Category Archives for "Connect with Yourself"

2 mindset coaching self friendship

Have you got your own back?

mindset coaching self friendshipDo you have someone who knows you really well and accepts you despite your so-called flaws, your occasional ‘fly-off-handle’ moments and your fabulous idiosyncrasies? If yes, lucky you! If no, how about extending this unconditional friendship to yourself? I came across a stonkingly good quote from Sidney J Harris that highlights the knock-on effect of not being a good friend to yourself:

“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.”

So let’s look at the ingredients for a really delicious friendship cake (emm cake…).  I’d start with a big dollop of kindness (otherwise our cake will be really crumbly), then add loyalty (without this it’s just gonna be bitter), don’t forget the honesty (or it just won’t rise), compassion (this binds all the deliciousness together), respect, patience and many, many more.  This is making me hungry…

Emmm cake

These are all lovely words, but what would we do/think/say/feel if we were to treat ourselves with kindness, loyalty, honesty and compassion? Now that is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ kinda question… We are all so beautifully unique but I feel there is some common ground.

Let’s start with allowing our feelings to be whatever they are without trying to change, deny or invalidate them.  If we feel sad, excited, angry, calm, frightened etc then you don’t need to hold them up to a firing squad and question if we are entitled to feel that way – a classic is to tell yourself you don’t have a right to be unhappy because you live in a warm house in a safe country and have enough food to eat which is more than most of the people in the world…So would you like some guilt to go with that unhappiness or maybe a sprinkling of shame? If you are feeling unhappy then channel your inner Beatles and ‘let it be’. A friend wouldn’t say ‘You’re not allowed to feel [fill in the blank]’?

All the way to the top please

Same goes for excited and happy – sometimes we can feel very uneasy when we are happy in a ‘this won’t last, I’m inviting disaster being this happy’ kind of way.  Picture yourself on the balcony of a skyscraper called ‘Happiness’ (maybe not if you get vertigo) – if you only go to 3rd floor it’s a shorter fall than if you go to the 26th floor – but hey, what a view from the 26th floor of happiness! There is a theory that being happy tops up our resilience for more trying times – so gorge yourself on this good stuff.

Supportive Friend Manual page 1

Our inner voices (believe me, most people have more than one inner voice and they really know how to argue with each other…) are our sound track of life. Sometimes we can speak to ourselves in the cruellest and most uncompassionate of ways – ways in which we certainly wouldn’t speak to our best friend – well not if we wanted to continue the friendship. If you metaphorically fell flat on your face would a friend say ‘you are so uncoordinated, you always fall over, stop making a fool of yourself’? Emm, doesn’t sound like page 1 of the Supportive Friend Manual to me but our self-talk can really go for the jugular.  Any chance these voices could be from our childhood and we just keep playing the tape over and over? If so, push rewind and tape something much kinder over the top.

Temple or ruin?

Actions, behaviours, habits – do they honour the precious, gifted individual that you are or do they imply that you are somehow ‘broken’? An interesting vantage point on our self-love is through the lens of our health. The old quip ‘treat your body like a temple, not a ruin’ is good in theory but we can have some pretty self-destructive habits around not meeting our physical needs for sleep, nutritious food, exercise etc.  If we are being our own best friend nurturing ourselves would be the natural choice.

Are you an innie or an exxie? I am not talking about belly buttons but personality types – an introvert recharges in private whereas an extrovert gets their energy from spending time with others.  Do you know where you fall on the intro/extro continuum?  A good friend makes sure you get the soul sustenance you need.

We honestly need honesty

Lastly, let’s get honest about honesty. We can be masters at pleasing others but if this is continuously at the expense of pleasing yourself then you are not being honest with yourself or others – you are selling out big time. Imagine your partner always insisted on sushi and you hated the stuff but to keep the peace you always sucked it up and never stood up for curry (spot the food theme today). You may as well send your self-worth a telegram saying “my needs aren’t important” – you would never want a friend to feel like that would you?

I invite you to become a compassionate observer of your inner voice, habits and how you treat your feelings. Would you want to be friends with someone who treated you like that?  If not, best you sit down and have a heart to heart with yourself – you need a friend on the inside. Also remember, as the quote above says, you can only be as good a friend to others as you are to yourself.

