Conversations That Matter – Conversational Intelligence
We have had a lot of deep and powerful conversations in our home this weekend and early week, discussions that matter. It’s been quite the weekend and I find myself waking up again, even this Wednesday morning feeling drained, with my heart broken, awash with emotion. Emotions that bounce around between sadness to hopelessness to incredulousness to patriotism and back to sadness, then again to hope as I see my grandson.
In my almost 60 years, I have never experienced such observable racism and xenophobic actions so frequently displayed and with such chilling and heart breaking consequences.
I am so proud to be Canadian and although my knowledge of Canadian political ideology has needed some ‘refreshing’, seeing the leaders of all political parties, all faiths and Canadians all across the country come together to support the families of the Quebec City terrorist attack victims brings tears to my eyes. It is in acts of ‘coming together’ in spite of differences, to talk from a place of ‘curiosity and inquiry’ that ultimately elevates thought and connect hearts.
We are in times of world political upheaval and uncertainty. We are all being challenged to move beyond the construct of ‘competition’, ‘either/or, ‘winner/loser’ to the constructs of community, ‘we’ and ‘both/and’ in both our personal and professional lives. In my opinion as we engage in powerful and intentional conversations anchored in higher paradoxical thinking, we elevate our minds, connect our hearts and show up in a different way, in compassion and empathy, with a fierce resolve to forward movement but in a ‘new way’.
For me, the discussions occurred in my family, primarily with my daughters, all three of whom have a slightly different perspective and are mighty skilled at sharing it! Friends and the friendship relationship can enhance your journey and provide a wonderful environment for deeper exploration and learning as well as just plain fun!
Here are three ways to make sure you have powerful conversations:
- Make eye contact
- Listen really well, give pause, don’t interupt
- Speak from your heart
Enjoy your day my friends and remember that the world is truly filled with good people and we get to choose who we engage with and how deeply we do this!
Inspired Living: Where Is Your ‘Just Enough Place’?
Are you one of those people who is always striving to do better, who would feel dissatisfied by ‘just enough’? Are you striving to be better, get better; achieve five year plans, learn the next new thing and so on? There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of ambition, in fact, it helps you get things done, however, it needs to be balanced with an equally dynamic and seemingly mutually exclusive energy of ‘I am enough, I know enough, I have enough’ or what I, as a life coach call, your ‘just enough place’.
If the balance isn’t there, if you move beyond your ‘just enough place’ frequently enough, people can become highly wound perfectionists, never satisfied with their life. On the other hand if one totally misses the ‘ambition or life long learning gene’, life is devoid of forward growth and learning. The concept of ‘just enough’ then, is integral to life balance and fulfillment.
The concept of ‘just enough’ is also woven into many spiritual traditions, where ‘living lightly on the earth’ is valued and the notions of discernment and generosity are also highly valued.
Again, it’s calling for the use of higher thought, for the ability to hold two seemingly mutually exclusive ideas and ways of being in mind and action … just for today, I am enough, I will take just what I need, I will eat just enough to satisfy my hunger, I will share any extra I have … while working with heartfelt and heart centered intention towards your goals, anchored in clear and strongly held values and guiding principles.
Be mindful and play with these ideas in your own life and see what unfolds. Here is another article on the topic you may enjoy.
life, leadership & mentor coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul
Word of the Day: Resiliency
I just read a great quote about failure and resiliency on Twitter, it was something about how you haven’t actually failed until you stay down after a fall.
How many of you have failed at something or had a less than stellar work or life experience? It feels awful right? Yup, I’ve been there too!
In life we are taught that failure is to be avoided at all costs. Even the word ‘failure’ is emotionally charged and can trigger feelings such as shame and anxiety. I have heard it said that as parents we need to teach our kids to ‘fail better’ and this brought a smile to my face.
Research shows though, that tough times really do make you stronger. The flip side of failure is resiliency. Developing resiliency is a key indicator of a deeper sense of life fulfillment and meaning. Whether it’s in the area of personal growth or professional leadership skill development, having resilience, the ability to learn from all manner of experiences is a trait common to successful people.
