I was reminded last night during a “healing share” of a tendency I can have for negative thoughts… and just as I described here in a recent post on failure – when something doesn’t go according to plan it can so easily be made so much bigger…
“you pick apart your failure with even more obsessive gusto than whatever it was that you were working on in the first place and then you start attacking your life too, you know it’s not just that thing that failed, it is everything else too – my relationships are not how I want them to be, my job is not how I want it to be, I never have enough money and I even can’t stand the people I do extreme ironing with (Google it) …”
And of course we all know how it feels when those nasties manifest :(. The absolute best you can do with them is to make self depreciating jokes about how crap you are at… and while it may be kind of ok to laugh at yourself now and again it’s really not going to help long term. So of course the solution is to lighten the load and change your negative thoughts to positive ones, phew good idea.
BUT HOW! WHAT IS THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR CHANGING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TO POSITIVE…
Well as I am not Louise Hay, for me, like everyone else, it is a lot about trial and error and keeping it conscious, by which I mean firstly admitting to the tendencies and then being aware of how you use them in interactions you have with others. Do your interactions feel good, soft and fluffy or not so much? Not so much hey – then really you need to overanalyse what you are saying/doing and kick yourself for being so negative – ONLY KIDDING – ha I really do need some work…
Anyway so I have decided to try a couple of tricks to work this one out because I really, really want to manifest the good stuff – I like good stuff – and as I also like to share here is what I am starting with. Anyone else with any more fabulous suggestions please feel free to share too:
Gratitude – While I haven’t done the and Deepak and Oprah’s 21 day gratitude meditation I believe that the concept behind it is to focus on what is good in your life as opposed to what is not so good. So Fiona’s way is to put a little sign next to my bed with THANK YOU on it. It’s the first thing I see in the morning, besides an over affectionate hungry cat, and so I remember to start the morning with thinking about and thanking the Universe for something special in my life. I can then use this throughout the day and whenever I feel the negatives creeping in I think of the good thing that I was thankful for that morning. This morning – I am thankful for the absolutely lovely MAGIC of last night’s energy healing session, it was fabulous.
And no 2:
Questioning habitual thoughts – when you catch yourself having a “moment”, question your thoughts. Interrogating negative thoughts is enough to begin off-loading old patterns as I learned in the 10 life lessons you should unlearn. Take an issue that is worrying you like “I’ve got to work harder” and think of 3 reasons why that belief may be wrong…
Off now to continue my homework and am feeling so much more positive already 😉
I have not read anything this beautiful in a long time
“Why did they believe? Because they saw miracles. Things one man took as chance, a man of faith took as a sign. A loved one recovering from disease, a fortunate business deal, a chance meeting with a long lost friend. It wasn’t the grand doctrines or the sweeping ideals that seemed to make believers out of men. It was the simple magic in the world around them.” ….
Brandon Sanderson, from The Hero of Ages
Has 2013 been a fabulous, rewarding, special year or a difficult, challenging, confronting year for you?
I don’t actually ever remember a year having been so talked about as much as 2013. Is it just me, or have you noticed too, there have already been countless comments in passing summing the year up, what has happened, just how challenging a year it has been – and it hasn’t even finished yet. From a world economic environment being anything but secure, to an general underlying feeling of unfulfilment within the work place, to the weather being the hottest or the wildest or the extremist in recent history, 2013 has brought its fair share of challenges.
On a personal level 2013 has been an ‘interesting year’ to say the least (I say this through gritted teeth). I am not sure I would call it the worst year but it certainly has not been the best. As we seem to be on the homerun, with 31 Dec being only 46 sleeps away, I thought I would take the opportunity to examine what 2013 has meant to me, perhaps it has meant similar to you…
To sum it up it has been a year of ‘forcing growth from adversity’…
The November horoscopes in the STA magazine reinforced the point: ‘if you understand adversity is a gift then you will fare well this month.’
I would have extend that to ‘this year’.
But in experiencing adversity for the most part of this year, I see now the gifts that it has brought me. Dealing with situations that have left me raw and lacking faith, have shown me my edges. From people who have pushed my buttons I have seen the weak spots in my character. From difficult situations I have asked and answered the questions of myself, the – why am I so affected, the – why am I behaving this way, exposing my true character. From every testing and challenging situation I have learned oh so much.
From unfulfilled desires I have learned patience.
From bouts of jealousy I have learned there is enough to go around, like a cloud of experiences above the earth we draw what is rightfully ours, while others draw what is rightfully theirs.
