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: I need a mom…

middle pillar“I’m not tired.” Remember being five and insisting you weren’t tired even as you were crying for no apparent reason or running around like a crazed chipmunk?

I do. And, I remember being on the mommy side of this moment too; knowing that I needed to insist that it was “time for bed” because my little one just couldn’t figure it out for herself.

This week I did everything to not meditate. Well, it seemed like everything… I was cranky, uncomfortable, tired, distracted – looking everywhere for relief, except to the one thing that would bring me back to me.

It happens.

Luckily, after a few days of flailing Meditation Mommy came to visit. She’s the part of me who remembers to take care of me when the rest of me forgets. She has all the qualities I need:

  • A squishy lap: softness
  • Hugs: warmth
  • Loves me when I’m a mess (or think I am): acceptance
  • Sparkly blue eyes: aliveness
  • Unlimited ability to listen: empathy
  • Nowhere else to go: patience
  • Holds the superpower of Yes: trust
  • Knows what I need: wisdom

She took me gently by the hand and steered me to the mat. She insisted (kindly, of course) that I sit, “Just for a few minutes.” Assuring me that,       “After you’re done you can go back to any craziness you choose.” So I did. And then, of course, I didn’t.

You can sign up for occasional emails with tips and tools for self coaching and more, just click moveintochange.com  Then go forth and tell your friends. Thanks.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Meditation Monday: Yes

middle pillarA hummingbird mind. Beating wings and long beak hovering for just a second first at my forehead, then at some thought about ancient crowns and wreaths and then onto wondering where to focus my attention – that shoulder…this rise of my ribs- it kept moving until I noticed.

I didn’t count breaths either. As I write, I’m considering how I might justify my choice to meditate on a quality instead of counting breaths. Hide my transgression – I didn’t follow the rules. So there it is.  Now that I’ve said it, I can move on from feeling like I’m supposed to “know” about meditation. I don’t, and really, who does?

Right this moment I know this; I went inside, I sat, I breathed, I paid attention. The part of me that usually “watches,” which I thought was that “witness” so often described in meditation literature, turned out to be more of a gatekeeper. Keeper of the list. Some things are allowed in, others are not.

I reminded myself to explore this new insight later… and then there was something more, something “other” than the gated domain and the opinion of the gatekeeper.

“Yes,” the quality of YES.   Hanging out there (with a yes that feels different from the yes that comes of “I can’t say no,” or the yes of, ” I’m afraid if I don’t say “yes” the opportunity will disappear,” and more solid than the over-excited- bordering -on- anxious – type, yes), breathing, watching, listening, I heard,

It depends on who’s looking.” It depends on who’s looking.

Yes. Separating the looking from who is doing the looking. Or at least, being aware that who’s looking is in charge of what I see, which may be far less than what I can know.

You can sign up for occasional emails with tips and tools for self coaching and more, just click moveintochange.com  Then go forth and tell your friends. Thanks.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

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.

P is for…

It seems like so many of my favorite words start with “P.” Here are some, in no particular order:

  • Peace        Play         Perseverance
    Patience    Plenty      Possibilities
    Paradox     Poetic     Pleasure

The list is way longer than this, but I’m stopping here for now because I want to focus on the first two.

Recently, I came across the above quote from Brene Brown (if you haven’t checked her out yet, I suggest you do).

“I don’t want someone who loves me – I want someone who practices their love for me every day.”

Who wouldn’t say “yes” to this? Yes, yes, yes and YES!

One thing I love about this quote is that it implies, without actually stating it, that there’s a way that some people love that isn’t a practice. We feel love, and it’s a great feeling- the best.  However, doing love is whole ‘nother thing. Feeling love for a specific person but failing to practice it consistently in ways that are recognized by that other person = 0 relationship. I’ve been there, I’m guessing you have too.

Seems obvious -yes? But somehow we can fall for the reassurances of  “but I love you,” when other people can’t or won’t practice, or, we use those same reassurances ourselves when we can’t or won’t (guilty). Notice that “perfect” isn’t on my list. And notice too, I’m not questioning anyone’s feeling of love, or the purest of loving intentions, only observing that practice is different. And yes, it’s also true that telling someone you love them is regularly part of practicing love.

Which brings me to this: How often do I practice love for myself?  What about you? What are all the ways you’d recognize you loving you?

Any ideas?

Here’s one from me; listening.  It’s the most loving thing we can do for us, and for the people we love. And, If you have children, then listening to them with your full on presence is the finest practice, a magnificent gift.

