Envy – tearing yourself apart, from the inside out

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“Our envy of others devours us most of all.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines envy as “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”
 
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
”  – Proverbs. 14:30,

While some experts believe envy is a positive motivator (and it can be in some cases), mental health statistics and reports seem to point in a different direction – that envy is the catalyst that leads to depression, anger, resentment, malice, greed, violence, abuse, incivility and deep-seated negativity. When our “bones rot” they don’t rot alone. Our mind, our heart and our body follow.

You’re experiencing abject fear about losing your job and a friend or colleague lands a dream position in a new company while another receives a promotion. You’re a sole proprietor whose client base is drying up and your competitor seems to have clients beating her door down. You have trouble making your mortgage payments and your closest friend has just purchased a new home. You’ve just taken your car in for repairs and your neighbor drives up in a new expensive sports car. You’re experiencing  conflict in your relationship and the fellow next door, newly divorced, brings home a new “trophy wife.” You’re putting on weight while your partner has just shed 40 pounds. Your child is struggling academically and your brother’s son has just made the honor roll. Envy.

 “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” – Socrates

In the throes of envy, we become mired in a sense of lack and deficiency. And, like an ulcer, envy eats away at you, consciously and subconsciously. It seems to be the energy that is running your life –  a life of frustration – feeling like you’re being decimated from the inside out.

“Envy is like a fly that passes all the body’s sounder parts, and dwells upon the sores”. – Arthur Chapman
Envy drives our perspective, and not in a positive way. Envy make us want to “get even” and in the process of getting even we usually end up doing, speaking or thinking in a way that most often is self-destructive. We either obsess about inflating our egos or denigrating others for what they have or who they are. Either way, it’s a lose-lose proposition.
The honest truth about envy is that it’s never – repeat never – about the other person. Envy can be a blind spot. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Few folks realize they are their own worst enemy when it comes to envy.

“There are many roads to hate, but envy is the shortest of them all.” – Anonymous

The road to hate at work, at home, at play and in relationship can be quite overt or very subtle. We find ourselves overtly attacking others, gossiping, bullying, slandering or libeling, being abusive or spiteful, or quietly reveling in others’ mistakes or secretly wanting others to fail while we seethe inside. Envy is the cause of eroding relationships, camaraderie and collegiality. Envy eats away at intimacy, openness and connection.

“It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.‘ – Aeschylus

The underlying energy around envy is wanting what others have. While focusing outward on what others have, the envious one is also dwelling on “what’s wrong with me.” In this place of self-loathing and self-pity, when we feel “less than;” we tend to focus on what we don’t have. And we know the Law of Attraction says that we attract to ourselves that which we dwell on. Lack attracts lack. And caught up in a downward spiral of envy, you’re moving backwards, sowing seeds of doubt and limiting your potential.

The antidote to envy
The way out of envy is first to admit your envy. See it for what it is without judging yourself for your envy. The next step is to choose to eliminate or reduce your distraction with what others have. That’s a conscious choice. When we fill our mind with thoughts of lack, there’s no room to focus on a “way out” –  no way to put your energy on your feelings of self-worth and self-value (they’re there – just covered over and veiled). Rather than being caught up in feelings of depression, hopelessness and worthlessness that accompany envy, the choice is to move towards letting go of the doubt, the envy, and self-criticism.

The antidote to envy is to make an honest, sincere, steadfast, and conscious effort to explore your intrinsic self-worth and potential. When you let go of beating yourself up, and take time consistently to relax, breathe, go inside and reflect, you can often access your sense of inner self-worth and esteem – an inner sense of worth, value and esteem that is not connected to anything or anyone “external.” An inner sense of worth and value that can promote energies of positivity, strength, courage, self-discipline, steadfastness and compassion for one’s self.

You can decide to not be envious or jealous. It is a choice. The choice to be free of envy also allows an opening to possibility, to potential. Why? Because the control that your negative feelings had on you is released.

As you consciously choose to let go of the feelings of envy, breathe deeply and sense deep down into your heart center, in the middle of your chest, and with a sense of adventure and curiosity, begin to explore your potential, possibility and opportunity. When your mind comes in with judgments and criticisms, recognize them and allow them to float by like the clouds in the sky on a windy day.

Return to your choice to explore your potential and possibility and see what arises.  Relax, breathe deeply and allow your heart and your body (not your “logical” mind) to inform your reflection. Focus on your self and be curious about what arises. Don’t judge or rule anything out.

When a nugget of information that seems important arises, write it down and return to your deep reflection. When you feel complete with this session, explore what you saw, what you discovered and, objectively, look at the potential inside of what arose. Then, make a list of “baby steps,” small discrete tasks you can undertake to make the potential reality. What might you need to do next? Who might you need to talk with? What skill might you need to develop? What knowledge or information might you need to gather? Then, organize the small action steps, prioritize them, schedule them and execute them. And begin your journey.

As you spend time creating or re-creating your self, your feelings of envy will begin to dissipate, replaced with feelings of possibility, hope, optimism and self-worth. From this place of well be-ing and positive esteem, you can begin to move your life forward with a sense of power, control and freedom, unencumbered by the weight of envy.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Who are your friends and acquaintances that you envy? (hint: Think of people that you privately criticize, judge, make fun of, slander, resent, or are malicious or insecure towards.) How so?
  • Do you often find yourself throwing “pity parties” for yourself? Why?
  • Do you find it hard to acknowledge, compliment or praise others? How does this make you feel?
  • Do you constantly put yourself down? How does this make you feel?
  • Do you feel folks are better than you? How so?
  • Do you make up stories to justify your envy and your envious behavior?
  • Did anyone ever tell you they were envious of you? How did that make you feel?
  • Do you ever collude to support others’ envious feelings? Why?
  • Do you ever feel fake, that your life is a facade? How so?
  • Do you have a strong need to be seen, appreciated and admired?
  • Is it easy or challenging for you to empathize with others?
  • Can you visualize a life without envy?
  • What was your experience around envy when you were growing up?

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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

You Know Best

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No-one else knows what’s best for us. And, conversely, we don’t know what’s best for others. So our job, our responsibility is to determine what’s best for ourselves.

