Living in the Gutter – Why Change is Challenging

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“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” – Henry David Thoreau

Daily we’re bombarded with new books, videos, podcasts, conferences, news, and research about why folks behave irrationally – even when they “know” their behavior isn’t rational. We learn why affirmations, acting “as if,” “faking it til you make it” and other strategies and tactics often don’t lead to sustainable change, and why change is so difficult even when the brain is supposed to be so “plastic,” etc. Why is true and lasting change and transformation so challenging? Here’s one perspective. See how it works for you.

The Gutter
Visualize the “gutter,” the ball return “groove,” on either the side of a bowling alley lane. Assume that at one time this “gutter” was perfectly flat. Visualize that, with guide barriers keeping the bowling ball moving in a straight line along the gutter surface, the ball consistently moves from the far end of the alley to the near end where it returns to a ball-holding area.

Over seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years, the ball begins to carve out its own pathway, and at some point no longer needs any guides to control its movement/direction. The ball now follows it’s own self-created pathway – day in and day out, night in and night out, over and over, with never a change in direction. The ball seemingly has a mind of its own. A sort of programming.

Who Carves Your Groove?
Think of the initial guide barriers on either side of the “groove” as representing your parents or primary caregivers, your siblings, relatives, playmates, teachers, clergy, etc. – i.e., those who “guided” you from infancy to about the five, six, seven…

And think of that “groove” as the neurological pathways, neurons, and synapses in your brain – each representing an “habitual way” of doing, be-ing, having and thinking (i.e., thoughts, beliefs, actions, assumptions, premises, expectations, “stories,” feelings, emotions and worldviews that created your orientation to, and perceptions of, your world).

Even with all the neurobiological and brain science research touting “brain plasticity,” and popular “wisdom” annotating how irrational we are in spite of our protestations to the contrary, etc. we can begin to have a glimpse of why many folks cannot or will not change.

“All appears to change when we change.” – Henri-Frederic Amiel

Re-Smoothing the Groove
In order for true, real and lasting change to occur, one of two things has to happen: (1) we have to “sand-paper” down the original grooves and/or (2) create new grooves representing new ways of do-ing, be-ing, having and thinking. Either way, both of these tasks require concerted time and effort, self-discipline, heightened self-awareness, and, more, they require commitment. And here is why “recidivism” of a sort haunts most folks who want change.

Clinging to Old Ways
What prevents most folks from carving out new grooves is that they’re wired to hang on to their original groves. They are “clinging.”

Most folks live in a “closed system” – a loyalty to our own internal reality – resistant to change. We become in the present what we became in the past., i.e., we “futurize our past.” In Buddhist terms, we are attached to this inner reality, constantly reconditioning to itself. The brain also continually generates this closed internal representation of our outer world, seeing and relating to it the same way, over and over again, even if, IN REALITY, the outer world is changing. We are stuck in our “grooves.” We become caught in an emotional and psychological attachment – to survive – to stay, i.e., be, the same in order to feel safe ands secure.  

As adults, our orientation to our world is largely how we were as infants, then children, then as adolescents, as young adults…. As adults, we are our earliest “grooves.”  Again, we “futurize our past.”

Be a Work in Progress
The good news is that this “stability” helped us survive and make sense of our world as infants and children. The not-so-good news is that this “stability” locks us into seeing and reacting to our present world and experiences in similar ways over time, i.e, we are hardwired to be resistant to change.

The key to true and lasting change, from the perspective of some psychotherapists, and from a Buddhist perspective, is to open the closed system in such a way that we do not view our self as a calcified, reified structure but rather as a “process” – often why many folks who do deep personal work say they are “works in progress.” They no longer identify as “I am this” or “I am that” but see themselves simply as “being” (resulting from the process of sandpapering down the old grooves, and loosening the hard, rigid identification (guard rails) with one’s self, i.e., “who I think I am” or “who I take myself to be.”) and creating new grooves.

Change Cannot Be Cognitive Alone
An important point here is that such change most often cannot be done through the mind, i.e., “cognitive” efforts, alone. True change needs to be processed through a conscious mind-body-spirit process – one reason why “positive thinking”-type efforts seldom produce true, lasting and sustainable change and transformation. The mind alone cannot “open” it’s own closed system.

Think of the moment you wake up. That split moment. When perhaps you hear the birds communing, or notice the sky, or hear the rain, or really smell the coffee – that split moment before “thinking” kicks in. That’s the place where true change and transformation takes place. That’s the place where we are an “open system.” Here, we are not conditioned by past experiences. We are completely present to our experience, right here and right now. No brain/mind to interrupt, to interpret, to link our present moment to past experience. Once “thinking “begins, almost all (change) bets are off.

As soon as we allow this moment to become influenced by memory, conditioning, and past experience, we slide right into the old “grooves” and are taken over by past perceptions, judgments, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, emotions, etc. – back to the old ways of “I am this” and “I am that.” We futurize our past. Our history, memory and experience take over. Our present is experienced through our past. We are clinging.

As soon as we begin “thinking,” then all the old feeling and emotional patterns related to our thoughts also arise. The clinging process is mental, cellular, neuronal, emotional, psychological and physiological as all our old patterns, urges, needs and desires arise, often unconsciously – just as the ball habitually returns to its starting place. Clinging that reinforces our closed-system inner reality, our old, habitual self.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

Clinging is the basis of resistance to change. Clinging is a survival strategy that emanates from deep, deep down in our core. In every “new” situation, we keep “re-birthing” our old, fixed self and in the process our familiar, protective ways of defending our old, familiar, resistant self also arise. This process is our “way of life.”

Presence
A process that leads one to a conscious, deeper awareness of these dynamics, a process that supports one to move into presence (where identity with “grooves’ is non-existent), where there is no need to defend, where there is no attachment to “I am this” or “I am that,” is one possible way to experience true and real shift and change. The “mind” alone cannot foster such change and that’s one reason we read of so many examples of “irrationality.”

The challenge is to choose to move away from “things mental and rational” into “things spiritual” (not religious or theological, but spiritual) where we shift from identification and the need to perpetuate our conditioned or habitual self, but towards an alignment or connection to our self as we are in that moment when we wake up, in that present-time experience, before “I”/”me” kicks in.

True and lasting change is an eminent possibility. But it takes time, consciousness, striving, honesty, steadfastness, courage, strength, will and lots of love and compassion for one’s self – qualities that for many in our culture seem to be in short supply.

We can smooth out our old grooves, the “gutter” of our past, the “irrationality,” and create new grooves – but just not by 9:00 tomorrow morning – a sad realization for many enmeshed in our microwave-oriented, Twitter- Tik-Tok-connected, 15-second sound-bite, seeking-immediate-gratification culture.

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” – James Gordon, M.D.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • On a scale of 1-10, what number describes your general feeling of impatience?
  • Do you ever reflect on how you came to be who you are, what you think or why you act the way you do? If so, what do you see about yourself? If not, are you curious as to why not?
  • Do you feel enslaved by your electronic life? Is this by choice?
  • What “old grooves” would you like to sand down and eliminate? What new groove would you like to create? Are there obstacles that prevent you from doing either, or both? How so?
  • Do you ever behave “irrationally” – do-ing or be-ing in ways you know you shouldn’t? If so, why? What does acting “irrationally” get you?
  • What of your past do you cling on to? How so?
  • Can you envision a world where you feel free in (most) every moment, where you can let go of notions of how you “should” be and dis-identify with “I am this” or “I am that?,” where you’re not a fixed entity but a process?

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(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

No Mud, No Lotus

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Over the years, I’ve become a devout believer in the notion of necessary suffering – that you cannot heal, grow or become -conscious,” and deeply self-aware, without suffering.

