Making mistakes

aw-fuck2

 

How do you deal with mistakes you’ve made? Do you endlessly beat yourself up about them? Or do you even believe that there is such a thing as a ‘mistake’?

I read this story some time ago and I think it’s really worth sharing. It’s the kind that makes you wonder what your life might be like if you’d been given a gift like this:

One of the best stories I’ve ever heard about “spilt milk” and the lessons of making a mess comes from a famous research scientist who made several very important medical breakthroughs. A newspaper reporter once asked him why he thought he was able to be so much more creative than the average person. What set him so far apart from others?

He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother, which occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator, when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor–a veritable sea of milk! (Thankfully, no glass shattered, but the milk kept flowing out like a river.)

When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, “Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?”

Indeed, he did. After a few minutes his mother said, “You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up, and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel or a mop. What do you prefer?” He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk.

His mother then said, “You know what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let’s go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it.” The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. What a wonderful lesson!

This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment he knew he didn’t need to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. They are simply that–just experiments to see what happens. Even if the experiment “doesn’t work,” we usually learn something valuable from it.  (Source: Jack Canfield)

Wow!  I love the lessons that shine through:

1) Accidents and ‘mistakes’ happen. It’s rarely the end of the world, and we can often make the best of them if we shift perspective. We might even be able to enjoy them and be present with whatever mess we’ve created if we can release some of the judgement in that moment.

2) We need to clean up our messes, period. It’s not for someone else to do. Own it, deal with it, and if you’re very lucky, maybe someone will help you.

3) Stay open to the learning. There’s almost always something there that will help you to grow or see things differently. It may be that you need to do something in a new way, to slow down, or to simply be more mindful. Tune in to information coming through the experience.

What if you could let go of that inner voice that beats you up and judges you when you make a mistake? What if you could embrace it this way and know that it’s just another experiment that maybe didn’t work the way you thought it would? I highly recommend tapping on this if it’s a big issue for you. I don’t know about you, but just the thought of experiencing ‘mistakes’ this way makes me feel a whole lot lighter!

With love,
Stephanie

This is going to be one of those days…or is it?

grumpy cat

 

 

 

It happens to the best of us. Maybe you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  Or perhaps you start the morning and a few things happen that set you in that track of “oh man, this is going to be one of those days…” The rest of the day follows suit and sometimes even gets worse.

What can we do in these situations? Well, quite frankly, there is a lot you can do, and it may be easier than you think.

It does depend to some degree on what is causing that icky mood. Is it some issue or situation that you actually need to attend to that you may be avoiding? Is it some lingering thoughts and feelings about something that’s been brewing for a while? In these cases, there might be some further investigation and actions required in order to shake it off completely. You may need to be with the feelings that are there rather than steer clear of them, or you may need to confront or address a person or situation that you would prefer to avoid.

Even in these cases, it is possible to shift your mood in a short time period. Here are some ideas.

Make sure you are fed and hydrated.  Even I am a bear when I’m too hungry. This one is so basic, but it’s surprising how many people don’t check in with it!

Take a short walk or do some kind of exercise. Not only is this a great stress-buster, it can shift your mood on a dime.

Do something creative. Apparently, there’s some research pointing to the idea that your grumpy mood could be great for creativity.  Plus, it will change your focus away from what is bothering you and you may find some solutions or simply feel better.

Do something nice for someone else. It’s a sweet way to kill two birds with one stone.

Take 5 minutes and crack open some fiction. Just start reading something – as long as it’s not something depressing! This short amount of mental distraction can sometimes be enough to stop the negative thought pattern from starting a gang and inviting all of its neighbours and long-lost family members along for a ride.  Who wants that?

Watch or listen to something funny. Time to tune into some funny YouTube videos. If you know that you tend to fall into bad moods somewhat frequently, keep a list of these! Watch something that actually makes you laugh out loud. Good luck holding on to a brutal mood for long. It’s potent medicine.

Listen to some uplifting music.  Just like with the keeping of the funny video list, keep a list of music that, when you listen to it, you CANNOT RESIST smiling or dancing. In fact, get up and shake your booty. Again, good luck holding on to that crapola mood after you’ve rocked out to something like Groove Is In The Heart. Just sayin’.

And for the last item… drumroll, please…

Use energy therapies to shift that awful mood!   I’m pretty sure you knew I’d go there.

I’ve got three recordings to share with you this month, depending on what you need in terms of clearing out a bad mood.  I would love to find out if you find these effective, so here’s a link to a short survey that will take about 3 minutes to fill out when you are finished.

