What planet is he/she on ?!?!?! – 5 ways to understand other people (3 min read)

What planet are they on?!?! There is not one of us who has not asked this question at least once in our lives. Sometimes understanding other people can seem like the most impossible task in the world. It doesn’t matter who it is or your relationship to them. It could be  the teacher that sets the impossible to understand assignment, the guy who never contributes at work, the girlfriend who insists on buying another pair of shoes  or the friend or child that does the exact opposite of what you believe to be reasonable behaviour, sometimes other people are just hard to understand.

Infact not understanding  other people is one of the most common day to day problems we all have as humans. No matter where we are, how we live or what we believe, this is a life challenge that we all have in common. And it is also a challenge that we all have to overcome because like or not we need other people.

But when your communication with another person is as effective as static on a radio it can have seriously negative results on your life. (You know the scenario in my brain’s cinema. In the background one long beeeeep whilst both people make increasingly larger incomprehensible gestures at each other, a situation made absolutely more  ridiculous that they  can’t understand each other because you are actually speaking the same language. You know it, you’ve been there.) Why does communication often go so wrong? There are many answers to that question however often or not, the answer is because we have an emotional investment. And it’s those emotions investments that create misunderstandings.

And that my friends is actually good news! If it’s our emotions getting involved then we can do something about it.  How ? By using Emotional Intelligence (which in a nutshell can be defined a the ability to identify and manage our own  emotions and the emotions of others). Emotional intelligence techniques are vast and many (try typing emotional intelligence into Youtube, Amazon or Google you will see what I mean).  So I am not going to go too deeply here and now. I prefer to share with you (and remind myself !) 5  ways of using emotional intelligence to help understand someone else, even when they seem to live on a completely different planet.

Remember we aren’t all the same: It sounds simple but how often do we forget that people don’t function like we do. This is especially true of people we are very close to like a lover or a partner. Just because you eat together, sleep together, train together or work together does not mean anyone you know is the same as you or has 100% the same perspective as you. We all see things differently. Infact one of life’s universal truths is that no-one will ever have an exact carbon copy of your world view. Accept it and move on. 

Not understanding is your problem not theirs: In the world of not understanding people we are fantastic at putting the blame on to other for it. Even more so if we get back up. For example many people can misunderstand someone who is chronically shy as “strange, aloof thinks she is above us”. If you don’t understand someone it’s more about you than it is about them. Take responsibility for your role, it is not the world’s job to respond to you, it’s your job to find out how to respond to the world.

Check in with yourself: Understanding ourselves better helps us remove barriers to understanding others. What do I mean by this? I mean that when you find yourself not understanding someone then figure out where your emotional investment is and how is that blocking your understanding. By doing this you will not only check in with yourself but you will also learn the habits of your own emotional reactions

Ask don’t assume: The more we ask the more we learn. Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups. We often believe we understand when we don’t or worse pretend we understand when we don’t. What would be worse for you telling someone about a serious problem at work for example and them pretending to understand or them showing you respect by asking what you mean. And don’t wait to be asked if you understand ask questions, investigate, the more you do this the more you know, the more you know the more you understand.

Experience more and improve your empathy: We all know that to understand other people we need to use empathy. And I mean true empathy here not the aw poor you,  true empathy is where we truly attempt to shift our perspective into seeing from someone else’s perspective However if you don’t try new things you have a limited base to start out from. Imagining emotions or perspectives someone else would feel or have from situations you have never experienced is hard. The more you experience the wider your empathy database will be. So get out in the world and experience as much as you can! 

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“People are strange” sang Jim Morrison (The Doors and if you don’t know this song where have you been, go directly to youtube. Now. I can wait….) and that means all of us. We are a weird and wonderful bunch that make up this species of humankind. The golden rules of understanding each other are like all the best things simple;

Respond, don’t react, be honest with everyone including yourself and be interested in each other.

If you can master these and use the guidelines above you are always going to be on the right path to connecting and understanding anyone from any planet albeit the person you sleep beside, the stranger on a bus or even the weird teacher whose crazy assignment that makes no sense!

