Difficult Conversations

Have you ever had to have a difficult conversation with someone you cared for deeply?  I'm talking about the kind of conversation that no one ever really looks forward to; the kind of conversation that has the power to change the relationship completely; the kind of conversation you don't know how to start and yet you feel must happen eventually if things are to change.   

There are many books, lectures and talks on how to do this effectively while keeping as much emotion out of the equation – be as brief and as factual as possible, plan ahead of time, use the recommended steps, use the recommended templates, sandwich the difficult partbetween two easy parts, and on and on.  Each method brings with it its own advantages and in the end, you are still the one who must have that talk.  No one else can do it for you. You have to be the courageous one.  

Now imagine if that conversation were to be with yourself.   

What would the topic be?   What would that be like?  

How would you be kind to yourself?  What resources do you need at this point in your life? 

Find the courage to have those conversations! 

Are you running to or running from?

Every few years, I have this urge to change jobs.  It's time to try something new, to be challenged in a different way.  I start dreaming of working with new people, of a new environment.   

Recently however, I've started reflecting on what is motivating this need for change.  Is it really because I need a new challenge or is it because I feel like I've done everything I was hired to do or is it because I'm afraid of getting bored?  Am I trying to pre-empt something? 

Talking about this to a mentor, he asked me if I was running away from something or if I was running towards something?  This question took me by surprise because I'd never really given it any thought.  I'd always seen myself as somewhat of a free spirit, letting life chose where needed to be and trusting that whatever happened was the right thing.   What if I make a mistake?  The fact that I actually chose a path means that I now have to take responsibility for my decisions. 

What decision are you really making by not making a decision?  Are you running from something or are you running towards something? 

By making that choice, what are you settling for? 

A Unique Operating System 

 

Have you ever asked yourself why something keeps happening to you?  Why you find yourself in the same situation over and over again in spite of wishing things were different?  In spite of feeling like you are taking different actions? 

We all have, deep within us, values and beliefs that accompany us through life.  Even when we aren't aware of it, these values and beliefs guide our actions, inactions and decisions.  It's a unique operating system that helps each of us navigate through life.  And every now and then, the system crashes and we need to reboot it.  Once restarted, everything seems to work for a while until something happens and it crashes again.  Too often, we feel that we have no control over what has happened, that the decisions aren't ours to make.  We are at the mercy of life.   

Now, imagine the possibilities if you had full control of that operating system.  What if you could modify what was running beneath your actions, inactions, decisions and indecisions? 

What belief do you currently hold surrounding your situation in life? 

How would you live your life differently if you knew what those hidden beliefs were and you were able to change them and reach your goals?  

Curious about what beliefs are hiding beneath the surface and the possibilities that are waiting for you? Just send me an email and we'll explore together. 

Looking in the rear view mirror 

 

Have you ever heard the expression "Don't look back, that's not where you're going"? 

Recently, a client was rehashing a situation that we had been talking about for a few sessions. She was retelling the same story that she had  - different details and same outcome.  She was convinced that things would never change.  "No matter what I do, I'm always right back where I started.  The same thing just keeps happening to me.  I just don't understand."   

She needed to take a step back and become an objective observer of the situation.  This allowed her to see things through a new lens and to consider new actions that she is willing to take. 

In your own life, if you're not where you want to be, what will it take to get there? 

What are you agreeing to by not moving forward? 

How will it feel when you take that first step, and what about the second step?

Flying away from the nest.

 

Have you ever noticed how baby birds are encouraged to fly off on their own? Last night, I was watching how mama and papa bird were pushing their little offspring off into the great blue yonder.

First, they fly around the nest, showing the young one how it's done. When the baby doesn't follow, mama or papa starts squawking loudly to get the baby moving. Finally, they know they need to get that baby moving, its existence depends on it, so one of the parents just pushes the baby out of the nest. No discussion, no negotiation, no second chances - and the baby FLIES. The parents stay with the young bird for a while and eventually, it has enough experience and confidence that it flies off on its own.

Any change is uncomfortable at first. And every now and then, we all need someone to show us how it's done and to give us that friendly push out of the nest.

Where in your own life do you need that support?

Contact me and we can discuss how I can be of service.

Grandmother's Legacy

Grand-maman led a hard life, raising five young children on her own and in order to feed and clothe the family she had opened a remnant store. I loved walking into the store, which happened to be the old summer kitchen, smelling the musty fabric, looking for treasures that would have escaped one of her many clients and asking her many questions.  

The years passed and she moved, selling her store and most of its contents, but had kept some fabric for future use.  As a way of reconnecting with her, as a teenager, I remember asking Grand-maman one day if she would make me a quilt.  She asked me the colors and what I would like and although I didn't know exactly what I wanted, I trusted that she would make me something that would be just perfect.  Many months later, I was gifted this beautiful handmade quilt, the labor of her love for me.  

I suspect that she had used fabric from her stash and there was the odd piece that was just a bit mismatched.  Even the most perfect quilt has imperfections and that is what makes each one unique.  

Today, many years later, I still wonder what each square, each stitch represented to her.  Where was her attention?  What legacy did she wish to leave me? 

If each event in your life is represented by a stitch, where is your attention – on the perfect stitches, on the imperfect ones or on the whole quilt? 

What legacy are you leaving behind? 

If you are curious about exploring this topic, or any other topic, just send me a quick e-mail. 

What is normal anyway?

Travelling through Ireland recently, we had to learn to navigate and drive on the other side of the road.  Our first reaction was that this wasn't "normal". And yet, for the Irish, and for the many

inhabitants of numerous other countries, driving on the right is not normal. It felt so awkward that we really didn't want to leave the safety of the parking lot on that first day. But leave it we finally did. At first, we had to constantly remind ourselves to stay on the correct side of theroad and gradually, over the course of a few days, it became easier, more natural, more "normal".

This experience gave me the opportunity to reflect on what we consider normal in our own lives and to what extent we prevent ourselves from trying something new because it's not "normal".

  • Where have you prevented yourself from doing something because it wasn't part of your "normal"?
  • What would happen if you forgot, in the face of a new project, what "normal" looks like?
  • What do you want your new normal to be?

Send me a quick e-mail and we can explore together what that new normal could be.