  1. Blah, grumpy or low energy mood? This is for those times when you need to just shake it off and you know you’re not that far from feeling good. It’s 12 minutes.
  2. Got yourself in a bit of a slump or icky mood? This 20 minute recording uses a totally different technique called Advanced Clearing Energetics, or ACE. Like the first recording, it’s for shifting a bad mood and raising your vibration so that you feel much lighter.
  3. Woke up in a really bad state or just having a tough time coming out of that stubborn nasty mood? This recording is the most intense one and lasts 23 minutes. It’s designed to bring you from quite a low state to feeling more neutral. If you want to up your mood even further after listening to it, you could then listen to the first recording to take yourself even higher!

I really appreciate you taking the time to provide this important feedback! Here’s that link again! 

With love,  Stephanie

Intentional relationships

truth

An old man was sitting outside the city gates. A traveler about to enter the city struck up a conversation and asked him, “What kind of people live in this city?” The old man responded, “What were the people like in the place from which you came?”

“They were selfish and arrogant, cold and hard to get along with. I’m glad to be leaving the place.” “Is that so?” replied the old man. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in this city.” The disappointed traveler continued on his way, shuffling through the city gates.

A short while later, a couple arrived at the gates and began talking with the old man. They told him they were moving here and wanted to also know about the people in this new place. They asked him, “What are the people like in this city?” As before, the old man responded with the question, “What were the people like in the place from which you came?”

The couple responded, “They were wonderful – loving, warm, hard-working and generous. We’re sorry we had to leave!” “Ah, don’t you worry then. You’ll find the same sort in this city.”

I love this little story and how it sums up so much about our role in relationships. Even if you have this kind of awareness, it can still be easy to slip into forgetting it. In fact, most people walk through life without a clue that they play an active role in the quality of all of their relationships.

Two years ago I wrote a post that included an exercise for assessing your relationships. I try to do this exercise annually and have had beautiful results. Even if you already have a wonderful social life and great relationships, I find it’s still worth doing. What if they could be even better?

Here’s the (updated) exercise if you’d like to try it. It takes about 5 minutes.

Write your name in the center of a blank piece of paper. Draw a circle around it that represents the boundary of your inner circle of people. Begin writing the names of everyone in your life, intuitively placing them all over the page, wherever it feels right in terms of their relationship with you. The closer to you in real life, the closer they will be on the page (inner circle), with acquaintances out at the far corners.

Once you’ve done this, look at each name, and just go with your gut and quickly tune into how you feel about this person. Jot down a plus or minus sign above each name. Plus signs for the people with whom you feel good, positive, encouraged and happy most of the time. Minus signs are for those with whom you tend to feel tired, drained, frustrated or annoyed. Be honest with yourself about this.

Now flip over the page or take another piece of paper and do the exercise again, this time creating the same map of names, but how you would LIKE it to be. Is there anyone lingering in your inner circle with whom you’d rather have a bit of space? Move them out! Any acquaintances or people way out near the edges that you would like to bring closer? Pull them in and write it down. Remember to label and date both maps.

It’s such a simple exercise but reveals so much! When I started using this tool, I realized that I was spending too much time with the ‘minus’ people. I still cared about them, but I knew that it was having an effect on my system and mood. I discovered that I was in a kind of default mode of doing what I was used to. I allowed old, outmoded patterns and habits to cloud my judgment and keep me passively perpetuating some unhealthy relationships.

Once I took a hard look at the difference between what was actually happening and what I truly wanted with respect to my relationships, I knew I had to take a more active role. It was quite empowering. I found it was more fun and easy than I’d expected.

“There are two types of people – anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they’re having more fun. The anchors will just drag you down.” – Wyland

Over the last couple of years as I have continued to act in accordance with what I really want to create, I have been quite amazed at how accurately and quickly the “how I’d like it to be” map has become reality. Something interesting starts to happen once you’ve worked with this exercise. I think the combination of setting a conscious intention about what you do want coupled with acknowledging what’s not working has a powerful effect.

For me, it showed up in a few important ways.

  1. The minus sign people and the ones with whom I needed some space just naturally fell away. I thought it would be harder to make this happen, but it turned out that I didn’t really need to do much. Since like attracts like, it seemed the more positive and happier that I became, the less the ‘minus’ people were attracted to me. Our vibrations just didn’t match any longer. It also seemed that as I put my focus on the more positive people and the new situations that I did want to create, it all sorted itself out.
  2. To my delight, the people that I decided to pull into the inner circle on the map have blossomed into deepening and fulfilling relationships.
  3.  The process of setting these intentions also had an unexpected result. Over the last year or so, without going out of my way to meet new people, opportunities and new connections have been springing up all over the place! It has been so exciting and energizing and I can really only attribute it to setting the intention for surrounding myself with loving, wonderful folks. It works and in ways you may not even expect!