Have fun seeing how many people you can better understand this week and see if you don’t understand yourself more by the weekend too !
Happy Monday <3

 

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#lifelessons101- 4 things to help you back on the personal development horse (3 min read)

When you start out on a new personal development regime everything goes buzzing along in a cloud of motivation and positivity, that is until you fall off the horse. Motivation levels go down and it often seems easier to give up and fall back into the old familiar habits we know and feel comfortable in. The irony is that when we are at this point it is one of the most important stages of our personal development journey. If of course we can just keep a view on the bigger picture, block out our negative inner dialogue and keep going the breakthrough comes and it’s worth it. Hurrah!

I know. It’s not that easy right.

In fact not easy at all.  And I know this all too well. This week in particular for me has been a tough one. After a short pear shaped period in my life I have been attempting to get back into my personal development routines again and pick up the good habits I had before. Should have been straightforward. I did it before I can do it again! Right ? Well yes and then no.

The challenge has been it’s just not that easy to get the same focus and drive I had before.  

Those of you that also follow the path of development know this too well. Falling off the personal development horse happens to us all. Getting on the horse again is not easy and staying on it after a fall can at first seem impossible. Added to which if you have an internal dialogue like mine (who loves to put me down) it can be fodder to add to your I can’t stick at anything, I am useless, worms, worms, worms personal narrative.  

It’s a vicious cycle and can if allowed hold you down forever, if you want it too. I don’t want it too. So I turned to my second favourite library of reference, me (the first is always a combination of Google and Mr T); and sifted through my files of life experience to figure out how to boost my motivation and let me get to the place of my next break through.

Guess what I found??  It is so much  easier than I thought  to get back on the personal development horse and ride into the future without superhuman strength. It was just a question of changing my mental approach to the process and applying these for A star guidelines. 

The 4 A star guidelines to getting back on the personal development horse:

Acceptance:

Sounds like a cliche right? However it’s not. If you don’t accept things as they are you cannot move forward because you are coming from a place of untruth. In accepting you also forgive.

You have to accept three things:

1: You fell off the horse (probably for a good reason if you analyse  it and look for the teachings) people do. But you are not going to be able to move forward if you don’t forgive yourself for that.

2: You are not unflawed. Every human is a perfect imperfection including you. If you look at two of my personal heros personal development heros Lousie Hay and Hal Elrod both of their stories tell very honestly about a human experience of growth. Both of them are perfect imperfections who are constantly working on improving their imperfections in the best way they can. None of us can do any more than our best. Have a look at your heros and role models I bet you will see that they too are just as frail and as human as you. If personal development gurus can be flawed so can you so stop beating yourself up for it.

3: It is gonna be tougher second time round because you will unconsciously compare your results to the first time you tried a routine change. This comparison is just your minds way of fighting the  changes you are trying to make because it likes to be in its comfort zone, it’s probably why you fell off in the first place.

Attention:

“Constant vigilance!” as  Professor Moody used to say (from HArry Potter. Yes I am a potter fan and a personal development junkie!). What do I mean by that. I mean pay attention to what is going on with you. If you get excuses popping up then notice them and try and work out why your mind is fighting against you. For example if you keep pushing your affirmation ritual away because you are too tired or too busy, or hit the snooze button instead of jumping out of bed to do you Miracle Morning routine then sit down with pen and paper to ask yourself why?  Why aren’t you doing it? Then find a way to work through your block instead of succumbing to it. Google is a wonderful tool here, ask and you will find inspiration if you can’t figure out how to work with your block alone. (99% of the time it is as said above your internal unconscious self rebelling because you are outside its comfort zone. In time you will feel better with the changes, you just need to keep going until your new habits become comfortable.) 

Acknowledgement:

As I always say one of the most important things you can do to motivate yourself is to acknowledge your achievements. I cannot stress how important this is. We often when ‘working’ with ourselves forget to notice and be proud of our progress and efforts. Of course the reward of personal development are the bonuses of our positive personal growth. But if you don’t take the time out to notice and acknowledge the journey you are taking and  your accomplishments, then you can get demotivated again. Make an achievement list where you list what you proud of yourself for having achieved once a week. Or if you prefer a gratitude list that focuses  on gratitude to yourself for what you have been doing to make life better for you.

