Stop the Bleeding

 

 

“It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding.

 

That Dylan line came to mind as I wrote about a painful experience recently.

 

This about how to stop the bleeding.

 

It was our first Toastmasters meeting online. We had had a training session earlier in the week, which gave me confidence. But, as you will read, it didn’t end well.  At least in my mind.

Apparently, it was much worse in my head than it may have appeared to others. I often have people at Toastmasters tell me how relaxed I appear when I am speaking. For me, it’s usually more like that picture of the duck. Calm on top of the water and paddling like hell underneath.

Here is the email I sent to my fellow Toastmasters a week ago last Wednesday afternoon. I mention some of the feedback At the end, I mention some of the feedback I received, and lessons learned.

But first the story.

Dear Fellow Toastmasters

I felt that my talk this morning was the worst I’d given in years. I thought I’d write about my experience for the therapeutic value, and in case something may be useful to you. I say that without knowing right now exactly what I’m going to say.  I’m trusting the process. 

When I have a bad experience I try to learn from it. In some cases, I can find that I can develop a story that can be useful in coaching. It can be useful to examine a bad experience to look for how I was responsible. So here goes. 

First things first, I was not well-rehearsed. In the days prior to my speech, I was finding it difficult to be clear about what I wanted to say.  Things kept changing so fast with the virus and becoming more serious. I noticed that it felt somewhat intimidating to think that I had something to say that would help you with your wellbeing. That’s called reaction. But I didn’t see it clearly for what it was. My shadow of insecurity showing up.

The thing about ‘reaction’, is that it’s often transparent. Difficult to see it when you are in it. 

Of course, I’d been taking in reactive energy, along with everyone else, for the past few weeks. I think I underestimated its effect. My big mistake is too much social media. It makes me crazy. Plus every conversation is about the virus.

In my speech, I talked about the key idea of ‘focus’… of changing your focus to get out of a reactive state. It’s true enough, but…in my experience, it’s impossible to do when I’m in the ‘grips’ of reaction. Once reaction changes your body chemistry your toast.  Your cortisol levels rise to put you in fight-flight-freeze mode. You can’t just stop that like the flipping of a switch.

You have to let it subside. Give it space and time. Take a break from the whole thing. Get back to balance to be able to shift your focus to a better way of being and begin to generate new action that boosts your dopamine to cause you to feel better.

After the meeting this morning, Raymonde and I went for a walk. Then had some lunch and watched a bit of TV. Here it is about 3 pm and I feel ready to write about the experience. 

At this point, most of us may be close to our ‘stress threshold’. Which means it won’t take much to tip us over. I’ve noticed myself being a bit edgy. That’s a sign. Having our routines completely turned upsidedown is very disruptive to our nervous systems. It makes us fragile. But again, we may not see it. 

As a result of not being able to decide what I wanted to say, I left it too late. I’d told myself that it would come clear to me just in time. After all, I’ve been doing this stuff for years. 

But I was still changing my talk yesterday. I talked to Raymonde about it and she got me straight. “Just talk about ‘reaction’!”… Right. “Stick to the basics”. It’s not about training it’s about informing and encouraging. I rewrote my talk did a few run-throughs for timing yesterday afternoon. It felt pretty good. I thought I’d be ok. Kidding myself perhaps:)

Morning came early. I woke up at 4:30 am and felt anxious. Lack of rehearsal haunting me. I did a run-through about 7:30 and it didn’t feel good.

8 am came and off we went with Neil leading the way on Zoom. About 30 minutes in, my wifi connection to Zoom dropped out. My reception varies from day to day and today was a weak day. I moved around my office and reconnected and lost connection several times. Finally, I went into the house where the modem is and reconnected just in time to hear my intro by Sarah and Neil.

I plunged in with notes in hand. I was having a strong case of imposter syndrome. Here I was in a state of reaction, completely jiggled, and having lost my concentration, blathering away about wellbeing and how to manage your reaction. And the new feature… being able to watch myself on camera at the same time! Perfect.

