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

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

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

Dealing With Disaster- The Power Of Editing

city on fire..

 

It’s been another big week in the world…one where the cold fingers of fear have been felt across the planet.

The ripple effect is profound- each event of carnage has a huge impact on the collective psyche.

Something that has occurred on the other side of the world can affect us greatly….

 

Living in a global world is not always easy.

Technology has made “news” instantly accessible- we are on 24/7 live-stream right into our own lounge-rooms…the place we are supposed to feel most safe.

 

Some days it seems like there is no escape from it all….

 

Human beings are strange creatures.

We have a fascination with the negative and an almost obsessive compulsion to know all of the details, no matter how distressing.

We seem to be unable at times to self- regulate incoming information, to discriminate between what is useful and what is potentially harmful to us.

We simply open ourselves up to the avalanche of incoming information and let it sweep over us in an unedited pile…

 

We are then hard-wired to try to make sense of things: to ask the question that often has no satisfactory answer…..

“Why?”……

“Why” often leads us down the garden path and right into the darkness of fear…

 

Put up your hand if you still have images in your head of things that you viewed on television years ago?

Or a vivid memory of something that you once saw on the front page of a newspaper that still disturbs you?

 

So often we allow other sources to fill our head with an emotionally toxic poison,  to immerse ourselves in it completely and then have no idea how to get it out of our system

Eventually it seeps through our entire being until we become paralysed with it- it’s called fear….

 

The media has a big part to play in the illusion of fear.

It’s generally only interested in the shock/ horror value of the “news” it selects.

“Good news doesn’t sell” is the old adage…I’d like to believe that there’s a time coming soon where that changes…

 

So, how can we protect ourselves?

 

Here are a couple of simple tips:

1. Edit Incoming Information:

How much do you really need to know?

Something terrible has happened…but how many times do you need to see the same footage over and over?

Turn the TV off. Once you know the general details that can be enough. Check in occasionally for updates but use the remote control’s off button- that’s what it’s for….

Skim read the headlines but avoid the gratuitous detail. How much suffering do you need to immerse yourself in?

Does knowing every traumatic detail make you feel better or worse? Often we keep piling the bad stuff in without even noticing the cumulative negative effect it’s having on our own wellbeing.

2.    Do A “Re- Edit:”

Bad stuff happens. It always will. But, like everything, it’s how we choose to see it that really counts.

We can view it through the eyes of fear or we can choose to see things in a different way altogether.

Sure we can see bad but if we take a different look we can also see good.

 

If the media chooses not to show us the good news we can create it ourselves based on what we already know about the human species….

Adversity often brings out the best in us!

 

The human spirit is one of the most incredible forces on this planet.

The acts of bravery, the kindness and compassion, the unconditional support and the outpouring of love that follows any tragic event is often life-changing. To watch a community, a nation, or a world, rally around those in trouble unites us all.

(The media usually gets to that part a week or so after the event, when the bad news has become old news…)

After working with so many people affected by disaster a common theme I’ve found is the overwhelming gratitude that people learn to have for those beautiful people who give so willingly of their time, their love, their money and their support.

The common feedback down the track is that something bad has been far outweighed by the good that follows it…that people’s faith in humanity is often restored in a way that they believed was not possible.

So, you have a choice about whether you see victims or whether you see heroes– what you choose will have a profound impact on how you cope.

Remember, we get what we focus on….

Just a couple of thoughts but ones that work for me! :)

Suck It Up, Buttercup…

exercise

I’ve been uncomfortable lately- very uncomfortable…..

I remember a time when that would have caused me distress- now I am quite comfortable with it-(now there’s a paradox!) It can even give me a bit of an excited buzz.

Can you remember a time when you felt really uncomfortable?

It’s quite likely (if it wasn’t a time when you were wearing a too-tight pair of undies..) that you were probably doing something that pushed you out of your comfort zone. Now that it’s all done and dusted, you can possibly look back at that time and acknowledge something positive or something useful that came from it….no matter how difficult and uncomfortable it seemed at the time. It may have been uncomfortable in a physical sense, in  an emotional situation or a social encounter. It may have been due to an intellectual challenge or something that you felt was outside of your skills and capabilities or your capacity to cope. It felt uncomfortable…

Remember a time when you learned something big, did something challenging, experienced something completely new, put yourself in a new situation, gathered up your courage to try something or did something you hadn’t done before? It is highly likely that it involved some level of discomfort- maybe quite a lot of it.

The truth is that if we stay comfortable we don’t grow.

I’m creating some massive changes at present, on lots of levels and in lots of areas of my life. It’s requiring a fair deal of effort, lots of difficult decisions, heaps of courage and a fair amount of risk.

That doesn’t always feel comfortable….and that’s okay!

I have learned to link discomfort with growth and the expansion of my world. I realise that it is temporary and that in experiencing it I will come out with a new understanding or resource that I didn’t have before- so for me it will be worth it. (Even if the learning is “I won’t do that again!!”)

