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

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 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

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

What Do You Mean You Want To Be A Dancer? Don’t Be So Ridiculous….

wedgies

 

 

Recently I shared a chat and a drink with a friend who I hadn’t seen  for a while.

 

He was concerned that his son is being pressured at school to choose a career path. At 15 this young man is being told that he has to make a decision and choose his work future.

The presumption was made by the school that his son would choose the academic route, to go to university, study for years and earn a degree.

 

Now this dad is a very successful business owner.

He makes a lot of money and provides jobs for a substantial number of people. He provides a service for a large community and contributes to the local economy.

He never went to university.

“I told him he could do whatever he wants to do,” said the Dad. “To choose something he really wants to do- something he loves. I really don’t mind what. I want him to follow his heart and be happy.”

 

That same day I had talked with a young girl who told me that her dad wants her to become a lawyer.

He’s apparently told her since she was a little girl that she will grow up to study law.

“Are you interested in becoming a lawyer?” I asked.

(Huge eye roll and look of horror.)

“God no! I couldn’t think of anything worse but he keeps going on and on about it, and lining me up work experience and bringing me home all of this stuff to do with law- he just won’t listen!”

 

Today as I was putting out the recycling I happened to notice what was on top. (I’ve been having a bit of a clear out.)

It was one of my Diplomas- whoops!

 

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I love to learn.

I have lots of bits of paper that I get handed at the end of some blocks of formal learning. Qualifications I’ve needed to hold down certain jobs.

Some of them have taken lots of effort, lots of sacrifice, lots of time and buckets of money!

 

But it’s not the bits of paper that I value.

They’re just bits of paper after all.

It’s the knowledge that I’ve gained, the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the challenges I’ve faced, the memories I’ve made and the fact that they’ve all been about doing what I love.

They have all had a purpose-to allow me to do the things I’ve been passionate about.

To have “jobs” that I’ve loved to do.

 

 

How many people do you know who hate what they do for a living?

People who stay in a job they detest, waiting only for the day when they can retire…

 

How many of us were directed that way by well-meaning folk around us…or by those who thought they knew what was best for us?

 

We live in a dynamic world where change is the norm.

Where most people will hold around 7-11 different jobs in their lifetimes….

 

How many of us hold onto something that we began years and years ago, based on decisions we made in a different time and place?

How long since we’ve reassessed to see if that decision still fits…

How long since we’ve opened our minds to new possibilities?

Since we’ve tried on something new for size?

 

Since we’ve dared to dream….

 

And how many of us will have the courage to act on that dream?

My New Job- Watching Daytime Television And Drinking Vodka…

181385_431948703543521_1744215352_n

 

“You can get so confused

That you’ll start in to race………….

Headed, I fear, for a most useless place.

                               The Waiting Place.

…..for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

Or a bus to come, or a plane to go

Or the mail to come, or the rain to go

Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

Or waiting around for a Yes or a No

Or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone just waiting…..

(‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr Seuss)

 

 

For the first time in my memory I woke up today free, with nothing I have to do, nowhere I have to be. Nothing in my diary, nothing planned….
Sure, I have a multitude of possibilities but each is sitting there as a choice to be made…or not.
There are of course, things that will crop up but essentially, from this moment, I get to choose what I do.

I quit.

 
I stepped out of the waiting room, out of waiting for the “right time”, out of the “have to/ must do/ should do/ urgent things” and into what I really want to do…

(Even if I’m not entirely sure what that is yet…!!)

 
Yes, it is inconvenient (for me and for others), it is scary and apparently it’s also “stupid/a failure/not sensible/ insane/ selfish/ another mid-life crisis/ and all-right-for-some!” but…..

I’m doing it anyway!!

 
I shut the doors, closed my business, finished my studies, said “No” about 500 times and I stepped out of the “World of Obligation” and into the “World of Possibility”- my favourite place in the whole world. A place very few of us ever give ourselves permission to  fully explore.

In fact, we spend our whole lives finding excuses about why we can’t go there- why it’s just too hard, why it’s not possible or sensible and why we just plain can’t!
Yeah, I have those too, but I’ve done it anyway and I believe I’ll be 100% okay.

 
I would never like my life to be one of regret- to wake up one day and utter those awful words….  “I  wish I’d……”

 
So, excuse me while I step out of life as it’s “supposed to be” and into a life of possibility.
Anything might happen, we might end up anywhere (and, let’s face it, you could be hearing my stories about being a checkout chick at the local supermarket in a month or two :) ) but I want to take some time to nurture myself, to be creative, to explore new ideas, to learn new things and to be fully present in my world.

And that sounds okay to 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’…. :)

How To (Not) Get What You Want….

know what you want

That’s NOT what I wanted… So how come I got it anyway??

When we were kids my dad told us often that we were not to get a tattoo-no matter what.

Every time he said it (“You will not get a tattoo!!”) guess what I saw in my head-yep, a tattoo… I used to think about the tattoo I was (not) going to have and where I was (not) going to have it. I thought about what it would (not) be of, what colours it would (not) be and about how it would (not) make me feel. Needless to say, I got a tattoo…

How much of our focus in life is directed upon what we do not want? And how come not wanting it doesn’t seem to make it go away?

It still surprises me that the “anti/not” brigade don’t quite get it yet. (Who is advising our government on this stuff?? Hire me for your advertising campaigns!!):

-Do not speed (Yeehah!!)

-Do not binge drink (Hic!)

-Do not drive fatigued (Snore….The pictures of those big, red tired eyes hits me with a wave of fatigue every time.)

(Any smart parent will tell you how well the “don’t” command works- quite often all it does is fill our little darlings’ heads with exciting new suggestions. Just like “Don’t Touch-Wet Paint” is ALWAYS a winner for me! :) )

I’ve had lots of people who, when I have asked them what they want, answer “I do not want to be fat any more” or “I do not want to eat junk food any more” or “I do not want to smoke any more.” (What pictures are you getting – a fat person with a Maccas in one hand and a fag in the other?)

If your head is full of what you do not want how on earth will you get what you do want? It’s a bit like looking backwards, walking forwards and hoping you actually get somewhere near where you’d like to be (without hitting a brick wall or falling off a cliff in the meantime.)

Focusing on what we do not want generally gets us more of the same-after all that’s what’s in our awareness.

Many people get so obsessed about diets and food  that is all they think about all day long-( imagine what might happen if they thought about a healthy body and fresh air and exercise instead?)

So, start to have a bit of a listen to yourself and to the people around you. Are you using the negative language of what you don’t want or the positive language of what you do?

Do you want to “not smoke” or “not be fat” or do you want to be “fit and healthy?” Which one puts the most effective picture in your mind? Which one feels best??

Do you “Not want to work here anymore” or do you “See myself in a job I love”?

Do you “Not want any more dramas” or do you “Want a harmonious relationship”?

One perspective and focus delivers you more of the same whilst the other opens up possibilities and opportunities for something different and something better.

So, do you “Not want to be stuck anymore” or do you “Want to get moving?”

Isn’t language a most curious thing!