Blind Spots

Come to know your blind spots and lead with grace.

Fear keeps us safe in some situations and taken out of context, fear can convince you of something that is not true. The importance here is knowing this happens, and more importantly, knowing that we have a choice to stop the thought and redirect to what really is true.

I hope to inspire you today. When you hear someone talk about themselves that has a negative connotation, ask them what they mean. What makes it true? How so? Help them dive into what they determine is true. Be curious also when someone is pointing the finger at someone. Help them realize that they may have done something similar in a different way. What shows up is a form of forgiveness, compassion, and grace. It is up to the individual to take action on what is going on internally.

In my coaching training, over and over again as we coached each other, we witnessed how just one incident in our past had led us to believing we were something that we realized in the process, that we are not. We realized how we were leading our lives with behaviors because of a truth we attached to long ago. Frankly, our truth at that time kept us ‘safe’ for the time we were subjected to a circumstance. It became a way for us to cope with the environment.

These behaviors become blind spots as adults. Many of us were blown away when we recognized our blind spots. So many were eager to get back and work with their teams, interact with family, and other relationships in a different way. I feel joy as I write this. Witnessing the freedom that blossomed in coaching sessions, and what I witness in my coaching practice is so beautiful. It’s what makes my work so invigorating. Witnessing someone release from bondage.

Blind spots affect behavior and when acknowledged, become what is never a desire to attach to again. When beliefs are tucked away, walls are something we are unaware of. Walls previously built up for protection for whatever reason, limit us.

Witnessing so many people become free from behaviors that held them in bondage for so many years was remarkable. Over and over someone else would realize how much they conducted their lives around the one thing that they held onto and didn’t even realize it.

Blind spots debilitate us or create a not-so-appealing way of conducting oneself and become chronic behaviors and permeate all relationships. I pray that everyone makes time to work with someone that will help them come to know what their blind spots are and be set free from them.


The word triggered a deep sense of discord. I could hardly contain myself at the women’s conference when I read the word, decent, on the bookmark. Looking back what I remember about the way I felt is that I wanted to be rid of what I was feeling. Somehow, I needed to get rid of this feeling that I could hardly bare. What I know now is that feeling is shame.

Tears flowed as I dried myself off. If only the shower could wash away all the dread I held onto. There was nowhere for me to go with this disgust. I just could hardly stand being with myself. And then, this tender merciful draw came to me. It was then that I grasped the idea to say, “Forgive me Lord.”

The tears gently streamed down my face. My breathing became shallower. Calm washed over me as if I had been showered with a fresh look. That look was on the inside of me. The acknowledging of my shame presented to God, my precious Father in Heaven, in Jesus’ name, and my deepest longing to be rid of shame, became a most humble reality for me. I was met with the most precious words to soothe me. This is how we are refined and learn how to give grace to others because we all face the same turmoil.

Consoled, I could grasp the concept of feeling held. I felt nurtured. Having this conversation with God was so soothing. My deepest regrets revealed to Him, and as any loving parent would do, He gently acknowledged my sorrow and reminded me that because of my sinful nature, doing things my way, enticed by all those things that we really know we should not do, is why He came in human form. He sent his Son, Jesus to show us at the utmost degree how much we need to pay attention to Him. Grasping the reality of His story brings forth fortitude by those who come to know Him. Otherwise, the depth is dark.

As we become aware of who Christ is, we become aware of the things we have done that are not the best choices. Be gentle on yourself here. When we notice those thoughts coming to the forefront, we bring them to our Savior. We tell him what is going on. We tell him what we are remorseful about. By doing so, we acknowledge our need for Him. It affirms our connection to Him, and the experience confirms your faith in Him. That is how Christians know that God is who He says He is. It is a personal experience only felt by the believer.

This is where we begin to understand the concept of forgiveness. This is another subject I have spent years coming to complete surrender with. I will write on this topic as I am led.

What I know is this: God loves me so incredibly much. Just look at this most beautiful ‘playground’ he has us on. Is it not so amazingly remarkable? Do you realize how much you want to just live peacefully each day? On the contrary, do you see all that entices you? Living in whatever culture you are in, subjects you to everyone flooded with their own sinful nature. So, what you can do is be mindful of your own. Grace blossoms here.

