A thought for today: How good are you at letting go?
Most of us spend a whole heap of energy in trying to control what we actually have very little control over. For today, see if you can find a flow that means you can hand it over and trust that what you need will come.
Just for today – Let what wants to come, come and let what wants to go, go. Just for today.
I often start my day with music or by reading a poem. Today was Federico Garcia Lorca, the wonderful Spanish poet and playwright. I first discovered Lorca as at student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where an incredible director brought Yerma to life for us all. Today, he is one of my favourite poets for his use of descriptive language and ability to portray, through words, a depth of feeling that often eludes people today.
I believe that when you allow it, you always get what you need when you most need it. So when I decide to open a book at a random page, I smile when I see what I’ve got. So today, this post is for you all, and also for me.
As I read Lorca’s poetry this morning I was struck by two things. How relevant these words are to my life right now, and how completely timeless this particular poem is. It was written in June 1918 but it perfectly describes those deep matters of the heart that never change across and throughout time. How often do we observe the choice – to close down and lock away, or to allow heart opening growth and learning to come instead?
‘Shall I hang you on the wall
of my emotional museum,
beside my dark, chill,
sleeping irises of my evil?
Or shall I spread you over the pines
–suffering book of my love—
so you can learn about the song
the nightingale offers to the dawn?’
What do you do as a default and how does it serve you? I know that I vacillate but try hard to stay open during times where my body and mind want to close. The reason? Because growth is always better than protection. Continuing to stretch and open and learn and grow means that you are always open to experience; that you get to live a little more fully each day; that you get to experience the full magic of being you. You get to see that life is incredible in all its pain and heartache, and love and loss, deep feeling and vulnerability. You get to experience the deep and wide expansion that can come from all those things when you decide to remain open and learn about the song the nightingale offers the dawn.
As you think about Lorca’s poetry, I encourage you to think about how open you allow yourself to be, how deeply you can connect to your heart and to others, and where you can listen more intently for the birdsong that opens a new dawn, in whatever it is you are going through.
If this resonates with you and you would like to explore how we can work together on these themes and others that you are noticing in your life, just drop me a line here and we can start the conversation that could open up your life in incredible new ways.
And for today – a huge open heart, and love to you.
James Cameron is known for making pictures that everyone else thought were impossible. Big budget, epics that would stretch available technology and current thinking of what is possible. He embraced the possibility of failure in a big way, with millions of dollars at stake.
How much do you embrace failure in your life or work? I talk about this a lot with my clients. How a person can set their sights so high that failure is inevitable, but that it leads ultimately to more achievement than you otherwise would have had?
Most people aim low so as to impress by getting it ‘right’ or to make themselves feel good for achieving what they set out to do. What if you were to aim way above your comfort zone? What if you were to reach for the stars to get some way to the moon? What does that mean for what you create in the world?
Like James Cameron, I suggest you dare to dream bigger than you ever have before. And reach for that dream. Neither of us can know where it will take you, but I’m pretty sure it will be closer to a more magical life than you might once have believed possible.
Drama, drama everywhere..! (in the EU Referendum and in Your life too!)
You may very well know that here in the UK we have a referendum tomorrow to decide whether or not we stay in the European Union (if you’re in the UK, you would have had to be hiding under a rock not to!).
What has been so incredibly evident is that the whole campaign, on both sides, has been run through a filter of enormous amounts of drama. No surprises here, you might say. And of course, this is not unusual in situations where politicians are involved. The difference here though is that no one has any real clue of the facts of what will happen either way so the campaign has been entirely played through the ‘Drama Triangle’ (more in a moment).
First, I recently shared this infographic on Facebook. It makes me smile and just about sums up the feeling here in the UK, and probably elsewhere too. Whatever your views, it’s been baffling to watch the way this campaign has been run…
But as ever, I believe that we can learn something from whatever comes our way. So I wrote a blog recently on my Cognitive Hypnotherapy site about Karpman’s Drama Triangle and how we can recognise the states of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer, how hey can show up in your life, and what you can do about it.
In the referendum debate you will see lots of vacillation between these polarities as both sides use them to gain traction in their arguments. Wouldn’t it be refreshing is they all showed up as adults instead? Either way, you don’t have to get into ‘Triangle’ behaviour in your life. It’s easy too, but also in recognising times when you may Persecute, Rescue or play the Victim, or when this shows up in hte organisation you are part of, or lead, you can begin to change your default behaviour and step into a healthier way of relating to others and to yourself, leading to greater happiness, success, sense of personal power and fulfilment.
