2 Ways to Appreciate Others

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2 Ways to Appreciate Others

One of the skills I teach in my playshops is appreciation. Participants often realize afterwards how much they don’t express appreciation to co-workers, family and friends. When we think of appreciation we think of acknowledging what someone has done: That’s a beautiful painting. That project turned out really well. What an incredible back flip! What we often forget to do is appreciate the person behind the doing ~ who we see them being: I appreciate how imaginative you are. You put a lot of heart and determination in that project. You are so courageous to do that! Imagine you just shared a painting, completed a project or did a back flip – which form of appreciation would touch your heart most? Play with both forms. […]

Speaking Your Truth

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Speaking Your Truth

Holding back your truth is an act of inner scarcity. Expressing it is an act of abundance. It takes courage to speak our truth, especially when others are used to us holding back. Perhaps we have trained them to expect us to accommodate their perspective, please, or just remain silent. People will treat us the same until we change. Where in your life are you not speaking your truth? Where are you allowing others to speak for you? Speaking our truth expands our playground of life. We make our Self a priority and make new empowered choices. We no longer play poor me or victim, and give our power away to others. Instead we claim our self-worth. Children don’t hesitate to speak up and speak out, […]

Listening

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Listening

“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.” ~ Sue Patton Thoele. 29 years old and listening for the first time We take our capacity to hear for granted. We’ve forgotten to savor and appreciate the rich diversity of sound continuously offered to us. Take time today to appreciate life’s endless melodies. Perhaps imagine this is the last time you hear this unique and precious sound. Be curious and notice its subtleties: is the sound wavy, crunchy, intense, whispery? What are its qualities? And when in conversation, notice how present you are. Are you listening, receiving their words and feelings, or lost in thought? I heard a statistic recently that mothers […]

Balanced Communication

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Balanced Communication

Communication is a balance of giving and receiving, of sending out and allowing in. As you engage in conversations and conduct your Monday meetings, notice the balance between how much space you fill with your expertise, opinions and ideas, and how much room you allow others to share their own. How much are you speaking versus listening, being curious and waiting for others to share? Trust is knowing silence is ok. I don’t have to do it all, and that others, although quiet, have value to contribute. Trust is believing I have value to contribute, and that everyone, including my Self, deserves to hear my voice. Whatever side you default to on this conversation teeter-totter, your growth lies on the other end. Enjoy playing on […]

Saying No, Saying Yes

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Saying No, Saying Yes

“Better a friendly refusal than an unwilling promise.” ~ German Proverb. While the dark season calls us to go inwards and reflect, the busyness of the Holiday Season calls us outward to engage. It is not easy to say No to life’s invitations and demands when our pattern is to say Yes. Our social conditioning tells us it is bad to put ourselves first. Yet whenever we say Yes to one thing, we also say No to another, and often what we say No to is our Self. Take time this week to be clear on what you are saying Yes and No to. Are you speaking from guilt, obligation and pressure, or from truth, self-care and your personal values? “Whenever you say the words, […]

3 Playful Communication Tools

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3 Playful Communication Tools

Three Communication Tools for you to Play with. Enjoy!   O.W.L. Observe…Wait…Listen   W.A.I.T. Why Am I Talking        

15 Ways to Say No

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15 Ways to Say No

“There is a difference between being self-centred, and centred in the Self.” ~ Lynda Austin. For many, saying No is a challenging task. We have been brought up to believe that putting ourselves first is bad, selfish or wrong. Yet when the oxygen mask drops on the airplane, who do you put it on first, you or your child? Making onenself a priority is essential to healthy, happy and productive living. To do this, we may have to say No to certain people who could redirect us from listening to our own needs and practicing self-care. 15 simple ways to say No: That won’t work for me. That doesn’t resonate/feel right. I feel I need to take time for me right now. My body really […]

15 Ways to Express Needs & Desires

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15 Ways to Express Needs & Desires

“There is a difference between being self-centred and centred in the Self.”  ~ Lynda Austin We have been trained not to ask for what we want. We will bend ourselves backwards, deny our feelings, and burn ourselves out all to avoid stating our needs. Our social conditioning, and specifically our inner Saboteur, holds us back by stating that putting ourselves first is selfish or wrong, or that we should always give to others first. And yet, we cannot give away what we don’t have. In other words, we must learn to give to ourselves first, fill our own cup so to speak, before we can feed others. “Everything we want is on the other side of fear.” ~ Farrah Gray Our social conditioning is based in fear. The […]

Designing Your Impact ~ A Simple and Powerful Skill

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Designing Your Impact ~ A Simple and Powerful Skill

“Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.” ~ Miguel Angel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. A week ago a friend and I had a Play Day together, a day trip which included swimming, hiking and bocce ball. Fun! As we began our adventure, my friend did not seem his usual self. He was stiff, withdrawn and difficult to communicate with. I noticed I began making assumptions: Is he mad at me? Am I talking too much? Am I annoying him? I was also aware that I was working hard at connecting to him, […]

Co-Creative Conversations

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Co-Creative Conversations

“Most people do not listen with the intent to learn and understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak.” ~ Stephen Covey. When there is an important meeting coming up with someone, say a work colleague, we often prepare what to talk about in advance. We think about what key points we want to cover, and how/when to bring them up. While it is natural and useful to be prepared, planning can also be limiting if it blocks our capacity to be available for a co-created conversation. A co-created conversation means both parties are active in the dialogue. Each person contributes to the agenda by bringing their thoughts, feelings and desires to the table. Often when we come […]