Please share with your friends – there is something in it for you too…

Decision Making Mindset Coach

Decision-making – so many body parts involved…

Decision Making Mindset CoachDid your granny know it in her bones or was it her waters? Life is complicated and choosing from the plethora (such a cool word) of options in modern life can do your head in. Which brings me to an interesting point – is it your head that carries the burden of decision-making? People talk about knowing things in their gut, in their heart, in their bones, in their waters – lots of body parts involved there. How about beyond our bodies –  in the stars, in the clouds, there was a sign, divine intervention, from an angel, from a dream, a hunch, synchronicity…I could go on and on and often do but I will spare you.

Are you decisive or more down the decision phobic end of the continuum?  Preferring to use the ‘oh shit I just have to decide so pick one – any one’ method or the tried and true ‘la la la – not thinking about this/head in the sand/make it all go away procrastination’ approach.  Maybe you take a pick and mix style of sometimes being very clear on what gets the thumbs up and other times you find the waters of decision-making so murky that they get silted up and stop flowing altogether.  Well, you are soooo not alone!

Ready to rumble – ‘logic & reason’ battling it out with ‘feeling & subconscious’ 

With all the body parts that have a say in decision making it’s no wonder we can get analysis paralysis.  We could group these sources of information into two camps – in the red corner we have ‘logic & reason’ battling it out with ‘feeling & subconscious’ in the blue corner.  Often we are taught to value ‘logic & reason’ over the more woo-woo ‘feeling & subconscious’ but what if it wasn’t an either/or approach – what if they worked in concert making beautiful music together helping you find a solution that wouldn’t be possible if you only used one of them? Take the inventor of the sewing machine  – he had been struggled to make his invention work until he had a dream that he was being attacked with a spear with a hole through the middle of the pointy bit – voila – problem solved! He initially employed all his powers of logic and reason but came up short until his subconscious, via a dream, presented him with a solution.  “Fortune favours the prepared mind” from Dr Louis Pasteur hints at the dance between logic & reason (prepared mind) and feeling & subconscious (fortune).

Meetings should be held in the shower – that’s where the best ideas come from

I use a creativity technique where I throw every piece of information I have into a metaphorical cooking pot ie. research, contemplate, experiment, compare etc, and then I put the lid on and leave it to cook (in a pressure cooker if I have a delivery deadline, but a long, slow cook can create a tastier outcome). I trust that my subconscious is keeping the pot bubbling away and will deliver a delicious decision when it’s cooked through. Often this decision is delivered in the shower – weird ha?? One thing I have noticed that makes the decision-stew bitter (how long can I work this metaphor before it’s just naff?) is if I get worried about whether other people will think ie. sprinkling some ego on it. This is akin to serving your decision to a mythical ‘they’ jury with a side order of self-worth. It’s going to end in tears and probably snot in my case as I seldom get the tears without the nasal encore.  Some people cry so elegantly – that’s not me…(probably a little too much information).

Who are ‘they’ anyway? Our own personal paranoia police? Are ‘they’ the ones who take a point off our global ‘You’re a good person’ brownie points tally? Reality check – we often don’t know how our decisions are going to impact us and we certainly don’t know how they will be perceived by others.  I invite you to do yourself a favour and stop making up stories from other people’s points of view eg. ‘Look at her, she thinks she is so [fill in the blank]’ or ‘He is such a [fill in the blank]’.  Alarm bells go off whenever I hear my self-talk go into third person and a quick ‘get the hell out of their head’ seems to stop that train. ‘They’ can’t TAKE your personal power, only you can GIVE it away and you are not a ‘personal power charity’ so hang on to it! Personal power is a non-transferable currency anyway – you don’t increase yours by robbing someone else’s.

Are you expanding?  In a good way!

If you find decision making a kicker then silver-line the living daylights out of any decision by coming from a place of gratitude for your life lessons. Own it baby! If you are ruled by logic & reason then you could practice doing a body check-in.  Just say or read each option in turn and pause to see if an option makes you feel ‘expansive’ or ‘smaller’.  Expansive is what you are looking for – this is your intuition saying ‘yes, bring it on’ even if you are not quite sure if the tingling is excitement or fear. Intuition loves being invited to the party and will turn up uninvited after a while because it will know it’s always welcome.

