Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Developing Your Character

A good  life depends on good character in all of your dealings. It is the little day to day slips that lead us into bigger trouble long-term. How do we maintain the best character possible when the Universe is challenging us to develop?

Good character, caring for ourselves and others, being ethical and big picture focused, is a process of ongoing growth. Evolutionary periods are times when character slips are most likely. We can get us angry, lash out, make questionable compromises. If these slips become habits they can set us back significantly. 

Ifa divination makes it easier to avoid the pitfalls. But, even without it, you can recognize a growth phase, and be extra cautious. 

You will feel pushed whenever you start to grow. Things will go sideways with disturbing regularity. You’ll react strongly to things that normally wouldn’t bother you. You’ll feel stressed. But challenges provide opportunity for growth. Rise to the occasion by putting everything you’ve learned into practice.

Keep doing the things that are good for you even when the intensity turns up. Don’t let your self-care fly out the window. If you get overwhelmed by the pressure focus on moving forward, looking at the big picture, and thinking long-term.

Sometimes a crisis demands your undivided attention. That’s fine for the short-term. But, avoid going into over-drive and pushing blindly forward. Resolve the immediate crisis, then take a step back. Get your legs underneath you. Return to equilibrium.

Once you’re grounded find a long-term solution that works for everyone involved. Good character is always about creating win-win situations. 

It is crucial to cut out the noise from people who are panicking. They aren’t doing anyone any good. You may have to cut some of them out of your life. Sometimes good character demands that of us.
Our times of greatest crisis are opportunities to strengthen our character. Eventually, we are able to move gracefully with whatever life throws at us.

Do agree that our greatest challenges provide our most powerful growth? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Importance of Empathy

2015 is a year for empathy. It’s a time to sit back and listen to the people around you. Take in what they’re saying. Understand the undercurrents behind their words. That way you can hear their needs. Empathy leads to win-win situations. 

To do this, start from a calm foundation. A peaceful state quiets the noise in your head so that you can tune in. Clarity allows you to sense what they are communicating with intonation, body language, and even energy. 

Breathing is one of the best ways to create the ideal state. Focusing on breath we ground ourselves and open our senses. If you feel calm and expansive you got it right.

Always breathe from your belly. Pay attention to your breathing. Make sure it is as low in your body as possible.  Once you’e moved your breath down, deepen it by filling your lungs. Then slow it down as much as possible. Make the out breaths longer than the inhales  to add to the calming effect. It can be a very subtle way to become more empathetic.

Empathy can be particularly challenging in group settings. When lots of people are trying to get their point across, speak last. Practice your breathing. Listen to every person as they speak. Sit, attentive, interested, with an open mind. You’ll get clear on what’s really going on with the group.

When your turn comes, take your time. Allow everything that you’ve learned  help you to figure out what to say. Communicate your needs, or opinion, in a way that aligns with the best interest of the whole group. You’ll get amazing results. 

It can be tough to have empathy. During heated debates, it might seem almost impossible. In family discussions it can be tricky because everyone is pushing each other’s buttons. Do the best you can. The smallest step in the right direction will help everyone. 

Have you had positive experiences using empathy and active listening? I’d love to hear about them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time to Make it Happen

There are times when life demands that we move in a way that we’re not comfortable with. For some of us that means being quiet, thoughtful, or contemplative. For others, being more outgoing, courageous, and bold, is in order. 

These times are powerful growth periods. Trying on a new behaviour will set you up for success. The Universe will only demand that you expand your self-definition. It is important to balance your weak spots.

This year I need to get out into the world. It will be a time to be forceful, to make things happen. That isn’t natural for me. It’s hard for me to ask for what I want. I’ll have to address that over the course of this year.

I will have to push out of my comfort zone and explore things I’m uncomfortable with. I won’t suddenly become an aggressive go-getter. That isn’t who I am. The price for my success is balancing my reserved nature so that I can start to play a bigger, more public role. 

I will enjoy a great deal of what is coming. But, sometimes my own insecurities will try to stop me from doing what needs to be done. I have the tools I need to deal with these moments of crisis. 

This kind of year has its challenges. It can also can be extremely satisfying. You can launch in a new direction finding exhilaration along with balance. 

If you want to accomplish something that will require growth on your part, expect some turbulence along the way. Recognize the things that are going to be challenging. Then put resources in place to help you move forward in the most powerful and balanced way possible. Face your fears, and doubts, and keep going.

Have you ever knowingly moved into a phase that demanded huge shifts, and growth, from you? I’d love to hear your story.

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