Leadership & Growth Matters-Honor Matters

You cannot grow a plant by dipping it into the dirt once a year. It takes an ongoing connection to build a root system.” – Dr. Henry Cloud

 

The best way that I have found over the years to enhance my empathy for others is to do my own work. What do I mean by this? I mean doing the difficult work of getting into understanding your own feelings, needs, and desires. I have hired professionals often to help me work through this. It is tough and uncomfortable and I find the more I am able to observe and evaluate myself I enhance my empathy with others which is the most basic human relational ability in which to create a connection.

 

When we do this type of work it grows our leadership skills improve from one of frustration and angst in our choice of language to one of calm and empathic. You might think that this has a minor impact, however, a simple elementary change of language choice can produce a positive and widespread change in how we connect with others.

 

What kind of emotional tone do you want to have in your relationships?

What creates the tone, either positive or negative, and what can you do to make it better?

How is your balance between creating a positive connection with others and having your needs met going?

 

Build a support system around yourself today that allows for: the removal of toxic relationships and behaviors, that builds a deep connection with others, support others in getting in control of what they can control and help others to think optimistically and root out pessimistic belief systems. When you grow and get better everybody around you benefits!

What word would you use to describe your mother and father? Maybe love, safety, comfort, home or hurt, pain, regret, missed an opportunity. Maybe even the response of “I can’t talk about it!” No matter where you are on that spectrum, it’s your family, and though every family is different, every person matters. Honoring our parents depends on where you are in the family structure. When we appreciate the influence of our parents and significance of our parents, and we share their legacy, we honor them.

 

Lately, I’ve been doing my own work on the cultural aspects of my family. Being the third generation of immigrant families (on both sides) I’ve been looking at how the country of origin and moving countries affected my parents parenting style.  Did the style work for me as a child? How is my inner child belief system working for me now as an adult? I’ve made lists of how I am like my parents and how I am not like my parents. Doing this exercise has been extremely helpful in healing my relationships.

 

As we move into the holiday season and family emotions are running high. Have you sat still for a moment and pondered how you’d like to show up to your family? What your part is in the family dynamic? As adults, it is our job to learn what our parents could not teach us as a child.

 

How are you honoring the family relationships in your life?

 

Life is full of betrayal, storms, upheavals things that are out of our control, every person is different, our perceptions of life are different. You Matter, We All Matter! We are all unique as our fingerprint is. We are whole and as we transform ourselves, we support others in transforming too. Transformed individuals transform communities. I believe this happens one person at a time!

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Conflict Matters

Successful relationships handle conflict well. Currently, our political arena is giving us a front-row seat into the tension-packed experience of conflict. Everyone has an opinion on how things should be handled. No one is removed from the process, even if they’d like to be. What is easy to notice is the inability of most people to see someone else’s perspective. The old saying “try to walk a mile in their shoes” seems to be thrown completely out the window in the political realm as battle lines are drawn and “enemies” are identified. We hurt, insult, create labels, hate and sever relationships. Is there a better way to handle conflict? Marshall Rosenburg says “The objective of Nonviolent Communication is to establish a relationship based on honesty and empathy. When others trust that our primary commitment is to the quality of the relationship and that we expect this process to fulfill everyone’s needs, then they can trust that our requests are true requests and not camouflaged demands.

While it is not my intention to dive into the craziness of politics, the way many people handle conflict within political discussion does help us realize how we can better handle conflict within our personal lives. How we handle conflict is a key indicator of success and compatibility which is definitely important in our relationships with others in our lives. Imagine if for a moment you improved your conflict resolution skills how would your relationships grow and improve?

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music” – John Milton

It is okay to feel anger and to process anger. When we are speaking the truth/Satya to someone if we are doing it in a non-harming/ahimsa manner, truth and anger cannot belong in the same sentence.  This is why we apply self-empathy, take a breath and then chose how to respond. We have communication choices. Focus on self-empathy, start with your “Self” become aware of your feelings and needs first to gain clarity. Words matter it makes up our emotional DNA that helps develop our thinking and thought patterns. It is when you can sit down next to the person and discuss a conflict that you are ready to communicate when you want to be across the table listen more than you speak.

 

Yoga Sutra 1.30Vyadhi Styana Samsaya Pramada Alasya Avirati Bhrantidarsana Alabdhabhumikatva Anavasthitatvani Cittaviksepah Te Antarayah” From that comes Realization of the individual self and the obstacles are removed. This is often translated as a disease; mental inaction; doubt; carelessness; laziness; inability to withdraw, compose and rest; hallucination; inability to reach, grasp or comprehend the goal; and inability to remain grounded are the obstacles these are distractions to the mind. We are all overscheduled, overworked, thinking about too much. However, this is all by our own choice and under these obstacles, it gets worse. By examining opposites, beliefs, and self-inquiry is an excellent starting point.

 

For me Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally said it best “How we view the world- our worldview- is, in the end, the only thing that decides whether we suffer or find real happiness. It’s extremely important to realize that an entire civilization can be caught up for many years in a mistaken view of the world. For thousands of years, sensible people believed that the world was flat. The courageous, democracy-minded founders of the United States kept human beings as slaves and believed that they were animals, not people. Our culture today has its own massively mistaken ideas of the world, and these cause all hunger, poverty, sickness, and war in the world. If our people’s view of the world is causing pain to others and ourselves, then we must look for a better one, one that works. If it doesn’t work, we cannot simply continue to follow whatever we learned as children, whether it came from parents or schools, churches or governments. True yoga is the search for the worldview that actively works to bring people happiness.

