Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Do You Want to Feel Good?

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

31771643One of the most effective methods of reducing one’s stress and improving one’s life is actually the simplest. If you want to feel good about yourself, make someone else feel good. That’s it! Perhaps it is because the idea is so simple that we sometimes forget to do it.
Whether it’s remembering a birthday with a thoughtful card, taking the time to write a note of congratulations for a job well done, a written or verbal compliment, a friendly phone call, an unasked for favor, a bouquet of flowers, a note of encouragement, or any number of other possibilities, making someone else feel good – however you do it – is almost always a good idea.

Acts of kindness and goodwill are inherently wonderful. Your reward for being kind and making someone else feel good are the warm, positive feelings that invariably accompany your efforts. Also, by doing those acts of kindness and goodwill, we are contributing to make the world a better place; which is ultimately, our collective mission on this planet.

Coach’s Challenge: Starting today, think of someone you’d like to make feel better and act on it! Do it every day and soon it will become a habit.

May 2010 be filled with Light!

With energy,

Ana

The Secret of Relating to Others

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

maosThe greatest quality a human being can have is humility.  Why humility?  Because it gives us the capacity to relate to everyone.  A truly successful person is someone who can put himself/herself in the level of whomever he/she is speaking.  That’s what humility is. 

To really listen to others, we need to silence our ego and give the floor and the moment to the other person.  That action creates the ability to relate to everyone.  Whenever we are having difficulty relating to a person, that’s a great opportunity to ask ourselves:   “Why it’s so difficult to relate with this person at this moment?  What transformation must you go through in order to bring myself to this person’s level?”

Whatever it is that you are trying to communicate, pay attention to where the message is coming from.  It is our truth we are communicating to others.  The difference between imposing our truth and communicating it is our intent.  If we want to add to the growth of the other person, and if we don’t talk down to them, the message will be well received.  If the message is coming from frustration, pity or anger, those feelings will get in the way of a valuable discussion.

The biggest lessons we need to learn usually come from the people we have most difficulty relating.  Once we infuse the situation with Light and ask the right (and most courageous) questions, we take large steps on our personal development. 

My wish for you – and for me – this week, is that we all be filled with courage to ask the questions and to listen to the answers.

With energy,

Ana

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

Semantics – What’s in a Word?

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Consider the definition Webster’s presents for the word “But”:  Without, lacking, with the exception of, barring, only, merely, outside. 

Now, let’s consider the definition of the word “And”:  Used as a function word to indicate CONNECTION or ADDITION.

The use of these two simple words can completely (almost magically) change the meaning of our sentences, our relationships and the way we listen to others. 

When we choose to use “But”, we imediately invalidate the previous affirmation that came up in the conversation.  A classic example is when we start sentences with “yes, but…” – which only negates everything the person just told us.  When they were talking, we were planning our comeback and not active listening to what they were really saying.  

When we choose to say “yes, and…” we connect what the person is saying with our opinion making room for an open conversation where the opinions of both parties have an equal importance. 

The key here is CONNECTION.  Humans seek connection; with one another, with the Divine Essence, with other creatures (think a cute kitten, or a puppy), with nature; only to name some of the most important ones.  Making connections is our natural state of being.  In the case in point, one word naturally connects while the other separates.  There is certainly room for a few “buts” in our lives, however, the “ands” can be used more often than we think and yield extremely powerful results.  

Try this week to introduce a few more “ands” to your interactions.  The formula is simple; instead of a “but” say an “and” during the course of a conversation.  Pay attention to the way people respond to you and the direction the conversation takes.  Notice how the drama is suddenly removed from the dialogue and how your listening skills improve.  

I would love to hear your impressions!  Feel free to report them back to me!

With energy,

Ana

Parenting and the Olympics

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

As I was reading the paper today, I came across a couple Olympic stories.  One was about my former team – Coral Springs Swim Team – in Weston, Florida.  It was great to see that Coach Lohberg has been able to preserve the atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie after many years as their head coach.  The other story was about the US gymnastics team and their training.  Bela Karolyi and his wife Martha are wonderful examples of coaches committed to the growth of the sport and not to their own individual agendas. 

As I read about the athletes and their getting ready for the games, I went back in time to take a look at my own athletic career.  I was a successful swimmer, extremely driven and full of discipline.  

Often we see the involvement of the parents and wonder how much of a contribution they are making to their son/daughter athletic career?  Speaking from the point of view of a daughter-athlete, I would like to offer my two cents here.  When parents allow the space for the child to choose his/her own path, without imposing their views, hopes and dreams for themselves on their child, there is a great chance their son/daughter will become successful.  When they transfer their hopes and frustrated dreams to their child things tend to get a bit discombobulated.  If my parents had pushed me to become a swimmer and had not allowed me to make that choice myself, I doubt that I would have followed that path.  Especially knowing that when people try to boss me around, my nature is to do exactly the opposite! 

There are all sorts of patterns in successful athletes’ lives but the one that remains most consistent has to do with parenting styles.  Every champion has the same story:  Their parents allowed them to be who they were and to go for it at their own pace.  It’s all about meeting your child where he/she is without trying to impose your own views on them.  In other words, let them write their own story.  I am extremely thankful my parents allowed me the “space” to do just that. 

On that note:  Happy Father’s Day Dad! 🙂  And also to all of you fathers out there!

With energy,

Ana