Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – USE YOUR RESET BUTTONS!


Think about it. . . 

Do you really believe that you were born doing behaviors that are getting in your way?

Not likely, is it?

And if you learned it – you can learn something else!







DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


HOW DO WE ACTUALLY CHANGE?    USE YOUR RESET BUTTONS!


5 STEPS TO RESET BEHAVIORS

1)     AWARENESS:  What is “off”?  How does it taste, feel, smell?         Seriously, ask yourself to tune in to behaviors that are making you unhappy.  What are the consequences of what you are doing?

 2)    SUSPEND JUDGEMENT:  Get your Bully voice to back off!  Talk to the harsh part of you and negotiate d├ętente.  When we judge ourselves we create resistance! 

  3)    BRING LAUGHTER INTO THE PROCESS:  Exaggerate what you are feeling and doing that is making you unhappy – use play acting – it’s fun and very effective and if you are alone no one will laugh AT you…

  4)    EVALUATE THE REWARDS TO YOU FOR A CONVERSION!

  5)    TAKE BABY STEPS!    






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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ANSWERS?

“Listen,” he complained on his second visit. 

“I’ve been thinking about what you said.  All this stuff seems easy and really clear to you, but I don’t get it.” 

“Is it really possible for me to change?  I mean, I’ve been dealing with these problems for a long time now and they seem pretty much a part of me …’



What I’m saying…” he went on, “I want to believe in change but…  Stuck is stuck.  Isn’t it?


What do ya think? 

Ever felt this way yourself? 

Looking for that magic wand?


CHECK IN TOMORROW FOR:  RESET BUTTONS!



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Sunday, July 28, 2013

SUNDAY SMILES – THE TIP JAR

“God bless you,” the taxi driver said as he carried my packages into the building.

True, he was double parked and blocking the traffic all the way to the corner…

But, hey, he carried all those heavy packages AND blessed me!

And what did I do to deserve this special treatment?

When I paid the fare I added one dollar more than the expected tip…

What do ya think?

Is this a great metaphor or what?

Give a tiny bit extra and get a whole lot more!




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Friday, July 26, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – WORKING THROUGH YOUR STORIES…


“Conventional wisdom long held that young children were not capable of lying. More recent research, however, has found that most children learn to lie effectively between the ages of 2 and 4. 

Like everything else, children learn to lie from the people around them.  One research study found that adults admit to lying an average of 13 times a week!
 
Children lie for many of the same reasons adults do: to avoid punishment, to gain an advantage, to protect against an unwanted consequence, and even to boost self-esteem."

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/stages-milestones/truth-about-lying





DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...

THIS ONE IS REALLY EMPOWERING!


Go through a list of your own behaviors… Change all your “I can’ts” to “I won’ts” or even better “I don’t want tos”!

This might include eating patterns, sleeping patterns, the ways you interact with teachers, friends, family, significant others – an easy way to do this is to walk yourself through the day as if you had an assistant writing down everything you do.

For instance:  The behavior:  I woke up late.
                          The story:  “Poor me I just couldn’t seem to wake up on time…”


Now change this to : 
“I really did not feel like getting up!”

Have fun with this one as you go through the day. 

What happens?











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Thursday, July 25, 2013

IS TRYING LYING?


Ever hear the expression: “Trying is lying”?

What’s that about?

Shouldn’t you get credit for making the effort? 

Depends.  Yes and If.

Yes, if you're taking baby steps on the way to a goal.

No, if you're looking for a pass - if “trying” is code for “poor me, you should feel sorry for me.  I’m really trying but I just can’t seem to do it…”

Going for a goal and taking baby steps is wonderful.

Making excuses for continuing ‘bad behavior’ is just… lying!



If you don’t want to change, be honest with yourself.

Grow up and call it like it is!

Hey, it’s your life and your choice.  

And you do have the right to be honest about it – at least to yourself!

What do ya think?

Can you give yourself permission to tell it like it is?

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – BABY STEPS 101



Check out this post on youtube!  No other comment necessary!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qENMEyeP_No








DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Try this fun experiment:

Create your own very young alter ego.