I also realized that I had not pinned Sheila, who was our timer, and so I couldn’t see her and I Iwas wondering where I was with my time. More distraction.

I just wanted it to be over! 

And then to cap it off I had my evaluation from Sarah. She seemed perplexed. I thought she was kind. She called me later to ask if I was ok. I was a long way from OK. We talked. I assured her that her evaluation was fine. 

So there you have it. I feel better:) I hope it’s of some value to you too.

See you next time. “

________

I received a variety of responses with different themes.

  • You think your day was bad.

  • Get back on the horse my boy. ( I liked that one best.)

  • Wow, I had no idea. You looked so relaxed.

  • Amazing to hear what was going on as you were speaking.

  • Thanks for sharing. I can relate.

_______

 

Two Ways to Rebalance

 

A Breath Practice:  The practice is from the Institute of Heartmath. “Breathe feelings of peace and love through your heart area for a few minutes to set a calm and genuine tone.

Notice it says breathe feelings. That means you have to access those feelings by recalling a time when you had those feelings and then bring those feelings to your heart area. You do that with an image of a pet or a baby or someone you love or a scene that elicits feelings of love. This is immediately effective and the more you do it the more beneficial for your immune system and feelings of wellbeing.

Name Your feelings.   Sometimes, like in the story I shared above, we feel overwhelmed. A blur of powerful emotions. Know that It’s not what is happening now. That’s just the trigger. The source is your childhood emotional imprinting (and learned personality ego defences). You may have thought you were over it. But here it is rushing back uncontrollably. You may be so overwhelmed that you can’t think clearly. It may be way out of proportion to what just happened.

If we can be present enough to see what is happening we can use writing to clarify the cause. Once we settle down a bit. When you start you may not know what you are going to write, but if you begin with a question such as… What words name what I am feeling? Name your feeling, It may surprise you. Then you can begin to write out your story.

Usually, it’s something like this. You had a ‘feeling’ goal and a story of how things were to be. And then life happened and the story was shattered. And it was out of your control. And you got caught off guard. And you were triggered into reaction. Embarrassment, fear, anger, rage, depression. Start by naming it and you will take back your power. 

The benefit is not only clarity. It is also that you feel better because you have your story out of your body and on paper in front of you. You have it now. It doesn’t have you.

More about the Heartmath practice…

https://www.heartmath.org/calendar-of-events/special-care-focus-2-rise-of-the-human-spirit/

 

Sex Toys and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sex Toy Sales are Way Up

Chocolate Chip Cookies are King

and other important research findings

 

Every Saturday morning I look forward to receiving a blog from John Dick. He titles his blog ”‘What we are seeing”. John runs a large US marketing research company. “Now steadily over 5 million (polls) every 24 hours. That’s like 1,000 people answering a 20-question survey every 5 minutes. Almost all of it is about the coronavirus because almost everything is about the coronavirus right now.”

One of the distinguishing features of John’s blog is his “Dick stories”. A favourite story that he shared was being out for breakfast with his kids one morning. They got to talking about their family name. They all have to contend with people making “Dick jokes”. John asked the kids if they wished they had another name. “No way”, said his young daughter, in a loud voice. “ I love Dick! ” The restaurant went quiet.  The Dick stories keep coming. Almost every week.

 A Key Finding 

Civic-mindedness is way up.  The Latin roots of the word ‘civic’ are community, selflessness, oneness. “And that’s what’s happening right now. At scale.” ( The name of John’s research company, Civic Science)

We’ve all seen this around the globe, the pictures are amazingly similar. People cooperating to stay safe and create new ways to be connected. Acts of kindness everywhere. 

Could this give birth to new meaning to the term ‘globalism’? People voluntarily cooperating with a sense of global community and a sense of oneness. Instead of the current meaning of globalism. Corporations with a global perspective for the sake of maximizing profits. No loyalty to the country that helped them get started. Avoid taxes by lobbying government and using every loophole possible. 

