Intention + Attention — The Foundation of Healthy Relationships

animals

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” – Krishnamurti

Distractions

So, you’re in the midst of an interaction – perhaps on the phone, at the watercolor, on the elevator, golf course,  airplane, in a restaurant or store…and during any lulls (of a second or more) in the interaction you’ve been checking emails, texting, talking intermittently on your cell or been “otherwise engaged” with someone or something else. When the event is over, you realize, with some sense of either regret, surprise or embarrassment, you hadn’t been focusing very well.

The pity is that, truth be told, you may likely have no complete recall of the specifics of much of what you were doing or saying during that time – details about the who, what, where, when or why.

So, what’s happening here?
Many folks would say they’re multitasking – you know, “staying on top of things,” and the like. But if you drilled down, deep down, many of these folks, if they’re being honest, sincere, and conscious, would say they “abhor a vacuum” – silence (even of a second, or more) is deafening and uncomfortable. Further, if pressed, many (most?) would say that in times of silence, they often turn to negative or stressful thoughts. So, they choose to keep their minds occupied – engaged in anything that will fill the void. How about you?

Do you see yourself here?
Do you engage in other activities while eating, watching TV, responding to emails, talking on the phone, etc.? If so, why? Once you come up with your usual knee-jerk, “stock” answers, then ask yourself, “really, really, really, why?”

Contrary to what many folks believe (a belief or story that justifies their multitasking behavior), neuroscience research tells us that the pleasure center in our brains lights up when we’re fully and completely engaged in a single activity – when we’re focused on one task. The research suggests that intention and attention (both, not either/or), when focused like a laser, are what lead us to experience fulfillment, satisfaction and pleasure – whether it be a water cooler conversation, walking the dog, cooking a meal, folding the laundry, preparing the budget or watching “the game.”

If you’ve ever experienced a great teacher, counselor, coach, clergy person, health care professional, therapist and the like (what about your spouse/partner, hmmm?), one reason you called them “great” is most likely because they treated you as the most important person in the world when you were in their presence. Their intention and attention were squarely devoted to – you.

Dare to be great!
So, if in your own world, you want to be “great!” at relationships, invest your intention and attention on the person in your presence – even if you’re in a group – one person at a time – regarding them as if they’re the most important person in your life in this moment.

Oh, and one more thing – that “silence” thing
The next time you experience a “lull” in what you’re doing, don’t jump for the next gadget or distraction to “save you from yourself.” Take a slow, deep, quiet and nurturing breath (or two, or three or four) into your belly and listen to your intuitive voice and inner wisdom. It’s there, below the mental hubbub going on in your mind.

The more you take time to experience stillness and to direct your intention and attention inside, you can move below the inner din and negative thoughts and stories to a place of peace, contentment, equanimity, wisdom and well-being – the core of your Essential and True Self.

You might find the quality of your relationships moving to a higher level – even your relationship with yourself.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Are you generally “otherwise engaged” when you’re interacting with others? What story do you tell yourself to justify dividing your attention?
  • Do you ever get upset when someone is “otherwise engaged” when you’re having a  conversation with them? What’s that feel like?
  • Are you easily distracted? Is it hard for you to remain focused for periods at a time? Tell the truth.
  • When you were growing up, did you ever feel you were being an “irritant” or “bother” to your parents or primary caregivers because they didn’t give you their undivided attention when you wanted or needed it? How did that make you feel?
  • Do you know folks who make you feel you’re the most important person in their life when you’re engaging with them? Do you ever make an effort to treat others that way?
  • How well do you do with silence? On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable do you feel with silence?

“Human relationships are the perfect tool for sanding away our rough edges and getting at the core of divinity within us.”  – Eknath Easwaran

P.S. True story: a while back my partner (at that time) just walked in from a lunch date with a friend. In the course of our “So, how was it?” conversation, I asked her if the restaurant were crowded. She replied, “You know what, I was so focused on (friend) I didn’t even notice.” Intention and attention.

—————————————–————
(c) 2019, 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

Life and Problems – They’re One and the Same

life problems

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” Helen Keller

The reality of life is that life comes with problems and challenges.

Secret Sauce of Dealing with Problems
The secret sauce of living with life’s problems and challenges is changing our orientation, our perspective. Rather than efforting to avoid problems, or be in denial about life’s challenges, we can shed the “victim consciousness” and choose to see what messages or learnings about life’s problems are offering us. A change in perspective often leads to the discovery of an inner strength, courage and will – an inner capacity or power- that supports us to persevere and meet life’s challenges.

Problems and consciousness
Each and every problem or challenge can lead to an expansion of our consciousness – but only if we choose. We can choose to allow problems to stretch us – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically- to break through the familiar and “safe” boundaries of our limitations. If we allow, problems serve to make the unconscious, conscious and in the process support us to reveal and heal past hurts and wounding. Renewed faith and trust are by-products of consciously dealing with our problems and challenges.

When we’re “problem-oriented,” it’s usually impossible to be “solution-focused.” When we’re locked into a “woe is me” world-view, our hands are tied, so to speak, to search for a way through. And, that’s a choice – to be problem-focused or solution-focused.

Blame game
If you’re one who’s caught up in the blame-game, always pointing to something or someone “out there” for your problems, now is the time to understand that the source of every problem is inside us. Every problem is a mirror reflecting back to us our own personal, internal issues we have not owned. The truth is when we consciously own and address our issues, problems release their charge, their pull, and their tendency to “trigger” us and no longer cause us upset or trouble.

So, there it is. The “problem” buck stops with us. When we own our “stuff” and take self-responsibility for how we live our lives, we reduce and eliminate much of the pain and suffering we experience from our “problems.”

Many folks are waiting for their “real” lives to begin in some way – once all the obstacles are out of the way. As Dr. Phil might ask, “How’s that been working for you?”

The conscious, self-responsible, person sees see that obstacles are, in fact, their life, right here and right now.

Raised self-awareness
So, it’s good to remember that all problems are the Universe’s way to help us move to a higher level of self awareness. Rather that shun problems, a healthy practice can be to explore how your problems can contribute towards your learning, growth and development. Once you’re on the “other side” of a problem, you’ll have a deeper understanding and clarity as to why that circumstance, that opportunity, i.e., that problem, was in your life. Why it happened “for” you, not “to” you.

Adversity can be a welcome guide and teacher. Life is all about “lessons learned.”

