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Author: Kallista

Don’t trust your blind spot

Don’t trust your blind spot

Don’t trust your Blind spot.

Often we cannot see our own issues – and we often lack the right angle to see the dynamics between ourselves and those we are closest too.  From our partner, our children, our close colleagues or friends and neighbours there are times where we just cannot see the forest for the trees.

We may be caught in our blind spot for many reasons. Whatever is triggering the lack of perspective be it; naïveté, habit, an inaccurate perception or haste – we all have reasons why we just do not see and catch certain things. That’s okay – but do you know what your blind spot is – so that you or those around you can adjust for it.  Do you know when to call in another set of eyes – another point of view when needed.  Have you given them permission to call you out?

Do you know when to not trust yourself or when not to trust those who ‘should know’ the answer?

I received a text with directions to my friends home – I had been there once before as her passenger. She resided in that house throughout her childhood, moved out to attend University, marry, etc and twenty years later resided there again to be with her mother following her father’s passing.  She probably came and went out of that house, traveling those same streets, thousands of times over the last forty years. I read the instructions and thought – they don’t make sense. Who was I to trump my single experience over her  thousands of trips on that same path.  I should be turning left not right onto her street I thought.  Previously in our travels out and about town she admitted to being directionally challenged, and hence knew she had a blind spot in that area. The instructions she provided were ‘make a left then a right ‘- somehow she had transposed them and the next day – I made a right then a left onto her street.  My instinct caught her blind spot thus facilitating the orienteering.  Sometimes we loose objectivity the closer something is to us and the best thing to do is to distrust the source. Including when the source is ourselves.

I was at a dance last week and a woman dancing near our table was wearing a tank top style dress.  Her partner and her were strong dancers so I took the liberty of watching and admiring their skill.  She had a tattoo across her upper back.  Not something she could see for herself – but for everyone watching it was obvious.   Some of our character traits are like that.  I saw the tattoo more than her dance partner..   In a basic Fox Trot or Waltz, they would be face-to-face for the majority if not all of the dance. An inexperienced lead will limit things so that he only ever sees the front of her. An experienced dancer can comfortably lead her in a manner such that when he puts her into a spin he catches glimpses of her back.

The stronger the lead, the more he sees of his partner as they transition through various dance styles over the course of an evening. Like the tattoo, many of our character traits don’t need to be discussed for others to note them. They surface automatically as plain as day for others to see.

As on the dance floor, someone less competent will hold back, restricted – trying to control the situation. The lack of trust / competency  results in an unwillingness to be vulnerable or to expose her back side, her blind spot.   Thus regardless of how experienced the lead is he is more limited with an inexperienced partner than a solid – comfortable – adept partner that knows their capabilities and their weaknesses.  A woman who can relax in her own skin and is comfortable within her self and on the dance floor of life will be comfortable with all the rotations and spins her partner can give her and will be comfortable and confident when situations exist where her blind spot might be exposed shall we say.

We all have blind spots. Management courses talk about the elements that we don’t know that is plain as day for others.  In dance – the more you learn the stronger the leader you will be and/or the stronger you will be able to follow.   Having the capacity to take or relinquish control of the situation for the right reasons at the correct level based on the skill set of both your partner and you.   So too in life.  Minimizing our blind spot is a noble pursuit – but elimination of the blind spot is impossible.  Surround yourself with people you trust when you can’t trust yourself,  Then you’ll know that there will always be coverage for your back side.

Do you have weeble power?

Do you have weeble power?

Do you remember weebles?  Maybe not – I could be dating myself  here.  Weebles are those egg shaped characters weighted inside at the base.  The commercial jingle was – “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”

Are you resilient? Can you bounce back – Physically? Mentally? Emotionally?  When you are given a push do you topple or just wobble?  Life will press against us  – testing our centre of gravity.  The economy, world events, the stock market, transitions, business and personal situations,  be it a lay off or a health crises, among a hundred other issues that could challenge us. At the end of the day … they all impact us and our resiliency is tested.

Resiliency is sometimes easier said than done. Is your strength of character strong enough to rebound? Can you adjust to changing circumstances? The inner core of our being is where our strength lies. It involves deeper levels of internal power and strength.  Our real power – that internal chutzpah is cultivated over time. It is important to be able to take the hits that life throws us and then bounce back adjusting and adapting to new situations.  When we have the ability to return to a state of equilibrium we know we can take on more challenges and more risks. With weeble power we have the confidence to move forward and reach new levels.

Trusting that you will find your weeble within.