In the deep work I do with my clients we often spend time working through behaviours that come from being triggered into one of these roles. As the unconscious patterns shift the transformation can be incredible. Within organisations too – change the drama triangle responses and you can positively influence the whole organisational culture.
If you would like to talk to me about what is going on in your life or in your company or industry, and how I can help just drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can begin the conversation that can take you towards a more successful, fulfilling, freeing experience of life.
Oh, and if you are in the UK, whatever way you go, do remember to vote in the EU Referendum tomorrow. This is an important one!
Dan Pallotta is my friend’s boss. He’s a remarkable man and when I saw him talk at a screening of TED 2016 earlier this year and he really blew me away. And so it was so lovely that when I put a note on FB about this talk and my oldest friend, who now lives in Boston, Massachusetts, sent me a message to say she works closely with him I was so happy and it got me thinking even deeper about Pallotta’s message and about her. And about me and our families and how our lives have unfolded in incredible ways from that time when,as toddlers, we would draw chalk drawings on the pavement outside her house on a hot summers day.
I love the serendipity of life.
I believe deeply in the connection of humanity and in the power of big dreams, and I’m always interested in how we can ‘be’ with one another in a deeper way in order to enhance the collective experience. Ironically I don’t see my friend Sara enough at all these days. We kind of drifted apart over the years due to the twists and turns of life. She won’t really know it, but I really love her and always feel deeply connected to her. When I became a single parent and had to deal with the emotional and practical needs of my family around that, I really struggled for a good while to also give enough attention to the people in my life who I love the most. In all honesty, it’s still pretty hard. So often I have to beam love from afar.
But I encourage my clients to “dream in multiple dimensions simultaneously” and I like to do that too. So it felt good that I that this connected us just a little bit more than we have been, and also made me realise how disconnected I have been at times, even when having the intention of love and compassion. And it reminded me that I could definitely let her, and other people who I value, know lots more how much I love that they’re in my life, however distant our worlds are for the time being.
And so when we connect more fully and deeply and compassionately we have a richer experience of life and we can connect more fully and deeply and compassionately to our dreams and our potential for creating the extraordinary.
So I’m now sharing this with you. Mr Pallotta talking about who you can really be. So what’s your dream you haven’t dared to dream – yet? What can you dream for you and what would the moon dream for you?
He suggests that the way we manage our companies today is out of sync with where we are at in society and that it’s time for a radical shift in structure and focus.
His research has flagged up disengaged, exhausted employees; people who bring their bodies to work, but not their hearts; people who are tired of the rat race; endless meetings, bureaucracy, internal politics; over focus on targets and budget cycles; and a lack of a sense of meaning and purpose.
He suggests that something new is about to emerge – a flattened structure where empowered staff across the board are self-regulated and self-managed. There is much evidence to back up the theory and many organisations who have already put it into practice with powerful results. This article in the Harvard Business Review outlines some of the successes and reasons why this is working for so many.
Whether you are a leader within a traditionally structured organisation or one that operates a flat, non-hierarchical structure, or perhaps you just have a sense that a different focus of priorities are becoming necessary to address stumbling blocks for and your staff, I really encourage you to watch Frederic Laloux’s talk. It may just open up an enquiry that could make an incredible difference for how you choose to work.
So, if you know me you’ll know that I quite like to do things well. I like to have a really good plan. So when I was giving a talk in front of an audience and cameras in Los Angeles in the autumn (Fall) of last year I was all ready to re-create my experience at TEDx of preparing something fabulous, insightful and very well prepped that the audience would find inspiring, uplifting and you never know, a little bit world-changing.
If you’ve seen that TEDx talk, you will know that I used to be very afraid of public speaking. I used to keep myself well away from being seen or heard and, as a result spent many years without making the positive impact on the world that I now see to be possible. This is one of the reasons that I am now a great coach and cognitive hypnotherapist: because I understand fear and limiting beliefs deeply, but I don’t let them stand in my way and I know that you don’t have to either. Instead, I’ve learnt to feel the power of who I truly am and to lean in towards the things that scare me in order to touch the magic of life. I believe that what you can achieve in this world is incredible when you strip away the areas in which you are held back and become free to be YOU in all your glory.
