February 2016 - sheIQ Life

Archive for February 2016 | Monthly archive page

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on Huffington Post – 23 February 2016

Do you remember when you were a child, and your parents tried to get you to eat things that you hadn’t tried before?

Usually, the immediate reaction was to say ‘Yuck – I don’t like that!’ and you would fight tooth and nail to be allowed to stick to the food you were comfortable with and you knew was ‘safe’.

I remember roaming the countryside and reveling in all that nature offered – walking the dog or horse-riding along bush trails or at the beach – and breathing in the fresh air. I also remember playing as a child – where make believe and imagination were the only ingredients necessary for a good time. Freedom reigned and laughter and sunshine shone through our days.

Then we got older, and our social conditioning taught us that our simple way of life was no longer enough. We were taught that make-believe and imagination were no longer appropriate. We were told it was time to ‘grow up’ and ‘take life more seriously’.  We joined the migration and drive to success and we forgot that laughter makes the world go around. We became serious about our lives, our world and our futures. We pushed ourselves beyond our limits in our quest for success – and we told ourselves it was so we would be set up for our future.

But at what cost?

When do we know we have enough? When can we stop and relax and no longer have to slog our way through our lives? What is the point of a future if we are too sick to enjoy it?

There is no formal definition of success – yet we are all driven to achieve it, be it, obtain it, own it. If we don’t know what it is, then how can we ever reach it?

Our lives have become complicated and complex in our desperate scramble to achieve. We start to live in a world where we always need more. Our desperate need for more triggers our brains to believe there isn’t enough.  If there isn’t enough then that means we are in competition with everyone around us for the limited amount that is available.

Therefore, life becomes about ‘me against you’.

We can never win whilst our lives are set up in this fashion. There is always a loser in this scenario.

I believe it’s time to reverse the trend. It’s time to stop, breathe and acknowledge that right here, right now, we have everything we need and we are okay. Let’s simplify our lives and bring back the fun, laughter and imagination. It is these things that will drive our lives forward and truly connect us to happiness.

In every situation, in every part of our lives, we have the choice to feel better or feel worse. Our greatest challenge is to find the space in our everyday activities to stop and consciously make this choice. My challenge to you is to choose the things you want in your life – the things you love. Let’s have more love and laughter and less stress and desperation.

There are loads of tips and tricks on how to think and live differently in ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from my website or call me on +61 438 624 868 to discuss how I can help you to implement simple, small steps to simplify your life.

computer-keyboard (R) | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on Huffington Post – 9 February 2016

There’s no doubt that social media has changed the way we live our lives.

We’re constantly connected – everywhere we go. We used to go to a conference and be reminded to turn off our mobile phones, now we go to a conference and we’re asked to put them on silent mode so that we can Tweet, Instagram, Facebook,  LinkedIn … and the list goes on … about the conference while it’s happening.

We’ve become accustomed to seeing people with their heads down, engrossed in their phones – or at least we would see them if we didn’t have our own heads down.

We find ourselves engaging in deep and challenging conversations with people located on the other side of the world – people we would not normally have met otherwise. We are introduced to new topics and new information. It’s extraordinarily easy to spread the word about technological and scientific advances and the spread of information is limited only by the reach of the internet.

But how do we know that the information we receive is correct?

How do we know whether the information we receive is complete? And how do we know whether or not the information we’re given has been designed to elicit a specific response from us, to achieve a pre-determined outcome that we have no idea about?

Social media has created a new phenomenon called the ‘Keyboard Warrior’ – a person who engages in the virtual world and posts comments from behind a screen.

Do you stop to think before weighing in on a conversation or are you carried away by the ‘mob mentality’ of the other comments that have already been made?

The danger with becoming a Keyboard Warrior is that your ability to connect with the human being on the other side of the comment is significantly impaired. All you see are black letters typed on a white background. You don’t see the individual and their emotions as they read what has been written about them. You don’t see the very real impact that your words have on their lives.

