Archive for July, 2009

Invisible Boundaries

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

We all surround ourselves with all manner of boundaries; we have our personal space, the things we accept and those we don’t, those people we listen to and those we ignore.  We are allotted cubicles at work, we have our seat on the sofa, our parking space in front of our homes and many more..

Regular readers will remember that Cooke Towers is situated deep in the heart of rural England and normally we just listen to the birds (& me) twittering and the joyous sound of petrol driven strimmers.  Last night one of our neighbours had a big party and at 1am we could still enjoy the sound of their ribald remarks and cheery goodbyes.  It sounded like they were in the bedroom with us!

It was odd how  to note how it felt to have the privacy of one’s bedroom breached by all this noise.  It felt like a personal assault, as opposed to just bit of a nuisance.  I’m sure this was because some primitive bit of my psyche was trying to defend our territory. 

I’m sure this kind of reaction is at the root of many of the problems we have at work and at home.  What examples do you have of this kind of territoriality and what tactics have you tried to deal with them?

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.”   Leo F. Buscaglia


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Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No9 – Amanda Hamilton

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Name: Amanda Hamilton               Twitter name: @ dreamingspain

What is your main Change challenge at present?

Shifting my focus between managing/marketing and PR-ing, running solo a lovely guest house, whilst being (and loving being) a single parent, realising that I also want to paint more.  So the challenge is in embracing honestly what I really want, & balancing it with not being a lazy git (which is so easy).  Plus accepting that everyone needs time out INCLUDING me – that’s a big one!

What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Taking time out.  Through quiet time, meditation, talking with real friends who know me well, I’m getting clearer about what the future needs to hold, and creating it.  Scary, but necessary

Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Not consciously … but then my SM friends would probably contradict and say that my SM profile is high enough now for there to be a level of curious interest in the latest developments.  I just enjoy talking to the people I enjoy online – and if that disperses out into the wider world, then I consider myself accidentally fortunate.  I can’t do real sales, it’s just not me,

What is your top Change tip?

Phew …. To know that, deep inside yourself, you ALWAYS have what it takes to move into the next phase of your life no matter how hard you find that to believe.  And if you don’t believe that, to get your best friends around you and ask for their help.  That’s what they’re there for.

What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

A huge role.  My emotions are my biggest clue.  They tell me how I feel about anything and everything.  By knowing that, I can follow the next right step before making a decision.  And my intuition is usually right.

Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Always – especially the scary changes – by digging deeper and deeper, the gifts I find within me are usually the most important.

What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

My paintings – when I feel wobbly, I paint – and that shows me how I’m feeling about any given situation.  By  taking time to be with myself, I learn more about what it is to be me – and right now, that’s really important.

Previous Interviews:

Asking for what you want

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

I had a lovely example of the power of this simple, but oh so powerful, act.  My younger daughter decided about a year ago that she needed a newer car and invested all her savings in a lovely little Corsa.  She seems very in tune with her vehicle and notices all sort of little things that more experienced drivers might miss.  When she had had it only a couple of months she said that she thought there was a problem getting the car into gear.  I drove it and spotted no problems, but suggested she get the dealer to check it whilst it was under warranty.  He declared it fine too.  A few weeks ago it turned out that she had been right all along and the car had a serious problem and she couldn’t get it in 2nd gear at all.  The linkage was broken and resulted in an expensive little bill she could ill afford. 

The car had only had a  3 month warranty and was 9 months out of it.  I suggested she tell the dealer what happened and see how he responded.  She couldn’t see the point of this.  None-the-less, I thought it worth a try and called him as I had thought him to be a ‘decent’ guy.  He asked me to send them the bill and he would do what he could.  Today I got a call back and he said that his boss had agreed to refund her £150, which made a significant difference to her finances.

So many of us feel that we can’t or won’t get given what we ask for and defend ourselves by not even asking .  There can be big pay-offs for daring to tell the World what we want.  Why not tell someone today what you want…

“You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is. A lot of people don’t know what they want or they want much less than they deserve. First you have figure out what you want. Second, you have to decide that you deserve it. Third, you have to believe you can get it. And, fourth, you have to have the guts to ask for it.”  Barbara De Angelis

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Friday, July 3rd, 2009

I was watching a rain of yellow leaves from our birch trees this morning.  The trees seems to be shedding leaves they can no longer support due to the dry conditions here.  The lawn is now a sea of yellow.  It no longer has the resources; their ‘relationship’ is no longer fruitful.  It made me think of what is going on in the economy right now.   Businesses are letting go of resources that no longer serve them.  This is very painful if you are one of those ‘leaves’ but perhaps in the end, better for everyone that nature asserts a macro-view.

I wonder how many of us should let things go that no longer serve us; old hurts, old relationships, old habits, old ways of working, being and thinking? 

What are you thoughts?

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”   Havelock Ellis

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.”  Lao Tzu

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Can’t sleep…

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I woke at around 1am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. As usual, when this happens, I tried a number of things to try to fall asleep again.  First, I tried to just regain that sleepy ‘space’ – didn’t work; then I tried listening to the radio – couldn’t get comfy.  Eventually I got up and put on the TV an hour or so later.  Eventually I got out the PC and started writing this!

Why am I sharing all this?  Do I imagine that you are interested in my nocturnal habits?  Of course not!  However one of the best ways to get back to sleep, if sleep isn’t coming, is to ‘break state’, which is another way of saying to do something different.  It occurred to me in one of those “Aaaahh!” moments that this is true of Change too.  If what you are doing isn’t working, do something different, it often doesn’t matter what, it is just that doing something different unlocks the situation and allows things to flow again, albeit it in a different channel.

So if you find yourself tossing and turning, or if you find you are stuck in a rut, try breaking state – do something different and you may be surprised what happens!

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.”  Dale Carnegie

Diversity thrives!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Regular readers will recall previous pond blogs.  Today I noticed a rather exciting visitor, a full blown grass snake!  I know they like to swim and maybe it was dealing with the heat wave, or perhaps just after one of my other ‘guests’ the adult frogs.

We have such a huge number of wild visitors be they feathered, amphibious or water-dwellers, that it is a constant source of fascination.

The pond naturally attracts creatures that exploit every niche and resource that it offers.  If only more businesses were as  good at attracting talent and deployed it with the same efficiency.  Most people have a unique gift, but it is rare that employers are able to really put these ‘round pegs’ in the perfect shaped holes!  When you are able to match people’s gifts / interests with their roles, morale and profit goes up.

Perhaps diversity should be seen as a the rich resource that it is rather than as a disruption…

“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”   Jimmy Carter

“Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.”  Madame de Stael


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