Learning To Speak Your Truth (or: Oh F*ck, Did I really say That Out Loud??!)

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(“I Quit”– Episode 4)

It felt like my whole life had been spent being available to others, helping others, caring for others….and listening to others.

Now it had to become all about me.

I turned off my outside ears and turned on the inside ones.

Instead of listening to others I slowly learned to listen to me. To be honest I think “me” was initially in shock when I started doing this, after all I had always pretty much put myself last.

Me and myself had to learn a whole new way of going about things. I had to slow down a little bit, to be still and to start tuning into the me that sat behind the “busy mind’ version of myself.

I learned to sit.

Quietly.

(Sometimes for even more than a whole minute at a time!!)

And I began to listen.

I learned that behind the do-gooder, self-talk that had always run the “Me Show ” there was another Me, a more authentic Me, who had other things she wanted to say….

(Warning! Warning! Trouble Ahead…)

Yes, it appeared that finding my yes /no voice around boundaries with others was not the end of the vocal emergence.

It appeared there was more to come.

Quite a bit more in fact…

Uh oh….

Authentic Me and my mouth were about to join forces, to start working in sync…. and they made a most interesting duo. Continue reading

Learning To say No…and Yes…And No….

 

killer-duck

(‘I Quit– Episode 3)

So I had quit everyday life, gone home and put up the do not disturb sign.

I had created a space for myself. Phew….

Knock, Knock. Ring, Ring…

It began almost at once and came usually in the form of those irritating and pressure-laden “question-mark words”..why? when? what if….??? followed by helpful (doom-laden) unsolicited advice delivered with just a tiny undertone of judgement to help get me back on track…. Toot!!

I realised I had to learn how to defend my “Telene Space” and to protect myself from everything and everyone “out there” who wanted to pull me back into the collective comfort zone…. (where everyone wears sensible shoes and carries umbrellas for rainy days.)

I could not bring the outside in with me. In essence, I had to create a sanctuary for myself without the pressure, (no matter how well-meaning.)

After all, I could do pressure well enough from the inside, thank you very much.

I had to change both how I thought and the way in which I did things and I couldn’t do that with society’s “shoulds “ raining all over me like lava bombs.

 

Hmmm. Defend the space. Time to select my weapons of choice…

Rotten tomatoes? (Fun but messy.)

Unleash the killer duck? (Nah, he was too busy loving everyone’s shoes.)

Good old avoidance-and-hope-they’ll-go-away? (I can only hide in here so long and pretend I’m not home..)

I had to step up and to learn to speak up, to find my voice.

(Use your words Telene, use your words..)

Feeling a little bruised and vulnerable (with a fair smattering of “scared shitless” tossed in for good measure), I kept it simple. It became almost a survival strategy for those first few months and I made it a focus.

I practised learning two words: Yes and No.

Generally speaking, the Yes was for me and the No was for othersContinue reading

Creating A Futureless Future

prissy

(“I Quit- Episode 2)

So, I had quit, walked out on work.  Now what?

I had a small parcel of shares. They were “for a rainy day”.

I looked out the window. The seagulls soared high in the cobalt blue sky and the geraniums flashed their happy, red smiles in the perfect summer sunshine.

Whoops.

Now, this is where I had Insight No.1:

 

If I was going to do this I had to completely change the way I looked at things, and that meant not giving any space to old, freedom-crushing beliefs, particularly all those around THE FUTURE. (*Please feel most free to insert your own “All Powerful Lord Of The Universe” music piece here.)

 

THE FUTURE is that mythical, illusory, fantasy place that has the sneaky knack of holding us hostage under its powerful spell – often without us even realizing.

It is a place of the unknown, a powerful, paradoxical mix of ominous doom interspersed with dancing little rays of hope and promise. Continue reading

Creating A Space For Me – The Story Begins…

Gone fishing...

 

(“I Quit” Episode 1)

One day I woke up and decided that I was never going to go to “work” again.

Ever.

I guess most of us have toyed with that dream at some point or other, hiding under the blankets and spending a minute or two lost in a blissful fantasy world where words like boss and deadline and cheap office coffee don’t exist and imagining 500 creative ways to utter those two simple words that unlock the gate to liberty and freedom – I Quit.

But instead of following up with the usual Oh yeah, I wish, and getting up and putting the kettle on, this time I did something different…

 

It was the end of 2012 and my life was going wonderfully. Five years of hard work and my coaching/therapy practice had taken off. I had scored a couple of bonus days a week working with children in a great workplace.

I’d completed five more years of study and just finished an intensive (and expensive) 12 – month course (The Use Of Clinical Hypnosis In Strategic Psychotherapy – impressive huh?) that was about to launch me into bigger and better things.

In short, life had finally come together in all the right ways.

Just like I’d planned…. Continue reading

Are you Finite Or Infinite?

William Blake

 

 

We create our world and “who we are” through thinking.

There are two types of thinking – finite and infinite.

One is the thinking of limitation.

The other is the thinking of possibility….

 

We think our reality – we have beliefs and understandings around how the world works, how things are, how we see ourselves, how we think others see us and what our role in the world is. We have firm ideas about what is changeable and what is out of our hands.

 

Finite thinking is easy and familiar. It should be, after all, we’re trained to do it from birth.

When we think finitely we limit ourselves to what we know, what we are comfortable with and what we can logically understand.

Finite thinking fools us into believing we’re safe and secure by keeping us spoon-fed with what is trusted and true. It is structured by what is known, can be proven and is a fact.

It keeps us enclosed, encapsulated ……and imprisoned.

Finite thinking is rooted in fear. It is generated within the mind and it is driven by an ego that is desperately afraid of failure and of losing control.