If you liked this then please make the decision to share it with your friends – who needs to hear this most?  Trust your intuition!

2 UpSurge Coaching Filtering

Glass half-empty, half-full or spilled all down your shirt?

UpSurge Coaching Filtering
Have you ever been looking for a certain type of car and from then on you see them everywhere? Did everyone suddenly buy one because they heard you wanted one? Maybe, you rockstar trendsetter you! But more likely your ‘filter’ for seeing this type of car changed.  Our senses take in millions of bits of information every day and only a very small portion of it gets the attention of our conscious mind – the rest gets filed by our sub-conscious.

Meaning making madness

We adjust and refocus our filters constantly to make meaning of our lives.  Humans are hardwired to make meaning of big stuff, little stuff and all the stuff in between.  Different people can make a virtually endless list of different meanings from a single event – a high-five to freewill!  Depends on our age, personality, upbringing, mood, energy, environment, what happened just before, what needs to happen after this event…the list goes on and on and on like your granddad talking about the good ol’ days.  I love freewill – it’s a bit like a mobile phone on public transport – you love using yours but it drives you bonkers when others use theirs!

Freewill made me do it!

Because our conscious mind doesn’t want us to freak out and spiral into overload it stores pre-programmed meanings for us to grab at a moment’s notice based on how we have previously felt about similar events  – this is just a waffly definition of ‘experience’. Thanks conscious mind for helping my head not explode with information overload (that would be so messy), but what if I wanted to feel differently about something this time? It’s kinda like going to a restaurant and there is only one thing on the menu – emm,  I wanna be able to choose.  Especially when the meaning I have made of an experience in the past led me to feel pretty crappy about it.

Take a situation I had recently.  I rocked up somewhere where I knew all the people pretty well – all good so far for someone who has their slider sitting 2/3’s towards the introvert end of the continuum. But this day one person looked like a bulldog chewing a wasp and snapped at me when I offered to help with a mundane task. I could feel my stomach churn and my heart race as I scrambled frantically to pin down what I had done, hadn’t done, had said, hadn’t said that could make them so hostile – this was my habitual filter kicking in ie. ‘someone is hostile = I have done something to upset them’.  BUT, this day I had had enough sleep, breakfast, hugs (you just fill in the list for what makes you resilient) and I was able to tie a knot in my emotional unravel and keep calm and friendly.  Yahh me!  So in this case I changed the filter through which I interpreted this situation to ‘someone is hostile = they are upset and if it has anything to do with me I trust they will share their feelings with me if they need to’ (not a very snappy alternative meaning but you get the idea I am sure).

I knew I was going to have a ‘Self-fulfilling Prophecy’

Next stop on our fantastic filter fun-ride is a funky little phrase called ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.  Wikipedia says “a self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behaviour”. In ‘people who don’t have a long list of letters after their name speak’ it means we decide what things mean and then filter the evidence to make it true. Think of it as a smorgasbord of meaning – we pile our plate high with the things that fit with our world view; completely ignore the things that don’t fit at all and for the meanings that partially conflict we pour so much tomato sauce (aka spin doctoring) on them that we can make them familiar enough to stomach.

Another way of getting to grips with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy is Anais Nin’s delicious quote “We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are”. All very interesting I might hear you say but why is this relevant? Well, my fellow filtering friend it’s relevant because we create, uncreate and recreate meanings for our experiences depending on our relationship with ourselves, others and the world at large. So, why not reframe a difficult event as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself rather than ‘the worst day of my life’.

Darn that Jam, or maybe not

What I really invite you to put in your doggy bag from this post is that you get to choose the meaning. It can come down to viewing life through the filter of fear or love.  Do you believe the universe is a friendly place that has your best interests at heart or a hostile place that has it in for you? There are so many ways of saying this that it could become a cheese-fest of synonyms so I will restrain myself and slip only one more in. Do you assume the best or the worst?

Let’s build our meaning making muscles – how many meanings can we come up with for a traffic jam?

