To be or Not to be – Mindful Decision Making

Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  I often think about that quote when I have to make a choice/decision I call it Mindful Decision Making – Yes (to be?) or No (not to be?).

The Bard - To be or Not to be

The Bard – To be or not to be.

That is the key to decision-making – it all boils down to choice –  “will you – won’t you?”

What are the deciding factors?

Now, do you use Mindful Thinking Time (MTT) or just say the first thing that comes into your head? I hear you reply, ‘Usually the first thing that comes into my head Diva’ – ‘WHY’ I yell at you? You are a grown up!

  • Conditioning is one reason
  • Fear is another
  • Your needs don’t matter
  • Anything for a quiet life
  • You could add to the list

FEAR!

Fear tends to be the big one…’if I say no what will be the repercussions’? It’s often to do with;

  • wanting to be liked
  • pleasing people
  • be seen as a good person
  • meeting all family needs
  • anything to stop arguments.

Saying YES – moving forward to saying No!

I don’t know about you, but I used to find saying  ‘NO’ to people so difficult when they asked me to do something for them because I loved to please others.  The upshot would be that I over-committed myself and got so stressed trying to spin lots of plates, juggling many balls. Eventually, I had a breakdown.

Interestingly it is always your needs that get left behind. Then you feel animosity towards whoever you had said YES to and angry at yourself for not being strong and declining the request. Does this feel familiar?

Firstly, it’s not their fault if you can’t be assertive and most people don’t mind readers.  Secondly, you permit them to continue to keep asking because you have never said NO!

Remember this old phrase; copy it out and stick it on the fridge;

‘WHEN I SAY NO

I AM REFUSING

THE  REQUEST

NOT  REJECTING

THE  PERSON’

There may be no particular time of the year that you find yourself being pulled in all directions (maybe festivities) it can be any day.

So, what to do about it?  Consider why you say YES…do you feel under pressure to do so? Is it often against your better judgment too.  If this is so, then there can be a few reasons why.

  1. You aren’t clear about your priorities.
  2. You may feel the other person will dislike you if you say no and will become upset.
  3. The other person is a friend, and you always please your friends.
  4. Because you have always done it
  5. It is expected of you – (remember you have been permitting for years)

check out more from tiny buddha;

 Reality Check!

Why do you say YES and then regret it; there will be a reason – sort it out! Move forward it’s your life – it’s SELF-CARE!

Remember your priorities should come first when you say yes then you are often saying no to something else.

Only say yes to those things you want to do. You don’t have to give a reason why you say ‘NO,’  however, you need to practice saying it as some people (often family) make it hard for us. Top tip: try your practice out on friends

One strategy I get all my tribe to use is to say, ‘give me a few minutes and I will check my diary and get back to you.’   You can even say that you will ‘sleep on it.’  That way you give yourself a bit of mindful thinking time (MTT).

You then decide if it is a yes or a no.

YES - NO Decision Time

YES – NO
Decision Time

If it’s a NO, acknowledge the other persons request and what they are asking is important (to them), however, that you have ‘other commitments /priorities’ or ‘you don’t have enough time’ or ‘don’t have the skills.’

You can help the other person solve their problem by making a suggestion of someone else they can ask.  Keep in your head that ‘this is not my problem.’

Remember Some Top Tips:

  • When you say ‘NO,’ you are refusing a request not rejecting the person.  State your position clearly and in a positive way.
  • Don’t hang around after coz the other person may think you could be changing your mind.
  • Consider your tone of voice – keep it neutral
  • Watch your body language, is it saying the same as your words?
  • Develop Self-respect for your own needs as it is core to your Self-Care
  • You always have choices about everything you do no matter how hard it may seem.

Your Challenge – Your Life

To get to a stage, I could say ‘NO’  without fear I had to practice; so my challenge to you is to find a friend and have a practice.

Take a situation like an invitation to an event you don’t want to attend and just have a go, listen to the feedback from your friend and Practice, Practice, Practice.  It will take time, but you will feel the benefits.

Yes, there may be a few casualties along the way. However, they may be the ‘Toxic Energies’  or ‘Energy Vampires’ you needed to ditch anyway!

Its Your Do you want it?

It’s Your choice – Do you want it?

The Payoff

Begin to feel how much more relaxed and empowered you are once you have started to say ‘NO’ – less stressed and have more time for the important things in your life. Just think;

  • MORE TIME;
  • LESS STRESS;
  • LIFE BALANCE

and that’s just three payoffs.

Let me know how your challenge goes.

Until next time

Diva X

Splish, Splash are you taking a Bath

Splish, Splash are you taking a Bath

Ok, so this blog is more about Soaking Away Stressors rather than Splish Splashing…. It’s a Whole Person Compassion Technique but you can chuck water about should you wish to.

Stress Release - Soothe the Body Mind Spirit

Stress Release – Soothe the Body Mind Spirit

It is a successful technique I share with my tribe, and it’s your challenge for day 5 of a 7-day challenge.

How often do you get to a point where you need to give yourself a bit extra? Not just at Physical level but Public/Mental/Emotional/Spiritual levels too?  Without a doubt, you will also need to cleanse your energy after a busy day undertaking all you have to do and all the people and situations you come into contact with.