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

You are here.

No, not literally at the Adelbert but, they have one of these maps at the outlet mall in Lee, MA where I’ve been known to spend many an afternoon. The mall is weirdly laid out, so without the directory map, it would be impossible to know that in order to go from Just Socks to Calvin Klein, you have to go through the food court into the mystery passage next to Cinnabons. I told you it was weird.

Anyway, I’m driving to see a client today and I’m feeling a bit snippy.  Come to think of it, I’ve been snippy all day.  I  wonder how I can be fully present for my client if I’m like this, so I begin to use some of my practices.

The snippyness feels tight in my chest, more like resentment now. I have choices; I can go into default mode from the past; tell myself that I can’t be feeling this right now and push it down and to the side, secretly wondering if it will surface when I least want it to, or,  I can spend some time with it, acknowledge it and promise to make a safe place for it to wait, so I can come back later when I have more time.

So proud of myself for opting out of default mode and thrilled at how easily the new choices came (Yay growth!).

Only it didn’t work.

This snippy part of me was having none of it. It needed attention – now! It was having a mini tantrum; a fists waving, feet stomping,now Now NOw NOW fit! Okay, Okay, I say with my hand on my heart, I’m all ears, what do you want me to know?

It turns out that last weekend, when my workshop was cancelled (just the day before- ack) due to a plumbing problem at the venue, I skimmed over my disappointment to address the practical matters (emails to participants, rescheduling, getting deposit back, etc.). And, I was all about the silver lining. Hey now I can tell more people about it, and I’ll have time to write some more teaching stories (say this in a chirpy bad customer service rep voice).

Yes, but I  didn’t notice the frustrated part that was  let down, or at least, not enough.  I had been so excited and then – nada – and that part just didn’t get its due. So, I  get to learn (again) just how important it is to meet myself where I am.

It’s kind of hard to get from Calvin Klein back to the car (hopefully with a new sweater) if I don’t know that I’m still in Just Socks. I am HERE (at disappointed). Nice to meet me.

Benefits of doing the work I did…

Instead escalating the feelings (which is a worry I have), giving the sensation the attention it needed, listening to it, actually dissipated its intensity. Then, coming back later, in case there was more, felt possible. By talking to “it”  I was able to use the mature other parts of me to dialogue with it, which in turn, let me know that I was much larger than this sad part. I felt confident and calmer; a great place from which to meet my client where he was.

AND – new date for the workshop, Listening From Your Body of Knowledge for Parents is  Oct. 19th. We’ll learn more of the  skills I talk about on this blog. You can check it out and sign up – click photo- if it looks like your kind of thing.

Who Are You Listening To?

“You can watch t.v. but all you’ll know is what they’ll tell you.”  

Daron Roberts, college  football coach, quoting his parents.

Say what you will about college football (oy), this quote fairly jumped off the pages of my Sports Illustrated. It goes to the heart of beginning to lead an examined life . By examined, I don’t mean picked apart, judged and over-analyzed, but a life filled with curiosity about who we are right now. What’s so? What needs attention? Where do I want to go? What qualities to I want in my life? What’s in my way? Most of the people I know who lead mindful, meaningful and joyous lives started by exploring a question so basic, we often don’t pay attention to it.

Who are you listening to?

Here’s one way to begin to find out. Answer the following questions (they’re simple). When you’re finished – no peeking – scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Warning: this 3 minute exercise rocked my world.

Give between 1-5  answers to the following questions. It doesn’t matter how many you have for each, but no more than 5.

1. Whose opinion to do value most?

2. Who do you consider your best friend(s)?

3. Who are the most important people in the world to you?

4. When you need to take care of your health, who do you consult?

5. Who do you trust the most in this world?

Coach Roberts’s parents were reminding him that it’s important to gather information from a wide variety of sources, to gain perspective by hearing many, and to educate himself beyond television or any one source.  Admirable, and necessary. He says that this kind of reminder kept him curious. I love that. While many of us are taught to look outward at and take in from the world, which is fantastic, we are less likely to have been taught to look inward with the same level of curiosity. If we express too much interest (whatever that is) we’re indulging in navel gazing, as if learning about our inner landscape is somehow a lazy unproductive equivalent to picking lint out of our belly buttons. Clearly a near waste of time, right?

\\\\\\\\\\\\////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\////////

Now to your answers————–  How many times does your own name appear?

What do you make of that? I’d love to hear your reaction to this exercise.