Mar 21 2017

Power to Change

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How can I fix this problem? How can I make the issue (the pain) go away? Tell me what to do!

These are common questions I hear from clients who have identified something they want to change, such as bad habits, core patterns, or unconscious fears. “Now that I see it,” they ask, “how can I make it stop?”

There are two important powers required for personal change. They are:

The power to Notice
The power to Choose

First, you have to catch yourself in the act. To do that, you must be on the lookout – constantly. The power to change begins with your ability to notice. Then, once you notice, you must stop doing that thing. Easier said than done at first.

The more you practice noticing, the more you discover new options, new solutions, new thoughts, feelings, behaviors. That’s when the power to choose enters the picture. In order to cause change, you must make different choices.

**Transformation happens when you apply your awareness.**

As an example, let’s look at a common issue: Fear of Rejection.

Prepare: It’s a good idea to give yourself a list of things to look for. What are the symptoms and clues of your unconscious fear? Some options to consider:

  • People pleasing – if I’m nice enough, maybe you won’t reject me
  • Proving – if I’m good enough, smart enough, ________ enough …
  • Clinging – if I hold on tight enough …
  • Behaving – if I am perfect, if I “behave” (act right, talk right, dress right, etc.) …
  • Rejecting – if I reject you, then you can’t reject me

 

Notice: Be on the lookout for your identified symptoms/clues. When do they show up? How often? What triggers them? What do you do, feel, think when triggered? Are there others?

Explore: The deeper your understanding of the issue, the more authority you have over changing it. What is the fear telling you? What is there to know about it? Remembering that Pain is Medicine, how is this part of your growth? Our issues are the enemy of true power. At the same time, they are access to power as we learn to overcome them.

Options: Look for new solutions. Ask yourself, “If I could get beyond my usual reaction, how else would I handle this? What other options are there?” or “If I had self-certainty, how would I respond?” or “If I trusted that this person were not out to get me, then what would I do/say?” Come up with as many options as you can. Use your imagination. Get help when needed. 

Choose: Once you have determined appropriate options, start acting on them. Try them on to see what happens, what you learn, how you grow. Get support to help build the strength to do what might be difficult at first. For example, those with a fear of rejection often have a hard time setting boundaries – people-pleasing sets in and self-care goes away. External support can make new choices easier to act on.

There are a myriad of things we must address in order to grow into the full potential of our personal power. Examples:

Bad habits: complaining, codependence, perfectionism, taking things personally, awfulizing

Core patterns: guilt, shame, lack of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-certainty – all lead to emotional reactions. No power in that.

Unconscious fears: rejection, abandonment, failure, criticism, being unlovable

Every time we repeat old programming, we reinforce it. Many are ingrained, having been around for a long, long time. In order to change, we must train ourselves to choose differently. Training takes time and practice. The deeper the pattern, the more practice required. You will have good days and bad days. Keep going!

We live in a world that frowns on failure. This attitude thwarts growth. I give you permission to fail!! We don’t learn to walk without falling down a few times. In the process of change, passing and failing doesn’t matter. Intent does. Your determination, persistence, and whole-hearted intent to improve is your access to personal power, inner authority, joy, freedom.

Last point: It is possible to change. If you find yourself stuck, it is probably a matter of something you’re not seeing, or choices you haven’t defined yet or have not built the strength to act on. Keep looking, keep practicing, keep going, keep growing!

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Feb 13 2017

Heart

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With Valentine’s Day on the way, I thought it would be interesting to discuss matters of the heart. Valentine’s is traditionally about the celebration of romantic love, a wonderful human kind of love. Today, I wish to give this celebration new meaning by looking at it from a different angle, that of higher love, and by focusing on the source of that love, the heart.
 
From the human perspective, the heart is the wellspring of feelings. On the positive side, they are the warm and fuzzy kind: love, sympathy, happiness, and the like. On the negative, the heart feels fear, anger, hurt, and sadness, for example.
 
