“Up Until Now…” ~ Redesigning Needs and Expectations in Relationships

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“Up Until Now…” ~ Redesigning Needs and Expectations in Relationships

My client Sandy recently shared how she was tired of listening to and solving her friend Andrew’s problems. A pattern had been created in the friendship where Andrew would regularly vent to Sandy, and she would go into fixing mode. Sandy knew her part in the ongoing scenario—she took responsibility for her need to care-take Andrew; she understood that she was creating expectations in the relationship that she would solve his problems, and that it was okay for him to keep acting like a victim with her. Sandy and I spoke about how helping through fixing and advising was generally futile. It so often served to enable rather than empower. For Andrew to create lasting positive change in his life, the solutions to his problems had to […]

The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice

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The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” ~ Barbara De Angelis This may be you… At some point in your life you made the decision that it was no longer safe to speak your truth. In your early years, speaking up led to a scolding from your parents, or worse. Their censure caused pain and engendered a belief in you that speaking up would create even more pain. This belief compelled you […]

Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

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Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

What if for one day you allowed everyone to be as they are? My recent article, 4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems, was so well received that I wanted to offer a follow-up article that expanded on the topic, while offering some practical tools. The tools are intended to support you to practice the principles outlined so that you may free yourself from the need to be responsible for other’s challenges or general circumstances. The practice is simple, but not necessarily easy: Where possible, practice not having an agenda for others. Note that I wrote “Where possible”. I am fully aware that there are many places where we do need to have an agenda; for instance, if you are parenting, teaching or […]

Empowered Leadership Mini E-Book ~ 20 Attributes and Practices for Leading in the New World

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Empowered Leadership Mini E-Book ~ 20 Attributes and Practices for Leading in the New World

Preface   What makes an empowered leader? “A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.” ~ M.D. Arnold When you think of an empowered leader what attributes come to mind? What skills and attitudes do you see this person having? What actions do you envision him or her taking? When I ask my leadership training participants these questions they usually imagine someone who directs or inspires a group of people, often overcoming adversity in the process; a visionary who leads by example and brings the best out of others. Examples include a warrior leading his tribe into battle; the captain of a sports team battling through injuries to lead his team to the championship; a […]

Give People Something to Play With ~ Enrolling Others into the Spirit of Yes And

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Give People Something to Play With ~ Enrolling Others into the Spirit of Yes And

The more you give people things to play with, the more they can give back to you, and the world! When you practice the Spirit of Yes And, you discover how easy it is to make people smile in the simplest ways. Their smile opens them up to their heart, and more fully allows them to give back. I was standing at a grocery checkout line waiting to purchase a whole pie for a potluck, when an elderly lady in front of me turned around and said, “That looks like a yummy pie!” I was happy! She was inviting me to play! “Yes it is,” I replied. “I plan to eat it all myself!” Grin! I passed the ball back to her. And then she smiled and laughed. I […]

20 Questions to Enhance Conversations ~ Moving from Yes to Yes And

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20 Questions to Enhance Conversations ~ Moving from Yes to Yes And

There are some people who Yes, and some who Yes And. When we share something about ourselves with others, some people respond just by saying, “Cool”, or “Great”, or “That’s interesting.” They offer some form of acknowledgement. That’s the Yes of Yes And. And then there are those who offer an acknowledgment, AND then ask a question that further explores what we shared. They say, for instance, “Wow, that’s fascinating (Yes). What was that like for you? (And)” We love it when people show genuine interest in us. Whether it is simply a check in to see how our doctor’s appointment went, or a series of questions, it feels good when people are genuinely interested in us. It feels like the person cares about us and our […]

Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

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Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

One of the most beautiful things we can experience is a connection with another person. Being able to connect is a gift in that it gives each person the opportunity to safely open and share their authentic feelings, desires and concerns. However, often when one person meets another with an agenda, the connection is broken because he is no longer open to what the other has to say. He is not meeting her in her reality, but rather attempting to align her with his own. To align without agreement is to communicate, “I don’t agree with you, and I am still with you.” I am here for you and with you, and I am willing to open to your world even if I am not […]

Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

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Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

When I teach listening skills, my participants struggle with simply being still and present when someone else is sharing something personal with them. It is not enough, in their mind, just to be with them. They must at least nod, or verbally acknowledge the other person in some way, and make them feel that they are being attended to. We must do in conversation, not just be in conversation! This need stems from a deep and old belief that who we are being is not enough. Our presence, and the gift of our spirit, is simply not enough! When we realize how powerful we are, we don’t doubt the gift of our presence. By resting more fully into our deeper Self, we can rest more fully in the conversation. Spaciousness is created […]

4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

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4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

We are well conditioned to believe that it is our job to fix others and solve their problems for them. If we see someone struggling or uncertain, we are quick to race in and save them from their challenges. We have been trained to see this as an act of care, a gift to another. But is it really?  What is it that we may be assuming and impeding by jumping in and acting as the savior? Perhaps it is more about our thoughts, needs and feelings than theirs. Reason #1: People are more capable and resourceful than you think We are born with much more inherent capacity and resourcefulness than we know. Unfortunately, we don’t realize this because we have been treated otherwise our […]

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 […]