There Will Be Failure

You’re going to fail. I will too. During this winter holiday season we will all fail in some way or other, at least once. We’ll say the wrong thing, omit a present, eat poorly, rush ourselves and our loved-ones, maybe snarl at someone just doing his job, or worse, snap at someone close to us. Most of all, we’ll forget that we have control over how we react and a choice about how we manage moment to moment. (For tips about how to Turn Your Day Around in 180 Seconds, you can get the Move Into Change newsletter here.)

Failure is real and, though we might not realize it, we’re successful because we fail not in spite of it. We fail continually during each and every day. When something doesn’t work out (a form of failure) we adjust (a form of success) until we transform a small mistake or an epic fail into a different success. Ryan Babineaux (Fail Fast, Fail Often) calls this process “failing forward,” a term I’ve come to adore.

So what of the failures you’ll inevitably encounter during the next few weeks? How can you take some control over the sense of overwhelm that causes you to miss opportunities? How can you strengthen your relationships? How do you ease the stress that causes you to make a default choice instead of acting on a deeper commitment to yourself?

You can begin by understanding more about the value of failure (look for future posts).

And, you can pause to bring some compassion to yourself for your mistake.

It’s possible to pause any situation you’re in. It’s possible to take a mere 5 minutes to check – in with yourself so you don’t check-out by responding more like a puppet than the terrific person you are.

Often it’s at this time of year that you wish you had already built stronger  resilience so you’d have something to rely on now, when you need it most. If you’ve already been practicing, the holiday season can make it more challenging to carve out 30 minutes to meditate or an hour to exercise amidst all the shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, socializing and traveling.

It’s never to late to start to develop your Pause Ability. You don’t need a guru, fancy equipment, or find non-existent hours to devote to it.

And, with the gift of the pause, there will be success.

New In 2015 INTRODUCING! The Pause Ability Place.

I’d love to hear about the miniscule and gigantic ways a simple pause helped you. Or, if you use PauseAbilities, tell me about that. I’ll share your stories in future newsletters (with your permission, of course). If you aren’t receiving the newsletter yet, you can see a sample or sign up and get started on making change in your life with my complimentary workbook, “Permission Granted: Move Into Change With Your Own Approval,” here.

A story from my life to start us off …
The other day, I was organizing my office closet. It was going pretty well. There were problems and re-adjustments that flowed so quickly from one to the next the process felt almost effortless. Then, there was that moment… half of my files, books, coaching materials and office supplies were still piled up outside the closet and the closet was full. Ugh. After too many tries, I still couldn’t figure out how to make it all fit. Frustrated, I was tempted to walk away or shove it all in  and slam the door (not gently).

cartoon-lady-closet1-246x300

Instead, I paused. I noticed the tightness in my chest & shoulders and the tizzy I was in. I could hardly sense my legs because there was so much going on in my mind; “Look at the mess, I’ll never find a place for everything. What possessed me to start this project today?!” I needed grounding. I took out my phone and following the prompts from PauseAbility #3, I felt some relief. I realized I was trying to squeeze an idea from my frustrated mind, and within the space of the pause, a new idea came to me. Ah, much better.

Here’s another…

I am holding this space for you to reply to me and share your story that will appear in our Pause Ability Place coming in 2015. With the next story be yours?

Warmly,

Judy

 

ACCLPICertifiedCoachLogo+web    BCC-logo

Puppet or Pause Ability?

116663554-mannequin-style-string-puppet-or-marionette-gettyimagesLast night I was watching How to Get Away With Murder when I needed a drink. I pressed the pause button on the remote and made the trek upstairs to the kitchen. After sipping some water, I sat back down to witness Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) careen between being a terrifying control freak and a horrible hot mess of a brilliant woman.

 

I felt great. I was more comfortable and noticeably more alert because I had paused. Davis’s character was still being pulled apart by her emotions. Poor Annalise …

 

We’re all familiar with pausing a show or a song to run to the bathroom or get a snack. That’s all it takes to to get what we need. It’s pretty easy, right?

 

Most pauses take a mere 3 – 5 minutes. Pauses that give us time for something other than a snack, like interrupting an emotional explosion (remember counting to 10?) or before we’re about to make a presentation or enter a social setting like a party, also take little time. But they tend to be something we only occasionally remember to do.