The Trafic Light System for Growth
In our experience of life – what we do and how we relate – we have options of stretch. Green is easy-breezy and safe and a little boring; Amber is where the stretch lives, where we feel a little uncomfortable, where we learn and grow; Red is too much – it’s where we blow out, where everything needs to stop. No one likes red. It doesn’t feel good. I try to live in the amber zone as much as possible and I encourage my clients to as well. Sometimes my quest for growth inadvertently takes me into red and I have to pull back a bit, but amber is a great place to be. I seek amber out – and I encourage my clients to do the same. It is in moving through amber that we get to everything we could possibly want. Another way of saying it is that everything we want is on the other side of our fears.
So as I was planning this talk in LA I visited my coach and talked to him about what I would talk about. As I was speaking he got a cheeky little smile on his face and I started to hear his thoughts loudly. I knew a big amber and maybe a little bit of red was about to be thrown my way. In the way that often happens in a conversation with a coach, I could see that my world was about to be rocked – and I knew for a while that I wasn’t going to like it. I’m quite used to this feeling. You see, I am only able to be the powerful coach and therapist I am because I continue to do my own work, all the time. Coaches like to keep you in stretch. If you want to be successful you should have a coach, or a cognitive hypnotherapist, or better: both. In the world of sports they know it and wouldn’t dream of doing their thing without a coach. Regular life is just the same if you’re interested in being the best version of you, you can be.
So, “Kirsty,” he said, “your stretch isn’t in giving a polished, rehearsed talk, with a powerpoint presentation. Your stretch is showing up with NOTHING.”
My body shook. I knew he was onto something. I was in amber, touching red. This did not sound like a good plan. At least it wasn’t the comfortable plan I had all worked out.
“Your stretch,” he continued “is in having nothing prepared, nothing rehearsed, no powerpoint. Not a thing.”
I hate it when people challenge me like that because immediately I know that I’m going to do it. I used to think that ouch! was a reason to move away. Now I know that the other side of it is incredible. What we can achieve in our lives when we embrace the ouch! is wonderful. I am living proof, and so are my clients.
I moved into amber when I saw that the worst that would happen is that I would say nothing. I may be revealed as not being polished and perfect and totally in control of my experience, your experience and the whole world’s perception of me, but no-one died from saying nothing and it turns out that we don’t have control over anything at all, really, so that’s a good one to let go of too. So I reasoned that on some level, it would be ok.
So on the day, I stood up on the stage in front of the cameras and the audience with nothing, curious at what would appear. I also took it a step further and wore the clothes that I had just been on the beach in, no shoes, no makeup and hair unbrushed. I was undisguised and had no plan. I knew that the intense sensations (that could have been labeled as terror), that I was feeling in my body was to do with how I like to control your experience of me, and my experience of me, so perhaps that would be a good place to start, but aside from that I was going to just see where I went to in the time I had.
Here’s the result. Have a watch and let me know what you see, think, feel and hear.
I’m actually quite thrilled that I let myself go into that space because I really did touch a little bit of magic that day. I connected to my intuition, to my essence and I allowed myself to be carried and it was beautiful. It’s the space that I live in, but not one that I usually present on a stage. I believe we all have exactly what we need, all of the time, but crazily we forget – I work with people on this all of the time, but still I forget sometimes too. But the more I do things like this, the more I remember and the more deeply I can remind others of who they can be also. Because when we take our feet off the ocean floor we really are carried. The ocean stops battering and instead supports and lifts and carries towards what we need.
Take Your Feet Off the Ocean Floor and Be Held
I would really like to invite you to allow yourself to be supported a little more than you usually would by the power of the ocean. Find moments of amber stretch that shows you the power of who you are when you trust that you are carried – when you take your feet off the ocean floor and are held. Magic is available to us in every moment. What would be different in your life if you stepped into that far more than you do now?
And if you’d like to have a conversation about how I can support you on your journey into the power and possibility for your life just drop me a line here and we can talk.
In my world, Valentines Day means time to focus on self-love as much as love for others. As you may know, 2016 is my year of Radical Self-Care. This is so much fun as everything I do is through a filter of love for self.
My radical self-care ideas list reads something like this:
Yoga in beautiful places
Deep connection with like-minded souls
Swimming in warm water
Listening to music in the sunshine
Dancing with abandon
Spinning classes with great music
Giving and receiving love
There is much, much more, but that gives you an idea. So I’m intrigued; what does yours look like?