Imagine this little one between the ages of 1 to 3 years old.

‘Create’ is the operative word here!  Make this young self look any way you want. 

Hey, color him/her green if that makes you smile.

Now for one week, any time you try something new, imagine it’s this young you doing it!

Learn a new language?  (Remember computer languages count!)

Recognize your accomplishments as if it’s the little you doing it!

Try out a new behavior?

Remember, young you takes baby steps!  And needs lots of credit and encouragement!






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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CAN YOU TAKE BABY STEPS?

Here’s a really interesting one to think about. . .

When little children begin the process of walking – and it is a process:

Step  Step  Wobble  Trip  Splat…
Step  Step  Wobble  Trip  Splat…

We can’t seem to control our excitement, enthusiasm, and encouragement.

“Look at her!” we exclaim.

“OMG is that wonderful!”

“Yes, yes come on Sweetie, that’s great!”

So, where, may I ask, is that loving, compassionate, kind, excited, supportive voice when, as adults, we take those baby steps into new behavior?

How many times have you applauded yourself because you lost one pound?  

More to the point, how often have you been encouraging when, the next day the scale indicated that you wobbled and tripped?

How many times have you applauded small behavior changes even though they weren’t dramatic?


Can you imagine what would happen to those toddlers learning to walk if they got scolded every time they wobbled?

What do ya think?

Can you get behind baby steps in your own life?



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Sunday, July 21, 2013

SUNDAY SMILES – THE MINIATURE WORLD


Two amazing dragonflies have been visiting my 7th floor terrace – in the middle of New York City!

And the other day we discovered a ‘nest’ of baby ladybugs on the underside of a leaf of bamboo…



“There are those who suggest that a divine force doesn’t exist, but one’s cynicism is truly put to the test when we look at the world of insects, which have been graced with so many amazing characteristics: 

wings so thin they seem hardly to be made of any living material, bodies without a single milligram of excess weight, wind-speed detectors accurate to a fraction of a mile per hour, a stride so efficient that mechanical engineers model robots after it, 

and, most important, insects’ astonishing ability to survive in the face of overwhelming opposition by man, predators and the elements.  

In moments of despair, we can look to the ingenuity and persistence of these miraculous creatures and find solace and a restoration of lost faith.”


- from The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver





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Friday, July 19, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – GAME CHANGING STRATEGIES

THINK ABOUT THIS ONE:  Bullying yourself by demanding perfection creates stuck places! 

By harshly judging your “performance” you automatically set yourself up for failure!

Bullies create Victims and Rebels . . . ever catch yourself saying:
“I can’t” “It’s too hard…” (yes, the voice of the Victim!)

Or:
“I won’t” (the famous Rebel cry!).





DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


How many times have you said:  “It’s just too hard!  I can’t do it!”

More than likely, those are times your expectations of your own performance have been too rigid.

“I can’t” is usually a hint that your internal Bully is pushing too hard!  (“I can’t “is very different from “I don’t want to!”)

What’s this Bully business?

Usually learned at a young age and built upon over the years, this internal ‘Voice’ is 
extremely critical, incessant and demanding.  

The standards of performance it requires tend to be unrealistic,

To identify your Bully Voice, think back over the last time you said, “I can’t”.

What was the situation?

Now step it back and check out where the probable demand was coming from.

Who was telling you, “You have to…”?

Was it actually the outside world, or perhaps an internal demand that set the level of expectations?

Who do you think you learned this demanding behavior from?

Can you make a mental image of your Bully?
How big is it?
What color?
Is it human?
How does its voice sound?
Have some fun with this one.

The more clearly identified this voice is, the easier it is to give yourself permission to stop listening to its unrealistic demands and return to a more natural, organic way of being on your game!





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Thursday, July 18, 2013

ARE YOU ‘ON YOUR GAME’?


“I just don’t get how you do it,” he said.  “You seem to always be 100% on your game.  100% focused.  The effort for me,” he continued, “is just too hard…”.


So, here’s the paradox:  

In order to be focused, you have to allow yourself to lose focus.