Other things they are “seeing” (click for more)

People are taking a lot more vitamins

Hiking is up (get it?). Especially among younger people

Food delivery is booming, relatively speaking, especially among remote workers. 

Weed is kind of in-between. Cannabis use is down appreciably since the start of the crisis mostly because the dispensaries have been closed. But the majority of people nonprofits or tipping service providers, (people) are giving;

People snacking more! We studied the most popular quarantine comfort foods and other indulgences (Spoiler: Chocolate chip cookies are king).

Generosity is way up. Whether it’s supporting local businesses, donating to nonprofits, or tipping service providers.

___________

 If you’d like to subscribe to “What we are seeing: Sign up here. If you are new to this list, check out our Top Ten to get caught up. 

 

Inspired by Friends

 

Inspired by my Friends!

That’s how 2020 started for me.

 

Guest blogger Becky Beaton

First, there was Becky’s story in January.

Feeling blue on Christmas day, Becky decided to visit a friend in the hospital. “Nobody should be alone on Christmas Day,” she thought.  It was a heartwarming story. Several of you commented.

A ripple effect. After the blog went out, I started a New Years’ clean up of my ‘contacts list’.  I saw the names of people I hadn’t connected with for years. Perhaps inspired by Becky’s story, I decided to surprise them with New Years’ greetings, and a bit of update news. The result was several wonderful responses. 

 

If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them.”― Bob Dylan

 

Surprise call! While I was updating my contacts, I received an unexpected call from my old friend Robin Jones. “Just to say Happy New Year”. Robin and I go back about 50 years. I lived with Robin and his first wife when I was a young man in Toronto. 

Robin and his wife Kit moved to Vancouver Island a few years ago. Sadly, Kit died last year of dementia. He’s thinking of writing a book about the 12-year ordeal. Perhaps the main difference between age 65 and 75 is increasing challenges and conversations about death and dying. “Not for sissies” indeed.

After our call, I realized that Robin is a good example of the ‘New Retirement’ philosophy in action. “Seek meaning, purpose and adventure”. I started to write and is this is the result.

 Friendly Observations 

Naturally resilient. Robin may have been fortunate in that his Enneagram personality type is the ‘Enthusiast’. Enthusiasts are naturally upbeat. Their feeling goal is to have fun and create fun for others. Even, perhaps especially, in difficult times. 

Robin Jones. Enthusiast!

 

“Don’t Let the Old Man In.” Robin has fun with his dress. Another expression of the Enthusiast. In addition to his yellow outfit pictured above, he has a blue outfit a red outfit and a white outfit. Maybe more. To me, as a man, it’s an expression of the movie theme song for The Mule. “Don’t let the old man in“. Link below.

The Joke Master. Ever the Enthusiast, Robin often starts or ends conversations with a joke. This call was no exception. “You can use this one at Toastmasters”, he laughed. A clean joke. I told his joke a couple of weeks ago when I was Jokemaster. It was a solid hit! For me, telling a joke is a challenge. I’m always afraid I’m going to screw it up. So thanks, Robin!

 

He keeps working. Although his degree was in town planning, Robin became a renovator. He’s still doing renovation work, but at a slower pace. He sets his own terms; starting late and quitting early. “ I like to start my day at a leisurely pace,” he says. 

He’s not working to just stay busy, or to make money, although the extra money is nice.  It’s clear talking to him that it’s about meaningful service and pleasant relationships. He seems to have a few regular clients.  Like partnerships. They’d have to appreciate his sense of humour. 🙂

 

There were dark days! Years ago Robin had a drinking problem. He was divorced and broke. I’m happy to say that he found the will to turn himself around. He quit drinking in “March of 1989”.  For ten years Robin worked hard to rebuild his life.

 

Then he got a Lucky break. One day in 1999 I got a call from Robin. “ Mike, you won’t believe it, I just won a million dollars”. He was right, I didn’t believe him. I thought it was just Robin being Robin. But I quickly realized that it was no joke. He’d won a million bucks on scratch and win. Fortunately, Robin had a good friend in ‘wealth management’ to help him take care of his money. 

