Peer-To-Peer Mentoring With Tara Joyce: August Edition

My question for Tara

I LOVE doing everything myself. While I joke that I need a clone, I always feel the
job is done best by me. How do you decide when it’s time to ask for help or hire another
professional?

Tara’s Timely Advice

I’m a total newbie at this… only very recently did I dive into the exciting world of
admitting that TJ Can’t Do Everything. And while this hiring of help occurred without
much fanfare, it was a big deal nonetheless.

I really like to think there isn’t much I can’t do… I thrive in figuring things out, and
learning about new, unfamiliar topics. BUT I am coming to understand that some things
are better left for others to do, or assist with, and that the time I spend learning new
things isn’t always the best investment of my time. I suppose it’s really a question of
time management. Learning is wonderful and fulfilling but sometimes it makes more
sense (and more dollars) to focus on what we truly excel in. After all, we can’t be
amazing at everything, can we?!

It’s a big development for me that I am now able to put my ego aside (at least for a
moment), and admit (for the health of my business) that some things are better done
with the aid of someone else.

Reflecting on what drove me to ‘do it’ and ask for help each time I have, it’s always
been my desire to improve in the subject matter, e.g., public speaking. I’ve identified,
for whatever reason, that without a guide in the topic, the level of growth I desire in the
topic will not be possible. With that admittance, that I can’t possibly get ‘there’ alone, it’s
easy to justify asking for help.

To find the help I need, I look to my relationships. I look for people who love the topic I
am interested in, and whom I respect, trust and am excited to work with. I also look for
people who help me to think in new ways — I love people who ask questions. I also have
a pattern of reacting poorly to unsolicited advice, so while I work on that issue, I ensure
that the people I work with are open and non-judgmental too.

I look at business relationships like I do love or friendship. If I commit, I’m in it 150%.
So, I am very conscious with whom I spend my energy on. I suppose this is another
reason (besides my ego and my love of independent learning) that I’m not quick to ask
for help.

Coincidence?

I thought it would eventually happen and it did!.. Tara and I asked the same question to one another this month. Check out what experiences of my own I shared with Tara on making this decision to ask for help seem a little more reachable!

It’s Easier Than You Think To Love What You Do!

I’m a natural social scientist. I love people. How they live, what motivates them and to where their curiosities are drawn. What I really love is when people are happy. That’s why I’m an integrative health care specialist. Why I’m a researcher. Why I write, why I teach and why I advocate. Why I help develop socially conscious businesses. Why I started Garden Eats.

I care about how we can all learn to exist and thrive with one another collectively. It’s hard work, but it’s fun. It has a solid purpose and people can see and feel this.

That’s putting it simply. What lies between each of those sentences above is richly cushioned with experiences that have allowed me to straddle worlds that were once separate, yet that have begun to align and integrate in the modern world today.

What lines do you straddle? Have you asked yourself lately if you love what you do?

Are you?

Happy, enriched, intrigued, gratified, experiencing purpose, making a difference, having fun?

Try the Happy Top Ten to gauge your level of satisfaction with your career well-being. If you can list at least ten things about your career that offer you genuine happiness, that’s pretty cool! And, if you can’t, use this exercise to light the fire under your tushie to do something about it.

Remember

Personal success = perfection.
Personal success is about self-correction and self-awareness.
Do what makes you happy. It’s easier than you think.

Here’s my Happy Top Ten as they relate to my private practice:

  1. happy to help with the not so easy stuff
  2. happy to help with patients’ emotional wellness
  3. happy to review labs extensively (to develop the best treatment plan)
  4. happy to research a tricky case
  5. happy to help you choose a pediatrician
  6. happy to help my colleagues work on their challenging cases
  7. happy to be sure your child gets the best care
  8. happy to discuss your case with your other health care providers
  9. happy to help
  10. happy to help other people find happiness!
Share yours in the comments below!