“All Life is Problem Solving” – Karl Popper

No problems = no learning. And we came into this life, we’re “down here,” to learn, grow and heal. All of us.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Are you generally “problem-oriented” or “solution-oriented?” What would your partner, spouse, friends or colleagues say?
  • What major problems/challenges are on your plate these days? Are you approaching them self-responsibly? How so?
  • Do you consistently think or feel “the grass is always greener on the other side?” How so?
  • The way to see problems IS the problem. Do you agree?
  • How do you create problems for yourself?
  • Are you a blamer? Do you often feel like a victim? How so?
  • Do you think hating problems will make them go away? Does it work? Do they then go away?
  • Have you ever found that what you thought was a problem, wasn’t? What was that like?
  • How did you come to see problems as problems, rather than opportunities?

—————————————————–
(c) 2019, 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 if you were a nobody?

nobody

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

Credentials are a fact of life – degrees (even honorary), certificates, diplomas, titles, qualifications and the like are symbolic “badges.” Credentials have their place in life. Credentials support us to feel confident (even when we aren’t), and support others to feel confident in us. Credentials allow us to assume responsibility and accountability, and support others – choices to allow us to lead, manage or supervise. Credentials communicate education and experience upon which others can rely.

When credentials get in the way

Where credentials get in the way is when they lead to obsession and preoccupation. How so?

Some folks become their credential. A new identity is birthed from their credential. They feel like a “somebody” as a function of their credential. They take their credential “out of context” and allow it to become bigger than life itself. These are the folks – at work, at home and at play – who can’t get out of the way of, separate themselves from, their credential. They wear it like a cloak. It’s become their “brand.”

Do you know who I am?!

When folks are obsessed with their credential, when they are their credential, they’re always “on” – in formal meetings, in informal workplace gatherings, in water cooler conversations, with clients and other stakeholders, in outside-of-work social situations, even when shopping at the local retailer – their conversations and their interactions are largely (often unconsciously) motivated by their need for recognition, acknowledgement and their need to feel emotionally secure, to be seen as “somebody.” And, for this “somebody,” it’s all about “Do you know who I am?” “Do you recognize ‘my credential that is me’?” Again, often consciously, more often unconsciously.

There’s an intellectual component of the need to be “somebody” – being cognitively recognized as important, knowledgeable, educated, having position, power, status or privilege – and there’s a psycho/emotional component to the need to be “somebody” – and a physiological feeling and sense of being “held” and “seen.” When any of these is lacking, an individual can experience a sense of being a “nobody,”  – a fate equal to death – unbeknownst to them, it’s an “ego death.” They might feel they don’t exist. Or they have no value or worth. They feel deficient. They feel lacking. They have no identity. They’re not “somebody.”

The psychopaths and narcissists who cross our paths in every walk of life are obsessed with the requirement, need and want to be seen as “somebody.” Their credential is the story line of their life, a statement about “who I am,” a “somebody.”

To these folks, the response to the question, “What do you do?” is an “I am?” statement. A “do-ing,” not a “be-ing.” Why? Because they are their credential – an announcement of “who I am.”

The credentialed often crave the limelight, to be the center of attention and the life of the party. Being at the center (of the Universe!) feeds their ego, and nourishes, not their sense of pride ( a good thing), but hubris, pride bordering on obsession (not such a good thing). Often when one of these folks feels they’re not heard or seen, they quickly react with a rough or unkind word, an inappropriate action or reaction that communicates: “Do you know who I am!!!!!?” “Can’t you ‘see’ me!!!!?” “What’s wrong with you!!!?”

The downside

Such reactivity is the downside of identifying with one’s credential. The point is when one of these folks feels unseen and unheard, their emotional and physiological response, underneath it all, is one of  anger fueled by sadness, and loneliness – not unlike the young child who is wet, but not diapered, or hungry, but not fed. Feeling unseen, unacknowledged and ignored, these folks, now as adults, are really reaching out to be seen and acknowledged – “emotionally wet and hungry,” wanting attention, not for diapers or food, but rather, to be seen, heard, held and recognized as “somebody.”

What would it be like if…?

So, what would it be like to consciously choose to be a “nobody,” to explore and be curious about what we see about ourselves if we didn’t need to be “somebody?”  That is, to be a “nobody” and show up authentically without the shoring up, the crutch of the credential?

What would it feel like if we went through an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, or a lifetime, without needing to be “somebody?” Just showing up as who I am, right here, right now, authentically?

Being authentic in our life means, simply, “I am me.” Not, “I am my job” or “I am my credential.” Just me. What might that be like, look like, feel like, sound like? What might others be saying about you?

Well, it might look like we own our mistakes. Or, we don’t become “too big for our britches.” Or, we don’t blame others for errors, or come across as arrogant, holier-than-thou, and super(wo)man. We shed the cloak of fakeness, phoniness and pretending. We allow ourselves to say, “I don’t know.” or ask “What do you think?” Or allow our embarrassment, our shyness or our vulnerability.

The qualities of a nobody

As a “nobody” we become more interested in others. We let go of our ego. We are inclusive in thought, word and deed. We are open and accepting. We operate from “I am one of you” and “We are in this together for our mutual good.”  We seek to understand before being understood. We stand back, inquire, observe and listen. We walk in others’ shoes. We let go of power, status, title, privilege and qualifications. We move away from “center stage” to “stage right,” maybe even move to being “behind the scenes.” We allow it to be OK to not need to be “the expert.” We become servant rather than master. We become flexible rather than rigid. We come from our heart in addition to our head. We become less important rather than self-important. In essence, we add a “spiritual” component to “who I am” and “how I am.” In a way, we become invisible. We get out of own way. We become “quieter” – more self-reflective, more self-observant. In a word, humble.

Humility, being a “nobody,” means looking up at the vast, vast Universe and knowing.that “I’m not the center of it.” – regardless of my credentials.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you rely on your credentials to be seen as “somebody?” Do credentials, yours or others’, get in the way of your relationships?
  • Are you ever jealous of others’ credentials? How so?
  • Do you ever feel like a “nobody,” or deficient, because you lack a certain credential? What’s that like?
  • What would a next credential “get you?” Do you feel like a “nobody” without it?
  • Do you use your credential to behave like a “know-it-all” or an expert?
  • Do you ever use your credentials to mask weakness, or deficiency?
  • Do you keep your credentials in a proper perspective?
  • Do credentials line your walls? If so, why?
  • When folks ask, “What do you do?,” how do you respond? As a “do-ing” or a “be-ing?”
  • Would you feel like the same person without one of your credentials? How so?
  • What would it be like to practice being a “nobody” next week, in thought, word and deed?
  • Do you always need to be “on”? If so, why?
  • Are status and title important to you? How so?
  • When did you first discover your need for status or title?
  • How do you practice humility?
  • When do you feel like a “nobody” and a “somebody”? How so?

