Monthly Archives: December 2016

What is Your Intention for Christmas Day?

“Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us – a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.”  David Cameron

I’m not sure that I agree with this quote entirely. Reflection on the important things is always a great start for this special day. But to me that includes forgetting  all about business, goals and plans, for one day at least. I have worked in hospitals on Christmas Day helping sick people and if you are in a profession or service based job that is needed on Christmas Day, then it can be very rewarding to help make this special day go as well as it can, without too many major hitches. However if you are lucky enough to be with loved ones or friends then I think the only intention we should have is to work at the conversations you will be having with people who find it very easy to push your buttons. They know you very well and they may have another agenda from you, about how the day should look.

As human beings we all have a fundamental need to be right. One of the best gifts we can give is our presence without judgement. This does not mean that it is easy, but if you go in with the intention of really listening to the other person before you respond you may find the conversations go better. Once the day is over and you are pleased with how it went because you responded better than you may have in the past, then you can look back not just at that day but the whole of 2016 and reflect on the changes you can make to help create an improved 2017. This challenge, should you choose to accept it, could be the start of better relationships in the future. I’m certainly up for it. How about joining me and let me know how it went.

Enjoy Listening as part of your Conversational Intelligence!

My Dad is a Chronic Worrier, What About You?

“Worrying about things that might never happen, increases their chances of happening.”   Mike Dooley

As it says in the cartoon, 95% of the things you worry about never happen. This can be true, but what also can be true, is that in fact you are attracting to you the very thing you don’t want into your life. This is because the Law of Attraction is always at work. Whatever your predominant thoughts & feelings are about, is what you will attract. Worries, doubts and fears always have emotion attached to them from the negative category. So whatever it is that we are expecting to go wrong, will have an element of that going on. If however we expect to find that car park right outside the door, or that we will meet the person who is able to help us exactly when we need them, then that is what becomes our reality.

As the wife says in the cartoon, “You worry too much, it doesn’t do you any good.” If we remember that every emotion we have, creates a physiological reaction in our bodies, we will want to try to keep that in a state of positive flow. The negative thoughts and feelings create chemicals that are not conducive to good health whereas the positive feelings of happiness, love and gratitude, create the feeling of wellbeing. What is it that you are wanting? I’m presuming you would like to be changing your thought patterns from ones of limitation to those of empowerment. One simple little thing we can all do when faced with something that crops up that disempowers us. In this situation most of us don’t feel like smiling & we often can tend to hang our head. If instead we smile & look up, it is very difficult for the body to feel that sense of disempowerment.

Enjoy practising this when with family who trigger us over the holidays!

Are You Always Looking on the Bright Side?

“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”   Dave Willis

I have spoken before about how our world can change when we change our perspective. To recognise that we are in fact being critical we need to observe ourselves in action day in & day out. It can be helpful to write down some of the things that are happening & how we responded before we can actually see the patterns we are setting up. Only when we see that, can we change it. Encouragement can even come in the form of a smile or a heartfelt hello to a stranger on the street. We will never know how much that sign of a basic goodness in humanity, may make to another’s life.

I have to say I have struggled at times with this myself having been brought up in a household that although loving was also judgemental. If I’m feeling tired or threatened in any way I can quickly fall into a shutdown where I’m the one needing the encouragement.  The inner critic can have a field day finding all the faults of my behaviour. I’m constantly checking in to find out, ‘why did I behave in a negative way,’ when I’m aware that the feel good sensations are not there. Are you aware of situations where you can be open and caring, and other situations when you shutdown. It’s only with this honest appraisal, that we can change our approach to life. Take care however in this process that you don’t allow your inner critic to take over. That will only make you feel worse. So take note and move on to practising forgiveness and encouragement to yourself and others.

Enjoy looking at life from the bright side!

Are you “Ruined by Praise,” or “Ruined by Criticism?”

“The trouble with most of us is, that we would rather be ruined by praise, than ruined by criticism.” Norman Vincent Peale

It’s human nature to want praise. We thrive on praise. It’s been shown with research that our physiology perks up and works better when we receive praise or in fact give praise or thanks to others. It was considered years ago, that children needed to be punished to learn things, hence ‘getting the strap’ at school. Now they’ve found that corporal punishment does the opposite. Our brains don’t remember anything when in a fearful state. So suddenly it was no longer acceptable in most western societies to hit children, and rightly so I believe. However like so many things, the tide of public opinion swung the other way and criticism was lumped into the bucket of no punishment.

I belong to a Toastmasters group and each speech, whether an organised one, or one ‘off the cuff,’ has an element of critique to it. The format is to sandwich the criticism between two lots of praise or commendation. It is considered that we can only learn if we have honest appraisal from another or in fact from ourselves. Like everything in life, it is important to get the balance, between all praise or all criticism. If the evaluation of another’s performance is asked for, expected, and given in a compassionate way, it can feel quite different than comments that sound like outright condemning judgement. We need constructive criticism to grow! However we also need the praise to put us in the frame of mind to receive the criticism from a place of acceptance.

Enjoy receiving both the praise and the criticism!