SHIFT Happens


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.

One of the things that kind of drives me crazy is the number of identities we have these days.  What I mean is that we have multiple email addresses and multiple phone numbers and multiple addresses that we send things to and live in from time to time.  We carry multiple devices and identification cards and have multiple passwords for multiple favourite webistes.  We have become multiples.

Do you wake up each morning wondering where you are and who you have to be that day?  Are you asked for a password or a PIN number more than twice a day. Do you feel like your being is consumed by the multiple  interactions with machinery that guide you through the day?  It is weird isn’t it? Mind numbing actually.

Maybe its the fact that I have just returned from Hawaii and the Aloha spirit is still in my soul.  I have been fighting the multiple aspect of my identity for almost a year now try to consoldate who I am and what it means to be me.  No easy task.

Is it even possible to have one address, one email address, one credit card, one password and unity of purpose in our day and age? I am struggling. It is especially important as I research happiness. Me and thousands of others have been doing that for a long time. I saw Hector and the Search for happiness in the theater the other day. It’s a great movie with a great message.

Happiness is experiencing all of your emotions and understanding the contrast. Happiness is a choice. Circumstances are not the cause of happiness because different people experience the same circumstance as happy or sad. It is all relative. So can you be happy in a world that only knows you through machines and numbers and passwords? It seems you can. All you need is one person to know you and love you anyway.

I am still going to work toward a single identity. I am going to find a password that meets ALL the criteria ANYONE has set for passwords and use it. I am going to wean my self to one email address and change the address on my drivers license to reflect where I live most of the time. I am working on integrating myself and my identities. It is my Plan Nouveau. How else can you be one with the universe if you are not first one with yourself.

Have a great day.

Thursday is the 4th. The 4th of each month I have scheduled a free webinar for PULSE people which includes anyone who is interested in what PULSE is and how it works. This months Webinar is on a Sharp Mind. It deals with the magnificent brain, neuroscience and many other amazing things that help us maintain and increase our mental capacity and our intellectual strength. Of course in forty minutes we can only scratch the surface. I invite you to join in the conversation especially if you have an interest in what research is saying about brain function and capacity or the difference between “mind” and “brain”.

This will be the first in the SHIFT series of Webinars. Sharp Mind, Happy Heart, Independent Spirit, Fit Body and Trusting Soul make up the series and are scheduled on the 4th of each month at 10:00 am Mountain Time for the next five months. Join the discussion. You’ll find more info and a link below.

Event: ‘A Sharp Mind’
Date: Thursday, September 04, 2014 – 10:00 am
Duration: 40 Minutes

One of the measures of wellness in the SHIFT process is a Sharp Mind. All of us have days where we feel dull, where the words we are searching for are just out of reach, where our brain feels sluggish and not always engaged, like it is slipping gears. Then we have other days were the focus is crystal clear and we know the answers and we can solve any problem, where we are witty and thoughtful and ON. What are the skills that we can use to increase the likelihood of a having Sharp Mind every day? What makes it sharp or dull and how can we measure on a scale from dull to sharp where we are now?
Join us on September 4th to talk about intelligence of the mind!
Click the Link Below to Join the Webinar:
https://pulseinstitute.adobeconnect.com/_a935439986/sharp/

 

 

Listening is a skill.  You need to practice a skill if you hope to improve it.  That was the premise behind the POWER listening webinar I delivered yesterday.

http://pulseinstitute.adobeconnect.com/p97u0vgopq7/  You can watch the unedited version by following the link.

Listening is so important as one of the main ways that we gather information from our world.  We use all of our senses for sure. In listening though we seem to be part of all of the aspects.  What I mean is that we are sender, medium and receiver.  What we pay attention to while we are listening changes the other person’s story even when we are silent.   they are watching for our responses and it will help them decide what to say next. When we receive a message we filter it through our own static.  Quieting that static is a large part of the skill of listening deeply.

There are different ways to listening.  You can listen to something.  You can listen for something which is more deliberate and can be very effective in promoting good conversation. You can listen on behalf of someone else which is often what a mediator does as they help parties build understanding.  You can also listen with others.  Doing that is what I call deep listening.  If you are with a group and listening together it is wonderful to share and hear their interpretation.  Nothing demonstrates how we use our filters like a group listen.

In the webinar I talk about listening with HEART which is the more passive skill of giving others a space to speak into, one that is safe and caring.  then I talk about POWER listening which is more about providing evidence of listening.  i think both are necessary.  If you listen politely and never provide evidence of what you hear the other person will not have the same sense of freedom from having been hear, acknowledged and understood.

Some days it is easier to listen than others.  Distractions are everywhere in our world and they are the enemy of good listening.  Listening intently and with purpose requires that we use our listening muscles to cut through the distraction and focus our attention on what is being said … and not said.  Listening occurs with eyes and ears and body and it takes practice.