———————————–——————
(c) 2019, 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

Tiger and Fame — Is That All There Is?

fame

 

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

“And what shoulder and what art Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?” – Robert Blake, “The Tiger”

Back in 2010, the media were tripping over themselves to cover and capitalize on the Tiger Woods story. Over the years, I’ve read about and watched many such stories. Typical of much of the media back then, they seemed to be focusing on the titillating, the gossiping, the business repercussions for Tiger, Inc. and his sponsors, and how his actions would affect golf, or perhaps sports in general.

Well, here’s a different take.

Tiger is but one point on the continuum of ambitious folks who’ve achieved success and fame and were still left “wanting,” who fell from grace.

Almost every day, we can find examples of successful folks in politics, in business, in sports, in education, in religion, in the arts and entertainment for whom fame represented a defective, lacking, incomplete brass ring. For whom, simply, fame was not enough. Fame did not provide them with a sense of groundedness, a deep sense of self, a “center that holds,” an “OK-ness” with the world as I like to frame it, or core sense of wholeness and self-love. Rather, amid all the glamour, glitz and groupies, some part of them was feeling alone, lonely, loveless or lacking – suffering.

And to ease their suffering, they act out in inappropriate, self-sabotaging ways – infidelity, crime, abuse, addiction, and other seeming “rational” (as no one who commits a “sin” agrees in that moment it is a sin)or other acts of stupidity – in an effort to fill a “void” that fame could not. Laughing on the outside, not so much on the inside.

For these folks, no amount of fame, or fortune, can ever suffice. Their deep desire or need for fame, more and more of it, is largely in direct proportion to the void or “hole” or emptiness they want to fill. As many have never taken the time to explore what’s really underneath their need for fame, for crowds, for adulation and acceptance, they tend to shy away from their “demons” – seeking escape outside themselves.

Why isn’t fame enough for these folks? Why doesn’t fame “do it” for them? Eckhart Tolle asks, “If there are so many seekers, why are there so few finders?”

One reason is their search for success and fame is misplaced. Their search for acceptance and approval is misguided, misdirected. Their heart’s longing for a sense of their “self” is veiled by their not knowing who they are. So, looking outside their self, they seek something/someone they believe they do not have now.

Our psychological condition – what we think, our attitudes and feelings about “who I am” and about what is happening in my life, the childhood experiences and conditioning we have had that we have not explored and addressed, and the shadow side of our self that we have avoided – are factors that affect how we deal with life, with success, with fame.

As author Orison Sweet Marden, says, “We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves”- about who we are – regardless of the amount of our paycheck, the size of our adoring crowds, lovers, World Series rings, Heisman trophies, recordings, books, Oscars, Emmys or glittering marquis pulsing our name.

The Tigers of the world in some way, shape or form feel separate, or lack True and Real love or a harmonious alignment between their personality and their soul within. In this place, healthy and conscious life choices and decisions are often elusive and hard to make. This is their challenge.

Successfully meeting one’s challenges requires a deeper, soul-based, approach that supports one to go within to explore, inquire and gain a greater sense and understanding of their self – “Who am I, really?”

For Tiger, and the rest of us for whom fame, fortune and success “don’t do it,” we’re being offered the opportunity to “work” on issues that seek resolution, for example:

  • Learning something new/necessary for our further growth and development that supports us in overcoming some limitation(s) imposed on our self, for example, by ignorance, by withdrawal from social connection or by not expressing our self on a deeper level
  • Healing relationships where dysfunction, disconnection or  disharmony exist
  • Clearing pathways of expression for Essential soul qualities that we need (e.g., love, compassion, will, discipline, strength, courage, steadfastness, wisdom…)
  • Discovering or clarifying our life’s purpose
  • Restoring order where disorder, or chaos exist in some way, shape or form
  • Understanding when we need to become at times more independent and at other times more interdependent
  • Restoring virtue where vice exists
  • Bringing thoughts into alignment with our heart/soul
  • Aligning our consciousness, understanding and behavior with universal laws
  • Awakening our conscience in order to make moral choices
  • Overcoming fear, terror and separation in order to experience greater unity within our self and with the greater whole of humanity
  • Learning how to teach or express unconditional love
  • Making connection with the Universe and trusting in its intelligence and love
  • Learning that soul is present within us and within everyone and that each being is divine in their own right
  • Supporting others when they need support

So, when the hubbub dies down, and we experience some quiet time before the next “star” falls from grace and captures all our attention, perhaps we can step back, take some deep breaths and inquire within, “Do I spend much of my life in a ‘wanting’ state? If so, what am I wanting? And, why? And what makes me think that someone or something outside myself will fulfill that wanting when I know, honestly, sincerely and and self-responsibly, that will never happen?”

“And what shoulder and what art
should twist the sinews of thy heart?”
-William Blake

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Is there a part of your life where you feel separate or lacking connection? Why do you think this is so? What might support you to overcome this separation?
  • In what part of your life do you lack understanding? What might support you to overcome this challenge?
  • Do you have a tendency to disempower yourself or others? What might support you to empower yourself and others?
  • Where is love (real love, not the concept of love) lacking in your life? How might you resolve to express love appropriately in those parts of your life?
  • How do you deal with success? Are you obsessed with success, fame, or being seen and acknowledged?
  • Have you ever acted inappropriately in order to feel like a “somebody?” Do you ever compromise your values to be successful, liked, or acknowledged?
  • Do you ever feel worth-less, value-less, unloved, or un(der)appreciated? How did that make you feel? When did you first notice this feeling?
  • What was success or fame like for you when you were growing up?

—————————————————–
(c) 2019, 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 Music of Your Life

music2

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

The Music of Your Life
Each of us is a work in progress. No one has “arrived.” We each compose the music of our own life.

