Archive for June, 2009

Can’t Live Without My Phone! Really?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

bs01040_Our response to a ringing phone is one of the few things in life over which we have total control and decision making authority.  There are answering machines and voicemail that can do this job for us when we need it.  Yet, many times we don’t seem to realize that.  If the phone rings, some of us feel that we must stop whatever it is that we are doing and answer it. 

Why not turn the ringer off about thirty minutes before you have to leave to be somewhere?  This way you won’t be tempted to answer the phone and add stress to your day having to rush out of the house.  Other suggestions for when not to answer your phone:

1.  While having an important conversation with a friend, with your significant other, with your child.

2.  During meals.

3.  While having your own quality time with yourself.

Ask yourself the question, “Is answering the phone at this moment going to make my life easier, or is it going to add stress to my day?”  Simple as it seems, choosing not to answer the phone, on selected occasions, can be a very empowering decision and can greatly reduce the stress in your daily life.

With energy,

Ana

Busy Bee

Friday, June 19th, 2009

superstock_1613r-1759Wow!  I live in a busy city!  Hong Kong’s lights are almost never out and I can see boats going back and forth even at the wee hours of the morning!  No wonder putting emphasis on our “busyness” has become a way of life here and in most places around our busy world. 

One of the most common responses to the greeting “How are you doing?” has become “I’m so busy.”   It’s very tempting to start a conversations with these words because most of us are indeed very busy.  The problem with this response is that it sets the tone for the rest of the conversation.  It puts emphasis on “busyness” by reminding both parties how stressful and complicated life has become.  Instead of choosing to spend a moment saying hello to a friend, we are choosing to spend even our spare moments emphasizing and reminding ourselves how busy we are.

Experiment this week with eliminating any discussion about how busy you are.  When saying hello to a friend, focus on listening how he/she is really doing.  If the conversation steers toward the “busyness” aspect of his/her life, offer to respond in a different way.  Shift the focus of the conversation to something that he/she accomplished, something that made you smile, some good news you’ve just heard.  The people you speak to will sense the permission from you to talk about something other than their own “busyness” and it will help them feel less stressed. 

So, for this coming week, everytime someone asks you how you are doing, say anything except “I am really busy”. 

I will be interested to hear from you if there were any shifts in your thinking!  Drop us a note!

With energy,

Ana

The Top 10 Steps to Becoming Empowered

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

empowerment1.  Start from where you are and take one step at the time.  Be gentle with yourself.  A tool I like to use with my clients is to ask them to always have a picture of themselves as a child around their office or in their bedroom.  The picture reminds them that we still have that child inside of ourselves.  We would not say things to a child that would diminish their fragile selves.  Think about that before you call yourself less than wonderful things.

2.  Examine your resistance points  – the things that irritate you, limit you or cause you to react.  I realize that’s a tough one and it does take practice.  It’s worth it to breathe a few times, get outside of ourselves and ask why we are reacting.  Examine your reaction with a clinical eye.  Resist the temptation to judge; just observe yourself and ask why you are reacting the way you are.

3.  Recognize that whatever you are experiencing at this moment is appropriate to your need to grow.  Everything we experience is preparing us for our next step.  When we embrace the challenges we are able to focus on the present and find solutions much more quickly. 

4.  Stop worring about others and what they think of you.  Seriously, who’s paying your bills?  What people think of you will most likely be forgotten within the next 10 minutes if you are important to that person.  What they think of you will not affect their lives.  Why should it affect yours? 

5.  Realize that it doesn’t matter what happened to you or who did it to you; the only thing that matters is what you do about it.  If you choose to forget it, it’s history.  If you dwell on it you will create negative feelings around yourself. 

6.  Learn to refrain from judging others.  Things are rarely what they seem and we don’t know what others have been through.  It’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt and wait a bit before saying something that might hurt others.

7.  Learning to operate hollistically by opening up to the other possibilities that are always there.  If you see things the same way, you won’t find new solutions to old problems or better ways of doing things. 

8.  Finish your unfinished business.  Forgive, forget and forge ahead.  Let things, people and relationships go with grace.  Start from the outside and work your way to the inside.  Your wardrobe is a great place to begin!

9.  When faced with an apparently hopeless situation, take action, any action.  Inertia leads to depression. 

10.  Take time for yourself and for doing things that bring you energy.  Make sure you do exactly what brings you joy – get your manicure, pedicure, massage, read the book you love, drink the tea you adore, eat that pice of chocolate after lunch, exercise.  Whatever it is, make sure you do it for yourself.  It’s not indulgence; it’s recharging.

Wishing you an empowering month!

With energy,

Ana