What kind of listening workout do you have  planned today?

So what shows up in my life lately are movies and invitations about story telling and writing.  I am always fascinated about how what we focus on appears.  I believe it is likely always there but we don’t necessarily see it until our attention is drawn by some inner need to complete something.

This weekend I watched a movie called Sunshine and Shadows.  It is set in England and Tuscany.  It is about a publisher who is also a fledgling writer who is assigned to find a writer who hasn’t written a book in more than 20 years and convince his to write again.  I loved the story.  It was funny and compassionate and well written.  I also am a fan of Tuscany and the people there.  the other movie I watched this weekend was Under the Tuscan Sun.  I had seen that one before and just needed to watch a good story with a happy ending again to bolster my faith in humanity.

The line from the Sunshine and Shadows movie that has stayed with me is “Writing is hard work.”  Why that is news to me I can’t really figure out.  I know that writing is hard work.  I also know that GETTING TO THE WRITING is harder for me.  The two books that are in my head are heavy.  I feel as if I am nine and a half months pregnant with twins. I can block time and set deadlines until the cows come home but it doesn’t really move the book along.  I need help.

Suggestions???

I love having a place in Canmore and I often consider how wonderful it would be to live in this mountain paradise.  It is a winter wonderland right now.  Fresh snow has covered the mountain peaks and the roads of course.  Skiers are smiling broadly. Motorists … not so much.

While my friends and I were wondering downtown through the shops yesterday I saw two signs that I will remember for a long time.  One said “If you were looking for a SIGN, here it is.”  The other said “You cannot leave where you are until you know where you are going.”  Both are true and thought-provoking … especially if you are considering making a move to a new location.

Canmore has lots to offer.  It is has a large active retirement community.  It has an institute dedicated to studying aging.  It has a new world-class recreational centre.  It is next door to the most magnificent National Park in our country.  It has four and five-star restaurants.  It is an outdoor active place and after a long cold winter it offers a change in attitude toward weather and being out doors.  To learn that you only have to look at the clothing stores in town.  Not much office wear there.  The stores are full of gear for any weather and any outdoor activity.  That is very telling.

People move here because people move here.  They are active and engaged with nature and the community. What would it be like to live here full-time?  Having lived in Grande Cache, another albeit less populated and less famous mountain resort town, I know that life would not necessarily match the utopian image we have for being on permanent vacation in a resort town.  But there is a lot to be said for mountain living.  Hmmmmm…..

In the past we have conducted PULSE programs here that are very well received by the African and American participants in the program.  There may be opportunities to create some interest and attract people to the mountains to contemplate the wisdom of PULSE once again.  Here it is possible to meet needs for every BEACH.  There is experience for the body, inspiration fro the heart and instruction for the head.  A well balanced program that could inspire and instruct through the mountain experience.  It is a perfect place for us to study the SHIFT program together.  We can create a space where we can become SHARP, HAPPY, INDEPENDENT, FIT, TRUSTING people.  SIGN me up.  I have seen the sign. (smile)

It seems as if I have just arrived and it is time once again to pack the car and go.  I will be back soon for my monthly fix of mountain air, and if we can pull it off, we will plan a get together for the PULSE professionals over the summer in this wonderful mountain paradise.  Are you in?

I am not sure why but this morning I have been thinking about the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”  I think at the Academy Awards they recognized the 75 th of anniversary of the film.  I remember P!nk singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Maybe that is why it is with me.

The characters …Scarecrow, Tin-man and Lion … were all searching for something.  Even Dorothy was looking for a way home.  These characters represent our Head, Heart and Body.  Scarecrow was looking for a brain. What the Wizard gave him was evidence of his already being smart with a diploma.  The diploma gave him the confidence to move forward.  The Tin-man was looking for a Heart, ways to connect with other people.  The Wizard again gave him evidence that he already demonstrated the compassion he was seeking. The Lion was looking for courage.  He wanted to be brave in the face of present danger.  The Wizard gave him a medal as evidence that he had already demonstrated courage and bravery. Confidence, compassion and courage.   Head, heart and body.

Dorothy, too, discovered that she had had the power to return home all along.  All she had to do was click her heels together three times and say …”There is no place like home.”  Like Dorothy we all  have  the power we need within us to make a change and make a difference.  We can demonstrate confidence, compassion and courage under certain circumstances but we may not be very good at recognizing our own strengths.  Think about a time when you had the confidence to make a change and the compassion and courage to make a difference.

BE the Wizard today.  Give someone else evidence that they already possess confidence, compassion and courage.  Do it by noticing for them what they may not recognize in themselves.  Tell them their own story from a different perspective.  They will smile.

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