The spiritual heart has a life of its own, one that is beyond human feelings. Spiritual heart gives us direction, drive, strength, determination, maturity, and many other empowering principles if we listen, connect, and apply.
 
How to distinguish the two? Let’s look at some examples.
 
“I didn’t have the heart to tell him/her” is a common phrase. What does it mean? Did someone chicken out? Or did they sense something that led them to understand that speaking up wasn’t necessarily the right thing to do? Here, the heart either felt fear (human) or expressed wisdom (spirit). In either case, the heart provided an impetus for restraint.
 
“I had a change of heart” expresses a similar experience. However, don’t we usually change our mind? “My head says one thing but my heart says another.” Notice that there are times when your head can’t articulate the reason, but your heart knows. Intellectually, it may make no sense, but the heart impels us toward something.
 
On the human level, this is based on feelings, such as a need, desire, or want: “I want that cookie even though it will ruin my diet.” Or, more simply, “I need a relationship.” “I want a new job.” “I wish to travel.” Sometimes these things are in our best interest,  sometimes they are not.
 
From the spiritual level, the heart provides a similar impetus. It, too, is a driver of some kind of movement or action. Because it comes from a higher level, this impetus transcends feelings and intellect, and its resulting movement is always toward a higher purpose or greater good.

  • Have you ever had the urge to go somewhere or call someone that came to you unexpectedly but turned out to be the right thing at the right time?
  • Have you ever been in a conversation, thinking one thing in your head but hearing different words come out of your mouth, words that were exactly the right thing to say?
  • Have you been willing to forego something important for yourself because it was right for your relationship?

 

That’s spiritual heart.
 
These examples are meant show that the nature of the spiritual heart is not only beyond the traditional understanding of human love but also exists for the purpose of creating something greater. They show the experience of the spiritual level, where the heart’s wisdom is here to guide us.
 
Wisdom comes from qualities of the well-developed spiritual heart, some of which are:

  • Courage (from Latin cor, meaning heart)
  • Faith
  • Certainty
  • Devotion, reverence
  • Duty, honor
  • Acceptance, respect
  • Enthusiasm (from the Greek en- + theos meaning inspired, from god)
  • Striving, which is the love of labor and the labor of love

 

These are a few of many divine principles that the spiritual heart can teach us, principles we are meant to learn and develop through life experience.
 
Ultimately, the spiritual heart is the basis of the peace that passes understanding, the place of central stillness, the source of inner strength. Without it we are but a ship lost in the midst of a turbulent ocean, being knocked about by the winds and waves and whims of life as well as our feelings and thoughts about that life.
 
This Valentine’s day, I hope you will seek to express both kinds of heart, both human and spiritual, as the path to loving more deeply and living more powerfully.

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Nov 16 2016

BE The Change

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[[Warning! This is not a warm and fuzzy post. There will be some of you who don’t like what I have to say. I understand. For the rest of you, I hope to inspire. It’s time to get serious about ourselves.]]

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It is impossible to ignore the upheaval that is plaguing our country right now. To heal, we must each take responsibility for our role in the current state of affairs. Then, we must BE the change we wish to see in the world. There is no other way.

To paraphrase the words of Michael Jackson, “look at the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways.”

Consider that both presidential candidates, as well as our current social, political, earthly, and economic conditions, are our mirrors. Can you see the changes we are asking ourselves to make? Instead of blaming others for the condition we are in, turn your outrage into an inward journey. Examine the issues that disturb you the most, and look to see how you, too, are doing the very same thing.

Then, BE The Change.

Below are criticisms lobbed at each of the presidential candidates, as examples to get you going and to make my point. They may not all apply to you, but all are important to explore. Warning: this may be hard to do.

Dishonesty – where are you not telling yourself the truth? This one is really tricky, because when we lie to ourselves it is usually done in unawareness.  But lie we do, so be on the lookout. Unawareness itself is a lie to our spirit. Time to open our eyes in new ways.