Thich Nhat Hahn, Buddhist monk and author, puts it this way:

It’s like growing lotus flowers. You cannot grow lotus flowers on marble. You have to grow them on the mud. Without mud, you cannot have a lotus flower. Without suffering, you have no ways in order to learn how to be understanding and compassionate. That’s why my definition of the kingdom of God is not a place where suffering is not, where there is no suffering…”

For me, it’s not a question of whether you believe in God (Source, or whatever you call a Higher Power), nor is it about religion or theology. It is about how one transforms to a higher state of self-awareness and consciousness (one’s True, Authentic Self) so that one can walk the planet on a daily basis from a place of equilibrium, inner peace and equanimity.

The Buddha says:

“As a blue or white lotus is born in the water,
grows up and is unpolluted by the water,
so too has the perfected one grown up in the world,
has risen above the world
and stands unpolluted by it.” – samyutta nikaya 22.94

The science of it all
The reason the Lotus flower is not polluted is due to its leaves. The leaves represent what is known as the “Lotus effect” – the leaves are so structured that water beads up and off the leaves, keeping the flower from being polluted. In fact, the leaves clean the lotus of real or potential pollution.

The science, according to Wikipedia, is:  …”due to their high surface tension water droplets tend to minimize their surface trying to achieve a spherical shape. On contact with a surface, adhesion forces result in wetting of the surface: either complete or incomplete wetting may occur depending on the structure of the surface and the fluid tension of the droplet.” The cause of self-cleaning properties is the hydrophobic water-repellent double structure of the surface.
 
The nature of pollution
So, consider your life – at work, at home, ay play and in relationship. Are you confronted by “suffering” in some way, shape or form daily? Better, how are you confronted by suffering on a daily basis? Most of us are. How is it that we can manage to NOT be immersed by the polluted waters – literally and figuratively – of the context of our past and immediate environments? 

The fact is, each one of us grows up immersed in the “mud” – an environment characterized by wounding – abuse, criticism, judgments, abandonment, rejection and the like – an environment in which every family operates, into which every human being is born. It’s the human experience. The degree of suffering may differ; but the muddy environment is there. The mud also represents painful childhood memories. Later on in life, the mud represents our immediate, real-world, real-time  “suffering” – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and psychologically – that arises in the form of our life challenges – health, finances, social and living conditions, career, relationships, social life, etc.

When we get in touch with our own suffering, head-on – recognizing it, being open to it, chewing on it, digesting it, understanding the purpose of it, metabolizing it, rather than denying and avoiding it, we grow, we become more conscious, self-aware. When this happens, suffering is still there, but the “charge” or pull it used to have becomes less and less,as we understand the reasons for the suffering, how it leads to our growth, our self-understanding and our healing. It’s the idea that you can have pain, but you don’t have to suffer.

The antidote to pollution
The growth of the Lotus, our individual Lotus, represents transformation – moving from suffering towards happiness, love, peace, and stillness in our life – at work, at home, at play and in relationship.

When we do the “work” to transform, we gain clarity, insights, AHA moments all of which point to the “purpose” of our suffering, our wounding, and our challenges. In the process of understanding, something shifts. Your attitudes, your responses, your perspective. Where your focus is more on your Lotus, less on the mud.

Understanding our own suffering, we can also begin to understand others’ as well – the place from which love and compassion grow. Many of us resist getting in touch with our suffering. But, when we do get in touch, we actually suffer less. We become the Lotus.

That’s the nature of the Lotus. That’s the nature of the mud.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you ever feel like a victim? If so, why? How does that show up in your life?
  • Has your suffering taught you anything/lessons? How so? What have you seen/learned?
  • What would it be like if you viewed your suffering as happening FOR you and not TO you?
  • Do you feel you are in control of your life? If not, why not?
  • Do you believe that change begins with you?
  • Do you tend to move away from your discomfort? If so, what might it be like to embrace it? How do you feel when you consider this option?
  • To what degree (1-10), on a daily basis, do you identify with the mud, with the Lotus?
  • How did you experience suffering as a child? Do you still carry scars of that suffering with you now? How so?

P.S. If you’re someone with a tendency to want/need to fix, save or otherwise rescue others from their suffering, the story of the butterfly and the cocoon is worth reading. You can find one of many versions here.


—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Relationship Networking – on Another Level

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“Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake. Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize the infinite extent of our relations.” Henry David Thoreau

In the heaven of Hindu and Buddhist tradition, there lies a vast silken web whose strands span infinitely across space in every direction. At each intersection, there’s a shining luminous jewel and each one completely reflects every other jewel. The jewels are said to represent the souls of all animate life. For many, Indra’s Net represents the interconnectedness of all souls. The idea is: since each jewel reflects all others, we both affect, and are affected by, others. 

Consider:

How do you feel when you’re treated abruptly and disrespectfully by someone – a colleague, a boss, a sales- or wait-person, a client or vendor, a physician, a relative, partner or spouse? Moreover, if you’re feeling unhappy or angry, how likely are you to allow your negative emotions to leak out and spill over into your next interaction, and the next, and the next? And, if others react negatively to your negativity, how do you suppose they’ll react in their next interaction? And, if the opposite were true in terms of your feeling “seen,” acknowledged and appreciated by another, would that positivity affect your next interaction, and the next, etc.? Get the picture? 

The Butterfly Effect – The idea is that if a butterfly chances to flap its wings in Beijing in March, then, by August, hurricane patterns in the Atlantic will be completely different – (this concept is initially attributed to meteorologist Edward Lorenz). Interconnectivity, networking, on a global level.

So, moving from the heavens to “down here,” at ground level, the practical implication of Indra’s Net would have us be curious about how we choose to relate to the various “jewels” we come across in our daily life at work, at home, at play and in relationship. 

Caught up in a life where many are moving at 90 miles an hour (think “ant colony”) – mentally, physically, on- and off-line, etc., how often do we consciously or unconsciously ignore those other jewels with whom we come into contact? We DO have some effect on everyone with whom we come into contact whether we/they are aware of it or not, whether we choose to or not. 

Living a life, rather than a lifestyle, or living “in” one’s self (conscious self-awareness), rather than living “next to” one’s self (i.e., robotically, disengaged), means being aware of “who we are” and “how we are” in every moment, understanding and appreciating the significance of the web of interconnectivity, our interconnectivity. 

Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him. – Virginia Satir 

Consider:

With how many people do you interact (face-to-face, electronically, etc.) every day? And how many of these folks are actually “visible” to you as you interact? That is, how many of these folks do you really see as having any real-ness or personal-ness? Do you tend to overlook or dismiss them as “ordinary” because you view them as “roles,” or tasks, or transactions, or insignificant or simply as a means to an end – e.g., direct reports, assistants, secretaries, clerks, taxi/bus drivers, street sweepers, shopkeepers, and the like? 

Indra’s Net reminds us that we can make the invisible, visible. That the jewels that connect one strand to another and reflect one another are just that – jewels to be seen, acknowledged, appreciated and valued.  
 
“I wish Pooh were here. It’s so much more friendly with two.”
  Piglet (A.A. Milne)

Seeing the diamond through the dust

What our planet seems to be crying out for are conscious, healthy interactions and relationships between and among folks – folks we know and folks we don’t. The easiest way to begin to remove the dust and see the jewels is simply by recognizing another as, well, another human being, someone who in their own right is a jewel at the crossroads of other strands, reflecting other jewels. 

How I choose to react or respond to another will affect how that other responds or reacts to others. My glance, my words and my actions (verbal and non-verbal) can have a positive or negative effect on that other, and their glance, words and actions will affect others – the web is infinite and real. We will make a difference – a good difference or a not-so-good difference. But, in all likelihood, we will make a difference that ripples out to others as a ripple moves across a pond.

