BOUNDARIES ARE ABOUT THE 'YES' BY Pam Dunn
BOUNDARIES ARE ABOUT THE 'YES'
Most of us are not proactive about setting boundaries. We decide upon the boundaries we want to set by being upset or dissatisfied with being over-extended or our boundaries are being crossed. This is common, however, when operating this way, we often come across hostile, mean, frustrated, annoyed, angry and/or blaming the other person.
There is a way in which you can learn about how to set a boundary before it becomes a problem for you. That way is to know yourself so well that you will ask yourself and honestly answer yes or no, knowing what is the right thing for you. It is also very important to know what you are saying yes to, when you say no. This takes a strong sense of self esteem so that it is done in a kind and firm way, rather than needing to use overpowering behavior. Most of us know that building self esteem is a life-long process, so what to do in the meantime!
Before saying 'no' to something or someone, know what you are saying 'yes' to. This means that before you tell someone to treat you differently, be sure you know that you are saying 'yes' to who you know yourself to be and how you want to be treated and perhaps, holding them accountable to their highest self too.
If you want to say 'no' to that new project, be very clear about what your 'yes' is about. It's your 'yes' that conveys your values, what is important to you and can even be inspiring to others.
We have excellent and experienced Coaches to guide you through this process.
It's time to get off the bully/victim paradigm
It takes a lot of courage, a lot of love, and a lot of compassion to see the perceived bully as greater than their actions. Each and every person has that ability.
It takes a lot of strength, a lot of trust, and a lot of compassion to see the perceived victim as greater than their beliefs about themselves. Each and every person has that ability.
It is critical to rise to this challenge because it is your way to stop adding anger, revenge, depression, discouragement and so much more to your world at home, with friends and at work. Replace that with the ability to treat each other and yourselves more compassionately (even in your thoughts), see yourselves and others as brilliant (even in your thoughts), judge from a higher purpose, and care about the pain. We all deserve to experience this richness.
How do you meet these challenges - a perceived bully/victim situation, and see everyone from the perspective of compassion, brilliance and purpose? Look inside yourself.
Viktor Frankl said: I have come to the conclusion that I am the decisive element. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis is elevated.
There is far more to the bully, the victim, and their behavior that lies beneath the way they act. It is time to move beyond the limiting paradigm, and begin seeing yourselves and others as magnificent beings that may act mean from time to time. Acting mean is not an indicator of being mean.
Decide who you want to BE, and learn about yourself, especially when you are not operating that way, and then go on to discover, honor and express your magnificence - assist others to do that too.
Click here to learn more about what magnificence really means -
Also, check out my book, It's Time to Look Inside - to see yourself and others through the lens of magnificence
The Magnificence of Listening
Listening is something many people say they want to be better at AND it is also something we love – we love to know someone is listening to us. So if you are one of those that would like to enhance your listening skills, I have one tip to share with you.
To be a better listener, make one assumption. That assumption is - everyone wants what they say they want (this doesn't apply to saying what they don't want). Starting with that assumption will have you asking questions and listening to the person you are talking with and assisting them in getting what they say they want.
Let me tell you a story of when I learned the value of this concept. I was purchasing a new car. I took my sons with me to participate in this adventure. I fell in love with a van yet it was not in my favorite color. The salesman showed me one in the color I wanted. It was not as nice as the red van, but I loved the color. My youngest son was very vocal that he wanted the red van and we should get that one. I was listening to him and made many quick attempts to influence him (actually manipulate and convince him) to go for the blue van. Even his brothers were telling him to give it up and let me get the blue van, after all I was paying for it. So in that moment, I told the salesman I would get back to him by the next day and we left the dealer. In my mind I was thinking that I would just need some time to convince him to give me what I wanted! After all, I am the parent!!
