Post ID 781

Posted by on May 8, 2020

“Honour the space between no longer and not yet.” Nancy Levin

Yes, we have all been through much change over the past two months. I wonder if any of your personal relationships have also changed?

And how are you handling the transition that goes along with the change? 

If you’re not sure what I mean, here’s a quick recap of William Bridges’ transition theory.

A change is the external event or situation – positive or negative – that is largely practical. For example, a change could include the tangibles of welcoming a new friend or baby to your life, or saying goodbye to someone who is no longer your friend or is moving away.

A transition is your internal experience of the change – emotional and mental – that is a gradual process of adjustment. So, the intangible transition of moving through the psychological part of handling the new arrival or the departure of someone from your life.

If you find yourself stuck in a relationship, it could be that you haven’t moved through one of the ‘3 Stages of Transition’ in their natural order:

  • The Ending – You enter a change here, and identify what you are losing and how to manage these losses. Think of it like a storm’s arrival.
  • The Neutral Zone – The bridging between old and new, you are in the confusing and murky middle of change. This is like the foggy calm after the storm.
  • The New Beginning – The final stage where you accept the new normal with renewed energy and start to experience wins in your new direction. Here the sun, or even a rainbow, are visible through the parting clouds. 

Considering a personal relationship of yours that is currently changing, what stage are you in? 

If you find you’re not steadily moving through that stage of transition, here are some suggestions to help you gain some momentum with your relationship transition: 

1. If you’re stuck in your relationship’s ending (or ending in the sense that it will be different going forward than what it was before), do your grief work. Both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ relationship changes involve some element of letting go: of who you were, of what was, or of what never will become. Allow yourself the space to feel and release your sorrow.

2. If you’re lost in your relationship’s neutral zone, address your fears, doubts and resistance. This period can feel very uncomfortable as you may sometimes want to go back to how things were, but you also know that you must move forward. Resist the urge to fill this emptiness to avoid the temporary discomfort. Learn new perspectives or resources, from trustworthy sources and people, to address your limits and worries.

3. If you’re caught in the new beginning, spark up your desires. You’re starting to become more clear on who you are and how you are in relationships. Bravely dream up the best possible outcomes for yourself and pursue what feels right for you. Take small steps, and try small things, as you increase your confidence in your new identity and reality.

From here, I’m confident you’ll notice some momentum through your changing relationship. Reach out to may any time for further clarification. Together we’ll catch a glimpse of your fair weather relationship forecast.

Post ID 770

Posted by on May 1, 2020

We live near a river that empties into the great Lake Superior. At this time of year, the waterfowl all seem to gather here en route to their summer destinations. In the last 24 hours I’ve watched seagulls, Canada Geese, cormorants, an eagle, a blue heron, a loon and many types of ducks – all in our ‘front yard’. 

These birds reminded me of an effective practice to give ourselves a higher perspective of the relationshiops in our lives. I’ve expanded on an idea that I first learned from Beth Kempton in her book ‘Freedom Seeker’, and have used since.

You can use this exercise to see the full picture of a great relationship you have with someone, whether it’s a friend, loved one, client or colleague. For today, I’ll share how to use it to gain some understanding about a less than ideal relationship that you may be in.

“A Bird’s-Eye View”

When it comes to a challenging relationship that you want to improve, there are four factors influencing that relationship to consider:

  1. Your role in encouraging or boosting yourself upward in the relationship
  2. Your role in discouraging or sinking yourself downward in the relationship
  3. The other’s role in supporting or propelling you forward in the relationship
  4. The other’s role in slowing or pulling you backward in the relationship

So in bird terms: 

  1. You ‘fly’ in a relationship when your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are ‘positive’, helpful and compassionate.
  2. You ‘dive’ below (or sink) in a relationship when your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are ‘negative’, unhelpful and critical.
  3. You are ‘thrust’ forward in a relationship when the other person supports and celebrates you in ‘positive’, helpful and compassionate ways.
  4. You are ‘dragged’ backward in a relationship when the other person drains you or disapproves in ‘negative, unhelpful and critical ways. 