On-The-Go Acupuncture: Maui

On sabbatical in Maui with Garden Eats, acupuncture was voted the best for:

  • food stagnation
  • sea sickness
  • elevation sickness
  • shortness of breath
  • low back pain
  • headache
  • summer heat
Take acupuncture with you! Somebody will love you for it!

Tiffany Schlain Declares Interdependence

Tiffany Schlain, creator of the Webby Awards, film creator, editor and writer. She proposes, “… we’ve worked so hard for independence, maybe it’s now time for interdependence.” Tiffany’s films are a fusion of documentary and narrative and known for their whimsical yet provocative approach unraveling complicated subjects like politics, cultural identity, technology and science. Read Tiffany’s bio here.

Peer To Peer Mentoring With Tara Joyce: Take One!

Welcome to the first Peer-To-Peer exchange between the talented Tara Joyce and yours truly.

My question for Tara

How do you apply the advice and suggestions you offer your clients to your own projects and endeavors?

Tara’s wisdom for me!

This is a really interesting question… and I found myself a bit perplexed when answering it. At first, I sat and stared at the question for a long while, trying to frame my answer, and then I wrote the beginnings of an answer twice but each time I got jumbled up in my thoughts.

What I’ve come to realize is that I need to re-frame the question a bit in order to answer it as I don’t necessarily apply the suggestions I make to my client’s to my own projects. If I do suggest applying advice, it almost works in the reverse, with me first applying the suggestion to my own projects, and then subsequently sharing these findings with my clients.

As a designer and writer, it is undeniable that my own experiences and perspectives shape everything I create, or co-create with others. But, what I strive to be conscious of when working is to not fall into the trap of reliability. What I mean by this is I avoid employing solutions whose relevance is reliant on the fact that the idea worked in the past. I truly believe that just because something has worked before, or more specifically, has worked for me, does not mean that it will work for my client’s specific problem.

If I were to verbalize my problem solving approach it would be to see each client, and their problem, with complete openness and refrain from giving answers until the right questions have been asked. Once we’ve done this together – framed the problem – I may find a solution that worked in the past is applicable, and I will make that suggestion. But, I may also find that I’ve got no idea what next steps are needed, and in that case, I will continue to explore next actions collaboratively with my client.

So, to summarize my long answer to what seemingly is a simple question of “how I apply past experience to my own projects or my clients” is… very carefully! I do the work first to understand the unique situation presented – either my clients or my own – and then I determine if past solutions could apply, and if so, in what ways?

Before I stop writing this answer, I do want to say that when I am designing with my clients, my eyes, ears and heart are always open to the cool solutions we create together and how they could apply to what I am creating in my own world. I suppose a cool thing about what I do is that inspiration and growth flow both ways — from me to my client, and from my client to me. I learn from them as much as they learn from me! I suppose in a way I need to say thank you to each of them for what I have created in the world!

______________________

Interested in cultivating meaningful female relationships in your personal or professional life? Visit Elastic Mind to read about Tara’s question for me!

Mentors

If you missed what mentors mean to us, check out Tara’s experiences and mine here!

You Get the Picture

Tara & Christine Meet On Digital Sisterhood Radio

Today in an interview I “met” two wonderful ladies, the lovelies Tara Joyce and Ananda Leeke! Ananda hosts a super cool, interview-style radio show, The Digital Sisterhood. She’s taking an anthropological look at modern-day feminism and letting us all know how the movement is influenced by and influencing others through the channels of social media.

Tara and I took our relationship to “the next level” today by communicating with our speaking voices! Until now we’ve just been corresponding by emails! Tara’s voice is fantastic by the way everyone-we have giggling in common!

Have a little listen to our conversation on feminism, digital sisterhood and how peer-to-peer mentoring can help bring these ideas to more of you!

“It” Might Be Really Awesome If You Give “It” A Chance

Just because you’re an expert in your field and you haven’t heard of “it” doesn’t mean “it” isn’t right, true, correct, good, better or useful. And, while you’ve been doing things one or two ways for the past twenty years also doesn’t mean that during those two decades ways three, four and five haven’t been in development and put to good use.