The bottom line is really to foster the relationships you want to grow and deepen. Tell people how much you value and care about them. Release and gently let fade those that are toxic or that drag you down. Life is too short to put up with anchors when you do have a choice! Remember it is all up to you!

With love,
Stephanie

Getting triggered

The-hulk-2003

Your grandmother asks you about your weight.
A coworker makes an offhand comment about someone you know.
Your boss sends you a cryptic question leaving you hanging on a Friday afternoon.
You smell something that reminds you of a bad experience.

It could really be anything. We all get triggered at times. Depending on the original connection, our response might be minor or could be as big as a full-blown panic attack. Usually triggers bring up unexpected thoughts and emotions that wash over us and sometimes drag us down a path of intense feelings, actions or even conflict with others.

Triggers are completely personal. That little thing that triggers one person has absolutely no effect on another. While my partner is busy freaking out about the moldy blueberries hidden under the gorgeous ones in the package, I feel nothing. When I bite my partner’s head off for making an innocent request to bake homemade rolls that I’ve made before, she just looks at me as though I have five heads. Not an issue for her, but clearly an issue for me.

I’m guessing you might know the feeling. You shift from a completely relaxed state one minute and then are overcome with emotion in response to some external thing the next. It’s like getting taken from zero to sixty in seconds flat.

What is going on when that happens? The interesting thing about getting triggered is that the reactions we have usually have little or nothing to do with the circumstance at hand. They have everything to do with some past experience that is still unresolved.

So what do we do when this kind of thing happens? How can we handle feeling triggered?

Here are some steps that may help at these times…

1. Find a way to be alone.

If possible, extract yourself from the situation, even if just for a few moments. Go outside or to the washroom, or just close your eyes if you can, depending on your situation.

2. Tune in to your feelings and really notice them.

How intense do you feel? Are you in the midst of a flood of emotions or only mildly affected? See if you can simply observe your emotional state without judgment.

3. Give yourself permission to feel those feelings and do some tapping.

Feel it. Feel it all. Be present with it. Let it flow through you rather than run away from it. If you know how to tap on yourself, it’s a great thing to do while you are tuned into the emotion. It helps the emotions clear rather quickly and in the process, naturally clears some of the underlying issue even if you don’t know what it might be.

4. See if you can feel the feeling without building a story around it or pulling up old stories.

If you are being triggered, it’s pretty likely that this has to do with something from the past. It’s okay to have those memories come up, but see if you can acknowledge that those are not happening NOW. What is happening is that you have an emotion that’s come up that needs to be felt. As the temptation to hold on to and repeat thoughts that give meaning to the emotion emerge, just notice them and go back to feeling the feeling. Tap through your points as you notice all of this, especially the emotions and any desire to go into a story.

5. Once the feeling has passed or cleared, think again about the triggering situation.

Notice your thoughts about this. Was your emotional charge actually appropriate to the thing that happened? Was it an overreaction? See if you can view the current situation for exactly what it is, not through the lens of the past or through the lens of your old emotional states. Notice that it now feels a bit different. If it still feels cloudy and emotional, go back to tapping on the emotion until it is down to zero intensity.

6. Take a breath and ask yourself some questions.

What it is about this situation that I want to be different?
What it is about this situation that I cannot accept?
What would it take to accept it as it is, since that’s what is here right now?
What if it’s time to feel those emotions so that I don’t need to keep playing this out?
What if it’s time to let go of those old memories and beliefs?
What if this situation is a gift to show me exactly that?
What would it take for me to let this go completely?

7. Finally, relax and just notice your thoughts.

Become aware of your thoughts – you know, that sea of thoughts that is always there. See if you can choose a new thought, any thought, that is lighter and more joyful than the ones you’d just been having. Feel it. Then choose another and let that one wash over you. Continue to do this, reaching for higher, lighter thoughts, until you feel really great. If a troubling thought comes up, just let yourself think it and then let it go and look for the next one. All thoughts are fleeting, so there’s no need to hold on.

8. Make some peace with it all.

If you’ve been in a situation that involved someone else, perhaps take the time to either apologize or explain to that person what was really happening for you. Be sure not to blame them and to take responsibility for your end of things. If your experience was all within you and had no connection to others, see if you can forgive yourself and the trigger and let it all go by continuing to breathe and tap until you feel at peace.