The idea is not to create an ego-driven difference, but a soul difference – making an invisible person, visible, seeing the diamond through the dust with a loving or mindful glance, word, or kindness, as opposed to an unconscious, dismissive or robotic “I hardly notice you” role-playing-type reactivity. Just a quarter-carat energetic response is all it takes. It’s mutually energizing on a soul level. 

Every diamond is unique

“It’s surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you’re not comfortable within yourself, you can’t be comfortable with others.” – Sydney J. Harris 

Every jewel in the Net possesses a uniqueness. When our “eyepiece” is jiggled or jostled by the speed of life, or a bruised psyche, we cannot see clearly and are more apt to dismiss, reject or judge another diamond as a simple, worthless stone. Here, we need to not only obtain a new eyepiece, but turn it on our self to examine perhaps a flaw or two within our own diamond -something we have denied, repressed or not accepted about our jewel. When we discover what it is, work with it and polish it, then others’ brightness will be readily available for our viewing pleasure.

The practical application of Indra’s Net is that the diamond within us chooses to see the diamond in another. The beauty of Indra’s Net, and real networking – is just that –  the beauty that arises naturally when connection is based on acknowledging and appreciating the uniqueness and value of another – just because they are. 

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you ever observe and reflect on your own observations of others? What do these observations reveal about yourself?  How so?
  • When you choose to see someone as being different from you, what might it be about your own unconscious that you are discovering? 
  • Do you experience discomfort around others who are “not like me?” Do you tend to be more inclusive or exclusive in your orientation to others?  What’s underneath your discomfort or exclusiveness? Do you know why?
  • What are your earliest memories of being inclusive or exclusive?
  • Do you know the name of the person who cleans your office, the wait-person you see every day in your local coffee shop, the elevator operator, your refuse collector, your mail carrier (you get the picture)? 
  • Have you ever caught yourself being too busy to acknowledge or show appreciation to another? 
  • How do you feel when another person does not give you the attention you’d like (or think you deserve)? 
  • Can you think of times when a good/bad experience with someone influenced your behavior in subsequent interactions with others? What was that like? 
  • Can you envision a world where an Indra’s Net orientation to people actually exists “down here?” 

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” –  Thomas Merton

—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Poison Control

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In the Buddhist tradition, the cause of human suffering is threefold: greed, hatred, and delusion – called the “three poisons.” These three “poisons” are deeply ingrained, programmed, in our being, our personality and leak out, spilling toxicity, as we live our lives – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. How so?

“There is no calamity greater than lavish desire. There is no greater guilt than discontentment. And there is no greater disaster than greed.” – Lao-Tzu

We manifest greed as selfishness, attachments, and trying to glom on to happiness outside ourselves. Greed is an insatiable craving for objects we feel will bring us unbridled happiness – a happiness we believe will fill us up, make us feel whole and complete. Under the spell of greed, we, like Sisyphus, continually struggle to obtain the unattainable – always fleeting, always ephemeral. There is no lasting happiness. So, it’s always on to the next thing, and the next and the next. Greed also manifests as a lack of compassion for others. Greed is a poison that affects our personal and professional lives, a poison that leads to an endless cycle of suffering and unhappiness – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically. 

“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.” – Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)

Hatred is manifested by our anger, hostility, resentment and aversion to people, events and circumstances which we feel cause us discomfort and unpleasantness. We even hate our own self, our own feelings. When we hate, we consciously and unconsciously emit an energy of ill-will, jealousy and revenge. When we hate, we seem to constantly be in some degree of discontent, distress or conflict – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – we seem to always be fighting “an enemy” – both external and internal. We feel agitated, vigilant, and vengeful. Too, we always seem to be in conflict with our self – rejecting who we are, how we feel. 

“There are men who would quickly love each other if once they were to speak to each other; for when they spoke they would discover that their souls had only separated by phantoms and delusions.” – Ernest Hello 

Delusion points to our misperception, misconception and misunderstanding of reality, how the world works, and how natural law works. Delusional, we lack harmony within ourselves, with others or with life itself. We lack an understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings, of all of life. The poison of delusion forces us to look for satisfaction, happiness and solutions “out there.” The result, of course, is even greater unhappiness, frustration and dissatisfaction – a vicious cycle.   

The Antidote 

These three poisons – greed, hatred and delusion – have a single cause, and that is our separation from our True, Real and Authentic Self – the Self of loving kindness and compassion.  

The antidote is twofold: (1)understanding and clarity as to how and why these poisons cause us suffering and unhappiness and (2) making the choice to reduce and eliminate these poisons from our lives. 

As in all change, when we become more self-aware, clear, about the causes of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction, we can then take the steps towards change, empowerment and freedom. As with all change, we need to be loving, kind and compassionate towards ourselves through the slowly-unfolding change process. 

So, the antidote begins with the source of the three poisons – our mind – our ego personality. When we learn to still the mind, explore our self more deeply, and become “mindful,” we move to the source of the poisons. At the source, we can discover how these poisons are influencing us – our thoughts, feelings, emotions, speech and actions. The practice is mindful awareness.

We practice mindful awareness through deep breathing, meditation, journaling, self-reflection, the martial arts, painting, dancing, writing, walking quietly in nature and the like (e.g, right-brain, or “no-brain,” activities). 

In a state of mindful awareness, we watch, observe and witness sour feelings, emotions and thoughts – watching, not engaging, not reacting, not judging. Mindful awareness supports our being present – in our everyday interactions – noticing what triggers us, what pushes our buttons, what disturbs us. Watching and observing, not reacting, not allowing greed, hatred or delusions to get in the way. 

Mindful awareness supports us to treat each poison with its antidote, for example: 

Greed – generosity, charity, sharing, humility, detachment, contentment and cooperation 

Hatred – patience, forgiveness, loving-kindness, inclusivity, and openness towards others and our self 

Delusion – wisdom, insight, intuition, right understanding, harmony with an interdependent and interconnected world 

The antidote – mindful awareness – supports us to become liberated from the poisons, from our habitual, programmed ways of be-ing, thinking, and do-ing – from our unhappiness and suffering. 

Poisons are serious stuff – they are dangerous and cause harm and sickness – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological. 

Poisons cause us to act in self-limiting, self-sabotaging and self-defeating ways in which we make unhealthy choices and decisions. Poisons cause us to act unethically, immorally and dishonestly. 

By working with the antidotes, we can change; we can transform. And it’s this change and transformation that eventually leads to True and Real Happiness – eliminating the fake and phony appearance of happiness that we’ve been relentlessly pursuing – oddly enough, a fake and phony happiness that has been, poisoning us, making us sicker and sicker. 

Some questions for self-reflection: 

Do you think you’ve been poisoned? If so, when, how and by whom?

Do any of the three poisons drive your everyday moral and ethical actions – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? How so?

How do you know when you are free of the three poisons, when greed, hatred and delusion no longer exist in your life?

How do you experience what’s good in your life?

How do you generally feel when you wake up in the morning, go to bed at night? Why?

Do you experience extreme highs and extreme lows in your life?

What role do patience, kindness and grace play in your life – at work, at home, at play and in relationship? Do they play any role at all?

What frustrates you, makes you angry, sad, or glad? How so?

Do you have a spiritual life or practice?

Can you envision a world where greed, hatred and delusion don’t exist?

Have you ever experienced true and real happiness? How do you know?

What were your experiences of greed, hatred and delusion as you were growing up? Did you experience any of the three delusions in and around your family? How so? If so, what was that like?

