Archive for February 2017 | Monthly archive page
Article first published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 20/02/2017 as part of the #lovetakesaction campaign
Sit still for just a minute and allow yourself a small slice of silence.
Use the space in this silence to ask yourself this question: ‘Is how I am living my life working for me?’
Are you squirming? Did your intuition tell you ‘No!’ and almost immediately your mind kicked in with all the reasons why it’s OK for your life to be the way it is?
Before you let overwhelm take over your thoughts … I want you to know that it is perfectly OK for your intuition to tell you that your life isn’t working for you.
According to Francis P. Cholle, ‘… intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason …’.
Our intuition can tell us a lot of things – if only we stop to listen.
Our lives are so busy now. Technology connects us 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. With this comes an accelerated sense of pressure that is compounded by our lives being visible on a global scale, in real time.
The way we live our lives has also changed as a direct result of our global connection. Barriers to entry in the marketing and advertising space are now almost non-existent, thanks to the power of the technology we carry in our hands. It is now easier, more efficient and more effective to market via social media, email and text messages than through traditional television and print media. It is instantaneous, direct to market and cost efficient.
The sheer speed that we live our lives at – and all the things that we try to squash into each and every day – leaves us feeling exhausted and with our heads spinning. Most of our day is spent on auto-pilot, where we lurch from one ‘crisis’ to the next. Because we communicate through a virtual world, we are surrounded by ‘evidence’ of everyone else’s success. We compare their success with our own life and find ourselves sadly lacking.
Who do you become in this environment?
We do our best to be ‘good people’. We slog our way through every day, desperately – but almost always unconsciously – trying to find our ‘golden nugget’ that will catapult us to success. When we live this way, in an unconscious state, we are vulnerable to suggestion; we are vulnerable to manipulation.
The immediacy of our lives – and the demands on them – leave us susceptible to thinking on the run. Now add in that overlay of the ‘auto-pilot’ syndrome. When you think about it objectively, it is easy to see how this state of being puts us in a position to be significantly influenced by what we see and hear. We can be fed information in snippets that are designed to elicit a response from us.
Before we know it, our buttons are pushed, we jump in. We become appropriately outraged and we have our say. We contribute to a cause. But whose cause is it – is it actually our cause? We don’t notice that we’re being driven by a mob mentality, ‘herded’, if you will, by a group energy … because there aren’t people physically around us. We get lost in the virtual ‘movement’ that is propelled by feelings and sentiments and ideals and values that, bluntly, are not necessarily our own.
Become conscious of the things that grab your attention.
More importantly, become aware of where your thoughts go first in response to the information you’ve received. Are your first thoughts negative, critical or harsh? If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to question whether you’re been conditioned – triggered, even – to respond that way.
The more we can consciously make a decision to make love the first filter we use – in every situation – the more we will take back our control over the way we behave in our lives.
Invest your time and energy in empathy rather than hate. Acknowledge the things that create a common bond, rather than becoming a voice of hate for someone else’s crusade.
Reach for relief.
Remember who you are.
Loosen the grip of auto-pilot on your life.
Stand true to who you are, whether you are communicating in person or through a virtual conversation.
Want more info? You can find free resources and heaps more information at my website www.sheiqlife.com and there are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.
Want to chat? Email me on email@example.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Article first published on www.mywellbeingmagazine.com on 17/02/2017
No! is a complete sentence …
Almost all of us are constrained by ‘rules’ that we don’t even know exist – that aren’t actually written down anywhere but were drummed into us as part of our social conditioning as a child. When we were young, we were taught which behaviours were deemed acceptable and which parts of our character were to remain hidden from the world in order for us to be accepted.
In our hearts, we are all born with kind, generous and loving souls. It is only once we are exposed to the world around us that greed, fear and a relentless search for more are introduced to us.
History tells us that it’s the victor who writes the story of what happened during the battle. However, history very rarely documents the rules that were broken to win the battle.
Why? Because if everyday people realised that rules can be broken, then power and control over them would be lost. If only we knew the truth: that every single day, there are millions of rules being broken all over the world.