We need to integrate our experiences and have the courage to be ourselves and to allow this individuality even if it scares us because belonging matters. “The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear whole or acceptable, but our wholeness even our wholeheartedness actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the fails.” – Brene Brown During conflict we need to listen there is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. Listening is much more important than talking and yet it is much easier to talk rather than listen. We want to be heard and more importantly, we want to be right. When in the midst of conflict we are thinking about our response more than we are actually listening to what the other person is saying and this is not our best way to start a conflict resolution.  The first step is to listen for identify the root of the problem (content, pattern or relationship rooted)

 

Here are some questions to ponder:

  1. How was conflict handled in the home in which you grew up?
  2. When you were growing up, what were sources of conflict between you and your family of origin?
  3. In what areas of your life do you tend to value your own perspective over the members of your immediate support system?
  4. Often times, the way our parents handled conflict growing up carries over and impacts the way we handle conflict as adults. Is this true in your life and in what ways?
  5. What areas do you need to be more mindful of your own responses where conflict resolution is concerned?

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Every Season of Life Matters

I’ve lived in four season climate my entire life. Sometimes the seasons seem a bit confused. But the reality is they come and go in varying degrees. Some people feel because of this variation that seasons don’t matter. This sentiment should not carry over into our lives, and yet it seems to.

We go through seasons in our lives. Great seasons and terrible seasons, chaotic seasons and calm seasons. No matter the season the expected and unexpected matter, and it matters that we understand that. Embracing the season may not be easy, but it is important all the time. Our circumstances are not a life sentence, and we need to embrace the idea that our circumstances are opportunities. How do we overcome the tension of difficult seasons and welcome opportunities for influence? First is the awareness that all seasons are important, these things can happen.

Nature’s seasons teach us about ourselves. In winter we go inward and do our internal work, reflection, hibernation, and planning brings self-reflection. Then spring comes and offers a chance for renew, learning, opportunity and progressive thinking, an opportunity for learning. The summer arrives while we steep and marinate in our new growth, rewards, celebration and fulfillment, happiness. Finally, fall comes, and we shed what no longer serves us, for survival, mistakes and problems, pain.

In summer you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: Networking, traveling, leisure, accomplishing goals, taking risks, proactive action, expanding your comfort zone, thinking optimistically. In summer you may be experiencing these emotions: excitement, passion, euphoria, courage, confidence. The evolution of summer requires real plans, preparation, solid choices and decisions, prolonged self-reflection, capitalizing on the right opportunities.

What impact has the summers had on your life?
What have summers taught you about yourself and others?
How have summers transformed your personality?

In autumn you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: avoiding responsibility, contracting your comfort zone, hesitating, thinking unrealistically, ineffectively and pessimistically. In summer you may be experiencing these emotions: anger, anxiety, frustration, stress, disappointment and overwhelm. The evolution of autumn requires certain factors that come into play that naturally enable us to transition through this phase like ineffective decision-making, failure to capitalize on opportunities, ignorance, mistakes stemming from ineffective thinking and mistakes originating from limiting habits of behavior.

What impact have autumns had on my life?
What have autumns taught me about myself and others?
How has autumn so transformed my personality?

In winter you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: time for finding inner peace and solitude, time for bonding with family, friends and loved ones, time for journaling thoughts and feelings, time for thinking critically, realistically, problematically and thoughtfully about life. In winter you may be experiencing these emotions: guilt, fear, relief, grief, hope. The evolution of winter includes these factors of lack of emotional intelligence, reactive behavior to losses and uncontrolled circumstances, ineffective choices, habits, and thoughts.

What impact has the winters had on my life?
What have winters taught me about myself, life and others?
How have winters transformed my personality?

In spring you’ll find yourself undertaking these activities: developing new skills, habits, and social contacts; altering personal mindset; expanding knowledge, options, and opportunities; setting goals; thinking strategically, tactically and insightfully. In spring you may be experiencing these emotions: love, trust, joy, gratitude, appreciation. The evolution of spring of enhanced self-belief, increased self-confidence, solid reflection time that enables you to clarify what you want most in life are factors that come into play that naturally allow us to transition to this phase of life.

What impact have the springs had on my life?
What have springs taught me about myself, life and others?
How have springs transformed my personality?

The seasons of life are always changing as a result of the choices and decisions that we make on a daily basis. The life seasons transition naturally from one phase to another because of they are simply a reflection of our human nature. Our seasons of life are temporary just as nature’s seasons are. The joy you feel during summer will not last forever, the length of time it takes us to process through each season is simply a reflection of our state-of-mind a reflection of our ability to adapt to the conditions and circumstances we find ourselves in. The seasons of life are there to teach us lessons about ourselves and our lives. They are there to help us grow emotionally, physically and socially. When we succeed we celebrate. When we fail, we complain and blame, and eventually find our way into contemplation of who we are, what we want and how we would like to show up in the world. All of this shapes our character, paints the canvas of our life as we evolve. We naturally create and transition between the four seasons of life as a result of our responses and reactions to people, events, and circumstances. How we respond to our environment will directly influence what we get back from our environment whether they are problems or opportunities.

Yoga Therapy helps you build tools that allow you to flow through these seasons. It teaches you how to support, love and forgive as you go through these seasons of life. So you can ride the waves of life seasons with grace.

Which season are you currently transitioning though at this very moment?
How have the seasons shaped your character?
Have the seasons strengthened your character?
How have seasons of life enriched your experience of life?

The seasons of life don’t necessarily cycle from summer to autumn to winter to spring and then start over again. They transition any-which-way depending on the emotional choices and decisions we make on a daily basis.

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