Yes, we will all fall. It’s what we chose to do after that makes the difference!
Your Morning Cup of Self Care
So, many women I know feel that they don’t have time for meditation and yoga first thing in the morning, yet, even ten minutes directed to these self care activites can provide a positive start to your day and elevate your emotional health and mood.
Set a timer and do five minutes of mindfulness meditation. I like using Pinterest for great visuals and instructions. I also like the quote that 99% of meditation is showing up!
Then, pick three yoga postures or stretches and hold each one for one minute and do one minute on shivasana to complete your self care routine for the morning. Another way to incorporate the yoga is to create a simple flow of a few standing postures and do these in sequence.
Starting your day with the intention of directing loving self compassion your own way is the best self care there is!
Women’s March, Vancouver women come together in powerful solidarity!
It was a great day for the Women’s March when one of my three daughters and I joined thousands of other women, men, girls and boys and headed down to Jack Poole Plaza. I was struck by the diversity in ages and also by the sense of joi de vivre from the lively and respectful crowd participating in the Women’s March of Solidarity in Vancouver.
I ran into many friends from the yoga and coaching communities as well as friends from previous work environments. It felt like a homecoming!
I left feeling jazzed, exhilarated and exhausted.
It seems like the real work begins now, that of maintaining and living the principles of unity, hope, inclusiveness and mutual respect.
Onward. Ho. In Love.
Healing the Heart
I’ve talked before about my personal health ‘adventure’, having a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) which precipitated a heart attack in 2008 and subsequently being diagnosed with what’s been considered a rare condition Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD). It’s now thought that FMD is under diagnosed and may not be as rare as originally thought.
Regardless, I have been instructed by my cardiologist to avoid emotional stressors. Indeed, my heart is a fabulous receptor to the level of stress in my life and seems to be becoming even more finely tuned. My heart sends me messages. I have learned to listen to these messages … right away … without fail!
I have also learned how toxic negative emotions are to my physical body. I can not hold onto negativity or those ‘messages’ from my heart start up really fast!
As a means of keeping my heart soft, open and loving, I have learned, how important it is to be clear about my personal values and needs. I know that I alone am responsible for ensuring my needs are met in ways congruent with my values. I need to practice forgiveness and release ‘old stuff’ that feels anything but caring. I know my signature strengths and create a life that allows these to be woven through out. I hold my friends and family close.
It comes full circle as by engaging in the above practices my heart is healed and I have more love to share.
It hit me in a deeper way on my walk this morning, the notion that we are all being called on to employ a ‘higher level’ of thought and hold ‘both/and’ concepts concurrently. From that foundation, we get to choose, every moment, every hour, every day, which way we direct our thoughts, actions and behaviors.
How this shows up for me is that I can observe and acknowledge the volatility in the outside world, have strong opinions, act in ways where I refuse to accept hatred, racism and misogyny and still work towards inner peace and ‘unconditional positive regard’ for all.
This may sound simple, however, I have found, it does not always come easily.
Enjoy your day!
Leadership & Conversations that Matter
In many areas of my life, the theme this week has been about taking a risk to open up, allow oneself to be abit vulnerable and hence, ‘creating space’ for conversations that matter.
Possibly due to the current chaos in the world (take your pick), possibly due to the season of the year, possibly due to the ‘circle of life’ (my dad is 94 and in poor health); personal conversations this week have gone deep.
Additionally, in the area of ‘leadership’, organizational development and neuroscience research supports the notion that frequent, positively focused ‘conversations that matter’ spark innovative and creative thinking.
So, my friends, have a fabulous day, rich in possibilities and full of conversations that matter.
Happy American Thanksgiving
We recently participated in a wonderful extended family reunion of a bunch of Americans and Canadians of various faith traditions and belief systems.
My own family of origin and offspring are clustered around Vancouver BC and Houston TX.
So today, we remember in mindfulness and thanksgiving, the blessings of family and friends; of traditions and rituals; of giving thanks to the land; of honouring Nature and all people and generations.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends.
May your day be filled with an abundance of love, joy and blissful energy!