“I know exactly what you need.” I know what you should do.” I have the answer for you.” I don’t think you should do this.” “This is what you should be working on, focusing on, or pursuing right now.”

Being disrespectful
Each of these statements is bold, presumptuous, disrespectful and discourteous. These statements (or beliefs, as they often are) separate us from how we operate from a spiritual perspective in all aspects of our lives, be it at work, at home, at play and in relationship. Each of us has the ability and capacity to be able to discern our own path and our own way forward through our lives. This is not always easy. Life is often about the struggle and effort that’s sometimes requires us to go inside and rest in this quiet, still place of discovery, the place of right knowing, right understanding and right action.

Advising others, educating others, making decisions for them, plotting and planning their journey and crafting their strategy for moving forward, is not our responsibility, nor should it be. Nor is it their responsibility to direct our journey, to find out path for us.

Self-responsibility
Even if you have some kind of “contract” with another – if they are a friend, relative, coach, or counsellor – they don’t know what’s best for us, nor should we trust or expect that they do.

Each of us is responsible for listening to the information that comes to us. It is also our responsibility to consciously sift through and sort out that information, and then “go inside” to weigh the merits of that information, to discern what we think and feel is best for us. Nobody can know that but each of us in our own way.

The way we can support, honor and respect others is to trust that they have their own internal guidance system, their own internal source of wisdom and their own internal capacity to discern what is in their best and highest good and interest, and that they will discover their path through trial and error – living life.

And us? To trust that we, each of us, through discovery in this moment, and the next moment, and the next moment – through the process of living life, making mistakes, taking wrong turns, stumbling and getting up, and being resilient- is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you depend on others to make life choices for you – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? If so, do you know why? How has this approach been working for you?
  • Do others rely on you to make life choices and decisions for them? And do you? Why? With what results?
  • Is carving out your life’s path fearful, shaky? How so? Does the fear stop you? If so, why?
  • What have you learned about yourself while discovering your own path?
  • How/what did your parents or primary caregivers teach you about depending on them or others for support?
  • Have you even been in a co-dependent (needy) relationship with another – parent, sibling, spouse or partner, coach, counsellor or religious or spiritual guide? What was/is that like for you? What does/did it get you?
  • Do you take time for journaling, reflecting or contemplation on a regular basis? Do you ever practice presence or mindfulness? How so?
  • What’s it like for you to sit in stillness or silence?
  • How do you access your inner guidance or wisdom? Do you believe you have the capacity for inner guidance or wisdom? Do you trust your gut? When do you/when don’t you? How so?

—————————————————–
(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

Spiritual Bypassing

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Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D., defines Spiritual Bypassing as “the use of spiritual practices/beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs.” Masters suggests spiritual bypassing is so common “that it goes largely unnoticed.” In his book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa focuses on our deeply entrenched misuse of spirituality, and how  we use (and abuse) spirituality.

My curiosity is how and why folks use spirituality as a means to evade, deny, avoid and otherwise detour around their unresolved psycho-emotional issues.

Aletheia Luna explores ten of the most common forms of spiritual bypassing (summarized here):

1. The Optimistic Bypass

They love to laugh and smile, (and) seem to be forcefully optimistic. ” Focus on the positive!’ “See the glass as half full!” and “Don’t let a frown get you down!” are some of their common phraseology; they view optimism as a way of avoiding the more somber and troublesome realities of their life.  The optimistic bypass is often a side product of anger-phobia, or the inability to deal with their negative emotions.

2. The Aggrandizement Bypass

This is a type of self-delusion that some spiritual seekers use as a way of masking their perceived deficiencies and insecurities.  The aggrandizement bypass is adopted by those who seek to feel enlightened, superior or having reached higher planes of existence.  It is sometimes used by self-proclaimed masters, leaders, awakened souls, and gurus.

3.  The Victim Bypass
When one becomes a victim of their gifts, or of other people, this takes away the pressure of responsibility for shaping a satisfying life and taking responsibility for one’s happiness such is the case with the Victim Bypass.  This type of spiritual bypassing is often used by spiritual seekers who believe they have extrasensory gifts of some kind, but due to their gifts they are unable to feel happy or healthy.  Identifying as an Empath is sometimes a good example of this type of bypassing, as it can be interpreted as the fault of other people and their emotions for behaving in self-destructive and volatile ways.

4. The Psychonaut Bypass
Many spiritual seekers explore the frontiers of the mind, the soul and reality through the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline and other entheogens that expand the mind and perception of existence.  While this is a fascinating way of exploring reality, entheogens, like any other drug, can sometimes be used as a way of escaping reality and avoiding committing to personal development and soulful refinement.

5. The Horoscope Bypass

When we frequently look outside of ourselves for help and guidance, as is with the case with Horoscopes and Psychics, we are failing to tap into our inner wellsprings of wisdom and strength and are allowing external predictions to control the outcome of our lives.  The Horoscope Bypass is derived from a fear and mistrust of ourselves, our inability to make decisions, and our inability to deal with anything tough that comes our way.

6. The Saint Bypass

Since we were little we were taught that spiritual people were kind, compassionate and saintly.  We continued to repeat this story to ourselves when we ripened into adulthood, and for some of us it turned into our biggest nightmare.  The Saint Bypass is a reflection of extreme black or white thinking, promoting the underlying belief that spiritual people can’t have dark sides because that would make them unspiritual.  This type of bypassing is essentially an avoidance of one’s own Shadow Self by overcompensating with the guise of a sweet, heavenly, exterior.  Self-sacrifice is a major symptom of this type of bypassing.

7. The Spirit Guide Bypass
I have an angel called Raphael who protects me.  In some spiritual traditions it is a God who protects, in others an angel, an animal or an ascended being.  No matter who the Spirit Guide is, the belief that they are there to protect us is pleasing to the mind, but harmful to the soul.  When we place our faith in another beings power to ward off danger and keep us safe, we are committing a classic spiritual bypass: that being avoiding responsibility for ourselves and our lives, and sidestepping the tough development of courage and resilience.  We are not children, but when we think of ourselves as being so we mold our lives in such a way that we fail to develop strength of spiritual character.  Spirit guides serve to teach us rather than to baby sit us.

