CLIMBING ON A THREAD

At last night’s Meet-Up group, I presented a couple of different ways to use our journaling as a coaching tool. When we use pen and paper, they become an extension of our creative inspiration and a gateway for us to process our emotions and thoughts in ways that enable us to discover our own patterns of behavior, habitual thinking, the ways we react and also our dearest wishes and longings. From this we can discover and clarify our desires and goals and write them down in visionary statements and affirmations. There are two basic areas of journaling, which of course can be done both in a notebook and on a computer:

plannerTRACING OUR HISTORY

By writing down what we have done, seen, heard, felt and thought, we can release ourselves from the burden of stress and enable an honest sharing of our innermost perception to surface for:

* Letters to ourselves and others

* Poetry

* Blogs

* Prayers

* Gratitude

CREATING OUR FUTURE

By focusing on what we would like to create and become we can use a diary for:

* Planning

* Ideas

* Visions

* Affirmations

* Assessments (strengths, weaknesses, skills, wishes etc)

What we do write tend to increase when we are doing it without expectations, such as writing down what we are grateful for regularly will naturally increase our awareness so that we will notice more things to become grateful for, which we also will attract. But if we use self-help tools in a calculating manner, it will instead produce a resistance and widening the gap between where we are and where we want to be in life, apart from the conditions we are living under. However this resistance can also prove to enable us new areas and ways to improve. For example if we choose a positive statement as an affirmation, such as “I am successful” and instead feel that we are not, we can be coached (or ask ourselves) to see what lies behind it, such as finding out that by success we must feel that we have money. This in turn, changes the affirmation to “I always have enough.” which produces a different set of relaxing emotions which in turn enable us to receive more.

And of course you can use both words, images, clippings, mindmaps, quotes, notes and illustrations as your means of expression. I got my first diary when I was 7 years old…

Which do you prefer? What happens if you write in your second language? How does your story change over time? And do you write in a certain way because you think how it should be done, to be approved by yourself and others?

The only truth is present in our hearts.

TRUE EMPOWERMENT

Have you ever noticed that some friends only remain your friends if they get to be the ones who feel sorry for you? Or simply assume a role that you used to have, a way that you used to behave but when you change you become opposed. On the other hand it is easy to mistake help for friendship (or romantic), especially if you prefer that type of language of love in your interactions. At the same time this dilemma is often used by so called healers in the self-help genre who claims to sell a program or rather enable you to become a teacher instead. Perhaps even just by going to a retreat for a week.

Most of us who seek healing receive an emotional catharsis through the accelerated process induced by the teacher, who might even call him/herself a spiritual coach, thriving on what is supposed to be a natural process over time, for example grief, conflict resolution or the like. This unfortunately can become a way for psychopaths to abuse their clients by wanting to ensure that others need them through breakdowns, offering another program for you to participate in. These people in turn become popular leaders, at times seen in cults, taking shortcuts for themselves to create success, rather than the way shamans in indigenous traditions have worked for centuries.

It is also important to emphasize that many clients mistake both coaches and “spiritual healers” for therapists due to the high demand and self-help trend often alongside yoga, even though most might not even hold a degree in psychology less a license to practice. This was something that I learned through the dispute of my exam paper for my Bachelor’s degree at Malmö University in 2002, thanks to my former professor Gisele Asplund who instead taught me how the Double Loop learning process (ref. Chris Argyris)  really works, alongside the use of the Socratic dialog, which is part of finding and living a truly empowered life coming from within, achieved through training Co-Active Coaching the following year.

I have always found and increased my own self-empowerment during my various travels in the US where the culture also encourage professional initiatives, entrepreneurship and expansion in a positive way, as opposed to my experience of living in Sweden where it is rather the opposite into the culture of passive aggressiveness and learned hopelessness that is the foundation for Swedish sociological responses by authorities claiming power and obstructing progress through limiting and negative bureaucracy.

However, a real coach the way I work, is based on a dialog where there might be certain general questions to start off with depending on which life area you would like to clarify and improve, but there will never be any ready answers or solutions to buy from me, but rather you will be enabled to find your own depending on your unique situation. Through our conversation this will show itself by experience, choice and the reward that fuels your own motivation through your own decision-making and efforts in action. Just try it!

Contact me at tlc (at) telluselle (dot) com or through Skype: telluselle to make an appointment for a first free session. Welcome!

NATURAL RESPONSE

For us to have a positive life and good relationships, I believe based on my formal and informal education and experience that the natural process should be encouraged rather than conditioned to silence, as it is so often by our norms. Here is how it should be and why according to my opinion:

First, we react to a situation, a conversation, an event or the like. This is when we should allow one another to display and communicate what we really feel in the moment, rather than stifle and harbor our emotions.

Second, we reply to a situation, conversation (whether online, by phone or in person) by acknowledging and confirming the message to make sure we understood it correctly, ask questions, say yes or no or decide a time to follow up with a meeting, more information or the like.

