Archive for December, 2008

Compassion In Action

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

abracoThe state where I live in Brazil, Santa Catarina, has been affected by a major flood.  For months it rained non-stop and entire families found themselves homeless or with loved ones missing or dead.  The outpouring of compassion and help from Brazilians has been immense and touching.  The area has been rebuilding and its people are encouraged to start again with the help of its fellow Brazilians. 

Everyone naturally wants to give, everyone wants to serve.  It is a natural law of the universe and of many spiritual traditions that receiving is inherent in giving.  We don’t need to wait to major catastrophic events to be compassionate and giving.  All we need to do is to be aware of situations that would allow for us to give, serve and be compassionate.

Compassion can be practiced anywhere: At airports, on beaches or in shops, and most importantly, in our own homes toward the ones we love the most.  Basically, whenever we are together with other people we can bring compassion to action.  Try this five-step exercise around friends and strangers.  Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person.

With your attention geared to the other person, tell yourself:

  • Step 1 – “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life”
  • Step 2 – “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life”
  • Step 3 – “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair”
  • Step 4 – “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs”
  • Step 5 – “Just like me, this person is learning about life”

(Source for this exercise: Resurfacing:  Techiniques for Exploring Consciousness by Harry Palmer.)

The idea is to make compassion a habit.  The other idea behind this is that the more you become compassionate toward others, the more you will also become compassionate toward yourself.  You can also begin by having compassion toward yourself and that will extend toward others as well. 

Make it a compassion driven year!

With energy,

Ana

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

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As I light the Chanukah candles every night, I think of a world where The Light finds no obstacle to shine and reveal its beauty.  I see our future with hope, beauty and joy.  I see all of us coming together and rebuilding the world as it is our collective mission. 

However you celebrate the holidays, I wish that you add to it a sense of joy and hope.  I invite you to welcome and enjoy The Light that comes from above. 

May the Light that shines brighter at this time of the year be a constant companion to all of you in the coming year!

Make it happen in 2009!

Lots of Energy (and Light),

Ana

Who’s Afraid of Change?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

I must confess that when my web guru told me to add a blog to my website I was a bit taken by the challenge. There was all this new technology that I had to master and all of this writing that I wasn’t sure people would want to read… The same old self-doubt that creeps in when we are about to start something new.  I said yes nonetheless.  I told him to go ahead and add the blog to my website.  He patiently coached me on the how-to of the blog world and I was hooked.

My intention has always been to offer clients and non-clients alike a little bit of coaching through a weekly message. Paying attention to clues that life gives me, I add my experience as a coach and offer a message that I hope people will benefit from reading.  Blogging teaches us to share and to encourage more people to blog as well. It’s totally abundance based!  The more people blog, the more the tool becomes recognized and legitimized. It’s a win-win situation for every blogger to have another person doing the same! I  personally learned a lot from this dynamic. So, I encourage all of you to read my blog, pass it on and start a blog yourselves! We all have wisdom that others can benefit from.  Go for it!

Another bit I want to share with you is an interview that I gave last week in a Brazilian television about my blog. Together with three more bloggers, we shared our experiences and had a lot of fun while doing it. It was great to hear what they had to say, how they find inspiration for their posts and how they got started into blogging.  The interview is in Portuguese with no sub-titles, so I apologize for those who don’t speak Portuguese and will not understand it.  However, my intention is to share with you a big moment of mine and to encourage all of you to either read a blog or to start one. It’s great fun, a good way to spread your wisdom and you never know when a TV will invite you to give an interview!  The link for the interview is posted below. Enjoy it!

With energy,

Ana

Check out the others blocks: second, third and fourth.

Rewind

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Recently, I was in one of my favorite places in the world:  Israel.  While in Tel-Aviv, I stayed in a very cozy hotel by the beach.  There was a nice restaurant overlooking the ocean and its theme was pop music.  In one of its walls it was written: 

“Sometimes, the only way to create something new is to go all the way back to the beginning.”  – It’s by Genesis the band, not Genesis as the first chapter in the Bible!  

However, I am sure there is an equivalent quote in the Holy Book because it is such great advice!  And also exactly what I needed to hear (or read in this case) at that moment.  Many times we think that going back and starting over is a sing of failure.  Sometimes we imagine that to review a certain plan or change a project is equivalent to a huge defeat.  It can also mean that we are being inflexible and stuck in our ways because of our pride.  When something is not “flying” we could benefit from changing the course a bit, review the whole game plan or even to go back to the drawing board and start over.  Why not? 

Next time you feel your intuition telling you to drop something or to start over, pay attention to it.  Sometimes it might be that you need a bit more persistence.  However, it could also mean that you need to go back to the beginning and review your strategy.  This action by itself develops flexibility, an open mind and humility; all great attributes for us to foster in our lives. 

With energy,

Ana

The Bike Analogy

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Lately many people have been asking me what’s the difference between Coaching, Consulting, Theraphy, Mentoring, and I will add this one for our amusement, Parenting.

So, I thought I would use the analogies of riding a bike to explain it…

Consultant:  Studies the mechanics of riding the bike.  Teaches you the laws of physics, how the bike moves, what is necessary for you to keep your balance, etc.  A consultant tells you where to sit and where to put your feet and when to pedal.  Then she/he leaves.  Consultants are necessary when an expert on the field of bike riding is needed.

Therapist:  Discusses the basis for your fears about riding the bike.  Also, discusses if your parents rode bikes and why that might be important.  Explains why it is important for your self-steem to ride the bike.  Therapists are very useful when there is a ton of baggage that may be impeding you from riding the bike.

Parent: Buys the bike for you.  They put on the training wheels and take them off when they think you are ready.  Runs alongside the bike holding it until you have the balance to continue on your own and then cheers as you go off into the sunset.  Will threaten to take away your riding privileges if you don’t comply with their rules.

Mentor: Shares with you their experience/expertise of bike riding.  Gives you tips, models the way they think you should ride, gives you strategies about things like changing tires quickly in a race, and which bike is the best one to buy in their opinion.  Sometimes holds an “I know better than you since I’ve been around there before, so you’d better listen to me” hierarchical position.

Coach: Listens to your desire to try riding a bike.  Asks if you need instructions on how to ride and asks where you might get them.  Asks if you like the color of the bike you are about to buy and may even help you pick the bike up and get on it.  Runs alonside the bike “checking in” to see if you are enjoying the ride and asks what might make it more fun.  Will help you discover what you need to take care of yourself if you fall.  When you stop, the coach might ask you if the experience was valuable, and weather or not you want to pursue mastery bike riding.  If you do, the coach asks you how you might devise a plan to attain this mastery.  If you don’t, the coach may ask you if you want to continue riding casually or if you want to devise a plan to sell the bike.

I hope this helps clarify the distinctions.  Feel free to e-mail it to your friends and family and let them know about this great profession!

Wishing you a great month ahead!

With energy,

Ana