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(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Experiencing Well-Be-ing in 2022 — Facing the Truth about Change and Well-Being

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page
(Some of the links below are to articles on my website – all of which have been checked for viruses, etc.)
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“The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.”
Herbert Agar

Think of change this way. Grasp a rubber band between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand and between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand. Think of this rubber band as change. Stretch the rubber band. Think of the right hand as representing new ways of do-ing, be-ing and having, i.e., stretching to move forward in your life. Think of your left hand as representing being brought back to old or current ways of do-ing, be-ing and having, i.e., pulled back to remain exactly where you are.

Each time you stretch (i.e., move beyond your comfort zone) to act in some new way (your right hand), your left hand (your mind, your body and your brain) are pulling you back into old programmed habits and patterns. We often allow ourselves to return to old patterns and continue old habits – even if they are self-defeating, self-limiting, and self-sabotaging – because we feel safe and secure. It’s a question of “the devil we know versus the devil we don’t.” This is the sole reason 98% of the folks who resolve to change in the New Year fail by Valentine’s Day as they fall back into old ways, habits and patterns, of do-ing, be-ing and having. The pull to passivity, to the same old patterns of do-ing and be-ing is just too powerful. Their challenge of something new, i.e., change, or the unknown, is trumped by their need for familiarity, safety, security – i.e., their need to NOT change.

The truth about change
“The truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures.”
HanSuyin

Creating true and real changes in one’s life is challenging. If you decide your life is more interesting, more satisfying, happier and more worthwhile living by not changing, that is your choice. But, you can’t have it both ways – “I hate my life but I don’t want to change.” Or, “I want to change, but I don’t want to be different.” Remember the definition of insanity – doing the same thing in the same way, over and over again, and expecting different results each time. Insanity is a choice. Sometimes conscious. Sometimes unconscious. Wanting to change, and doing nothing about it, day after day, year after year is one form of “insanity.” And remember, you’re not bad or wrong for not wanting to change. You are where you are. The question is, “What is it about change that frightens you, causes you concern or feels threatening?” What’s the truth, your truth? Self-awareness is key.

If you are adverse to change, maybe take some time (perhaps five minutes, ten minutes or thirty minutes) on a consistent basis for a while to explore your resistance to change. Being honest and serious about your life is challenging. If you can’t take some minutes for yourself on a consistent basis to explore how you feel about where you are, be curious about that. Are you resisting, and why? What does resisting get you?

So, here are some truths around change and well-being I and my coaching clients have explored over the years, truths which have supported us to change and transform our lives in ways that have resulted in a greater sense of well-be-ing – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or psychological, not to mention personal and professional. Facing these truths in an honest, sincere, and self-responsible way, with love and compassion for yourself, can jump-start your journey towards meaningful change, transformation and a heightened sense of well-being.

Connecting to your life force supports well-being
Your life force is an energy. Life force is not a simple, mental construct. Life force is real. Your life force is what provides you with the qualities of, for example, self-love, compassion, forgiveness, strength, courage, will, discipline, steadfastness, stick-to-it-iveness, truth, deep listening, right understanding, right knowing and right action (notwithstanding those who say change is all about willpower. The truth? Willpower is rarely sustainable).

To connect to your life force, it’s important to engage in some type of consistent spiritual practice – meditation (sitting or walking), energy work such as yoga, tai chi or martial arts, self-reflection or contemplation, quietude and silence, or journaling. A spiritual practice is not about religion or theology. I know atheists who have a spiritual practice; I know avowed religious folks who don’t. The truth is, touching in on a regular basis to our deeper self, results in experiencing a deeper sense of well-be-ing that supports us in time of challenge and change, and gives us a sense of grounding, peace and well-being with which we approach life and make healthy life choices, decisions and changes.

Living in a real community supports well-being (But be discerning in how and when you choose to get together given these challenging times)
If you find yourself spending more and more time engaged in online social networks, if you live much of your life communing with friends or family, etc. on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram during these times of self-quarantine, home confinement, etc., there’s a better than average chance you’re real-world social skills may be eroding. You may find yourself turning down more and more invitations to “real” social events or feeling more uncomfortable when you do engage. You may find your social skills when engaging with “real” people are diminishing. You may find yourself “holding up” in your home more and more, venturing outside less and less.

The truth is, a healthy sense of well-be-ing comes from interacting and engaging in community; real, not fake, community. Our personal growth and positive mental, emotional and psychological health and well-be-ing feeds on the nourishment we get from conscious interaction with others, from community. There’s a host of information describing how belonging to a community, a real community, supports us to, for example deal with loneliness, improve our motivation, health, and happiness, feel supported and connected to and with others, and deal with the stress, challenges, struggles and chaos of daily life, not to mention the sense of camaraderie, connection and caring that can result from being in a community. Experiencing community, real community, is one way to develop and sustain a heightened sense of well-being. Again, be discerning, follow CDC guidelines, and the like.

Eating to live; exercising for health, support well-being
Do you eat to live or live to eat? What’s your diet like? Most everyone knows what a healthy diet looks like. The health of our mind-body-spirit unit cannot maintain without a healthy diet. I’ve come across countless folks over the years who exercise to extreme so they can “pig out,” gorge themselves, and eat unhealthily. So, in the morning, for example, they run, go to the gym, or exercise at home so they can dive into unhealthy food and drink at night. Then, it’s guilt and shame. A self-defeating vicious cycle. So, the next day, extreme exercise and unhealthy eating or drinking – a mental, physical, emotional and psychological roller-coaster lifestyle that results in anything but a healthy sense of well-being. Not to mention the emotional inner turmoil that erupts when one skips a day of exercising, but not a day of unhealthy eating or drinking. I’ve seen countless folks come out of the gym still being angry, unhappy and sad even after a “great workout.” They may be in good shape, but many are not in good psycho/emotional/spiritual health.

The truth is that being in good shape, but poor emotional and psychological health, is bound to lead to a life of self-hate, self-loathing, and utter unhappiness and frustration. Asking one’s self, honestly, sincerely and self-responsibly, “Why am I really been dieting and exercising?” can help one move into a diet and exercise lifestyle that promotes healthy well-being – physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. Is your regimen of exercising and dieting about truly and really healthy or something else? The “something else” usually leads to consistent emotional upset, frustration and failure.

Conscious intention, commitment and focus support well-being
“One must know oneself; if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.”
Blaise Pascal

The reality is, without our being “conscious” of who and how we want to be, and why, without being intentional and focused in every moment of change, the forces of old habits and patterns will take over, reducing change to a small idea in a tiny brain molecule – magical thinking at best.

Some important questions around change and improved well-being we can ask are:

“Why am I choosing to change?”
“Do I have any hunch or instinct I won’t be able to keep my intention or change?” The truth is many folks want to change to impress or please someone else. If this is the case in your situation, a deeper exploration of what’s underneath your desire to please others is in order.
“Why do I need to please others and have others’ approval?”
“What does pleasing others get me?”
“Who would I be and how would I feel if I didn’t please others?”
“Do I love myself as I am, right here and right now?”

Understanding “my mind is not me, but mine,” supports well-being
On the other hand, if you’re honestly and sincerely committed and intentional about your choice to change, consistently monitoring your thoughts, and being self-aware, can support you in your change efforts. When you want to run faster, longer, and harder (when you know it leads to injury or burnout), when you want to eat the whole bag of M&Ms (when you know you’ll be upset with yourself afterwards), when you want to have another cigarette/drink (when you know it’s unhealthy), when you want to spend the extra $100 (when you can’t afford it and it jeopardizes your credit score), monitor your thinking and explore what mental messages you’re hearing, what your Inner Judge and Critic is saying, what old rationale is arising to trigger your acting in ways that are self-sabotaging, self-limiting and self-defeating.