More examples: when was the last time you said “yes” when you meant “no” or “everything is fine” when it wasn’t? Is there something you have not communicated that needs to be said, such as a boundary you need to set or a mistake you need to make right? Withholding is deceitful, too. And last, obviously, are you 100% honest with other people? Even little white lies are problematic.

Corruption – unethical conduct, misuse of power – In what ways are you taking advantage of something or someone, or bending/breaking the rules, or manipulating the system to suit your purposes? Such as: speeding, texting while driving, taking office supplies from work for personal use, cutting in line, hoarding food at the buffet (not sharing), fudging on an expense report, asking others to live up to standards that you yourself are not willing to live.

Also, is there something you are so singly focused on that you hurt, neglect, or avoid your spirit, other people, or the Greater Good? Such as: your looks, health, hobbies, the next promotion, making money, or gaining approval? What untoward behaviors you are denying or rationalizing?

Remember, when there is one finger pointing out at another, there are always three pointing back at you.

Bigotry – How often do you criticize others for being different, without gaining an appreciation of their perspective? How often do you do that to yourself?

Misogyny – Women: every time you loathe yourself or your body, you are the misogynist. Every time you become catty, antagonistic, or hurtfully competitive with another woman, you are the misogynist. Men: when you suppress your feminine side (feelings, receptivity, compassion, for example), and whenever you take advantage of, dismiss, or demean a woman, you are the misogynist. True, there are degrees, but as with all of these examples, we must look for subtle patterns that get us in trouble with our spiritual integrity, that accumulate into a much bigger issue in the collective.

Bullying – You know that critical voice in your head that reminds you how bad, ugly, unlovable, not good enough, stupid, or ________ you are? Stop it!! Begin the anti-bullying campaign right now by learning to be good to yourself, to stop beating yourself up. Then, quit thinking bad thoughts about other people, even the guy who cuts you off in traffic. Not easy, but necessary. Every time we think bad thoughts and feel bad feelings about ourselves and others, we feed the collective anger and make it stronger.

As you can imagine, this unfortunate and ugly list could be longer and deeper. Much. We must keep In mind that life is a reflection of who we are, both individually and collectively. That includes the people we elect as our officials, and that includes the state of the union itself.

Until we are willing to take a good, hard, searching and fearless and brutally honest personal inventory of the ways in which we hurt ourselves and each other, we cannot make America great again, and we cannot be stronger together.

The global transformation we are crying out for will only happen when we each take personal responsibility for creating Heaven on Earth. It is my hope that we rise to this challenge.

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Want to be part of the solution? Ready to make a change? Join me for my next Serenity, Power, and Freedom class starting Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00pm. http://theawarenessstudio.com/courses/spf/

 

 

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Aug 17 2016

Thought for the Day

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Thought for the day, aka Patty’s Perspective About The Planet:

I met with a client yesterday who has been working with me for almost seven years. Being with her reminded me of the importance of PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION.

When she first came to see me, she had low self-esteem, her marriage was falling apart, and she was facing a number of other difficult problems. Today, she has a great job, a relationship that’s fun and fulfilling, and she feels good about herself and her life. There were times when it looked like this would never happen, that she would not be able to get to this great place. But she stuck with it and worked as hard as she could on her issues. It took time for things to turn around, and now she’s living a whole new life.

MORAL of the story: What is is, what ain’t ain’t, the only way through it is through it, and it takes as long as it takes.

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Aug 8 2016

Be With Me

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We teach others how to be with us. Our behaviors and words are cues as to how we want to be treated and what we are willing to put up with. We communicate energetically as well. Whether behavioral, verbal, or energetic, our unconscious patterns attract certain treatment without our consciously asking for it. When those patterns are unhealthy or distorted in some way, what we are teaching others is usually not what we intend or want.

If you find this happening to you, here are some areas to explore.

Boundaries – Much has been written on the importance of setting boundaries. This is one of the first and most essential ways you teach others how to be with you. When you don’t say “no” to unwanted or inappropriate behavior, when you don’t say “ouch” when something hurts, you are covertly saying yes and implying that it’s ok to treat you that way. Another way to look at it: if you are not standing up to the bully, you are complicit. Finding and using your voice is a key aspect of personal power. If you have trouble speaking up, there is work to do.