In Love with You?
You already know the importance of putting your own oxygen mask on first? How good are you at doing that? How much do you focus on your own self-care? Where in your day do you give yourself space? How much are you paying attention to the home you live in – your beautiful body? I invite you to spend at least part of this weekend in radical love with yourself. What will you choose to do? I’d love to hear. Feel free to email me or come and connect via my Facebook page.
Nurturing for Growth Day Package
For Valentines and Mothers Day, I have put together a Nurturing for Growth day intensive for anyone who would enjoy spending a full day of nurturing the mind, body and soul, releasing barriers that they’re experiencing to connecting deeper to themselves together with exquisite pampering.
I will tailor the day specifically to you and what you want to achieve, but a typical day starts with an early morning private or group yoga class, following which we will spend a full morning of coaching and therapy to really get into the things that will make a difference in your life. The afternoon begins with a light lunch at a beautiful London restaurant, followed by a relaxing massage or similar bodywork session. We will then conclude the day with a consolidation exercise to allow you to carry the benefits of the day with you into your life.
If that appeals to you, or if you would like to give it as a gift to a loved one, just drop me a line here and we can go over your requirements.
So here’s to a love-filled beautiful Valentines weekend full of intense self-love and appreciation.
The media is full of two things in January: the importance of setting new years resolutions and all of the ways that you apparently will fail in doing so. Evidence based research tells us that most people trying to stick to resolutions will last only 24 days. They even have an especially depressing media term. ‘Fail Friday’ is apparently when reality hits most people, alongside the stick that they start to use for self flagellation over the months to come.
So what’s the solution? First of all always, always start from a place of self-love rather than dissatisfaction.
I am here to tell you that you are already incredible and inspiring just by being yourself. The question is how can you let more of that shine? How can you move away from default switched off living, towards a path of created purpose-full living?
The second part of the solution is to set a theme, or intention for the year rather than rigid and ultimately, blame and shame filled resolutions. And it’s not too late in mid January, February or even in September, because every minute of every day is an opportunity to live into who you can truly be.
Last year my theme was ‘Connection’. I wanted to set myself the challenge of finding a deeper connection to myself and to others also see how much more richness I could find in life, as well as how much more I could create in my work from that place. It was quite a ride that lead to a huge amount of growth, an incredible increase in my income, far deeper relationships and touching a magic of life that I could only have imagined previously.
This year I’m making it less about the external and bringing the focus much more into myself and my body. My theme for the coming year is still around connection to self, but this time in the form of ‘Radical Self Care’. By that I mean how I can micro focus on my body, home, spiritual health and general internal wellbeing in order to create an even richer experience of life.
What is your theme?
Have a think about it. if you were to set a theme for this coming year what would it be?
These three questions could help:
1. What belief could I introduce this year that would make the biggest difference in my life?
2. How would I like to feel?
3. What is it that I could focus on now that would have REALLY created a difference in my quality of life by this time next year?
One of my coaching clients set their theme as ‘A Year of Abundant Living’, another was ‘Speaking My Truth’, another ‘Balance’. What would you like more of, what would create a stretch for you? What is it that by living intentionally into your theme will give you so much more of what you want in your world?
What does it mean to you and for you?
When you have set your theme spend time either in quiet contemplation with yourself, or with a coach and write down all the things that come to you around your theme. For me it is things like, creating a daily meditation practice, specifics to do with how I manage my time and run my business, books that I will read, a retreat that I will go on, how I will parent differently, a more nurturing focus on exercise and sleep…
What will yours be? It may be useful to keep a running list of ideas on your phone that you can add to when you feel inspired.
And remember, it is impossible to fail at this. Everything you do or don’t do is just useful information – be awake to what it means for you, think fluid rather than rigid, take the feedback, and most of all enjoy the exploration.
Ask yourself regularly “who do I need to be in this moment to live into my theme more fully?”And most of all have the most fun you can have by being you!
We all have thoughts that serve us deeply and thoughts that hinder us completely. What are you creating more of right now?
Do you allow yourself to dream wonderful dreams? Inhabit worlds of your imagination that can fuel the creation of a more fulfilled life? Connect deeply to that incredible intuition that can guide you so powerfully in who you are and who you can be?
Just for today, set the intention to manifest thoughts that carry you beyond your wildest dreams.