What in your life needs to be pruned? Pruning is the idea of cutting away something old or something that you don’t want in order to create growth in a new area. I don’t like pruning plants- cutting away, not sure if I am doing it right, not sure if I took too much or too little. And what I have noticed is that the plants tend to grow even more so.
I equate this to the birth and death cycle. In order to direct the growth, I need to cut back. I think of containing the energy. If the rose bush is huge and all over, the life energy goes to it all, even the parts that are sickly because it wants to live. If I cut those sickly parts, then the energy can go toward the healthy parts and create more health. In order for something new to emerge, something needs to die. In order to step forward confidently in something, I need to let go of what is holding me back from that.
What do you want to prune? What holds you back from pruning?
Image curtesy of Amenic181 at freedigitalphotos.net
I was attending a friend’s conference on The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A new paradigm for sustainable success through Conscious Leadership Group. My friend, Deb Katz, mentioned the idea of emotional fitness instead of emotional intelligence. To step back for a moment, what is emotional intelligence. IQ stands for intelligence quotient, measuring human intelligence. Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is you ability to monitor your own emotions as well as others, the ability to discriminate between different emotions that you feel, and to use that information to determine thinking and behaviors.
I loved that she used the term emotional fitness. I think is resonates much better. It is not something that you have or don’t. It is something that can be continually explored to deepen the understanding of self. I also love that she used the word fitness because it shows that one can become stronger with practice.
Take a look at this guy. He is beefed up, very strong and can lift a lot of weights. He did not start out this way. I am guessing it has taken quite a bit of daily practice, discipline, and patience to get where he is in this photo.
How about giving yourself some compassion, some love for where you are right now even if it is not where you want to be with you emotional fitness. What goals do you have for you emotional fitness? What are a few steps that you can do, what practice can you start that will help move you toward those goals. For me, I meditate every day, I practice deep breathing and listening to my body, I check in while I am eating to determine first if I am hungry, when I am full, asking if I want more or not, I also surround myself with people who honor emotional fitness so that I can be held accountable and see modeling as well as model for others.
Thank you photopin.com for image
I have started and not yet finished a book called The ONE Thing. The idea is to ask yourself what is the one thing I can do right now that by doing it everything else will be unnecessary or easier (I don’t have the book in front of me right now, so the wording is off).
So for example, I have started to meditate for 5 minutes each morning. By doing so, I center myself, I slow down, I come into the present vs thinking of the next five things I want to do. My morning is easier, I am happier, I am calmer, I shift from irritation or grouchiness much easier.
This is a question you can throughout the day. It cen be related to business, to personal life, to finances. Try it out and see what happens.
Carl Jung is quoted as saying, “What you resist persists.” I love the image that came up when I typed in Resistance. It is so accurate. She is going into resistance in order to get a workout. And she is both the one initiating the resisting as she pulls up and then also resisting the band when she brings her arm down.
Try something with me, put your palms together in front of you. Now with one hand push against the other. What does your other hand do? Does it resist and push back? Does it flop and let the other hand push it over? Does it push back to keep it where it is or try to push the other hand away? Were there places where you felt the resistance and other places on your palm where you didn’t (for example fingers pushing or heel of hand, yet not the center of palm or knuckles)? Typically when people do this, their other hand pushes back.
What would happen if you didn’t resist anymore? What is you resisted more? What if you just simply acknowledged that you were in fact resisting. I think that is a powerful place to be, knowing where you are and what you are doing because then you can make a conscious choice. Play with noticing what in your life you are resisting or wanting to change which is resisting the way things are right now.
Image curtesy of StockImages from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I think we would all agree that there are two sides to a coin. We would probably also agree that there are at least two sides to a story. Yet somehow we think our stories that we make up about ourselves are completely and 100% true. And we totally buy into them, someone can even tell us a different perspective and we don’t believe them.
Take for example an art project that you did in school. You take it home. You don’t like it. A friend, a parent, someone tells you they like it and often we then think, well you have to say that, you are just being nice.
Another example that may be more of a core issue: A story that I don’t do anything well, that I always mess up, that I can’t do anything right. Somewhere along the road I picked up that story. I didn’t come out as a baby with that story. I heard it somewhere and at some point believed it as true. And it is such a limiting belief that it keeps me from greatness because if that is true than how could I do something well, not mess up, do something perfectly?
I encourage you to challenge those beliefs about yourself. Notice a thought about yourself that you think is absolutely true. First, just notice it. Secondly, ask yourself could the opposite be absolutely true as well. Is it a possibility? I am not asking you to believe it, just think of it as a possibility because then you can start to shift if there is more than one possibility.
Photo compliments of Simon Howden from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I was thinking after I wrote that last post about the idea of help. I think asking for help can bring up a feeling of helplessness, of victimhood; the mentality that I need help, that I can’t do it on my own. According to google dictionary, help means to “make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering one’s services or resources.”
