Friday 28 January 2011

Om Shivay

Now, don't worry, I'm not going all mystical on you, so please bear with me. As I spend more time looking closely at human thinking, working with others on their pain and their happiness, it is increasingly clear that the emotional part of our selves is pivotal in all that we strive for.

That part of us doesn't do maths, would run from Mr. Rubic's cube and doesn't always speak loud enough for us to consciously hear, but it controls our lives. So how can we control it?

I've spoken about meditation before. It's magical, because it provide focus and space to allow you to listen to, and speak with,  the emotional part of you. When that can be done, almost every aspect of life gets better because fears are dissolved and focus on the present is sharpened.

Unfortunately, it's also inaccessible to most people because meditation is difficult to do correctly, and the learning process can be frustrating and tedious. I reckon maybe one in twenty of the people I recommend it to master the technique well enough to see real benefits.

But there's a hidden door to your secret garden - and it's music.

The challenge with meditation is to quiet down a mind whirling with worries. It's fiendishly difficult to do, but music provides a focus for our attention. It displaces those worries by occupying our conscious minds sufficiently.

Meat Loaf and Tina Turner aren't ideal choices, but the right music can be calming and sufficiently empty to allow meditative benefits to accrue. And now the final ingredient. When the music is written with quiet contemplation in mind, then things get wonderful.

Are you ready for the video?

Om Shivay means, loosely, I bow to my inner self. If you repeat this affirmation often (feel free to tweak the wording), and feel the truth of it as well as say the words, you are performing a directed meditation. You are acknowledging the power and central importance of your emotional being. You are placing your intellectual mind in the service of the real you; allowing yourself to be who you really are. You're not trying to be who you worry others might prefer you to be, nor lamenting the past, nor dreading the future. Simply acknowledging that you are. Here. Now. Sitting in that awareness is wonderful while it's happening, and when you stop, you will feel a subtle difference that lingers. Do it often and it's your constant companion.

Or - just enjoy the music and the images.

I wish you internal calm and happiness.

If you can't afford my coaching, how about this little book?

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Wednesday 12 January 2011

How Life Purpose Works

After reading my article on life purpose, Mark asks: I am very interested in the idea of articulating a life purpose.  The question I have at this stage is whether a person could have a mixture of the examples that you gave e.g. related to planet, discovery, helping others, creating new things, showing the way etc?
Hello Mark,

The Life Purpose process is all about extracting a single statement of purpose which underpins the various aspects of a life. That doesn't mean it covers every single thing you want to do with your life, but it will cover a lot of it.

For example, my purpose is "I make things better", and I do that through my work in coaching. I've done it in my previous career as a manager. It's why I get fed up with poor customer service and complacency in public services. It's why I'm frustrated with how easily we accept a dismal status quo as inevitable. This purpose also drives my desire to improve myself. But - it probably doesn't have much to do with my salsa dancing nor my allotment.

So your life can be rich and complex and some of it will not seem to tie in with your purpose, but - when you find your purpose - you'll find that much of what you've done in life and want to do in life in the future - will align with your purpose. Furthermore, you'll see ways to be happier by removing or alleviating those life areas which are not serving your life purpose.

Best Wishes,

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Tuesday 4 January 2011

Self Help Drivel

You know - there's so much drivel written in the area of self-help.

I stay keyed in to a lot of newsletters and other professionals' stuff, so I know what the market's doing and what I need to compete with, and because of that I, perhaps like you, am getting a flush of it now, hoping to tap into the new year marketplace.

Common failure mechanisms are:

1. To entertain without educating - you spend some time amused, but you walk away as you were

2. To ignore external realities - all you have to do is tell your family to go to hell and you'll be free

3. To ignore internal realities - "first, you have to stop drinking and smoking". Great - well, what next??

A rule of thumb I always use is, having read some alleged pearl of wisdom, I ask myself:
"Exactly what can I see myself doing, now, to apply this lesson to my own life?"
If I can't find the answer, then the pearl could well qualify as drivvel. I call this my where's the meat? rule.

Let me show you what I mean with some examples.

Yesterday I was reading some new commandments and they were things like:

"People are stupid, self-centred and sometimes cruel - love them anyway".

- Well, I agree with the sentiment, and I can see the value of having done it, but how do I do it? Where's the meat? How do I bury or dissolve the apparently-natural tendencies I have to resent those tendencies in others? Presenting such a lofty goal without a how-to just leaves people feeling inadequate. Now some of them will buy the book, thinking some adequacy will rub off on them, but you know - it won't.

Another snippet in this morning's IN BOX is based around the revelation that I am, it seems, remarkable. Apparently, everything will be OK if I'm simply me. Really, what a crock! What if the ME I am prefers to sit on the sofa watching TV eating Quavers all day (have I said too much?)? I WON'T BE OK!!!

So - rant over, but I Counsel caution when taking up with these people. Don't be tied to the past by your own pessimism, but don't be sold a false future through blind hope either. How will you know? Ask the magic question:

"Yes, but - where's the meat?"

Oh, Happy New Year!

Yours, Mr Meat :o)

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