8. The Praying Bypass
Similar to the Spirit Guide Bypass, the Praying Bypass circumvents personal responsibility by putting faith in a higher being to solve all of our problems and issues.  While praying can be a healthy practice, it can easily become limiting and destructive.

9. The Guru Bypass
Often it is beneficial to latch onto a particular guru, shaman or spiritual teacher to learn and grow from, however, too much attachment can serve as another form of spiritual bypassing.  While not everyone has the ability to independently follow the path of spirituality, when we begin to worship another living being, we fall in love with the rose-colored illusory image we have of the teacher rather than the essence of their teachings.  Not thinking or discovering truth for ourselves by treating the words of a guru or master as scripture subtracts from our growth and our own mastery on our personal spiritual journeys.

10. The Finger-Pointing Bypass
On our spiritual quests we begin to see through the lies, delusions and crazy behaviors committed by our fellow human beings and this can make us angry, downhearted and greatly frustrated.  However, when we get caught up in everything that is wrong with the outside world and other people, dedicating our lives to the self-righteous quest of finger-pointing, this can be another form of spiritual bypassing.  Finger-pointing instills us with a false sense of righteousness, taking away our responsibility of looking inside and working on ourselves.  At its roots, the Finger-Pointing bypass is sourced from fear and avoidance, and is a powerful form of procrastination.

Author Linda-Ann Stewart, psychotherapist and meditation teacher, says, “I’ve known many people who’ve used spirituality and meditation as a way of avoiding dealing with their issues. Since they feel good when they’re pursuing a spiritual path, guru, or new technique, they think that will make all the uncomfortable stuff dissolve and go away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Spirituality is no more a magic bullet than anything else.”

Lawrence LaShan suggests further, “…meditation can help strengthen the structure of our personality, making us better able to deal with our challenges. And it may give us more insight into our issues, but meditation doesn’t do away with them. It may reduce overall anxiety, make us feel safe, therefore better able to face ourselves, but we still need to do the internal work needed to bring about change.”

Whatever supports us to feel joy, or bliss or euphoria alcohol, drugs, food, sex, spirituality, meditation – can become addicting. We cling to the feeling and effort to experience it as often as possible. It makes our bad feelings go away. True, spirituality is a “healthier” escape than any of the others, but it still can be an escape. We need to ask ourselves, “What am I trying to escape from or avoid?”

“There needs to be a balance and a grounding at the same time. Getting carried away with bliss can mean not attending to day to day affairs, such as paying the bills, eating right, and having healthy relationships. The euphoria from spirituality and meditation doesn’t erase our personal responsibilities. But as long as it’s being used to avoid our feelings and deep issues, we can’t move forward. Were either resisting discomfort or moving toward wholeness. We can’t do both”

Truth be told, we need to be able to balance our spiritual practices with our everyday and emotional lives and responsibilities. Spirituality and meditation can provide a sense of connection that we can then take into the rest of our experience. When we are able to acknowledge our issues, work through them, and accept all of ourselves, were honoring our spiritual essence.

“What gives light must endure burning.”   Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning

Life is not easy. A life worth living is hard. The pursuit of harmony, balance, meaning, integrity, authenticity, love and all the rest takes “work” – work that is uncomfortable, scary and damn challenging. It requires honesty, truth-telling (to our self to others). It requires exploring our shadow self, our illusions, our fears, “stories,” biases, prejudices, self-limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs, even our fake and phony spiritually-bypassing self.

Life is choices. Even a spiritual life.

Questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you ever use “spirituality” as a defense mechanism or a drug – a way to escape, avoid or deny painful aspects of your life?
  • Do you ever allow yourself to be walked all over, used, or disrespected in the name of “being spiritual,” or being “loving,” or “compassionate?” How so? What does your behavior get you?”
  • Do you ever immerse yourself in spirituality” as a way to avoid painful emotions – your anger, sadness, depression, guilt…? How so?
  • Do you ever use spiritual terminology, labels and the like to mask the shadows of your personality? How so?
  • What do you feel it would take to move from a place of self-deception to self-liberation, or from a place of idiot compassion to honest self-awareness and personal accountability in your interactions with others and with yourself?
  • Can you say with honesty, sincerity and self-responsibility, you are taking responsibility for your life physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually?
  • Do you engage in addictive behaviors such as over-exercising, hyperactivity or workaholism, eating, watching/reading porn, other internet activity, material obsessions? How so?

—————————————————–
(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

Firecracker or Dud?

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On this holiday weekend in the midst of fireworks and fun, leisure and lightness, fun and frolic, how about taking a few minutes of quiet and solitude to reflect on how you’re doing as a leader, manager or supervisor.


Is your leadership, management or supervisory behavior cause for celebration? Are you a firecracker who inspires those around you to sparkle or a dud who rains on their parade? To help you find the answer, here are 25 simple statements to rate yourself against. Think about them on a scale where:

3 = Always
2 = Usually, or Often
1 = Reasonably
0 = Rarely or never

1.    My mission, objectives, and goals reflect my highest values and principles.
2.    My vision and values are in alignment with my organization’s mission and values.
3.    My team is committed to achieving our company’s goals and objectives.
4.    I lead my people by example. I walk my talk. I am in integrity.
5.    I have the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to perform my tasks effectively.
6.    My team members have the knowledge, skills and resources to be optimally productive.
7.    My team members understand the benefits of collaborating to move in a unified direction.
8.    I observe on-the-job activity and am available for questions and feedback.
9.    My team members establish priorities for tasks to be accomplished.
10. I listen carefully to my team members and encourage them to express their opinions.
11. I resolve conflict as it occurs, and consider the best interests of all concerned.
12. I inform my team members immediately about changes, policies, and procedures that affect them.
13. I am firm and fair-minded when dealing with my co-workers.
14. I have the best interests of my co-workers in mind.
15. I recognize optimal performance, and express appreciation in a timely manner.
16. I delegate responsibility, accountability, and authority effectively.
17. My team members receive adequate training, coaching and participation on the job.
18. When I delegate a task, I trust my co-workers can do the job and I do not interfere.
19. I encourage initiative, involvement, and innovation from my co-workers.
20. I use constructive feedback to optimize the productivity of co-workers.
21. My decisions are consistent with corporate policies, procedures, and objectives.
22. I take calculated risks, and develop contingency plans for major decisions.
23. I develop objectives and performance standards with my people.
24. I systematically evaluate the performance of my people.
25. I motivate my people to do their best on the job.