So, once we got home, I requested that he share all the reasons why he thought we should have the red van. He had only two, he liked the color and it was what he wanted. I had many very “smart” reasons why we should have the blue van. By the time it was time for bed, he had not decided I could go for the blue van! As I said goodnight to him, I pulled out what I thought was my best tactic yet - I asked him to ask God as he drifted off to sleep what van we should have and I told him I would do the same. I figured I had him here!! The next morning, the first question I asked him was, “What did God say?” He promptly said, “He said to get the red van.” He then asked me, “What did God tell you?” I paused for a moment and said, “He told me to give you what you want.” What followed made that red van I bought the best purchase I have ever made. He had a smile that brought me to tears and he spontaneously hugged me so tight I fell backwards. You see what I really wanted was to give him what he wanted.
Listening with the assumption that everyone wants what they say they want, had me move through a process that led to making sure he got what he wanted. In doing this, I realized that I only “thought” I wanted a blue van, but what I REALLY wanted was to give my son what he wanted.
Have fun practicing this concept.
The Magnificence of Failure
'Failure opens an unguarded, vulnerable, and wide open space. And from that space the best part of ourselves comes out.'
I'm not sure that quote makes failure more appealing or tolerable! It actually explains the reason behind our disdain, fear, and avoidance of failure at all costs. I've seen so many quotes and read them in which there is an empowering focus of failure and encouraging you to not be afraid of failure. While those quotes are perfect for those times, I loved the moment I could address the other reality of failure - that is feels like it's the scariest thing EVER!
Thinking about the possibility of failure, reflecting on past failures and being in the midst of dealing with a failure are times of exposure to facing our fears. Often, the fear is not JUST about the act of failing, it is actually about what we FEEL about the experience. It may be that we have feelings about the criticism, even if that is self criticism. It may be about the disappointment you feel around the failure. It could be that you feel bad about letting people down. These are the results of the failure, the consequences of the failure. These are the components of failure that cannot be explained away or dismissed because they will creep up as fear the next time you are ready to step out on that skinny limb and take a risk.
The most effective way to get comfortable with failure is to feel your way through every past and present failure. Allow yourself and your body to recognize those feelings while simply being quiet and present to them. Refrain from explaining them away, refrain from pretending they aren't there, refrain from stuffing them, refrain from dismissing them - listen to them, be patient with those feelings. This is the time that increases your ability and capacity to be compassionate to yourself and others. This is the time that softens your edges and any edges you may have around failure.
So, you see, you move through failure in order to become more comfortable with failure. Also, I have not said that you have to like it! I still don't like it. However, I love who I am becoming as a result of all my failures and yes, my accomplishments too.
The Magnificence of Being Trusted
When we work with businesses and within our business, we focus first on the Leadership Trust. It is a commitment that people make to each other, and most importantly, to themselves that says:
I can be trusted because:
I will listen to you.
I will not use anything you say against you.
I will respect you and your opinions.
I will not talk about you behind your back.
If I have a problem with you, I will speak directly to you.
If someone comes to me talking about you, I will send them directly to you.
Imagine your workplace, friend group, family, any group you belong to and how it would be when everyone operates from this intention! Sure, there can be reason to say that someone is not going to uphold the agreement. Will that someone be you? Will you use the excuse that since others do it, you won’t uphold an agreement that says you can be trusted? Put this way, hopefully you will reconsider and uphold the value of this agreement. Let’s go a little further and discuss the benefits to being trusted in these ways.
I will listen to you. This is a skill and an art – to be able to really listen. When someone believes that you will listen to what they have to say and make them feel heard and understood, you become a safe harbor for the truth.
I will not use anything you say against you. When this does happen, people feel violated and you become untrustworthy. We have all said stuff that we wish we had not, and it never helps to have someone use it against us. Fulfilling this agreement deems you ultimate trustworthy.
' I will respect you and your opinions. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree, however it may mean that you will refrain from sharing your disagreement. Learn the art of separating the person from their opinion about something and you can see beyond the opinion. This makes you someone that can be trusted to see the best in someone no matter their behavior.
I will not talk about you behind your back. Sometimes very challenging because you feel like you must tell someone or vent. This often happens because we are upset by something someone did or said. If you commit to not talking about them behind their back, you will become someone trusted and you will trust yourself to work through your upsets rather than gain relief through talking about it.
