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Posts tagged “Mindset”

We all have them from time to time. Days where “our get up and go just got up and went (!).” Leaving us with very little oomph, not to mention a lack in the inspiration department too. 
 
So, with life continuing on at its normal pace without us, the question is always how to regain our momentum without spending too much time stranded in the shallows. 
 
Traditionally, there are two approaches to this dilemma. 
We came across this piece of wisdom a while ago and wrote it on our white board in the office. Unfortunately, we can’t remember where it came from or who said it… 
 
With a number of Clients having noticed – and commented on – it recently, we thought we’d take the hint and pass it on a wider audience. 
 
So, without further ado, here it is: 
While we don’t like to think of ourselves as part of the animal kingdom, we are, and social animals at that. In other words, we naturally live in groups, whether large or small. While the degree of sociability varies a huge amount from person to person (!) interaction with others – ideally face to face – is an important part of our lives, which has been made very apparent during the last couple of years… 
 
However, just as important, is time spent alone. Or, to be completely accurate, voluntarily alone. To recharge our batteries, have some quiet time away from the hurly burly of modern lives and be ourselves without any pressure – or expectations – from those around us. 
Happiness is one of those things that’s almost impossible to describe in words, even though we instantly know whether we’re feeling happy – or not (!). 
 
Have you ever wondered why this is? 
 
For a start, happiness is unique. What makes me happy is different than for you. 
We’ve mentioned before how creative people can be, usually when they don’t want to do something. A friend refers to it as “the dog ate my homework” approach which, to us, sums it up perfectly! And, as we all know, adults can be just as inventive… 
 
At other times, it’s less about creativity and more about self imposed limitations. On one hand saying – or thinking – we’d like to do something, on the other coming up with lots of reasons why we can’t. Talk about sending out mixed messages with all too predictable results… And, before we know it, a virtually insurmountable wall has appeared between us and whatever we desire. Ah, now this week’s choice of picture makes sense! 
Once again there’s lots of talk about life getting back to normal – whatever that may mean (!) – both in the media and in conversations with those around us. It’s underwritten by the unspoken assumption that we can simply return to where we were before all the madness started a couple of years ago. Pick up our lives as if nothing happened. If only life were that simple! 
 
While it may be a comforting pipedream, sadly, the reality is rather different. And, before the Little Monster in your head gets too vocal on the subject, this doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad thing! Rather the opposite. 
 
It may be a cliché but the only constant in life is change. And, to keep this post upbeat, we’re only going to mention in passing a couple of the other constants. Death and taxes (!). Moving swiftly on… 
Sadly, despite our best efforts, many of our good intentions come to naught. Dare we say, even the vast of majority of them. And, we’re not just talking about the dreaded New Year’s resolutions, although these are the easiest to see in action – or, more accurately, in their lack of sustained action… True, they’re often fuelled more by alcohol than anything else, but they’re still a stark reminder of what all too often happens in practice. 
 
Sometimes, there’s a flurry of activity as we try to ensure that, this time, things will be different. Perhaps accompanied by gritted teeth and lots of willpower. We really will make some progress in this particular direction this time. However, all too soon, we grind to a halt with little difference to be seen. Then slip slowly back to where we started. Or, perhaps, even further back... 
 
Other times, it all seems too much. We find ourselves giving up before we’ve even started. 
 
Whichever one it is, the result is the same. At best, only marginal progress is made, giving yet more ammunition to the Little Monster in our heads to use when we next try to make changes in our lives. It’s little wonder we find making changes so difficult. 
And, yes, we know this simple statement goes against prevailing logic. However, it’s one that seems to come up regularly with Clients, friends and family so is well worth taking a closer look at. 
 
Interestingly, the response to our simple observation is usually the same. That we couldn’t possibly know what it’s like for them, which is both true and untrue. True, no one will experience it in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY AS THEY DO. Untrue, in that it doesn’t mean we can’t empathise with them, from our own unique viewpoint. 
 
Unfortunately, by focussing on how it is for them, it’s all too easy to slip into victim mode – “poor me” – with all too predictable effects. Making the whole scenario much more difficult and, dare we say it, more painful and long winded to navigate. And, before we stray too far into these potentially dangerous waters (!), we’ll stop there… 
Traditionally, January is the time of the dreaded New Year’s resolutions – and that’s all we’re going to say on that particular topic today, thank goodness (!) – as well as a spot of spring cleaning. Partly to deal with the aftermath of all the festivities. Partly to clear away some of the things we no longer need. And, in all honesty, may never have needed – let alone used (!) – in the first place… No wonder January is such a busy month for Charity shops and recycling centres everywhere. 
 
And it’s all those things which have been snoozing away peacefully in our homes for the last few months – and, quite probably much longer – that we’d like to talk about today. 
Taking a deep breath – or, as we tend to call it, a deep, calming breath – is something we all do quite naturally and spontaneously. When events threaten to overwhelm us, or in times of high emotion, positive or negative. 
 
Sometimes it’s conscious and deliberate. It just seems like the “right” thing to do at the time and gives us a few seconds to get our emotions back under control. Other times it happens unconsciously, before we even realise we’ve done it. 
 
Whatever the reason, taking a deep, calming breath is rather like pressing the “reset” button, bringing us back to the here and now. Helping stop us being swept away on a tide of emotions. Saying - or doing (!) – something we’d later regret. And, we’ve all experienced that… 
 
So, why is taking a deep calming breath so powerful? 
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