Sure, time tested methods are well, reliable in a sense, yet were developed because some other learning before them took place to get those ideas to where they are now.

If an idea exists, it means somebody else aside from you has heard of it. Maybe you’d like to ask around about these new ideas? Are these good ideas? Who invented them? Oh, these new ideas are helping people? Wow, they save time, money and people are healthier and happier with these ideas?!…

Remember, you’re the one that isn’t new, but technology always will be… Let tangible tools help you, your families and your patients when they can. Your critical thinking cap will never go out of style, so when you’re feeling most skeptical, try it back on for size to gain new perspective.

_______________________________________

-Me on developing the functional medical model to provide more sensitive lab testing and clinically useful diagnostic features for patients and practitioners of health care.

My Perspective On Mentoring

Before we “get columning”, we are sharing our unique perspectives on mentorship as we enter into our partnership. Here’s mine! You can read Tara’s here.

Mentors are

Cool, wise, compassionate, experienced, necessary, inspiration in human form who believe in and see our potential to excel and thrive.

Mentors can be

Teachers, doctors, friends, parents, family members, your parent’s business partner… Somebody with dynamic experience excited to embrace a new-comer into their chosen field to help steer them along the learning curves.

My advice on picking a mentor is

To go ahead and pick more than one! Choose people who are open to new ideas, sharing their own experiences in tangible ways and who you have a personal connection to. Find somebody who wants to get to know you. This way, when you’re being pushed a little beyond your comfort zone, you’ll realize later (graciously) that it was only to help you grasp what was lying ahead!

What makes the relationship viable?

Honesty and open-ness are essential. Remember, mentors will help build your self-esteem; don’t be afraid to show your true colors so they know how to help direct your success. Let them know what works for you and what doesn’t… Offering feedback makes the relationship mutually accentuating and reinforcing for both the mentor and protege.

My mentors are

My mom and friend, Kath and my professor, friend and faithful guide, Dr. Lynda Harvey. Both, in their own right are boundary breakers who have persevered toward their goals through limit-less creativity. Kath has always instilled the spirit in me to “dream big” even if it means taking a path not yet well-traveled! Kath and Lynda possess an innate energy for seeing the possibility in what lies ahead, showing me that even adversity offers the richest of opportunity.

I’ll never forget

While doing the rounds one busy afternoon at the Children’s hospital when Lynda took her name tag off, threw it over my neck and said, “okay, go to the third floor, talk to the parents about treatment options and just pretend you’re me.” She then turned on her heel and walked off. Momentarily frozen, I giggled, but quickly shook it off; empowered by her confidence in my ability. I reminded myself that what seemed so huge to me was something she’d been doing naturally for years.

Lynda also saw and dealt with my weak spots when I began consulting in her private practice. Oh, how many mistakes I made! The coolest thing about having a solid mentor is that they’ll have your back and spend the extra time guiding you along that sometimes, very windy learning curve! As a business development consultant, I can forecast all the little bumps in the road a new-comer might not see ahead because of these experiences.

Read Tara’s unique perspective on mentoring here.

Mindfulness 101: Re-Framing Through Language

Mind-Mapping from the Founder

For ages and ages, the likes of philosophers, theists, mathematicians, doctors and scientists have all discussed what the “mind” is and whether it has a connection to the body. Well, survey un-deniably says, “duh” it is connected.. With fMRI having made the way into the research of mindfulness, there’s no doubt that thoughts determine future behavior.