In all circumstances and wherever you go, be mindful of you and your relationship with God. As you go about your day, be mindful of all the times you are leaning toward a sinful nature. Practice immediate repentance which aligns you with our precious Father through His Son. Tethered to Christ, (notice I say, tethered), you are actively and consciously aware of what you are thinking. Focused on Christ, you will make decisions that relate to His Way. He will be there guiding you to turn away from the very thing that will cause you harm. Be aware of your sinful nature to do things without God! It is not something to freak out about, it is something to be deliberate about. And your awareness is what becomes so lovely, and so beautiful. So soothing and decent. Loving and kind. To self, and others. All because you choose Him. He Guides us how to be. With His discernment.

Remember, as leaders (those that help one another), Christ teaches us, and it is through Holy Spirit that refinement ensues through Him, and with Him. Through the Power of the Holy Spirit. Be gentle with yourself. All this knowledge that I have come to know is through years of living, seeking his Word in all my struggles, and abiding in His Love for me. Through my development, and refinement through His Grace upon me, the Fruit of His Spirit pours out. Refinement is like the fragrance of a flower as it develops in its maturity.

If you are feeling down. Have a conversation with Christ. Repent of what troubles you. Read your Bible. Look up words in the index that describe what you are experiencing. Read scripture that gives insight on how to overcome. Blessings to you, my friend. XO

Curiosity for clarity

What better way can you grasp?

The other day, my mom, husband, and I were watching a movie. I started laughing at what was happening in the movie and both my mom and my husband were surprised. They were excited about what was happening, and I was struck with how funny the scene was carrying on longer than I thought necessary.

What I marveled at is how both my mother and my husband seemed so taken aback about my reaction. I couldn’t help but wonder what was so odd about me laughing. At first, I was thinking the same about them. What has them so struck by my laughter? And then I noticed I became upset wondering what was so wrong about my reaction.

These are critical times to get curious. Why? Because these are the seeds that can grow into unnecessary destructive thoughts. When we get curious, perspectives become clear. Asking questions without using the word why
as the first word in your sentence will help you and the person you are in communication with come to know each other’s perspective. Using the word why first, can cause a defensive response.

That evening, I said to my husband that I was so tired of feeling misunderstood. His response was that he was surprised that I was not enjoying the movie like he was, and it was as if I was mocking them for what they were enjoying.

The following day, we had a conversation again about our reactions. What he discovered for himself by getting curious about his own reaction was that he was enjoying the movie so much and me laughing about it was surprising. He realized that his discomfort was not really with my reaction to how I perceived the movie, rather, in-the-moment it struck him as odd simply because he was not having the same experience.

Notice how quickly perceptions can go sideways? In these moments we can be quickly disturbed by how someone else is reacting. Whether with speech, utterance, or a physical action, we are expressing an internal reaction. With maturity, we learn to withhold some initial reactions. And sometimes, we do not withhold because we are in-the-moment expressing something.

What about you? Does it matter so much to you what someone else may be experiencing? Are you easily offended when someone is not reacting the same way as you? How may you react differently in the future? Should everyone withhold laughter? Opinions? Who decides how one responds? You do! Furthermore, what we say and do does have an impact regardless of our unique experience.

So how does this story impact how you will interact with those in your home, business, or community?

Is it hard for you at times to accept how others go about their business? With everyone being unique and experiencing everything differently, rather than be quickly offended or disturbed, consider minding your own business, or genuinely and kindly be curious.

You can ask, “What were you experiencing during that part of the movie?” Or ask, “What was it that struck you so funny?” And genuinely care about what they have to say. Is it your business what they are experiencing? Try marveling at how we all approach and experience life. Add a generous portion of curiosity into your conversations and you may be surprised at how that becomes the special sauce you have been longing for all along. Notice how your relationships become more enthusiastic and interactive.

