Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being Connected

Social media is offering an explosion of new ways of being connected. I am just beginning to explore what facebook, twitter, foursquare and linked in can do for me and my relationships. I come from a past where strong bonds were formed by meeting, sharing experiences together and being close to each other. Can I now form new bonds with people I have never met or seen but who have similar interests to me? I haven't done so yet but the possibility seems to be there. I feel like a lost explorer heading in to a thick jungle but with a sense of excitement about what might occur. What has been your experience so far?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just a thought

Just a thought is all it is. You can change it, deny it, believe it, watch it, follow it, ignore it or just let it be. You can do any of these in theory. In practice the choices are often less clear. Those thoughts that take hold of you, boil your blood, make you perspire, raise your heartbeat and wreck your sleep are so resistant to influence. They have you in their grip and will not leave you alone until their work is done. You know they are 'just thoughts' but seem so much more as they play with your mood and direct what you do. They present the problem to the machinery of your mind which will then grind out answers seeking the one to appease the thought riding you like a wild stallion under its control. Break free and throw it off. It can only rule you if you let it. Tame it yourself as you pick it up, write it down, look at it and call it for what it is. In the same way that now is all there ever is a thought is always 'just a thought'.

ps...I wrote this for myself this morning as I noticed some thoughts taking destructive control of me.

Friday, January 29, 2010

CIO, Businessman and Coach - Overcome The Language Paradox

In the business community Businessmen, CIO's and Coaches can often suffer from the 'language paradox'. This can be stated something like 'if you listen to my language I can transform your world but if I speak my language you will not listen to me.' The businessman knows that if the vision is clear, backed up by a robust strategy, activity focussed on top line growth with well managed costs and correctly followed processes then performance is assured and success lies ahead. He is never really sure which link in this chain is not working when he is not where he expects to be but knows if he presses hard on each link the flow will be towards success in the end. When it doesn't happen for him again he moves on to a new place and tries all the same links all over again.
The Coach knows that performance of human beings is driven by the states of inner conflicts, self esteem, the different types of intelligence and psychological make up, existential anxiety, boundaries, resistance, needs and wants. She knows that each of these links in the human performance chain are impacted when the businessman presses on his performance links. Help the human links and personal and business performance improves. Harm them and failure follows fast.
This is the language paradox at play for coaches in the business world. There is a similar interplay for many CIO's between the languages of business and IT. It is played out every day all over the world with fantastic energy, conviction and belief. There is a wonderful clip of Eric Schmidt (CEO Google) giving the best advice he ever got on CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/06/19/f_ba_schmidt_google.fortune/ . In it he speaks forcefully about the benefits available when he overcame the language paradox. He made it to CEO and then discovered there was yet another level of performance available to him if he could open his mind to the possibility.
To the CIO and Coach spend more time understanding the language of the businessman and how the language and links in your chain impact the links in his chain. To the businessman look inside and see how you are motivated and inspired as a human being and notice the different language needed to describe it. When Coach, CIO and businessman converse be open to the idea that if you can overcome the language paradox you will transform both yourself and your business.

If you like this piece see more at http://reflectandbe.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thoughts on Being

I wrote the following to my Gestalt class around the world and thought you might appreciate it. Nobantu is one of my class mates based in South Africa and this came out of a conversation with her. Enjoy it and let me know what resonates from your experience.


A little while ago Nobantu and I had a wonderful conversation. She inspired some thoughts and gave me some reading to do. I am also playing with a novel and there is a main character in the book called Ralph. A combination of his creation and where the inspiration from the conversation with Nobantu took me lead Ralph to think the following……..

‘Understanding deeply who and what I am is not determined by others around me or the environment has given me a great strength. Seeing the inner core of me and the beauty of life as a flame burning in me takes away all my anxiety and enables me to be. No longer do I have to win external approval by acquiring more or achieving goals I think others want me to strive for. I can now inhabit the island of me as a rich place of retreat with everything I need to be at ease with myself and the world around me. Every moment is filled with a joy of being and I need to travel no further than myself to experience it to the full.
To the normal person these ideas sound crazy or belonging to weird religious or spiritual sects. Since moving away from the merged state with mother the normal person is constantly seeking a return through judgment, approval, chasing a state others can give them or following those who appear to have got there. The break with mother is so devastatingly traumatic that a normal person can spend a lifetime using all the energy they have to put it all back together again. But all the kings horses and all the kings men cannot put Humpty Dumpty together again.
It is not easy to give up on this task of reconstruction. Our minds say if this, then that so we believe we must do this for that. Challenging that our minds might be wrong or that there are other ways is unnatural. Our minds have thought it so how do we get the same mind to unthink it. Curious people will find a way as they question, think, reflect, challenge and test how things fit together in their lives. Late in life a light may go on and insight rise to the surface. Others will get there through interventions that enter their lives or that they seek in their journey. Interventions from individuals who have taken generations of learning and are able to guide pupils to insight.
Imagine you are confronted with a wall you cannot pass through in front of you. It is made of steel reinforced concrete and extends forever in both directions. You notice a toothpick on the ground and believe this is the only tool you have to break through the wall to find the purpose of your life on the other side. You spend your whole life using the toothpick in all sorts of ingenious ways to get through the wall. Then one day you look behind you or someone makes the suggestion. There is no wall there and with no toothpick work to do life is suddenly filled with the pleasure of experiencing who and where you are. Now those in the know understand there is nothing worth having beyond the wall. Nothing. It was always a mirage you will never reach. It kept you busy with purpose but distracted you from seeing all along that everything you ever wanted was right there within you. Open your eyes and you will see.’