The mind is a manifestation of neuro-chemical messengers and neurological connections which all other physiological and emotional responses stem, thrive and exist from (yes, it’s a head to toe thing). What got me thinking about this? Aside from it being my job, I’m consulting to the team designing the emotional recovery division at a new brain-trauma center situated in a remote area of the mid-west (can’t disclose name yet). Interested in creating a space that reflects brain rejuvenation, I decided the presence of healing language would be a dynamic way to motivate patients to cultivate patterns of mindful recovery. With words acting as some of our strongest visual-emotional cues, language is everything…

The Language of Self-Love

Semantics, speech, verbage, argot, prose, terminology… Words. Language influences our perceptions of reality. There’s language of self-love and language of self-loathing. Some of us go through half of our lives not even realizing which form we commonly communicate in. Think about the following ideas to get a feel for lingual determinations.

1. I’m overweight, I need to lose weight.

2. I want to reach my optimal weight so I can gain total health.

One sound better to you? Patients always favor statement number two when discussing options for reaching their goals. Most people feel better when they read statement number two because of the different neuro-chemical messengers being secreted. When we read each statement, an entire cascade of neuro-chemical exchange begins to shape our emotional response and therefore our future behavior. In this case, the simple re-frame toward gain and away from loss, sparking motivation, helping to create positive self-improving behavior.

Turn Me Right Round

In socio-linguistic science, this re-working of language is called re-framing. It’s a great way to teach your brain to get moving in a positive direction. In practice, when patients and I goal-set, we go back through to look at the language used to describe their plans. An awesome and simple exercise to help keep these goals is to apply the simple principle of re-framing.

Whats Underneath?

How to Re-Frame:

  • Go through each goal looking at the key words in the sentences.
  •  Circle words that strike an emotional response.
  • Now look at the adjectives used to describe the desired goal?
  • Ask yourself, how can I set myself up for success with this goal? Is it actionable and does it carry a positive message?
  • After you ask yourself this question, go back through each one and underline any word that may seem negative or counter-productive to reaching your goal.
  • Replace those words with power-words. Sometimes this simply means using an antonym. Others will require you to re-word the sentence with positive action words.
Caught In Never-Never Land?

For some reason, many of us have an easy time defining what we don’t want. Even when asked, when given the opportunity to tell me what they want, patients often reply with their lists of “no-thanks, not this stuff.” If your list is full of nots, nevers and nos, try re-inserting language that allows your brain to think in possibilities… If you’re using road-blocking language, how will you reach your goals?

Try a Little R & R

  • Remove barrier-type language
  • Replace with motivating words that will convince your brain that your goals are achievable
  • What to look for:
I don’t want to * I want to
I can’t * I can
I hate my job * A job I would love is
I don’t know how to * I can learn how to
I don’t want to get sick * I want to gain total health
I don’t get it * I get it!!!

Understanding the language we use to describe our goals gives the most useful clues on how we can shift our perception of the information we take in from the environment.

So, what’s underneath all this talk? Your brain, your mind, your key to total well-being and health? Are they all the same thing? Remember this: we all have the power to perceive our environmental cues as clues to act on and propel future favorable behaviors toward health and happiness!

Like to see the science? This time, you’ll have to email me. Tell me a little about what you’d like to learn so I can tailor the response for you! I’ll be giving a talk at Bird Rock Yoga in San Diego over the next couple months- your thoughts are important to me and can help shape this talk for other learners!

Not ready to send an email yet, that’s okay, please feel welcome to offer your thoughts in the comments below.

Check back soon to hear about how developing a dream-line with power-language will bring you toward your goals faster!

Guest Post: Jim Cervelloni: Offer your Patients Change Now!

Ever wonder what your clients and patients think about the time they spend with you? What if their focus is on the expense, time investment, social stigmas, laying on the sofa, taking months and months of time… But, what if your client could get changes in minutes to an hour? With IEMT, you never knew your patients could change this much, this quickly.

Integral Eye Movement Therapy is a dynamic technique developed to help your patients change fast. Please welcome my guest, colleague and friend, James Cervelloni, certified NLP and IEMT practitioner to learn more about how you can advance your patients and your practice now.

Christine: Hi Jim! Let’s start by telling readers who this training is for?

