Archive For August 27, 2015

4 Ways to Be Your Best Self in Your Most Important Relationships

4 Ways to Be Your Best Self in Your Most Important Relationships

Last week I led a week-long intensive training with my Master Transformational Coaching program. In this program, I emphasize personal development work because it’s this work that truly helps us be our best selves. When we do this work, we’re able to bring the best of our selves to our relationships – whether they’re with people at home, at work, or in the world. I’d like to tip my hat to the wonderful people who took part in this training program. They’re doing the hard inquiry necessary to step into their whole selves so that they can help others through this same transformation.

Be Your Best Self In Your Most Important Relationships

We often strive to create healthy and satisfying relationships. But sometimes, despite how much we may try, we’re unable to create relationships that are mutually supportive and fulfilling. When this happens, there are several things we can do to bring our best selves to our relationships, and in turn, bring about the positive change we seek.

Get to Know Yourself:

    To be your best self in your personal relationships you need to develop your awareness of yourself. What do you value? What do you dream of? What are your strengths? Where are the skills you want to hone? When we ask ourselves these kinds of questions we grow our awareness of ourselves and we can use that awareness to create relationships that are beneficial for everyone involved. Sometimes our personal relationships hit a rough patch. When this happens, your awareness will clue you into how you might be contributing to the difficulty at hand and whether or not that relationship should be maintained.

Love Yourself:

    Learning to love yourself is such an important step towards creating healthy relationships. It’s cliché but true – to truly love someone else, you have to love yourself first. This is because we’re unable treat someone better than we treat ourselves.
    Our limits in loving others comes from our inability to love ourselves. Over the course of our relationships, these limits inevitably come to light. We may compensate for our inabilities by giving more to others than we have – or have allowed ourselves – to receive. Yet, this can set us up for difficulty. If we’re not loving ourselves then we’re likely looking for someone else to give us that sense of being loved. This can be the starting point for lots of problems like dependency, fear of abandonment, and fear of intimacy.
    To really love ourselves, we need to see the unique value and intrinsic beauty of who we are without any externally imposed definitions. To begin to do this, take the time to tell yourself all the things that you like about yourself. And do it often.

Clear Your History:

    Part of showing up as our best selves is to be in the present moment as much as possible. This means that our previous experiences need to be left where they belong – in the past. To do this, people typically undergo a process wherein they remember the past, understand how it effected them and then disentangle themselves from it.
    There are a number of different tools that people can use to clear themselves of aspects of their past that no longer serve them. For example, there is EFT, Access Consciousness, energy work, Core Energetics and the list goes on. If you’re wanting to create a different baseline for yourself, it’s helpful to find a method that you can use to continually reinforce your new way of being.
    To clear your history, try on a few methods that you sense would be a good fit. Then keep an open mind while you see if they’re effective for you. It takes a little while to clear your past from your present, so give this process some time. As you do this your awareness will increase and old feelings might come to the surface. When in a relationship, sometimes it’s helpful to let the other person know when something from your past has been activated and communicate what you need when this happens.

Own Your Stuff:

    Nothing makes a relationship stronger than integrity. The biggest gift you can give yourself is know and own your contributions to your relationships – both in the positive and in the negative.
    When things get difficult in a relationship, look for the ways that you’ve contributed to the problem. Simply ask yourself: “is there anything that I would have done better or differently if I had remained in full integrity?” If the answer is yes, then do your best to make right on what you know you could have done better.

When we’re unclear about how our own issues influence our relationships we’re likely to do unintentional damage. When we’re unconscious of our unresolved feelings about our past, we’re more likely to blame, shame and guilt others when those unresolved feelings are triggered. It’s only when we’re aware of our contributions to the state of our relationships and able to stay in our integrity that we can create environments in which our relationships can thrive.

Paths to Healing

Paths to Healing

When it comes down to it, everything I’ve studied and practiced over the past 20 years has been about healing. I’ve looked at healing from spiritual, material, creative, energetic, psychological and physical perspectives. Today, both my business and personal development work focuses on how I can best facilitate and teach healing practices.

And so, for this week’s article, I’m going to talk about ways you can incorporate healing practices into your everyday life.

Paths to Healing

What helps us heal? This is a big question.

From my experience, I can say that healing methods help a person – or in some cases a group of people – heal themselves. These methods often include one or more of the following perspectives or techniques:

The Big YES!

    The first step to healing comes when we honor our truth and accept it fully. This easy access to healing could be called the big YES! And this YES! is ultimately about alignment. Our joy, our natural flow, and easy expression of our core selves is most present when our actions and choices are in alignment with how we truly feel.

    We can use the big YES! to bring healing to institutions, ecosystems, and even home environments. This happens when – as a business or as a society – we make sure our actions match the missions we collectively set for ourselves.

    To bring more healing into your life, first pay attention to what you love. Then, chose to do more of it. When people talk about “doing what you love” and “finding your bliss” they are acknowledging this healing tenant.

Bring Together What is Supportive

    When we heal, we bring together things that add to our well-being. Think of this in terms of nourishment. We take vitamins and minerals to feed our bodies what they need to heal. So, if we see a lack of health in one area of our lives, we can ask ourselves: what’s undercutting my sense of well-being and what can I bring into my life that will support it?

    To bring healing into our lives, we can exercise, feed ourselves good food and surround ourselves with good company. We can turn to supportive friends and institutions when in need. And we can turn-inward and ask ourselves what things or which people truly support us.

Remove What is Unsupportive

    Sometimes, adding support to our lives is not enough. Sometimes we need to remove what’s not supportive. The climbing wisteria might be destroying the building. The delicious meal might contain an allergen. There are times when what was once supportive stops being so. For example, you may have shared a supportive relationship with someone that stopped being supportive as you and the other person changed. If this is the case, it might be time to end the relationship. And, sometimes things appear to have no use – or at worst, might be doing harm. We cut out cancer. We medicate depression. These illnesses interrupt our health, so we work as best we can to remove them from our lives.