1. Pain in the butt
2. Opportunity to listen to music you love
3. Stressful because you will be late
4. A bonus because you don’t have to make dinner
5. A chance to be grateful that you have a car and don’t have to cycle in the rain
6. Some much needed alone time after leaving a busy office and before you come home to a busy family
7. The universe’s way of making sure you were or weren’t somewhere at a certain time that wasn’t for your highest and best
8. …over to you – let your creativity run wild…

Try reading an ‘assume the worst’ and an ‘assume the best’ meaning, pausing to notice how your body feels with each one. One single traffic jam can have so many meanings – why not choose one that makes you feel calm and living in a world that has your best interests at heart.

If this gave you a laugh or a ‘yep, I do that’ moment please share it with your friends – they might need to build their meaning making muscles too.

UpSurge Coaching Chameleon

Are you an emotional chameleon?

UpSurge Coaching ChameleonHave you ever walked into a room perfectly at peace with the world only to find yourself inexplicably sliding into agitation or despair? Are you an emotional chameleon that takes on the moods and emotions of people around you and then can’t shake them off again? I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of us have at some stage or do with frustrating frequency.  Congratulations you’re empathic, and commiserations your emotional boundaries may need repair and maintenance – join the club!

Pity Top Trumps

Our ability for empathy is vital for our social connections but sometimes we can get a bit hazy where our energy finishes and another person’s begins so we can become a human ‘emotional vacuum cleaner’ sucking up energetic states from all and sundry.  Some people almost demand that you hoover up their state and can feel pretty miffed if don’t join a pity party that they are throwing for example. Pity parties never have any decent entertainment – the topics of conversations reek of ‘poor me’ and sometimes they descend into what I uncharitably call ‘pity Top Trumps’.  Pity Top Trumps is where one person relates a tale of woe and then the next person tries to trump it with an even more heart wrenching account of something that happened to them and so it goes back and forth.

Now, in case you are reading this thinking I am heartless to the suffering of others, I am most definitely not. I have also been known to have a bloody good rant myself now and again. I just invite you get really honest with yourself as to why you are sharing at that time. If you are genuinely touching back into the feelings from a trying experience then I applaud your bravery – sitting with uncomfortable emotions to see their wisdom take guts – all power to you. But, if you are wanting to impress someone with how resilient you are in the face of hardship then it might be time to hit the mute button.

Emotional Ownership Test

It can be really tricky to know whether emotions are yours or whether you should ‘return to sender’. Someone far wiser than me shared a simple emotional ownership test and by joves it’s a cracker.  You simply ask yourself ‘is this mine?’ Your intuition will have a pretty good idea on who’s got dibs on it.  If the answer is yes, then chances are the universe is drawing your attention to something that is out of balance.  If the answer is no, then happy days, just keep on smiling.

Sometimes it gets more complicated than just taking on the moods of those around us. Sometimes we become actors in a strange pantomime called ‘shadow projection’. Rather than a one-off emotional chameleon episode, these projections can turn into an extended season of re-runs where the actors assume the same roles over and over, especially in families. Here’s the plot line – someone is adept at hiding their feelings of anger, frustration, resentment etc; along comes an empathic person with wobbly emotional boundaries and BAM! in ‘puppet like’ fashion they act out their repressed anger, frustration, resentment etc for them.  Wouldn’t it be handy if someone acted out all the emotions that we didn’t want to own – then they would look like a right stinker and we’d come out squeaky clean.

Beware the energetic stink bomb

Hate to break it to you but that’s what a hell of a lot of people do – they go around dropping energetic stink bombs (picture ‘silent by violent’ rather than ‘loud and proud’) that others walk right into and give an Oscar worthy performance bringing those suppressed feelings to life. Sadly in families it’s often kids who absorb this disowned energy and it can be very damaging to them. Have you ever wondered how a ‘black sheep’ of the family comes about…they can be the one acting out the angst for a whole family. Kids don’t have robust energetic boundaries and often feel they are the cause of all unhappiness in the home. They are less adept at manufacturing ‘social acceptable’ behaviour and often less emotionally shut down than adults, so they feel what we may have trained ourselves to ignore. Heavy stuff I know, so rule of thumb – if you feel, you own it and remember ‘what you disown, owns you’ so take it on the chin or it will bite you on the bum!