Would you rather fly ‘free and forward’ in your relationship or ‘sink below and drag behind’? 

Now here’s how to practically apply this idea. . . 

Step 1 – Draw an ‘X’ through a piece of paper, to divide it into four quadrants. Label the top quadrant “Your Name/ Fly”, the bottom “Your Name/ Dive”, the left “Other Person’s Name/ Drag” and the right “Other Person’s Name/ Thrust”. 

Step 2 – In each quadrant, list  examples of HOW you/the other person show up in your relationship together, in the ways listed above.

Step 3 – For each of the points you’ve listed, note WHY you believe you/the other person might be showing up in this way. What do you guess may be the real reason behind the loving or lacking behaviour? 

Step 4 – On the back of the page, note any overall discoveries you’ve made by having this higher perspective on all the dynamics of the relationship.

Have you discovered something new?

This awareness practice can be the catalyst that starts to shift your relationship dynamic, and here are a few more thoughts on where to go from here: 

  1. ‘Fly’ – Keep doing the things in this quadrant. Celebrate these wins and use these experiences as helpful examples to guide your actions in the other areas.
  2. ‘Dive’  Give less time and attention to the things in this quadrant, unless you are working to resolve them. Have compassion for yourself and the gifts in these experiences. 
  3. ‘Thrust’ – Let the person know how much you appreciate the types of support listed in this quadrant. Spend more time with this person and seek new connections with people like this.
  4. ‘Drag’ – Kindly let the person know how they can support you in a way that would be more helpful than the ways listed in this quadrant. Spend less time with this person or people like this.  

But there’s a fifth factor that I haven’t yet mentioned that you can use in your relationships!

When in doubt, overhwelmed, confused, unsure, stuck, exhausted, or simply because it’s good for you . . .

Just float. 

You ‘float’ in a relationship when you allow yourself to simply be – be still, be present and rest. You give yourself the peaceful pause you need before you proceed at all.

And I wonder how much the other person would appreciate the opportunity to float too?

 

 

Post ID 747

Posted by on April 22, 2020

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” Aristotle

I celebrate Earth Day today as I do every year – by going outside and being in nature. Pretty simple I know, but I also know the best way to appreciate this earth is to get out there and engage with it on a personal level. And of course this applies any day of the year.

Before I headed out this morning, I noted it’s also a new moon today, so I infused my new moon practice with my Earth Day clebration and voila! Enjoy this walking practice to discover something new about your current desires.

How to Walk with Desire

1) Before you set out, take note of how you’re feeling, in general and about the walk. Aside from being present and enjoying your time outside, you’ll be learning something about what you currently desire. Keep track in a journal if you’re into that sort of thing like I am.

2) During your walk, just get out there and have fun. Be as present as you can be to the sights and sounds of this beautiful earth. While you’re out, take note of something that catches your attention; that causes you to pause and take a second look; or that is cool or special to you. 

3) When you return, note again how you’re feeling, in general and about the walk. Has anything changed since the start of your walk? Also, what was the special thing you noticed? Describe what it was about the thing you noticed that captured your attention. Now how can you apply that understanding to the thing you desire?

For example, my son wanted to come on my walk with me which was a rare offer, so I gladly welcomed him. While I did notice some interesting sites en route, it turned out that the biggest thing I noticed was more about how the walk went down.  Whereas I wanted to go on a nice easy stroll along the trail, my son wanted us to blaze our own trail through the bush, over the rock and into the beaver pond. 

I admit it was a nice change that I wouldn’t have pursued if he wasn’t there. It got me out of my routine to do the unexpected, explore and discover new things. So I can now apply that to my current desires (or new moon intention if you prefer). As I pursue my current desire this month, I will keep in mind that ideally it will help me “get out of my routine, do the unexpected, explore and discover new things”. And that sounds just about right to me.

On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, whether or not you try this walk, may you notice nature’s beauty, magic and marvelousness – and how it reflects and nurtures the same in you!

Posted in: Adventure, Dreams, Nature
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