Archive for Focus and Creativity

INSPIRING WOMEN SERIES

In this series of blinterviews, I talk with women who are stepping up and inspiring us to both speak our Minds and speak from our Hearts.

Sandy Morrow, Artist : The Sensual Beauty of Flowers

The-Sensual-Beauty-of-FlowersSandy Morrow is an artist who has been fascinated by flowers since early childhood.

“Initially I was inspired by my mother’s garden in Melbourne,” she tells me, as we quietly sip coffee in Paddington. “The flowers there were so beautiful – I was fascinated by them. They drew me into a world of beauty, love, appreciation and gratitude. They seemed to represent something beautiful in the midst of life and still do.”

As Sandy talks I see images of a little girl delighting in colours and blooms. I can imagine her leaning over, peering intently and gently touching . I can feel the peace she experienced, the quietude that comes from immersion in beauty.

“Life can be a paradox. There is such beauty in the world, such perfection and yet there is also conflict and cruelty. I want to remember the beauty. I want others to remember the beauty. I’d love my art to inspire and touch people’s hearts.” Read More→

“THANKS , BUT I DON’T NEED ANY HELP…”

thanks-helpIt is a common personal development teaching to talk about appreciating, loving and validating yourself. In short, we are encouraged to meet our own needs.

Valuable advice in many ways and of course useful , especially when spoken to someone in the context of their life in the right timing.

Any advice or teaching , however, can be taken too literally and applied so rigidly that it creates more suffering than joy.

Recently I invited a sampling of people to complete this sentence:

“What I need help with is…” Read More→

Emotional Mindfulness

Are You Feeling It?

We are all conditioned to consider certain emotions as “unpleasant” and have all developed strategies for managing these emotions.

These emotions may include boredom, shame, fear, loneliness, despair, anger, helplessness, sadness, guilt and many others.

All emotions, including the “unpleasant” ones have their purpose, but rather than “feel” what is going on for us, we may : Read More→

So Tell Me

tell-me

So tell me ‘cos I want to know,

          Have you put on a pound or so?

You look a little thicker there

I’m trying hardest not to stare,

Although I couldn’t really care

(Just making conversation light, not trying to commit a slight!)

Read More→

A Better Tomorrow – from FLOW International

Here is a reference letter from Rachel.

Reference from Rachel

Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

(Excerpt from a New York Sun editorial in 1897)

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except that which they see.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Read More→

Intuition and the Skill of Interpretation

Intuition-and-the-Skill-of-InterpretationThe skill of intuition is not really in the receiving. That part is easy. Just close your eyes, take a few slow,deep breaths and draw your attention inwards. In that moment you will probably find that you are aware of something that you hadn’t noticed before, even if it is only the sound of the beating of your own heart. When we drop inwards or tune-in, there is nothing we have to do in that moment to make the information “appear”. The information is always there ,just as the beating of your heart is always there (even when you are not thinking about it).

It is naturally easier to be aware of previously un-noticed information, or new information, if we draw attention away from what ordinarily captures our senses. This is partly why meditation and closing the eyes works so well for triggering new insights. Our consciousness and by that I mean conscious awareness, can only handle so much. Read More→

Happiness and Kindness

Since the field of positive psychology burst onto the scene in the late 1990’s, there has been an explosion of research into and interest in the concept of “happiness”. It is well documented that “happiness” plays a significant part in a person’s sense of well-being and life satisfaction. One of the core qualities of happiness that has been identified, is the quality of “kindness”.

It would seem, from recent studies, that happiness and kindness have a reciprocal relationship. Happy people tend to demonstrate and acknowledge acts of kindness and, in reverse, being kind to others makes people feel happier.

One study published in the Journal of Social Psychology in 2010, divided 86 participants into 3 groups. One group performed daily acts of kindness for 10 days. A second group carried out some new activity each day for 10 days. The third group were given no particular instructions. A significant and relatively equal increase in the perception of happiness was reported by both the first and second groups .Performing acts of kindness, even for just 10 days, did make people feel happier. Read More→

Life Coaching Tips: 10 Ways to Grow Excellence (Part 2)

6. Educate yourself! Now that you have identified which skills to improve, make a list of 3-5 actions to do each day which will support your skill development. If communication is a weakness you could:

  • Commit to speaking to someone new every day.
  • Write in a journal every day with the intention of making clear statements.
  • Research positive communication styles.

To educate literally means to “bring forth what is already there” in terms of true potential. The more you “educate” yourself, the more you become aware of your hidden talents. Read More→

Life Coaching Tips: 10 Ways to Grow Excellence (Part 1)

excellenceIf you consult a western dictionary you will find excellence defined as “surpassing ordinary” or the “state or quality of being exceptionally good”. These definitions are fair descriptions, but they are not particularly inspiring. They can conjure up imagesof relentless striving, competitiveness and arbitrary standards of other-imposed measurement.

Still, I can’t deny that I love the experience of excellence and mastery. I love both the attainment and the process; the joy of learning and being inspired and the joy of discovering and implementing new skills.

The Greek word ‘arete’ captures this spirit of excellence more completely. Arete is defined as “outstanding fitness for purpose” and “the act of living up to one’s full potential”. In this understanding, excellence includes abilities and potentialities. Excellence in this context moves beyond being an evaluation of a present state to include the quality of our inherent creative potential. Read More→