Looking at your answers, how would you rate yourself as a leader or manager? As a real firecracker, a dud, or somewhere in between? Why? And what about other people? How would they rate you? Do you know? Do you care?

Casting your mind back to this time last year, have you made any positive changes that have improved your leadership or management capabilities? What about making some this year?

And a bonus question. Do you depend on alcohol, drugs, excessive intake of food, sugar, caffeine, or other external stimulants to enjoy this holiday? Could you experience true and real joy, peace, pleasure, happiness and OK-ness without these? What would your experience be like this holiday without dependence on external sources or stimulants to give you a boost or to artificially make you feel joyful or happy?
Are you willing to try this? If not, why not?

Happy 4th!

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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

Staying Centered at Work

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“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.”  — Blaise Pascal

All eyes these days are focused on the turmoil of our global economy. In the rough white waters of today’s economic environment, it’s important to navigate on an even keel. Successfully meeting workplace 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 exhausted 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.

Clarity, focus and inner peace are paramount when making choices and decisions that affect current and future workplace sustainability. One of the most effective ways to maintain a quiet mind, a peaceful heart and a relaxed body during these rough times is through the practice of centering.

What is centering? 
“Wisdom means listening to the still, small voice, the whisper that can be easily lost in the whirlwind of busyness, expectations, and conventions of the world….” — Jean M. Blomquist

Center is a state – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual – where you engage life from a state of presence – a place of well be-ing, calmness, relaxation, tranquility, and self-awareness. From a centered place we move about our day with a sense of purpose, unencumbered by frustration and free from reactivity, open to whatever appears in our experience. Center is the place of creativity, discovery, learning, and insight – regardless of the events, circumstances and people with whom we are engaged.  

In a centered place, we approach every event, circumstance and individual as an opportunity to learn something about “who I am” and “how I am” in this moment – not caught up in mental gymnastics or judgments about the “who” or “what” with which we are engaged. We are mentally alert, free of tension, and move with a grace and ease – flowing, not rigid. We are conscious of our immediate environment; we are acutely aware of, and intentional about, what needs to be done and we take care of business without efforting or struggle.

Many know this place of centeredness as being “in the zone,” or operating at “peak performance” or experiencing a heightened sense of well be-ing, i.e., a state of presence.

From a state of centeredness we interact with others from an inner, Essential place of understanding, forgiveness, compassion, integrity, authenticity and joy. 

How do we center ourselves? 
Here are some steps to follow:

Remember and visualize a time when you were engaged in an activity where you felt “on top of the world,” or “this is as good as it gets!,” where time stood still, where you felt a deep sense of excitement and adventure or where you experienced a heightened sense of well be-ing.

Notice your state of being – your head, your heart, your body. Sense as much of your self as you can, in this moment with curiosity and allowing, not with judgment. Focus on the feeling. Allow the feeling to immerse your total being. Bathe in it.

Breathe calmly and deeply into your belly, hold the breath for a few seconds and exhale with a long breath, deeply and quietly. Inhale and exhale naturally – effortlessly, no pursing your lips, no noise with the exhale, no “trying” – just let it happen and focus on your breath.

Sense your feet on the floor and allow the floor to support you; relax your shoulders, upper body and legs so you don’t have to rigidly “shore yourself up” (often unconsciously). If you are seated, sense your butt in your chair and allow your chair to support you. Allow yourself to “let go” and be supported. Breathe deeply and focus on your body. Soon, your mind will quiet and clear. Your Inner Judge and Critic will diminish in its chatter and intensity. Your body will relax. Your heart will open. This is a place of centeredness.  

In this place of centeredness, permit yourself to “let go,” to not be attached to outcomes or to any “goal.” Allow your experience to flow and trust the process of centering to support you in whatever you are engaged in, in that moment. Trust is important. Over time, you’ll find yourself experiencing degrees of inner peace, calm, relaxation, OK-ness, even in the midst of fire-fights, tense negotiations and conflict resolution sessions. Clarity and insight will abound. The act of listening will be heightened. Over time, centeredness can become a major piece of the fabric of who you are at work.

How do I make Centeredness a habit?
Live every day with intention, attention and no tension. Be crystal clear about your life purpose, your goals at work, and truly understand why you are doing what you’re doing. 

In times of stress, breathe deeply, remind your self of your intentionality and your goals and chose to show up taking the “high road.” Set your intention that every interaction you engage in be for the “highest good of all involved.”  

Cut out the usual excuses for why you can’t take time to center: there’s no time; it doesn’t work; I’ll never be able to center, etc. The antidote to the excuses is to stop “thinking” about centering and center! 

Don’t judge centering as a “chore;” rather, choose to make centering a fun thing and you’ll find yourself easing more gently into the practice.

As often as you can throughout your day, re-create this sense of centeredness, even for a few seconds or minutes. It helps to find times during your day when you can be “alone with your self” for a few minutes to breathe deeply, and reflect or meditate. Persistence and consistency are important aspects of creating a centering practice. Purposefully centering yourself many times throughout the day, even when you are not feeling particularly upset or in need of centering, will help to deepen your practice.

The idea is to be consistent with your centering practice, not to make it as long as you can but to do it as often as you can, so it becomes routine. Placing subtle reminders around your workspace can help you remember to center on a consistent basis.

Centering allows our True Self
Centering allows us to connect with our True Nature, our authenticity. The more we are centered, the more we are attuned to our inner source of wisdom, leading to right knowing, right understanding and right action. The more we are centered, the more we are able to move away from our ego-driven, judgmental mind. When we’re caught in the prison of our mind, our thoughts and emotions are busy, reactive, judgmental and more often negative – blocking out the positive guidance, insights, connections, creativity and delight that lie deeper within our True and Real Self. 

Centered, we are more able to live our life at work from a place that guides us in making wise choices and decisions, perform optimally, produce effectively and relate openly, honestly, and sincerely. 

Centered living is a way of re-energizing and refreshing your self, de-stressing your self, focusing your self and calming and slowing yourself down so you can be truly present to your experience in mind, body and spirit, from a place of positivity, aliveness and joy.  

