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 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

The Story Of Your Story

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I am a storyteller…and so are you!

From day to day, from minute to minute we are telling the stories that create our lives- who we “are,” what we “do” what we “stand for.”

Stories describe us, they define us, they label us.

Essentially we simply become a collection of stories- stories written by us for ourselves and those written for us by others that we choose to believe.

The stories we tell have the power to shape our identity, our personality, our ability to cope and thrive or our capacity to find inner peace and happiness.

Our story determines whether we can or we can’t, whether we should or we shouldn’t…

Essentially the entire notion of “I am” is a story.

Mostly we travel through life unaware of our stories or the impact they have on our successes, our personal growth, our relationships with others or on our own self-worth.

We often don’t recognise that stories can be kept….or they can be changed.

Sometimes we become so attached to our stories that we forget the fact that they are simply stories.

Sometimes we mistakenly believe that we are our stories.

 

Welcome to Thinking Possibility– The Story Of You :)

 

(Thinking Possibility is making a little change in direction…just because I can! Life has been very busy for the past few months so thanks for your patience while we set a new course…who knows where we may end up! Thanks for accompanying me on the journey. Telene xx)

The Ultimate Personal Challenge Is Not What You Think…

 

(Source:Google Images)

(Source:Google Images)

 

 

If I were to tell a story of personal challenge I might choose to talk about those things I’ve ticked off the bucket list.

I’d tell you about flying a powered hang-glider or zipping down the world’s longest zip-wire.

I’d talk about diving with the great white sharks or the time I backpacked through China and ate something that may or may not have still been alive…

I might recount how I free-fell over a waterfall whilst white water rafting or rode thousands of kilometres on a motorbike…

 

But I won’t.

 

I wont because the most difficult personal challenge of all is not only about adventure sports or dangerous animals. It has to do with a simple choice – the choice to be yourself.

 

We live in a world tied up in knots. A world where we arrive full of hope only to become quickly enmeshed in a tangle of societal pressures and the expectations of others.

We are born pegs of all different shapes and sizes who soon learn that we’re supposed to fit neatly into the rows and rows of uniform round holes laid out before us. “Life” becomes a constant quest to knock off our corners and rough edges, to sand ourselves down, smooth ourselves out and make ourselves “fit”.

It is a desire to belong, a need for acceptance that motivates us.

 

It takes courage to be different. To step out of the mold and stand alone. It can be a scary experience standing vulnerable and exposed, being frowned upon for making the place look untidy with your non-conformity, sometimes looking longingly at the comfortable space you’ve vacated, knowing how easy it would be to slip back in and pretend….

 

Being yourself requires having space around you.

It requires being with yourself, knowing yourself, accepting yourself.

It requires stillness, honesty and the willingness to face the unknown.

It involves risk and the ability to embrace failure.

It requires letting go of worrying about the opinions of others or the shoulds or supposed to’s of life.

But most of all it requires the courage to make the choice.

The choice to be the person you were meant to be.

 

That is the ultimate personal challenge….

 

You may enjoy this story of personal challenge and adventure about my fear of heights :)

https://open.abc.net.au/contributions/bird-plane-or-supergirl-32pw4yg/in/contributors/telene+clarke

How will You Create Your Year?

trust

 

What will this year be for you?

Each January I have a word that comes to mind that sets the course of my year.

After it has revealed itself I write and paint it everywhere as a reminder. (Yep, even in the toilet…!)

Then I make it part of my everyday life.

Today I found my theme for 2014.

 

In preparing for my new year I reflected on the past 12 months.

 

For me 2013 was the year of trust.

It was the year to open my heart and be vulnerable. To let go of old conventions and fears around work and money and society’s expectations. A year of letting go of the notion of “work” and “income”. Of letting go of monetary measurements around value and self-worth. Continue reading

How To Change Your Life In 3 Seconds.

gifts...

 

It only took 3 seconds….but it must have seemed  a life-time.

The accelerator jammed stuck and the car shot across the road before he even realised what was happening.

 

He’d just dropped his wife and son off for an appointment.

Now he saw he was heading straight at them.

He wrenched the wheel frantically and made the split-second decision to point the car into a brick wall to his left. The car slammed into the wall, ricocheted back, bounced forward and then his wife was lying apparently lifeless on the bonnet in front of him.

 

He remembers running up and down the street yelling, his First Aid training forgotten and inaccessible to him.

His son took charge.

“My son became the parent and I became the child”, he tells me.

They both believed his wife was dead. Continue reading

What if ………

What if...

 

What if ….you’d replied when I enquired about how your day was going instead of turning away? You might have enjoyed hearing some stories about my adventures growing up in a place far from here. Those stories might have inspired you forward into your own possibilities…..if you’d seen me.

 

What if ……you’d thought to smile back when I lifted your pram up the bus steps for you and asked you whether I could help in any way as you struggled to climb aboard? I might have sympathised with you about how hard it is to raise children as a single Mum and shared some funny stories about my own children’s escapades. I could have offered to entertain your “busy one” while you collected yourself and settled the baby. It might have made your day a tiny bit easier….if you’d seen me.

Continue reading

Fail To Succeed

Fail To Succeed

 

For 35 years Diana Nyad had one goal- to swim from Cuba to Florida – a distance of over 177km through waters notorious for sharks, box jellyfish, storms and unpredictable currents.

Four times Diana had attempted the swim and failed. At 65 years of age, and on her 5th attempt Diana finally conquered the treacherous strait last week. It took 2 days and 2 nights in the water – a total of over 53 hours.

 

What struck me most when I read about Diana’s swim was the way she built her success on the back of her failures.

With each attempt and resultant failure, Diana strategically took what she had learned and used it to make changes and adjustments in preparation for her next endeavor. She kept what worked and changed what didn’t. Each new “failure” gave her the next pieces of the puzzle.

She essentially incorporated failure into her strategy for success.

She also refused to give up. Continue reading

Do You Assume Or Ask?

Driftwood

 

He ambushes me as I come up from the beach.

He always has an opinion to share.

I hardly have time to say good morning when he points to the driftwood in my hand.

“You shouldn’t burn that in your wood stove,” he lectures sternly.

“Oh, okay then,” I say agreeably.

“It’s a stupid thing to do- it’s full of salt.”

“I guess it would be.”

“I’d have thought you’d know better than that?”

“I’ll keep it in mind” I say.

He snorts in disgust and marches off, shaking his head and I hear him say scornfully to his companion “Guess some people have more money than sense if they can afford to rust out their wood stoves..”

Continue reading