If I have a problem with you, I will come directly to you. This requires a lot courage, patience and resolve to be caring while having your needs met. People trust people that approach them in a direct, yet compassionate manner. This is genuinely because it is apparent how much care it takes to approach someone.
If someone comes to me talking about you, I will send them directly to you. This one may seem obvious because people quickly learn that you are not the person that will commiserate with someone else’s misery and complaining about someone. You will be seen as a leader because you hold others accountable to be their best selves.
Invest in yourself. Invest in your leadership skills. Invest in your capacity to be all that you can be from a set of values that has you be trusted in many ways.
Detachment – Jargon or Practical?
“If you want anything, you must detach.” We have all heard this, we have said this, but what does it really mean? In the personal development arena there is a concentrated focus on this word, this concept, with many interpretations and illusive means of accomplishing.
We also know that if we are attached, we will be controlling, demanding, anxious, pressuring and so on. Think about the times you attempted to make your teenager clean their room, or got upset because your partner did not respond the way you expected. If you are attached to making sure that your child does well in school so that they can have a fulfilling life, then homework time becomes a struggle with controls, demands, anxiousness from you and your child as well as you pressuring them even if that is the last thing you want to do. The same goes for the goal of getting them to clean their room or attempting to make sure your partner responds in a way that will make you happy.
The opposite of attached will be unattached, and this means we will be in a state of pretending we don’t care, or in denial, or assuming the “Universe” will handle everything! This is that moment when you have tried everything you know to do in whatever situation and you theoretically throw your arms up and say something like, “Fine, I don’t care!” This is where “Whatever” was born! You see, at this point your words are as if you don’t care anymore, however your tone is quite the opposite. You see, unattached is really attached but pretending you’re not!
So, it may seem obvious that detached is somewhere in between. It is! Detached is patient, inner-peaceful, trusting and a co-creation. Detachment simply means someone else is not responsible for your feelings about the situation. Detachment is full of love! Recall a time when you operated from patience, peace, trust and collaboration. And right now, you may be getting a little frustrated because you CAN recall those times, yet it is the times that you HAVEN’T been detached that you want help with! Let’s talk about a method, a step-by-step process that will assist you in consciously achieving detachment. It is certainly worth the investment of effort to practice this process because it means your peace of mind, and everyone else you interact with will feel and be empowered.
It is important to first discuss what to detach from. How do you detach from what you want, what you desire? The answer: You don’t! You detach from the manner in which it comes to you. You pour your love into your desire and detach from how it manifests. This makes patience, peace, trust and the ability to co-create easier. Also, anything or anytime you pour your love into something or someone, there will be minimal if any, fear. For example: If you want your child to do well in school because you know what that means for the future, yet you get attached because they don’t want to do homework and you want them to want it! Hang onto the vision of them doing well in school and allow them to dislike doing the homework and grow into liking it on their own.
When you truly detach, what will occur is a myriad of ideas and answers as to what to do or say while you are waiting. As a result of this you become responsible, infinitely patient, peaceful, and trusting.
Deepak Chopra says: “In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known.” Detachment is clearly stepping into the unknown and believe me, this is not a comfortable step for most human beings because of the loss of control in the moment the step is taken.
As you may be recognizing by now – you cannot truly detach and be in control at the same time! You will be totally in charge and balanced but not in control. How perfect is that? Feeling out of control gives you the opportunity to practice patience, trust and peace. Let me share an example from one of my greatest teachers on this subject. My son, Drew has been my best teacher on this one. We were going to a play and had to leave at 5:25. Dinner, homework, and showers needed to occur before leaving and it was already 2:30. I had my whole picture of what that would look like. Drew had other ideas, like he fit in him and his Dad buying new shoes and going out to eat, came home with 15 minutes to spare, took a shower and we were out the door at 5:25! I could have gotten all in an uproar about things not going how I wanted them to, but I was practicing detachment! It was actually great, I got some time to relax and write. In the wisdom of the uncertainty came a bunch of ideas about what I could do with my time as well as ideas for what to do should I have needed to hold him accountable.
