The journey back to ourselves

With hindsight now I see that I recently dialled down my personal power. I was in a funk – probably because of falling into a familiar trap: forgetting to feed my creative and spiritual self enough. 

 

That lowered personal energy led to me being vulnerable and needing the world around me – the people around me – to show up in a certain way that I felt would feed me. In other words I was looking to my environment and the people in it to compensate for what I had lost – my power. It didn’t work. It never works that way. I lost myself and only I could be responsible for bringing myself back.

 

 P1040677 (2)But how do you bring yourself back? The answer is slowly and gradually. When you’re in a metaphorical valley you can only regain perspective by slowly climbing the hill, one foot in front of the other, until you reach the top. It’s not a journey without discomfort – I went through powerlessness, blame, neediness, embarrassment and self-analysis – but now I’m through, on top of the hill and contemplating the view. 

 

For those of you who know my work and the tools I use, all this is a reflection of what I call The Energy Ladder. (You can see my article about it here). All those emotions I went through were, in fact, representative of my journey back up my emotional ladder. So, blame was a step up from powerlessness, neediness was a step up from blame and so on. 

 

The key to remember here is that we’re not aiming to stay on the hill all the time – it can be very powerful to explore the valley floor – but don’t stay there too long because it’s impossible to get the true learning you are seeking until you come back up the hill. 

 

If you are in a valley today look for the next step up. What brings you some relief? At first it might not be something very ‘enlightened’ or pretty.  Anger for instance is better than hopelessness but it’s not an emotion usually encouraged. It is, however, a step up because it feels like a release and taking some control. Obviously try not to stay there too long – it’ll soon be time to find the next emotion that brings relief – perhaps resentment. And then it might be confusion. And then it might be doubt. And then it might be curiosity which leads to hope and so on, right up to Joy if you keep going. Step by step. Always looking for what brings relief and what feels like your truth at the time. 

 

The reward is learning, greater self-definition and a dialling up of our personal power. 

 

Be kind to yourself. Be patient. Be a stand for your learning. Appreciate the journey.

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How to Handle Problems

Here’s a great article from my dear friend and coach Karen from Canada. She has been my coach through thick and thin for over 14 years now and I can assure she has the magic touch. I loved this article because it provides wonderful wisdom at just the right time for me. I hope it strikes a chord for you too!

How to Handle Problems

by Karen Hood-Caddy

Everyone who hires me has a problem. Sometimes that problem is big, sometimes it’s small and sometimes, it’s gnarly, or frightening.

Needless to say, over 30 years of coaching, I’ve learned a great deal about how to help people solve problems. I want to share with you some of the skills that will help you address the tough situations in your life with greater ease and efficiency.

Because if there’s one thing that differentiates happy people from unhappy people, it’s how they address the hard parts of life.

Here are the best tips I know to handle problems like a pro.

  • To be blunt, the only people that don’t have problems are dead people. So, accept your problems and trust that they beat the alternative.
  • Get bigger than your problem. People who are living a great life aren’t as affected by their problems as people who aren’t living a great life. It’s like this: If you only have one cookie and mud gets splattered on it, it’s going to feel way more significant than if you have a whole box of cookies. Most people find that the moment they begin to live juicy lives, their problems seem to diminish in size and ferocity.
  • Plan for problems.  I have found this a HUGE help in my own life. I used to live as if everything would go smoothly, now I give lots of room for snags and actually look for problematic areas in advance so I’m not so put out when they appear.
  • Trust that solving a problem will evolve you. We often have to grow or change our attitudes to deal with a problem and that’s a good thing. I had a great teacher in Switzerland say to me, “What just about breaks you, makes you.” It’s so true.
  • Ask for help.  There is always someone else who knows the answer to what’s problematic for us. Involve them. It will move you through the problem SO much faster.
  • Start by chipping away at the problem: write down 5 small baby steps you can do to start taking the problem on. (You’ll be surprised how effective this is.)
  • Know that everyone has problems, and many, many people in the world have exactly the same problem as you. This will help you feel less hard done by and less alone.
  • Containerize the problem.  Yesterday I woke up feeling a little down about an issue in my life. Then I realized that even though I don’t have this situation handled in the way I might like, I can still have a great day and still believe I’m a wonderful person.  This thought gave me an immediate feeling of lightness. Yes, I still had the problem, but it wasn’t leaking into other areas of my life.
  • Write down 5 crazy, outside the box solutions. It’s amazing how creative thinking can sometimes give us fresh ideas.
  • Journal 5 ways your ‘Best Self’ might benefit from this problem. A communication problem with a child could give you greater empathy skills, a financial issue might make you more clear on monetary goals, a health problem could make you more committed to your physical wellbeing.  Life is continually trying to evolve us. Don’t argue─grow!

I hope these suggestions were helpful. Please contact me if you’d like a complimentary idea session on how you can handle your own problems better and live YOUR BEST LIFE. Karen@personalbest.org

 

Karen Hood-Caddy

Personal Best Coaching 

karen@personalbest.org

www.personalbest.org

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You cannot get it done, ever, and you cannot get it wrong.

“You cannot get it done, ever, and you cannot get it wrong. So you might as well relax and start having fun with this.”   Abraham-Hicks

 

I find this thought very liberating. I often hamper myself by getting hung up on doing things “right”. Sometimes “good enough” is kinder. Sometimes allowing ourselves to fail is very smart.