The truth is, you are in control of your mind, not the other way around. If you stay “awake'” and ask yourself questions like: “Why am I choosing this?” “Is this really supportive of my choice to change?” “Am I choosing to sabotage myself and if so why?,” you’ll come to a deeper understanding of your behaviors that are self-sabotaging and slowly be able to wean yourself away from old patterns and limiting beliefs that keep you from changing. Emotional mastery supports you to be clear about what you’re feeling moment to moment so that you are in control of your life and the master of your own well-being.

Consistency and specifics, not extremes, support well-being
Sustainable change comes with small, incremental steps. The name of the well-be-ing game is consistency – moving forward on a conscious and consistent basis, in baby steps. Wanting to create wholesale and quantum change overnight hardly ever works. Burnout and frustration – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological – are often what follow the need to change on a dime. How does a mouse eat a round of cheese? One small bite at a time. Some further suggestions here .

One obstacle that interferes with lasting and sustainable change is having a wrong motive for changing. For example, making the mistake of “moving away” rather  than “moving towards.” In other words, focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. The energy of moving toward a goal is more alive, juicy, positive, enthusiastic, exciting and motivating than the energy of moving away which is often heavy, negative, and unpleasant. Here’s a much more thorough exploration of the moving towards vs. moving away principle, with many practical examples.

Another obstacle to creating sustainable change and experiencing well-being, is acting in extremes, and “all-or-none” extreme approach to change, i.e., exercising every day (rather than, for example, starting with three days a week or a half hour at a time), meditating for an hour, rather than starting slowly, reading the whole book, rather than a chapter, etc. The problem here is that our Inner Judge and Critic gets in the way with all the “shoulds” and perfection-based ego-driven excuses that get in the way and, more often than not, doom us to failure. The secret sauce of  achievement is to start slow, baby steps, be gentle with ourselves, and move forward incrementally and consistently. Remember, how does a mouse eat a round of cheese? One small bite at a time. It works!

Another strategy that can lead to effective, lasting and sustainable change, is to use the word “choose” instead of want, need or should. Shoulds are burdensome and guilt-making; choosing is freeing. The energy of choosing is self-empowering and gives you ownership. The truth is change is about feeling light and emotionally free, not about feeling needy for security, control or others’ approval. Consistency allows the brain to create the new neurological pathways that have to be ingrained for new ways of do-ing and be-ing to become habitual. No consistency, no sustainability.  Extremes only lead to failure. More about should and choose here . The author writes from a Christian perspective, but you’ll get the point, whether you are Christian or otherwise.

Self management, not time management, leads to well-being
“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

If you’re one who says your life is out of your control, that you don’t have enough time in your day to get things done, that you find yourself watching way too much TV or hanging out online to an extreme, the truth is that you’re doing a poor job at self-management. Time management is NEVER – ever -about time. Mismanaged time is a symptom; “me” is the problem. When we work on self-management and self-regulation from a conscious, proactive (not reactive), values-driven place, time then ceases to be an issue. How so?

The truth is, our values or lack of them play a large role when making choices as to what to do, how and when, or being clear as to whether we are spending our investing our time, energy and effort. When our choices are based on values that are murky, misguided or nonexistent, our efforts lead to confusion, mistakes, self-defeating multitasking and chaos that comes from juggling too many balls in the air at the same time. With respect to priorities, many folks ask the wrong question, i.e., “What’s next?” instead of the more-important question, “What’s first?” and why. Lack of self-management skills and clear values produce a lack of clarity and direction so everything is next, everything is urgent and important, and we know this perspective often leads to inner turmoil and outer upset and diminished well-being. Time management is, first and foremost, about self-management. So, what are some ways we can focus on better self-management?

Knowing when to say “no” supports well-being
To achieve peace of mind and well-being  it’s important to learn how to say no – to yourself  and to others who are asking you for something. This is a real discipline. How often do you give up your own aspirations, dreams, goals or tasks because you don’t want to upset someone? Or because you like doing something that is perhaps a distraction. And then you become distracted by all the things you say yes to?

Learn how to have difficult conversations with others so you can say no in a kind, respectful, gentle, compassionate and positive way and still take care of yourself without feeling guilty, ashamed or fearful. Know how to say no to yourself and not feel like you’re denying yourself.

Ask: “If I instinctively want to say no to someone or something, what am I actually saying yes to?” Go deep and connect with your heart. What’s the truth here? Sense into your higher aspiration, your purpose, which will make it much easier for you to learn how to say no.

Having a clear sense of purpose supports well-being
We want to be productive, effective and successful. But, many of us find it hard because we always feel we have too much to do. When you have a clear sense of purpose, when you’re clear about why you’re on the planet, it’s empowering because you’re clear about what you want from life. Many of us are confused about this. Purpose is your guideline, your beacon, as to your choices and decisions – e.g., what party to go to, what to read, watch. You become clear as to how you move forward – how to invest your time and energy. Purpose supports you to  clear out the clutter, simplify your life and create a heightened sense of well-being. 

Purpose is empowering because it helps clarify our life choices and decisions, what we want from life, the path forward, how to simplify our life and how to invest our time, effort and energy which has a return on investment, as opposed to “spending” time, energy and effort which has no valuable return.  

Support leads to a greater sense of well-being
I know of very few people who have been able to make honest and lasting change by themselves. Very few. Most folks who succeed with change have a support system of one kind or another. A support system helps us overcome the immune system many of us have towards change. The truth is going it alone hardly ever produces real and lasting change. Who is your support? Are they nonjudgmental? Are they affirming? Do you feel safe talking about your life with them? Do they help you gain clarity?

Find a professional coach or other professional support person to help you clarify your goals, the “why” of your life.  Working with this support, be guided by your purpose in your choices and decisions as to how you invest your time, energy and effort.

Living with awareness creates well-being
“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves into crustal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

When we are in touch with our deeper Inner Self, we become free(er) and this sense of freedom helps us make those change that bring lightness within, and a heightened sense of well-being. Awareness supports us to become more center-focused and allows us to discern (as opposed to judging) what serves us from what does not, what needs to change and what doesn’t.

The one major element that we can truly control in our life is self-awareness, the awareness that says “I’m the master of my life,” the awareness that brings meaning and purpose to our journey on the planet, the awareness that supports us to move forward along the right path. The truth is, without self-awareness, chaos rules our lives and with chaos comes unhappiness, unfulfilled dreams and unmet goals, finger-pointing, blaming, confusion, overwhelm and stress.

So, what’s the truth about you and your life? What’s the truth about the stories you tell yourself about why change is so hard and frustrating? What’s the truth about your definition of “insanity?”

Finally,
Most people are free-falling through their lives, ping-ponging from one crisis to the next. Living in this type of spiral or chaos leaves no room for conscious living.

The real truth about lasting change and transformation, and a true and real sense of well-being, is that true change, transformation and sense of well-be-ing comes with self-awareness and a healthy integration of body, mind, spirit. Change is a reality that can happen in every moment of our lives, every moment of every life – but only if we are aware of it and see the truth of “who I am” and “how I am” as I live my life.

In essence, experiencing a true sense and real sense of well-being comes when we know the truth about how we live our life, and why.  As Galileo said, “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

So the question we want to ask, moving forward, “If I truly want to experience a heightened sense of well-being in 2022, and I’m not, what’s getting in the way – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically?” What’s the truth?

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Who are you (can you describe this without defining yourself by what you “do”)?
  • How do you feel when you define yourself?
  • What do you want?
  • Why do you think you’re on the planet
  • How do you feel when you define what you want?
  • Where are you in your life at work, at home, at play and in relationship and, why are you there?
  • How do you feel when you describe where you are and why you’re there?
  • Who are your allies in life?
  • What are the “truths” about you and your life?
  • How do you feel when you speak the truth of your life?
  • Do you have a spiritual practice?
  • Are you drowning in distractions of one kind or another? How so?
  • Is time your friend or enemy? Why?
  • At which end of the rubber band do you live most of your life? Why?
  • Is your social community more real or virtual?
  • Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your life in 2022? Why?
  • You feel you’re in control of your emotional life? Why or why not?
  • On a scale of 1-10, where are you when it comes to experiencing a real sense of well-be-ing?
  • Can you visualize a world where you are moving effortlessly and consistently toward personal change and transformation?