It is the moments of being attached or unattached in which you will learn an immense amount about detachment. This moment is uncomfortable and exciting at the same time. This moment is humbling and divinely intelligent at the same time. This moment is scary and full of gratitude at the same time. This moment is out of control and balanced at the same time. I encourage you to get comfortable being uncomfortable and get comfortable feeling when you feel out of control. You see most of us have grown to believe that an “out of control” action is due to an “out of control” feeling. This is not true. The feeling is never the problem.
Detachment equals an open heart. Makes it worth learning how! Practice, Practice, Practice!
As I was getting towards the end of the book a lot of my negative self talk around “not being able to write” and “how much I don’t like writing” and “why do we always have writing projects?” was showing up big time. Then I got to page 95…which is the chapter on Empathy and I read, “Being empathetic with others will become easier the better you become at being empathetic, understanding, loving, and friendly with yourself. In other words, learn to eliminate bullying for yourself with your thoughts and self-talk, and learn to be continuously responsible for all your responses, especially when you feel like a victim.
A Journey to Magnificence for Teens
Imagine when you were a teenager, if you could have known with certainty that you were loved, accepted, and honored. Or, if you could have had a community around you made up of peers and adults, who saw your magnificence even when you didn’t, and provided ongoing support that was both compassionate and fun to be around. Great idea, right?
I am blessed to work as a counselor at a high school where I get to witness the joys, passions, fears, and struggles of teens. I am deeply impacted by their stories and cherish the relationships we have built. The teen years are a time of tremendous growth. This is a stage of paradox and complexity. In many ways teens look and act like adults! On the one hand, these young people are rushing towards independence and autonomy. On the other hand, they need guidance and nurturing from loving and stable individuals who have their best interest at heart.
Despite physical appearances, the teen brain is not fully developed. Therefore, many teens ride on waves of emotional intensity or crave stimulation and novelty. Others are full of passion, creativity, and innovation and yearn for a pathway to express their hearts and souls desires. Many teens have an intuitive sense of their calling yet can become overwhelmed and pulled in countless directions. All of this tends to be combined with immense pressure to be successful in school, perform athletically, fit in socially, and articulate a plan for future careers. It’s no wonder that the teen years tend to be exhilarating, powerful and rich – and sometimes – utterly lonely, overwhelming, and confusing.
A Journey to Magnificence for Teens provides young people the opportunity to discover and unleash their magnificence and move towards creating the life of their dreams in a space of serenity and compassionate support. In this course, we aim to draw out the strengths and joys of teens and meet them where they are at. We are pleased to announce that on May 19 – 21, 2017, we will be offering A Journey to Magnificence for Teens ages 13 – 18 in Encinitas, CA. If you are interested in learning more, reach out to us at email@example.com.
Dreams are Built on the Shoulders of the One Before
Most dreams are built on the shoulders of the people before that built a dream. Such is the case for Your Infinite Life Training & Coaching Company.
Bill Riedler founded Global Relationship Centers in 1975. In 1995, he became my mentor, teacher and guide through the challenging times I was experiencing all the way through to the fruition of MY dream. Bill taught thousands of us to rise up to the best version of ourselves, he taught us to push through fears, he taught us to uphold our intentions, he taught us to keep our word, he taught us much more; these are the highlights.
In 2005, he decided to have a succession plan and asked that I learn the company from the inside out, so that I could run the company when he retired with his wife, Beth. By that time, I was running my own Center, teaching courses and training Center Owners. I thought I had learned a lot from him before! My learning and training from the inside out seemed to grow exponentially. On May 4, 2006, Bill Riedler passed away from complications from cancer.
I remember asking him before he died to not die until I was ready. Well, I was mad for awhile during my sadness because I did not feel ready to step into the role of running the company along with Beth. Thank goodness for his teachings and my learning because we held on magnificently while upholding the legacy.
On January 1, 2008, I became the sole owner of Global Relationship Centers and all of its intellectual property. For the next year, I failed and succeeded in so many different ways. One of the main things I learned from Bill, was to take something and make it my own. He would teach us how to do that with Global’s mission. So for the first year, that was my goal. On January 1, 2009, I changed the name to Your Infinite Life Training & Coaching Company as the fruition of what Bill’s legacy was and to honor the message he taught me and so many – to follow your dreams, to chase your passion, to never give up and to own (be responsible for) its expression.
