Dealing with Airtime Hogs: Tips for Better Communication With Non Listeners

During my workshop this past weekend, I had questions about how to have a meaningful conversation with those that talk non-stop.  One woman, Kathy, cleverly referred to them as “airtime hogs” because that is, in fact, what they do!

You can’t get a get a WORD in edgewise!

Here are some valuable tips to help you have a healthy dialog (yes, that means 2 people!) with those who may not even realize how they can overwhelm a conversation.

 

Step 1 – As the conversation begins, LET THEM KNOW that you really want to understand them and you may reflect back information, just to make sure you got it right.

Step 2FOCUS your attention on the content of what they are saying. Listen for the deeper meaning of what they are saying.

Step 3 – REPEAT what they have shared in segment as the conversation moves along.  Allow them to create forced pauses in the dialog.

Step 4 – FIND A GOLDEN NUGGET in what they are saying and PRAISE them.  We can all use some affirmation!

Own your personal power (NOT ego!) as you converse.  When you can take an active role in directing the conversation, AND LISTEN, you will surely see the difference.  You be the role model of open and meaningful conversations!

And for those of YOU WHO ARE AIRTIME HOGS……

…..learn to stop and listen to the the people you are in a conversation with.  You can acknowledge your behavior and change yourself in YOUR NEXT CONVERSATION!!

I hope you have found these suggestions to be valuable and I would LOVE to hear from you!! Leave a comment below…and share it…let me know what you think!

 

A Success Story: The Personal Evolution of a Friend

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.  I had the honor of watching her evolve, month by month.  Embracing each new lesson she had the courage to take an honest look inside herself.  And she chose to change.

I would not have guessed that this charming woman 20 years my senior would be such a good friend when I met her 19 years ago. She was closer to my Mom’s age and I even introduced them thinking they would have more in common.  But much to my surprise, my friend felt more connected to me and my young energy than my Mom.  That was when I confirmed that my friend Carolyn was truly a young spirit deep inside.

We had connected throughout the years and she even began attending the earliest version of my self improvement workshops in 2005.  Carolyn was open to learning and growing, but I could also see that she was still feeling the pain of some emotional trauma a few years before.  And she was there to learn and heal.

However, I could see the woundedness deep within her.  Her trauma was deep and lasting. Yet as time had passed her anger and upset were not as present, but I could see there were still some lingering emotions.

As she began attending my Heartfelt Learning Workshops in January 2011, she was right there to support a new area of my consulting practice.  But this was different.  These workshops presented Carolyn with material that made her think about herself.  She spent quality time looking inside herself and began to truly connect with the group who attended each month.

But what was different for Carolyn is that she was embracing the learning material each and every month.  She took the information to heart.  She spent the time between sessions observing herself and her behavior.  SHE TOOK THE MATERIAL SERIOUSLY!! 

She would be the first one to share her experiences from the prior month and had more questions.  She was discovering more about her triggers and upsets, and more importantly, how to process them and release them.  She embraced the lessons on forgiveness for herself and others.  She reframed old messages and beliefs into beautiful affirmations that supported her inner growth.

Each month she was releasing old emotional baggage that no longer served her.  She was making room for powerful positive energy to come into her life.  Every time I saw her, she was lighter and brighter.  She was using all the life skills tools she was learning and now they were a part of her everyday life.  She was evolving right before my eyes.  For someone who already had so much fun, lively spirit, others around her could see more sparkle and glow emanating from her.

From my observations of my dear friend, here are the steps she took to create her success in her personal evolution:

1.  She made a commitment to the learning.

2.  She took the quiet time to reflect on her thoughts, actions and behaviors.

3.  She lived the lessons and made them part of her everyday life.  She practiced the tools and used the resources

4.  She moved to a place of vulnerability with the group and felt safe enough to share, knowing that she would be loved and not judged.

4.  She shared (and continues to share) her new healthy way of being with her friends, family and clients as well.

5.  She loved (and continues to love) herself enough to invest the time in learning, healing and growing.

My friend Carolyn is truly an evolved woman and I have had the honor and privilege to witness her transformation.  She now shares herself differently with the world.  She sees the beauty and light inside herself and gives others permission to shine their light as well!

Love ya Mojo!!