Needs – It is a huge mistake to expect others to know what you need. Doing this is a set-up for disappointment and a surefire way to sabotage relationships and jobs. Others might guess, but no one can truly know without your making specific and responsible requests. Identify core needs and be intentional about getting them met so that they do not run your life and relationships. Be sure to cover all three levels – physical, emotional, spiritual – or else you will always be left wanting.

Neediness – Not to be confused with needs, neediness is related to codependence. Neediness, codependence, looks for an exchange of dependency with another person – “I am not fulfilled, therefore I need something in you to fulfill me. You are not fulfilled, therefore you need something in me that fulfills you. But because neither of us is fulfilled, we both still end up empty.” Obviously, this is also a set-up for trouble. Healthy people are not attracted to unhealthy behavior. If you want a great life and great relationships, you have to deal with whatever vestiges of codependence you embody, and most of us have it to some degree.

Values – Everyone has intrinsic values that they must express in order to be their best Self. Needs are the “food you eat” in order to be able to function. Values are who you are; principles and standards you are compelled to be or become. If you are not living them, you will be out of sorts and you will invite others into your life who are out of sorts as well. This usually causes problems. Examples of values are: beauty, contribution, discovery, and compassion. Like attracts like. Live your values and watch what shows up.

Bottom line: If others aren’t treating you well, then *you’re* not treating you well. It all boils down to self-awareness, self-certainty, self-respect, and self-care. When you don’t know who you are, you will send mixed signals at best, and the wrong ones at worst. Self discovery is first step toward lasting change.

 

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Jun 15 2016

Yakkity Yak – DO Talk Back

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We were taught as children to obey our elders and to not “talk back.” Where I grew up, it was called “sassing,” and we got in big trouble for it. This may be a reason why we have such a tough time dealing with our inner demons. Once we give them authority, we don’t talk back and they run (ruin) our lives.

Do you ever get stuck in a negative headspace? More than you’d like, perhaps? Look to see if any of these inner demons sound familiar.

No one cares about me.
No one wants to hear what I have to say.
God must be punishing me.
I am not meant for a promotion (or better job).
Life will always be this way (difficult, less than desirable, lonely, unpleasant).
I’ll never have what I want (a great relationship, a fulfilling job, self-confidence, good friends).
This is too hard. I can’t do it.
I don’t trust (men, women, people, life, God).
People always let me down.
I’m bad (a bad parent, partner, student, person) – or – I’m stupid, I’m an idiot, I’m a failure.

These are some of the many sentences I hear from my clients. I mean that literally – as in a verdict, a prison sentence. Whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously, when we repeat such negative phrases over and over, we reinforce whatever it is to such a degree that we condemn ourselves to its punishment. Especially when accompanied by feelings such as sadness, depression, self-pity, shame, guilt, fear, and anger, our prison term grows and the pain increases. It becomes “the truth,” and then we have to live with it.

We stay stuck in this prison of our own making until something inside says, “Enough!”

If you’re in that place and don’t know how to get out, I have a suggestion. Be sassy! Talk back! One way to do this is by using the “What if” tool.

What if …. whatever you are telling yourself isn’t true? What if …. things could be different?
What if you are lovable and there are people who do or could care about you?
What if you’re not meant to be single, or underpaid, or unhappy at work?
What if life isn’t so hard?
What if there are trustworthy people out there?

Once you stop putting a period at the end of the sentence (or for many, an exclamation point!), and start asking questions like “What If?”, life will turn around. That’s because this kind of thinking engages a different part of your mind and heart. When you put yourself inside the What If, your mind unconsciously starts looking for solutions. Lights come on in the darkness of your prison cell. Answers, people, situations that you would not have encountered before begin to present themselves.