Every hero has a mission

Every hero has a mission

In fairy tales the heroic slayed dragons and rescued princesses. Their life went beyond self-serving interests to extending beyond themselves to aid others. Protecting, guiding, and assisting the less fortunate made them noble regardless of their success. We salute their cause and their effort. Their purpose gave them a reason to move forward into areas of discomfort, overcoming possible fears, and encountering less than idyllic conditions.

The size of one’s purpose isn’t critical. Providing a focus and direction for one’s actions is key. A desire to improve or change current circumstances for another can be enough. Something as simple as parents creating Halloween costumes, or giving someone a ride can be enough to stimulate the heroic mindset. In those favour-granting moments where we have a task that extends beyond ourselves our energy shifts.

Living with a purpose allows us access to new levels of creativity and ingenuity. Ideas and solutions just emerge enabling us to troubleshoot our way to a solution. Partnering with those around us creating forged bonds, our connectedness in intention overrides petty differences. A synergy is created through our commitment to something more. Having a purpose makes all that we do meaningful.

Loss can be a good thing

Loss can be a good thing

The root word of loss is linked with losing. We associate both with negativity.  Early on in life we we learn losing is rarely the preferred option. Loss is usually associated with something negative; a possession disappears, tie or opportunities squandered. Losing is not what we want. Yet by not winning it does not mean that through loosing we are not gaining.

When we loose something, we are stuck by the absence of what was or could be. We  forget how often loosing can be a good thing. We have yet to adjust to the new opportunity.

Dieters celebrate lost weight. Losing your job, a possession, an opportunity, or friend, can be a good thing. Although  the initial perspective may be negative, for terminated individuals, the end perspective can be more empowering as there new positions exceeded their previous positions. Reflecting on my losses in life, I can see how it became a good thing. When truth is told, typically sluggishness was present. The lost item no longer enhanced my life and truth be told – the loss was often a blessing in disguise. New opportunities quickly surfaced and found their way into the void. Loss typically allows for the correction of realigning yourself with your potential. Through loss we reflect on what is important and realize new  opportunities await.

Cultivate friendships to bring out the best in you

Cultivate friendships to bring out the best in you

For a myriad of reasons our friendships shift on an ongoing basis throughout life. Many changes occur in stride, others are more conscious. Friendships can become stale or lose their zest. Occasionally you may want to assess your friendships.  If you feel a lack perhaps it is time to cultivate something new to more accurately reflect who you are today.

If stagnant or drifting relationships, from a shift in life’s events, cannot be reinvigorated then pursue other friendships. Look for individuals that have common interests or where there is a matching intellectual or emotional depth. Pursue individuals that can have a positive influence on you. Associates through work, athletic pursuits, or other connecting threads may be of a friendly nature but acquaintances may or may not be friendship material.  Those associates are a good place to start to cultivate new friendships.  The extra effort involved in reconnecting with old friends or scheduling time with some one new can be well worth the investment.

Good friends are accepting of your differences and leave you feeling better for having spent time together.  Two colleagues of mine, Brian and David, went golfing together.  I recall hearing about the game afterwards where Brian stated  “I like who I am when I’m with him”.  Look for friendships where you are left feeling stronger at ease, relaxed, inspired, or perhaps just more content. Most importantly – Do you like who you are when you are with them.

Turning buts into ands

Turning buts into ands

When we talk about hopes and bounce around ideas for the future, what do we hear?   At times there is the purity of the dream  – “One day I”m going to…”. Other times, attached stowaways wreck havoc on our dreams. These stowaways typically begin with the word ‘but’, thus holding us hostage, preventing us from achieving our desires.   We have heard a litany of excuses coming out of our own mouths and those around us.  It is easy to be struck down by the Nay Sayers that hijack our desires so that we end up doubting if it is possible at all.

For example

I would like to return to school  (or insert alternate goal of choice) …..

but, I lack; time, money, …
but, it’s a lot of work
but, I’m too busy, old, young, short, tall, bu
I don’t have the support, contacts, resources,
I don’t know   how
My spouse, doctor, boss, kids, mother ….
I”m afraid of ….
Change it to ” I am going to go back to school  and looking for a way to find the time, money, …” . Alternatively ‘I am going back to school and it’s okay for me to be different than my classmates”.