 

The Romantic. Enthusiasts often have a part of them that likes to retreat and play with words.  You may have noticed that comedians first have to write their jokes. Robin’s creative outlet is writing. A couple of years ago Robin romanced a woman by writing her a new poem every day for twelve months!  Then she dumped him:) She probably tells a story about being pursued by a mad poet.    

 

Award-winning writer. One day Robin discovered a treasure trove of his childhood letters to Santa. He decided to turn them into a book for kids. It’s called ‘Letter from Santa Clause’. Letter from Santa Claus by Robin Jones – Goodreads 

 

A labour of love. To promote his book, Robin attended book fairs across the country last year. He cautions that writing a book is not about getting rich it’s about the joy of the experience. The promotion expenses can be substantial. Always the optimist Robin hopes that “someone from China will buy the rights” and the money will pour in.

In a recent conversation with Robin, I found out a couple of things I didn’t’ know. 

He gives away silver dollars. It’s his unique way of showing appreciation to people. “There’s some kind of magic about silver dollars,” he says.  He’s often amazed at the reactions he gets from people when he gives them a silver dollar. “Maybe it’s childhood memories of grandpa giving them silver dollars” he speculates. One thing’s for sure, it always brings a smile.

 

“ My job in life”. One of the key ideas in the ‘New Retirement Program’ is to find a noble aim. Having a noble aim “creates order out of chaos”.“The nobler your aim the better your life”.  Here’s what it looks like for Robin.

 

 “I tell people that my work is renovation and that I do love the writing.

But I think my job in life is to make people happyto make them laugh!

*********

 

 

Inspired by My Friends

 

Inspired by my Friends!

That’s how 2020 started for me.

Guest blogger Becky Beaton

First, there was Becky’s story in January.

Feeling blue on Christmas day, Becky decided to visit a friend in the hospital. “Nobody should be alone on Christmas Day,” she thought.  It was a heartwarming story. Several of you commented.

A ripple effect. After the blog went out, I started a New Years’ clean up of my ‘contacts list’.  I saw the names of people I hadn’t connected with for years. Perhaps inspired by Becky’s story, I decided to surprise them with New Years’ greetings, and a bit of update news. The result was several wonderful responses. 

 

If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them.”― Bob Dylan

 

Surprise call! While I was updating my contacts, I received an unexpected call from my old friend Robin Jones. “Just to say Happy New Year”. Robin and I go back about 50 years. I lived with Robin and his first wife when I was a young man in Toronto. 

Robin and his wife Kit moved to Vancouver Island a few years ago. Sadly, Kit died last year of dementia. He’s thinking of writing a book about the 12-year ordeal. Perhaps the main difference between age 65 and 75 is increasing challenges and conversations about death and dying. “Not for sissies” indeed.

After our call, I realized that Robin is a good example of the ‘New Retirement’ philosophy in action. “Seek meaning, purpose and adventure”. I started to write and is this is the result.

 Friendly Observations 

Naturally resilient. Robin may have been fortunate in that his Enneagram personality type is the ‘Enthusiast’. Enthusiasts are naturally upbeat. Their feeling goal is to have fun and create fun for others. Even, perhaps especially, in difficult times. 

Robin Jones. Enthusiast!

 

“Don’t Let the Old Man In.” Robin has fun with his dress. Another expression of the Enthusiast. In addition to his yellow outfit pictured above, he has a blue outfit a red outfit and a white outfit. Maybe more. To me, as a man, it’s an expression of the movie theme song for The Mule. “Don’t let the old man in“. Link below.

The Joke Master. Ever the Enthusiast, Robin often starts or ends conversations with a joke. This call was no exception. “You can use this one at Toastmasters”, he laughed. A clean joke. I told his joke a couple of weeks ago when I was Jokemaster. It was a solid hit! For me, telling a joke is a challenge. I’m always afraid I’m going to screw it up. So thanks, Robin!