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

What’s New?

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

“Funny how the new things are the old things.”Rudyard Kipling 

In addition to COVID, Omicron, other COVID variants and other myriad illnesses and maladies folks suffer from these days is another – neophilia – defined by Merriam-Webster as “love of or enthusiasm for what is new or novel.” Most folks have some element of neophilia in their personality and some degree of neophilia makes the economy run and spurs innovation, but it seems that more and more folks are suffering from an incurable and deadly strain of the “need for something new” disease, or dis-ease.

While neophilia is not a new disease, it seems more and more folks suffer from it – the obsession, preoccupation and intense need to experience whatever is NEW. Japanese (and other) research shows that for some reason the word “new” arouses a part of the brain as does an addiction disorder – producing dopamine, a pleasure transmitter.. 

From clothes, cell phones, food, TV fare, and cars, to religious and spiritual practices, to leadership and management approaches, to ways of relating (social networks?), to beer with vitamins (hmmm), folks seem to be obsessively attracted to the new and improved. The curious question, of course, is why?

Many folks erroneously equate new with value (not valuable but value). Advertising, marketing and commercialism, and a lineage of folks in families which worship new, have brainwashed a vast majority of folks into believing that new is always better, more important, of greater quality or of great value. Is that the truth?

Folks who have grown to be obsessed with, and steeped in, commercialism and consumerism gravitate toward the new. 

And, there are those who are taken in by the “new.” Many folks, even cultures, honor, value and appreciate the old because the old is not simply “old,” but because the old possesses a sense of character, symbolic valueand a connection to wisdom. While the new is often fleeting, ephemeral, and tends toward quick “value evaporation,” the old serves a deeper, more grounded way of maintaining relationships and connections with history, time, people and culture.

To me, It’s readily evident that much of modern life lacks soul, lacks a deeper, core connection that we  knew as value. Today’s value is much more superficial, meaning-less and soulfully lacking. Today’s value is more about appearance (form) ratherthan substance, the external devoid ofthe internal, thesurface image as opposed to intrinsic worth, and all too often net worth is the imposter for self-worth.  

Many today view their world with their eyes wide shut, with a soul that’s been blinded. The fact is that it’s not about new vs. old, but about moving beyond the superficial and appearances. When we spend time connecting with our life – our relationships and our possessions – from a soul perspective, a place of centeredness, quietude and depth, then we can orient to the world in a way that truly allows us to discern what’s true and real. When our physical eyes connect to our soul, a genuine intelligence arises that allows us to look deeply as we seek to know the true value and worth of every person and every thing that is part of our personal experience. 

The underlying pleasure of our deeper soul for that which is fresh, creative and vital has been usurped by the shallowness of novelty, by the attendant brain-washing for what is “new,” “improved,” “hot” and “must have.” Orienting to our world from a soul perspective guides us to look through the hollowness and fakeness of image, appearanceand hype. From this place, we have the possibility of experiencing the true substance, value and meaningnot only of our own life but the lives of others –  at work, at home, at play and in relationship. 

Some questions for self-reflection: 

  • What value do you experience from the material possessions and the people in your life? What fads or trends or “new” do you track regularly? What “new” does not have any charge for you? How do you feel when you do this inquiry? 
  • What things and people in your life possess true and real character, uniqueness and soul? Is this exploration easy or difficult? How so?
  • What aspects of your life at work, at home and at play are wrapped in the superficial? How does this affect your relationships?  Have  you ever considered this before?
  • Does constant obsession with the new ever get old? Honestly. 
  • Do you ever feel lacking, deficient or “out of the loop” because you don’t have the newest? How so? 
  • Do you ever feel shallow, or worthless or value-less?  What was “new” like when you were growing up? 

“Know thyself,” said the old philosopher, “improve thyself,” saith the new. Our great object in time is not to waste our passions and gifts on the things external that we must leave behind, but that we cultivate within us all that we can carry into the eternal progress beyond.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

I quote; therefore, I am.

“……………..”

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905
 
Don’t Do as I Quote; Do as I Do

As one who works in the self-help arena, I’ve been noticing an ever-increasing phenomenon these days and that is, throwing around quotation after quotation in the sense that the quote will (what?) support one’s own movement towards change or transformation, or spur another towards change and transformation or that it might be taken as a  sign of one’s wisdom, intelligence and the like?

Perhaps, it’s the social media focus on the sound-bite, the emphasis on 140-character communication.

In either case, my curiosity centers around “not what I quote” but “do I live what I quote?”.

I think quotes have a place, depending on how we use them. Do motivational quotes on corridor and office walls honestly and truly motivate? Do success quotes in sports arenas, locker rooms, and in schools really produce successful athletes and students? Do pithy management and leadership quotes truly result in inspired leaders, managers and engaged employees?? Do love and relationship quotes lead to healthier and more conscious relationships? (And, by the way, the same might be said of affirmations, or books, or visualizations, but that’s another reading.)

“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
Do quotes “work?”
In my experience, yes; but in few cases. How so?

Some folks have actually changed their lives, transformed, partially as a result of integrating, embodying and “living” quotes. A vast majority, however, cannot seem to integrate the sentiment, message or inspiration of a quote into their actual, daily do-ing and be-ing – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – in a sustainable, long-term, self-disciplined way to effect  true and real change, to honestly and self-responsibly forward the action of their life and become a new, different  person.

If you Google “self-improvement quotations,” “management quotations, “leadership quotations,” “relationship quotations,” and “success quotations,” (or “sayings),”and the like,  you’ll come up with thousands, millions of hits.

I quote success; I am success – there is a difference

Let’s look at success quotations as an example. What do these success quotes have in common?
 
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.” – Albert Einstein

“Just as the tumultuous chaos of a thunderstorm brings a nurturing rain that allows life to flourish, so too in human affairs times of advancement are preceded by times of disorder. Success comes to those who can weather the storm.” –  I Ching No. 3
 
“The successful man is the average man, focused.” Anonymous

“Getting what you go after is success; but liking it while you are getting it is happiness.” Anonymous

So, what do these quotes have in common?

What these quotes have in common is that they’re all someone else’s quotes, someone else’s notion of success. And this is important. Why?

Because I’m curious how many people’s lives – tens, hundreds, thousand, millions – have actually been demonstrably changed for the better, over the long-term, as a result of reading one or more of someone else’s quotes? I suspect few, very few. Why?

What I often experience are folks who share, quote or think about someone else’s neat, cool, pithy quotation as a “nice idea,” but have never consciously taken the time to internalize, integrate, chew on, digest, metabolize and deeply reflect upon it so it becomes part of their own cellular, molecular make-up, their being.

Instead, beyond the time it takes to utter or write a 140-character idea-string, or utter a quote, they often return to a life that’s characterized by misalignment, dis-harmony, imbalance, confusion, self-doubt and overwhelm. They want “success” or happiness, or a better way of being a leader, manager, partner or spouse from someone’s else’s dream, aspiration or quote; but, it’s not working. They haven’t personalized, internalized, operationalized it.

Don’t quote the quote; be the quote

For me, the most important tool for success in life is reflection, deep reflection which many are unable or willing to engage in, will not undertake, and, then, follow up with goal delineation, planning and scheduling, and implementing conscious self-management and self-discipline to be(come) the quotation. Many, living lives of indecision, dis-harmony and self-deceit, find they can only quote the quote, not be the quote.

