One of the things we often do as we grow older is looking back at our life and relationships and wonder, “what have I done to deserve this?! I’m a good person! What am I doing wrong?!” Sometimes you also think, “After all I’ve done for them!”
It’s frustrating, I know.So here’s a hint.
Take a look at your expectations.How do you identify your expectations?You recognise them when you notice yourself using the words: ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘I don’t have any choice’, always’, ‘never’, either preceded with an ‘I’ or a ‘they’.
So, after all these years caring for other people you now wonder why your life or parts of your life look and feel the way they do (not good).
If you want to make changes, improve the quality of your life and relationships then you might find it useful to take a look at Continue Reading…
A lot of the women who want to work with me often tell me how lonely and discouraged they feel.
After years of being productive and making a difference they now, having stopped work for a year or two, sometimes longer, feel bombarded by people’s expectations that their brain has turned off, their body shrivelled up, stop dressing up and put on that little cardi. What’s the point? They no longer have anything worthwhile to offer. In other words, they expect them to become invisible.
And the drip, drip, drip effect acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Eventually, you get to believe it too, that you really have no other option but to slow down, give up, give in. Then, sooner or later, you begin to feel hopeless, useless, over the hill – THE END! Just writing this makes me shudder. Uggghhh!!!
Don’t let them do this to you! Here’s Continue Reading…
Normally we think about goals (or resolutions) in the New Year. But New Year Resolutions are notoriously linked to failure. For various reasons they usually fizzle out in less than a month.
Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, here’s an alternative approach:
The first step of list 1 would be about the things you’d like to do and have, for example a holiday in some exotic part of the world or a successful business.
The second step is to refine each item on your list into something more tangible and specific, for example which particular country would be exotic enough for you? When would you like to go? How much would it cost? Who would you like to go with?
What exactly does success mean to you – then Continue Reading…
Here’s what I know about compassion – compassion is the philosophy of kindness and empathy.
There are some fundamental values that need to be in place for us to be genuinely compassionate.
We need to focus on what we have in common with others instead of on our differences – things like shared suffering, a desire to love and be loved, to be happy, to be seen and acknowledged.
Following on from this, compassion is the desire to alleviate somebody’s suffering. This may sound straight-forward but my immediate thought (rightly or wrongly) was – “as long as it doesn’t require fixing and rescuing them!” I know that’s my stuff.
I believe the difference between being compassionate and being a ‘fixer-rescuer’ is that the intention of compassion is to alleviate someone’s suffering which is welcome and appreciated while ‘fixing and rescuing’ tends to ignore what the other person wants because ‘we know what’s best for them’.
OK, I now get it that alleviating somebody’s suffering is at the heart of being compassionate.
So where does Continue Reading…
I’m always puzzled when I read an article about some celebrity who died of, say, cancer and the praise they heap over them about their acceptance of their condition without complaining. These people keep their pain and suffering to themselves because, they say, they don’t want to burden the people they love which sounds admirable. Society regards them as strong, a quality it seems to generally approve.
That got me thinking because I generally feel uncomfortable around ‘strong’ people. I tend to describe them as ‘the-stiff-upper-lip-brigade’, not a species I admire, as a rule.
I started wondering what the difference is between being strong and being Continue Reading…
We like to think that loving somebody is straight-forward but, actually, it’s not. It’s complicated by our background, our past experience, and our values and beliefs.
I always believed that you express your love by doing something nice for somebody, not just your partner but family and friends as well. Part of me had the (not so) hidden agenda that, this way, people would be drawn to me because I was such a loving and generous person.
That belief was thoroughly shaken up when I met Jeremy. Jeremy was an old man, a street person. He was homeless.
Most people believe that reality is – well, reality. And they also believe that their reality is the same for everything else. It’s not something people usually think about. They just accept that “it is as it is” without ever questioning it.
But the fact is that reality is however we happen to experience something. What we believe is reality is actually a combination of how we perceive and interpret everything that happens to us. This is huge because, if you decided to change the way you interpret a particular event, your reality would change immediately.
Here’s an example which you may have come across more than once in relationships.
Think of Continue Reading…
This is a provocative question, I know, but it needs to be asked. Most people avoid thinking about it. One reason is that they’re afraid of what they might find if they start looking. Or they may believe it’s a waste of time. But not only is it not a waste of time – it’s the only way you can do something about it; to change how you experience your relationships and situation. Read on if there are parts of your life or relationships that you don’t really like.
So here’s another provocative comment: You decide how you experience what you call your reality. The fact (yes, fact) is that very little has any meaning at all except the meaning you attach to something and what you do as a result.
Many studies of adult identical Continue Reading…
Having felt lonely in my marriage for most of its 37 years and blaming my husband, Jim, for it, I discovered, when I finally reached my dream of having a home of my own, a home where I really and truly belonged, that I still felt lonely except now, I didn’t have him there to blame.
Because I really didn’t like feeling lonely, I decided to try and figure out how I was making myself lonely. Yes, you read correctly – how I was making myself lonely.
This is what I discovered: I pretended to be a hero.
My definition of hero is where I would Continue Reading…
Sounds like the title of one of those old films, doesn’t it? But there’s nothing frivolous about the question.
When some of my older clients start working with me, they often say the same thing, “Now that I’m retired, I seem to have become the invisible woman!”
How does one become an invisible woman when, before they retired, they were out there, making a contribution, making a difference?
I have a friend, a very special woman. She’s vibrant, alive, USEFUL! She also has a close family and loving friendships. She’s 87 years of age. She told me recently, that there were some people who started asking her “When are you going to slow down?” Her reply, invariably, is “Why should I?” and is genuinely Continue Reading…