 

Messages My Parents Didn’t Tell Me…….Creating a Belief From Watching Them

Your parents and authority figures had a powerful impact on your life and how your “Life Laws” were created.  Their impact didn’t even have to be words.  Your belief system and values may have been created by just watching your parent’s behavior… good or bad.

I had the privilege of facilitating a workshop this weekend about eliminating old messages and beliefs that can hold you back from living the life of your dreams. I was able to witness some deep reflection, awareness and healing among the participants. Each of them shared about an old message, some that were outdated and some that were so deeply ingrained in their psyche, they didn’t know if they could change it.

But the most powerful moment was when one of the participants shared how blessed her life has been because the message her mother told her, out loud and with her actions, was that she could be anything she wanted in her life.  She had a positive affirming mother, despite the challenges they went through in life.  Her mother told her good things about herself and demonstrated positive actions in her own life.   To see how successful this woman is today made sense.  She knew as a young child that she was loved, worthy and capable of anything she wanted in life.

Not everyone grew up that way, but you have the power to change those old messages or beliefs to be more affirming, loving and supportive in your life.  Simple messages like:

“I am worthy”

“I am lovable”

“I am beautiful inside and out”

“I deserve good things in my life”

“I live in gratitude and abundance”

“I deserve happiness in my life”

“I am enough”

You can take an old message, transmute it to a positive one and then create a lovely affirmation that supports your growth and upliftment.  Loving yourself with positive messages is food for your heart and soul.

What are your messages or beliefs?  What do you tell yourself?  Is it positive or negative?  Are you open and willing to change these messages if they no longer serve you?  Only you can give yourself the gift of self love, self worth and self honor.  Give yourself that gift today!

 

How Do You SEE the World – Through Positive or Negative Glasses?

“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”  ~ Marcus Antonius AD 86-161

Do you ever find yourself thinking negative thought patterns and become overwhelmed with the negative “what if”?  Are you the type of person who always sees what is wrong with a situation….instead of what is right?

I have recently experienced a few individuals who see the world with such a perspective.  What I believe is that they are very unconscious of their behavior and it has just become part of how they live their lives.  And then they wonder why they have sickness and illness.  And then they wonder why their friends and family avoid spending time with them.  They wonder why this world is so bad and awful. You may not experience these feeling yourself, but you might know someone just like that.

Our thoughts are very powerful and can take us spiraling down….or up.  You have the choice in any moment of how you think, which translates to how your feel, then how you act.  You can shift your thoughts in any moment.  You can look for the good in any circumstance. You have the power to live your life from a positive perspective.  Here are just a few suggestions to help you, or someone in your life, make the shift:

1.  Live in the present moment.  When you dwell on the negativity of the past or future, you miss out on the beauty of your life right in front of you.

2.  Consciously look for what is good in any situation.  I promise you, if you look for the good, you will find it.  Even if it a lesson to be learned.

3.  Have gratitude for the good and say it out loud.  When you look for the good and show gratitude for it, and then acknowledge it out loud, you move to a positive place within your consciousness.

4.  Eliminate negativity from your life.  If the news upsets you, take a break from it.  If you have a negative person in your life, limit your time with them.  Look to see what brings negativity in your life and eliminate it.

5.  Bring more positive energy into your life.  What ever brings you joy and happiness, consciously do more of it.  Fill your life with the things that fuel your energy and you will find an automatic shift in your way of thinking.

6.  If you catch yourself moving into negativity, shift to the positive quickly.  The more you experience positivity in your life, you will know when something shifts back negatively.  As soon as you notice, move into utilizing these steps to bring you back to a positive place.

This life we live is meant to be joy filled, not joy-less.  By consciously shifting your thoughts, actions and behaviors to be more positive, you will find that joy that you so deserve.  We all deserve it!

Forgiveness: Not Something We do for Others…It’s for Our Healing

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”   ~ Louis B. Smedes

Have you ever experienced the upset and anger for an injustice in your past?  Do you still feel the upset even today?

Chances are, you probably have.  Why?  Because you are human and this is a normal human experience.  These are human emotions that can be triggered by an outside event.  The upset and anger are what you feel inside within your emotional body. The key here is, what you do with that upset and anger.