From bouts of anxiety I have learned to calm my mind.
From lack of acknowledgement I have learned that I am my most important audience.
From times of loneliness I have learned to connect with society.
From having to do things on my own I have learned I can take as much or as little from the experience as I wish and this knows no boundaries like those from a closed but well intention companion.
From showing my vulnerable side I have been shown just how compassionate people can be.
From the times I have expressed ‘poor me’ I have learned from others the power of making decisions or taking action to change something that is not working. And I have also learned that not taking action is a sign that there are blockages to work through.
From asking I have learned how willing others are to give.
From reacting to critics I have seen my own fragility, a sign to firm up my own self belief.
I have learned that courage is about forging your own path, believing in yourself even when others try to lead you a different way.
From lack of support I have had to grow all on my own, to cement in my own mind what it is that I stand for, that I believe in, without influence.
From ongoing power struggles I have learned to negotiate with love, first and foremost with a love for myself.
From financial insecurity I have learned to stop worrying about the future but to do things today which may aid my security for the future.
From desperately wanting to know the future I have learned to live in the present. A necessary end to a constant search for answers has lead me to live for now and to follow my instincts.
From open and closed doors I have learned to follow my intuition.
From failure I have learned to let go of expectation.
From facing my fears I have learned that the pride that follows the achievement from facing fear far outweighs the fear itself.
I have learned that to be a leader is to walk a lonely path.
From despair I have learned how important it is to have faith.
I have learned to see colours so that as I type this, my computer is surrounded by green blotches, the colour of healing.
From working with energy I have learned that everything is about the flow of energy.
I have learned that to live through my heart is the answer to keeping the energy flow in balance ensuring I neither desire it from others nor give it away unconsciously.
And most importantly I have learned that life is about practice, while all this learning should improve the way I handle myself and the situations I face, it takes practice to change old habits.
So finally, while I would not want to relive 2013, neither would I want to change any bit of it. I hope with all my heart that 2014 is much, much easier, but I am sincerely grateful to 2013 for I have grown. I have grown from a vine into a tree xx
It’s a Friday night, its been a hellova week, no month, no year – you have put excessive time and effort, not just physical but mental and emotional time and effort, into working on something that you want, think, believe will bring you the success that you want, think believe you need – crunch time has arrived and you realise that you have F*&#%ing Failed.
After a deep breath you start the process of try telling yourself that “if you learn from defeat, then you have’t really lost” or that “everything happens for a reason”, but when you realise that you are not going to get that end result that you have manifested, dreamed of and obsessed over, there is the first F word with a shorter word to follow.
And this is because dealing with failure is not only one of the most necessary but also one of the hardest lessons that we as human beings, will ever have to learn…
And that is why failure is generally followed by the inevitable tantrum…
where you pick apart your failure with even more obsessive gusto than whatever it was that you were working on in the first place and then you start attacking your life too, you know its not just that thing that failed, it is everything else too – my relationships are not how I want them to be, my job is not how I want it to be, I never have enough money and I even can’t stand the people I do extreme ironing with (google it) …
WHEN IS IT MY TURN??
Maybe this is coupled with floods of tears and results in a few broken things around the house or a few broken things in your body, headaches, shoulder tension, neck aches… Because when you are in it, experiencing it, living it, none of the 500 quotes on failure on the Goodreads website are going to inspire you to think – alright then I think that this failure is a gift and I’m all good to go now… they may help, but failure, in most cases, takes time to get over.
To explain why, lets look at what failure means as per the trusty free dictionary online…
1. The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends.
2. One that fails.
3. The condition or fact of being insufficient or falling short… and so on
The common denominator in all definitions is “EXPECTATION”. In each case the falling short, the not achieving, the non performance all relates to not reaching an expected outcome. And we all know what happens when we don’t meet expectations (ours or others), hey presto – it means that we are not good enough and as the guru of positive thinking, Louise Hay famously preaches – the fear of not being good enough is the fear that underpins all fears.
SO GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK if you threw that tantrum that you weren’t real proud of after experiencing a set back, apologise to anyone that may have experienced passing wind from some flying glass, apologise to yourself if you were the brunt of the negative banter and remember you are only human – and (for yet another quote):
It is not how you fall that matters, it is how you rise again…
But as we have identified that expectation is the common denominator of failure, what if we changed our perspective slightly on the expectation set in the first place, would this mean that next time we wouldn’t have to rise up again from such a low base? Would changing or even losing the expectation of the end result lead to a little less pain associated with failure?