Feel ‘with’ not feel ‘for’

Sometimes taking on the feelings of others makes you feel like you are really supporting them. People with pleaser and peacemaker personalities (illiteration to the max) do this in an attempt to make others feel better, after all we all like our feelings to matter. But in the process of mirroring another’s feelings we can become less able to support them when they need us. We can end up hijacking their experience by telling them how we think they feel eg. you must devastated… Boundary alert – we can try to imagine what it is like to be in their shoes but we are not – this is their life lesson not ours and it’s just not classy to live vicariously through another’s pain. If you have 3 minutes take a look at this animated video by Brene Brown – it is funky little explanation of empathy verses sympathy.

We are all interconnected energetically but always remember you have freewill – don’t be an emotional chameleon or as Daniel Goleman wrote ‘inability to notice our true feelings leaves us at their mercy. People with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives’.

UpSurge Coaching Deservability

Dial up your Deservability

UpSurge Coaching DeservabilityI hadn’t heard of deservability until my 40’s.  Oh the deprivation…well not really but it did get the gray matter fizzing like a freshly dunked Berroca (btw, beware these little orange suckers – they are full of artificial sweeteners’, but I digress). Deservability isn’t even a real word according to the squiggly read lines my spell check so decoratively denotes dodgey words with but to me it should be coz it’s such an interesting viewpoint from which to look at your life and decision making.

If I’m getting all loved up about this word then best I explain what it means to me.  First stop is what it’s not – entitled.  Man, entitled flares my nostril (I have a really small nose but it’s still flarable!) in a ‘get over yourself’ kinda way.  Soapbox alert – look away if you just don’t want to go there…I am a big believer that no one arrives with a Willy Wonker golden ticket  – our contribution to others and the kindness and love we embody are the measures of who we are, not our lineage. Whether we are born rich or poor we stand on our merits not those of our parents, grandparents etc.

Put the soapbox down and walk away…I am being a cow talking like this – if someone is working the ‘entitled’ angle then fear is the place from which they operate – usually the fear of not being enough just as they are so they call in family history backup. I know I still visit ‘NotEnoughVille’ but I also know now it’s not a one way journey so I scull some self-worth and get the hell outa there – nothing beautiful ever grows there.

Deservability Dissected and Defined

So if we know deservability is not entitlement then what is it? Deservability reflects the settings of our expectation dials – expectations of ourselves, of others and of the world.  Many things contribute to your settings including the expectations of your parents, peers and friends.  It will also build in what your young self heard and experienced.  For example did you come from a ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ or a ‘life is hard, get over it’ household?  Or did you ever hear ‘our family just aren’t good at [fill in the blank]’ or gross generalisations like’all men/women are [fill in the blankety blank]’.  Your young ears, eyes and hearts will have witnessed thousands of dial setting scenarios and since the aim of your young self was to survive often you take these on as ‘how to keep physically, emotionally and spiritually safe’ guidelines g. Have you ever heard your inner voice say ‘that’s too good for me’?  That’s your deservability talking. How about the classic ‘I will never [fill in the blank]’. Who said you will never [fill in the blank]?  Was there a decree from god written on a stone tablet? Didn’t think so.

Work that Deservability Mixing Desk DJ

Deservability is certainly not one dial – it’s a whole dashboard – in fact picture one of those mixing decks they have in a music studio with knobs for Africa!  You might have a high setting on deservability for ‘being loved’ so you won’t accept anyone treating you in a unloving way but you might have low setting for ‘feeling fulfilled in my work’ so you will stay in a job that sucks your soul.  How about health – a high setting means you make time to exercise regularly and get nutritious food but a low setting would mean you don’t nurture yourself.

Do you reckon these dials are wired separately or somehow interconnected?  I have a rigorously tested theory (sample size of one ie. me) that the dials are all connected to a master dial of ‘self-love’.  When I am self-aware and self-compassionate all my dials seem to ramp up simultaneously – spooky ha!  When I feel resentful, focused on trying to get on the mythical ‘good person’ list and generally seeking approval from other therefore not fit for public consumption aka visiting ‘NotEnoughVille’, my dials drop down into the red zone of self destruction.  I eat crap, my self-talk goes from supportive to downright bloody mean and I feel I have nothing worth sharing with the world.  Luckily I now have plenty of tools to dial up self-love PDQ.