Sometimes, folks do incorporate the quotation as a “living” quotation. For example, they define “success,” or “relationship,” or “motivation” as “results.” But, achieving results without learning something about one’s self often leads to an incomplete and often “un-success-ful” “lived quotation” in the short or long term. Do-ing alone (i.e., results), without be-ing, is not a solid formula for success, or happiness, or successful leading, managing or relating. 

These folks who accomplish results (“success?”) but without personal growth, often wonder why they don’t feel better, alive, fulfilled. They often admit they don’t experience good health, energy, enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind. They are “successful,” after all. So, what’s “off?”
So, what does quoting get you?

Many of us love quotes – about life, love, relationships, leading, managing and the like. But these quotes are simply ideas, each as grand as the tiny molecule in the brain that holds it. Unless “operationalized,” and practiced, as a practice, the idea can be gone in an instant. Then what? Another quote, another quick burst of a feel-good moment? Nothing sustainable.

For many, the idea, the sentiment, the quote is quickly obliterated just as if they had written it in the sand on the beach – ephemeral – wiped out in a moment.

For others, the idea, like a “success” quotation, is engraved in an indelible way in their brain, in their cellular make-up, in their psyche and their being. They are a living embodiment of the quote. Big difference.

So, I guess there are quotes and there are quotes. It’s what we do with them, and why, that matters.

Some questions for self-reflection: 

  • Do you often quote others? Why? What does quoting others get you?
  • Do you incorporate others’ quotes into the fabric of your daily life – i.e., the way you live life at work, at home, at play and in relationship? How so?
  • Can you recall the last ten quotes you shared? Last five? Last one?
  • Has your life changed, truly changed, as the result of any quotes you took to heart? Were you truly inspired and motivated to be or act differently, consistently? How so?
  • Do you ever feel empty, unhappy, or unfulfilled even though you know a lot of “happy” quotations? Do you live in a prison of self-defeating or self-limiting thoughts or quiet desperation even though you “know’ a lot of motivational and inspirational quotations? Why is that?
  • Do you ever use quotations to persuade others you’re intelligent or wise?
  • What might happen if you never used quotes? How might that make you feel? If you seldom or never used quotations, would you feel lacking or deficient? Why?
  • Is your self-worth partially defined by how often, how much, you use quotations?
  • Did you grow up around quotations? Who did you parents or primary caregivers quote?
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” Does that resonate with you? How so?

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

When Emotions Visit

The Guest House


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

by Rumi – Taken from SELECTED POEMS by Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks (Penguin Classics, 2004).

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Who’s been visiting you lately? Do you know why? Can you be curious?
  • Do you tend to reject your own feelings and emotions? Do you resist the thoughts and emotions passing through you?  If so, why do you think that’s so?
  • Have you ever experienced a broken heart? How did you deal with that experience?
  • Can you accept everything about yourself without apologizing, blaming, or regretting? If not, why not?
  • Can you meet your thoughts and emotions with courage, warmth, gratitude and kindness?
  • Do you ever doubt your self-worth?
  • Do you tend to ruminate or catastrophize? What does ruminating or catastrophizing get you?
  • Do you tend to bury your emotions (even though you’re burying them alive)?
  • Do you ever feel trapped in the prison of your own mind?
  • Can you envision a time when you’re grateful for all the visitors who come to your guest house?
  • What do you need to “clear out?”
  • Are there parts of yourself you tend to suppress? How so? When did you first begin to suppress them?
  • Are there parts of yourself you used to suppress. but no longer do so? What changed/how so?
  • Can you live alongside your challenging thoughts/emotions? How so?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is -maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

One Down* – Two to Go**

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

*     – Thanksgiving
**   – Christmas (and other seasonal celebrations) and New Year’s

The holiday season is often difficult to navigate – mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically. The frivolity, laughter, glitter and shine often turn to blue. For many, the holiday season is a season of darkness, not light, facing the challenges of resentment, jealousy, quiet or overt anger, sadness, stress, loneliness, and unfulfilled longings – a time to get through, rather than truly enjoy.

Successfully meeting these challenges can be likened to the way white-water rafters approach their task. Beginners watch for the craggy rocks, the problems to avoid, the risks to circumvent, usually ending their runs feeling emotionally and physically drained. Experts focus on the flow line where the currents safely guide them through the roughest areas with a minimum of mental and emotional stress, ending their runs on a high, with energy to spare.

So, I’d like to share some perspectives and strategies to support you to create a nurturing holiday experience resulting in peace in body, mind, and spirit and a heightened sense of well-being.

Body:

Fall and winter are Nature’s time for hibernation -being quiet and lying dormant. The tendency to live frenetically – shopping, partying, and going at ninety miles an hour, is unnatural. The physical stress alone can affect your immune system, resulting in energy depletion, lethargy, and illness. It’s important to take time to relax and reduce stress, to maintain consistent harmony and balance. Some suggestions:

Your body monitors how you’re doing. So, notice levels of tension and/or fatigue. With a cupped hand, lightly tap your arms and neck, and other areas to relieve stress and to increase energy flow and vitality. Is your breathing deep and relaxed, or shallow and quick? Remember always to breathe deeply, especially when facing stressful circumstances.

Nurture yourself. Take time for reflection and being alone. Go to a movie, take a hot, soothing bath, treat yourself to a massage, cuddle up and enjoy your favorite music, take a quiet walk. And, breathe. Release the tether to your electronic devices.

The holiday season is defined by social gatherings and often the focus of such gatherings is food. People often overeat (often emotionally-driven) during the holidays, and then experience guilt. In addition to the usual tips of eating before you go to a social gathering to avoid starving when you get there, and socializing away from the food center of gravity, you might :

Design a conscious eating strategy so you don’t fall prey to unconscious patterns of medicating with food and drink. Savor the tastes, the pleasure of the aromas, flavors, and textures of seasonal treats. Don’t beat yourself up or deny the pleasure. Harmony and balance are the keys. Plan your daily intake of calories, so you have room to indulge and still experience well-being, rather than indulge and feel badly both physically and emotionally. And, breathe.

Stress is a major excuse for eating. Reflect on what’s stressing you and reflect on how you can reduce or eliminate stressors, over and above eating or drinking. And, breathe.

Maintain a consistent exercise regimen to alleviate guilt about overindulging. Your body needs to move to feel well. So put on some music and dance, or shake out tensions and stresses so you don’t become stuck in a holiday funk. And, breathe.

Mind:

During the holidays our internal judge and critic bombard us with how we should act and behave. Listening to this onslaught of “I should” is enough to drive one to Grinch-dom. I must get the right gift. I should go to that party I must eat less. I have to send a card. I need (or don’t) to say what’s on my mind. I need to make this the best holiday ever. I should exercise more. I need to meet someone else’s expectations of me. I should be more joyful, sincere, outgoing, religious, appreciative, generous, peaceful, etc.

In family gatherings; you may feel a need to debate issues, feelings, or past memories. Instead, initiate a truce. Place resentments and grievances on the back burner. You can address them after the holidays with greater thoughtfulness and clarity when extra seasonal stresses won’t affect you.

So, beware of the “shoulds.” Rather than beat yourself up whenever your inner judge tugs on your sleeve, just allow yourself to witness the “should.” Then, breathe deeply a few times and move on. Experiencing guilt indicates you’re allowing your judge to grab you and hold you up to some imagined or impossible holiday ideal. And, breathe.

The focus during the holidays, and all days, is being authentic, allowing your integrity to shine, to be yourself, and not struggle to meet either someone else’s expectations or some ideal you have of yourself that is impossible to meet. This is a good opportunity to practice the Four Ls of well-being: lighten up on yourself, laugh at yourself, love yourself, and leave yourself alone. You can defend against your internal critic and judge by telling it to back off, using whatever silent or oral language works for you.

