some image

Month October 2014

The small things

Tags: , , , blog, blog app No comments
featured image

Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference, isn’t it. You know, those days that are going pear shaped but we come home to a loving smile. Or it might be a random act of kindness from a complete stranger.

In this case, it was a new pair of thongs. Sparkly diamante ones to be exact. Not my taste. Wouldn’t be a good look. But you should have seen the smile when the gift was given. Hers and mine. She’d been having a hell of a day but something as simple as shifting her focus to the gift of sparkles on the bottom of her feet lifted her out of it.

When we’re having a shocker, it’s easy to go from bad to worse, isn’t it. They don’t call it a downward spiral for nothing. But it seems that if we can pause for a moment to reset ourselves, reset the energy we feel inside, we can change what’s happening around us. That’s a pretty powerful thought, isn’t it. That just by shifting what’s happening inside of us we create the very best opportunity to change what’s happening on the outside. It’s basic psychology really. When we feel like s**t our focus is naturally drawn to more of the same that confirms the way we feel.  But when we’re feeling more positive, it’s easy to see the things that make us even happier.

What many people don’t realise is that the reality we experience is directly related to what’s going on in our heads, not what’s happening in the world outside. So I think there’s a lot to be said for finding the silver lining. Or at least something positive to fixate on when it’s all gone to crap. Maybe it’s as simple as taking time out to walk the dog, ride the bike or enjoy the garden. Or looking at a photo of someone we love.  Or making the time to pamper ourselves in some way.

As we shift our energy we shift the way we respond to the world. And while we may not be able to change the world, we can change ourselves.

There’s good and bad out there all the time.

What are you focusing on?

What random act of kindness will you do to uplift someone else today?

 

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

 

Plutarch

 

Energy in Motion

blog, blog app No comments
featured image

Emotional intelligence. If you’ve got it, it’s guaranteed to make your life smoother. But in a world that worships left brain logic, many people don’t even know how to engage their emotional intelligence. Reacting  impulsively to the world around them rather than responding intelligently. Being held to ransom by their emotions rather than respecting and managing them appropriately.

Did you know that when it comes to success and happiness, EQ is heaps more important than IQ? Bet they didn’t teach you that at school.

And while you might not be able to do much about your IQ, the good news is emotional intelligence is something you can develop at any age. It’s all about becoming more aware of your self and others. It’s about developing the skills to use your emotions as your guide rather than your master.

If you stop for a minute to consider the energy in any emotion, you’ll realise just what a little power-house you have tucked away inside.

To give you some idea of the importance evolution puts on our emotions just think about the fact that the emotional brain develops second only to the part of the brain that keeps us alive and breathing. It’s the thinking brain that develops last and only out of our emotional brain. How’s that for putting things in perspective?

But how many of us have been taught to harness the power in our emotions?

Any number of people I talk to have grown up in families where emotions are off limits. To survive, you need to bury what you feel. You don’t go there. But like with anything, how can you get good at something you don’t get to practise?

Learning to be able to just sit with your emotions (both the comfortable and uncomfortable) is one of the first steps to emotional intelligence. Being okay that you feel is just what you feel – without judging it good or bad, right or wrong. After all, it’s just a feeling. It’s what we do with it, or because of it, that’s important.

So while the myth that we only use 10% of our brain runs rampant, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we only use a small portion of our intelligence. They don’t call them emotions for nothing. E-motion, that’s energy in motion.

What are you feeling right now?

How can you harness the power in your emotions?

 

Live and let live

Tags: , , , , , blog, blog app No comments
featured image

It seems the world has gone to crap at the moment, doesn’t it. Just pick any channel and when it’s not fear and terror, war and invasion seem to be the lead news items.

And it seems to me it all boils down to this… one group of people who have beliefs that are different from another group of people. But they feel so strongly that they are right and the other people wrong that they are prepared to kill or be killed.

Now I’m not in the business of making people right or wrong so I’m not getting into an opinion on it. I’m just looking at it from the outside perspective of seeing that it’s the thoughts in people’s heads, the beliefs they hold, that are causing a whole lot of suffering. For them and those around them. And we can become so locked into our beliefs can’t we. So attached to them we are willing to pay almost any price to defend them.

But it doesn’t just happen on a global scale, does it?

While we’re busy pointing the finger at the wars in other countries how often do we forget the wars we create in our own lives here at home. Family feuds or communities in conflict simply because we have a difference of opinion.  But it doesn’t have to be a case of right and wrong, does it. Why can’t we just have a difference of opinion? Why can’t we live and let live?

Tolerance, understanding, acceptance. These are keys words that will make all the difference if we practise them. Creating peace in our lives and those around us. That’s a sign of true inner strength.

As they say, walk a mile…

Where can you practise understanding and acceptance of another’s point of view even if you don’t agree?

 

Filling the bucket

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , blog, blog app No comments
featured image

So there’s a bit of debate about bucket lists. You know, those lists of all the things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Some experts say they’re essential because they help you to focus on the things that make you happy. A great form of stress relief. And we all know how good that is for you. Giving you something to look forward to and getting the happy juices flowing. It’s about focussing on the things you want to do, rather than letting the things you feel you should do take over. It stimulates creativity, helps you dream bigger and opens possibilities you might never have discovered otherwise.

And of course the fantastic thing about actually writing your bucket list down, is how much easier it becomes to make these things happen. In writing them down those goals actually become tangible.  That’s one big step closer to making them real. It’s amazing how things can just take on a life of their own when you set your intention.

And how good do you feel when you actually get to tick them off? I’m all for good feelings. Keeps you healthier. Did I mention that learning new things actually wards off dementia? That’s another big tick for the bucket list.

But then there are other experts who are nothing short of critical of the bucket list. Labelling it as yet another list in a life already dominated by ‘to dos’. A superficial list devoid of true meaning and purpose. Hedonistic, competitive, trite. Striving for happiness outside of ourselves, rather than finding true happiness within. Living for future goals rather than living in the now.

You know, they might have a point.

But I reckon there’s a middle ground.

Because just like with any goal setting, a bucket list is your opportunity to get in touch with your values. Those things that are important to you. And while swimming with dolphins may be something you’d like to do at least once in your life, it may be that saving the reef is also important to you. And while the thrill of skydiving may be your thing, perhaps donating blood once a month is also something you value. Or maybe it’s to start a business that puts shoes on kids feet for free in the parts of the world you’ve discovered on your travels.

Rather than being purely hedonistic, a meaningful bucket list can actually be the means by which to connect with another human being at an even deeper level.

For some people their bucket list is about leaving a legacy.

Take this guy Patrick Soon-Shiong. Ever heard of him? Well just in case you haven’t he’s the world’s richest doctor. Doing all this fancy stuff with the human genome in an effort to eradicate the world of diseases like cancer. But on the side he shoots hoops at home and is a part owner in the Lakers. I often wonder if a bucket list with this sort of balance – passion, purpose and an outlet for just enjoying yourself – is actually the fuel by which you can create the very legacy you want to leave behind. Because when we take time out to just enjoy ourselves we refuel for the longer journey.

The thing is when we are living a life aligned with our true values we can reach a depth of feeling much greater than happiness. It’s called fulfilment. And while you might not achieve everything on your list I reckon you’re guaranteed to get more out of life than if you never did the list in the first place. And leave more behind.

So what’s on your bucket list?

What legacy will you leave behind?

 

Life is not a dress rehearsal – Paul Blackburn