And now, Your Infinite Life Training & Coaching Company is the journey of many people, all connected, longing to experience the infinite within the confines of the finite self. We serve to move people to become and manifest a life beyond their wildest dreams. We encourage leadership qualities as well as the collaboration of following and teamwork. Our leaders challenge the status quo. We consistently guide people to connect or reconnect to the depth and complexity of their humanness. We dare to assess the sacredness of each individual soulful life with the depth, value and reverence necessary to lend the ordinary extraordinary meaning. We assist people to discover, honor and express their magnificence.
What is magnificence? Magnificence is much more than that moment of experiencing your greatness, although that is magnificent. Magnificence is that moment you feel angry and rather than hurting someone, instead treat him or her with firm kindness. Magnificence is when you feel hurt and allow yourself to feel the feelings from your tender heart, rather than just telling someone how he or she hurt you. Magnificence is when you are afraid, and allow your body to feel the fear with an open heart, and then go for it! Magnificence is feeling sad, while knowing that you deeply care. Magnificence is committing to a life of learning and a willingness to look inside to find answers that may have been hidden. Magnificence is learning to be at ease with making mistakes, and learning to love and be loved unconditionally. These lofty goals require commitment, dedication and a lot of practice! Your Infinite Life will move you to that level of commitment, dedication and the desire to practice.
We believe that immersing yourself in an intensely loving, compassionate learning environment with a variety of unique tools is the best way to actually make the changes you desire.
So, as we begin to prepare for our 8th year in business and the 10th anniversary of Bill Riedler’s passing, this dreamer is grateful for the dreamer before her and the dreamer before him, and so on. I encourage all of you to discover, to honor, to express and to be grateful for the dream and you as the dreamer.
Certainty and Faith – Opposite Sides of the Same Coin
“The opposite of faith is not doubt, it is certainty.” Anne Lamott
This quote caused me to do a lot of introspection and when I decided to do that, guess what happened next? I got the opportunity to have experiences to understand at a deeper level what the quote actually means. So let me start with sharing one of many experiences to validate this truth.
I decided to have (what I decided was) a difficult conversation with someone that works with me. I had been reflecting on some of their recent behaviors. I could hear my internal conversations filled with lots of “shoulds” that were a result of how I had experienced what others had done in this situation, as well as comparing them to what society in general might do in my situation. I could tell that those internal conversations would not be something I could act upon because they didn’t match my stated values. At this point, I had a choice – to do it the way I thought I “should” or to continue complaining in my head or to think of a new way based upon my stated value system. In this moment, I was no longer certain. This space of a lack of certainty as to what to do or say, along with knowing my values, opened up a space to access my creativity which included expressing myself from my core values.
While the conversation wasn’t any less difficult, I was able to have the discussion from a place of faith in myself to express from my stated values and faith in them to receive the information from their values. The result: MAGNIFICENT! It was difficult for the other person at the time of the conversation, yet when we spoke at the agreed upon time (because it was important to me to give them time to reflect) they had reflected on everything I spoke about and shared that was possible because of the caring way I delivered the information.
I was admittedly nervous when I was ready to speak at the agreed upon time. I reminded myself that I have faith in myself and my ability to listen and deliver based upon my values. I know now that if I went into the conversation certain about how it might go, how they might react, sure that I was right, playing it safe, etc., there would probably have been a different result. Most importantly, I realize that I feel great about myself, no matter how it would have turned out, because I stayed present to my values – having faith in myself and them.
Give it a try! If you want coaching on how to get to this spot, give us a call at 636-466-2030 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website – www.YourInfiniteLifeOnline.com
The Magnificence of Feelings
There are so many opinions and ideas and judgments about feelings. There are even more misinterpretations and misunderstandings when it comes to feelings. Feelings are meant to be felt, not necessarily expressed! This is where it begins to get complicated, so I will do my best to keep it simple.