Just to elaborate on this a bit more to drive this whole curiosity idea deeper into your thought process, think about how much of your life you have spent always trying to achieve the right answers. This kind of programming locks us into right and wrong. In relationships, versus taking an exam, it is a whole new ballgame. From birth, survival techniques are established, and along your journey you develop ways to survive. Which becomes how you behave as an adult. Most adults learn that there are many behaviors they have adopted that do not quite cut the achievement gap when it comes to relationships. Adults start clamoring for a different way when they realize some of their behaviors are not quite matching up to their values. This quest for change drives them to become knowledgeable about a better way. They realize the only way to survive is to evaluate how they react to different situations. Over the years they realize their reactions are based on the many factors they have been subjected to and they learn how to overcome.

So as unique as you are, so are they and them and those! Do you ever see those signs at construction sites that say, Give ‘em a break? How about giving yourself a break and those around you? Start noticing when you are triggered and pause. Take some time later and get curious with yourself about why you reacted the way you did. It is okay to ask yourself why. And keep ask yourself why until you come to the final reason. You will find your truth. And be aware, it may not always bring up good memories. So be gentle with you and show yourself some empathy. It is all good. You are experiencing growth. Then show compassion to yourself and the person you thought was being disrespectful.

Did you compete in your family dynamics? What about at school? So many things play into how we all perceive. So, how about consider changing your ways. Do you want the right answer or the right relationships? Having the right answer can be rewarding in the right setting. What right answers do you want? Be aware of whether you are seeking the right answer or ready to be curious. Notice what your own ideas and perspectives are related to your expectations of team members, housemates, or even how you react to anything or anyone. Alternatively, being curious opens our experiences up to an abundance of perspectives beyond our individual locked-in ideas. Curiosity opens and allows freedom to explore how others perceive rather than a right way or a wrong way. A release forms. Peace becomes.

Developing this mindset takes practice. It also takes energy to reform your mind and adhere to a focus enriched with curiosity. Over time we all establish norms for ourselves that help us navigate daily living. It is not easy moving through time. And a simple example of how we react to each other when even just watching a movie may be a step in the direction of being curious for the sake of loving how someone else may be experiencing their world differently than you.

Focus for peace

Self assessments are vital to your vitality ~Susan Husa Image shows silhouette’s of large birds in a tree depicting the author’s view of what’s going on within the confines of the tree.

When you think of leading by example, what comes to you? For me, it causes me to feel a bit of stress for the responsibility involved. Suddenly there is this expectation of myself to be a certain way. Somehow, I think I need to do whatever I am doing, the right way. Frankly, we may never do anything the right way because somehow, we will offend someone, or someone will offend us. It is just a given; No matter how hard you try to live peacefully, something will happen that causes a stressful situation. So how do you deal? Overcoming thoughts like these takes time to identify what is causing them.

Remembering back when I was a few classes into my coach training, I had an experience that now shapes how I approach when I am feeling a bit of stress. I was in front of about thirty cohorts being coached by one of the instructors. She asked me who my leader within is. At this point we were all learning about this concept that we all have a leader within guiding our better choices and a Saboteur tempting us to believe we are not up to par for anything. In this moment I was feeling extremely vulnerable. I did not want to share who my leader within was for fear of judgement from others.

A few more questions were asked of me, and I hardly heard them. Within minutes I blurted out that I wanted to answer her question about who my leader within is. My Leader within got the best of me! I had the courage to share that my leader within is Jesus. At this point, I have no idea that what I have come up with as my leader within even makes sense to what they are teaching us. As much as I was feeling turmoil in my heart whether to reveal or not to reveal, what was revealed to me led me to speak out confidently about my beliefs and is an outstanding example of how we discover what is right for us and wrong for us. I am marveling in this moment of how this unfolded.

Think about it: I was experiencing fear and my leader within took over and confidence appeared.

What came from that experience is beyond belief. And here is why this is so important. When we acknowledge that we even have a leader within, our leader is at bat for us. I was led to speak confidently. The feeling of unease was me holding back my truth. My focus became so fixated on what was true for me, I could no longer stand the agitation and was compelled to speak. This brings us peace within. We acknowledge a higher power. There is wonder and acceptance beyond explanation.