So, during these days, set your intention to allow time to practice centering – following your own “flow line” as you navigate the “white waters” of a challenging time. 

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • What creates discord and stress in your life – at work, at home and at play? How so?
  • Are you connecting to what you really want to do with your life?  How so?
  • Do you have a heart-centered connection in your relationships, including with yourself? What’s that like?
  • Do you ever allow your “gut” feelings to influence your decisions/choices? Why/why not?
  • Do you generally find yourself stressed and your mind shut down? When does that happen?
  • Do you find yourself stuck in habitual thinking patterns or life challenges? Examples?
  • Do you often try to use your mind to calm your mind? Does it work?
  • Do you often find yourself distracted in conversations, meetings and even when alone?
  • Does your life focus more on material things or on love and friendship? How so?
  • Are you more focused on who you were or on who you’re becoming? Both? How so?
  • Do you consistently engage in a stress-reduction practice?
  • Do you find it difficult to let go of worry and fear? Do you know why?
  • What would it take for you to begin a centering practice?

“All this talk and turmoil and noise and movement and desire is outside of the veil; within the veil is silence and calm and rest.”  — Bayazid al-Bistami


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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

Self-Management – The Key to Effective Time Management

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Three products to support mental, physical and emotional well-being

https://youtu.be/d3tOrPyGIqY


—————————————————–
(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

This Week Is Last Week’s “Next Week.”

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Three products to support mental, physical and emotional well-being

I recently had a conversation with an individual about how her life is unfolding these days. Short answer: “It’s terrible.” I asked, “Going forward, if this week were typical of next week, and the next week, and the week after that, and the next six months, the next year and five years after that, would it be OK?” She instinctively reacted: “No!” – her voice and body manifesting resentment, frustration, and muted rage. When I asked what she’s doing about her life, she sort of responded with a “Well, you play with the hand you’re dealt” attitude, being the victim, intimating that’s she too flooded by victimization consciousness to take time to stand back and gain a deeper perspective or do anything constructive about changing. 

Julia (not her real name), a successful professional woman, spouse and mother is basically unhappy – stressed out by her work, by her relationship, by her children, by the uncertainty of the economy, by the state of her physical health and her social life. Nothing seems to be “working” as she phrased it. When asked, “Why not?” she thought for a moment and said,” I don’t know; I just don’t have time to get my life together.” That’s when I asked the “Well, if this week is typical?” question.

So, what about you? How are you showing up in your life – not just life at work but life at home, life in relationship, and life at play? 

Presenteeism
Presenteeism” is a term used most often to describe a form of “disengagement-with-life”type of fog with which folks show up in life. The reality is many folks are exhibiting presenteeism in just about every aspect of their life. They are physical, emotional and mental wrecks to some degree – a larger, not smaller, degree. Many folks are not doing justice to their work, their spouse, their children, their friends, or their own self because they’re suffering from presenteeism. 

Being the victim
Because many folks are acting as the victim, reactively and begrudgingly living with the “hand they are dealt,” and choosing not to be proactive about changing their life or lifestyle, they are experiencing stress, overwhelm, confusion and unhappiness – played out in their self-destructive life habits, e.g.,  lack of sleep, terrible diet, workaholism, sickness, disease, dis-ease, lack of exercise, estrangement from family members (even while living in  the same house), being abusive, argumentative, resistant and resentful. Moreover, they have mostly concocted “stories” to justify why they can’t move off the dime. And thus their “insanity” continues, you know, doing the same thing the same way, over and over again and expecting different results each time.

Reflect
So, maybe this is a good time to explore your relationship with presenteeism, with your own “insane” way of dealing with your life, with change and with the stories you use to justify and rationalize why you are where you are. And in that vein here are some considerations that might support your journey forward so that the “next week” and the “next week, etc. might not be carbon copies of this week or last week.

Work life:
How is your relationship with your work? Why do you do what you do? What attitudes do you bring with you to your workplace? Do these attitudes support your well-being? Do you find meaning in your work – even in the mundane (hint: it’s possible)? Are you engaged at work, passionate, challenged, unhappy or overwhelmed? Would you do this work even if you weren’t paid? What do you like about your work (place)? How do you justify doing work you don’t like? 

Family life:
What’s your relationship with your family like? Is the value of family “i.e., being the most important thing in my life” borne out by the “reality” of how you relate to your family? Is there a disconnect? Are you satisfied with your relationship to your spouse or partner, to your children? What about real connection and intimacy? Is something missing? What about your relationship with your parents, sisters or brothers? How’s that working? Is your relationship with your family “this week” exactly what you would like it to be in the weeks, months and years ahead? How do you rationalize and justify unhappy and unfulfilling relationships that you allow to continue? Do you allow your job to keep you from your family (that “most important thing in my life” value)?

Your health:
How well do you take care of yourself? And what rationalizations, stories and justifications do you use for not taking care of yourself? How do you explain neglecting your health to your spouse/partner and children? If you became disabled tomorrow, how would that affect your family and others who care about you? Are you a good role model for others in the way you deal with your health? Do you urge your spouse/partner and children to follow your health patterns? 

Social life:
Are you a friend to your friends? Or are they more the friend and you the recipient of their friendship? Do you take more than you give? Are friends important to you? How do they know? Do you subjugate friendship to a low priority, even though friendship is important? What rationalizations, stories and justifications do you use for doing so? If you have no friends, what is that about? Are your friendships consistently superficial or are they continually ripening and deepening? Do you have true and real friends at work? Are most of your friends “Internet friends?”

Your happiness: 
Are you happy? Do you experience joy in your life?And never mind the “it’s all relative” or “compared to whom/what?” retort. You know if you are; you know if you aren’t. It’s about the truth. Are you settling? Are you resigned? Are you OK with your level of happiness? Do you know how to achieve true and real happiness? What justifications, stories and rationalizations do you use to explain your level of happiness? Is your level of happiness “this week” exactly what you would like it to be in the weeks, months and years ahead? Is happiness in the foreground or background for you? Why? What brings you joy?

So, this week is last weeks “next week.” If you decided last week, or some earlier week, to make changes in your life “next week” (the euphemistic phrasing for this is “when it’s the (so-called) right time” – and we know the “right time” never comes- how has this week been? Effected any changes yet? Waiting for another “right time?” Waiting until “next week?”  Remember, when nothing changes, nothing changes. Groundhog day, Groundhog week, each wrapped in presenteeism. Is that what you’re choosing?