For the completion of something (situations, experiences) that needs healing; it will mean that you must also heal emotionally, as well as mentally, spiritually & physically. You can only heal emotionally by feeling your feelings all the way through and out your body. The challenge with this concept is that too often people are fueling their feelings rather than only feeling them. To feel rather than fuel, you will need to move away from the story that caused the feelings and focus on the feelings inside of your body as they move through and out.
It is inaccurate to believe that if you yelled at someone or told them the reason they have made you feel angry, that you have felt the feeling through and out. In most of those cases, you will have only fueled the feeling. I suggest that you feel your feelings all the way through and out, and then decide what you will say. This is because after feeling your feelings all the way through and out, you will have added skills and ways of being to communicate with that you don’t have in the midst of feelings.
There are 5 basic feelings – mad, sad, afraid, hurt and happy. Everything else is a derivative of one or more of the basic 5 feelings.
When you feel MAD all the way through and out, you allow yourself to know and experience your inner strength. This is when you can effectively be powerful in setting boundaries, asking for what you want, etc.
When you feel SAD all the way through and out, you allow yourself to know and experience how much you care. You will truly understand what it is you care about after feeling.
When you feel AFRAID all the way through and out, you allow yourself to know and experience your open heart and its vulnerability as a strength. This is where true courage is born.
When you feel HURT all the way through and out, you allow yourself to know and experience your depth of love. This knowing can assist you in communicating from your magnificent self.
When you feel HAPPY all the way through and out, you allow yourself to know and experience gratitude, appreciation and joy from the inside out. This helps you know that these reside within you.
In order to effectively feel your feelings, you will want to follow this method:
1) Place your hand on the part of your body where the feeling originates.
2) Allow the feeling, using your intention, to move down, through and out the bottom of your feet, then up, through and out the top of your head.
All of our coaching and course experiences give guided methods to this process. Our experiences have shown us and our customers that things that repeatedly bothered them have been transformed because they completed the healing process emotionally.
Develop your ability to feel your feelings all the way through and out and you will experience yourself as more grounded, peaceful and a better communicator. The reason for this is partly due to feeling your feelings eliminating triggers.
For a visual document of this process, please send an email to Pam@YourInfiniteLifeOnline.com.
The Magnificence of Limitations
I was working out with my trainer and he asked me to choose a weight that I thought would be the heaviest I could go – I chose 35 lbs (that was after first wanting to choose 30lbs). I did a great job doing the exercise he wanted with that weight AND I felt really good about myself and quite accomplished. Then he said, “I would have guessed you would go for 45 or 50 lbs!” I laughed and said, “You see me stronger than I do.” He was curious about that and then I realized that I chose based upon what I thought I could do, without asking myself what I believed I could do. This meant that my choice of 35 lbs was to test what I thought I could already do rather than asking what I believe or imagine. I immediately saw how this way of being plays out in fulfilling my destiny because I settle for being satisfied when inside myself, I believe I am capable of so much more!
Believe in what I can do and then find my limitations.
It is a fact that humanly we are limited and it is also known, that spiritually we are not limited. How do we utilize this paradox? Well, this is what I discovered. My trainer challenged me to give him one rep with 50 lbs. I went to grab the weight and it took two hands to lift it, how was I going to do it with one hand? This is where the learning began! I discovered my true limitations here, rather than the ones I perceived before. I realized that my back, shoulders and upper arms could lift the weight – it was the grip (my hands) that the limitation showed up. My trainer immediately had a solution and used a wrist guard to assist me with the grip. I was smiling ear to ear as I lifted the 50 lb weight! It was definitely hard AND I did it! I just overcame a perceived limitation and found the true, real limitation.
There are so many reasons why we don’t act on that greater image of ourselves. Those reasons are to be discovered in the real/true limitation, rather than the perceived limitations in our minds. For me, not acting on my greater image of myself is because I don’t like to be judged for mistakes I make and so playing it safe means making less mistakes. I have decided to even dispel that by simply acting on my beliefs about who I truly am, what I am here on the planet to do, where I want to make a difference and how to serve my message of magnificence. I now know that I will discover my limitations along the way and my fulfillment doesn’t come from trying to make less mistakes; my fulfillment comes from going for my belief that every man, woman and child is magnificent whether they believe it or whether they are expressing it and I will assist them to discover, honor and express their magnificence.