Practicing some or all of these steps when you are triggered will likely lessen the time it takes for you to ‘recover’ and may really help your relationships. Give it a try and I’d love to hear from you about your results.

With love,
Stephanie

What if it’s actually this easy?

get happy

I welcome your comments below.
Love, Stephanie

EFT News

Greetings all!

A couple of events you may want to know about if you are interested in EFT:

6th Annual Tapping World Summit

The 6th annual Tapping World Summit is an event put on by the Ortner siblings. This is a free online 11-day event for anyone who would like to learn more about EFT. I’m sharing this with you since I have heard from clients that they loved listening to many of the past talks. Each day there are two speakers, and the topics range from intimacy to finances to tapping with children. I hope you enjoy!

6th Annual Tapping World Summit link

Monthly EFT tapping circle in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

If you live in the lower mainland of British Columbia and would like to experience more about what tapping is all about, please join us for our monthly EFT circle in Burnaby, BC. I am joining two other EFT Practitioners, Klara Sedlacek and Sophie St. Pierre to present these. We’ve already had the first one and all participants enjoyed it and learned more about how to apply this powerful tool. We meet the second Tuesday of each month.

Monthly EFT tapping circle in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Enjoy!
Stephanie

Creating healthy relationships – a reminder

healthy relationships

 
 
 
 

None of this is new, and there are libraries full of books on the subject of relationships.  That being said, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the fundamentals. We can get so caught up in the tangle of all kinds of relationships that it’s easy to forget these things.

1. Communication 101

Have you ever caught yourself thinking that someone should have known you better than to say or do something to you? Have you ever wished that a friend, co-worker or loved one would just pay attention to your needs and then act accordingly?

If so, you may suffer from the need for some really basic communication skills.  In a nutshell: people are not mind-readers. You need to communicate your needs, your expectations, your feelings, your thoughts.

The other important piece in communication is to listen. Really listen, like stop checking your phone and multi-tasking when someone is having a conversation with you. Be present and pay attention. If you’re looking for better relationships, this is a key. It works beautifully for creating connection.

2. Be yourself

Being fully you while you are with another person is something you might think is a given.  It is not. Many of you may not even be aware of how much people-pleasing, approval-seeking, or trying to appear to be something other than who you are is really interfering with just being you.

One example of this is the girlfriend or wife who feels she needs to look or act a certain way in order to maintain a relationship with her mate.  This is far more common than you might imagine, especially since it can be subtle. This is actually soul-crushing stuff when left unchecked over time.

Try on some awareness about how you act and feel when you are alone as compared to how you are in the presence of others. Is there a huge difference? If so, maybe it’s time to have a look to see what’s stopping you from just being you.

3. Get right with yourself

The bottom line is that the highest quality relationship you ever will have with another person will never exceed the quality of the relationship you have with yourself. The biggest key to improving any of your relationships is to first improve the one with you. If you aren’t truly caring for and loving yourself, it’s time to find a way to begin doing so. Get some help with this if you need it; your entire outer world will change in direct correlation to how okay you are with yourself.

4. Being with what is

If you’ve ever found that you wanted someone to change their behaviour, thoughts, or feelings, then you are, in essence, not accepting that person exactly as they are. It’s normal. I might even say it’s kind of the human condition. Who doesn’t want others to act the way you would like them to?

However, just because we want it to be so doesn’t make it so. So what are we left to do about it? Well, we can choose to be chronically unhappy, disappointed, angry, sad, etc. about it. Or, we can begin to simply let the person be exactly as they are. What if that could be okay? What if we could acknowledge that that is simply the way it is and choose a different response to it?

This is a huge one, and I’ve included it here just to give you some food for thought.

5. Remember that you have a choice

You actually have the power to choose. In every moment, you have that power. If a relationship is not what you want it to be, you always have choices. You can choose to change your behaviour, your thoughts about it or your reactions. You can also choose to spend less (or more) time with someone.

Let’s say you’ve done all this on your end and you’re still not feeling good about the relationship. At what point do you actually make the choice to end it? As difficult as this may be, let’s face it – sometimes this is the healthiest choice.

6. Appreciation

This one’s my favourite. There is nothing in this world that can beautifully transform a relationship faster than bringing in this key element. Making this a daily practice can simply change everything.  More to come on this in the next newsletter!

There is so much to creating healthy, loving relationships. I hope this very brief overview of some key points will serve as a quick reminder that it is in your power to create what you desire in your relationships.