 

He keeps working. Although his degree was in town planning, Robin became a renovator. He’s still doing renovation work, but at a slower pace. He sets his own terms; starting late and quitting early. “ I like to start my day at a leisurely pace,” he says. 

He’s not working to just stay busy, or to make money, although the extra money is nice.  It’s clear talking to him that it’s about meaningful service and pleasant relationships. He seems to have a few regular clients.  Like partnerships. They’d have to appreciate his sense of humour. 🙂

 

There were dark days! Years ago Robin had a drinking problem. He was divorced and broke. I’m happy to say that he found the will to turn himself around. He quit drinking in “March of 1989”.  For ten years Robin worked hard to rebuild his life.

 

Then he got a Lucky break. One day in 1999 I got a call from Robin. “ Mike, you won’t believe it, I just won a million dollars”. He was right, I didn’t believe him. I thought it was just Robin being Robin. But I quickly realized that it was no joke. He’d won a million bucks on scratch and win. Fortunately, Robin had a good friend in ‘wealth management’ to help him take care of his money. 

 

The Romantic. Enthusiasts often have a part of them that likes to retreat and play with words.  You may have noticed that comedians first have to write their jokes. Robin’s creative outlet is writing. A couple of years ago Robin romanced a woman by writing her a new poem every day for twelve months!  Then she dumped him:) She probably tells a story about being pursued by a mad poet.    

 

Award-winning writer. One day Robin discovered a treasure trove of his childhood letters to Santa. He decided to turn them into a book for kids. It’s called ‘Letter from Santa Clause’. Letter from Santa Claus by Robin Jones – Goodreads 

 

A labour of love. To promote his book, Robin attended book fairs across the country last year. He cautions that writing a book is not about getting rich it’s about the joy of the experience. The promotion expenses can be substantial. Always the optimist Robin hopes that “someone from China will buy the rights” and the money will pour in.

In a recent conversation with Robin, I found out a couple of things I didn’t’ know. 

He gives away silver dollars. It’s his unique way of showing appreciation to people. “There’s some kind of magic about silver dollars,” he says.  He’s often amazed at the reactions he gets from people when he gives them a silver dollar. “Maybe it’s childhood memories of grandpa giving them silver dollars” he speculates. One thing’s for sure, it always brings a smile.

 

“ My job in life”. One of the key ideas in the ‘New Retirement Program’ is to find a noble aim. Having a noble aim “creates order out of chaos”.“The nobler your aim the better your life”.  Here’s what it looks like for Robin.

 

 “I tell people that my work is renovation and that I do love the writing.

But I think my job in life is to make people happyto make them laugh!

*********

 

 

A Gift of Friendship

 

‘This Christmas I was given the best gift ever;

experiencing the value of friendship.’

Guest blogger, Becky Beaton

Guest blogger Becky Beaton

Late Christmas eve, I realized that I was going to be alone on Christmas Day.  Feeling melancholy, I decided to spend Christmas day with my best buddy Jane. She was recovering from surgery at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.  

No one should be alone at Christmas. Much less someone in a hospital!

*******

The minimal decorations I brought were strewn around the room. A goofy stuffed Christmas dinosaur clung to the IV pole. I wore my gaudy Christmas sweater and dangly snowflake earrings. For Jane, I’d brought a Santa hat and my favourite beaded Santa earrings. The Lions Gate Foundation gave every patient a small poinsettia. Jane’s plant was on the window sill.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

*******

We laughed and giggled until it hurt. We toasted with orange juice. And we hailed “Merry Christmas” to everyone we met on our ward walkabout. We got warm smiles and “Merry Christmas” in reply…. It was joyful and we were having fun playing.

*******

My time with Jane was short and sweet. She was fading and needed her bed. Time to leave. My mood on the ferry ride home was sombre. I pondered what makes a true friend, and why is having a close friendship so fragile.