You will need to set some ground rules with your nearest and dearest so that you can have a bit of space and time just to indulge in this stress reduction Self-Care routine.

Continue reading

Do you remove your Mask? – are you authentic or just acting a role in the play called LIFE?

Do you remove your mask?   Are you authentic or just acting a role in the play called LIFE? My friend Mike Gardner (The Time Doctor) mentioned this week that #‎morehonestyandintegrity was really required in excellent Business Practice – I agree and also think it should pan out into our own lives…. Yep; I fail quiet spectacularly at times as many of you know but I’m still a Diva…I just continue to believe in me hence sharing that there should be no gaps between the real you; the business you; the spiritual you; It’s about authenticity; congruence; values; and self-reflection to start with.

However, where does this begin, some would say at school, maybe but I have spent years of watching people in networking groups; training seminars; trade fairs; workshops etc. espouse how great they are and how you need them/their product when really all they just want is to flog you something I say ‘GET A STALL ON A MARKET AND LETS SEE IF YOU COULD CUT IT!’…for example, how many of you can relate to the following? Continue reading

Brain-Fog; Mindfulness; Lethargy……& Me.

For the last several months I have been challenged with what I call “Brain-Fog”.  I ploughed through my lengthy repertoire of what could be causing it…..was it my SAD which attacks me every year but I have strategies for that…was it my diet…..OK that can always do with a check over……was it I was under-challenged and needed a new undertaking….?

Nothing was making sense…so time-out? I took that had a break.…I returned as tired and washed-out. All I wanted/needed was to sleep, would drop of any time but not at bedtime! Stare at the distance and do Nada! My short term memory was none existent, I would be in the middle of a conversation and totally forget what we/I was talking about…..I would lose my train of thought and go off into Diva world.

I continued to set goals that had to be revised…they were not going to get done…… Continue reading

It’s all about me….2016 (well if it’s not it should be.)

It’s all about ME! I decided that 2016 was going to be all mine. I turned 64 in December; it was time to really put myself first….. Self-Care all the way……so what about you?

But why is it every time I mention ‘self-care’ I see the faces of so many   (usually women) just change, fear flashes across it, their bodies tense and they go into ‘flight’ mode…..their BRAIN is saying NO! its selfish it can’t happen because I want to be liked…..I need to say YES to everyone’s request otherwise they won’t value me. Bullshit…..you have been so well conditioned and believe that you need to be all things to all people; to take time for self is selfish; your life is not yours it belongs to others…..it’s your AUTO-PILOT guiding you to that place, you are used to hearing all these subliminal messages regardless of whether you over stretch yourself; get stressed; have a mini breakdown; are fearful of saying NO! Realistically of course you never have time for ‘SELF’ anyway. You love giving your time away to others they deserve it – WHAT ABOUT YOU? The biggest block to ‘SELF-CARE is the inability to say ‘NO’!
As David Avocado Wolfe suggests…… Continue reading

ENERGY BOOST 2016

So, Energy Boost 2016: What is energy and when was the last time you felt your energy was depleted? We all know Einstein proved energy existed in everything and now the mass of quantum physics/mechanics evidence shows that energy is within us and outside of us affecting our everyday lives.

So what slurps away your energy? Here’s something a bit off the wall…..your ‘STUFF’ yes…. your ‘CLUTTER’.

Did you know, your clutter/stuff holds onto energy and not always yours, energy you bring back into your home on your clothes & shoes from work/shopping/friends/all outside activities/pavements it ‘sticks’ everywhere (that’s another Blog.)

For years I have cleared clutter only for it to reappear within weeks; it replicates itself magically – do you find yourself in a similar situation? Continue reading

NO! Resolutions – YES! Intentions…….

NO! Resolutions – Yes! Intentions – Why?

OK then you have your Resolutions sorted for January (yes I’m laughing) if you are human then most of you will find by the beginning of February you have ditched the lot……

So 2016 why not set a couple of clear Intentions instead?
Here’s my little plan that could help……
Number 1 – I keep a ‘jotting journal’ (I got a Daily Greatness Journal which suited my style of writing) journal

I jot my ideas and thoughts that have come together to form ideas and enable me plan for 2016. (In 2011, I set 12 creative tasks for myself 1 a month, I achieved 10. although I felt a bit sad I had not achieved all 12 it was pointed out to me 10 was bloody brilliant & yes it was RESULT!) Continue reading

Mindful Networking – Are you really YOU?