It relies on the misconception that identity and beliefs are one and the same. Therefore, it feels threatened anytime its beliefs are challenged. Continue reading

What Is Truth?

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Truth is a funny thing.

It seems to be as malleable as plasticine, able to be bent and twisted into any shape we require. What is true one day can be found in the bottom of the trash bin the next. Truths we’ve held dear and built lives upon can come tumbling down like a house of cards with a mere puff of wind. A truth that seems as solid as rock can turn to dust beneath our feet.

So, how do we know what’s true and what’s not?

Quite often we believe something is “true” simply because it is convenient to do so. This “truth” fits our agenda and serves us in some way. It aligns with our story about ourselves and about others. It matches up with what we expect from ourselves or others.

We literally pick and choose our truths, keeping what fits and doubting or dismissing what doesn’t. Continue reading

Sh*t Happens

Oh well!

Oh well!

Sh*t happens.

To me, to you, to the stranger down the road.

Special things break, pipes leak, relationships finish, jobs end and quite often there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. There’s nothing it seems we can do to change things.

But we do have one choice. We can remain a victim of circumstance or we can let it go and get on with life….but that, of course, is much easier said than done…

Being able to practise acceptance and to acknowledge that sometimes things simply are what they are, can be a tough ask.

But, give this a go.

Write up these two simple words and whenever the poo hits the fan and you’re feeling hard done by say them out loud:

“Oh well..” Continue reading

20 Ways To Remind Yourself That You’re Still Alive!

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Where did all of the silliness go?

How come people don’t seem to have plain, old fun anymore?

And just when did life become so damned serious?

Maybe it’s time to play…….

When was the last time you:

 

  1. Slid down a slippery dip yelling “Wheeeeee!!”?
  2. Had a serious phone conversation into a banana?
  3. Flicked your peas across the table at someone?
  4. Lay down on soft grass and watched clouds passing overhead?
  5. Accidentally-on-purpose fell into water with all of your clothes on?
  6. Totally-on-purpose jumped into water with all of your clothes off ?!
  7. Spun around in circles until you fell over?
  8. Stood on a warm rock with bare feet?
  9. Stuck your head out of the car window and barked like a dog?
  10. Blew a raspberry on someone’s tummy?
  11. Dared yourself to do something scary?
  12. Built a sandcastle?
  13. Played hopscotch with an ice-cream in your hand?
  14. Laughed uproariously at your own joke until you cried?
  15. Rolled down a hill?
  16. Learned something new just for the hell of it?
  17. Walked in the rain without shoes?
  18. Tried to lick your own elbow?
  19. Read your favourite childhood Dr. Seuss book out loud to someone?
  20. Had a long (loud) conversation with an invisible friend?

 

Chances are it’s been a while..

So, why are you still sitting there?

Pick one and go do it!

Yes, right now…..and then let us know how you went. …please!! :)

PS. Photos most welcome!

 

 

What If That Challenge Is Just What You Need?

What if everything that happened in your life- the good and the bad- was a gift? A wrapped gift created and packaged especially for you, individually tailored to meet your needs and to give to you what you most need in this lifetime?

Maybe the gift was a learning, a new awareness.

Maybe it was the opportunity to let something go in order to allow space for something new to bloom and flourish.

Maybe it was a possibility, a chance to step through a door you didn’t even know existed.

Perhaps it was the chance to resolve an old issue, to finally heal an old wound.

Or maybe it was a reminder, a chance to see with fresh eyes and remember what’s really important in life.

It may have been an opportunity to experience something new.

Or maybe the chance for you to discover something important. A hidden resource you didn’t even know was there. Inner strength, courage or compassion perhaps? Something that had been waiting a long time to see the light of day. Continue reading

Hey Stupid! (Why Do We Resist Change?)

Procrastination

 

Hey Stupid!

Am I talking to you??

Well, maybe…..”

Are you one of those people who knows exactly what you should be doing when it comes to your own health, wellbeing and happiness….but you don’t actually do it?

One of those people who should exercise more, eat more healthily, stop worrying so much, get more sleep…

 

I ran into a young man I know recently.

“You look amazing!” I said.

“I should, I’ve lost 50 kilos,” he replied.

I raised an eyebrow in surprise. “How did you manage that?”

He gave me a rueful smile.

“I got diabetes….”

 

How often do we wait for the crisis rather than making change by choice? What is it that allows us to become essentially blind, deaf and mute when our body, our heart and our mind are shouting at us?

What allows us to block out the whispers that let us know change is due?

And why does it often require a whack over the head with a sledgehammer to finally wake us up?

 

We all know what we need to do to be healthy and happy. We read the books, go to the courses, watch the TV shows and the TED Talks from our comfy chairs. We get all motivated, have great intentions, buy all of the associated crap that will make us happier, healthier, thinner and much more beautiful….and then we…we….well, can’t be bothered really….yawn..

I know my health is at risk, that my habit is killing me, my lack of movement is crippling me, my relationship is suffocating me, my job is sucking me dry…..but…maybe tomorrw….

Why is it that we spend so much time, energy and emotion resisting, when the changes we could make are often quite simple, frequently pleasurable and definitely in our best interests in regard to our own wellbeing and happiness?

Why are we such a bunch of donkeys when it comes to making simple changes in our lives?

 

Imagine if instead of thinking about it, agonizing over it, worrying about it, punishing ourselves for it or postponing it, we instead decided to let go of our resistance and simply do it…

Now there’s a radical idea!

 

I have a friend who refused to stop smoking until the day she walked into the dentist’s office and was told that if she didn’t quit now  she would lose all of her teeth. “I’m vain,” she told me. She walked out of his office, threw her pack of fags in the bin and hasn’t touched one since.

 

I wonder what it would take for you?

 

As for me I’m off for a walk…

Or I would be if it wasn’t raining… :)