In order to be present, it has to be okay to be not present…


Sounds very Zen and a wee bit 1960’s touchy-feely, right? 

But think about it.

Nothing in nature stays in one position.  Everything is in flux.

Okay, sorry, there we go again with that Age of Aquarius stuff – but have you ever seen the ocean waves not move in and out?



If we fight our natural fluxes – our healthy tendencies to both contact and withdraw – by labeling these ins and outs as defects, then we set up an impossibly rigid and unnatural set of expectations…


What do ya think?  Can you get behind the logic of this one?



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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – EVERYDAY MEDITATION MADE EASY!


The word ‘meditation’ comes from the Latin verb ‘meditari’ which means to think and contemplate.

It is believed that meditation in one form or another has been around since pre-historic times.  (The Biblical prophets were reputed to be meditators!)  There must be a reason, right? 

The reported benefits include relaxation, building energy, lowering blood pressure, lessening depression and anxiety, increasing concentration and memory, and increasing self esteem.




DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Don’t have the time or inclination to sit around staring at a candle?
No problem. 

Turn everyday activities into meditative moments!

Meditation is about narrowing your focus, repetitive actions, and deep breathing…

Easy enough to build into some of our daily activities.

Here’s a list of some things that can easily turn into ‘Everyday Meditative Moments' (EMM'S):  

Check out this list of activities and experiment with turning them into EMM'S. Write down how you are feeling right before you try this experiment.

          Folding laundry
          
          Vacuuming
          
          Washing dishes
          
          Gardening
          
          Walking
          
          And yes, video games!

Breath deeply, narrow your visual focus, and feel the repetitive movement of the activity. . . 
Even hitting a tennis ball against a backboard can become a meditation! 
If you have a type of music that zones you out, try adding it to the mix.


 Jot down how you are feeling after your meditative moment (remember ‘moment’ - it doesn’t have to be long).





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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

IS THIS THE ANSWER?

Everything’s a meditation,” she told me.

True we were in Japan…

But ironing?

Really?


I had just asked her why she smiled as she ironed my Dad’s uniforms.  I mean what could be more annoying than ironing?


Drove me crazy.

“No,” she told me. 

“Wrong attitude.”

“Get into it.”

“Breathe.”

“Enjoy the rhythm of your movement…”

I loved her message and have kept it with me over the years…

But, seriously, ironing?

What do ya think?

Can you get behind this one?



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Sunday, July 14, 2013

SUNDAY SMILES – MY COUSIN THE FUNGUS


No, I am not dissing one of my blood relatives…

I am merely riffing on a post by Wisegeek:

“Mushrooms are more closely related to animals than to plants.

Mushrooms are fungi, which are actually genetically closer to animals that they are to plants.

Scientists use a genealogical path known as the Tree of Life to trace the evolution of living organisms, and they have determined that fungi share a common ancestor with animals and are completely branched off from plants…”


They share a common ancestor with – us? 



Is that bizarre or what?

And we have a difficult time accepting those sweet, furry chimps…

What do ya say?

PLEASE let us know what you think about this one!


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Friday, July 12, 2013

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING – WHO GETS YOUR BEST?


How did we learn to show our best ‘face’ to outsiders and give those we are closest to second best? 

There is some thought that this behavior was a survival mechanism that might have begun at a time of scarcity.  

Showing off material success to outsiders was a way to create status in our communities.





 DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...

Think about this very interesting quirk of saving the ‘best’ of what we have and who we are, for those we are least close to.  
Does it make any sense?

How many times have you thought or said:

“Oh, it’s okay, I don’t have to____________ , it’s just family?
         
          Be polite
          
          Watch my manners
          
          Worry about what I’m wearing
          
          Be careful of what I say
          
          Clean the house
          
          Fix a nice meal
         
          Set the table
          
         Close the bathroom door …
          
         And I think you know the rest of this list, right?

Think about the theory behind this one!  Guests count more – deserve more – than the people you are closest to!  Yikes!

Imagine, just for a moment, reversing this policy! Go back to that list...  What would happen if you saved the best for those you are most intimate with…






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