The Disconnect
I remember once when I just began doing my personal psycho-emotional-spiritual work, one of my “teachers” suggested my “music” and “notes” may not be on the same page and perhaps this was something I might want to explore. I did.

What I discovered was a disconnect. Thus, my journey and work that continues to this day.

My take is for each of us, from time to time, our music does not reflect the notes on the page. When this occurs, it’s because we’re experiencing a kind of imbalance –  we’re out of harmony with our Self – in our life at work, at home, at play or in our relationship.

What is Harmony?
Harmony is a state of alignment or congruence among four elements: what we say, what we think, what we feel and what we do. Harmony arises when we experience alignment and congruity among our thoughts, feelings, actions and words.

Am I in Harmony?
A question I now explore consistently.

One way to become consciously aware of the degree to which we are or aren’t experiencing harmony is to sit quietly and reflect on our lives, where we feel grounded, peaceful, at ease and in sync with our Self – a conscious effort to explore how we feel about, think about, act around (or about) and speak about our various life areas, e.g., finances , career and livelihood, relationships at work, partnership and intimacy, personal environment and organization, personal, professional and spiritual development, health and wellness, family and friends and play and recreation.

When I’m not in Harmony
Imbalance and disharmony point to disconnects in the way we think, feel, speak about or act with respect to any of these life areas. For example, if I feel one way or think one way about money and yet my relationship to money is counter to how I think and feel about it, I’m bound to experience disharmony. If my behavior towards my colleagues, my friends, (former) spouse or partner in public differs from how I speak about them in private, when out of sight, I’m bound to be experiencing disharmony. So, for me, the question always is, “Does my music reflect the notes on the page called “me?” Are my notes out of sync? Off Key?

Folks who seem to be the most distressed, overwhelmed, confused, bored, frustrated, angry, or lost are most usually those whose music is out of tune – living a life that is out of tune.

In addition, when we experience disharmony with others, it’s usually because we’re not in harmony with ourselves. When we’re in harmony with our Self, we often find it quite easy to be in harmony with others – at work, at home, at play and in our relationships.

Feeling “out of sorts,” “foggy,” frustrated, lost or confused, most often reflects a state wherein we experience a disequilibrium among our mind, body and spirit – or head, heart and soul – between what we are thinking, feeling, saying or doing.

The major downside of being in a state of disharmony or disequilibrium is that, in this place, we often make unwise and unhealthy decisions or choices – at work, at home, at play and in your relationships. Disharmony results in our consistently sending ourselves mixed messages – messages that lead to confusion and self-doubt.

If we look back on some recent decisions that turned out to be self-defeating, self-sabotaging or unwise, there’s a good chance we lacked alignment how we were thinking, feeling and speaking. Personal, emotional, psychological and spiritual growth happens when we take time to consciously inquire into our internal conflicts – where disharmony lives.

Being in Harmony
When we experience harmony within – when our thoughts, words, deeds and feelings are in sync – we never have to look “outside” to blame, find fault, judge and criticize someone or some thing harshly. When we’re in harmony with our Self, we walk through life with a calmness, sense of inner peace and humility that says “all is right in the world” – our world within and the world without.

When we experience harmony, our song reflects balance and equanimity. Our notes are written with gentleness, mildness, respect, humility, modesty, tolerance and forgiveness. Inner harmony is what allows us to experience our soul qualities – courage, strength, wisdom, will, confidence, motivation, self-discipline, inner peace and love, compassion – qualities that consistently lead us to “right knowing,” “right action,”and “right understanding.”

Harmony supports us to live a life of honesty, integrity, sincerity and self-responsibility – no need for fakeness, phoniness, or deception. Harmony allows us to be at peace within our own skin.

No One Can Compose Our Music
Each of us is the composer of our own life’s music. We are the one who can choose to – or not – take responsibility when we hear a discordant note. And we, and only we, can then act – or not – to reduce or eliminate the discord in the melody of our life.

So, right here and right now, how’s your music? Do you need to change or discard any notes? Which one?

Some Questions for self-refection:

  • What creates disharmony in your life? Hoe so?
  • Do your actions reflect your feelings? Do your words mirror your actions? Are you always at odds with your Self? How so?
  • Do you tell yourself lies? About whom or what? And why? What does lying get you?
  • Is the music of your life harmonious or discordant? Where, and why?
  • Does disharmony in your life create conflict with others – at work, at home at play or in your relationship?
  • How do you promote harmony within your Self? Do you “walk your harmony talk?”
  • What does disharmony look like in your life? How would others describe a disharmonious “you?”
  • Do you tend to blame others for your disharmony? Why? Really, why?
  • Can you recall experiencing harmony in and around your family when you were growing up?

    ————————————-
    (c) 2019, 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

“Soft Eyes” – Seeing True Reality

baby's eyes

 

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

How do you “see” problems, issues, challenges, conflicts, enigmas and the like – at work, at home, at play and in your relationships?

How do you approach dealing with various areas in your life – career and livelihood, spiritual and personal growth, friends and family, intimacy, and partnership, play and recreation, abundance and finances, health and wellness, personal environment and organization?

Do you forge ahead, like a locomotive, laser-like-driven, nailing down the issue or conflict, quick to diagnose, process and come up with a solution?

For example, how do you “see” reality? (Note: the images below are on my website and are virus-free) Take a very quick look (just a second or two) at this image. And this one. Finally, this one and tell yourself what you see. We’ll return to these in a moment.

“Soft Eyes”
The idea underneath “soft eyes” is twofold: (1) LITERAL – taking a few deep breaths, closing your eyes and actually giving your eyes permission to relax, let go and fall back on tiny soft cushions, or pillows, and then open your eyes and explore your environment; and (2) FIGURATIVE – seeing what you “see” about a person, place, event, object or circumstance from this “relaxed” perspective – which allows your “ego-mind” with its preconceived ideas, perceptions, premises, stories and beliefs to “take a short vacation.”

Often, viewing your environment with soft eyes can change the way you see it. And, when your view changes, so does the way you relate to it. When you change the way you relate to it, the way you respond to it also changes.

Let’s return to our images – this time with “soft eyes.”

Before looking at these images once more, take a few deep, deep breaths into your belly. Relax your shoulders. This time, when you look at the image, just gaze at it, noting nothing in particular, see the “totality” of it, and allow it to appear before you. Take a minute or two to gaze, softly, at it with “soft eyes: at this image, this one and this one, and allow each to unfold before you; allow each to show you, tell you what’s there and when you’re done, come back here.

