SHIFT Happens

Last week I had a chance to help some people come to agreement on a long-standing issue.  It’s always satisfying when you can see what’s in the way and help them move around or through or over or under what ever that is.  It made me realize a couple of things about practice and mastery and how reading people is essential in this business.  It is not just about reading people and identifying their criteria for resolution but also ready what behaviours are infuriating or frustrating the other people in the room.  So you watch EVERYBODY and you notice your own responses and you name it.  The naming part takes courage but it is really all you have to do.  Finding a gentle way to tell someone that their behaviour is not helping can be tricky but well worth the mental effort it takes to cushion the words and use language you are confident they will understand. When you do SHIFT happens.

I was reminded that the PULSE Frame is very effective.  It is part of my MO now in most situations and in a high conflict one the elements are more obvious and their strong grounding in theory makes them very dependable.  Prepare for the conversation.  Then Uncover what they have come to resolve today.  Then Learn why its important to them, their criteria for resolution. Then Search possibilities that could resolve the situation and meet the shared and individual criteria.  Then write a plan of action that contains detailed items that are within their authority and will be shared with those who are involved in its implementation.  Introducing the process at the beginning … the process, purpose and protocol … and wrapping it up at the end are also important to give everyone confidence in the outcome.


By now some of you will be able to tell that the SHARP as a Marble post was a repeat of the Making a SHIFT.  I was testing out the new website  It is live and it is undergoing some adjustments as I figure out how to keep all of you informed and interested and move to the new site without disruption.  The SHARP as a Marble was a test. And it proofed that I am not as SHARP today as I need to be to enter into the underground, mystifying world of the connected, interconnected “inter-web”

I have somehow acquired two Facebook pages, three twitter accounts and have connected the linked in account to both blog pages.  Once all of them are coming from the same source and only once we can make this work seamlessly. For know it’s a little rough.

On the PULSE website we had a newsletter list that we wanted to integrate as well because the PULSE site was going into mothballs.  I will be able to send newsletters from the site to the loyal PULSE followers around the world. So the plan was based on my retiring and becoming a writer.

Plans change….  as you have heard me say  …. they are just something to base change on.

More on that later….

Just a brief note today on the importance of measuring your wellbeing from time to time.  How well are you feeling on each of the five intelligence measures?

Intellectually are you feeling SHARP?  What is your sense of whether or not your mind is working at capacity today?

Emotionally are you feeling HAPPY?  What emotions are you aware of and how light or heavy is your heart today?

Relationally are you feeling INDEPENDENT?  What level of control do you sense with your relationships today?

Physically are you feeling FIT? What is your sense of your level of health and fitness today?

Spiritually are you feeling TRUSTING? What sense do you have that you can trust others and the universe today?

Keep this list on your fingers and remind yourself to check in from time to time.  If you are feeling low in one measure and higher in another focus on what you can do from the higher measure to help increase the lower one.

Take Good Care.


This morning I am writing on a brand new computer.   I had a great one that froze on me way back in September.  I spent hours and hours trying to get it back but it would work for an hour or so and then shut down without warning.  I spent time on-line with tech people and talked to me computer geek brother about it.  It seemed obvious that it had a mechanical flaw.  So the company sent me a box and I sent the box and the computer back on October 3rd.   About three weeks later I got an email thanking me for my business and closing the file.  I objected.  I had not received any notice that my computer was fixed or on its way back. How could the file be closed?

I got a phone call a week or so later.  The computer was back with the company but there was some confusion around the shipping address.  My postal code starts a T.  Somehow it was recorded as 5.   There had been an attempt to deliver it but they could not find the address.  Using the tracking number, five emails and 3 phone calls later we determine that it was delivered to someone in Mississauga … 4,000 kilometres away.  It was delivered on October 28th.  Again I received a nice email thanking me and notifying me that the file would be closed.

So It is February now.  Yesterday I finally was able to get my hands on the new replacement computer.  It is a beauty.  I will watch for the signs of malfunction closely.  I have learned a lot about how to get the computer back… none of which worked on my hard defective hardware but might work on something in the programming going awry.  I have also learned to be persistent, but I already knew that and for the most part it was a gentle, honest, open, specific talk kind of persistence.

It has been difficult for me to work with out a fully reliable computer so I welcome this state of the art machine.  We will have to spend sometime getting to know each other and I will have to mothball the one I brought out of hiding once again.  If I included the time I spent trying to upgrade that one from vista to 8.1 with no luck at all and the time I spent with the repair people and the customer service people I could probably have finished my book.

Life is full of disruptions.  Sometimes they take the form of shiny objects to chase down dead-end roads.  I had one such call yesterday.  Someone from a news radio station out of New York.   He asked me a million questions and kept me on the phone for over an hour.  Near the beginning of the conversation, after he had said that he was targeting small businesses and looking for the best female coaches in Canada to feature on his radio show where I would be interviewed by Doug Llewellyn,  I asked if there was a fee and mentioned that if there was I was not interested.  I was pretty  and Other clear.  I have heard these kind of stories before.  So after reassurances that the entrepreneurs would pay NO FEE  – his exact words – I answered his questions about my story and why women would hire me as their coach. there were personal questions about what I charge and how many clients I would be able to take on because millions of people would be calling me after the broadcast.