Do you internalize it and keep it inside or externalize it with emotional outbursts?  Do you hold grudges and resentments towards those individuals?  Have you been holding on to those negative feelings for years?  Does this anger feed your “story” about the injustice?  Do you spew this anger onto others?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to know that there are other choices of how you look at a situation that has caused you this upset.  If you are open to looking at the other choices, here are some questions to ask yourself as you move forward in your healing process:

1.  How much energy am I expending on being angry and upset at this situation?

2.  Am I willing to give up my own personal energy to this situation?

3.  Have I acknowledged and processed my feelings in a healthy way…such as free-form writing?

4.  Am I judging the person, or their behavior, and what are those judgments?

5.  Am I open to releasing the negative emotion from my SELF?

6.  Am I open to the healing power of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a powerful healing process that is the inner action of giving love and compassion to our SELF and others.  It is the remedy to the pain and separation that anger, resentment and judgment causes. Forgiveness is the release of the chains that hold you back from the peace you so deserve in your life, despite the perceptions you may have created around the upsetting situation.

It doesn’t make what they did right, it releases you from the pain inside of you.  Forgiveness is truly the healing resource you have available to you in any situation.

Dean Ornish, M.D. writes in the Foreword of the book  A Course in Weight Loss/21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever  by Marianne Williamson,

“When we forgive others, it doesn’t excuse their actions; it frees us from our own stress and suffering.  These allow for deep levels of intimacy and community that are powerfully healing.  When you meet hatred with love, and fear with hope, this transforms YOU, as well as those around you.”

Are you ready to forgive and create a new way to remember?  Are you ready to change the memory of your past to the hope for your future?

Dealing with Change… When it’s time to Surrender & Trust

Funny how life brings us change.  Sometimes we are prepared for it and sometimes we are not. When we are not prepared for it, we can feel the pain in the change.  However we can flow with the change and feel different as we move through it.

I have watched a few friends of mine recently deal with losing their homes or businesses due to the challenging economy.  They saw the change early on and tried many different avenues to keep what they have worked hard to build up for so many years.  They grieved the change during the process.  So when it was time to let go…..to surrender….to trust….they moved through the process with much more grace.  No kicking, screaming and blaming.  Sad feelings…yes…grief for the change…yes…but with the trust that they would be ok.

In your life, when do you know its time to surrender and not fight the change?  How can you trust that all will be well when it does not feel like it?  Here are a few tips to help you through times of change and uncertainty:

1. Be open to the change.  Stop trying to control the outcome.  Let go and allow the change.  The change may be needed and it is difficult for you to see that while you are in the midst of it.

2. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, grieve the change.  Feel the sadness, cry if it comes up.  When you let feelings out, you don’t need to repress them and hold them in your physical body.  Go through all stages of grief…its important for your future well being.

3. Accept the situation and yourself exactly where you are. Be in the present moment with your life.  Accept what is and move forward.  Don’t beat yourself up!

4. Surrender to your higher power. Challenging as this may seem, it is a key aspect in dealing with change to trust your higher power, however you define that.  God, Source, the Universe…what ever fits for you.

5. Visualize yourself after you have moved through the change. Picture yourself in your mind how you want to be after the change.  It will give you a goal to achieve of how you want your life to be.

6. Trust that all will be well. This is an activity of the heart and soul.  As you surrender to your higher power, know that there are sources taking care of you in your spiritual realm.

7. Consciously create positive thoughts, beliefs and actions about the change. Shift your cognitive processes to the positive and you will feel the difference.  When you feel the negativity creeping in, quickly change it and keep the positivity up!

8. Move with the ebb and flow of change with grace and ease. When you utilize these skills with any type of change, you move with the change like a wave.  You eliminate any struggle and find yourself in a more proactive, less reactive place in your life.

Learning to deal with change is a key tool in your own personal growth and evolvement. Understanding change and how to move through it can only improve the quality of your life.  We live in ever changing times now and these skills can assist you in your personal and professional life.  Remember them, practice them, and you can feel more peace and happiness as you embrace change!

Your Resolutions….the Secrets to Keeping Them

Are you excited about the newness of 2012?  Have you already made some resolutions and began practicing them? Does it feel good?  Do you want to keep that good feeling and make those changes permanent and not just a memory when March rolls around?