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • If last week or this week were typical of next week, the week after, and the week after that, and every week for the next six months, every week for the next two years, would that be OK with you? If not, why not?
  • What one or two baby steps can you take this week, in this present moment, now, to move in the direction of having “next week” be truly better/different than “this week?” What has to happen, or not happen, for you to take a first step towards change?
  • What conversation(s) do you need to have in order to move forward?
  • Resistance to change is based on fear – always. What are you afraid of? Be honest and tell the truth. Who or what can help you move through your fear, your procrastination or your stuckness?
  • How did you and your family deal with change when you were growing up?

—————————————————–
(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

“Know Thyself” And Workplace Conflict

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Three products to support mental, physical and emotional well-being


“Knowing thyself” is an in-depth understanding of “who I am” and “how I am”. This understanding of one’s self is the product of the formal and informal experiences of living life. But, to be clear, this understanding is not the result of simply “having” experiences. It is the result of deep, consistent and conscious reflection on one’s experiences – the lessons learned, be they the good, the bad or the ugly.

Self-awareness occurs as the result of experiencing some sort of inner or outer conflict which tugs on our sleeve and forces us to change. One of the results of such transformation is that we often change our value system which is reflected in new ways of thinking, being, having and doing.

Examples of experiences that bring us to “know thyself” include mid-life crises (which, by the way, are affecting people at earlier and earlier ages today, no longer just in middle age), health issues, relationship issues, career issues, financial issues and mental, emotional or psychological issues.

At work
In the workplace, organizational awareness is the totality of each employee’s self-awareness. Where employees are more self-aware, workplace conflict can be minimal and constructive. But in an environment where the majority of employees are non-self-aware, conflict can be insidious, toxic, all-pervasive and destructive. 

The bottom line is that the way your organization, department or team handles interpersonal conflict can either be an experience of vitality, collegiality, and camaraderie, or toxicity, demoralization, resentment, disrespect, resistance, and derailment.

In fact, the major cause of “loss processes” in organizations is not due to processes at all. More often it is caused by dysfunctional interpersonal dynamics. More and more in today’s organization, success and effectiveness are dependent on the synergies that are created when people are in alignment with one another.

When folks’ attitudes, beliefs, and values are in alignment, their behaviors are consonant and supportive of departmental, team and organizational goals.

But when one is driven by self-limiting and self-defeating personal biases, prejudices, beliefs, assumptions and “stories” – all of which are unspoken and often unconscious – discord often rules and ruins the day, ruins the meeting, ruins the processes and ruins relationships until folks agree to “out the elephants” in the room and consciously deal with the dysfunctional behaviors that underlie conflict.

“Soft skills”
When leaders, managers and supervisors have the strength and courage to understand and agree that “soft skills” are the “hard skills” of effective relationships at work (and do the work that’s required to bring people to that level of awareness), defensiveness, resistance, turf and ego issues will begin to melt. In their place, people will begin to feel, and be, freer in their behaviors and attitudes in a way that fosters greater mutual respect.

The process of knowing thyself begins when one consciously explores “how I am” and “who I am” when it comes to “the way I am,”  i.e., the way I communicate and interact, with others.

Self-mastery explores things like:

my verbal and non-verbal behaviors
my emotional behaviors – how I express my feelings and emotions
my intentions/motives underlying my behaviors – my hidden agendas, or disharmony where what I “do” is out of alignment with what I “say.”

How do I “know myself?”
“Know thyself” requires taking a conscious look at how I experience myself at work and how I experience my interactions with others. Self-mastery requires us to examine the disconnects that exist between what we say, think, feel and do – disconnects that lead to being out of harmony and integrity, and to being unethical and disrespectful (in thought and action) that result in counterproductive patterns of behavior, and conflict.

“Know thyself” requires taking a conscious look at why, for example, I need to lie, cheat, steal, bully, gossip, and be disagreeable, disrespectful, resistant, non-trusting, sabotaging, discourteous, and insensitive.

“Know thyself” requires taking a conscious look at “where I’m coming from” and whether “where I’m coming from” is supportive or limiting to the team, department and my organization.

The bottom line of knowing thyself when it comes to conflict is this: conflict is rarely the result of “technical” issues. Most often, conflict is based on some underlying fear and is an interpersonal, psycho-emotional dynamics issue.

“Task orientation” and “people orientation”
People can relate to one another on the basis of a “task orientation” or on the basis of a “relationship orientation.” Task orientation centers around functions, roles and business strategies and tactics. Relationship orientation centers around trust, (physical and psychological) safety, understanding, respect and sensitivity.

Effective conflict resolution must rest on the fulcrum of relationship orientation, on people, not processes. Organizational self-awareness occurs when the majority of employees are engaged, consciously, from the perspective of relationship orientation, i.e., “who I am” and “how I am” and not solely on “what I do”.

A self-aware person is one who examines the quality of his/her interpersonal relationships in an on-going manner. A self-aware organization is one that examines the quality of its interpersonal dynamic on a regular basis.

To be an effective leader, manager or supervisor, this on-going exploration that leads to supporting people to actively and consciously engage in their personal growth would serve us well in an effort to reduce the negative effects of workplace conflict.

Focusing on the “technical” alone won’t do it; never has, never will.

Some Questions for Self-Reflection:

  • How would I rate myself on a scale of 1(low) to 10(high) on the following: (a) my being a team player; (b) my relationships with others; (c) how much I trust others; (d) the quality of my communication efforts with others; and (e) my attitude? How so?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-aware am I of my feelings and emotions?
  • Do I believe life is a “zero-sum” game – that if others “get theirs” I won’t get “mine”? If so, why? And, if so, has this attitude brought me more pain or happiness in my life?
  • Do my relationships manifest trust, dignity and respect?
  • Am I harboring grudges from the past? If so, why?
  • Do I live my life based on the “oughts” and “shoulds” of others? If so, why?
  • Do I have counterproductive habits and patterns I am afraid to release? If, yes, why?
  • How often am I in “negative thinking” and/or” negative judgmental” mode at work? Why?
  • Who am I most jealous of and why? Does it show in my verbal and non-verbal behaviors?
  • What upsets me about other people’s behavior – and what does that say about me?

