Category: Compassion series

(Compassion Series) Inner space

Have you ever felt you don’t know where the last 6 months have gone?  You ask yourself “where did the time go?”, “where have I been racing around to?”…ploughing through work, being bombarded, exploding wardrobes, comfortable accommodation, mobile phones, iPads, night clubs, family events and weekends away – it all just seems like one big blur sometimes!

Have you ever felt like you just needed some space or time out?  Life without space can become chaotic and it is not only your own space that gets compromised.

Most often than not we as individuals are unable to personally allocate or locate space for ourselves and we unconsciously go treading into other peoples space often treating it with disrespect. Sometimes all we need to do is just be clean and de-clutter our lives to find the space.

We all need space to grow, just like in a Garden we plant trees and flowers a particular distance apart to prevent overlap, clutter and distress. Space encourages growth may it be for a plant or for us as human beings.

At our monthly meet-up in April we used the metaphor of a garden to represent your inner space, relating to an earlier compassion series where we spoke about intentions and planting seeds of personal intention. To enable your seed to grow in your garden, you will need to identify your fertilizers and Weeds.

Your fertilizers are positive actions or people who will uplift and nurture your growth. Your weeds or rubbish are things that are preventing you from growing. Take a pen and paper and by yourself or with a friend (always helps to have a co-gardener) Plant or locate your seeds of intention and identify your weeds and your fertilizers. For example my intention is to make more personal time for myself, a Weed for me would be my inability to say No when asked to do things or hang out.  A fertilizer would be to be more time managed. So from there my action plan would be learn to respect myself by saying No when I really cant do something and learn to find a gentle way of saying No. Secondly, perhaps get a diary or calendar to schedule my days and allocate downtime for myself.

It starts with your own inner space – taking the time even if its just 5 minutes a day to just breathe, take a break and stop, get off this conveyer belt we call life and just breathe. Start cultivating your inner garden, clean up any rubbish or dirt, pull out the weeds, identify what is good for you and what can be improved.

If we are able to create the space between ourselves and emotions/ reactions we can soon be what we call observers. Where we can observe our actions and responses and become more mindful and ultimately more accepting of where life may take us!

Our next Compassion series will be about protecting your Garden from external impacts.

(Compassion Series) Transforming your inner critic

Transforming your Inner Critic

When faced with a new challenge, placed in unfamiliar situations or just outside your comfort zone do you sometimes here this little voice within you which says things such as “ I am not good enough to succeed”, “ Don’t apply for the job you don’t have the skills for it “, “ I am going to screw it up why bother “ or “ I am just not capable “ ? If your answer is Yes you are not alone.

This voice or inner chat is commonly referred to as your Inner Critic, which makes an inconvenient appearance when you are about to embark on something new at a time when you need it the least.
In the late 1970’s Psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes identified this as the “Imposter Phenomenon”. It describes frequent feelings of incompetence despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

It is important to know that although the Inner critic can appear to be an uninvited guest, the voice can serve a purpose and often may have an underlying intention, such as to protect us. The first strategy in working with your inner critic is not to ignore or suppress it. To make sure that your inner critic is not undermining your ability to take meaningful action in your life here are few ways to transform your Inner Critic into you Inner Sage.

Identify and determine your inner critic:

May feel odd but ask your inner critic “ Where do you come from?” It could come from your childhood, you parents, media, peers or relationships.

“Once you understand the places your inner critic comes from, you’ll be able to recognize it when it’s telling the truth and when to disregard what it is saying”

Transform your Inner critic:

The inner critic is negative self- talk. Ask yourself what and how would you like your inner critic to say to you to support your new journey or challenge. What would your inner sage say?

Why we use the inner sage metaphor?

Who is a Sage? Someone who is wise and what is being wise? What is Wisdom? Wisdom is knowledge through experience. We have to accept that making mistakes is part of life and it shouldn’t deter us from trying again. Only through your experience will you gain the wisdom to make it right the next time.

So transform your inner critic and its negative energy into a positive and encouraging voice that of a sage to support you through your new challenge and embrace your mistakes openly.

An easy exercise to try out:

• Write down a recent situation where you felt your inner critic
• Note what your inner critic had said to you
• Ask yourself why was your inner critic saying these things to you? Was there any truth behind it? Remember at this point where your inner critic came from and be honest about what its truth is. Acknowledge whether the critic is helping your or hurting you.
• Now write down what you would have liked to hear from your inner critic to support you. That is now your inner sage.

 

[Originally published January 2012]

(Compassion Series) Intention

“You are what your deepest desire is. 
As your desire is, so is your intention. 
As your intention is, so is your will. 
As your will is, so is your deed. 
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
 ~ Upanishads

On the first of every month, the C8 team meets to participate in a series of personal development activities and discussions. Now, you too can participate!  One the first Wednesday we will provide a summary of the lessons learned from the previous evening’s meeting.

In this month’s compassion series we looked at Intention

What do we mean by intention?

  1. an aim or purpose
  2. a determination to perform in a particular manner  or a particular act

 As the ancient Indian sages observed thousands of years ago, the deepest level of our intention and desire shapes our destiny. Once we plant the seed of an intention in the fertile ground of pure potentiality, our soul’s journey unfolds automatically, as naturally as a bulb becomes a tulip or an embryo becomes a child. ~ Chopra Centre

What is your purest intention?

Everything that we do is created because we intended to do it.

So where you are in life is because it is where you intended be…whether unconsciously or consciously.

In identifying your intention you are able  to use it as your personal vision statement. Let it be like your code of armour, let your intention guide you through your choices (much like an acorn’s tough and leathery exterior helps protect its seed…)

An Acorn Tree

Tips

• When a challenging situation arises, rely on your intention…let it guide you

• Remember your intention should always be positive and invoked in a positive manner.  i.e. “My purest intention is to be compassionate” rather than “My purest intention is not to get angry”.  Avoid reference to negative prefixes like “Not & cannot”.

• False intentions such as wishing someone else to fail only mask your purest intention.

Reflection

Nurture your intentions every day. Everyday life surrounds us in a swirling chaos, and it’s easy to fall into the grip of our ego’s fears, demands, and confusion. You need to remind yourself – daily – of your intentions and purpose. Some people find it helpful to write down their intentions and review them each day; for others, periods of regular meditation and prayer are invaluable. Find your center and don’t let go of your intention until it feels centered inside yourself. ~Deepak Chopra

 

(Compassion Series) Connection Vs Communication

This Tuesday we discussed what it is to really connect with people. We spend our lives in constant communication on mobiles, laptops, emails and facebook at coffees, in meetings and bars and family dinners. But when do we really connect to someone or a group where we tune out the rest of the world to really listen and be listened to, not just on verbal level but on an emotional and life level. What are the benefits of connection…try deeper friendships, a stronger community and success in your work and its relationships. Everyone wants to be truelly heard.

Today we discussed Maxwells book: Everyone Communicates, few connect to discover ways we can become better connectors.