How do you grow in times like these

How do we grow in times like these?

We suck at allowing ourselves to get close to our pain and letting ourselves experience and express how bad it really feels.

We are reactive. Quick to judge and fix it because this, to some degree, masks the intensity of our pain, but only in the short term.

 

We are quick to not let the impact of what is happening reverberate through our spine, the message-carrier of our innate intelligence. We block it.

 

We feel a sensation in our spine, or some sharp nudging in another part of our body, and we swiftly move to try to fix it or stop the pain.

We react. We fill the gaps of silence. We jump to the next thought, never really allowing space nor time for all the ‘in-between’ to be and unravel itself.

 

Thus, never allowing the richness of our innate intelligence to speak to us from the very depths of our core.

 

And yet, it is in the ‘in-between’, where we never quite stay long enough, where integration and possibility lie dormant waiting for our full attention.  This is the space of growth and new intelligence. A new insight and vision.

 

Creativity and innovation are born from this very place. 

 

Not a rushed, quick, adrenalin-driven, product-focused innovation.  But one given time to fully unravel its true offerings. Something much more profound, discerning and impassioned.

 

We are on the verge of sensing and feeling much more than has ever been possible in the human history because we have evolved over the years.

 

The hardest things that we are having to learn right now, almost by sheer force, is the law of acceptance: the need to accept the opposites in life. The polarities of nature.

 

The only way forward is to see each others’ differences so that we can reclaim our true nature. Our incredible potential as human beings.

 

Yet, to truly do so,  we need to open up to seeing the other side of who we are, from within because:

 

Life exists as the result of tension between two extremes – male and female – positive and negative – yang and yin – pingala and ida – right and left breath – qualitative and quantitative. – Randolph Stone.

 

When we look within and accept the pain, or some dislike and judgment, we can look each other in the eyes and see each other as we are- not some projected chasm of our inner chaos.  For when see I myself whole, I see you whole.

 

I become curious about you. I want to know you and the gifts and differences that you bring to the world. I want to know you for you. And then, together we let something new, something unforeseeable transpire. Together, we become a part of global tapestry of change.

 

This starts with a conscious commitment to bringing different parts of ourselves into a greater whole. In other words, accepting ourselves as we are now in this moment. No buts, ifs, or when. Full stop.

 

So, how can you commit, on a whole new level, to more acceptance, growth, fortitude and trust?

 

Here are my seven commitments, my personal decelerations, that guide me in life and help me stay open and more accepting so I continue to learn and grow:

  1. I choose to see many sides of truth, not just mine. The minute I clutch to my truth, I ignore and judge another, thereby denying my own growth.
  2. I accept others’ differences and opposing views, even if I don’t agree with them. I can still stand in who I am.
  3. I stand up for myself and what I believe in. This needs no defending because it’s backed by integrity.
  4. There are many possibilities to a situation or a problem. It’s not so much my choice that I focus on but my intention instead. From there, the choice becomes clear.
  5. I don’t have all the answers but I have what I need in this given moment to be the best I can be and to live a full life.
  6. I know what I know. I don’t know what I don’t know. I’m a student of life like everyone else.
  7. I am enough.

What are you committed to in this life? What guides you day-in-and day-out? What brings you peace at night?

 

Make this a little conscious, even write it down, and bring it to the forefront of everything you do and let it be your motivator for change and service to others.

Dealing with Difficult People

The most common question I get asked about my work is: “Do you take your work home?”

The immediate answer is yes I do take my work home because my work is a part of who I am. But…

I don’t take my clients’ problems home.

This is what people really want to know. People are curious about how I deal with other people’s problems or pain. And this curiosity is symbolic of our need to learn to deal with our own shadows or sabotaging aspects of our psyche.

These are the parts that get triggered in our day-to-day life. Ones that make us angry, pissed off and bloody well-frustrated!

When I first started working as a psychologist in my mid-twenties I used to take my clients’ problems home – even if I wasn’t really aware of this at the time.