 

Mostly we shift quickly from one thing to the next without a moments pause. We barely register our full reaction before it’s off to the races. When we do remember to pause, we usually don’t take complete advantage of it, either.

 

Fly on the wall at Erin’s office just the other day:

Erin gets on the phone with her client, Michael, a few seconds after having an unpleasant interaction with a co-worker. Michael doesn’t t know anything about this situation but within the first few seconds he reacts to her tone of voice. She seems to be in a negative mood and distracted (which she is). He wonders if he’s done something to annoy her. Michael questions whether Erin is truly ready to give him the attention he had paid for.         Uh oh!

If you knew Erin, you’d know that she is smart, good at her job, committed to her clients, caring in her relationships, and well meaning. Erin is also a busy person. Being the mature woman that she is, Erin most likely noticed her upset. Perhaps she felt “frustration.” She probably said something to herself like “Grrr, better pull myself together, I have a call in 2 minutes, can’t deal with this now, it’s too big…” She may not have noticed her jaw clench and her breathing tighten. She certainly thought she could push the annoyance aside and get going on the next agenda item.

 

The thing is, all that pushing aside has an effect. Often it affects us in the moment, as in Erin’s first few minutes with Michael. Too frequently, the accumulation of countless unacknowledged reactions in our day leaves us drained, fatigued, short tempered and/or vaguely anxious.

 

Have you had an experience like Erin’s or have you had thoughts like these?

“But if I stop, even for just a few minutes, I might collapse and not start back up again, ever!”

 “I’ll pause after I finish this, and that, and that. Then I’ll be able to take care of me and it. ”

 “I’ll take go back and revisit it after I’ve crossed everything off my list for the day.”

 “What will a few minutes do? I have to focus on what’s important! I need to bear down.”

 

I have said these same words or a version of them. So have my clients.

 

It’s easy to get caught in believing that ignoring our selves won’t matter, or that we’ll catch up with our inner life later. It can also be a challenge to trust that pausing will make a big enough difference for us to be willing to do it.

 

It matters.

Think about how many times in your day you transition from one thing to the next. Not one, not two, could be fifty, could be hundreds. If we are carrying unacknowledged sensations from just a third of those moments with us, we are unlikely to be our best. And, that’s an understatement! By the end of the day or even earlier, we are very likely to be drained and scattered. We might observe ourselves numbing out with TV, food, or silly FB quizzes if we weren’t so busy trying to get away from ourselves.

 

Not only does our go- go life drain us of vital life energy, it robs us of knowing the best of ourselves. It impacts on work, personal relationships and our fundamental feeling of being at home within ourselves, something we rarely take the time to nourish.

 

If we begin to become aware of what’s happening inside us, we can then make choices about how to work with it. It allows us to regulate impulses, thoughts, emotions and behaviors at the micro level. With each pause we strengthen our ability to make a new choice, to allow a fresher perspective to bubble up.

 

It’s as if the pause opens the door for new possibilities to occur to us. And the ability to do that gives us the strength to pause more.

 

But, if we continue to go through life unaware, we’re more like puppets, individuals who allow life to happen to us.

 

The pause allows us to check in for a moment with who we are. The pause sets the stage for us to align who we really are with what we do. 

 9019737-hand-cutting-the-strings-of-a-puppet-giving-it-freedomThe pause cuts the puppet strings for a moment.

 

Now we have a pause, which opens up possibilities and then becomes a skill, an ability… a Pause Ability!

Thanks for coming with me this far. There’s more to come when I share one best way to pause.

If you liked this, share it!

Warmly

Judy

Sign up for the MoveIntoChange informative and non-annoying newsletter here.

LPICertifiedCoachLogo+web  BCC-logo

11 Reasons You Might Want to “Listen” in a New Way

        This might be you. It’s definitely me or has been me at least some time.

  • Crave more ease in life.

River9WEB

  •  Reactive: sometimes it seems like everything bothers you.

frustrated

  • Misunderstood: other people don’t seem to get what you “mean.”

    nooneunderstands

  • Escapist: you look for relief and create habits that affect other parts of life.

junk food

  • Distractible: you’ve been told you weren’t listening to someone else, when you thought you were.

personality dog-1

  • Overwhelmed: Decisions and actions don’t seem possible.

indecision

  • Procratinating: you put off important things (tasks, projects, people, experiences) in your life.