    One thing we can do to partner with our health is to pay attention to our inner critic. When we observe our inner critic at work – and especially when we catch ourselves in a moment of negative self-talk – we can chose to tune into a more positive inner voice. Over time, we can work to remove our inner critic from our inner council.

    We can also look through our life to find the things that no longer serve us. We can elect to let these things go even if our sense of nostalgia has us hanging on.

Focus on What We Want

    The whole point of intention and positive thinking is to help orient us in the direction we want to go. When we bring an intention to our lives, we focus our attention on a desirable outcome or behavior. We might dedicate our intention towards our self-empowerment or towards creating an ideal business.

    If you want to use intention and positive thinking to bolster your life, add things to your environment that remind you of your goals. You can also set your intention at the beginning of every day or each event. This will keep your intention fresh and will help you steadily achieve your goals.

Mend What is Broken

    One of the words associated with healing is “mending”. Sometimes things get torn apart. We mend a broken bone, a busted fence and even a broken heart. In Shamanic traditions, soul retrieval is a form of mending. It reconnects a person with previously disconnected parts of themselves.

    Mending usually emerges out of necessity. We mend something after it has been broken. So, pay attention to how many things in your life are broken. Do you have broken objects, broken relationships, or broken agreements that need to be mended so that you can move in the direction of your healing? If so, begin to put effort into fixing these things so that they no longer drain your energy.

When you bring healing into your life, you’re likely to be working with these basic techniques to promote your well-being. As you become more and more familiar with these healing methods, it becomes easier to build them into your life, business, or environment in ways that maintain and strengthen your health.

Co-Creative Leadership and the Power of Engagement

Co-Creative Leadership and the Power of Engagement

I’ve learned a LOT about leadership while growing my business. I cannot say these have been easy lessons. I’ve probably made every mistake in the book. I’ve been too hands off. I’ve been too rigid. My standards have – at times – been out of reach. In those moments, I’ve let my frustration get the better of me.

I know that there are people who choose leadership roles to boost their ego. Yet, I’ve found that leadership is a profound and often under-appreciated form of service.

This post talks about co-creative leadership, and explores the skills necessary for it. I believe these are skills that become more and more essential in our lives as time goes on.

Co-Creative Leadership and the Power of Engagement

We all need to learn leadership skills. However, how we put those skills to work differs from person to person and from goal to goal. While some people want to command authority, others want to inspire and engage. While some people think of leadership as a solitary act, others see it as a part of a broader group effort.

Co-creative leadership is about engaging others to tackle the task at hand. It’s about facilitating growth and change while accomplishing a shared goal. With your family, co-creative leadership can be used to make a group decision about a family vacation. If you’re a part of a team, it might be used to make a joint decision about when and where you’re going to practice. And, in your business, you might use it to find new ways to be more efficient, so that you have more time to spend with family.

Creatively Contribute to the “Whole”

    In co-creative leadership, you’re not managing people; you’re managing projects. This is a powerful distinction.

    The fact is that people don’t need to be managed most of the time. If they need to be managed in the workplace, they might be more of a liability than an asset to your business. If they need to be managed at home, you might be missing an opportunity to empower your children or to partner with your spouse. And, if your friends, colleagues and acquaintances need to be managed, you’re either taking too much responsibility for those around you or you’re not with your peers.

    People need to know “why” they’re doing something. This means that they need to support the vision and understand their role. They feel engaged in making contributions to the vision and feel empowered to grow it. This usually happens when people help shape the vision and when they’re put in roles where they’re experts and respected as such.

Changing Yourself to Engage Others

    We cannot facilitate co-creative leadership without first taking a good look at ourselves. What I teach people in my programs is this: if you have an issue, you will keep running into that issue. And leadership magnifies your issues.

    So if you’re in a leadership position and experiencing difficulty with the people around you, pause and take stock of yourself. Effective leaders are able to take a candid look at themselves. They have a strong sense of when they’re in integrity and they’re able to make adjustments and apologies for where they’re not. Leaders tend to run into problems when they take too much or too little responsibility for the problems at hand. They also run into problems when they take too much or too little responsibility for the actions of others. As in all other areas of life, leadership demands that we first look at ourselves and assess our contribution to the situation in order to be most effective.

Opening Communication and Bridging Divides

    Communication is a necessary part of any relationship. It becomes particularly important when in a leadership position. A leader must be able to effectively communicate with all parties involved. They must also be able to facilitate communication between individuals and within groups. Communication requires compassion and clarity. It also requires a good measure of personal development work.

    Strong communicators have the ability to understand others and use the words necessary to express concepts and plans so that there can be as much engagement as possible. Unfortunately, many people have had negative experiences communicating with others. They’ve had conversations where they did not feel seen, heard, or respected. Because of this, many people do not show up to the conversation. A leader is able to bring everyone to the table, open the channels of dialogue and facilitate involvement. A leader also enables team-members to grow their skills so that they can adeptly handle tasks on their own. This takes a combined effort of personal development enhanced communication skills on the part of the leader.

Creating the Win/Win/Win

    A win/win is a two-sided victory. We need to be willing to create wins for every party involved. As a family, this means that the family trip can’t be just about making the parents happy or the kids happy. In business, this means that we need to think about how what we offer benefits our customers, employees, owners, community, and environment.

Yet, most critical to this aspect of co-creative leadership is the collective development of new ways of thinking about partnership and responsibility, participation and benefit. As leaders, it’s important to put concerted effort towards understanding how things can benefit as many people as possible. When our goal is to support others, we co-create opportunities that have the maximum potential benefit for all involved.