Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sparking a Flame - Bringing out the Best

I have worn many "hats" over the course of my life. I regularly use some of those "hats" in my current work as a stress coach, as so many of the skills are transferrable.

Recently, I went into the back of my "closet" and dusted off one of my "hats" when I was asked to substitute teach in an English as a Second Language (ESL) Literacy class for seven mornings.

It brought me a great deal of satisfaction to see the students feel comfortable and safe enough to take some language risks. Over the course of those seven mornings, even the shy students began speaking.

I am a big believer in lots of opportunities to engage, so we did a number of activities where they had to speak...with a lot of encouraging, cajoling and repetition, of course!

By doing a variety of activities that touch upon the strengths and capabilities of the different students, a spark of interest was ignited. They experienced some success in the target language (English), which increased their confidence and will help them build upon their success. They knew that I wanted them to succeed; they felt it, even if they didn't understand everything I was saying.

How do you get results from the people you work with? Are you the intimidator or the encourager?

As a coach, trainer, teacher, do your clients/students learn out of fear (stress) or are they learning with an openness and willingness to experiment, make mistakes and try again? Do they have fun learning?

What is the difference? What is the retention rate? Which one brings about a greater amount of creativity, satisfaction, achievement and smiles?

How is your stress affecting the quality of the lesson?

Image courtesy of Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The To Do List

Three of the jobs on the above list were quick and easy to do. All they required was a phone call. For some reason, I kept putting them off. Until this morning.

These were easy-to-knock-off jobs, yet I procrastinated. The sense of relief that I felt when I did complete them was remarkable.

I'm pretty good at checking things off my To Do List. In fact, I love making lists. I get a huge sense of satisfaction from putting that little check mark beside the item as it is accomplished.

I feel good and as a result, a positive physiological change takes place - my heart rhythms become smoother as I develop greater HRV (heart rate variability). This is great for my emotional, mental and physical health.
How many things do you neglect doing, even though they may only take a few moments to complete? Perhaps you're a procrastinating perfectionist, waiting for that moment that says you can do the job perfectly and until then, there's no point in beginning?

You may be surprised to learn that when you procrastinate and beat yourself up about it, you are eliciting the stress response. The accompanying negative thoughts and emotions hang over your head and weigh heavily in your heart, releasing a cascade of 1400 stress hormones. If it happens often enough, over time, the stress resets the nervous system.

How's that To Do List of yours? Are you ready to learn some techniques to help you accomplish the things you need to do?

My friend and I still get a laugh from a list of mine that she found tucked into a book I returned to her.

It read:
  • Make hair appt.
  • Call Jenn
  • Finish marking
  • Car
  • Get up
"Get up"? LOL!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do This! Don't Do That!

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign...

We've gotten to the point where we're bombarded with people and things(cars, PDA's, microwaves)telling us what to do and how to do it.

"Wake up!" "You've got to take action." "Do something everyday." "Just be." And, on it goes.

Is it any wonder people have trouble knowing what to do and how to be? Our world is filled with advertisements, advice, exhortations, suggestions and directives. Are you coming, going, being, stopping or somewhere in between?

When was the last time you heeded the signals coming from your heart? These are the ones that allow you to notice the signs that point you in the right direction.

Have you developed the trust that your heart will never steer you wrong? No? Perhaps you've been listening to your ego, rather than your heart? How can you tell the difference? Results, which then give you the proof you need.

The heart is the strongest organ in your body and it will pull your other systems into sync with it, allowing you to function at a greater and more efficient level.

Learn how to make decisions and take action on the signs that are right for your life. Start collecting proof that the little whispering voice that emanates from your heart is speaking in your best interests, leading you to where you need to go, allowing you to honour your higher purpose.

When have you listened to your heartspeak? Do you trust it?

Image courtesy of JohannesO.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Poetry Pollination

Stop and smell the roses!

The pause that refreshes!

Advice that reminds us to take some time away from our busy lives and enjoy the present moment doing something that restores us.

From time to time, I stop what I'm doing and alight upon one of  @poetwist's daily poetry prompts on Twitter.

It is a delight to see how people respond so positively to her pause for poetry. I have watched people grow in their writing as they feel free to take risks with Kayt. She is always so encouraging in her comments and welcomes all who care to take a step into the garden of creativity.

In response to her poetry prompt - "breathe" - I posted the following:

Living. Breathing.
Breathing. Living.
Inspiritus - inspiration - spirit.
Awaken. Breathe.
Live. Now.

Then, I was reminded that our good intentions, when released, are not unlike bees going about their business, doing what bees are wont to do. Buzzing from flower to flower, pollinating, so that we can enjoy the fruits and flowers of their labour.

I was fortunate. I had an opportunity to see this poetry prompt pollinate a work of art. A few week's ago, Kayt emailed to ask my permission to post my poem with the work of art that it inspired. Check it out on her post entitled, Inspiration and Serendipity! Thank you, Kayt!

We may not always be able to see how what we do reverberates through our lives; inspiring, changing and enriching us in many ways. A word, a gesture or a risk taken. These can pollinate a whole new garden of possibilities.

What would you secretly like to do but don't do because of the fear of not being good enough or the fear of failure?

Isn't it time to start...

Living. Breathing.
Breathing. Living.
Inspiritus - inspiration - spirit.
Awaken. Breathe.
Live. Now.

Related post: Playing with the Big Kids.

Image courtesy of Claudia Meyer, Paris.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How Do You Live a Life? Five Tips

Life - something so many of us take for granted.

We often don't appreciate our healthy bodies and our beautiful minds. We neglect to honour the power that emanates from each beat of our heart.

It is never too late to take stock and start all over again. Each moment provides us with an opportunity to rewrite the history that is our lives.
  • Learn to accept help with grace. It may be a deed, it may be money or it may be friendship.(You'll have a chance to pay it forward.)
  • Do something that feeds your heart and soul. A chat with a dear friend. A walk in the park. A warm cup of tea. It doesn't have to be big. (This helps push the reset button on your day. It's a great stress undresser!)
  • Unplug. Just for 5 minutes.If you feel you are constantly on, chances are your devices are constantly on, creating a sense of urgency, that in most cases, is not urgent. When do you get a chance to unwind?
  • Accept your weaknesses. Accept your strengths. We all bring a unique set of gifts to the world. Some of which may not be apparent until much later.
  • Realize that knowledge is not enough to effect change. Practise is also necessary.
Image courtesy of Luke Walker.