Did you notice anything different? Notice I said “different,” not “new” – as it was there all along. You just perhaps didn’t see it the first time.

“Real Reality”
Often the sources of our conflicts and challenges and the most effective solutions with which we can approach them are “unseen.”

Too, it all too often happens that the way we approach issues and challenges can take a completely new direction, a new perspective when we explore the “real reality” underneath.

How do we identify this “real reality?” When we take the time to view situations, events, circumstances, people and their positions with “soft eyes,” we can often change our perspective of them – and the approaches we take when dealing with them – very often leading to mutually deeper understanding and win-win experiences and relationships. As Wayne Dyer, said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

When we view  people, places, circumstances and events with “soft eyes,” we move through a kind of transformation where we discover a reality that was always there, but which we missed. We discover a reality that can shift the way we relate to people, solve problems, face challenges and live life – at work, at home, at play and in our relationships.

When we step back, when we jettison our old, programmed, habitual ways of “seeing,” we open ourselves to possibilities, we come to situations with a new energy. We can more readily, if we choose to, engage from new perspectives, we shift our frame of reference, we become newly empowered, we redefine issues and discover new solutions. In essence, we respond differently – we can even see ourselves and our experiences differently.

So, what is reality? Actually, no one knows for certain – although we each think we do. In fact, we usually get into trouble when we secretly believe that our interpretation of reality is the one, true accurate interpretation. Hmmm.

Each of us is committed to our own paradigm and, as such, sees things that way. The world we share is quite different depending on who’s viewing it. It is perhaps for this sole reason that our planet is rife with so much conflict.

So, when you’re facing a challenge, obstacle, or conflict or looking for solutions, or when you’re simply listening to someone else – or even yourself – consider the “soft eyes” approach….and remember:

“The chicken is the egg’s way of reproducing itself.”  Peter Koestenbaum

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Are you usually the first one to say you know the source of a problem – any problem?
  • Are you usually able and willing to change your perspective when considering a problem/solution?
  • Do you ever seek to operate as an individual even though you’re a member of a team/group/family?
  • Do you engage in creative play?
  • Are you obsessed with “getting it (or being) right?”
  • Do you ever think about what you’re thinking about?
  • Do you ever attempt to fix problems when you don’t know the complete context?
  • Do you ever use “soft eyes” when encountering challenges, or when listening to others?
  • When someone offers an interpretation (for example, of an event or circumstance) that differs from yours, how do you feel? Honestly?
  • When did you discover that you’re not always right? How so? What was that like? Who led you to that discovery?
  • Would other consider you to be a humble individual?
  • Would you rather be right than happy?

—————————————————–
(c) 2019, 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

“If I were you…”

paths

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

“It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning.” – J.D. Ouspensky

Much as we all search for the tried-and-true “how-to-make-life-work-for-me” manual or technology, formula, tool, technique and the like, the reality is each of us leads a complex and unique life. Another person’s answer, suggestion, recommendation for me as to how to live my life is often – 99.999% of the time – one that is quick, easy and usually off or misguided.

One Size Does Not Fit All
There is no “one size fits all” road to change, growth and development – the road that is well-paved, travel-worthy, lighted, secure, and sure-footed – a road that works for everyone. The truth is, the right road for you is not a well-traveled road. It’s a path. And the reason it’s called a path is because it’s never been traveled before.

Personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually and  psychologically, you need to develop your own pathways. Personal pathway development is a challenging endeavor – moving through rocky terrain and uncharted wilderness, i.e., the unknown.

Those who listen to, and even follow the advice of, the “If I were you” this is what I would do…so, you should, too” folks are more likely than not to move through life like a bumper car – hitting dead-ends, bumps in the road, detours and the like as a result of looking for “direction” in all the wrong places” i.e., outside themselves. No one can “show me the way” – no one.

The Path Is An Inside Jo
The road ahead can come from only one place – inside. No one else can identify your path for you. Finding and successfully following your true path comes from your inner guidance and wisdom.

The path begins with a vision – a vision of what life looks like – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. This vision informs you of your place in life and on the planet. Your vision, when sought and discovered inside, and tested, provides a sense of worth and value that defines your place on the planet.

You Need Your Solutions
The reason other folks’ “solutions” (i.e., beliefs, “technologies” or visions, etc.) hardly ever work is they’re not designed for “me.” They may feel and sound good for a moment, and may provide a short burst of enthusiasm and energy, but in the long run they are seldom lasting, transformative or sustainable. Why? No one can empower you – but you.

And the only way you can become empowered is to generate, from the  inside, your own life vision and purpose. It’s impossible to align with, and become congruent with, someone else’s vision and purpose. If you’re true to someone else’s purpose or vision, it’s almost a certainty that, sooner or later, you’ll experience a sense of deflation, frustration or resentment. How can you not? You’re living someone else’s life! And that’s dis-empowering. Not life-affirming.

Appreciate The Rockiness of The Path
“I never know what the next lesson is going to be, because we’re not supposed to know; we’re supposed to trust ourselves to discover it.” – Melody Beattie

Every path, including yours, consists of its respective forms of difficulty, challenge, resistance, and problems – health, career, relationship, etc. – all created solely and especially – for you – for your character and personality. (This is the major reason why the “If I were you, I would…” folks can never – ever –  begin to solve your issues and challenges. They are not you. Journeying along your own path allows you to discover the purpose of the obstacles and challenges you face.)

Through honest and conscious self-reflection, you unbundle what’s in your way and in the process move from ignorance to intuition, from selfishness to selflessness and from inertia to energetic intentionality. The conscious journey along your customized path can lead you to becoming the heart-and-soul based human being you are – perhaps gently filling the refuse containers along the way with bits and pieces of your ego-self which you begin to discard.

The rockiness of your path serves to tug on your sleeve – asking you to “work” your character and personality, to become a better human being, to love and support others – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. The rockiness is intended to help you better understand, and live, the purpose for which you’re on the planet – which always, yes always, involves connecting with others for your highest mutual good.