My parents stuffed me up good and proper – you too ha!

Trying to forensically interpret what has shaped your deservability can become a witch hunt aka ‘my parents stuffed me up good and proper’.  It plunges you right in the tar pit of victimhood.  You just gotta get outa there before you go under! Victimhood gives away all your power to create a life of your design.  You couldn’t even fill an old fashioned phone box with people who have had a perfect childhood filled with nothing but unconditional love from everyone who has ever touched their lives. Funny aside – my kids didn’t believe such a thing as a phone box existed – why would people need them when everyone has a mobile?  You lived in the olden days Mum!  Anyway back to the topic at hand.

Belief in you (well, lots of beliefs actually)

A more useful way of looking at deservability is realising that you have some low dial settings in some areas of your life – these are your ‘disempowering beliefs’ about yourself, others and the universe in general. You also have some high dial settings and these are your ‘empowering beliefs’ – can’t get enough of these babies! Like anything you want to change you can’t do anything about it until you know what you are dealing with – ignorance is not bliss in this case, rather it’s frustration, confusion and patterns of behaviour that don’t serve you. Thanks but no thanks – I much rather have freedom, fulfillment and fabulousness any day. BTW, just between you, me and the gatepost I think you deserve the most beautiful life you can image and that you have a unique contribution to make in the world.

So how do you find out what your disempowering beliefs are?  We go on a magic mystery tour into your sub-conscious mind… If you are picturing dark forces at work in your mind then take a deep breath of self-compassion. Your disempowering beliefs don’t have some grand plan to make you miserable, they are just stories that your mind created to make sense of the messy and complicated business of living. At the time of their creation they made perfect sense but from your adult minds point of view they simply no longer stack up (remember what I said above about most of your beliefs being formed before your sixth birthday).  They can be very compelling stories but when you realise they are just stories you can re-write them to have much better endings. It may not make the pain of some events go away but they will lose their vice like grip on shaping your current reality.

Identifying and changing your disempowering beliefs is very difficult to do one your own. Our sub-conscious will often protect us by taking a painful experience and creating a disempowering belief to save us from  having to relive this pain – a kinda ‘don’t go there again’ warning system. With  vigilant self-awareness and abundant self-compassion you can free your self, but this road is much more comfortably traveled with a supportive companion.

Wheelbarrows of horse poo

If you feel any of your dials are stuck on low and you want some help freeing them up, then give me a call.  Just think of me as coaching ‘CRC’ (this is awesome lubricant in a spray bottle if you haven’t had the pleasure of using it – smells a bit funny though. I don’t smell too bad as a rule unless I’ve been wrestling with wheel barrow of horse poo – smell don’t worry the dog but my husband and kids are not so keen – funny that).

Please share with your friends if they vacation in ‘NotEnoughVille’ -some people set up camp there and get stuck in a Hotel California style loop…”you can check out anytime you like, but your can never leave”…

UpSurge Coaching Get Fresh

Wanna get fresh with me?

UpSurge Coaching Get FreshI got to do one of my favourite things last week – no, not let the kids swim until they achieved prune status so I could read a really good book – I got to come back to my everyday stuff with fresh eyes.  It’s a honeymoon state of being where I see new possibilities in nearly everything – nothing is a given.   It’s a bit like chocolate in our household – doesn’t last long but it sure is yummy at the time.

Want a rinse and repeat life? Hell no!

I find I get so anesthetised into certain ways of thinking, speaking and doing that I forget that there are countless alternatives out there.  Alternative everythings – from small stuff like where the sofa is (small as in no-one’s life is going to be radically altered) to the big stuff like what do I want life to look like in 3 years.  Even mundane stuff like how I answer the most repetitive questions eg. How are you? I often say ‘I’m fine’ – how bloody bland is that – unless I say it in a passive aggressive, teeth-gritted kind of what and then it’s no longer bland it’s just a lie!  My lovely husband says ‘fine’ is an acronym for ‘f’ed up, insecure, neurotic, egotist’ – something I most definitely don’t aspire to.  I could say ‘fantastic’, ‘fabulous’, ‘feeling vulnerable but hopeful’ and that’s just some f-words!  The rest of the alphabetic remains deliciously untapped…

My rambling point is honing your personal repertoire of ways to keep fresh is creative rocket fuel.  Anthony Robbins said ‘If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten’ so if you don’t want a rinse and repeat life – change something – anything!  I read once (I remember lots of random stuff) that brushing your teeth with the other hand can spark off creative ideas. What if you used your other hand, did it at a different sink whilst standing on one foot – I’m sure you get the idea!