I was taking clients energy home without even realising it. In that energy were emotions, thoughts, beliefs and stories that clients held.

These were things that were left in the room. And yet somehow, like fluff that catches on to velcro, some bits stayed with me.

What made the fluff heavier over time was having high expectations of myself. I expected that I had to fix other people’s problems. I felt that I was somehow responsible for people getting better and realising their potential.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was merely a facilitator of change. I was the catalyst for change for those who were ready to change.

I had to learn how to set firm boundaries with myself and clients in order to be a strong catalyst for change.

The many times I tried to do fix their problems or take their pain away, my work felt heavy and hard. It drained and disconnected me from my own guidance and wisdom.

After a long windy journey, I’ve come to appreciate and love that my role as a powerful catalyst for change requires me to be present with clients.

Why do I love this now? Because when I’m present our sessions are more energising, uplifting, inspiring…and life-changing!

When we connect to our life-force we invite more life-force into every part of our life. This is when life starts to flow more and we start to get glimpses of joy. 

I disrespected this quality of loving presence because I felt that it wasn’t enough. And that I wasn’t enough if I wasn’t pulling tools out of my therapist’s box.

Little did I know at the time, that the most essential part of my work was being powerfully present with my clients – and of course myself.

Presence is the key to unlocking our potential. 

When people are given the chance to be heard and to feel safe they can dive deep into their own wisdom and find answers.

“Given appropriate support and the means for release through surrender of ego control, we have an inner radar that knows what issues, in what order and what timing is required for the healing of our psyche”. Grof (2000).

So back to dealing with difficult people and “the how of it”…

When you encounter difficult/challenging people here are a few guiding posts:

1) Become a vessel of presence.
Don’t seek to defend, protect, hide or have all the answers. Here, practice makes progress. See yourself in your mind’s eye as a solid tree with strong roots extending into the ground.

2) Be one with your breath. 
Breathe into your belly and all the way up into your chest – this may feel counter-intuitive at first unless you’re a baby. But this way of breathing allows us to open up and be available to the needs of the situation at hand.

Holding breath in any part of our body is holding out on life and on our trust in the ability to deal with a given situation.

Full breathing equates to presence and this equates to trust and confidence. 

3) Detach yourself from other people’s reaction. 
Come to see other people’s reaction as a reflection of them, not you. Having said that, we can learn a lot about ourselves by how we react to others’ reactions.

4) Communicate from presence. 
Do not assume the other person knows what you’re thinking. Name the elephant in the room by owning your point of view. For example:

“I feel….” “I think…” or  “I’ve noticed..”

This is true for you even if they don’t agree with it.

5) Address the issue in the here and now. 
Unhook from any dramatic stories or images you may have about the person or what you believe about them based on their past behaviour. Say what?!! I know! I agree. This is the most challenging part about dealing with challenging people. But unhooking in this way allows us to also unhook from our own reactions such as defensiveness which puts us on the merry-go-round of reactive emotions which become bundles of stress in our bodies.

6) Use an anchor point in your body to stay grounded.
When dealing with difficult people bring your awareness into your solar plexus region (belly button area) and speak from this place. It’s an area in your body which can feel very uncomfortable at first, but one that can help you stay grounded, focused and present.

So, don’t feel responsible for other people’s lives. Focus on being available, open and centered for responding appropriately to life’s curve balls and other people’s perceived dramas – including your own. 😊

If you would like to learn how to unlock your presence and finally start to embody who you are, so that you can experience more freedom, ease and trust in your life, then I invite you to have a 1:1 conversation with me to explore what that would look like.

This is for you if you are ready to invest in your own personal development.

In our 45min phone call, we will unpack the biggest sabotages to your presence and power and put steps in place to help you feel more grounded, present and in control of your life. As a bonus, I will guide you through a powerful “Unlocking Your Presence” guided meditation to help you start feeling more present, in your power and on purpose. Schedule your time with Suzi here. 

Changes of life

Changes of Life