Obstacles Offer Lessons To Be Learned
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” –  Fr. Alfred D’Souza

Every obstacle has a built-in lesson which is intended to raise your level of consciousness. Every obstacle asks you to stretch a bit, or a lot – sometimes beyond what you think are your limits. Every obstacle serves to bring your unconscious to the surface and in the process you have the opportunity to heal – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or psychologically – where you discover heart-and-soul-felt capacities and qualities you never knew you had. If there’s one result that walking your own path affords you, it’s empowerment – realizing your value and worth, accessing your true and real inner strength and courage and discovering a belief and trust in yourself that walking someone else’s path never offers – ever.

And, that’s why it’s called a “path.”

“To know how to choose a path with heart is to learn how to follow intuitive feeling. Logic can tell you superficially where a path might lead to, but it cannot judge whether your heart will be in it.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • What particular challenge are you facing? Have you deeply reflected on what you need to do, or how you need to be, to help you become a better “you” who’s capable of greater love, understanding and empowerment?
  • Do you know what “the hero’s journey” is? Have you ever experienced such a journey? Are you in the midst of one now? Do you consistently search “outside” yourself for the right path? How’s that been working? Honestly.
  • Do you surround yourself with “If I were you, I would…”- types of folks? If so, why? Are you an “If I were you, I would…”- type person to your family, friends, partner, spouse or colleagues?
  • Does the idea of walking your own path cause you concern or fear? What about a sense of excitement or adventure? And, “why?”
  • What was “fending for myself” or “going my own way” like for you as you were growing up?
  • Do you generally feel safe and secure – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or psychologically? Why or why not?
  • Are you a trusting soul? A vigilant or suspicious soul? How so?
  • How do you feel about “not knowing?” Are you comfortable journeying into the “”inner unknown?” How so?

—————————————————–
(c) 2019, 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

“Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without” – (Confucius)

diamonds

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

The world offers itself to me in a thousand ways, and I ache with an awareness of how infrequently I am able to receive more than a small fraction of what is offered, of how often I reject what is because I feel it is not good enough.” Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Do you regularly beat yourself up for not being “better” in some way? As you reflect on your life at work, at home, at play and in relationship, can you see instances where you wanted to be perfect, and you weren’t? What’s that like for you – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically?

Success and Failure
One way we measure success and greatness is by assessing our failures. For example, we can inquire, “What have I learned about myself in the throes of failure?” There is no perfection without fault – none. The self-reflection that follows failure is one catalyst that fosters improvement, growth and greatness.

Do you spend time on the way to/from work, lying in bed at night while watching television or during exercising lamenting you’ll never be perfect? Do you dislike yourself as you list all the things at which you’ll never be perfect? Do you have memories of someone telling you you’ll never be good enough? Do you feel like the diamond with a flaw? Do you constantly ask, “What have I done wrong?” or “Why do I feel so lacking or deficient? all the while feeling like a victim?

Wholeness, not perfection
The way to our truest, deepest and authentic self is via the road of darkness, the road that leads not to perfection, but to wholeness. Frankly, there is no point at which we can say, “This is perfection.” Perfection, being a “10,” is an ego-driven, mental idea. We think that being a “10” means I have no flaws, no imperfections. Perfection excludes negative realities – an impossibility (no matter how hard our mind wants to convince us otherwise). We strive for perfection hoping to remove or mask our defects, our flaws. In essence, perfection means denying our self.

Wholeness, on the other hand, is an archetype – something unattainable – a metaphor. An archetype is intended to guide, inspire, support and affect our reality in various ways. We embrace and manifest archetypes by being self-aware and consciously conscious – affecting our attitudes and our approach to life and living. The archetype of wholeness points to both the positive and the negative, all parts of our self.

At the outset, pursuing perfection can be a useful first step in our growth process as it motivates and provides a focus on the positive. However, it must give way to the pursuit of wholeness where our duality (the light and the dark, the good and the bad, the positive and the negative) has meaning. Focusing on perfection is focusing solely on the personality, the outer, our “packaging.” Focusing on wholeness puts our attention on the essential truth, beauty and goodness within our soul.

Wholeness is not a process of identifying what is “wrong” or imperfect and trying to fix or eradicate it, but to discover what our “flaws” have to teach us so we can learn from them. Our “flaws” exist as a means of challenging us to learn what we need to see about ourselves. No flaws, no challenge. No challenge, no growth. No growth, just a “pebble.” When we learn what we are challenged to learn (i.e., life’s journey), the “flaws” often lose their charge, and in the process often disappear.

Who are You?
“We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves – the way we are – and why we don’t accept others the way they are.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

The reason striving (positive energy) for perfection is often a struggle (negative energy) – exhausting, exasperating, frustrating and overly emotional – is because we’ve lost connection with our core self and become mired in some self-image or concept of who I think I should be. The negative feelings and emotions that accompany striving for perfection are a signal to stop, take a deep breath and identify with our Authentic Self – the peaceful, compassionate, tolerant, loving, and beautiful person I really am – i.e. the diamond. When I stop the relentless striving and beating myself up, and take time for silence, meditation, and inner exploration, my essence will arise, my sense of wholeness manifests and the strength, courage, will and steadfastness to accept my self as I am arise.

Fear drives us to the self-sabotaging quest for perfection. Love allows us to open to all that we are
– with curiosity, passion, excitement, and acceptance.

Wholeness then sees flaws and imperfections as eminently useful and necessary so we can embrace all parts of our self and can value every experience.

Pain is a Reality; Suffering is Optional
The first fact of life is suffering and affliction, flaws, exist. Accepting this fact of life is the basis of our life’s journey. Our desire to escape from our flaws, rather than embrace and learn from them, is what leads to suffering.

Most folks have a tendency to feel shame about, or deny, their flaws. In fact, our flaws are one of our greatest spiritual assets. When we consciously deal with our flaws they lead us along a spiritual path. Unfortunately, at an early age we learned to push affliction away, to deny, hide from or otherwise deny our flaws and seek perfection. Rather than be open to suffering as a fact of life, we become defensive and live a life of avoidance, denial and self-deceit. It’s in the defensiveness that we first begin to reject ourselves, experience shame and guilt and engage in self-destructive, repressive and suppressive behaviors to avoid suffering.

When we seek wholeness, accepting our flaws, our diamond grows brighter and brighter, as our soul qualities of compassion, tolerance and understanding arise. When we are OK with our flaws and imperfections and allow our soul’s love, power and confidence to arise, we not only avoid suffering but we actualize our potential to support others to relieve their suffering.