—————————————————–
(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

The Pandemic And Course Correction — Taking Your Personal Inventory

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The experience of the pandemic has inspired people of all ages to make course changes in their lives.

For many, they have emerged from the pandemic with new perspectives related to career, finances,  family and other relationships, education, etc. Many folks are recognizing their need for a course correction, requiring a profound shift in consciousness – in the way they think about themselves and how they live their lives. 

It’s About You

These folks found their experience of the pandemic as an opportunity to step back, and ask: “What am I going to do with my life?” – in relationship to “me”, my community and the planet. 

Course Correction
Course corrections are about consciously inquiring within and trusting the outcomes. Course corrections require wise decisions – decisions based on five important considerations:

1. What is most important to me?
2. What gives me the most satisfaction?
3. When do I experience my greatest rewards?
4. What gives me the most peace of mind, the most joy?
5. How can I be more creative, connect with others, serve my community, empower myself and be “free”?

Course corrections, driven by experiencing pain (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological), suffering and dissatisfaction, consider new options and risks, new ways of do-ing, be-ing, hav-ing and thinking. Course corrections call for new ways to be bold, insightful, and inventive as we rebuild our lives, from the bottom up, removing faulty structures and foundations. What’s needed is an exploration into our “shadow side,” seeking out root causes of our pain and suffering – beliefs, expectations, assumptions, and paradigms, etc.

The Dilemma Of Change

Many of our lives are driven by fantasy and illusion. If I think this way, or have this or that, or do this or that, then I’ll experience happiness, success and well-being. Many of us have sold our souls through deception, allowing ourselves to be manipulated by fantasy and illusion only to experience frustration at work, failed or failing relationships, burdening debt, physical or mental dis-ease or a lack of well-be-ing. 

Taking an inventory is an “inside job.” The “truth” of our lives comes from our heart, our inner wisdom. What seemed logical and “rational” has resulted in pain and suffering – mental, emotional, physical, psychological, financial, social and spiritual. 

The dilemma of change is this: change is an opportunity or change is a dead end. We can choose to change or we can resist change. We can change or we can be changed. Life is choices. 

 It’s Time To  Move On

A personal inventory helps one discover that what once caused them deep pain and struggle no longer has merit. Many “necessary” aspects of their lifestyle are no longer relevant, important or even interesting. How about you?

Are you discovering that old attachments (mental, emotional, physical…) no longer have any pull? Are you discovering that objects of your jealousy, envy, anger and grudges no longer have any power over you?

Are you discovering you are no longer inextricably bound to the present and the future, that you are more open to flowing and navigating the present and future with greater ease?

Are you discovering that taking risks is not as threatening as you once thought?

Are you discovering that past answers to problems and challenges no longer work today?

Are you discovering that, synchronistically, your visions and dreams are unfolding according to a Universal plan and not your plan?

We’re All On The Planet – But Why?
After birth, we tend to separate from our True, Real  and Authentic Self as we take on a personality and live in a “human” form.  We cultivate a relationship with our ego-personality and move away from our soul. The Universal lesson for life on the planet is one of learning and reconnecting to our True and Real “me.”  

The Major Obstacle To Change Is – “Me.”

Tapping into our soul-s inner qualities of courage, strength, will, discipline, steadfastness, compassion, and wisdom, we take our personal inventory while overcoming our defensiveness towards change – our fear, anger, rage, negativity, reactivity, confusion, impatience, resentment, and frustration.  

One major psycho-emotional obstacle to inventory-taking is our feeling of lack and inadequacy. Striving for perfection, needing to be an “11” on a scale of 1-10, we criticize ourselves, judge ourselves harshly for who we are and aren’t, for what we do and don’t do. We become self-demeaning to save face, to gain sympathy, to garner attention, acknowledgement, and recognition, because we feel “less than.” Still, we resist inventory-taking. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy. And he is us.”

If It’s To Be, It’s Up To Me.

The greater the separation we have with our True and Real self, the greater we engage in self-limiting, self-sabotaging and self-critical thinking, be-ing, and do-ing. This disconnect results in a misplaced focus on personality rather than on our heart and soul and keeps us from conducting an honest inventory.

The Good News

Each of us has the capacity to conduct a deep personal inventory, from “inside.” We can access our inner wisdom, our higher consciousness and in the process stop belittling ourselves. Touching in to our deeper self, we can bask in greater degrees of self-knowledge, self-love, self-care and self-respect. 

The Way In

Some tools that can support our inventory-taking are: 

Courage – Stillness, meditation, and connecting with our deep heart build our capacity to confront our “dark side” – limiting beliefs, thoughts, expectations, assumptions, “stories” and self-images. 

Honesty – Our inventory requires us to be up-front with ourselves – open, honest, clear and straight when we look ourselves in the mirror. We no longer engage in deceit – of ourselves and others.

Freedom – Unencumbered by illusions and our ego’s needs to be perfect in every way, we are free to be still and call upon our inner wisdom. Focusing on our wisdom body, our energy body and moving away from the dictates of our ego-mind, we experience the lightness and freedom of inventory-taking.

Listening – Related to accessing our inner wisdom, we have to listen to, not just “hear,” the voice within.

We have to allow our inner voice to drive, rather than negate it, fight it, deny it or disengage from it. We must learn to discriminate and be discerning about our inner voice. Silence, quiet, mindfulness and meditation can support us to contact and be comfortable with our inner voice.

What It’s Like To Talk With “Me”

Experiencing an open and honest personal inventory requires me to take time to be with “me.” 

To be comfortable conducting a personal inventory requires an open, honest and conscious discriminating between one’s neutral and negative voice. The greatest obstacle preventing an honest inventory is lying to our self. Our inner wisdom is always available to show us the truth about “how I am” and “who I am” but only if we take time to listen. When we listen to our inner voice we engage in the process of creating deeper self-awareness and self-empowerment – “outing” our ego-personality defenses – our “stories,” our self-limiting beliefs, fears, and defensiveness. 