To some extent rules are needed to assist in keeping people safe. Can you imagine if there were no road rules … and it was fine to drive as fast as you like, weave all over the road with traffic coming at you from all directions, change lanes without indicating, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and pay no heed to killing anyone?
I think we can all agree that there are some rules in our lives that are necessary for the greater good.
Here’s the thing: most of us are so conditioned to obey the rules that we’ve never stopped to think about whether or not there might be some rules that we need to break free of … for our own greater good.
For example, how many times have you said ‘Yes’ to doing something … when you really didn’t want to do it, and in fact it was detrimental to you to have said ‘Yes’?
Being caught in the mould of being a perfectionist, I found myself trying to be everything to everyone and feeling like I failed every single time. I never, ever put myself first, and I had no concept of how to consider what I needed – for me to be OK. I also didn’t ever stop to consider whether my actions, or whatever I was doing, was detrimental to my own health.
I was caught up in the ‘system’ and felt compelled to continue on … when what I really needed to do was say ‘No’! What I actually needed was to stop and call out the fact that what I was doing wasn’t working for me and then step away to something that matched my values.
Instead, I worked for almost two decades in situations that clashed with my personal values. I told myself stories about why I had to stay there and I had a million reasons why I couldn’t leave. I ran around after everyone else and made sure they had what they needed to be OK. It wasn’t until I was recovering from a breakdown that I realised I did that completely at my own expense.
We often create a version of ourselves that we believe is the most acceptable to those around us. We become chameleons – changing and moulding ourselves for the different situations in our lives.
So, after those aforementioned nearly two decades of saying ‘Yes’ to everyone and everything except myself, I collapsed. I was totally and completely exhausted – mentally and physically – and my body and mind conspired against me to create a situation that I couldn’t get back up from. I had pushed too far, too hard … and for too long.
One of the most liberating moments of my life came not long after I was in pieces on the floor and I couldn’t get back up again. I was given the tools that helped me to realise that I needed to take the time to examine each of those pieces. Then, I could choose whether to pick up a given piece again and make it a part of me. Or, I could conclude that the piece in question no longer served me well and I could thank it for its contribution and let it go.
When you are able to say ‘No’ to a piece of yourself that you no longer need moving forwards, you can say ‘No’ to anything.
We find ourselves in time-poor situations of high stress simply because we said ‘Yes’ when we should have said ‘No’. Can you count how many times you’ve said or thought something like this: ‘I really didn’t feel like I could say no’?
The only person suffering through this situation was me – and it wasn’t until I was on the floor and couldn’t get up again that I realised that I had been miserable for almost my entire life.
Removing guilt and obligation from my play book, and refusing to bow to the ingrained conditioning that says that I must serve everyone else at the exclusion of myself, has allowed me to create a life where I can choose to participate in those things that are kind to me.
One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I can share with you is this: that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Saying ‘No’ to something is enough. You don’t need to elaborate, or explain, or contextualise … or embellish in any way at all.
Why? Well, because we’ve been programmed to be so helpful to others that it is excruciating when we have to say ‘No’. To ease the pain of this experience, we attempt to explain to others why we have been forced to say ‘No’. We work overtime to make the story as convincing as possible to make sure that our ‘No’ is accepted by the other person.
What I’ve discovered is that roughly 99.9 times out of 100, saying ‘No’ is all that is needed.
Getting comfortable with saying ‘No’ and resisting the urge to tack on an explanation can seem really hard. What I know, is that saying ‘No’ confidently and with easy comes down to practice – the more you say it, the easier it becomes.
Why not give it a try? Create a little experiment for yourself. Make a commitment to say ‘No’ to things at least three times a day. And when you do say ‘No’ … leave the ‘No’ as a complete sentence and see how often someone actually asks you for an explanation. I am willing to bet that there will be very few occasions where you are asked for any further information.
It won’t take long for you to be saying ‘No’ more often than you say yes. Get used to ‘No’ being a complete sentence and watch your world open up!
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a global thought leader who empowers simple connection and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram or LinkedIn.