Beware the lurking  ’blahness’

A fresh perspective is a gift from a change of routine – routine is comforting but you can get too much of a good thing. It can induce a semi-comatose state of blahness!  Even taking 5 minutes each day to ‘contemplate’ a single statement improves concentration and the ability to inquire from many different angles, sniffing out different meanings, connections and implications.   Maybe it’s laziness, fear of disappointment or exhaustion that stops us from playing ‘what if’ games, but I invite you to give it a go after all Napoleon Hill once said ‘What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ so if we can’t even dream it – how can we make it our future reality?

Disempowermentitis – do you have any cream for that?

How often do you utter ‘well that’s just the way I am’ in a heady mix of defensiveness, desperation and defeat? This phrase makes me scream silently suppressing the desire to run away should ‘disempowermentitis’ infect me like a contagious virus.  Sprinkle some fresh perspective on this and as if by magic the hopelessness is gone…(said in your best bathroom cleaning product voice).

We all do some hard time in our mental prisons but tragically lots of people don’t realise they are the jailer – don’t give yourself a life sentence. We often take on the stories of our youth about what we can and can’t be and do that reflect the fears of our parents, caregivers and peers.  If this is the case we never become the creative force in our own lives. I’m giving you a ‘get out of jail free card’ – go paint the town and think expansively and don’t be surprised when it comes true – I won’t be.

Leave a comment below about how you get and stay fresh – we can all do with as many ideas as possible.

Need a helping hand to get fresh? Give me a yell – a few squirts of Super Strength UpSurge and you will be fresh again in no time!

2 UpSurge Coaching Treasure Hunt

Is your life a treasure hunt or witch hunt?

UpSurge Coaching Treasure HuntHave you ever been driving and then suddenly become aware of where you are and realised you’ve been on auto-pilot and not noticed anything about what you’ve been driving past? I know I have.

This is a great example of what happens when we are not present – life literally and metaphorically passes us by when we become totally engrossed in our thoughts.

Eating strawberries

Lots of clever people have said lots of clever things about the benefits of being present and if you google it you will find pages of inspiring quotes. Personally, I’ve found descriptions about it very different from experiencing it – kinda like describing the taste of a strawberry to someone who has never eaten one – it’s impossible to convey the unique smell, taste and texture! Our senses only have a reference for what they have experienced and because we are all unique we each experience the world uniquely.

‘Striving’ it away

Now things get really tricky – the more you pursue presence the further you drive it away.  If you are someone like me who relies on effort, focus and determination to nail your goals, then becoming present is a right stinker – the idea of letting something come to me rather than going out and hunting it down feels far too passive! What about all those motivational statements like ‘anything that’s worth having is worth working for…blah blah blah”. What makes it even worse is that once you have achieved it the little blighter doesn’t hang around from that day forward – it’s a real ‘got it, lost it’ game for the rest of our lives!  Arrgghhh!

Is it worth the hassle?

Our thoughts, bless them, never shut up – 24/7 – yabba, yabba, yabba all day and all night.  Sometimes they are brilliant, entertaining and loving but other times they are angst ridden, regretful, obsessive and create horror movie worthy stories.  We rehash conversations where we wish we had said something else, we replay situations where we felt guilty, we undermine our self-confidence by saying things to ourselves we wouldn’t say to our worst enemy…in other words we live in the past or the future.

So if life passes us by when we aren’t present; we can’t understand presence until we have experienced it; the harder we try the less likely we are to achieve presence; when we do achieve it we can just as easily lose it again; is presence worth it? Hell yeah!

The access we get to our creative abilities, our compassion, our intuition, our ability to connect with ourselves and others and delicious ease and grace makes this state so worth the false starts, frustrations and fleeting glimpses.

