Do you like being told what to do?

Do you like being told what to do?

I’d say a few people do. What makes this ironic is that our world suffers from a habit of finger pointing and lecturing.  Can you imagine the benefits of reducing our collective irritation that stems from the blame game and scapegoating?  I can, and what I see is happier people, a healthier planet, and space for more love to fill our lives.

Are you often confused about how to express yourself? Do you react to something that happens while you’re driving, or to something a family member or friend says, in ways, you don’t want to? One of the greatest challenges facing humans is our resistance to taking responsibility for our actions and blaming others for our problems.

We can dramatically reduce this burden by improving our emotional intelligence, and communication skills.

We often hear that we can’t focus more on our health and well-being because it will impact economic growth, it will stifle job creation, etc.  I invite you to be curious about this insanity. Can you think of replacing our obsession with economics with something more meaningful?

What does more self-compassion look like? I hope you can learn to value the human heart and soul above the idea of material wealth.  It’s time we stop paying lip service to this. It’s time to stop lying to our kids.  We often them it’s what’s inside that counts, be kind, be nice, etc., but we contradict those messages in the way we live our lives.

People say they don’t have time to work on their emotional life. I call a % 100 fucking bullshit to that.  This excuse is the reason we continue to destroy the earth and each other.  The ‘bull-shit-capades’ we feed ourselves is more insidious and sophisticated the deeper our resistance to change becomes. We have the time; but we don’t use it to take care of ourselves or to explore our emotions, thoughts, behaviours, and actions.

How can your daily experience change through improved emotional intelligence? What does self-care look like to you?

How can you do any of these things, you can research emotional intelligence, I’d start here with a modern well-known author and pioneer in North America – Daniel Goleman

I suggest you consider mindfulness-based stress reduction in Toronto check out Dr. Heidi Walk

You can learn effective communication skills, practice with a coach or therapist, or read about it.  If you want to engage with the ‘Starts With Me Community’ Come to one of our ‘State Of Mind’ events, or get in touch with social media or hello@startswithme.ca

Are you forgiving yourself? Others?

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Who aren’t you forgiving?

Does your boss, a co-worker do things that drive you crazy? Is your family life a consistent cause of negative feelings?  Do you blame and bad-mouth yourself for little mistakes? How do you respond to being cutoff in traffic? Set aside life changing events you’re not capable of forgiving and focus on small occurrences where you’re stuck in a cycle of irritation, blame and accusation.  How do you respond to your perceived slights on a daily basis?

Our personal life, family, friendships and workplaces can be riddled with self-righteous and stubborn resentment, justified by all kinds of crap.  I challenge you to reflect on a person, situation or experience you’ve had where you’re holding onto justified anger and resentment.  Chose one you’re somewhat flexible with and start there.  Can you forgive? Why are you holding onto the anger?  What purpose does it serve?

Generally we’re holding onto these things because we’re hurt.  We hold on because of fear.  It’s amazing what happens when we let go and forgive.  Forgiveness can be challenging for people, so start small.  It’s like a muscle, it takes acknowledgement practice and consistent effort.

I’m not suggesting we must forgive the actions of others, but we can forgive the actor.  People do all kinds of stupid and ridiculous things that aren’t forgivable. As humans we’re well aware we make mistakes and might even want to take certain actions back. Our global community benefits when we’re capable of forgiving circumstance, other people and ourselves.

Think about the endless victim/perpetrator cycles taking place today and the unimaginable suffering caused by them. What’s holding us back from forgiveness?  Take a deep breath and imagine a world where forgiveness is common practice.

Ask yourself. Who, what, am i not forgiving? What is holding me back from forgiving them?

A few quotes on forgiveness

“True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment”

David Ridge

“Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace”

Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness”

Robert Muller

Inspiring stories of forgiveness

Nelson Mandellahttp://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nelson-mandela-forgiveness-south-africa-apartheid-528153

Everyday people – http://list25.com/25-unbelievable-inspiring-acts-forgiveness/

Starts With Me

How are you?

The ‘how are you?’ – conundrum.

“How are you today?  (Wait… did I just say that? Now’s a bad time to chat. Neither of us are interested in having a conversation)  See you later.”

Does this narrative sound familiar?

What I meant to say was, “hello”

Today the question “how are you?” is a meaningless greeting that reflects the sad state of our immature communication skills.

What happened to saying “hello?” Asking “how are you?” should imply you will look a co-worker, friend or acquaintance in the eyes and listen to them.  If you don’t care how they’re doing, or don’t have the time to listen, don’t say “how are you?” say hello.

If you don’t care how the person you’re greeting is doing, you should. For one, as humans, our well-being is collective. Two, learning to care for others is a fundamental human trait which seems to be absent from our day-to-day lives. Three, improving our individual relationships is core to resolving the challenges we face as a  global community.

We’re more concerned with our toys, social media stats and other meaningless status symbols we’ve come to worship.  There are more reasons why you should care about co-workers, friends and acquaintances but I’d need to write an essay to cover them.

Over the next week, bring awareness to how often you ask someone “how are you?” Bring attention to your thoughts and feelings at the time. Figure out if you’re interested or open to a response.  When the time is right ask someone how they’re doing sincerely. Listen and be there for them, enjoy experiencing this fundamental human interaction.  As you get more comfortable in these moments, your ability to be present and compassionate will blossom and you’ll empower others to communicate their emotions.

When we show each other compassion, sincerity and honesty, amazing things happen. These are essential to our mental health and well-being. Practice conscious and sincere communication in your life and we’ll enjoy the benefits together.

Starts With Me