During the coming week reflect each day on how often you express who you really are, your wholeness, and how often you only express some personality (perfection-seeking) trait.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • What do you seek – perfection or wholeness? Examine closely and honestly your pursuit of perfection and the areas of life in which this pursuit takes place. What are the consequences of this pursuit on your soul’s quest for wholeness? How so?
  • What motivates you to move forward? What keeps you from moving forward? How so?
  • In your relationships with some important people in your life, how can you more authentically share your true, authentic self with them?
  • What do you judge as wrong or evil? Can you see wrong or evil from the perspective that it is serving some useful purpose? What can you learn from it? How so?
  • What are three defense mechanisms that you frequently use to deny your flaws? If you stopped using one of these, what happens to you, your feelings and your relationships?
  • What was perfection-seeking like when you were growing up? How did you learn about perfection?
  • Can you envision a world where folks seek wholeness, not perfection?

“After enough mirror gazing, we all develop our “cosmic sense of humor.” We no longer try to be perfect, or try to get all our work done in time. We become content with whatever life brings. Just to deal with what comes up without crucifying ourselves or others is enough of a challenge.”  – Paul Ferrini

—————————————————–
(c) 2019, 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.”

october

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

I recently had a conversation with an individual I know about how her life is unfolding these days. Short answer: “Not so well.” Hmmm. I was curious. I then 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, of course not!” – her words, affect and body language communicating flavors of resentment, frustration, and muted rage. When I asked if she’s doing anything about the state of her life, about possibly moving forward, she responded with a “Well, you play with the hand you’re dealt” attitude, feeling the victim – intimating she’s too flooded by victimization consciousness to take time to stand back, reflect, take a larger 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 I 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 many folks show up in life. The reality is lots of folks are exhibiting presenteeism in just about every aspect of their life. They are mental, physical, and emotional wrecks to some degree – a larger, not smaller, degree. Many folks are not doing justice to their work, their spouse/partner, their children, their friends, or their own self because they’re suffering from presenteeism.

Being the victim
Because many folks are (re)acting as the victim, and begrudgingly living life from the “hand they are dealt” perspective, and choosing not to be proactive about changing their life or lifestyle, they are experiencing stress, overwhelm, depression, confusion, anger and unhappiness manifested in self-destructive life habits – lack of sleep, poor diet, workaholism, overeating/drinking, sickness, disease, dis-ease, lack of exercise, estrangement from family members (even while living in the same space), being abusive, argumentative, resistant and resentful. In addition, many have 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, is this a good time to explore your possible 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 this self-reflective mode, 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 (and related behaviors) 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 (“being the most important thing in my life”) manifested by the daily “reality” of how you relate to your family? Is there a disconnect? Are you satisfied with your relationship with your spouse or partner, with 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 unfulfilled relationships that you allow to continue? Do you allow your job (and for that matter, Smartphone) to keep you from your family (that “most important thing in my life”)?

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? Would 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?”

Happiness
Are you happy? Honestly – tell the truth. 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? If you’re not happy (however you define it, 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 week’s “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”), how has this week been? Effected any changes yet? Waiting for another “right time?” Waiting until “next week?”

We all know the “right time” never comes and if/when it does, it’s not the “right time” we’re expecting.

Remember, when nothing changes, nothing changes. Groundhog day, Groundhog week – each wrapped in presenteeism. Is that what you’re choosing? If so, why?

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, to move in the direction of having “next week” be truly different from “this week?” How so?
  • 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 – 99.9% of the time. 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? How so?

—————————————————–
(c) 2019, 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

Authentic Relationships – 5-Question Exercise to Explore How You Show Up In Relationship

coffee

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

The focus of this food-for-thought piece is to explore what it means to be authentic in the context of being single in the dating world or in the context of being a spouse or partner in your current relationship. Take this five-question exercise to explore your relationship to authenticity.

My purpose here is to offer you some thoughts and ideas about authenticity and take you through some exercises that will support you to explore your own relation to, and experience of, authenticity and what it means to be authentic in relationship.

What I’m offering is simply what has worked for me and my clients. So there’s no given that what I’m working with must work for you. In fact, if there’s something that resonates with you, perhaps take it away with you for further exploration and leave behind anything that does not resonate with you.

For this experience, you’ll need some paper, a writing instrument (or computer), your mind, heart, soul and your breath.

First, set your intention to be present for this exercise, fully, and let go of your day. Perhaps visualize a balloon and place your cares, concerns, problems, challenges in your balloon and when you’re ready just allow your balloon to float up and away, leaving you free to be present in mind, body and spirit.

Sense your feet on the floor and notice your breathing. Then, take a few deep, deep breaths into your belly and make the sound AHHH on the exhale. AHHH is a primal sound that brings, relaxation, pleasure and letting go. This sound opens your heart, your lungs and helps to melt tension while contributing to an overall sense of well-being. So, take another deep breath or two, exhaling with AHHH. Now, let’s begin.

Since coaching, for me, is all about asking powerful and provocative questions. This exercise explores five questions around authenticity in relationship:

1. What is authenticity and what does authenticity mean to you?

2. What are you do-ing and how you are you be-ing when you’re authentic?

3. What obstacles get in the way of your being authentic (e.g., beliefs,
self-images, attitudes, emotions, assumptions, stories, etc.)?

4. On an authenticity scale (1-10), where would you say you are now, generally, and
where would you like to be in six months with respect to your relationship to authenticity?

5. And what first step might you take to begin moving in this direction?

So, our first question:

What is authenticity and what does authenticity mean to you?

Take a minute and write down all the words and phrases that come to you when you think of the word authenticity. What comes up for you? Take a breath and go inside. Sense and feel your body as you do this part of the exercise. What thoughts, beliefs etc. come up? What feelings and emotions arise. What sensations do you experience in your body?

So, what was that experience like for you? Was it completely mental? Were you aware of your body – feelings and sensations? Were you relaxed? Did you experience any discomfort? How was your breath? Was it deep and relaxed or shallow and tight? Did you notice any negative self-talk from your Inner Judge and Critic? If so, is this self-talk familiar?

It might support you to be curious about what you noticed about yourself, especially if you experienced any discomfort or negative self-judgments. This can be food for further exploration about your relationship to authenticity.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines authentic as: something real and true, as the quality of being real or true.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines authentic as conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features; as not false or imitation and as being true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character and implies actual character not counterfeited, imitated, or adulterated; it also connotes definite origin from a source.