*******

Having close friends is wonderful, but they need tender care. Complete faith and trust in each other have to be protected. One unintentional slip can threaten the connection.  Courage, love, acceptance and forgiveness may all be required to mend the damage. If it is not meant to be, let it go graciously and be truly thankful for the fond memories and time shared.

*******

A true friend can share anything honestly, and be intimate, trusting and caring. Although most of mine live a distance away, we will always be there for each other, no matter what we may say or do.  When we do get together, we catch up as if we never parted. There is no judgement… no competition. Kerfuffles are resolved by talking and listening to each other.

We feel free to say ‘I Love You’.

I can count on my hand, four true friends. I feel blessed. True friends are few and far between. Hold on to them tightly, they are treasures. True friends are forever.

*******

 “The best portion of your life will be the

small nameless moments smiling with someone who matters to you.”

Unknown

 

Choose Joyfulness Every Day

 

Choose joyfulness every day.

You probably had someone wish you “a joyful New Year”.

That’s a nice sentiment, but it won’t happen by someone wishing it for you.

Or even wishing it for yourself. You have to choose it.

 

I was reminded of this by watching a Sadhguru video early this morning. If you are a YouTube fan, you may know of him. I find him relatable and practical.

 

One of his teachings is about joyfulness.

Before I encountered his teaching on joyfulness, I would have said to myself that to aspire to ‘joy’ as a constant would be over the top. Not realistic. An irritating idea. Certainly not an expectation I would have for every day. I’d settle for contentment or satisfaction or peace. But joyfulness? Not likely. And I would have been wrong!

 

In ‘Five Life Hacks for 2020′, the first hack is how to create joyfulness every day.

It occurred to me as a perfect New Years’ challenge.

Here’s the simple practice…

Start every day start with a question.

Shall I be miserable or joyful?

 

If you choose to be ‘joyful’, you may notice that you feel lighter,

brighter, and more optimistic right away.

Now do it every morning:)

Let’s create a joyful new year!

 

Sadhguru talks about creating joyfulness. Start at 0.30. You may have to drag it back.

New Life Focus

The theme of ‘new life’ had a special meaning this month with the arrival of our granddaughter Shalamay Worsfold. 

I also gave birth to a new song called ‘Take the Stage’.

About giving birth to a new self.

I sang the song at our MorningStars Toastmasters last week

at the home of one of our members. Shortly after 7 am I might add:)

 

Take The Stage 

 

I know you’ve got a secret dream 

Of who you’re meant to be 

Your future self is calling you 

Yearning to be free 

 

When I saw who you could be 

You felt like you’d been busted

Now your secret’s out

I wonder if you trust it

                       

Chorus

Your destiny is calling you

                        No place now to hide                      

It’s time to take the stage 

The world is open wide

 

Your life is going to change

No more playing small

Your dream is coming true now

Stand up strong and tall

 

I see your fancy coloured sox 

I know they’re all the rage

They’re sure to boost your confidence 

When you take the stage

 

Not many people feel the joy 

Of betting on their dreams

There’s really nothing like it

And It’s safer than it seems

 

    Chorus        

©. December 2019

In tribute to Katherine Scott,

fellow Toastmaster and mentor, who died this month.

Katherine helped me start this blog earlier this year. She will be missed.

Change Management 2

 

To all New Retirement Subscribers,

Apparently some people on the list were not notified of my Sunday blog.

Click on the link https://www.enneagramcoach.ca/enneagram/

The topic is managing the stress and costs of ‘reaction’.

I wrote this because I see reaction everywhere and experience myself despite years of work.

The blog summarizes tools that I have learned over the past 20 years.

I hope you find the information useful.

I would appreciate your feedback. Useful? Not useful? Comments? Questions?

‘Like’ comments are great but what is better is feedback about usefulness.

Thank you,

Michael.

Mastering Change

Mastering Change

 

A reactive experience goes something like this.

A change occurs.

That creates a problem that stops you.

You feel helpless and powerless and you are stuck!

You just want to get something done and you can’t. It’s infuriating!