So, focusing on peace is great and yet having faith and genuinely believing that there is a way to lead beyond even comprehension, you will come to know how to conduct yourself in such a way that you are compelled to be. Knowing your leader within will steer you in the right direction alleviates a lot of stress. It allows freedom within and your view of the landscape allowing others the same freedom to create and contribute. The right and the wrong become obvious to each individual and it is expressed.

In any given moment when you are triggered with stress, learn to STOP. Just PAUSE in the moment. Collect yourself. Have people wait for you to regroup. Be consciously aware of how you want to respond in the moment. So often, I am quick to speak. Not this time though. So, what was it that had me so tied? Fear. Fear of judgement. Are you noticing something for yourself here? What I found out about myself after going through this turmoil, is what changed how I show up now. So many of my cohorts came to me with their own experience because of what I shared. I was amazed at how many people resonated with my belief and their encouragement was heartwarming.

When we share our own hardships and journey through life, others become aware of their own insecurities. There is a feeling of permission that permeates the environment allowing others to explore within what may be suppressing their own lead on something important, instead they withhold themselves creating unpleasant environments. The energy field in the environment becomes toxic because it reflects everyone showing up reserved rather than with vitality and confidence to be the wonderful little person they are.

What holds your attention? Notice what the turmoil is for you. There is a way to overcome. I can honestly say that I am deeply grateful for the blessings that have shaped me. For all the hardships I have experienced, what has always stayed true is my belief about my Leader within! And that relationship is indescribable and points me to the next step. What I love about feeling vulnerable now is the will to be as I am in the moment fixated on my leader within for the sake of my security. There is nothing I have found to be more soothing than my mind focused on what my Leader within says is true. Because I have read so much about who my Leader is, my faith in my Leader grounds me with peace. Moments can feel arduous, and the practice of clinging to what your Leader within says will be that which encourages you to lead with unconditional love to self and with others. May peace permeate your holidays and celebrations.

Fear to Faith

A picture of a tree with red berries and the words Anxiety with the words spelled out as anxiety being an acronym A Noticing of eXtraordinary Insecurity Expressing Thoughts of Yourself

Have you considered turning your fear to faith?  For me, it took years to study and learn about what that means to me. Through that inquiry and years of personal development what I’ve studied along with always pointing to who I am, I learned some miraculous truths. Over time I have come to know truth for myself and when someone says the truth will set you free: It is what I now know to be true.  I do feel freedom within.  I still come to a place where I notice my mind wants to go to a negative mode of thoughts and every day I have to get very clear that those thoughts do not serve me. And sometime what feels negative needs to be evaluated. I pay attention. I get really clear about what is causing the feelings I am experiencing. Because that is where and when discernment and decisions are made.  Choice becomes what you create your reality to be.  So, take some time to wrestle with your thoughts and get really clear about what is important. This my friend is your core values shining through.  This is where you stand for YES or stand for NO.  And a leap of faith is what I take and stand firm in.  That means knowing that whatever decision I make, that in my heart it is what I truly believe is in my heart to do. I make that move, have that conversation, start a new way, ask for help, start inquiry, whatever it is, and a new seed begins to germinate and soon is blossoming. So, be patient. Take a deep breath and find a coach or some inspiration through a workbook or podcast. But do something that keeps you focused on what you CAN do.  Not what you CAN’T do.  Be well means that you are in control of YOU!  Pay attention to what you are about and be centered in that moving about with vibrancy, exuding confidence embracing all of you wherever you go. No comparing other than to embrace other’s uniqueness. Notice what you see remaining centered in who YOU are. It helps you remain calm and with your ultimate self engaged. This noticing is discernment rather than judgement. May your anxiety become A Noticing of eXtraordinary Insecurity Expressing Thoughts of Yourself.  Get really clear about how your thoughts may not be your truth at all.  I used to tell myself I am not good enough all the time. And then I’d check in with that and remind myself that, “Oh yes I am!”  Without being prideful, simply mindful.

Thankful within

Regardless of circumstances, inner peace is a choice. I will attest it is not an easy feat, yet when we come to know what unconditional love truly means, the practice is already within. Relationships become easier to navigate.