So, the operative words center around essential source and spirit and character. That is, being authentic relates to the pure and innate qualities of the person I was when I was born, my true and real self, my essence, not an idea that I created and continually create with my ego mind.

So, it might be curious to explore how this loving, precious, pure and authentic child has morphed into adulthood and be curious about how we show up authentically in adulthood.

So, let’s continue with our second question:

When in a dating situation, or in your current relationship, what are you “do-ing” and how are you “be-ing” when you’re authentic?

What behaviors reflect your authenticity? Perhaps reflect on your words, your actions, your thoughts, your emotions and your feelings. How do these support your authenticity?

Take a minute and write down some of the ways you express your authenticity.

Here are some examples of do-ings and be-ings clients have come up with which express their being authentic:

* consciously choosing to be with my partner exactly as he or she is, focusing on the positivity rather than on obsessing on reasons why it can’t work

* supporting my partner in his or her choices, desires and dreams and consciously supporting one another to grow and evolve as both individuals and as a “we”

* honoring my partner’s truth, and uniqueness rather than focusing on possessing or fixing or changing him or her

* having the strength and courage to tell the truth especially when I believe it is unspeakable

* being consciously conscious and respectful of both my partner’s boundaries and my own

* asking questions for clarification and communicating rather than jumping to assumptions

* having the strength, self-discipline, courage, compassion and commitment to resolve differences as opposed to overtly fighting or being covertly passively aggressive

* focusing on what I appreciate with gratitude, focusing on solutions, not problems

* being conscious of paying attention to my partner and not taking him or her for granted

* being honest, and honoring my beliefs

* living in integrity, nonconformity, and sticking to my values,

* living without spoken or unspoken judgments and creating a real environment of harmony, well-being and trust and where we can both live authentically, and in integrity as ourselves

* expressing hurt and pain and not hide behind anger, judgment and criticism

* not deferring to my partner in a way that makes me uncomfortable or passive aggressive

* being intentional about expressing what I want

* not interacting with a hidden agenda

* staying conscious in my heart as well as my head

* sharing what I think and feel about my immediate experience

* accepting my undeveloped areas as well as my strengths

So, sense into your self. What is your experience right now? What thoughts, feelings or emotions are you aware of? What’s going on in your mind, in your heart? What’s your body telling you? What’s your breathing like? Mental activity?

How is it for you right now to explore this idea of authenticity?

Our next question points to obstacles to being authentic.

So, it’s time to explore some of the obstacles that get in the way of your being authentic – obstacles such as your beliefs, your images of who you think you must be, your attitudes, assumptions, stories or beliefs.

Perhaps one way of exploring this question is by asking if there’s a noticeable difference between two YOUs…the one who is standing naked at 4:00 am in your bedroom when no one is watching, and the one who walks out the door and into relationship?

So, take a minute and write down any obstacles which you feel prevent you from showing up as the real and true you.

Before I suggest some obstacles, listen to these client statements:

  • I’m not the same person in relationship as I am when I am alone at 4:00 A.M.
  • I feel I need to wear a mask and put on another personality so I’ll make an impression and be accepted and approved by the person I’m with.
  • Because I can’t tell the truth or be honest about my feelings and beliefs, I often feel like an imposter.
  • In order to fit in with a particular group when I’m dating, I feel I compromise my real and true self and lack the courage to speak my mind and make my voice heard.
  • I often feel I need to change who I am order to be with someone else?
  • I change my thoughts, my language, my views, and my feelings.
  • I feel I have to sell myself out when it comes to my requirements, needs and wants in order to maintain a relationship.
  • In many relationships, I feel I am moving away from being on purpose.

So, the question is, if you are different from your true and real self, what do you think or feel accounts for this difference?

Here are some common obstacles that bring one to compromise their true and real self, their authenticity:

* Allowing others to dictate who I think I should be, for example, my family, friends, society, reality TV, the media, or perhaps just my own ego.
* Ego-driven needs for control, recognition and approval, the need to be “somebody” at the expense of thinking or feeling like I’m a “nobody” – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, socially, financially, etc.
* Feeling or belief that my feelings and emotions, needs and wants are not worthy or appropriate, and “don’t matter.”
* Fears of losing my bachelorhood, fear of rejection, not being good enough, being hurt, fear of commitment, or divorce later on.
* Fear of telling my truth and of being judged and criticized; fear of sharing my experience in the moment, fear of saying what’s up for me, right here and right now.
* Self-image and ideal that says I am perfect in every way, when, in reality, I may not be.
* Fear that others will reject me if they know who I really am

So, what was this exercise like for you? Was it easy, challenging? Is there anything that piques your curiosity about your self? Did you experience insights or AHAs? What’s it like to acknowledge these obstacles? How do they make you feel? How so?

So, change and transformation always begin with self-awareness, and self-awareness is the goal of these first few questions.

And now that perhaps we’ve raised your level of self-awareness a bit, let’s look at our final two questions which are related:

On an authenticity scale of 1-10, where would you say you are right now and where would you like to be in six months?

And, what first step might you take to move in that direction?

Take a few minutes and respond to these two questions.

So, is your action step observable and measurable? What will you be doing, being or having that supports you to move forward toward showing up more authentically? How will you know you have successfully completed this step? How will you be different in a dating context, or in your current relationship, in some way, shape or form?

Do you have a sense of when you’d like to accomplish this step? Are you aware of potential obstacles that might get in the way? And, how can/will you deal effectively with these obstacles?

So, I hope these questions and exercises have been useful for you in some way as you explore who you are and how you are in the context of being a single in the dating world, or as a spouse or partner in your current relationship.

So, I’ll end with one final thought.

The Law of Attraction is a very powerful force in the Universe. The Law of Attraction says that what you focus on, consciously or unconsciously, what you give your attention and energy to, you will attract. Do you expect others to be authentic with you when you are fearful of being authentic with them? Authenticity is not a one-way street. Authenticity does not flow in only one direction.

The Law of Attraction applies in relationships as well as in every other area of life.

So, my belief is that one must exhibit the authenticity one expects in others. When we show up as less than our real and true self, the Law of Attraction says we will attract others who are also less authentic.

Being authentic, we will attract others who are authentic and there’s no better foundation than authenticity to create and cultivate a lasting, loving and healthy relationship.

———————————–——————
(c) 2019, 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