Our negative sentences drain us of hope, zap us of strength, and close doors to new opportunities.  What If can provide faith, resilience, and receptivity. We have the choice as to how we define things. If you’ve been defining your life with negativity, you can What If your way to a new definition, and by that, a new future. Then, you can come up with new mantras such as “I can change!” or “Life is good!” that inspire you to walk toward that vibrant new future.

And what if everybody did this? It is clear by the extreme negativity of recent US and world events that a shift in consciousness is urgently required. What if our commitment to creating small individual shifts could add up to one large global movement? What if the world could be a better, more loving place?

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May 28 2016

Our Many Marriages

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I had the honor of officiating a wedding recently. It was lovely, and witnessing the ceremony was a reminder of how significant this particular activity is. I also see how applicable it is to other parts of our lives. Yes, it applies in the union of two people in holy matrimony … and… to the many ways in which we commit ourselves throughout our lifetime.

For example, it is common to hear, “That person is married to their job.” This usually indicates an extreme focus on work, sometimes to the exclusion of most everything and everyone else. However, I want to suggest that this statement is also indicative of the “union” we make whenever we say “I Do.” It can be applied to anything – a person, job, hobby, goal, whatever.

This is not to downplay the importance of the wedding ceremony, which is a holy sacrament. I consider marriage one of the most special and empowering things we can do, when done with the right intention and effort. And, if we look at external life experiences as symbolic of things internally significant – principles to be attained, qualities to be strengthened, habits and patterns to be done or undone, for example – then we can most certainly apply the symbolism of marriage to other areas.

Commitment provides a playing field in which to explore. Any promise we make sets limits, boundaries within which we must operate or else we then break that promise. In making a promise, we give our (little s) self over to something greater, which allows an opportunity for the growth of the (Big S) Self.

What are the things to be gained from our commitments? Let’s look at a few.

  1. How many people resolve to diet every January 1? Qualities needed to reach a goal like this are: discipline, determination, patience, persistence, and steadfastness, to name a few.
  1. What principles can be strengthened when we say “yes” to a new job or promotion? Leadership, creativity, courage, reliability, responsibility, helpfulness, confidence, industriousness, organization, and aspiration.
  1. And the promise of marriage? Done well, we develop such things as compassion, generosity, humility, respect, self-containment, loyalty, flexibility, adaptability, harmony, devotion, and cooperation.

 

Our problems lie in letting our commitments go bad. How does that happen? We break our promises when we practice the opposite of the virtues listed above. For example:

  1. Diet: instead of discipline, we express impatience. Instead of determination and steadfastness, we give in, give up, and rationalize.
  1. Job: instead of leadership, there is pride, greed, aggressiveness, laziness, and lack of cooperation.
  1. Marriage: such things as selfishness, control, indifference, resentment, rigidity, drama, and unfaithfulness.

 

We gain wisdom only through experiences that nourish the soul. We can’t read about it or dream about it and expect to grow. How you live your life determines whether you experience pain and suffering -or- serenity, power, freedom, and growth.

Expressing the virtues brings joy; living the vices brings hardship. Virtues strengthen; vices weaken. When you don’t live into and up to your commitments, or when you’re not even willing to make them in the first place, you weaken your Self.

Ultimately, the most important commitment we make is to Divine Order, to God’s Will. In keeping with that, we are meant to develop ourselves into our greatest potential and to share our light with others. Our commitments, promises, and “I Dos” are a human expression of that higher connection, and as such they help us fulfill on that supreme promise.  

 

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Apr 11 2016

Help and Hope in Hazardous Times

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Have you ever reorganized a closet or done some serious spring cleaning? Then you know that things get messy before they get better. Well, I think that’s what’s going on in the world today, and this isn’t a small re-org that’s happening. Life is pretty crazy, and many of us are being affected.

Here are some things to think about, some suggestions for staying grounded. This is my offering of “help and hope in these hazardous times.”
 
1. Stay focused on the future
Just as winter turns to spring, we can be assured that there are better times ahead. When? Who knows. But what if our willingness, as a collective, to imagine a brighter future brings it to us all the more quickly?
 