How often do you find yourself struggling with your negative mindset or pointing your finger at what others are being like or doing? I will just say, “stop”. Come to know yourself by being curious about you and being curious about them. Frankly, that will change every aspect of your life!

What have you come to know about peace of mind? Within the confines of circumstances, you truly can remain at peace when all feels like it is falling apart around you. Depending on your circumstances, be gentle with yourself as you develop personally and those with whom you are with. Standing firm with who you are gives way to an unconditional loving stance promoting being thankful within. Your tendency will be to love yourself and others right where they are, get curious, or simply notice.

Be aware of the narratives of your mind for these create your perspectives. In the simplest form of making this point, consider positive and negative narratives. Be curious about your thoughts creating a lens with which you are perceiving external experiences. All day long we are filtering our experiences and making choices sometimes at rapid speeds.

Take the time to slow things down and be aware of your tendencies in how you respond and consider a thoughtful response.

1. Notice your perspective

2. Be curious about the narratives of your mind

3. Decide what is true or what matters

The moment we start to revisit something that bothers us is the opportunity to seek our core truth. A time for reflection. Allow yourself to reflect. Consider your values and decide to keep your perspective or change your perspective. Sometimes all we need to do is simply let go of any ideas we have made up in our minds. There is so much freedom in that and it frees you up to continue your way with what truly matters.

Sounds so simple, right? Yet have you noticed how it takes practice to notice negative perspectives of ourselves or others, or get over someone’s reaction to you because of their own insecurity? So, be mindful of empathy and compassion for self and others. I am a firm believer now that happiness truly is an inside job. 

Here’s an example of an experience I had. I was reading an article written by a person claiming they are a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor. The first point they made was they consulted with their “preferred people” to discuss Diversity and Inclusion challenges. At first, I thought it was a joke to make their point. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud feeling so perplexed. 

My filter showed a red flag when I saw “preferred people”. I could not believe what I was reading. I had so many thoughts rushing through my head that did not point to an inclusive or diverse group to talk with about these challenges. I was thinking they would want to consult with a range of people. Seems more diverse and inclusive to me and a way to gain a much broader perspective. In my mind there is no diversity and inclusion showing up here.

So, in this moment, I got curious about my perspective. I wanted to know how I could trust what I was about to read if this person had an exclusive group to meet with. Well, I took it a step further and asked them. I asked them how they have a preferred group yet call themself an advisor on the subject of diversity and inclusion. What I found out is that they do have a preferred group of people – they are studying the same topic.

See how easy it is to take on a perspective? And how curiosity and asking a question provides clarity? There is freedom when we acknowledge a feeling, we have choice! And a release when we take the time to decide what matters. What matters is when there is doubt, so find a way to discover your truth.

Notice today what your own filters are like. When you feel so right about something, is it true? And what about your truth now allows you freedom within? Will you take that freedom to express, or simply take note that all is well, and remain silent? How about being mindful of unconditional love? What do your actions show when you are thankful within?

Susan Husa, Animate Life Coaching.

Command Your Agenda

Command Your Agenda

Have you ever thought about commanding your agenda like commanding Alexa to add items to your grocery list? What would you command? How would you speak your words? Let us take this a step further. Imagine those commands directed at you. What do they sound like? Are they demanding? Take a moment to reflect on how you would speak to yourself when commanding what you will do next.

Writing down ideas may be helpful for decision – making and useful for reminders. But what about the daily demands? Imagine speaking aloud what you do each day. What would it sound like? Is what you are speaking even important? How so? Now notice for a moment how often you redirect your focus to something else in one day. What would happen if you conducted all you do in this manner? What is your daily agenda like now?

Being aware of what you place on your agenda is the first step in exploring how you may want to change it for a more productive and meaningful way. However you contemplate or activate your agenda; how you spend your time – what do you command attention to? How often are you truly honoring what you are about and honoring what you say is important?