Jim Cervelloni: Want to build a more thriving practice? Is it your job to get people un-stuck? Are you in a helping profession? Then IEMT training is for you.

Coaches, therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, doctors.. Although talented practitioners, many are struggling, looking for new and better ways to help clients.

CD: Surely these practitioners know their stuff. What do you think might be holding some practitioners back from offering their true healing potential?

JC: Getting practitioners to step outside their boundaries. There are practitioners who really really care for their clients, but their methods either don’t reach expected outcomes or only move clients so far until they reach a plateau. IEMT is one of the most dynamic techniques I’ve employed to move clients forward.

CD: You mentioned how IEMT is a tool to evoke change with clients fast. This sounds exciting for both the practitioner and patient.

For the client

Your client knows the feeling they don’t like. Maybe they’re scared to talk to anyone about something that’s bothering them. Afraid something is really wrong or they’ll be ostracized. (Whether or not it was their fault), they don’t want to be judged (fear of being judged)… The attractive therapeutic feature unique to IEMT is that changes can be done content free; clients don’t have to re-hash their story.

For the practitioner

Rapidly resolve issues or stuck states, get patients and clients motivated to take action and quickly resolve internal conflicts… And, no long story to listen to. Who could resist that?

CD: Awesome! I’m intrigued. As a practitioner, how will I approach the client about it?

JC: You want your patient to feel safe, right?! Keep in mind, these are issues that don’t usually respond to traditional therapies. Let’s consider an example to help shape your approach:

What if you were lost in a strange city, approached a stranger for directions and they wanted you to first get un-dressed before delivering the directions?! The thought of that is so humiliating you’d rather stay lost. Now imagine if you could feel safe and secure and still reach your desired outcome. Because IEMT doesn’t require patients to go back in time and tell the long story, you can guarantee privacy and dignity.

CD: What can practitioners expect to learn from the training seminars coming up?

This workshop is very interactive.

The best way to learn a new process that leads to a therapeutic change is to listen to the theory, learn the technique and play the role of client. We’ll get you to practice the technique to really learn how to apply it! Acting as the client gets you to experience the affects in real time.

CD: Sounds powerful. I’m ready. How do I sign up?

JC: Check out the details below! Your readers can receive an exclusive Reaching Beyond Now professional courtesy fee if they sign up now.

CD: Sweet. Thanks for joining us.

Practitioners: Interested in hearing real client testimonials? Drop us a line here and Jim will be happy to get in touch soon!

Ready? Get the Special Fee Now!

Jim is offering my readers a very generous special fee to experience this dynamic practitioner training. Visit the link to register and enter my name, DIONESE to receive the special fee at check-out!

Level-1 IEMT Practitioner Training:
Reg. $399 / Special price $349 (Save $50)

Level-2 IEMT Advanced Practitioner Training: Reg. $399 / Special price $349 (Save $50)

Level -1 and Level -2 together: Regular Price $749 / Extra Special price  $599.

The discount offer will be good only through April 15th.

James Cervelloni, Certified NLP and IEMT Practitioner

A coach and mentor for three decades now, James travels the world studying with and learning from the finest minds in the field of human excellence. He is trained and Master Certified in Integral Eye Movement Therapy, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Time-line based therapy, Provocative Change Techniques, Life-coaching, business coaching, Neurolinguistics, Symbolic Modeling and Core Transformation Change-work.

To date, Jim has worked with over three thousand clients and is co-founder of The Mindopoly Center for Change. He specializes in Transmuting of Suffering Through Belief-Change, co-developed “Metaphors in Media – A Multi-Media Approach to Therapeutic Changework.”

Of his many accomplishments, he is the proud developer of “That’s Outrageous!”… A no holds barred approach to getting your client what they really want. He is also the creator of The Practical Application of Spiritual Principles in Daily Living (an on-line modular course to be released beginning in 2011).

Jim is the author of The Coloring Book and The Deadliest Belief in the World – scheduled for release in 2011.