Now I am intrigued to know more about Ralph’s thoughts as they unfold…..but that is for another day. Nobantu….thankyou for the conversation and inspiration.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Conquering Anxiety

Everyone suffers from anxiety at some time. Human minds are designed to judge differences and changes but are limited by the interpretation of the information their senses provid to them. This creates uncertainty which we attempt to overcome by filling in what we do not know with assumptions. Anxiety arises from the difference between what is and what we would like it to be. One way of conquering anxiety is to look more deeply at each of these perspectives. Look at 'what is' first and question if there are some equally true realities that are more useful for you. There usually are. What your mind chooses to tell you 'is' may not be the best for you. Test it. Then look at 'what you would like it to be' and question if that is what you really want. Is there something else that is equally acceptable to you? There often will be. In every moment there is great potential for alignement of 'what is' with 'what we want'. When you do not see it take another look and keep looking until you see what is right for you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Achieving Harmony

Acheiving harmony is such a big challenge for human beings. Those rare moments when we are at ease with ourselves and the environment we are in refresh us and put a special glow on living. There are two ideas to reflect on to give us more of these moments. The first is the idea of noticing. It sounds easy but so few of us do it. We often experience anxiety, anger, sadness, happiness, tiredness, hunger, frustration and so many other feelings in an automatic flow of not noticing. Noticing what you are experiencing is a first step towards achieving harmony. If you notice it, describe it, stand back from it and look at it, see what you do and don't understand about it and let some time pass with this noticing you will gain great insight. As with any exercise you get better at this the more you do it. You will get to a state when you can say to yourself 'I notice that I am angry and the characteristics of this anger are x, y and z and I can choose to keep this anger or to let it go.' Try this and see what it does for you. Notice.

The second idea is to be interested in yourself. Much of our dissatisfaction in the world is related to conflicts taking place within ourselves. We find it easier to blame the environment or someone else but very often we avoid looking at what is going on inside ourselves. I do this, most people do this and you probably do too. When you notice an experience, in particular one you don't like, explore what it is telling you about yourself. If you can't do or have something and you believe it is because of someone else look inside to see if there is something you are avoiding. Often you will be and you will have to look hard to see it to overcome our own very clever mechanisms for blaming others over taking responsibility for what you avoid yourself. The wonderful gift of this idea is that once you discover that it is something going on inside you that is causing you problems you then have total control on fixing it. It might be tough and require commitment but the outcome will often be better than the false pleasure you get from blaming someone or something else?

What do you think? Does this make sense and what does it raise for you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Is Your Story True?

You have taken control of the pen and it now writes freely in your hand or the hand of authors you choose. Your story unfolds and shapes the way you feel, think and act. If you love reading it then carry on writing and enjoy each chapter about the great journey you are on. You will feel great, bathe in your thoughts and do some wonderful things. Read no further here. But what can you do if it doesn't quite feel right? If it doesn't feel good it is time to take a look and see if your story is true. After all it is only a story and it if it is not a good one perhaps there is a better one for you. Every story is made up of a combination of facts and assumptions. Very often there is very little fact and the interpretations and assumptions you make are the cause of your anxiety or dissatisfaction. To write a better story for you seperate out the facts and assumptions of your current story. Look at the facts and ask if those that do not help you need to be used. If not then take them out or replace them with more useful facts for you. You can do the same with assumptions and take one more step. An assumption is just one way of interpreting the world. There are so many more to choose from so pick the best one for you. Weed out unhelpful facts and assumptions and plant new and helpful ones for your growth and development. Remember today can be wonderful or woeful through the assumptions you make as you live it.