Third, we respond in action. In life-threatening circumstances this would have to be a direct reaction which is essential for our survival (natural adrenaline flow with rest afterwards and so forth) but on most occasions a response should be based on an educated decision with freedom of choice, where we follow our heart, values, goals and the common good.

When this is denied us or obstructed in some ways, often by authority, post traumatic stress can increase both on an individual level as well as for the group and community. Here is one of my personal examples:

When I was 21 I was subjected to an attempted date rape by Mats in Eslöv which I fought myself out of physically and ran to the Swedish police station, where the officer at night refused to take down my report stating it would be just my word against his and basically my own fault since I had been in his apartment (for a first date). I had my on-off boyfriend Lars come over and hold me that night and help me heal physically the next couple of months. Then we met him at a local nightclub in Lund whereupon I got scared and angry. Luckily, Lars and his (our) friends took the matter in their own hands outside to protect me, whereupon Mats later came back down into the club and apologized in front of everybody, which I accepted but on some level the emotional and mental damage had still been done and my trust both in men and in the Swedish police was severely broken.

About three years later, I accidentally ran into the same guy with my new boyfriend Göran in Malmö at a bowling alley with our colleagues and had a the same extreme fear-based reaction, which I tried to seek therapy for, but never received. Would I had been enabled to, especially including a court appearance or a simple meeting with a dialog in a safe place, a reconciliation could have been reached to find understanding for both parts so that the offender could understand his harm the way I perceived it for him to take responsibility for how he treated me and vice versa. However, I did write him a letter many years later that I sent to his parents address.

Since the date rape had been at a dinner at Mats’ apartment, together with growing up with stress and threatening discussions over dinner, I developed a coping mechanism of having problem eating at other people’s houses or simply in company. I started practicing to heal this victimization thanks to friends like Camilla, Agneta, Martin, Mathias and Nils during the years I studied at Malmö University, discovered when I dated Jens. This is also why I chose to share rooms at a hostel in Hawaii to break down my own barriers in good company, which I did, at least to some extent over many years with its best facilitation to a healed behavior thanks to Eddie and James at my age of 41 for it to be resolved. Last year I was ready to meet love again, but was hindered here in Sweden.

If we look at it at a group level; is it right that a group of new friends should have to endure, question and worry about my behavior when it could have been resolved through therapy? Or not receive respect for my choice of sexual partners that I am are attracted to, whether for temporary pleasure or lovemaking in a long-term relationship, decided privately. Is it right that we should have our friends beat up, verbally or physically, the one who offended us? While it is crucial that we stand up for each other, especially men against other men, it is my belief that we should receive help by legal authorities when conflicts and assaults of this magnitude arise.

In Sweden, little to no assistance is ever offered, but instead the actual assault (or the stalking by Daniel for example) rather become reinforced by denial and threats of the same authorities that should have helped, as opposed to in the US according to my experience. So from a community or even national level, it is very important that we can seek help to protect our borders, strengthen our defense or fight the enemy within our nation, community, group or family. Which can be as simple as asking someone to be our Big brother when we never had any. To be Ohana.

Therefore I welcome ACE this spring (sorry about so little info in English).

MOTION IN STILLNESS

Did you know there are many methods and purposes for meditating?

I started practicing meditation in 1994 the first time, when I also learned Medical Qigong for Master Marcus Bongart. There are some fundamental aspects to think of while you do:

* Breathing – the way we breathe is essential for how we take in and releases energy. This can be done by inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth with your tongue in the palate, or with prolonged exhales to release stress, or short inhales to increase oxygen rapidly for example.

* Mindfulness – awareness is essential and this is how we learn presence. By observing our own breath or try to tune into our body to increase our senses to see where we feel tense, blocked or simply find a better posture also enable us to prevent and heal the flow of lifeforce.

* Visualizing – by guided meditations we can find ways to focus our minds eye for example towards a tranquil sea.

* Listening – when we relax it becomes easier to tune into our hearts and emotions so that we may allow them to move through us and increase our intuition.

* Praying – in stillness and silence we also may find it easier to express our wishes and needs towards God. But a prayer can also be sung in a chant for example that might enable us to focus better from mind-chatter.

* Connection – when we are spiritually aligned in a way that makes us feel centered, we can also experience a sense of oneness without any human interference.

* Preparation and Evaluation – when meditating one can also do a check-up with oneself and the tasks ahead.

While most of us think of meditation sitting in a pose, it is not the only way. Rather it is a mental state of mind one can tune in and out to during our normal chores or simply going for a walk aligning with other Earthlings. Or allow ourselves to be carried by music through a dance routine with our muscle memory. It is all a matter of focus.

I have tried the Buddhist way, the Tao way, the Tantric way, the Yogi way, the Christian way and the Huna way. As for me, I prefer the Natural way, when life itself becomes a meditation.