As my own Life & Time Manager I have to be mindful of where I spend my 1440 minutes of each day…I’d always look to get the balance right between Life & Work: Networking & Meetings have been a large part of that over the years. But oh boy have I wasted some time that could have been more usefully spent by being clear about which I would find the most valuable. However that’s been changing during the last couple of years…why?
It’s been my privilege to part of several networking groups over the years and I love to watch the interactions of ‘the players’. Why do I call them ‘players’ you may ask, well, many seem to be acting a part when communicating with others and not just ‘being who they really are’. You know the people who are not authentic, your ‘gut feeling’ tells you quite quickly but we still ‘play the game’ Alan Sugar has often talked about how he ‘always listens to his gut feeling’ Why I ask doesn’t everyone (that’s another BLOG)
However, there does appear to be a new movement emerging, free individuals who are fed up of wasting energy being someone they are not, espousing values and beliefs that are not theirs and are now just being ‘who they really are’ and its not just about the bottom line (yes, OK I know that’s important too.) they are totally congruent.
Years ago I remember speaking about being authentic in business and just being yourself and got laughed at, this did not deter me I continued being me and was thought to be a bit ‘eccentric’, ‘strange’, and unconventional in my approach. Well, why not? The world would be boring without a few of us……You know who you are!
Cast you mind back to the last networking meeting/event you went to, were you authentic or did you pop on that mask and play your part?
Diane Windingland wrote a brilliant article http://smalltalkbigresults.wordpress.com/ about Authentic Networking and listening/speaking from the heart; rather than ‘vomiting out an elevator speech’ or ‘passing out cards like a blackjack dealer’ she re-frames it.
I decided a long time ago breakfast meetings were not for me and it got me asking colleagues what their views were, we are all different so hey ho I meet some and I miss some – but I know I only ever really meet those people I am supposed to meet and connect with.I’ve now started a Mindful Breakfast meeting that starts at 10am and peeps come to it so it doesn’t just have to be 6.30/7am!

So what your take on Networking Authenticity or Empty Rhetoric?

Till next time
Donnah

2015 and all that STUFF!

2015 and all that STUFF! Resolutions are so last year peeps, to be in the zone for 2015 just a couple of INTENTIONS is the way to go:
So what are they going to be and are they linked and congruent with your goals and vision for the next part of your journey?
Consider:
• To identify your Intentions you first have to find them so, identify your Intentions and be SMARTA (Specific/Manageable/Achievable/Realistic/Time managed/Agreed

• Remember to ‘Follow your Passions’

• Practice……visualizing how it will feel once you have
achieved an intention – it does make you focus! Alternatively visualize how it will feel if you don’t achieve your Intention!

• Your Intentions are????? Identify them in order; when they
will be completed and how you will reward yourself (unless
the Intention is rewarding enough)

• A little Project to help get creative juices flowing:
Assemble a personal visual representation of what you want
your intentions to be like – just surround yourself with
sensory input that inspires you. Add to it throughout the
year, you could include a vision board with evocative
images (your own photos or drawings, or magazine cutouts);
CD’s or MP3s of your favourite tunes; DVDs and home videos
that spark your imagination; talismanic objects. Remember
to place it where you will see it regularly.

• Now begin to ‘Doing the Doing’

• Share your INTENTIONS with everyone so you get
encouragement.

• Keep reflecting on your progress

Let me know what you Intend….. Until next time keep mindful…..

Donnah x

Sitting in Mindful Meditation

Often peeps think that meditation is sitting cross legged for hours trying to clear the mind. Well let me disabuse you of that, if you cleared your mind completely you would be dead! Thoughts, (I call them mad monkeys) come bouncing in all the time, the trick is to let them go or block them; so lets get back to how to achieve a bit of Meditation.

chilled out dogWhen mindfully meditating you can sit on a straight-backed chair, on a sofa, cross-legged on a cushion or in a kneeling pose sitting on your calves with the top side of your feet flat against the floor…whatever position is right for you, there are no hard and fast rules…You choose. Just ensure you keep your back/spine straight to allow your energy to flow.

Sit in your chosen position. Gently sway your body from side to side until your spine feels centered. Lengthen your spine into its natural state by imagining you have a cord attached to the crown of your head and that it is being pulled gently from above.

Next really relax your stomach muscles so that your belly becomes soft and rounded and the small of your back gently curves forward. Scan your body from top to bottom slowly, breathe slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth and release any tension or tightness. Feel the air as it travels down through the nose, throat, down into the lungs and then the belly, feel the belly rise.

Check that your head is level; your shoulders are relaxed and your ears are parallel with your shoulders.
Either close your eyes or focus them on a space about 3 to 4ft in front of you, lowering your eyelids slightly at a 45-degree angle. Relax your hands in your lap or on your knees

A tip to ensure you don’t clench your jaw and create tension in your neck is to loosely close your mouth and rest your tongue against the roof of your mouth or let the tip of your tongue rest gently against your upper front teeth.

Stay in this position while focusing on slow belly breathing for a few minutes. Build your practice from a couple of minutes to 15 minutes twice a day. Try to undertake practice in different places, I love to sit outside and just ‘be’.

I have been known to stand in my local High Street and meditate whilst waiting for a loved one who was shopping – mind you one of the sales assistants from shop who knew me came out to ask if I was OK…she soon smiled and backed away when I mentioned I was just meditating…they know me well in my town!

When you have finished slowly begin to bring yourself back into the space you are in open your eyes and become fully aware of your body; stretch carefully and gently before slowly standing and moving on with the rest of your day.

Set yourself a few minutes every day, don’t beat yourself up if you forget and let me know how you get on.

Until next time keep breathing.
Warmth
Donnah