Usually, you are pretty easy going, but this time, it’s been a bad week, you are hungry and tired and this pushes you over the edge.

You lose it. You feel enraged… you want to smash something.

You seriously want this problem to go away. NOW!

But it just sits there… mocking you.

 

So you lash out!  You fire off an angry email. You cancel your program, you quit your association, you quit your job, you quit that relationship. You walk away. You call somebody and let them have it, or attack some innocent bystander. Perhaps you retreat into a dark place and cut yourself off from people. The stress is too much to bear!

And then… there’s the morning after.  You wake up to the carnage.  You start realizing the consequences of your reactive actions. The people you hurt. How you hurt yourself.  What you’ve lost. The guilt. The regret. The embarrassment. If only you could pull that back. 

You may still justify your actions, but you know that it goes deeper. There are times when anger is appropriate, but the equivalent of road rage over some relatively minor problem isn’t one of them. If we are honest with ourselves, we all know the difference. 

Perhaps you can’t pull your actions back, but you may be able to do some cleanup. Acknowledgement is a good start. You may or may not want to change your decision. Perhaps you can’t change it.  But an apology might do wonders. People are generally understanding.

You might still be able to ask for help to solve the problem that had you so activated. I know… asking for help is a stretch.:)

This description may sound extreme. But we all have experienced something like this. This blog is about how to deal with it when it happens, and how to prevent such reactive breakdowns from occurring.

Managing Autopilot Reactions

The pace of change: Technology driven change is getting faster and faster. The more change there is, the more problems we have. Problems tend to accumulate, not go away. We experience change as a threat. When we feel threatened we react defensively. It’s wired into us. 

Solutions, not sedation: Our first reaction to change is often resentment and resistance. If the stress and depression get too much we want to escape. We may act out, or we may ask our friendly doctor for help. But usually, we don’t need sedation, we need solutions to life problems. 

Guidelines for Managing Reactivity in Times of Change

One: Self Observation: It starts with observing yourself in reaction. You can be conscious and self-aware. You are not your reaction. You are the observer and the chooser. You can observe yourself in reaction, and knowing that you are at risk, you can make a wiser choice.

Two: Responsibility: Seeing yourself in reaction, and seeing your compulsion to blame and complain, you can choose to accept responsibility for managing your reactions. You’ve heard it said that pain is a fact of life, and that suffering is a choice. But it’s really only a choice if you are aware that you have a choice. Otherwise, you become victimized by your lack of options. 

It is not easy to accept responsibility for your reactive state. It’s much easier to be the victim and blame someone or something else, but it’s costly. Accepting responsibility is the way through.

Three: From Reaction to Response. This may be the most basic strategy. Finding yourself in reaction you ask yourself -What would be a more appropriate, more effective response? You may be surprised. The answers come immediately. 

Four: Notice your mood: We think of mood in terms of ‘good mood’ or ‘bad mood’. But it actually more complicated than that. And more important. Your mood, your emotional state, predisposes you for action.  Living in a mood of resentment you are resistant. Creativity dies. Your inner conversation is words of complaining and blaming. You ‘sentence’ yourself to prison. But the door is not locked.

The Mood Continuum

The mood continuum shows the steps to free yourself from negative moods.

Resignation >>>>Resentment>>>>Acceptance>>>>Ambition

You can stay stuck in resignation or resentment and continue to blame and complain, which will spoil your experience and make you less effective. You can walk away in a huff, which may cost you more. Or, you can simply accept what is, take responsibility for moving out of your victim state, and shift to a state of ambition.  Stop letting the problem run you. Decide to take back your power and master the problem.

In my experience once you see where you are on this continuum, and what it’s costing you, it’s relatively easy to shift your state to acceptance and then ambition,  it’s amazing how fast it works. It is as simple as making a couple of decisions.