Follow Jim on twitter here!

Learn more about IEMT and the anatomy of memories from the creator, Andrew T. Austin, here.

Brain Awareness Week: Libido & Fertility at Circle + Bloom

Welcome to brain awareness week here in the US! Got baby-making on the brain!? Ever wonder why although you’re focused and determined to conceive, you’re just not that into having sex? Join me today in my guest post at Circle + Bloom to learn how to get “a hand on it” and heat it up now!

Heart-Throb

Macrophage via Hybrid

Hybrid Medical Animation. Even if you haven’t heard of these guys, you’ve likely seen their work on the covers and pages of Scientific American, Wired and Popular Science magazines. Artistically story-telling, the crew infuses their medical expertise into addictive visuals, deep, deep within.

I wish I knew about Hybrid back when I started studying neuroscience, immunology and gastroenterology! Their medical animations are attractive and tangible even to the beginner student or lay-person hoping to get a glimpse of how the body functions in motion.

Take a visual tour here to see their latest anatomical odyssey.

 

How’s this for heart-throbbing? Just one of many super cool multi-dimensional designs from the creatives at Hybrid Medical Animation.

 

Reverse & Peer-to-Peer Mentorship; Get the Conversation Rolling!

There’s a lot of talk about the advantages of reverse mentoring in the world of marketing and business ownership. As Mashable contributor, Erica Swallow points out, there’s an obvious age-related information gap that isn’t doing anyone any favors by allowing it to exist. The best part of reverse-mentorship is that it’s a two-way conversation. The simple addition of informal lunch-time talks allows everyone to put their guard down; letting the ideas flow.

The same age-related scenario overlays health care in the United States. Primary care providers are heading toward the endangered species list all too soon if their scope of practice isn’t kicked up a couple notches. Evidenced by the growing number of patients switching to alternative and integrative medical practitioners who can provide “one-stop shopping” health care modalities, primary docs are looking for new ideas to stay afloat.

Getting the Conversation Going:

A big part of my job is to get physicians of 10-20 years into seeing patients to open up to a new way of thinking; immersion of integrative medicine into their existing care model. As I pointed out to fellow entrepreneur and peer mentor, Tara Joyce in a recent interview, this type of work pushes me into a place that’s still not sure if they want to accept me or my ideas.

I Know, They Know

While new health care providers are openly receptive to peer-to-peer mentoring, folks always ask me if physicians are receptive to a younger, non-MD health care provider offering advice. Knowing there’s an age- and information-related gap, I remind myself I’m trying to close it so that other opportunities open up for patients. I have information they needand that patients will benefit from. They know (docs) they need the information, but are either too scared to ask for the advice (pride/ego) or simply don’t know how to access it. Which means what? I opened my mouth, I made calls, I sent flyers, I wrote articles, I gave lectures, I showed up at their offices… Until the idea of reverse-mentoring started sticking.

This Article is About Reverse & Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Right?

Consulting to docs is challenging and necessary, yet fun. I usually schedule a bit of extra time so I have the opportunity to be the listener as well. I always ask seasoned docs if their own goals for wellness reflect what they’re offering patients. Asking this question helps them un-lock and access invaluable tools they sometimes haven’t since they began practicing.

If there’s one thing we can always agree on, it’s that although we dispense medical advice, we’re still consumers of health care and we want to be taken care of in the very best ways. Keeping this in mind helps reinforce meaningful communication.

- J. Landauchz MD, Los Angeles, CA Primary Family Medicine

Is This Learning Model A Winner?

The advantage for big corporations is their ability to access this type of education internally (while saving the company dollars by eliminating the need for outside consultants). While private practice physicians may not be able to take advantage of finding mentors internally like big corps, they know they’ll get to keep their practices by offering patients exactly what they need as well; practical options to continually thrive. So, are physicians receptive? Surprisingly, yes!