Our thoughts are very powerful, more powerful than ever before. I regularly hear from clients who say, “I had this thought one day, and the next day it happened!” Energy follows thought. This is a time to be certain yours are positive.
 
Consider: what does your SOUL want to create? How can you, the unique contribution that you are, make the world a better place? There are lessons to learn from our current state of affairs: what’s more important – love or money? Spirit or Ego? Have you sold out on yourself in any way? Do you know what your purpose is? Now is the opportunity for new discoveries, for YOU discoveries.
 
2. Avoid getting pulled into the fear conversation
As hard as this may be to do, it is important to remember that fear is a past-based conversation in which there is no faith, no trust in a Higher Power, no vision for a new tomorrow. We all go there, and we have a choice how long we wallow.
 
One way to stay out of fear is to be sure not to take things personally, whatever is happening. Use current events to help you think outside the box of your normal paradigm. This is your opportunity to build strength and create anew. Blame and resentment are fear-based reactions; it is tempting to point fingers as a way of trying to feel better. It doesn’t work, it’s temporary, and it thwarts viable solutions. Instead, ask yourself what options you have and what actions you can take to move forward. Action is a powerful antidote. 

Another way to stay clear is to minimize exposure to the media and negative people. Bad news just begets bad feelings, which begets more bad events. Limit the amount of news you watch and gossip you listen to, as these can be addictive. Turn intentionally to soul-nourishing things.

3. Let yourself be vulnerable
One thing that happens when the world around us starts to crumble is a feeling of vulnerability. This is good! It’s the healthy side of the fear reaction. Authentic vulnerability creates space for more powerful connections with others, deeper love, intuition, and new-found clarity. That is part of the lesson this strange era is providing for us. When you have nothing to lose, everything is possible. Learn to embrace discomfort and it will be your teacher.
 
4. Have compassion and appreciation
Many are in survival mode, if not physically then spiritually, which makes even the best of us act, well, not very nice. Companies are in survival mode, too. I often hear about bosses who bully their way around, strong-arming their staff into results, and layoffs have become the norm. The corporate world can be quite unfriendly. So, be gentle with yourself and others. Have compassion for what people are going through, appreciate what you have and those you love, and be sure to include yourself in that equation. This doesn’t mean you condone inappropriate behavior; it does mean you detach by staying heart-centered.
 
5. Strengthen the bonds of faith and community
Faith is the foundation for inner strength. When things “out there” get chaotic, go within to find power, truth, and beauty. Additionally, relationships are even more important now. Choose quality over quantity.

6. Let go of the old to make room for the new
The universe is forcing us to let go. So much of what is happening is beyond our control, and yet there is still a lot we can control. Two key steps to take: Simplify, and nurture your creativity. Simplifying will help create the space for something new to come in to your life, and being in a creative space will teach you to be more intuitive so that you can be guided to what is right and next for you.
 
7. Take one day at a time
In the dead of winter, the plant kingdom goes to sleep. There is seemingly no activity on the surface, but there is below-the-surface growth and repair. We can learn from our fellow earth inhabitants. Slow down and re-group. Remember to breathe a lot, rest, repair, and grow, and take one day at a time. Out of chaos comes order, out of darkness comes light, out of winter comes spring. That we can count on!

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Feb 14 2016

The Three A’s

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Three things that can nurture, support, and/or transform any relationship – three things most of us need a more of – are Attention, Affection, and Appreciation.

While always true in romantic relationships, the Three A’s can be helpful in any situation involving a fellow human being. In today’s fast-paced, chaotic, and ever-changing world, more Attention, Affection and Appreciation can make a huge difference in the quality of everyone’s life.

Attention
Attention is first and foremost the art of showing up. We can’t have a relationship with someone we never connect with.

Once connected, attention is then the art of listening well, listening often, and responding with the other’s perspective in mind, not just ours. We must remember that just because we are looking at the person who is speaking doesn’t mean we are hearing what they’re really saying.