By deeply listening, without judgment but with neutrality, self-love and curiosity, we move towards the truth – and uncover what’s underneath our ego-driven behaviors that separate us from our True and Real Self. By deeply listening we recognize what, up to now, has kept us feeling deficient and lacking and increase our capacity to discriminate between our inner voice and our “inner critical voice.” 

Our inner voice is a “truth-teller” – a voice that loves us and has our best interests in mind, accepts us just as we are, points to our authentic needs, desires preferences, reveals our inner judge and critic as “inauthentic,” grounds us, soothes us, and gives us the capacity to nurture ourselves in the face of life’s tests and trials. Our inner voice is wrapped in compassion, peace, and self-acceptance – supporting us to hear the truth. Here, we can take our personal inventory from a place of deep knowing – where “right knowing,” “right understanding” and “right action” are made clear. 

As we learn to listen and trust our inner voice, we become more open to guidance from within and more trusting of our True and Real Self. Here, we can conduct an open and honest self-inventory and make wise choices, in alignment with our soul’s truth, enabling us to navigate life with greater strength, courage, steadfastness, self-discipline, self-love and wisdom. 

 Some questions for self-reflection::

  • What people, places, events and circumstances do you find uplifting?  How so?
  • Who or what in your life weighs you down and keeps you from making progress? How so?
  • Who or what in your life propels you to take action? How so?
  • Do you ever feel you’ve been busier than ever but feel like you’re going nowhere? What accounts for this? How so?
  • How much of your life is engaged in “activity” (the illusion of being busy, and doing for the sake of doing) and how much is engaged in “action” (achievement and goal-oriented behavior)?
  • Are you investing your time and energy inventing your future? How so?
  • Are you waiting for the “right time” to forward the action of your life?
  • Are you scurrying around unconsciously trying to maintain a lifestyle or moving consciously to create a life?
  • Do your needs to be recognized, to be right, to be loved, to be in control, to be comfortable and to be secure force you to take inappropriate and unnecessary risks? How so?
  • Do these needs and resulting behaviors come from your ego or your soul?

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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

Beyond Procrastination – Eight Questions to Ask Yourself

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Why am I constantly putting things off? Why don’t I do the things I’m “supposed” to do, but don’t really want to? Why do I always seem to be forcing myself to do things? Whether it’s chores at home, work for school, or projects at work, how do I get beyond procrastination? Most often, something is operating “underneath” the procrastination. Asking yourself these eight questions and spending some conscious time reflecting on your responses can help you uncover why you are resisting doing what needs to be done and support you to move beyond procrastination.

Questions for Self-Reflection

1.      What are the benefits of completing a task and what are the consequences of procrastinating? Another way to ask this question is by exploring these four additional questions: (1) what will happen if I do this? (2) what won’t happen if I do this? (3) what will happen if I don’t do this? and (4) what won’t happen if I don’t do this? Reflect on your responses and align with the energy and positivity of right action, doing the right thing, while visualizing successful completion.

2.      What is my self-talk like? What are the thoughts that support my resistance? Are my thoughts positive and supporting, or limiting and self-sabotaging? Moving to thoughts of joy, appreciation and gratitude can support you to experience an energy shift allowing you to take action.

3.      What is my diet like? Do you experience lows, lethargy, laziness and staleness after eating certain foods or drinking certain liquids? Begin to explore your relationship to food and drink and your energy and moods.

4.      What is my Life Force (Chi) energy like? Blocked, lacking, low? When one’s life force energy is blocked, there is usually some disequilibrium among mind, body and spirit. Movement which supports the flow of Chi energy (such as Yoga and Tai Chi) can restore balance and energy among mind, body and spirit, allowing your Chi energy to flow which supports action and activity.

5.      Am I depressed? You might want to have a physical exam and ask for a professional opinion to explore the possibility of a deeper malaise that may be affecting you.

6.      What might be a competing committing that keeps me from acting? In other words, there is something I value more than the task I am resisting. This competing commitment (even though it appears like and feels like a “positive,”  is usually fear-based. As an example (a past coaching client), a self-employed entrepreneur is resisting organizing her physical space, her office and work environment. When she inquired into her resistance, by journaling deeply into it, she discovered that when she completed the organization of her space then her next goal would be to focus on her business and she was fearful about taking next steps to grow her business. So her competing commitment was to maintain the status quo and do nothing, to resist and procrastinate. So, what might be something you are valuing more, than the task at hand? And, why?

7.      Am I “acting out” some childhood resistance, as an adult? For example (another client), if you were brought up to believe that “neatness counts” or “you must be organized,” you might (unconsciously) be rebelling against this belief (and also unconsciously be reacting to others who you see as “parental” in some way)  by not keeping an organized living or work space. It’s important to look “underneath” your resistance to inquire about existing beliefs that are driving you to procrastinate.

8.      Am I attempting to maintain some self-image? Many folks procrastinate in order to maintain a positive self-image and be “good.” In other words, by procrastinating they exonerate themselves from potential blame if something goes wrong or does not work out as they hope, or plan. In such circumstances, these folks delay taking action in the face of deadlines.

These folks are often poor self-managers and have difficulty self-regulating. The may spend an inordinate amount of time rationalizing dysfunctional behaviors as they are resisting “failure” in some way, shape or form. So, the resistance shows up as the following behaviors and attitudes: (1) Ignorance — I didn’t know I was supposed to do that; (2) Skill deficiency — “I don’t know how,”; (3) Apathy — “I really don’t want to do” or, “It really doesn’t make any difference if I put this off.” and “No one really cares of I do this or not.” or “I’m not in the mood.”; (5) Fixed habits and patterns — “I’ve always done it this way and it’s hard to change.”; and “I know I can do it at the last minute.” or, “I work better under pressure.”; (6) Inertia — “I just can’t seem to get started.”; (7) Frail memory – “I just forgot.”; (8) Physical problems – “I was sick.; and (9) Perfectionism – “I can’t get started as it won’t be perfect.”

Asking yourself these eight questions can support you to get underneath procrastination and uncover what’s really, really at the root of your inaction. By staying with, exploring and being curious about (not judgmental) your responses, and inquiring deeply into them, you can begin to raise your level of self- awareness about the nature of your resistance and then create and take action steps to move forward to both reduce and eliminate the root causes of your resistance and become a “doer” on a consistent basis.

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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