When the buts become ands your perspective will have made the first shift necessary. With the awareness that it is possible, being one step closer to achieving your goals and dreams.  In wanting to return to school, with no budget, I found a way to apply for a bursary.  One bursary one course one semester.   A small insignificant baby steps perhaps – but it was a step.  The next semester, another bursary another course.  At that point in time I I found a way to eliminate the but and in dismissing the hijacker found a way.   Slow and steadily is an acceptable rate of progress.  With the shift in perspective then your perception will begin looking for the next thing to put into place.  You will find answers to the ‘how can I’ while dismissing the ‘why I can’t’.   You will be on a path of action, regardless of the chosen speed, becoming closer and closer to making your dream a reality.

Prescription – a health dose of anxiety

Prescription – a health dose of anxiety

If you are feeling anxious – don’t assume it is all for nothing. Anxiousness is often immediately perceived as negative. Anxiety itself is not 100% bad. Anxiousness comes because we are worried or concerned, about the end result of an upcoming event. Bluntly put: people who don’t care – don’t care. If you don’t care about the end result you won’t be anxious. Being prone to anxiety can also mean you are prone to competency.  People with anxiety issues are often strong planners.  Anxiety is a signal that you have a bigger commitment. That concern we feel will have us put in extra attention to ensure a job well done. Successful people are anxious from time to time. People with high standards or high goals are interested and concerned about the outcome.

Anxiety can be a sign of growth. Typically anxiety occurs when we are tackling a new assignment. Perhaps we are taking on a challenge that is unfamiliar to us. We could be entering into new situations that lead to unfamiliar territory. Anxiety is often part of learning, new circumstances, or new events. We are stretching ourselves. If you were never anxious about anything, my concern would be that perhaps you aren’t growing or taking on new challenges. As the saying goes, ‘a ship in harbour is safe but that’s not what ships were built for/.

Take the kink out

Take the kink out

I had a book as a child – it talked about inventions that man had made inspired by their animal counter parts.  From the anteater (vacuum) to the elephant’s trunk) garden hose  Nature and working with nature’s design can be extremely effective.

As a child I would  also watch my father take the newspaper into the washroom in the evenings disappearing for 30-45 minutes at a time. There are many things that I didn’t know then that  I have learnt since.  I wish I could go back in time, given him the information I now know and alleviate a daily challenge for him.

We all understand the conceit of being in the garden and when a garden hose is kinked it stops the pressure.  Some of us may have even played tricks on our friends with a water fight and the ability to kink the house was a saving grace at times.  Or perhaps someone drove over a hose and stopped the pressure all together. The greater the bend in the hose the greater the kink and thus the harder it is to water the garden. For  maximum effectiveness a straight hose is preferred.   We all know this and learnt it as a child.

Years ago, upon request a friend built me a wooden foot stool.   A handy commodity which I appreciated as it made certain jobs easier.

Our bodies are built in such a way that the bodies internal hose is fully kinked(closed) while standing and fully open while squatting.   A coworker was uncomfortable one day as a result of a  biological back up.   I suggested that he bring in a foot stool when he went home to sit.   He was amazed at the speed of his results.

Sometimes we need to contend with the kink. In lieu of slipping a foot stool into your pocket or purse when traveling, be it local day trips  or longer foreign excursions  you can always kick up your Vitamin C intake as it will lubricate the passage way.   When one is fighting a cold or flu or other infection – you know you have reached the saturation point necessary to support the immune system when the pipes are well greased.  When packing to go abroad  as an alternative to grandmas prunes you can pack the Vitamin C – for  double the insurance.

 

 

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http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1447067.Bert_s_Hall_Of_Great_Inventions

Relajrse

Relajrse

I remember the location and the student that said it. I can still picture his face under his ball cap with his feet outstretched before him, sitting in the front, two rows in from the wall on my left.

I was their Rookie English Teacher at the University.  A native Canadian in the middle of the Mexican mountains, still adjusting to mexican ways and a foreign country.  I had my knickers in a knot about something.  I don’t remember what now but this wayward student who was half my age pegged the truth with a bullseye in that moment.  Relajrse – as my brain riffled through my sparse but growing Spanish vocabulary the meaning hit me as I found the transition.  Relax – one word yet it shot through me like an arrow as my brain captured the translation, grasped the meaning and let it take hold. Relax – I could relax in this moment and not take this issue, which I’ve long since forgotten – so seriously.  The issue that had my knickers in a not that day was probably irrelevant a week later – but the lesson of that one word uttered through the classroom – took hold and has stayed with me for several years now.

Life will move forward and that which needs to happen will happen. In this moment I can say what I can say and do what I can do and I can relax as there is nothing more that can be done. Somethings are just out of control and beyond my sphere of influence.

Ahhh yes – Relarjse.