Allies:

Allies is just another word for friends or people, or even strangers in the form of authors or online communities, who you can call on for help in your commitment to getting back on the personal development horse. It can be hard as hell to make life changes alone so call in your team. Right now I am finding myself surrounded by people who like to make excuses for themselves rather than take responsibility (unfortunately moving into a completely new area can have this effect). At first I found this draining and allowed it to affect me but once I realized it I have now started to call into my life people who also are dedicated to growing positively in both my friendship circle and through reading and watching personal development videos that inspire me.  It helps me keep focused and reminds me I am not alone. Writing this blog and having you guys read it helps amazingly too because when you read and like my articles I know that we are all out there working on ourselves to become better people in our way and that is immensely inspiring. For which I am truly grateful to you all lovely readers. So reach out to the universe and create the allies you need to keep you on that horse and keep going. We can achieve far more together than we ever can alone.

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Remember wherever you are in your personal development process that the times that seem the hardest are always before the enlightening positive breakthroughs. So keep on going. So what if you fell off the horse, you got back on it and you are moving forward. And by accepting that, paying attention to yourself, acknowledging your progress and calling in your allies you will keep on riding that horse  onwards growing more and more grounded, beautiful, abundant and successful every single day.

I believe in you  all <3dream-it-do-it

What to do when life goes pear shaped -an 8 step guide from my life (4 min read)

Hello people it’s good to be back!

Some of you who follow the Re:Root blog may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet for a few weeks around here, almost as if I went AWOL. And why? Well the best laid plans can go wrong.  Sometimes life just kicks in and everything goes pear shaped.  (For those of you either not from the UK or from my particular generation that means that the plan went wrong.)

And oh boy it went wrong… or did it? The answer to that is both yes and no.

On the one hand I did not plan for problems with my medication, college, telephone, money and deadlines to hit me all at once subsequently affecting my sleep so that I was functioning on totally drained resources and starting to spiral into a depressive place. However on the other hand the teachings I received during this time, the strength I had to manifest to stop myself sliding down a slippery slope of depression and the cathartic process of allowing my emotions to release has meant that I have come out on the other side a little stronger, a lot wiser and incredibly grateful for the abundance and experience of my life.

In a previous post 5 STEPS TO SURVIVING THE HARDEST OF DAYS… I talked about how to survive when you have a  crappy day. Some of the guidance here is applicable when life goes pear shaped. But usually when life goes pear shaped it is more than just a crappy day or a couple of days.  It’s something unexpected happening which interrupts the flow of your life in a negative way. It can be a week or two and if not taken control of its longer and longer, a pear shaped situation can be seemingly endless. And that my friends is dangerous for you. 

When life goes pear shaped we can choose to allow the situation to drown us or to take it head on and get your life back on track in a richer, wiser way.  

Getting your life back on track when it goes pear shaped is possible. How? With a little connecting, taking control and reconnecting it is possible to deal with the pear shaped moments in life healthily and constructively.

When and if the excrement hits the fan in your life try these 8 steps to bring it back online again.

Be in the moment consciously

When life goes pear shaped the first thing it triggers is our flight or fight response followed by an emotional reaction. A lot of life guidance out there veers us away from feeling and towards taking charge of the situation and yes while that is important it is equally important to allow our bodies natural mechanisms to function. Basically I mean at the start of whatever is happening let your feelings do the running for a few days (preferably no more than three). Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, it’s healthy. Be sad, be angry. I don’t mean let the feeling take over you but just be mindful that you need to feel what you are feeling, Notice each feeling consciously and work it through. Journal, talk, draw, sleep, workout do what you need to do to get to the stage where that feeling is not the be all and everything.

Realise life’s not gone wrong, it’s gone pear shaped.

The words we use shape our view of our reality internally and externally. If you ask yourself why is this is going wrong you are using very negative language. Something that is ‘wrong’ is perceived as hard to fix if not irreparable.  By using the word wrong you are putting yourself in a victim role, a passive role, this has happened to you. In order to bring life on track you need to step into an active role and to that you need to consciously change your language use to change your thinking and change your situation.

Try and think of it this way: In the Urban Dictionary the expression  “pear shaped” is   

“based on the visualisation of a plan being like a perfect circle. When something goes wrong, the plan is distorted and becomes pear-shaped.”

So life has not gone wrong it has just been distorted. This mental shift may not feel like much however it is an ENORMOUS energetic shift in your thinking when you need it the most. A distortion can be adjusted or reversed.