Ostrich_hiding_

  • Imposter: you feel disconnected from your authentic life – a bit like a faker.behind the mask_192169424
  • Unappreciated: You figure being your own best friend is a good idea, but how do you do it?

open-hand_palm-up

 

Focusing is one powerful and simple process that lets you be supportive of other people and yourself – so the important things in your life can move forward freely.

Focusing has made a huge difference in how I am, what I do and how I feel. It made (and still makes)  such a difference that I got certified so I could teach other people too!

Sooooo, if you’re interested in being more of a friend to yourself,

I’m teaching an introductory Focusing workshop, “Listening To You” on Oct. 18th at Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY.

It’s affordable!

Click to  SIGN-UP. If you click the photo below, you’ll get to the brochure

Girl with shell2

Meditation Monday Day #78: Stepping Out and In Again

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 3.43.18 PM

Oh man, just when you think you’ve “got it,” the next bit of learning beckons. Usually it comes in some form of an obstacle. Today, its name is frustration.

After a week of smooth meditation practice in which breaths came and went in variations on the theme of Hello, Goodbye, today’s practice started out like a night of tossing and turning. All over the place and no place at all.

First, I try reining myself in with an image of a horse at the bit. That feels harsh and my body contracts. Next I imagine my breaths as a rabble of butterflies captured in a net for observation. Somehow, even though the net is gauzy, it feels wrong and damaging to the butterflies’ wings to boot. The butterflies are flinging themselves at the confinement of the net and seem more agitated than before. Yikes, I’m creating resistance to the very thing I want.

What is it I want? I want a butterfly to alight and then settle on a flower, calm. In order to have that, I can’t capture it, I must invite it. I must unfold petals and offer Presence*. I’ve forgotten Presence; no, not forgotten – stepped out of it. Presence is the opposite of force.Narcissus unfoldingI can step into it again, remembering that a flower doesn’t question its ability to be a flower.

* Presence: The state of being that includes all experience with awareness, gentle curiosity,  and compassion (taken fromFocusing work).

How’s it going for you?

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com             You might want to check out moveintochange.com too. That’s where there’s info about coaching and coaching with me. Go… and then go forth and tell your friends. Thank you.

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too. That’s where there’s info about coaching and coaching with me. Go… and then go forth and tell your friends. Thanks.

The Power of We: On and Off the Seesaw

Did it ever happen to you that you tell someone about an experience you had (maybe even one you had as a child) hoping they’ll understand something about it and you, and instead they look at you blankly? I’m about to risk that again in this post. Here goes.

We had a seesaw in our backyard. Part of our swing set, our seesaw was  large, metal, extra sturdy, just like the ones at the public park.

I had a love-hate relationship with that seesaw.

I loved the exhilaration of pushing off and waiting for the bump bump  at the top when the other kid touched down abruptly.

I hated coming down from that bump at the top, though. It hurt. And, there was always the real possibility of falling off – backward.

Sometimes, a friend would reach the bottom then jump off so quickly that I’d come crashing down. I can still feel the jaw jamming jolt up my spine. Some friend.

Most of the time, though, it was the usual your turn up, then my turn up, my turn down, then your turn down, which had it’s own repetitive pleasure.

Once  in awhile, there was magic.

My partner and I would hover almost level, attention heightened, sensing an almost imperceptible but real give and take.  Then, a Nano-second of stillness, enough time for grins to spread across our faces.

After, we’d try to return to seesawing as usual but it wasn’t long before we abandoned it for slide or swings.

When deciding what to write for this Blog Action Day post, the theme of which is, “The Power Of We,” I wanted to tell you about Gene Gendlin, founder of Focusing.

I wanted to tell you about his extraordinary years of work teaching people about turning inward to access bodily wisdom; a skill, he identified, that we all possess naturally, and can cultivate without needing a degree or an outside authority.

This Focusing thing is really the name for a specific kind of listening that is possible inside each of us and best accomplished in the presence of  another listener.

While most of us seesaw between the, your turn then my turn kind of relating, Focusing is all about that moment when listening into our own body, we hover, responding to the other, and connect.

The power of listening through Focusing, has transformed the lives of people all over the world. Brought  into more intimate relationship with ourselves, we connect to what is important in us and in the other.**

If cultivating a bigger stronger listening presence for you and your children interests you, click the photo.

** Focusing is used in fields from science, psychotherapy, teaching and sports to coaching and conflict resolution reaching countries all over the world.