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring

I’m a huge fan of not only reverse-mentorship, but working with my peers in like-minded businesses to share what works, what doesn’t and how to grow-up from here. Peer-to-peer relations have landed me interviews, writing gigs, helped me refer patients services they wouldn’t otherwise have had access to, plan successful wellness events and learn how to do what I do better.

Don’t Have a Mentor? Get One, This Company Did!

If you don’t have a mentor yet, pick one, pick two! And, you don’t have to be in business for yourself to ask a colleague for insight or new tools to help you do your job better. Maybe your work-place doesn’t offer this yet? Propose it to HR or the vice-president.

In a recent project consulting to a corporate pharmaceutical advisor, we developed a huge money-saving model by introducing a “show-and-tell” team-oriented style of peer-to-peer and reverse-mentorship. This new approach allows everyone in the corporation to learn about and understand evidence-based scientific data for both new pharmaceutical and nutriceutical therapies without adding to an employee’s regular work-load.

Now in place for several months, they’re reporting improved overall company morale along with a renewed sense of confidence and belonging from both junior and senior advisors.

Stay Tuned for More

Remember the show that the Sundance channel aired a couple years ago where one famous person would interview another they looked up to and admired? Colleague and fellow entrepreneur, Tara Joyce of Elastic Mind, the Toronto based consulting firm, will be joining forces with me at Reaching Beyond Now to bring all of you business-minded readers a little peer-to-peer mentoring. While we haven’t quite yet achieved the same level of fame as the Sundance stars, we think you’re going to like our ideas.

Tara Joyce

Tara is a killer writer! She authors the fun and engaging blog called, Rise of the Innerpreneur that I tune into and learn from regularly. Tara has appeared in several interviews and is still making her way around the business world. Get to know Tara by checking out her guest spotlights here!

Have a story or experience to share about reverse or peer-to-peer mentoring? Any advice for somebody who’s thinking of trying it? And, we’re also open to hearing about what didn’t work, so long as you tell us about how you put a positive spin on the experience! Your comments are valuable, please tell us what you think!

Conscious Communication and Real Change:Trade Anger for Compassion this Year

Some people forge contracts with themselves about dieting this time of year. Another popular one is exercise. One of my colleagues decided not to “make” a resolution this year because she never seems to stick with hers… So, what’s the point of resolutions at all these days?

Photo by Sean M.

If you haven’t made one yet, but want to experience and stick with real life changes, resolve to transform anger into compassion or fear into empowerment this year by committing your entire being to self-awareness and social evolution. Conscientiously choosing change or self-transformation is one of the best opportunities to become self-aware and  enhance your ability to understand the perspective of others, free from judgment and full of compassion.

How to Make Real Change Stick!

  • Tell your friends and family about your goals for change. Get their encouragement and support by explaining what change means to you on a whole-person, lifestyle enhancing way so they understand your perspective shift and wishes.
  • Attach positive future value to your goal. Ask yourself why this change or transformation is important or necessary and visualize the process of “getting there” to reach your goals. Make your goals three-dimensional and multi-sensory by checking in with yourself along the way. How does it feel? Am I content? Can I observe/see evidence of the healthy new choices and behaviors I’m making?
  • Having a bad day? Ease a blow with a loving a friend. Stick with friends that will boost you up rather than judge, fault or knock you down. It’s okay to have a not so hot day and we all need friends who are ready to listen and offer encouragement rather than harsh judgment.
  • Allow yourself flexibility and you’ll set yourself up for success. Change can be hard. As great as it feels, change makes us stretch beyond our comfort zone and personal boundaries. Flexibility enables us to evolve socially; by giving ourselves a break during a challenging time, we can understand that family and friends are going through the same types of experiences we are.
  • Choose to respond instead of quickly reacting. If you hit a temporary roadblock, pause, breath and observe the message. Rather than blame an outside influence or project a set-back onto somebody else, open your eyes consciously to consider the potential lesson or opportunity. These experiences often offer big strides in the change process!
  • Acknowledge that change is progressive. Catepillars don’t change into butterflies over-night, so be patient with yourself. Build in a learning-curve and get to know yourself better!