Photo from 2010 in Honolulu.

NATURAL BALANCE

Are you late or are you early? When we look around the world, we can conclude that a New Year is celebrated at different times according to different ways of counting in different locations. Who has the right time?

When we changed our time to Daylight savings in Sweden, we turned our clocks forward two hours last fall as opposed to the regular one hour. What kind of impact does this have when we look at things like which day the Spring Equinox is here in Sweden, according to how the sun and moon are standing for us to experience? And what happens when there are changes in climate, super-moons (full moon twice in a month like last fall) etc? For example the Chinese New Year is usually celebrated around February 1st, but this year it was celebrated around February 19th.

What would happen if you stopped looking at the numbers and figures, dates and days and went outside instead? Is spring here yet?

No, next week, according to my opinion because we are one week ahead of ourselves in Sweden. Can we make a calendar worldwide instead that is for all of us to use globally, perhaps with a standard internet time because what happens to our balance when some people make automatic and planned updates, or change time of publication backwards by manipulating or altering those dates that we all go by in our digital records? Meanwhile we go about our day in different tempo and rhythms, which most often is based on culture, rather than nature.

Go outside again. Look, feel, breathe, be present. A tree is a tree regardless of which name you choose to call it.

ASSESSING OUR COMPETENCE

I received an inquiry recently about a potential job-offer at an advertising firm. As most American companies do, it included a job-application to fill out with a couple of questions to answer in regards to how I work in the field. It got me thinking of what is a trait in one culture, might be a burden in another, or what is great in professional life, might produce a negative impact in private. Either way, a job application always enable us to check in with what we like to do for a living and how. How much should we renounce our ambitions in favor of bread and butter when others stop us from living our dream? Will we always be evaluated on our past or can we be allowed to be met in the presence with trust in our current situation, skills and goals?

stretching_leg

The best way is of course if we can combine our old experience, such as copywriting on my part, with our newer, such as coaching, which with my new education in organizational development for consulting can be merged to coach businesses towards clarifying goals, vision, target groups and culture and/or coach employees towards being more creative, efficient, have better life-balance and so forth in combination with writing communication strategies and campaigns.

When I was 24 my goal was to become a copywriter which I did but the real lesson was what should I do with my profession, which to me is to use copywriting to market myself and others, and always to share a message that will produce action, whether a change of attitude or to buy a product.

How much is that cloud with air in it? I like to buy it.

Photo from 2010 by Desirée Seitz.

HEALING THE EARTHLING FAMILY

In Hawaii we speak of Ohana, which means family. But what is family? Does it have to be limited to mother, father and child or can it include foster-parents, aunts, uncles and cousins? And what about the friends we love and hold even more dear? These too becomes uncles and aunts in Hawaiian culture. We all need role-models, caregivers, providers, safety-holders and playmates and we all play these roles towards each other in the patterns we condition one another through our opinions or perhaps through the reluctance many display to accept change of behavior and in hierarchical power structures. Sometimes this leads to a resistance to allow others to move forward by assuming judgment because of what we have known of their past.

By remembering that we all are family, we also must enable conflict-resolution to take place in our own small groups, our communities and in society at large to find forgiveness and live in harmony. A Hawaiian method to do this is called Ho’oponopono, developed through many generations by healers such as for example Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona.

When I took classes in Coaching conversation technique at Malmo University in 2004, we practiced both coaching one-on-one and in small groups, letting the conversation go around in the circle whereupon the leader summarized it afterwards before the next round. This is one of my strengths in my professional role that can also be used for facilitating a process for forgiveness. Thus Ho’oponopono can be used both on an individual level and on a group level.

On an individual level it is a matter of self-forgiveness which can be conducted as a meditation, prayer, writing a letter or journal entry or through a confession to someone you trust.

On a group level it is a matter of meeting that person, or those, you seek to receive forgiveness from to release yourself from anger by sharing honestly how he/she harmed you, so both sides can assume responsibility for what has transpired, whether unintentionally or intentionally. We do this by setting an agenda for a planned meeting where each person gets to have his/her say about an issue or event that was harmful whereupon the other has to answer and explain or at least learn to understand the harm that was inflicted. This meeting has to be held with respect and a willingness to listen as well as express truth on an honest level, in confidentiality.

If the conflict is more of a personality clash, lack of trust or perhaps a continuous verbal abuse, this can be solved by asking oneself:

What is it in me that is similar to what you are describing?

For example, on which occasions have you felt envy, greed, jealousy, mistrust, fear, pain or the like? Is there something in your behavior that is projecting that towards someone else? Can you own your own behavior and understand what you did or how you made someone feel? Can you change your behavior according to a new pattern that is life-giving for both sides? Or simply agree to disagree and move on.

Forgiveness must be followed up in action.