It is easy to get caught up in thoughts about what you should be doing rather than what you want to be doing. It also takes time to gain clarity on what it is that you genuinely want. It is normal for developing minds to look to others for inspiration. In fact, never stop being inspired by others. What is most satisfying is exploring what is important to you. From there is when confidence will meet you. Right where you say you want to be.

The confident way is not trying to impress anyone, impress upon oneself how important it is to honor yourself. This concept is not one that is grasped at an early stage in adulthood unless you have been conditioned to think this way. Developmentally learn to honor what is important to you. Miraculously a new way blossoms. Peace becomes more prevalent in making choices matching your values. It becomes easier to stay clear-headed and be with what is.

So next time you think about what you are going to be doing, remember to be aware of what is important to you. Being consciously aware, as if you were commanding your agenda aloud, will place the important ideas on your agenda. What you verbalize is most important will create your agenda. You will feel settled. Being engaged with respect for yourself will be that which you show and give to others. What will you command today?

Gifts of Wisdom

Leadership starts from within. Acknowledging your inner leader forms the richness of a nurturing mental state. Staying steadfast and secure in this mindset is the key for navigating life.  Animate Life Coaching

Do you ever find yourself captivated by brilliant thoughts? I don’t know about you, but for me, they are present at the most inopportune times to record them. Seems I am always in the shower! My thoughts are like the water rushing from the shower head. They just pour over me and if each drop were a letter on a manual typewriter, which would about sum up my experience. And those messages seep through my scalp like liquid flowing through a colander and flood my heart. The urge to type these ideas out leaves me in a quandary. Should I stay or should I go? In a split-second fear strikes me and I am almost convinced that the thoughts will never come again. In the moment though, my fear cast aside, and these brilliant ideas take root. Compelling and important – I call them gifts of Wisdom.

How about you? Do you experience this? May I encourage you to believe, these gifts of Wisdom captured in your heart; you will remember them. Finish your shower! The last thing we need is a leader walking around that does not smell so good and neither do their thoughts. Noticing the thoughts, ask yourself, what about these thoughts makes sense to me?

Have you ever heard about people that write in the middle of the night because they are so concerned that they will lose the thoughts and ideas pouring in? Is that you? I have fell for that, and for me it was a sprint to record the download I had received. At one time it was a vision that after a few years later came to fruition. I get that. What I would like to suggest instead though is this: Stay intimately involved with your thoughts for the moment. Listen. Be curious. Acknowledge. Then accept the wisdom imparted which at one point becomes your practice, and your words you use to create with. Solidify the thoughts for yourself first. Then they will become that which you express later.

We are not going to get too philosophical here, yet for me, I trust thoughts are from my Leader within and from the tempter trying to push me into the abyss of self-destructive or offensive thoughts. When you learn to trust your Leader within, you will be guided in constructive ways which will contribute to others feeling safe to explore their thoughts and come to know the truth of their own matters. Where do your thoughts come from?

Uniquely designed, you and your thoughts matter. Knowing which thoughts to abide in and act on may not always be clear. Coming to know what the true essence of unconditional love is will help you be clear. Leading in your home, community or business begins with identifying with the thoughts that you decide will be most beneficial. How do you decipher which thoughts to cash in and which to toss? Pay attention to what makes the most sense to you first. Is what you envision saying from love or frustration? How can you approach the idea differently? You may not always make the best choice, and your attempt will be the experiment. Practicing life, and as with anything, actions create consequences so be mindful of your thoughts before you speak or act.

When we pay attention to what makes sense to us first, we begin by confirming our own truth first. Right, wrong, or indifferent, your thought manifesting into an action is the starting point. What is your body doing with the thought? Being clear about why, what you are about to do, or say, matters. Being clear solidifies your quest to deliver your thoughts into words or actions. Creating in that moment, something hopefully, worthwhile. So, if you are familiar with the words, and you trust that they are those that you honor according to your values, then boom! You are golden.

When our thoughts are golden – my words for describing something worthwhile for the sake of my point, be aware of what is motivating you. What is the reason or purpose of your attempt? Who are your actions for? How are your actions affecting your children, your community, and the environment in which you are leading? What about for you? Is the intimacy of your thoughts supplying insights for creating collaborative and fair environments subjected to your leadership? How so?