I THINK SO…
I see it like sitting a school exam. Getting a good grade in an exam generally means that you can get your parents off your back and you can feel good about yourself because an A in science means that you are bright and have a bright future, there is nothing to worry about here. The point that you have learnt something really interesting about the anatomy of the cockroach, doesn’t really get more than a passing thought. But if you were more interested in the actual learning or (perhaps if it is a boring subject) why you are learning the subject and not so focussed on the grade you will receive at the end, then you will have increased your knowledge, NOT YOUR EGO.
Or perhaps you have started your own business and you decide to put on an event with the intention to get exposure, to show people what you do, convince people you are worth following. This takes a lot of planning, time and effort and don’t get me wrong exposure is a good marketing tool, BUT if you decide to put yourself out there so you can nurture your creative side, allow your passion and imagination to shine, as well as firming up your skills and knowledge on the subject you are presenting then whatever happens with regards to attendees, followers, stalkers, exposure etc is A BONUS.
It is well worth a try next time you embark on something where you could very easily face both F words, by following the approach: Lose the expectation, enjoy and learn from the journey and whatever positive outcomes result from the action are purely a bonus. Whether it be end of year exams, going for that new job or the next blog post you write, work with the “what am I learning from this exercise”, I guarantee it will be 100 times more rewarding than “what will I get from this exercise”.
And finally not only do you learn that it is about the experience and not the outcome, but from failure you also learn:
- to be humble
- to be compassionate
- to be vulnerable
- your limits
- your capabilities
- your strengths
- your weaknesses
- what interests or inspires you and what doesn’t
- to be flexible
- to be open minded and
- you learn more about who you are…
Have you ever had to write a list of things you like about yourself, a list of your redeeming qualities? Usually you can manage to scratch together a few admirable characteristics but generally there are one or two stand out qualities that you possess that are the epitome of who you are.
In the same way, have you ever played the game “how would you describe… Auntie Glenda”, assuming you are looking at the positives for Auntie Glenda, there should be at least one particular stand out quality that she naturally displays, something that you can admire about her, that is the epitome of who she is.
My point is that generally speaking each person you come into contact with has at least one stand out quality, one very positive attribute that they possess that comes naturally to them, is part of their personality, a quality that they absolutely nail so that when you leave their presence you comment, wow she/he is so…
I hope over time to be able to share with you some of the special qualities that people around me possess, they will be real people telling real stories about what it means to be a nurturer, to live compassionately, to be calm and centred, to be super enthusiastic or as in today’s post – “what it means to be a leader”…
There are few people who I have come across that have shown greater natural leadership skills than my friend Emily. She has done so much already in her 24 years and what is most fun is that she is just a little bit famous in WA netball circles. To get where she has, at the very top of WA in her sport, has taken huge determination and a lot of pain (she has often been seen hobbling around our office with broken feet on a Monday morning) and so while Emily is a gun on the court, it is her abilities both off and on the court that will get her far.
Emily has written below, a little about her journey and her thoughts on the trials and tribulations of, as well as what it takes, to be a good leader. Hey who knows we could be reading the contemplations of the next female PM…
My name is Emily Cunningham. I am nearly 24 years old; I work full time and am within months of finishing my Uni degree. I work and study HR however I guess my true passion lies in netball and/or anything related to sport and fitness. I have played State League Netball since I was 14 years old and have also had the exciting opportunity of representing Western Australia.
Throughout the years I have had many chances to perform the role of leader whether at school, on the court or off the court as a mentor. I love the opportunity to mentor younger people – I have had numerous coaches and mentors over the years who have shaped who I am today and the thrill of being able to pass on those skills to others, inspires me. If I can provide someone with half of the amazing guidance that I have received todate, it will be a wonderful accomplishment.
Leadership to me means being an example – it’s setting an expected standard. Over the years I have realised that you do not have to be the ‘best’ player on the team, but rather a player who demonstrates the qualities, values and goals that the team is working towards as well as being passionate and competitive whilst remaining supportive and constructive.
A leader knows when to self-sacrifice – putting the team before themselves, assisting the coaches on their day off, or helping out at the local carnival with the kids – who are excited just to see them there, even if this means sacrificing their own personal time. A leader recognises the best way in which their team mates learn – by using aids or perhaps drawing the play. A leader knows how to be reliable, to be someone that their team mates can talk openly to, or knows when to speak up and when to keep things quiet. A leader knows how to show respect – respect for coaches and management, for team mates and for the people that look up to them.
