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Archive for September, 2013

Peace

Over the years I have found myself reflecting on my higher purpose in life. While I have found many ways to express this, it always comes back to one theme – world peace. As I write this, part of me thinks how ridiculous, you sound like one of the contestants from Miss Congeniality, that wonderful movie with Sandra Bullock where all contestants ended their personal presentations with “And I want world peace”. It smacks of sugar and honey. Then there is the other part of me, my personal and devoted self-critic who says to me, “Who do you think YOU are to have such a lofty purpose? Really!” And there you have.

Undeterred I forge forward and, despite my personal naysayer, it keeps coming up. I refuse to feel too small to contribute to such a large vision. As I result this is what I have learned:

  • I have come to understand that world peace begins with me and my capacity to make peace with myself
  • I have learned that when I make peace with me, I am far less judgmental of others
  • I have learned that when I set an intention of peace, within me and around me, life is a heck of a lot easier
  • I have learned that infusing peace into our property, Tigh Shee (Celtic for House of Peace), that people actually experience it while they are here and carry a little of it away with them.

Peace is an Attitude

Peace is an attitude as well as an action. It is easy to look at the many troubled places on our planet today, and the world leaders who are tasked with ‘solving’ the crises, and not see our part in it. Our media focuses on the action of peace as the antidote for war. As a result, it is easy to see the seeking of peace as someone else’s issue because we happen to live in a country where peace is our way and where war typically does not touch our shores.

But what if we have the capacity to influence peace everywhere? What if individually and collectively we have this power?

I am suggesting you do, and it begins inside you, in your relationship with yourself. You may be thinking that I am crazy (some do!) but before you leap to this conclusion, stop for a moment and consider what I am saying. Check in with your relationship with yourself for a moment. What is the content of your self-talk? Does your inner critic reign? And what vitriol is she feeding you? How many ways does she make you less than perfect; does she put you down, criticize you, or fill your head with all the ‘shoulds’ she can conjure up? If this is the dominant conversation you are having with YOU, then you are at war with yourself.

In contrast, you also have a self-coach, who appreciates you, who understands and supports the difference you make to your community every day, who sees you through the lens of your strengths. She is there to lift you up. She is your voice of peace.

You have the power of choice, deciding which of the two sides of you will speak louder and occupy your emotional/spiritual space. You have the choice to fuel yourself with negative or positive self-talk. Here is what you must realize: if peace is important to you, and it is to most of us, you cannot be a voice for peace in the world unless you are a voice of peace for yourself. You cannot create a peaceful life for yourself in your outer world unless the inner world of self-talk is a match.

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Final Word

I do pray these days for the troubled areas of the world and the leaders who sit in the hot seat of decision-making. And with these prayers/intentions, I take the time to look inward and check in on myself, making sure that peace lives within me. There are great days, good days and crappy days – I am human!

Being aware is the first step. Shifting your relationship with yourself is the second. Choosing to consciously communicate in peaceful ways with yourself and others is the third. Radiating peace is the result.

This past Saturday, September 21st, was World Peace Day as declared by the United Nations. Here at Tigh Shee we celebrated this with our fall equinox labyrinth walk. With almost 40 people in attendance, we began our walk by greeting one another in the following way, “Peace be with Me, peace be with You.’

Peace BE with ME. Peace BE with YOU!

 

Upcoming Events

ME FIRST; If I Should Wake Before I Die: Two-Day Retreat October 19-20th/2013.

Living From Your Strengths: a One-Day Coaching Circle November  23rd/2013

 

For information on both events go to: http://www.roadsigns.ca/upcoming-retreats-events/

 

Until next time,

 

Betty

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Your child or teenager comes home from school and presents his report card to you. You review the list of subjects and note the grade assigned to each one: English – A,  French: B+, History: A, Science: C, Math: F. In the following minutes you discuss the results with your child. What do you focus on?

According to Marcus Buckingham, author of GO, Put Your Strengths to Work, more than 70% of parents will zone in on the F grade, ignoring the decent to great marks in the other subjects. It seems that we are programed to focus on weaknesses rather than strengths.

I am sure that most of you have been on the receiving end of this flawed assumption. In an interview recently with one of my clients discussing the annual performance review, they admitted that little time was given to successes and accomplishment during the review process. Time was dedicated instead to what did not happen and the weaknesses they believed the employee needed to address.

Building a Foundation

Imagine building a house or any type of structure using the same principle. Basically the foundation of human development is being built upon the premise that weaknesses must be addressed and strengths taken for granted. If this were a house, what kind of foundation would that be? Would you want to build on a weak infrastructure or would you choose to build on something strong, resilient, secure and so on.

A New Paradigm

In the work we are introducing to organizations and to individuals, we are convinced that building on strengths is the way to go. Buckingham suggests that there are three myths associated with personality and living from our strengths:

Myth #1: As you grow your personality changes.

Truth: As you grow, you become more of who you really are.

That doesn’t imply that you don’t change and grow at all, this simply means that you are born with the personality you have, and with that your innate strengths. Over time what may change are your values, your beliefs, and even your behaviors, the result of your personality gaining life experience.

 

Myth #2: You will grow the most in your areas of greatest weakness

Truth: You will grow the most in your areas of greatest strength

New medical research is actually showing that those who focus their development from their weaknesses are prone to chronic pain and other illnesses. Spending time investing in your strengths however, keeps you engaged, inquisitive, resilient, creative and invested in your learning.

 

Myth #3: A good team member does whatever it takes to help the team.

Truth: A good team member deliberately volunteers his strengths to the team.

We are taught that we must be all things to all people. This is sure to burn you out. A great person or team member is not well-rounded, a great team is. A great team is well rounded because each member comes to play from their respective strengths. It is not your job to be all things.

Lumina Circle

Final Word

If you are feeling disconnected from yourself in any way, chances are you have invested a lot of time addressing your weaknesses. This is not a criticism of you. In all likelihood, you were told you had to, by a parent, a teacher, a colleague or a boss.

Guess what – it’s time to change the conversation because trust me; it is time to start investing in building a strong foundation for your inner house. Find a way to identify your strengths (we use the Lumina Spark Portrait for these purposes). Take a stand for them once they have been identified. Educate those around you, your colleagues, your manager, your family members, about who you are through the lens of your strengths. This is not bragging – it is stating a fact!

On the Mat 06

Take some courses that help you in invest in your strengths and engage them in doing your work, whatever that may be. And finally, address your least favorite activities by activating your strengths.

Each person is unique, possessing a cadre of strengths that defines who they are and how they play in the world. Wouldn’t it be amazing if each person played from their strengths while respecting the strengths exhibited by others? This is true collaboration.

 

What are your strengths?

 

Until Next Time….

Betty Healey

 

roadSIGNS is offering two programs in the upcoming weeks:

 

The Living from Your Strengths Coaching Circle: go to http://www.roadsigns.ca/wp/our-focus/conscious-communication-for-self-discovery/coaching/coaching-circle/, beginiing September 24th.

The Living from Your Strengths Retreat Day – Saturday, Nov. 23rd/13

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