Be mindful of what you say, how you say it, and with all intentions of bringing forth the nuances of those you are charged to lead, and for the sake of them leading in their unique ability.

Leadership starts from within. Acknowledging your inner Leader forms the richness of a nurturing mental state. Staying steadfast and secure in this mindset is the key for navigating life. In summary, may I suggest that you stay intimate in the shower or wherever you are when receiving thoughts. Trust the golden nuggets of knowledge for your actions. Discard those that tempt you in ways that cause destruction. The actions you take may be misconstrued by others and received in the wrong way.

Create an environment where questions are encouraged. What tone are you using to ask for feedback? Be curious about questions. What if you said, “I would love to hear your thoughts for the sake of clarity, making what we are building together a cohesive consortium of brilliant minds coming together for the sake of creativity and our mission” Or, “What are your thoughts about these ideas? What are your thoughts about creating something that will work for us all? Is there anything missing for you?”

Teach that questions supply clarity, induce creativity, and ideas are welcome and matter. Teach that curiosity rather than a right answer is how involvement begets healthy contributors. Teach how when we notice what someone is thinking may be the special piece of the puzzle needed as an identifying factor for a significant outcome.

Getting to the heart of the matter requires selection of thoughts as they unfold from either the destructive thoughts or those of constructive wisdom. Making sense of the collective dialogue and internal dialogue for groups is essential. Inform that quiet space has its purpose in meetings and is for thoughts to be considered before speaking ideas into the group. Be also mindful of those that need time to think ideas through and welcome comments later in a quick meeting or email.

Be mindful of your thoughts. Accept them as gifts which lead you to truths and stay grounded in what your leader within has given you as an assignment. Be mindful of others leading with their own unique gifting as well. We are all here to serve one another in our own unique ways. Be mindful of the wisdom you receive for your own enjoyment and mindful of those that are receiving gifts of wisdom as well.

Deflect for Truth

In an instant, words capture our attention. A tone is set so quickly our thoughts are transported to another state of mind. Recently I came into a group midway through a conversation taking place with two others. I was greeted warmly and then the leader said, “You all look stressed out”. After that statement I was asked how my weekend was. I shared that I had pretty-much sat all weekend. And the leader replied, “Ah! Sitting is like smoking cigarettes”. I was suddenly feeling disturbed. My focus was now on how I looked, and how what I had done for relaxation was not good for me. All I could do to deflect the statements was focus on my breathing which took me back to the state of mind I was in a split second ago. Can you relate to this?

It is easy to get derailed if we are not consciously aware of how we are feeling. Being in touch with how you feel is what brings about a healthy way of being. Hearing a statement made about you that is not true for you is not always easy to clear your mind from. In a split moment, our minds race to connect the dots. “What? I look stressed? I’m not stressed. Am I?” Notice what has happened? You’ve just questioned your own well-being. Your own internal awareness. So how do we turn this off to be engaged with what is in front of us?

Turning our focus from one state of mind to another simply must be a choice. In this case, I told myself to check in with my thoughts about this later. I was then able to engage with a clear focus on the group activity.

You may already know by now that we cannot control what others say or do. I was in such a great mood after a special and relaxing weekend, ready for my time in the group and I had just finished my cup of coffee that I love sipping in the morning while I gain insight from my morning study on how to live peacefully. Then in a split moment I was feeling reprimanded. I just had to quickly notice what was true for me in the moment. I was not stressed, and I was noticeably clear about what my truth was, and I was ready to be, right where I was. My focus felt distorted only momentarily.

After my meeting I took some time to review what had just happened. I was curious about the leader’s perception of me, so I just checked in with myself. 1.) I was eager to be in the meeting. 2.) I was excited to be with everyone. 3.) I did identify some minor stress about an upcoming project. 4.) Is it true? Am I stressed? My eagerness or transition coming to the class may have appeared as stress. Nope, I’m good! All systems checked! This is the time when we can feel thankful for the opportunity to check in with ourselves. Any blind spots here?