Coming to our senses

Luckily we were designed with some fantastic ‘presence’ tools right under our nose (our sense of smell), right at our finger tips (our sense of touch), right on the tip of our tongue (our sense of taste), within ear shot (our sense of hearing) and straight in front of us (our sense of sight).

The quickest way to get present is a slap in the face (dramatic and uncomfortable) so I’m gonna go for the second quickest way – get out of our heads and ask our bodies what’s going on.  Using each sense in turn (what can I smell, feel, taste, hear, see, smell, feel, taste, hear, see…you get the idea) is a great way to flood your awareness with immediate information. Often you forget what you were obsessively thinking about so it mustn’t have been that important anyway.

Life is a treasure hunt

I like to think of life as a treasure hunt with some really subtle clues – if I blink I might miss them.  I need to keep alert to what is happening right here, right now and if my mind is tripping off and replaying the past or making up stories about the future, I am distracted and the ‘treasure’ will remain buried.

Next time your head is running away with you, try coming to your senses to get present – don’t let the treasures right in front of you go undiscovered!


1 UpSurge Coaching Self-Worth

Perfection or Rejection – a tightrope of self-worth

UpSurge Coaching Self-WorthDo you talk about yourself as a perfectionist with hint of pride? I used to – I thought it meant I had high standards and was prepared to put in the effort to hold myself to those in all that I did. Back in the days when I polished my halo of perfectionism I also spent a lot of my time trying to figure out how to be considered ‘good’ from other people’s points of view. Well that turned out to be a dead end road to confusion, exhaustion and disappointment!

Misplaced pride in perfectionism

Along came Brene Brown‘s books ‘The gifts of Imperfection’ and ‘Daring Greatly’ and I got verbally bitch slapped by the universe into realising the futility of my diligence…

It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimise or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame.

Woah, how did she hack (view computer hack rather than machete type of hack) into my head?  She just pulled my whole carpet of ‘How to be good’ out from under me – what was I going to do now? (mild panic face) Reframing your life events/decisions/motivations from a new perspective can be both very refreshing and very upsetting depending on how resilient you are feeling at the time.   So many of the things you considered ‘true’ were now sitting on very shaky ground and your ‘rules’ tend to shred all around you like confetti at a wedding but much less romantic. Now that sounds like a recipe for vulnerability…hell yeah!

Give me back my rule book!

So here I am with a shredded rule book and no guidance on how to ‘earn’ my ‘good’ status and my hyperactive logic brain starts whirring at mega-speed trying to fathom a solution…and it fails miserably for what seems like the first time in my life.  Then a little voice inside of me says ‘if you knew you were enough just the way you are then you wouldn’t have to ‘earn’ anything’ – logic brain implodes saying this is potentially the most ridiculous thing it’s ever heard and so begin a journey to ‘enoughness’. I had go toe to toe with my greatest fear that if I took the pressure off myself I would turn into an human sloth (not offence to sloths – they are actually really cute – but I am sure you get what I mean).  So did I really think this was the ‘real me’?  For me it conjured up a picture of being glued to the sofa watching soap operas, constantly stuffing potato chips in my mouth with my only exercise getting to the fridge, bathroom and bedroom.  Ha?

A wee dram of ‘enoughness’ please

That’s not a very nice thing to think about yourself – and there was my first clue. I didn’t think very nice things about myself! For some reason I thought I could bully myself into great achievement. Emm, but at what cost and who’s definition of great achievement? My parent’s, my past teacher’s, my husband’s, my work colleagues, my bosses…the list goes on. It’s a bewildering range of definitions and a perfectionist believes they need to please everyone. But hey, I didn’t put me on the list – a perfectionist ‘fix’ is not from pleasing ourselves – it’s from getting approval from others! I now don’t consider ‘enoughness‘ as a status I will acquire – it’s more about how I relate to myself day to day, sometimes minute to minute. Kinda like filter with which to view life’s events. I feel like their should be groups called ‘Perfectists Anonymous‘ and we support each other in the diligent pursuit of ‘enoughness’. So what did I do? How did life change?  Outwardly – hardly anything changed.  Inwardly – everything did. But that’s a blog for another day. How about you? Are you a extro-perfectionist, intro-perfectionist or nestling snuggly in your sumptuous enoughness?