Here are a few of my secrets for creating goals/intentions to change behaviors that can move you in the direction of the goals you want to achieve.  The New Year is a good time to begin, but you can create change any day of the year.

1.  Be realistic with your intentions/goals.  If you want to loose 20 pounds, you need a plan to assist you.  Maybe your goal is manage your food intake and increase your exercise.  Track your food and track your exercise.  The weight will come off based upon your body age, shape and size.

2. Take small steps with your goals/intentions. Break up the big goal into manageable pieces so that the task at hand is not too daunting.  Say you want to learn to paint.  Break up the goals into steps….I will research painting techniques online….I will research painting classes in my area….I will enroll in a class…..I will purchase my materials….

3. Write down your goals/intentions. Just the kinesthetic act of writing this information down activates it into your consciousness and makes it more real instead of just thinking about it.  You also send a message to the Universe about what your desire and commitment is.

4. Acknowledge yourself when you achieve your successes, even the small ones. It is very powerful to have positive thoughts about yourself and the actions you take to achieve your successes.  Saying kind and loving things to yourself activates the positive energy within your mind and body….creating wellness within You.

5. Let go of what is no longer serving you. If something is not bringing value to yourself, whether it is thoughts, feelings, relationships, habits…let them go and release them so that they don’t drain your positive energy.  Write on a piece of paper any negative thoughts or feelings you have inside of you and burn the paper.  Release it from your Self.  Once again, the kinesthetic act of writing releases the negative energy from your body.  Don’t read it after you write it…just crumple it and safely burn it!

6. Have a support network. Whether it is a coach, counselor, friend, loved one…someone you can share you intentions/goals with who will support and love you along the way.  The more people in your support network, the more people you can turn to when you need assistance.

7. Watch as your positive steps become good habits. The more you change your thoughts, behaviors and actions, the more likely they just become part of your everyday life.  Embrace the change in you and your life!!

The New Year is upon us and a wonderful time for Self reflection and change.  You have the power to manifest anything you want in your life.  Be kind to yourself and remember that all change happens only one day at a time, one moment at a time. You are the greatest gift you can give yourself so begin today, right now.  Embrace this moment and celebrate YOU!!

 

12 Things Happy People do Differently

I came across this article and fell in love with everything I saw.  I had to share it with you in my blog!  Enjoy!!
12 Things Happy People do Differently

by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”   -Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book, The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Jacob Sokol is committed to living an extraordinary life.  Today he released “Living on Purpose – An Uncommon Guide to Finding, Living, and Rocking Your Life’s Purpose.”  He also loves his mom dearly.

 

A Year in Review….with Loving Gratitude

What was the year 2011 like for you?  Is it easier to remember the bad times and difficult to even find the good ones?  After the busyness of the holidays, it can be a challenge to even remember what we did at the beginning of December!

As an active and positive practice, I go through an activity each year end to acknowledge all the things I am grateful for from the prior year.  I actually go through my appointment calendar and it helps me reflect what I did on a monthly basis.  Work achievements, personal achievements, vacations, goals met, ah ha moments, first time activities….. they were all there.  It even sparked some creative thoughts and wonderful memories as well.

This activity gave me the opportunity to see the good in this past year. That’s the key here….I was looking for the good.  Believe me, there were some challenging times, but this activity has me shift to positive thinking.   It seems that with each year of life, I gain so much more wisdom.  I believe that is the part of learning lessons from the difficult times.

Here are some suggestions to move through this activity yourself and review your year, as you embark on a new 2012:

1. Go through a calendar or planner for 2011.  Walk your steps again. Write down your experiences and activities and what you accomplished and are grateful for.

2. Acknowledge yourself for the experiences.  Look for the good.  If something was difficult, ask yourself what was the lesson learned.

3. Close your eyes and relive the positive experiences.  You can feel the warm positive feelings again and again.

4. Feel the loving gratitude for all your experiences.  You were blessed with an amazing life and the more grateful you are, the more blessings that will come your way.

I ended up with three pages when I did this activity.  It made me feel good.  It also gave me a feeling of closure for the year of 2011.  As I move into the New Year, I can now take this feeling with me as I embark on all the new experiences ahead of me for 2012!

Blessings to you for a heartfelt review of your 2011 and an enlightening 2012!