So when you get to the stage where that feeling is not the be all and everything, turn your thinking around by recognizing that life has just gone pear shaped, it is currently distorted. And if it’s only distorted you can change it. But how…

Look for the teaching

Why did this happen to me? (Who has never thought that in their life.) This is exactly the question you need to ask yourself next. (And I don’t mean in the “why did this happen to me it’s not fair!” sense). You need to look for the teaching.

Life is constantly throwing us clues…and we ignore them, or can’t hear them or notice them but don’t do anything about them. When life goes pear shaped it can often be because a particular message has been trying to get through to us for some time and it has had to take it to Defcon 5 to get us to notice. (For example I really do believe that one of the reasons type 1 diabetes manifested in my life was to teach me to take care of myself something I was appalling at).  No matter what the situation in life there is always a teaching. And it is these teachings that help us to grow.

Integration of the teaching

What are you going to do about the teaching or the message life is sending at you? For me I recently unearthed a lot of repressed Daddy issues I thought in place and dealt with that unconsciously still affect my self confidence, even more so now Mr T and I live together .  I could ignore this information but that would result in another even bigger distortion in the future. So I jumped onto to google university and am currently doing 5 mins self love affirmations daily while I slowly work through this old wound.

So once you have found the teaching find your self a way to incorporate this into your life. It  may be a small thing or a big thing you need to do, the important thing is DO SOMETHING with your teaching and DO IT NOW!

Motivation

If you have been following the steps you have your understanding and a plan of how to incorporate this into your life. Sometimes this is motivation enough to reform your pear shaped life into a perfect circle again. Sometimes it’s harder.

If like me you have to fight old habits like falling into the depression cycle then it’s incredibly hard to “pull yourself together and take charge of your life”. However no one will do it for you. Only you can run your life. Accepting this will help with the motivation. Make sure your success criteria can be easily fulfilled. In a nutshell don’t set yourself up for a fail by aiming to high and pushing to hard to start with.  Basically take it slowly and succeed with baby steps. Success is the best motivator in the world so give yourself lots of easy things you can accomplish and slowly work through them (see below).

Be kind

Be kind to yourself and don’t overestimate your success  criteria. What I mean by this is you need to start small. To get your  life back on track you need success experiences.  However you have also been through a process so start with the little things. Washing up is a great mini success experience, as is cleaning. It also has the added bonus that as you clean up your outside world you also clean up your inside world. Once you are managing the small goals work up until you feel like you are back on track then just keep on going! Remember also to not get into the guilt cycle if you don’t make a goal for a few days or even a week. It will happen when you decide you have the right energy to make it happen.

Being Proud

It not easy to get back on that horse after that fall. However you are trying and you need to be proud of yourself for that. And I mean actively proud. You need to be your own cheerleading squad and celebrate your victories no matter how small. The small battles are often the ones that need the most celebrating. You got out of bed Yey! You opted for a healthy breakfast at the table instead of cereal from the packet under the duvet Yes! You went back to work today! It’s time for a celebratory dinner. I know it might feel false at first however there isn’t always someone to clap you on the shoulder to say well done so we have to do that ourselves. A great habit to get into at the end of the day is to write an achievement list. Basically a list of all the things you are proud of yourself for today. And make sure that you start each sentence with I am proud of myself because…………….. AND you include the little things you otherwise tend to disregard.

Call in Support if it gets too tough

No matter what we do need other people. Even Superman and Batman needed their support in the form of Alfred and Louis. So even though this article primarily focuses on what you can do for yourself, you can also ask for help. Whether it’s off loading on a friend or creating an accountability person or finding a therapist, call in the support you need. The important thing here is to make sure that this is the support you NEED. It might be great to cry on a friend initially but after a week is this the best help you need? Is this going to help you consciously turn things around?  Identify the help you need and ask for it.

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By consciously connecting with ourselves and feeling, taking control our negative thoughts and reconnecting with our lives in an altered state of understanding and motivation we can reform the distorted circle and get our lives on track again when things go pear shaped.

 

I look forward to hearing about your success stories down in the comments below. Right now I off to give myself a little self love in the form of yoga followed by a glass of water and then probably a glass of  red wine to end the day. 

Have a lovely week <3

#enjoythejourney

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