burn the candle at both ends” and end up exhausted. Depleting your energy will leave you open to various ills, chills  and mental lethargy that seems to abound at this time of year. Not only that,  both your body and mind need to take a rest so that you can accomplish your future goals. This is particularly important with the round of New Year’s resolutions about to be made. Start your planning now to make realistic and achievable goals.

Firstly, taking time out to rest and rejuvenate is a way of showing love and respect for yourself. Sometimes others may not understand the need for this, but to be able to construct effective goals for the coming year, it is vitally important for you to identify what stressed you out in 2014 and ask yourself a couple of questions,  “What do I really want?”  and ” Why do I want it?”
Once you have the answers to these, write them down. This is the start to an effective goal setting strategy.

Meditation is a great way to have a fresh and rested mind and by setting the intent to do so you can release the worries from this last year with some simple visualization techniques, such as letting go of balloons that have your worries written on them, or clouds scudding across a sky and disappearing over the horizon.

What obstacles are in your way to creating a better year for yourself in 2015? Are they procrastination, being “busy”? Name the obstacles, in order to better plan around them or circumvent them popping up again. Awareness is the key to removing or resolving obstacles.

Who can help you achieve your goals? Or perhaps there are things that you need to put in place……  Be clear about what you want and communicate your needs with courage.

And finally you need a plan of action steps to take ……  there is no point in having goals if you are not going to DO anything.   You can dream all you like, but deep down you know that a goal is a dream with a deadline.

When are you going to implement your goals? Be specific. Take baby steps so you don’t get overwhelmed….. break it down so each step is achievable and moves you closer to your end goal.

Remember to plan for yourself, not what you think others would like you to do…. it means that you are stepping out of your integrity. Embrace the goals you have set for yourself, take a risk, acknowledge yourself and take action and let the universe reward you with abundance and transform your life…..

The Labyrinth

LabyrinthI still haven’t managed to get a full picture of the labyrinth, my son suggested putting a card in his remote control helicopter and taking a photo with that, but that’s for another day!

This is after I dug out the lines to redefine the path and added some garden gypsum to the mounds created. The idea behind this is that the channels created will hold the moisture and keep the soil nearby easier to work with. Most of the area is heavy clay, so the gypsum will help break that down.

Originally, I wanted to put some coarse grade gypsum, used for driveways or around cattle troughs on the path, but there are some persistent weeds that would simply grow through the gravel.  The metaphysical properties of gypsum are interesting and it  works on the Heart & Base Chakras as well as bringing clarity to the person using it. Ideal for a labyrinth walk! I will enquire more about the coarse grade gypsum at the Elmore Field Day coming up in October.

You can see in the photo where I started to take a fine layer of soil off the path, but still the onion grass came up.  A bonus was that the five pointed purple flowers  were pretty to look at as I walked the circuit! They have now been replaced by Capeweed, which has bright yellow petals and a black centre.  Ideas for the future development of the path range from sowing lawn seed and getting a mower to maintain it or waiting until the soil softens again and hiring a mechanical tiller and digging it up to weed it more vigorously.

The plinth in the centre has a small depression in it, which I fill with water for the birds. There is a nest of Blue Wrens nearby and lots of fast moving little birds that I have yet to identify. It is offset slightly and one corner is orientated North.

After the gypsum was applied, it was loosely worked into the soil mounds and I set about peeling 6 bulbs of Australian Garlic. Some of the cloves had already started to sprout and as they lay on the tray in the sunlight, seemed to grow a little more each time I glanced at them. Once peeled, they went into a bucket of water and I planted them in most of the outer ring of the labyrinth. It’s just an experiment – if they grow – they grow and should provide yet another purple flower to look at around New Year. The bonus will be a crop of garlic with the labyrinth energy. Rain was forecast for the next day and if the weather report was correct, the area got some 13mm of rain after we left – just enough to water in the gypsum and the garlic.

 

Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!

Meditation

wb051432Daily practice is what gets the results.

Most of the time we have good intentions and start a practice, but all too frequently I hear clients saying that  “Something came up” and they couldn’t continue.

It is precisely at those times that a good meditation practice is the most helpful. Through a regular practice of meditation, and it really doesn’t matter what style, it becomes easier to clear the mind at times of stress, access creativity and perceive the world in quite a different way.

3 simple steps to setting up your meditation practice will help you to start your practice.

Autumn

In the Southern Hemisphere after an unusual summer, autumn has begun with a series of heavy downpours. Much of country NSW and Victoria have been hit again with flooding for the second year in a row. Small creeks, usually insignificant are now torrents of water and threatening to inundate townships.

Mornings can be grey and misty and as we approach the Vernal Equinox, the length of time between night and day becomes more equal. There is a crispness in the mornings that takes a little getting used to after the warmth of the summer.

As the first of the Autumn Full Moons approach, we can turn our thoughts to manifesting new goals for this season.

These can be goals for improving health and wellbeing, so that the winter months are not spent laid up with colds or flu.

Still thinking of the approaching winter months, plans can be set in place to occupy our minds and to prepare us for a new fresh approach in spring. Take an hour or so to plan the next few months productively.

As you move towards a more introspective mindset, you might want to consider what, if anything has been holding you back. Whilst you are in this meditative state, ask yourself if there is anything that needs to be changed. Is it a habit or an unhelpful memory that can be addressed by accessing your unconscious mind?

How are you going to nurture body, mind and soul?

What gifts are you gathering from this season’s harvest which will nourish you and show you the abundance of the universe?