Then the shoe dropped …  A script writer would be calling me and his fee was $995.00.  Then a tirade about the money that would flow to me as a result.  I was disappointed and I said so.  He had wasted my time and his.  Even though I had specifically asked and was adamantly reassured that this was at no cost to me there indeed WAS a fee.  I felt duped.  I had people waiting for me so I excused myself after expressing my disappointment and my feelings of having been played.

The experience must have been valuable at some level, right?  I did learn that I am not as interested in building a client list as I am in helping people I know and who have come to me for education or coaching help.  I love working with people.  I love to hear the uniqueness in every story and the find the hidden potential they may have overlooked.  It is satisfying.

I could go on but I have already exceeded my typical three to four hundred words in a blog rule and now I am taking your time.  So sorry.  Yours is valuable.  Now that I have these two time wasters off my chest and I have a new shiny computer to work on I will go back to the rhythm of shorter and hopefully more frequent blogs.  Take good care.  Remember to SHIFT when you are feeling down.


Can you tell the difference between someone who is being reverent and someone who is being irreverent?  I think they can mean somewhat the same thing.  if you are being irreverent is because at some level you feel a certain mount of reverence for the person, place or thing.  Otherwise you wouldn’t take the time to be irreverent.  It is kind of like “irregardless” to me.

That’s not really what I wanted to talk about today but it has been in my head for about a week.  I was introduced to Mrs. Brown on YouTube a week ago.  It is a BBC sitcom now I believe and it is very funny in an irreverent kind of way.  If you need a laugh, a belly laugh, I recommend you watch an episode or two as long as you are not easily offended.  Mrs. Brown says what the rest of us might only think.  She reminds me of my family from Newfoundland.  She has same irreverent attitude toward people, places and things that my mother and her sisters had.

It has been a long week.  Getting back in the swing of things often takes more energy than I remember from the last time I was away.  Meetings and visitors and curling and hosting parties and laundry and unpacking and it was a very full week.  This post is not as exciting as the descriptions of exotic places from last week.  It is home and it is routine and I love it just as much as being away.

At home there are always problems to solve and plans to make and things to do, the routine weekly, monthly and annual things that fill your calendar.  Those are the kind of things we think everybody else does better than us… keeping organized.  Staying on top of household accounts, repairs and replacements and social events and media and finding time to work too is not for the faint of heart.  It can be exhausting especially if you spent last week in an exotic place NOT thinking about any of that.

Back to the grind … with a smile on my face and reverence for all things routine.  Find the time to work on the book this week.  It’s going to be great.  Just wait and see. But as Mrs. Brown might say …”Too bad the &^%$@# thing can’t write itself.  It’s the only way you’ll get it done.” Irreverence … always a grain of truth.

I have always thought of myself as independent.  Even when I was totally financial dependent on others, I imagined that I still had decision making power and control over how things would turn out.  I acted as if my voice still counted and I took responsibility for those decision that I helped to make.

An independent spirit requires that you maintain a certain level of competence and distance from others.  It is not that you loose any sense of compassion or caring.  It is just that you take the observe role and see the situation from a perspective that allows you to observe the good and the bad in any and all possible outcomes.  You do not become lost in the needs of others nor do you ignore their needs to gain your own advantage.  It is this level of autonomy that keeps us sane and healthy in difficult situations and it is that level of autonomy that we lose when we slip into dependence – emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, intellectual or relational.

How do we guard ourselves against that kind of dependence?  First we must recognize the signs of waning self confidence and waxing loss of identity. Knowing your own mind, heart and body is the first step and being tuned into changes or SHIFTS is key.  When you begin to set aside your own needs on a regular basis is it is time to take stock.  When you are blaming others for your situation it is time to take stock and when you are making decisions for others it is also time to take stock.  It is a balancing act and you will know when you are in the GROOVE

Take good care this week. Keep in touch with yourself and your relational well-being.  Maintain a healthy distance from those you are not ready to trust.  Rely on yourself and on those with whom you have developed a healthy INTERdependence.

“Happy, happy, happy, happy”  What makes you happy?

Research is showing the our thoughts control our moods.  In other words, if you think happy you feel happy.  That is cool.  I have always felt more in control of how I think so this research is suggesting to me that if I can control my thoughts I can also control my feelings.

I like to feel happy.  I believe that most people do.  I also think that it can be a lot of work sometimes to maintain a level of thinking that keeps us happy.  Reframing our lives, even our past childhoods into positive experiences is always a choice.  We can accept what we see, hear and experience as happy or sad, good or bad, heaven or hell.  It really is up to us.

That’s a lot of responsibility.  If live gives you lemons you are EXPECTED to make lemon aid…AND DRINK IT.

Here’s the thing…We only know what happiness is because we have experienced sad.  Choice comes from understanding the contrast. I believe it is good for us to sit in the negative emotion for a while until we truly understand the source.  What thoughts or familiar thought patterns have taken us to the dark side.  It’s okay to wallow in it every now and then.  Chronic wallowing is not encouraged but sometimes it can be cathartic.  So go ahead and be sad, feel bad and live in the hell you are creating for your self.  Just know that happiness, goodness and heaven are just a choice, a thought away.  Your call.

Heart and head influence each other so much.  Give yourself a break and generate the happy heart you deserve.  Find the positive in the situation or the humourous and enjoy a good laugh.  It’s good for the heart.  So is a good cry.  Be Gentle and Honest with yourself and watch for the contrasts that can teach you how to be happy.


Take good care.

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