We, like all of nature, are programmed to grow. It’s innate and impossible to fight. We will grow to the day we die – the learning never stops, the capacity to feel and do more never wanes. It’s because of this that we will never get ‘it’ done. We cannot get it wrong because there are always more depths we can explore.

When we understand this we can forgive ourselves if our natural expansion has caused us to hit a bump in the road. We can welcome the ‘wrong’ things and seek the growth in them. We can start to relax into the journey, be a little silly, take a few risks and have fun!

 

“Every blade of grass has it’s angel that leans over it and whispers, ‘grow’, ‘grow'” –  The Talmud

 

(With deep and loving gratitude to my friends and coaches extraordinaire, Kelly Cowan and Karen Hood-Caddy)

 

 

Wonder Woman I aint

Last week I got unusually busy with 8 extra one-on-one coaching calls and write ups to do on top of my normal workload, two workshops, a couple of parents evenings and sick children at home. At first I was super-proud of myself: Look at me, I can do this easy-peasy. See, people, what a mega-efficient person I am! (Yes, I actually boasted to my friends along these lines. Embarrasing).

Ahem….

Well it took about 4 days to discover what rocky ground I was on. This blithe disregard for what I needed to keep on top of my energy came back to bite me and I was reminded (once again) that I am a mere mortal!

So I’ve been on the road to ‘filling my well’ again. First of all lots of rest. Then delicious snatched moments with my book (Cloud Atlas – loving it). Movie-nights at home with the children and Guy. Then going on a day-trip to Gloucester on Saturday (these family moments always feed me). Then today I did a lot of collaging which I love. Tomorrow I will take myself off for a solo date (a walk, cafe and writing probably). I wouldn’t have to do so much normally but I’m in catch-up mode!

Making sure you fill your well is vital. Neglecting yourself is like trying to drive your car on empty. What lovely thing have you done for yourself today? Make sure you do at least one thing to treat yourself – give yourself some space (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to spend quality time with you and you. It’s worth its weight in gold and ensures you won’t crash in the way I did this week.

 

 

 

The power of vulnerability

This Thursday evening I’m giving a talk at Hawkwood College in Stroud entitled “Loving What is Whilst Reaching for More – The Law of Attraction explained”. I’m looking forward to it and at the same time it feels quite a vulnerable things to do. What if I’ve pitched it wrong? What if it doesn’t make sense? What if I freeze?!

Many thanks then, to fellow blogger Beyourdreamself for putting me on to this great talk by Brene Brown who talks about the power of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. She discovered in her research that successful people are not only willing to be vulnerable but also they strongly believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. Great stuff.

This is just a 5 minute clip but it’s well worth watching the longer versions of this talk too.

‘Abundance is our Future’

As you know, I’m on an information detox at the moment. Everyday I unsubscribe from approximately 4 newsletter/email shots. (Wow – they really did build up over the years!). I have moved all my inspirational books away from my bedside table and down to the sitting room, (thanks for that advice, Lesley). I can’t recommend this enough. It has been wonderful to regain some head-space.

When I ran workshops based on Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artist’s Way’ I knew that week 4 of the 12-week course would always be the most challenging. Why? Because that was the week that participants were asked to cut out all outside input in the form of TV, Radio, books etc. It was such a picture to see everyone’s faces when I announced this: “You mean, I can’t even read the newspaper in the morning? I HAVE to do that. How else will I keep informed?” Yet, if people trusted the exercise and did banish all reading and watching, it proved to be huge. Suddenly they only had themselves to listen to. Suddenly they could hear what their heart was really saying. Suddenly those cupboards that they had been meaning to clear out for years, finally got cleared out!

It’s not that all media input is bad – of course not. It’s just that we can so easily lose perspective when we are surrounded by these outside voices. In this ever-expanding, increasingly open world of ours, I personally think this is going to be one of our biggest personal challenges in the future.

In the video below, Peter Diamandis gives a stirring speech about why we can expect abundance in the future. It’s well worth a watch – especially if anyone is of the mindset that we’re ‘going to the dogs’. But what I’m also interested in is the question: How do we equip our souls to deal with this kind of abundance? Will we develop increased powers of Presence to go with the explosion of opportunities and choices available to us? We’re talking about the need, here, for a whole new spiritual abundance to go alongside the physical and technological explosion. I’m optimistic because, so far, spiritual awareness and practice has expanded exponentially. It’s very exciting to think what this could mean for spiritual innovation in the future.

A surfeit of wisdom

On my bedside table there lies a secret hazard. Not pills, not booze, not false teeth – self-help books.


Oh what a lot of amazing stuff there is out there! So much insight and wisdom. It seems the inspirational gold is coming in thicker and faster than ever before. The downside is that I find myself drowning in it all.

The problem is drawing a line between that which serves us and the loss of our own self-trust. It’s all too easy to relinquish our power to other’s advice and stop listening to ourselves.

So for my own sanity right now I’m putting it all to one side: the books, the emails, the audio downloads, the knock-em-dead online courses. Just temporarily, mind, because it IS all great stuff. But it’s time to listen more deeply to myself for a while and to regain my perspective.

The fact that I’m needing this head space in order to write my own book at the moment is an irony that is not lost on me. I can only hope that my eventual addition to the positive psychology soup is one that clarifies rather than muddies!