Seth Godin says that paradoxes cannot be solved and often formed so that there is no solution, only arguments. For example, the paradox of thinking I could not make a greater impact in the world without making mistakes or without ever being afraid. Once willing to relax those two boundaries, each one becomes a problem in which I can deal with the side effects. In other words, I can deal with mistakes I make (I always have!) – I can manage and feel my fear, yet follow through anyway.
Challenge yourself today or this week or this month to go beyond a perceived limitation in service to your magnificence and find the real limitation on the way there. You never know, you may not actually find one!
The Magnificence of an Imperfect Father
My dad made a tremendous amount of mistakes parenting me and my six siblings. He had difficulty holding a job. It appeared as if he did not want to grow up and take on the responsibility of fatherhood. He took out his fears and lack of love for himself on us, especially one of my brothers. He spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals for depression. He acted like everything was just fine, when it was far from that. He flipped one month after we had a devastating house fire, losing everything and he took off. He told us he was going to work and left town. It was weeks before we knew he was alright and a year before we would even see him again. He was not a part of our lives for many, many years. Once we were adults, all of us decided to bring him back to visit so that he could meet his grandchildren and he got drunk and acted like an out-of-control teenager during his visits. This is a highlight of his many imperfections and if you asked all of my siblings, they each could share just as many as me, if not more.
Definitely imperfect! The perfection in this life with and without my dad, is the reflection of who I am today and how utterly imperfectly perfect each and everyone of my siblings are! I will speak for myself though. I have had ups and downs in my life and I lead an extraordinarily ordinary life. I am forgiving, loving, compassionate, a great daughter, sister, friend, mother, aunt, cousin, niece, ex-wife and mother-in-law, to name a few. I have a desire and drive to develop my character always and in all ways. I make mistakes, forgive myself, make up for them, learn from them and continue to move forward. I honor my vulnerability and honor that of others as well.
The point in tooting my horn right now? Because I can NOT blame my father because he was imperfect and did so many” wrong” things at pivotal times in my life. If I look at the results as a measurement of the way I was raised, I became who I am beCAUSE of him and the way I was raised.
Thank you Dad! I know you are not here to experience our lives anymore. I believe you are watching us all and honoring us for the ability to be magnificent when we could have chosen otherwise. You can rest now, knowing I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone.
Group Confidence – are you raising or lowering it?
A few months ago, I was in an exercise class. The instructor was doing a wonderful job of making it alright if we weren’t pushing ourselves and at the same time encouraging us to go further. I love that kind of inspiration and I was proud of the way I was pushing myself in a way that was encouraging.
Then something shifted about half way through the class. Our instructor starting sharing some personal stories – I love personal stories! However, I did not feel this way about these stories. This instructor was sharing how she coaches teens and began complaining about one of those girls and her attitude. There was a snowball effect that occurred – there was the story about how the spouse had to go to the “hood,” then the story about another instructor that is full of herself, and the story about begrudgingly working with young children until the parents acknowledge her. Yikes!
Let me explain group confidence. When you are talking about someone in a group, you may want to ask yourself the question, is what I’m saying lowering the confidence about this person in the group or is it raising it or is it neutral? If you notice you are complaining about someone or a group of people, you can balance that by sharing three positive and genuine attributes.
I’m not so sure about my workout after that because I became very busy in my mind, feeling and intention to balance out the lowering of the opinion of these folks being complained about, as well as for the instructor.
Let me tell you about this instructor – she is confident, physically very strong, inspiring in the way that she teaches and I can tell she loves what she does. I was grateful after class because she inspired me to write!
I encourage you to monitor your conversations and consistently ask yourself if you are raising or lowering the group’s confidence in the person or persons you are speaking about. When it is out of balance – share at least three positive and genuine things about them. This goes for what you write as well!