Five: Time out rule. If you are extremely reactive, your body chemistry has you in flight/fight mode.  You are not thinking clearly. The smart move is to take a time out. Go for a walk. Create space. Sleep on it. Allow your system to normalize. (Don’t push send until you reconsider the next day)

Six: Seek help from Google: I am constantly amazed at the answers I can find to the most basic questions. Especially tech problems. Got a problem?  Google your question. Make it a habit to save a lot of time and frustration.

It happened to me a couple of days ago. I noticed that I hadn’t received any email on my laptop for three days. I Googled for an answer. I couldn’t make sense of the answers that I found. So I slept on it. Came back the next day. Tried again. I found the Mailbox bar that I couldn’t find before. I followed the instructions to click ‘receive mail’ and voila I was back in business. It feels good to solve these problems yourself.

Seven: Ask for help: This is an advanced strategy:) There’s this thing called ‘asking for help’. It’s amazing what can happen. I have had to seek help a number of times this year with tech problems. People have been very willing and very helpful. Sometimes just talking about the problem helps solve it.

Eight: Change Your Way of Being: I tell a story about a reactive episode I had with our Apple TV. After fuming for some time, I said to myself  “You know better than this Mike. What is your current way of being? Angry and avoiding. How is that working? It’s not. What would be a more effective way of being?” The words “creative problem solver” came to mind. I kid you not. Right away I noticed my internal state shift. I called Apple support and we got it done.

Nine: Master it: Doing a minimum to get through a problem is the norm. That usually means that the problem will come back because you haven’t really mastered it.

As an example, I got my first Apple laptop a couple of years ago. They said learning to operate it would be ”intuitive”. Maybe for twelve years olds, but not for me. I struggled. Finally, I got some coaching from my son PJ. He said, “Dad, you have to master it.” That meant going online, finding the tutorials and spending time figuring it out step by step.  I got a few extra tips from PJ along the way and learned to collaborate with friends who were having similar problems. Soon I was able to function. I keep learning.

Note: When I say ‘mastery’ I mean pushing through to a place where you can function. There may be plenty more to learn. 

Summary: As the pace of change increases, we have more problems. We need to see that our basic problem is change management. There’s a natural cycle that starts with reactive emotions such as resentment and resistance. We may fall into fight or flight mode.  If we don’t see what is happening, we become the victims of our reactive state. We get stuck. We may say and do things that are costly and which we later regret. Mastery starts with self-observation. Seeing ourselves stuck in ‘reaction’ we can choose ‘response’; take back our power, be more effective, and improve the quality of our lives. It’s about managing change so it doesn’t manage us.

 

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 Launching a New Retirement Program in early December

 Two people are committed. Dates and time to tbd by the group.
 You could be one of 2-3 more who can make this an exciting group process.
 Below is the flyer.
 If you are interested in knowing more please call or email me. See below.
 Thank you, Michael

Coming of Age: The Inner Game

Thriving in your 50’s 60’s and beyond

    Conversations to energize and add joy to your life:

 

    • A new meaning for retirement: From pleasure to purpose.

    • The goal of wellbeing: Keeping the main thing the main thing.
    • The inner game: More wellbeing by navigating your life experiences.
    • Creating your ‘noble aim’: “The nobler your aim the better your life.”
    • Your story defines you: Author your ideal future. Your hero’s journey.
    • Speaking your story into reality: Declaring your new life with your ‘words’.
    • Be a ‘wise elder’ in training: Cultivate your ultimate asset; your wisdom. 

Best suited for: people contemplating retirement or already retired and looking to rejuvenate.
Process design: Not a ‘course’ but rather a process for creating and launching your new life. For cost-effectiveness, the process is done in small groups as demand arises. It consists of five 90 minute group sessions and two private coaching sessions. We aim for a spirit of ‘partnership’; helping each other to reach our goals.
To put your name on the list for the next date call 604 989 3657 or email mw@partneringdesigns.com
Investment: $295.00 Includes GST. Cheque or bank transfer to Partnering Designs inc.

The process is changing my life. Continually evolving. I am wholeheartedly grateful. 

Becky Beaton

 

www.enneagramcoach.ca