A leader most importantly maintains their integrity at all times.
However, not all of my leadership experiences have been easy and in the past this has lead me to occasionally wonder whether is it really so great to be a leader. The term ‘leader’ is often viewed as a position of power – but in reality it comes with huge responsibility, self sacrifice and can compromise relationships, especially with peers. While being a dependable team mate is a must, sometimes being the one to step up and say something that your team mates may not want to hear or set an example when the buck is down and morale is low, is a difficult thing to do.
I recently had a team mate who was struggling on the court, resulting from problems they were experiencing at home and work – in this case and most others the person bottled up their feelings and tried to perform anyway and of course, the coach/other team mates didnt know and just pushed harder. As a leader within the team, I took her aside to find out what was going on and provided the support and understanding she needed even when it caused some rupture with those who were not aware of her situation.
A team cannot succeed without understanding and unity, a true leader gets that…
I believe that some people are born with the natural qualities that make them a good leader. However, I strongly believe that such qualities can also be enhanced over time and experience as long as this is coupled with passion, determination and most importantly an understanding of the responsibility that it takes to lead people. It may take mistakes and facing a few fears but when does anything worth accomplishing, not.
I was given a quote by Jim Rohn many years ago and it has become a mantra to me;
“the challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”
Leadership is rarely easy – but it is an honour. It’s an opportunity, an opportunity to be a role model, set an example, encourage, inspire, step up and – see the bigger picture. It’s exhilarating and challenging and I could not be luckier to have had the experiences that I have had and cannot wait for future opportunities, future chances. Success to me is learning, and leadership has provided me with the greatest lessons in life.
Tell me have you ever thought about what it is to have courage or to be brave ‘in life’?
A man wrestling a crocodile to save his dog – is brave, the US teacher who put herself in front of her class when the school was being attacked by a gunman – was brave. Bravery is easy to recognise in one off events of pure courage, however being brave or having courage in life, though slightly different, is just as significant.
Being brave or having courage in life means something different for everyone, it really depends on what you fear. I fear public speaking – the mere thought of having to speak in front of an audience about myself, what I do, who I am or even how nutrients affect the life cycle of seagrass makes my hands perspire, my heart beat like an African drum and my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth so any intelligent sounds heard in the near vicinity are certainly not coming from me. It doesn’t matter how I think of the audience – as being naked or a patch of cabbages – I need a brown paper bag just thinking about speaking to any more than 5 people at any one time (slight exaggeration but I am sure you get my point). And forget the questions – that is absolutely the end!!
I know I am not alone, even the most “seemingly” confident people feel distressed when faced with an impending threat, a threat that is personal, can be real or imagined, is frequently well hidden and often battled alone. My friend at work loves public speaking – she looks confused when I tell her of my dread when I need to give an address in the boardroom, she knows she has a story to tell and sees no difficulty in telling it BUT the mere thought of failure, of her getting something wrong, in any way shape or form sends her body into panic and her mind into a spin.
So when we face our own personal fears, for me attempting public speaking, for my friend, admitting she is wrong or has made a mistake, that is being brave in life, it is facing the fear, FEELING IT, taking a deep breath and then doing ‘whatever it is’, ANYWAY.
Makes sense, but why bother, I hear you ask. We all know what it is to feel fear, we have all felt it at one time or another, but there aren’t too many of us (except the odd base jumper) who like it enough to want to go there. So why then should we put ourselves in distressing situations just so we conquer, or at least temper our fears? Why can’t we just behave in the way inherent to human nature when faced with a situation that makes us feel discomfort and avoid, duck, dodge and weave…
In reality, for the most part, we can very easily survive and do whatever it takes to avoid our fears leading an average, comfortable life doing a job because it pays our wage once a month so we can play on the weekends, consider anyone who rubs us up the wrong way as them having the problem not us, staying in relationships because it’s easier that way or staying single because it is too much work to put ourselves out there.