There has been a significant increase in the number of people who commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide based on the public shaming that occurs through social media. It’s very easy to type some words and be proud that you’ve done your bit to ‘bring someone down’ for their actions. But how often do you know the person you’ve written about? How often do you stop to consider whether your opinion is based on fact or based on what you’ve read online? How often do you stop to consider what it might be like to be in their shoes? And more importantly how often do you even remember who it is you’ve shamed?

The next time you read something or hear something about someone you don’t know … BEFORE you jump in and add your two cents worth, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you know the person? Were you actually present when the incident occurred? Are you certain that you have ALL of the information? Will a keyboard warrior or kindness help this situation more?

Until we learn to take a step back from the triggers that are there to trap us, we will continue to see the number of lives destroyed by the impact of ‘mob-mentality public shaming’.

It’s time to reverse the trend and make a move towards re-connecting with our empathy for our fellow man. Let’s make our initial reaction to situations be from a kindness standpoint. Life is precious and we should do everything we can to protect it. All it takes is one simple step at a time to live our lives differently.

There are loads of tips and tricks on how to think and live differently in ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from my website or call me on +61 438 624 868 to discuss how I can help you to implement simple, small steps to simplify your life.

wires_in_my_hand (R) | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker

First published on Huffington Post – 2 February 2016

We’re surrounded by technology.

We’re connected 24/7. When something goes wrong with our techno gadgets the first thing we try is often to switch it off and then switch it back on again. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it …. so it’s interesting that we don’t take the time to unplug ourselves.

There are very few places in the world where we can’t be found and where people can’t contact us in one form or another. When did we become so dependent on being electronically connected to the world?

Growing up I spent a lot of time outside playing, whether it was with the other kids in our neighbourhood, riding bikes, horse riding or playing sport. We worked out where our friends were by wandering to their house and finding out whether they were home, or by picking up the phone and calling them. Nowadays, it is a text message or a message on Facebook that gives us this information – we’re one step removed from the conversation.

As humans we’re conditioned to rely on community to survive, but what happens when the way we live creates a fissure in the way that community operates? 

Technology can be great, and amazing advances are made every day that can save lives, improve communication globally and make our lives easier and more efficient. But technology has also made us busier than ever before and adds a layer of complexity to our lives that serves to disconnect us.

We can see massive changes in the way that communication occurs now with the advent of social media, the use of text messaging, snap chat, email and online news. We’re sucked into this great big vortex of information and opinion that’s very rarely based on facts and often creates a mob mentality that produces a tidal wave of angst. Technology means there is now an avenue for individuals to openly have their say about others publicly and loudly – to the world at large. Whilst this creates an avenue for the ‘little guy’ to have a voice it also creates an environment where individuals can make personal and vicious comments about other individuals they haven’t met. The ‘keyboard warrior’ has been born. They make their comments from behind a screen – a place where they are entirely removed from the human impact that their comments make.  We’re one step removed from the personal.

Whilst all this is going on, there is a billion dollar industry operating behind the scenes that operates purely to determine which buttons to push to make us buy. We’re manipulated multiples times every day – and most of us aren’t even conscious that it’s happening. Buying goods and services is now so easy we often don’t even have to leave our home – and in some cases the comfort of our couch!). We’re one step removed from the experience.

The buzz and the hype that constant connection creates in our lives causes a significant amount of stress. Ask someone to put their phone down for an hour and see the chaos that ensues. For some people the reaction to this is the equivalent of detoxing for an alcoholic. Technology and being connected 24/7 is a form of addiction.

It’s so important for us to program time without technological connection into our lives. We need a break from the computer, phone, internet, social media – and we need to take the time to reconnect with our family, friends and community. We MUST bring the personal connection back into our lives to ensure that we continue to feel for our fellow human beings.

Without this personal connection our society will become totally and emotionally disconnected, and the decisions we make as a community will be disjointed and will serve only a small portion of our interests. The greater good will no longer exist, and if that happens we might as well become machines.

SheiqLife Logo | Bronwen Sciortino | sheIQlife | Simplicity Expert | Stress Reduction Resilience Mindfulness | Professional Speaker