I would like to bring in the idea of being of service or assisting. Sometimes I have people come into my office for a fix it, that somehow they are less than, they are not whole, that I can fix or make them better. When I am in therapy or coaching mode, I see my client(s) as whole, as someone who has resources, as someone who is courageous for reaching out. I provide assistance and resources and a vast array of skills that I can teach. AND my client can meet me as a whole person.
Essentially, I want to be clear that asking for help doesn’t denote lesser than. That one can ask for help, for assistance, for resources, for guidance from a place of completeness.
Homework if you choose: notice how you do or don’t ask for help. What holds you back or pushes you forward?
Image curtesy of Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.
Why is it often times hard to ask for help? Is it that it shows vulnerability, that we are weak if we can’t do it on our own? Is it that we don’t want to infringe on others? Or take someone’s time? Perhaps shyness and going up to someone feels scary?
I think reaching out/ asking for help takes courage. There is the possibility of someone saying no which we sometimes give meaning that it is rejection of us.
I think the first step is knowing what we want. Is it connection? Is it seeking knowledge on how to do something?
I also think it is important to not put yourself at a disadvantage, by comparing that the other person has something you want, by comparing that they are somehow better or that I am lesser because I am reaching out.
Practice Exercise: First notice what you want, you don’t have to do anything, just simply notice. Next, notice any meaning or story that you create around this want (I shouldn’t want it, I should know this, they won’t help even if I ask). Then play with asking, put yourself out there. Maybe in a small way, then challenge yourself more. Remember it only takes a few seconds of courage to do something
Image curtesy of Stuart Miles at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.
The other day I went swimming in a suit that I have had for years. It is sturdy material, not the typical nylon, slick swimsuits that I have had in the past that become see through after a while.
At the end of my swim, I climb out of the pool. There are quite a few people around waiting for the water aerobics to start. The man in the other lane mentions something to the extent of, “You had such a hard swim today that you ripped your suit.” I looked down, confused. Then realized that my rear seam had split open. “Oh my. I will not be going to the hot tub then,” I thought.
How often can we get caught up in meaning or holding onto something that has happened in the past. I could have gotten embarrassed, I am sure I was red in the face. In the past, I would have not been able to make eye contact, would think about it for ages, wonder who had seen, who had laughed. This time, I was able to acknowledge that he had shared and that I was not walking around more with my a ripped bottom of my suit. I was able to let it go. Well mostly let it go, I did get a laugh out it with several friends.
I also think of the man. How often do I not say somethign to someone. Someone who may have food in their teeth, their collar half up, their hair messed in the back. It takes courage to tell someone what you notice. More often than not, I experience people being grateful that I shared. I will say I was certainly grateful the man told me.
Homework if you choose: when you notice something, say something to the other person. Remember you may not get the response you want, they may respond out of fear or embarrassment. You can take a big breath knowing that you shared and they can do what they want with the information.
Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
My friend, Deb Katz, is part of something super exciting. Her friends and colleagues Diana Chapman and Jim Dethmer at The Conscious Leadership Group have written the defining book of our time on the revolution in leadership happening world wide. We’re talking leadership at every level of life, from looking in the mirror, to personal relationships and business.
I’m so excited to remind you that the book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership is available for purchase on Amazon starting Thursday, 1/15/2015.
If you plan to purchase the book, please do it on Thursday the 15th as they are trying to hit the top of Amazon’s recommended book list.
The book is 47% off until Jan 22nd so it’s a perfect time to get it for yourself, co-workers, your team, anyone you know is interested in the leadership paradigm game changer of the 21st century.
It is available at Amazon. If you want it in paperback, click here, and if you want it in Kindle, click here.
They have a lion on their website and wanted to share a picture of the power of leadership. Photo compliments of papaija2008 at freestockphotos.net.
It is still Jan and after my last two posts, one might think that I would be on top of my intentions. Well last week I wasn’t. I will use myself as an example here.
My intention since mid Oct has been to write a blog post every week, posting on Fri. I didn’t this week. Now at this time I could blame myself (Geez why can’t I just write the post), be critical (I am a lazy person), make up stories (See, you can’t keep an intention long term). And I ask, does that actually get me anywhere besides feeling down on myself? My answer is no, it doesn’t. So instead, I acknowledge it. “I didn’t write my blog post when I told myself I would.” I own that I didn’t do it. It is a fact. Here tone is important. Am I saying this with blame or judgement in my voice? And I am honest with myself. I don’t just go through the motions to get to the next step. I take a deep breath without the judgement or blame, a non-toxic breath.
Next I asked myself “Do I want to continue with this?” When I said, “Yes,” I recommitted and am now taking action by writing and posting. It is that simple when you or I step away from our intentions. Try it out and see what happens.
Image curtesy of nirots at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.