I actually do think it is ok to avoid suffering, I don’t believe that we should think of life as being hard, or that we should make life hard for ourselves, I see this as pointless. I don’t believe in self punishment or that anything was ever achieved by the monks whipping themselves. But what I do believe, is that limiting ourselves in life is making life hard and that it is a form of self punishment…
Lets go back to my example of public speaking. It is my dream to develop Left of Centre Therapies into a full time business, inspiring others to embark on the journey of healing and to be able to live juicy lives unlimited by negative perception or past experience. This is fine, the therapy sessions are one on one but there is going to be a time (actually right now) where I need to nail telling my story to groups of people so I can inspire them to join the healing journey too. I want to expand, get bigger, tell my story some more, be more and not be limited simply because I suck at presenting myself publically.
In fact I am absolutely sure that anyone following their dreams, will be presented with uncomfortable situations and at those very points in time they will need to make a choice, face them or risk restricting growth.
Put in a more visual way, I stood overlooking a very, wild and stormy ocean the other day and noticed just a couple of rays of sun poking through the grey sky onto the waves – the word that sprang to mind was bravery – no I don’t mean that I was brave being down at the ocean in the middle of a storm, but that bravery was depicted by the sun’s rays shining on a little patch of ocean, illuminating it, filling it with warmth and light, while the surrounding sea remained dark. When we are brave, when we face our fears, we light up an area of our life that has been previously kept in the dark and give it a chance to be filled with warmth and light. When we are brave we light up our lives while others around us remain in the dark – and life favours the brave.
Having the courage to open up and shed light on our fears, is to realise that while they may never totally disappear, we can be the master of things that are trying to enslave us.
So make a start – look at problems as opportunities, I have an opportunity now to get some help with my fear through attending a public speaking course. Its exciting and confidence building to think I may in time be able to handle situations that I would, at the moment, shy away from as well as the chance of meeting and learning from people who are in the same situation as me.
Share your dreams and visions with others and learn to admit your fears too, showing vulnerability is both therapeutic (except in the case of the man wrestling the crocodile), and relationship building. Open communication enables you to attract like minded people and a chance to learn from their experiences and their coping mechanisms too.
Hang out with others around you who lead courageous lives, see these people as your “courage people”, spend time with them to help inspire you to get through the rough patches and not give up.
Aspire to BE and believe in yourself as part of your own ‘bigger picture’ destiny. Having aspiration helps to fuel perseverance, persistence and determination.
Ignore any flak you may get in your journey, accept that some people will try to influence you, and many will not understand you. Never compromise yourself by trying to influence these people or force your ideas onto them. Stand on your own if you have to.
And finally, in these days of the internet and facebook there is never ending stream of advice and motivational quotes, so notice those which speak of bravery and be inspired…
Winston S. Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Nelson Mandela: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”
“The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all”
While there are many religious beliefs providing theories on the origin of life and the Human Race, it was the scientists such as Carl Linnaeus and Charles Darwin who explored the theory that the Human Race evolved from animals. Assuming this to be true, as time goes by, we continue to evolve further and further away from our origin, the animals, as we lead practical lives surrounding ourselves with concrete, pseudo experiences and the ever pressing need for material success.
However, in our spiritual lives, it is the animals who have much to teach US. Wherever wild animals exist they remain connected to the earth, surviving by the use of their instinctual nature and characteristics unique to their kind, characteristics which they have developed to enhance the survival of their species. It is these instinctual, survival characteristics that we identify in animal totems that can be used to guide us spiritually through our own lives.
Totem, derived from native American language, refers to kinship, and an animal totem is an animal who you personally develop a kinship/relationship with. This Native American tradition provides that we are connected to 9 different animals that will guide us throughout our lives. The particular animal totem present at a particular time will depend on our journey or the direction in which we are headed. In seeking to connect or find our animal totems, we are seeking to connect and bond with the spirit of an animal that means something to us and recognise the qualities in that animal that may be needed, at that time, in our life.
For example, my current animal totem is a deer. The deer is a gentle and graceful animal and has been recently present to encourage me to take a gentle and graceful approach to the difficulties I am facing in my life right now.
Finding your own animal totem is very simple. Below is an exercise you might like to try to discover your personal animal totem and thereby gain guidance for your own journey and self discovery.
Sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing.
Notice any tension and breathe into it, pushing it away. Look for any tension in your head and breathe into it, any tension in your shoulders, your torso, your hips, your legs, your feet.
Pay attention to your feet, let them feel heavy and connected to the earth.
Then go to a room in your mind. In the middle of the room is a chair, sit down on the chair. In front of you there is a large wall made of glass. Through the glass you can see a landscape, it may be a forest, a mountain, a field, it might be a beach. Whatever landscape it is, take in the scenery.