You may overeat, or over drink, to take care of and nurture yourself, perhaps to find sweetness and comfort from food where you cannot find sweetness elsewhere, perhaps to distract yourself from boring people or events, or to deny what you’re feeling. So, be aware of what’s eating you and reflect on whether food or drink are the only alternatives. And, of course, breathe.

Spirit:

No one consciously wakes up and says: I’m going to be a jerk today. The opposite is normally true – almost everyone is trying to do their best and, in their own mind, operate from positive intention. So, when it’s easy to become stressed and react to what we perceive as others’ rudeness, insensitivity, or stupidity, take nothing personally. Use these opportunities for your spirit to come through, be accepting of others, and look for the noble humanity in others. For example:

When a shopper inadvertently bumps into you or cuts in line;
When a driver cuts you off;
When someone inadvertently says something you take to be critical or demeaning;
When a family member brings up an embarrassing or unpleasant past event in your life;
When a retail/service person doesn’t meet your expectations for quality service;
When someone forgets to thank you for your gift;
When your family doesn’t decorate the house, or prepare food, exactly as you would;
When the priest, minister or rabbi offers a sermon you feel you could have given better;

Be appreciative and grateful for all you have, come from your heart, not your mind, focus on what you love and what truly gives meaning to you, and on what this season means to you – whether its family, community, or religion. Stressful events present opportunities to be bold and brave, allowing your light and joy to shine, no matter what anyone else is doing. Wherever you are, wherever you go, know that you are a blessing! And, breathe!

And if in doing your best to take care of yourself, you feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Speak with a counselor, a coach, or minister. Folks in the helping professions are aware of, and sympathetic to, the pain which people experience at this time. Yes, this too shall pass, but if you find yourself swept up in the blues of your holiday, it will pass more quickly if you seek support.

So, gift yourself and use this time to practice following your own flow line as you navigate the white waters of this holiday season.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you find yourself getting sick during the holidays? (Note: the main cause is a weak immune system. Another major factor is the stress of dealing with our families.)
  • What stresses you during the holidays?
  • Are you attached to how folks react to the gifts you give them? If so, why?
  • Do you tend to overeat or over-do during the holidays? If so, do you ever consider if you overeat or over-engage in too much activity to fill some type of emotional hole?
  • Are you really, really happy during the holidays? How can you tell?
  • Do you take time for, and care of, yourself during the holidays? If not, why not?
  • What are you doing differently this year to reduce stress during the holidays?
  • Who’s driving your holiday activities? You, your friends, your family, others? If it’s not you, why not? How do you feel about having others dictate how you spend your holiday time?
  • What were the holidays like for you when you were growing up?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Work, play or misery?

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

In the current economy, many say it’s obvious that having a job – any job – is better than having no job at all. But is this really true?

Job or no job?
In 2011, the journal Occupational Environmental Medicine published a study by Dr. Peter Butterworth, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University. He found that as far as mental health is concerned, some jobs are so demoralizing that they’re worse than having no job at all. I think the findings are as apt today as they were then.

The study followed more than 7,000 Australians over a seven-year period. It found that people who had been unemployed felt calmer, happier, less depressed and less anxious after they had found a job. But not just any job. They only felt better is that job was rewarding and manageable.

In exploring individuals’ mental state, employment status, and (if they had a job) working conditions they either enjoyed, or didn’t enjoy, the survey respondents were asked to what degree they agreed with statements such as “My job is complex and difficult” and “I worry about the future of my job.”

Work and mental health
The research pinpointed four job characteristics linked with mental health: work complexity and demands, job security, compensation, and – crucially – control over one’s job (the freedom to decide how best to do it).

Recently-unemployed people who rated their job positive in these areas reported substantial improvements in their mental health. However, those newly employed who felt overwhelmed, insecure about their job stability, underpaid, and micromanaged reported sharp declines in their mental health, including increased depression and anxiety. Interestingly, those who couldn’t find a job fared better.

So the conventional wisdom that “any job offers psychological benefits for individuals over the demoralizing effects of unemployment” – or any work is better than no work at all – is just not true.

What’s more, Dr. Butterworth also suggests that certain jobs and job environments (notably call centers) are more likely to adversely affect one’ mental health.

Bosses and mental health
Finally, the study suggests something that most of us know all too well. Namely, that managers have a direct impact on employees’ mental health and physical, psycho-emotional well-being. “Bad bosses will make anybody unhappy (and) stress comes from bad managers.”

And this brings me to a second, related point.

Work to live or live to work?
Marshall Goldsmith, the world-renowned executive coach, explored (https://marshallgoldsmith.com/articles/a-journey-into-self-discovery/) “why folks work.” He asked, “Do you work to live or live to work” (given the notion that most folks spend at least one-third to one-half of their waking hours at work)?

In this vein, Mr. Goldsmith asked a number of leaders how they viewed their work. They had three choices; they estimated the percentage of work that fell into three categories (and you might want to give this a try yourself):

Play, work and misery
Play – work is fun; would do this regardless of whether or not you were paid to do it; it provides an outlet for creative energy or self-development and self-actualization.
Work – not play, not fun but work which you would do if you were reasonably compensated for it and work towards which you are committed.
Misery – not fun and no amount of money could make it fun; often tasks or activities you would attempt to avoid.

Here’s what Goldsmith found.
15 percent of what professionals do is considered play;
75 percent of what professionals do is considered work;
10 percent of what professionals do is considered misery.

So if our mental health can be put at risk depending on how we spend our time at work, what should we do about it? Generally, when you explore your life at work (and you might also consider at home, at play and in relationship), consider those activities that bring you fun (real fun, not faux, a “make-believe-this-is-fun” appearance of fun) and those that bring you some flavor of misery.

How you interact with your world
To do so, first clarify your natural tendencies related to how you interact with your world, so you can make better life and work choices and decisions.

Second, reflect on whether you are a good fit for what you choose to do in your life – both at work and at home. Do you ever make choices that really don’t fit you very well because you feel that you have to make them – and then resign yourself to living a life of quiet (or not so quiet) desperation? If so, why?

Third, do you know yourself very well – over and above your “packaging” and “trappings?” Do you understand your personality, your motivation, your triggers and the values that underpin your choices, actions and behaviors?

Often, “fun,” “work” and “misery” are functions of one’s personality or inherent traits. And being a square peg in a round hole is a recipe for misery, not fun – anywhere. Moreover, often the “square peg” is not ready, willing or able to adapt in order to make work more fun and less miserable.

So, does your life at work (and, yes, even at home, at play and in relationship) really, really fit your personality and style? Does your life at work (and at home) tend towards the “misery” side of the equation more than it does the “fun” or even “work” side? (“Work” in the context of a relationship meaning is it worth the effort to be in a relationship.) Every (worthwhile and healthy) relationship demands “work” – you work it; it works you.

Your mental health and well-being depend on how honestly, sincerely and self-responsibly you explore these questions and discern how much of your life is fun, honest “work”, and how much is just misery.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • What proportion of your work would you define as “fun,” “work” or “misery?” Are you OK with this? How so?
  • What proportion of your relationship would you define as “fun,” “work” (in the sense that it “works” you and you “work” it to keep it conscious and healthy) and “misery?” Are you OK with this? How so?
  • If you’re uncomfortable with any of the above, what steps can you take to move in a direction that would make you more comfortable?
  • How much freedom do you have on your job? How about in your relationship (really, do you ever wish you had more freedom)?
  • Is your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or psychological health and well-being suffering due to your job or your relationship?
  • Are you worried about your job? About your relationship? How so?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering