Lying is bad for you.
I thought I’d mention that, just in case you had any doubts.
And, it turns out, being lied to is also bad for you.
Ruth was having a very bad day. She couldn’t concentrate, she had a headache and she was feeling exhausted. She wrestled with herself for hours, trying to get her day back on track. Finally, because she had been well coached (!), she sat down with a piece of paper to write out what exactly was wrong in her world. It turned out that she had been lied to by someone very close to her. But, because she was a good person and didn’t want to believe that this important person would lie to her, she chose to reject what she ‘knew’ and to proceed as if the truth was a lie. Her body wouldn’t let her.
The truth sets you free. Truth feels like freedom
When Ruth finally allowed even the idea that she had been lied to by someone she loved, the fuzzy exhausted feeling lifted, like clouds literally parting. That’s all it took. Once the truth was entertained, what to do about it took care of itself. Because she was ‘clear’ Ruth could then decide what her next actions were.
A 2002 study by the American Psychological Association found that lying actually impacts your physical and mental health. Those that were studied and found to be lying suffered more aches, pains and feelings of sadness than those who told the truth.
Everyone lies. To themselves and others.
Why do we lie?
Because we can. It is a sign of creativity and intelligence to be able to take the truth and spin it or perceive it as something different.
We do it because we are afraid. Afraid of social rejection.
If I tell you your hair cut makes you look dorky, I’m pretty sure you will like me less.
We do it because it seems easier in order to just get along.
But, even white lies have consequences.
How often do you suffer headaches? Low energy? Colds/flus?
The nature of the lie is really not the issue. The issue is why do you feel the need to lie? Why are you allowing yourself to be lied to? What exactly are you afraid of?
There is a way to be truthful, to live truthfully without being a completely rejected
social outcast. When we allow the truth that is always right in front of us, it will instruct us how to use our social skills to live more authentically and in turn allow and cause those
around us to also live more authentically.
I went, by myself, to a workshop/retreat last weekend, the purpose of
which was to help me get clearer about my purpose.
Well, that happened, but what also happened there was a pleasant
experience of beginner’s mind.
Not only was I being viewed by new eyes, I was viewing the other 19
fabulous women there with my unbiased eyes. It is wired into our brains to scan for
possible ‘predators’ whenever we enter our surroundings. We then catalogue or categorize our findings as a way of determining how to proceed in the situation. It was fun to observe us introduce ourselves to ‘strangers.’ There was plenty of ‘what do you do?’ and ‘where are you from?’ and a whole lot of visual scanning in order for us to be able to sketch a profile of each other. All of this is in a very sincere effort to accommodate one another and make each other feel safe and
comfortable. You may have been in a new social situation where there was a whole lot of puffing up and strutting happening as a way to dominate or intimidate, but the opposite of that was going on where I was.
It was refreshing to be looked at without the filter of roles or the past and it was also very refreshing to look at others with no past experience filter. I started out the weekend
feeling a bit vulnerable, but most definitely open. Throughout the workshop and socializing, I was accepted, then heard, then encouraged to the point where I saw myself as not only capable, but interesting and because of the masterful faciliting of Word Wizard – Alexandra Franzen (check her out!) I saw myself all the way to being limitless! I watched as all of the women
experienced this journey.
I discussed this with one of my clients, this experience of seeing and being seen outside of our ‘regular’ lives. We discussed how it’s great to be expanded and then return to a place that no longer, quite fits. How the change to everything around us is inevitable.
Then, I discussed the experience with my coach.
She very wisely steered me to realize that it is me and my filters that have the most influence on the way I see myself and the way I ‘think’ others are perceiving me. When I see myself
as ‘just’ a mom, or ‘just’ a wife, or tell you I’m ‘just’ a coach, it is I that is preventing the full expanse/possibility of who and how I am.This is mask wearing
. Masking me from the world and the world from me.
‘looks like I may be getting clearer about my purpose.
This is a link to Alexandra and if you scroll to the bottom, you can read about the workshop.http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2013/02/11/5-ways-to-write-a-blow-your-mind-manifesto/
You want to be thinner? Happier? Wealthier?
I don’t have a diet, an exercise program, a downloadable financial plan.
I have UnMasque Yourself Tools. Find your
Truth.UnMasque Yourself Tools
(caution: use of U Y Tools
may cause weight loss, happiness &/or wealth.)
Has your child ever asked you for permission to not do something? Like, tell them they can't go to the movies with so and so because they really, really do not want to go out with so and so? Do you wish that you could get permission to not do something sometimes too?
I don't know what it is, but if there is something I 'have' to do, but I don't really want to do it (how do we get ourselves in these situation?!), I will give myself 'permission' to skip it. I instantly feel a thousand times better! Permission is miraculous.
I very often give myself permission to not vacuum, or volunteer or attend an event that makes me want to stab myself in the eye. I even give myself permission to just say no without giving a reason!
If you are not quite 'there' yet - able to give yourself permission, I am here to help. It is sometimes easier to 'pass the buck,' so I have created, just for you, a Permission Slip!. Just download the document, fill in the blanks, and voila, you're free. After all, I am a 'Certified' Life Coach which gives me the authority to grant permission. True story!
Let me know how it works for you.
I just spent the weekend in a Central Processing Unit. For my body, emotions
and spirit! I attended an energy workshop to learn some new tools and as a
bonus, I was given the opportunity to process an old emotional wound and receive
The whole experience has really driven home to me the importance of the
process! I’ve always wanted to skip the process in everything I’ve taken on.
Piano - I hated the practice, but it’s the only thing that got me to where I
could play competently. When I'm sad, I just want to feel better, now. This usually means I reach for some quick and easy fix (food, reading, exercise, t.v.) instead of experiencing the emotion. Fitness? Um, duh, involves exercising, regularly….which is ‘the’ process. Who among us has not tried a crash diet in order to lose weight fast, just to gain it all back and then some? Getting slim
may just involve a ‘lifestyle’ change, which involves…a process. Self Help - yes, identifying the problem, great! Fixing a problem with it? Impossible without going through the proper motions. This old emotional wound I carried? I was well aware of it, I talked about it, I self-helped it with lots of ‘tools.’ But it was never properly ‘processed’ until this weekend.
There are all kinds of therapies available now for processing trauma. For
your body there’s physiotherapy, chiropractic, yoga, massage, etc.
For experiences/emotions/thoughts there’s psychotherapy, counselling, support
Any kind of energy therapy - body talk, reiki, craniosacral, etc. are great
forms of processing.
All of the above serve as spiritual processing as well. We can’t have
‘therapy’ for one part of us that doesn’t affect all the other parts of us.
The other huge take away I got from my weekend with the healers is that we
CANNOT do it alone. Ever. Think about trying to fix your own broken leg. Not
very wise. It’s the same with any other part of you. It’s best to get help from
one with experience and training. Remember, 'they' don't heal you, YOU heal you. 'They' are trained in the process that best facilitates that.
Healing/integrating all the parts of you is the single most important work
you can do here. Instead of walking around in pain and wounded, the you that is
whole and well you can quite simply change the world. Finding the support for
that certainly speeds the process!
I can’t tell you how much better, how much more myself I feel having finally
processed a part of me that was needing attention. I can tell you that my
respect for the process has sky rocketed and that I am honoured to be able to
help you walk through your process.
What's it going to take?
Medication, hospitalization, frontal lobotomy?
I am surrounded by powerful, remarkable women at the end of their ropes.
They are everything to everyone and it's killing them
Self care is not a 'luxury' ladies, it is a necessity!
Tell me where I'm wrong? This is your life...
Whatever you are doing can be dropped right now to meet someone else's need, but your needs, demands, requests can wait.
You know that it is easier to just do it yourself than fight about getting someone else to "DO THEIR JOB!"
Your two kids and one husband knock on the bathroom door at least 8 times when you bathe.
You suffer body pain, headaches, insomnia, inappropriate bursts of anger, exhaustion, 'wtf attitude' and have just accepted it.
Someone asks you "what do you like to do?" and you are stumped.
If anyone says anything to you that is remotely encouraging on praise-like, you cry.
It can change. It has to change. And the change begins with you.
It doesn't matter if it's your 'fault' that you got here and have trained 'them' to treat you this way, it matters that you recognize that it is time for it to stop.
For the sake of your sanity and your actual, physical being in the world, you must change.
How do you make the seemingly HUGE changes that need to take place to stop the madness?
One small change at a time.
Start by being 'unavailable' for 10 minutes. Everyday. Then extend it to 15, then to 20, then (now don't hyperventilate!) a 'whole' day!
Start by saying NO to one thing. Just one thing, today!
Start by doing one thing you actually like.
Go to bed when you are tired, not when everything is done.
Eat because you're hungry, not because it's time.
Let someone think you are 'not nice.'
What's it going to take?
I had a great, event-filled, enjoyable summer. There were some birthday parties, neighbourhood barbeques , get-togethers with old friends, company in my home, A Bryan Adams Concert! A major high school/family reunion. There were home improvement projects, re-decorating projects, gardening, electric guitar playing and even time for some get away vacation.
I firmly believe, that as a Life Coach, I should practice what I preach. This summer break was a most excellent opportunity to do some of that. I am accustomed to being active and having a rather busy schedule, and it seems I did keep myself busy. But, I actually found I had A LOT of free time. Free time to myself. Time with nothing scheduled.
I was compelled to attend to my thoughts. ‘Thought work’ is huge in the coaching that I practice, yet I rarely did my own work. This summer, I could no longer avoid it. Every morning and sometimes every afternoon and every evening, I caught myself thinking thoughts that were negative and very often painful. I used to be able to get away with believing that just acknowledging the thought was ‘enough’ and left it at that. That no longer works for me. I make myself do the work of writing (in my case typing out) the ticker tape of thought stream in my mind. Then I narrow it down to one actual thought – the ‘what am I telling myself?’ sentence. After that, I apply the tools that I’ve been trained to use to find a better, truer thought. I can feel that my energy level has risen and my general, overall happiness has increased.
But this, my friends, was not ‘enough’ for me either! I had to practice leaving my mind. Yes! I had to go ‘out’ of my mind and tune into my body. There is only so much your mind can work out. It really has limited resources. Your body, on the other hand has access to unlimited information from within and also from without. By being able to quiet my thoughts, or at least leave them for a while and practice breathing and hearing my own heart beat, I have discovered a level of relaxation and calm that I’d not previously known. I’ve discovered that all those ‘woo woo,’ ‘out there’ kind of people (ok, maybe not ‘all’ of them) are onto something. Not only is it relaxing and restorative, it actually increases the ability to ‘think’ things through. Ideas somehow formulate. Information stored in one compartment in your brain has a chance to make connections with information stored in another part while you are otherwise occupied, say breathing, or counting your heart beats. Inspiration has a chance to appear and be seen/heard/felt.
AND… It has improved my ability to see things metaphorically. Metaphors are great for understanding problems or especially for viewing your life. Metaphor- Definition: something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol. I was entrenched in the habit of thinking and seeing everything literally and problem solving from the place of the problem. After learning and practicing to ‘leave my mind’ I can now see things around me from an observer perspective-a step removed. It is such a cooler place to be!
If you need to see ‘metaphor’ demonstrated, watch any M. Night Shyamalan movie! Such great stories. Such great metaphors! When I watched his movies before, I would always be scared and confused. Now I can watch the same one over and over and never be finished getting all the ‘truth’ in the story.
Very soon I will be back to a busier schedule. I fully intend to carry on with my new ‘practices.’ And watch some more M. Night Shyamalan movies. It’s going to be a great new season. I hope yours is as well!
JENNIFER WASHINGTON MUSIC Jennifer is wonderful woman. Warm, kind, funny, insightful ... natural qualities that make her very good at one of her other jobs as a certified life coach. She incorporates her coaching experience into her music lessons. Jennifer spends lots time with the 'person' developing in her young students while teaching them music. "Kids are under so much pressure these days." says Jen, " I feel so blessed if I can, in some small way encourage them, bolster their confidence or just give them a break by telling them to not be so hard on themselves!"
Jennifer has her Grade 8 Royal Conservatory in piano. She teaches piano and electric and acoustic guitar. Jennifer's first priority is that her students truly enjoy learning to play an instrument. There's no rushing, no crying, no misery, she lets the kids move at their own pace in 1/2 hour lessons after school. If a kid wants more, they come more often. Simple. She's had some happy kids come through her music room over years all of whom showed up via word-of-mom.
There's a 'recital practice' get-together on Saturday morning, once a month, where all the kids she see individually though out the week get together to play a piece they have learned and Miss Jennifer insists that everyone is supported and applauded. During these Saturday morning groups the kids get used to playing in front of people in a safe place and they inspire each other. No jam session is complete without some chow so the kids hang around afterwards to mix and mingle over snacks and juice and nurture new relationships in their "musical family".
At Christmastime the kids get together to perform the practiced recital tunes for the older crowd at one of the local retirement residences so they get an understanding of their place in the community and how they can contribute.
Jennifer sees music as a language, an international language that once learned allows a kid to play any instrument that interests them. The language of music develops your brain power the way learning any second language does and, although we can pick it up when we are older, language of any kind is always easier for young brains.
Here's more from Jennifer; "There are many teachers with more talent, skill, experience than I, but that is not worth much if the child does not practice.
My job is to teach the child self motivation and love of music. I teach basic music theory/technique but emphasize exposure to all kinds of music and to learning and playing the kind of music the child is most drawn to. My job is also to demonstrate to the student that practice is the only way to master an instrument. Practice is the student's responsibility, not Mom's or Dad's and I hopefully help the student to get self satisfaction out of practice (and lots of stickers and candy!)
Everyone can learn music and play an instrument and everyone figures it out at their own speed. Music is fun and I make sure every effort is rewarded and that there is no comparing to others."
At then end of the year there is always a recital and party for the kids' families. In the past Jennifer has rented a church or community hall but this season she took a chance on the weather and had the event in her backyard. Mother Nature and the children's' artistic nature delivered a harmonious evening.
There are all kinds of environments in which children are taught music and few include being allowed to learn the Beatles before Bach. If that's what you want for your child you can email Jennifer here: firstname.lastname@example.org
And here's a link
to her Life Coach site. Check out Patti's awesome parent resource site: http://www.confidentcalgarykids.com
Pain avoidance is hard-wired into our instinct to survive. Things that threaten us physically become obvious as we grow and develop into adults – fire, knives, fist fights. Emotional pain is a bit more subtle, but we learn quickly to avoid embarrassment or rejection. Rejection is wired into our survival brain because in cave man times or tribal living situations, if you were ostracized for unacceptable behavior you were literally ‘cast out’ into the wilderness, or to the wolves which could quite literally mean death.
But in our now ‘civilized’ society where our physical survival is less threatened (well besides, guns and planes and autos..?) we still are very motivated to avoid emotional pain. It is very likely that you have carved out a comfort zone and are operating on its auto pilot. You have learned through your life experiences what you will and will not risk in your day to day life. But, what would your life look like if you were to risk emotional pain?
I am working through a 2 month exercise program (it is taking me 3 months!) It is challenging my physical comfort every day. I was pretty comfy in my old routine of physical activity – it was no longer a challenge, therefore my body looked rather ‘comfy.’ Now that I am enduring the ‘pain’ of the physical challenge, I am seeing some awesome results not only in my body, but also in my thinking. Now that I’ve gotten into challenging my physical self, I find that I am challenging my attitude and my thoughts. I’m starting to see myself as a stronger, more capable person, which is translating into being more adventurous and having more stamina to work through things in my life that are ‘difficult’ or that I have been avoiding. I’ve also noticed that things that used to bother me are no longer a big deal.
Now I am asking myself, “Am I willing to risk the emotional pain necessary to have: 1) the relationships that I want? 2) the self-care that I want? 3) the life’s work that I want? By avoiding pain and or working to stay comfortable, I make my world smaller. I limit my possibilities all in the name of keeping ‘safe.’ The amount of effort I put into keeping safe and avoiding could be re-directed into attitudes and activities that will enlarge and enrich my life.
I have risked embarrassment many times. I have failed many times. But, out of all those times has come my ability to play the piano, to speak in front of groups, to become a teacher, to become a coach. If I had kept myself comfy and safe, I would be missing out on the things that are making my life pretty great right now. By risking more and again, who knows what fun things await me in my future life.
Think about your own life. Where are you staying small and safe? If you take a risk and you are embarrassed or rejected, will you die? If you fail, does that disqualify you from being happy, worthy, valuable? How is staying small and safe working for you? What one small thing can you do today that feels like a risk? Do it. Note how it makes you feel.
My risk for today? Posting this blog!