Then you notice a door in the wall, stand up, walk through the door and into the landscape. There is a path that winds safely through the landscape, set off walking down that path. Notice any sounds, any sensations, any movements.
You follow the path until you come to a protected space, it might be a clearing in the forest or a large, horizontal boulder on the side of the mountain. Find somewhere to sit and relax, you have come to this place to meet your animal guide.
Ask your animal guide to come out and meet you and then relax, they will come when they are ready.
When you see them feel a warmth around your heart as you connect with this kindred spirit.
Look into the animals eyes, ask it any questions you may have, maybe you could ask it what characteristics it possesses that you may need in your life right now?. Spend as long as you want to in this space with your animal.
When you are ready to go, stand up and look for your path. Walk back along the path noticing any movements, any sounds – enjoy your walk and finally return to your room.
Walk back through the door and sit back on your chair. When you are ready wriggle your toes and fingers, take a deep breath and open your eyes.
So now that you have met your current animal guide, look out for it in pictures or dreams – remember life is symbolic, it just needs interpreting!
To help you, here are some common animal totems and their meanings – though there is much more information available in books and on the internet – enjoy – and any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask:
|Bear||Industrious, instinctive, healing, power, sovereignty, guardian of the world, watcher, courage, will power, self-preservation, introspection, and great strength.|
|Cat||Guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, and independence|
|Dog||Noble, faithful, loyal, teaching, protection, and guidance|
|Dove||Cross-world communication, spirit messenger, peace, gentleness, love|
|Eagle||Divine spirit, sacrifice, connection to creator, intelligence, renewal, courage, illumination of spirit, healing, creation, freedom, and risk-taker|
|Elephant||Strength, power, affection, loyalty, royalty, and wisdom|
|Owl||Deception, clairvoyance, insight, messenger.|
|Wolf||Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, and spirit|
I woke up this morning thinking about how I was going to spend today. Was it going to be just another day with a list of tasks to drudge through (because it is a Thursday after all) until the weekend or should today be about adventure, maybe it could be about what can I achieve, what can I learn or who I come across (I might have got a little distracted thinking about this one…) or maybe there is a way I can influence the world to make it a better place?
I began to think about people I know, those who approach life in a way that I admire. They are the ones who THINK about things, and because they think they are the ones with the big hearts. They act consciously always aware of the implications of their interactions and commitment to themselves and others.
I have lots of really thoughtful people in my life but three in particular come to mind (because I have to have my mum in here too). They are the ones who listen intently to my whole story without looking vacantly around the room or interrupting to tell me about something similar happened to them, they are the ones who are also always so patiently attentive when I tell the SAME OLD STORY of the same old, unsolved problems that I love to talk about and respond with the same gentle and consistent advice.
They actively think about their friends and what they may need, they are sensitive to the feelings of the person who lashes out, for they are most likely the ones to be hurting and neither respond badly nor take it personally, they are the ones who look for ways to assist others and the community to feel a sense of satisfaction when they make someone’s day a little brighter.
When I think of them I imagine the biggest, sweetest pink hearts sitting inside their chests.
My friend S has her own story of a physically, diagnosed, reoccurring sickness requiring her continued attention to taking care of herself. She has had her own issues with disinterested families and childhood hardship. She is young to be a mother (by todays standards) and while that means she has not the opportunities that others may have around her, you rarely hear her complain about her circumstances. Her sons are little treasures themselves with gentle and interested spirits.
People like these have much to teach us. They teach us that to be thoughtful is to expand our awareness, to make a connection to others on a deeper, more profound level. They teach us to bring our attention to the needs of others by becoming aware/conscious of their feelings and sensitive to their wellbeing. They are aware of the vulnerable aspect of both themselves and others. They teach us to intend to care and choose to give.
My friend R has her own PR Company and built it to a level where she can choose her clients. It is soul satisfaction that she chases, not money and so her work includes presenting community events and fundraising for endangered wildlife and the environment.
She was raised with strong Christian values, in particular the desire to help others in need. She has recently considered sharing her home with a man that is connected to her family, who is young and desperately in need of support and love, but who has never been shown support and love, just abuse since he was young. Despite the troubles that this person may bring to her home and her life, she still considers what help she can provide.
And then of course there is my Mum. She is the definition of compassion and thoughtfulness. It is only recently that she has started to do things for herself (which is great to see), she has spent most of her life seeing a gap where someone may need something and doing whatEVER she can to fill it. She is a wonderful influence on her Granddaughter!