If you are a leader, one tip I have for you is rather than tell someone what they are, ask them with curiosity. “What are you feeling like right now? I’m sensing some stress. Is that true”? Allowing the person to label for themselves what their truth is. And listen to their answer. As if you were going to repeat right back to them what they just told you. (Welcome to the world of coaching!) This is a skill that is critical for effective coaches. Blind spots are hard to see. Hence the name.

Come to know what your truth is. How can you accept when someone tells you what you are?

Have you ever heard this? Kindergarten babies, born in the gravy.

This is what I heard every morning as a kindergartner as I walked past the first graders. I did not want to go to school anymore. I remember my dad asked me, “Were you born in the gravy?” And of course, my response was, “No”. And he said, “Well, then what is your problem”? The lesson here is, only we know our truth. We do not accept what anyone tells us we are. We accept what we say we are.

So, the leader’s opinion of me that was totally opposite of what I was aware of for myself, threw me for a bit of a loop.

When you find yourself with times like these, and especially when you are about to engage with someone leading that just “set the tone”, it is important to practice deflecting someone’s observation when it is not your truth. Immediately center yourself and what you are experiencing internally with how you say you are being.

It takes time to come to this point in your personal development. Even today with all the practice I have had over the years, it is true that this was not something I stewed about for days like I may have in days of the past. So, I encourage you to learn this practice. Notice, rather than react when you feel affected by any statement. Instead of being put-off or fixated on the statement, dismiss it for the moment and focus on what is in the moment. Later, if necessary, review the statement and consider anything you’d like to consider for yourself. If you are not stressed and you already know that sitting for extended periods of time is not healthy for you then be done. If you want to act and find a different way to alleviate stress that may be a healthier way, do that. And for the sake of discernment about self, for personal growth which in this case is affirming my truth, what is coming up for you? Have you ever experienced something similar for yourself? What do you want to do about it?

What Matter Has Your Focus?

What matter has your focus?

Is there something you are striving for, accepting of, in discord with, excited about, envisioning? What? Here’s a gentle reminder: Realize or remember that your focus on a matter is creating/manifesting an outcome. Seems so simple doesn’t it? Take a moment to get clear with yourself about how you are embracing the matter.

Now that you’ve identified what that may be, are you feeling discontent, tired of the same ol’ way you handle matters, ready to feel confident with how you show up and not beat yourself up because somehow you’ve convinced yourself that you were a total jerk? Or you’ve procrastinated once again in starting that heartfelt desire to do that very thing you don’t feel equipped to do. Is there a better way? What is here for you?

Consider this statement made by, Bill Carmody, PCC, “Inclusiveness starts with empathy.” He shared this when responding to a question in our virtual meeting with coaches from around the world.

When will you start being inclusive to yourself? Including your ideas as something you want to get to the heart of the matter about? When you consider a matter, imagine including empathy. Notice your own empathy to yourself first. Self evaluations work wonders and so does someone else working with you to help you see your blindspots. Once you start to develop empathy for yourself, showing up in a loving way towards yourself, it is then, in your own personal development that you will first know what that is and your focus will become one that wants to help others be with empathy towards themselves for the sake of others doing the same. Imagine the exponential impact just you can make?

What is here for you right now as you read this? Answer that for yourself. How is it that you are showing up wherever you are?

Only you can come up with what is right for you. When you develop into a developmental stage that allows you to be confident within yourself, not falsely confident, you will be able to show up in that manner and will be more engaged differently encouraging others to show up in this same way.

The facade that has equipped you with the “fake it until you make it” outcomes in your life has not acknowledged the internal dialogue that robs you of your genuine confidence. Why can’t you be as you are or speak out what matters to you? Another question to come to terms with.

If that describes you, what are you ready to be vulnerable with or about, and how will you embrace the truth of your most-incredible self?

How long will you wait to embrace yourself confidently, validate your own truth, grasp the reality of who you really are, and start the trend of meeting others in that way as well?

There is no need to hide something, rather, bring it out as a curiosity. Just take for a moment the matter, and imagine brining it forth in word. What would you do differently? Notice the creativity that comes forth. The change that happens.

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