Tips on Developing Compassion

  • Ask yourself, “am I a conscientious communicator?” Become a better listener to understand how your own perceptions relate to others around you. Conscientious communication involves what’s referred to in social psychology as re-framing. For example, rather than being self-centered,  work at becoming self-aware. Being self-aware allows us to become a masters of ourselves with the ability to see others clearly, free from judgment. It also helps us form new meaningful relationships and ideas.
  • Engage in random acts of kindness. Kindness has been shown in studies to improve both physical and mental well-being. Self-lessness is a great way to expend energy to serve others. Random acts of kindness help others who might be down-and-out, are a great way to express gratitude or simply make somebody feel special.
  • Smile, hug, laugh and cry… Emotions evolve and self-awareness grows by “turning yourself on” and knowing what it feels like to experience a range of multi-sensory acts. Becoming emotionally aware also helps us feel comfortable in our own skin, boosting self-confidence and allowing us to accept others more readily.

Forgiveness and Acceptence: All for One, One for All

Becoming a compassionate person involves a lot of acceptance of other’s ways, beliefs and systems. We go through hard times in life and it’s difficult to forgive a friend or family member for some in-justice we think they’ve done to us. Anger and resentment hold a lot of weight though, and the longer we hold onto both, the more they weigh us down; clouding our vision to see ourselves and others clearly.

So are you a bad person if you can’t forgive? Of course not! Forgiveness is a process that begins with acceptance. Because of our own beliefs, sometimes we aren’t ready to forgive. Sometimes we don’t even know why we’re mad; maybe we projected anger and resentment toward a friend, while a real problem actually lies deeper. Acceptance is a great starting point because it’s an act of self-awareness. Remember, beliefs are relative, they aren’t constant or static, but rather can be influenced by change. When we consciously choose acceptance, we’re deciding not to be driven or ruled by our anger or resentment, yet rather open to understanding other possibilities.

Photo by Dream4LifeFish

Ready for some change? Want to breath a little easier, feel a bit lighter? Start developing your practice of conscious communication by tacking this article to your mirror, your frige or stashing it in your journal for quick reference. If you like to read, three books worth adding to your library are, Anger, Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by world-farmous Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Christopher K. Germer’s, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion and scholar, Karen Armstrong’s, Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life.

If you like a multi-media experience, visit TED Talks to see Karen Armstrong’s prize for “wishing big enough to change the world.”

#Me-Less Monday: Mutual Accentuation

Social Butterfly

Being the social butterfly that I am, I love connecting with new people and new ideas. When I first got into writing, I had no idea that random web searches and blind emails to strangers would offer so much return reward!

Here are the peeps I’d like to give a shout out to for helping spread creative, thought provoking, life-giving, head-turning ideas that have made my work as a writer fun and my audience happier!

Check them out, tell your friends, eat at their restaurants, refer them patients, or just simply drop them a line to let them know you like what they do!

Photo by Woodley Wonderworks

Jen Aliano, co-founder of Natural Baby Pros, culinary natural at Culinary Concepts, Laura Seery, Brit Neubacher, interio-scaping artist and founder of Tend Living, Lara Eisenberg, visionary yoga therapist, Orna Izakson, naturopathic physician, reporter, writer and permaculturist of Celilo Health and Garden Medicine, Los Angeles executive chef at The Wilshire, Andrew Kirschner, Tara Joyce, Innerpreneurial creator of Elastic Mind, Joanne Virkuilen, founder at the life-giving Circle + Bloom, UK consulting and expert chef, Magnus Mumby, the multi-talented, Sydney based illustrator, Anthony Calvert, needle in the haystack and future Chinese medical healer, Miss Karla Mercado, Kris Fillat, founder of the tasty, “Good On Ya” health bar…

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