However, being thoughtful or thinking is actually quite difficult, it is a learned skill, I know this from being around children ALL of who are very self centred only developing compassion and thoughtfulness as they grow. M Scott Peck also suggests that to think well is a laborious, often painstaking process until you become “thoughtful”. Although people are different, an all too common flaw is that most tend to believe that they instinctively know how to think and communicate, in reality they do neither well because they are either too self-satisfied to examine their assumptions about thinking, or too self-absorbed to invest in the time and energy to do so.
In short thinking takes time and effort, it takes practice and trial and error, but thinking separates out the angels from those who do what they do for their own self satisfaction. The thinkers are easy to spot, they are the ones who make you smile and feel good once they are gone – for it is the angels who when they leave your company, leave a smile on your face, and the devils in turn who leave behind the heartache.
So at the end of my morning thoughts, interrupted by the sound of the bell (my alarm clock), I decided today would be a day of thoughtfulness and adventure. In an effort to make it a good and interesting start for all of us I decided to take the long way, past the beach before work/school, I had a quick coffee and the kids ran around on the grass, before getting back in the car, wind swept and happy and commenting all the way along west coast highway how good the salt tasted on our lips…
And so I hope todays post inspires you to be thoughtful about how you can put more good into this world?
Since launching Left of Centre Therapies earlier this year, I have been inundated with the question what is reiki? Especially within my ties to the corporate world, this question has not just been a what is reiki? question, but also a why reiki? question.
I discussed this very thing with a colleague who is visiting from our Africa office, just this week, a man who suffers from diabetes therefore is constantly watching his sugar levels and constantly taking medication. We discussed his diagnosis, the medical side to his life and his reliance on drugs. And then he asked me where Reiki might fit into this.
My colleague had spent much time working out how to manage his diabetes, how to manage his eating, how to live with his disease, but not much time thinking about the where it came from, save from eating too much sugar. Why had he reached a point in his life where his diet had become unbalanced and excessive – what had his reliance on sugar given him that he was not getting from life itself? I explained that this is where the Reiki, alternative medicines and healing come in. The focus of these therapies is not just on symptoms but most importantly also on the cause.
I also read an article yesterday in the ‘Have a Go News’, a free paper that was at my son’s karate class (this may be an admission of not watching the karate, but there is only so much karate you can watch :)). The article, ‘stress and manifesting disease’, further explains my point. Research, the medical community and alternative health professionals all support that stress plays a major role in the incidence of disease. The article quotes a radio interview with a doctor who suggests that 99.5% of disease is a manifestation of stress.
In the initial stages unresolved stress firstly manifests in behaviour, with complaints of being unable to cope or being stressed out. This leads to the use of coping mechanisms or habits such as drinking, smoking, comfort eating etc. None of these work, with the habits themselves often not only causing disease, but also suppressing the emotions we are feeling, such sadness, fear, hurt or guilt. Suppressed emotion then results in anxiety and physcial pressure on the body which shows intself in the form of disease or pain.
The article went on to describe how alternative medicine techniques can be used to help relieve this ‘initial stage’ stress by changing unwanted thinking, behaviours and releasing emotions so that they do not have the chance to manifest into harm or physical pressure on the body.
So that is the why answered, now for the What is Reiki???
Reiki is the ancient spiritual practice of Hands on Healing and a form of alternative medicine. Our bodies have a natural energy force, Reiki works with that energy to rebalance the flow and release blocked emotions thereby enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal and regain harmony. Reiki’s peaceful and loving energy can help heal and energize your body, create harmony in your emotions, peace and clarity in your mind and balance in your energy field.
Reiki is recognised as a complementary medicine and can be safely used to support orthodox treatments without interfering with or diminishing the intended effects of other health or medical practices. Reiki treatments are increasingly accepted in health and community care facilities being the most accessed complementary treatment for cancer and leukaemia patients at SolarisCare Cancer Support Centre, Sir Charles Gairdner hospital.
The Benefits of Reiki include:
- Deeply relaxes the body allowing release of stress and tension
- Reduces or relieves pain and discomfort
- Aids sleep
- Heals physical, mental and emotional conditions
- Enhances optimism and sense of well being
- Aids spiritual growth and emotional clearing
- Increases energy, vitality
- Creates harmony within yourself and your life
And as such I love to use Reiki in my healing practice as it creates such a beautiful sense of peace and wellbeing in my clients…