One of the things that I notice constantly is how unwilling human beings are to experience discomfort of any kind. In fact, people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it at all cost. They build their lives around avoiding it: especially if it involves other people…

To grow and progress we need to be willing to face the uncomfortable questions, the assumptions and judgments of others. We need to be willing to be upfront and honest despite the fact that we may not be liked for doing so. We need to risk conflict instead of running from it. We need to be willing to “have our feelings hurt” or to be told “No!”….

The irony of course is that in running from discomfort we actually create a toxic pool of it that we immerse ourselves in….we never find the courage to step through it and into growth. Sure it may not always be pleasant but that’s okay!

Listen to the people around you- too many seem to have the same encyclopaedia of excuses- “Too hot/ too cold/ too far/ too much effort/ too dirty/ too inconvenient/ too much trouble/ too hard/ may upset someone…….”

They give it labels like “anxiety” or “Insert your own latest trendy word :) disorder” and treat it with drugs and a myriad of therapies.

They complain endlessly about being stuck, overweight, unhealthy, unhappy, bored and miserable.

They whinge, moan and complain endlessly about never reaching their full potential.

They want a “quick fix”, someone to show them how and someone else to do it for them.

They want it all to change but they’re not willing to actually do anything….

In the end, it’s often all the same thing- a plain old unwillingness to experience discomfort.

So ,how uncomfortable are you willing to get?

Just askin’…. :)

Hello, hello… Is anyone out there?

on the right trackIn my NLP training one of the things I learned to do was to ask specific questions so that I could gain a better understanding of the person I was talking with. Questions that helped me to understand important things about them, like what motivated them, how they made choices and how they “saw” the world. In NLP they are called Meta Program questions-they identify the mental filters that we use to experience the world and they uncover our unconscious preferences – how we process information and how we behave.

A few days ago, when I sat down at my computer and opened up this page, I asked myself one of those questions: “How do I know when I am doing a good job?”

I am a recent blow-in to blogging. (I’ve been too busy building a business and running on the endless treadmill that a lot of us call “living” to be sitting around and doing what I love ie: writing.)

Now I have created space to write. I’m loving what I’m doing. I’m going to be writing a lot more. But… how do I know I’m doing a good job with this article writing?

For me, I have what is known as an internal frame of reference with an external check when it comes to judging how well I am doing. (ie: I write something that I think is kick *rse and I get a great feeling inside-you know, that warm inner glow you get when you just “know” you’ve done a good job? Then I do the external check to make sure that the outside world also perceives it in a positive way-that it’s had the desired effect. (ie: someone actually read it and enjoyed it or found it useful in some way).

In things that are familiar and comfortable for me, quite often the external check is not so important. If it feels all okay I’m happy to go with it, to trust my instincts and simply enjoy the personal satisfaction I get. If I get positive feedback that is a bonus but I’m not reliant on it-a little bit of feedback goes a long way.

But, when you’re starting something new (and maybe something a bit scary) the external feedback becomes a little more important so, when I don’t get feedback of any sort, my fear response kicks in and that sneaky little bastard we know as “Self Doubt” raises its ugly little mug and whispers “Hmmm, no one’s commented on your blog. Obviously it was a pile of crap…”

Then the internal dialogue starts “Maybe I’m off track? Maybe what I’m writing about is not relevant/useful/interesting? What could I do differently?…”

Now, for most of us, this is where the wheels start to fall off our little red wagons and we go traipsing off down the old path we know so well straight into the spooky forest of fear….(insert spooky music here! :) )

We start to make all sorts of assumptions (negative of course), we start to feel all naked and vulnerable and exposed and we begin to personalise it (no one likes my blog… (ie: no one likes me!)… I’m a failure… I’m useless…)

Then we begin to make excuses -to start covering up our perceived failure and to save face. (“I really wasn’t enjoying it anyway/it was taking too much time/I have a new more exciting project that I’m working on…” – all crap of course!)

And then we simply QUIT. We take the easy way out. The way of “Oh well, at least I tried… I gave it a shot…”

As for me, I gave “Self-Doubt” a brief moment of my time then decided “Stuff it-this is fun and I’m doing it anyway!”

Ironically, soon after, the phone rang and someone told me how they’d read that particular post,(Tips For Avoiding Overwhelm) burst into tears and had a life changing moment of awareness.

Later in the day another person explained how she had read the post and finally understood her father after all of these years and how her whole way of interacting with him had shifted as a consequence.

Then yet another call just this moment with someone who said they’d shared this post with six others and they’d had a group discussion about how simple it all was and to say thanks.

So, I just wanted to share that with you and to say thank you to all of those people who are taking time to check in and read my offerings (including my new readers in Bangladesh-how cool is that!?) I hope you’re enjoying reading them as much as I’m enjoying writing them.

And to remind us all that if you’re doing what you love then you’re always on the right track….

Cheers,

Telene