There is a difference between hearing and listening. We listen with our ears, but we hear with our heart. Real attention, real hearing, involves putting yourself in the other person’s world: What is it like to be that person? What are they saying? What are they NOT saying? Can you read between the lines? What do they need? What are they feeling? What are they committed to? What’s really going on for them? How can you contribute to them in this moment, not from your head, but from your heart? Practice discovering the answers to these questions when you’re in conversation with someone else. This will help you develop your ability to pay close attention. You will know you’re doing well when they feel heard and understood.

Sometimes people are good at paying attention, but they just don’t do it often enough. For example, even if you’re the best listener on the planet, it’s not enough to sustain a fulfilling interpersonal relationship if you only do it once a year. If the person is important to you, you will want to make sure that you’re giving the right kind AND the right amount of attention.

Other aspects of attention include events that take place over time, such as remembering and honoring things that are important to the other person, and taking action based on what you know. Sharing aspects about yourself in ways that improve your intimacy and connection are also part of this important A.

Affection
The term affection usually brings up an image of physical tenderness, like a hug, a kiss or a caress. This is especially true in the context of romantic relationships. However, physical contact is essential to our personal well being, emotional well being, and our relationship well being, and today many people are touch-deprived — even those who are married! One simple cure is to give lots of hugs. Cuddle up when you can! I once heard another relationship expert recommend getting a minimum of 8 hugs a day. I call that getting your minimum dose of “Vitamin H”. Our bodies need contact to thrive. So do our souls. Whenever you can, go for the hug.

The good news is that physical contact is not the only way to show affection. We can’t hug everyone we come into contact with, especially at work. Simple acts of kindness, using a caring tone of voice, offering support rather than criticism, and providing help when appropriate are other ways to express caring for another. If you’re really committed to getting an “A” in this A, try coming up with new and clever ways to show non-physical affection.

Appreciation
Last but not least is appreciation. We know that children thrive and grow when praised; adults are really no different. We all want to experience being loved. Do you regularly tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them? Do you acknowledge what it is you love about them, what you think is great about them, what they do that positively impacts your life? Are you willing to be public with your gratitude and your praise? Appreciation is very important – one of the most important relationship activities there is. Do it often!

A Firm Foundation
There is prep work to do if you are going to be good at this. **You can’t give what you don’t have.** So, the secret to being good at the three A’s is to start with yourself first, and then be sure to include God/Spirit/Higher Power as another extremely important Primary Relationship. Give yourself and your Higher Power daily doses of Attention, Affection and Appreciation, and watch your life unfold!

Once your personal and spiritual three-A buckets are filled, then you can truly take care of the people in your life. I encourage you to do this with everyone to the degree that is appropriate, from parents to lovers to friends to co-workers to the cashier at the check-out counter. Any interaction you have with another human being is an opportunity to practice the generosity of the Three A’s.

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Dec 30 2015

Word

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If you could choose one word to represent your focus/wishes/goals for next year, what would it be?

Borrowing this clever idea from one of my fabulous clients, I want to recommend an alternative to the traditional New Year’s Resolution. Consider that resolutions are about doing. Word is about being, about how you are living. What Word would you like to live into this coming year? Some examples:

Grow
Forward
Adventure
Enthusiasm
Stability
Strength
Love
Leadership
Courage
Kindness

Once you have chosen your focus, it will help to define it. What does your Word mean to you? How can you apply it to all areas of your life? Look at: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual; work, home, and play; friends, family, significant other, coworkers, etc. Anything and everything you can think of. Even more, imagine what life will be like as you live your Word. What will change? How will you grow? What will that be like? And how will you know you’ve become what you’ve set out for yourself?

As quickly as time is flying these days, and with all the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it is easy to forget even the most important things. So, how will you stay true to your Word? What reminders and structures can you put into place that will help you keep your focus front and center all year long? Whom can you enlist for support, and how else can you set yourself up for success?

You can still have your “doing” resolutions if there are things you would like to accomplish. And, utilizing this new “lens” will add momentum to whatever you are up to.

Good luck, and may the new year bring you many blessings!

Word.

 

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