Edition 9, Issue 36 - 2019
IN THIS ISSUE • Empowered p4 • Diversity, Inclusion … p5 • What is Focusing? p6
WELCOME.... The LIFE publication is produced quarterly. Our goal is to motivate and encourage you as you take one step at a time on the path ahead. Life is a journey with many twists and turns, valleys and mountains, laughter and sorrows. It is not always how we start that matters, rather how we choose to live everyday with the options and choices that are before us. Each edition offers articles and life stories (found in the LIFE Talks section) about peoplesâ€™ journeys and the joys, struggles and beliefs that they come to along the way. We hope that these will offer you hope with tips you can implement as you journey through life. Today, choose to live and love your life!
Table of Contents Edition 9, Issue 36 - 2019 ........................................................................................ 1
Empowered .................................................................................................... 2 Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging ................................................................. 3 What is Focusing?........................................................................................... 4 ~ LIFE Talks ~ ................................................................................................ 5 An Introvert in an Extroverted World .................................................................... 5 The Frog ................................................................................................................. 6
will pursue the passion and purpose as long as it is empowered.
Take a moment to think about how you have been wired. What does your specific equipping enable you to fulfil? I encourage you not to look at or consider anyone else but yourself at this point. Think about your personality, character, attitude, skills, life experiences, the family and culture you were born into and even your set of values and how these shape you.
What is your power source and how are you empowered to be your best? Just as a lamp needs oil and someone to light the wick, the only way for a powered device to work is for it to be plugged into the right voltage or power source and switched on. The purpose of the device can never be appreciated or valued if it is not plugged in and switched on. Worse still, at times things are plugged in and switched on yet not to the correct voltage.
Now letâ€™s consider who powers you up. Who ensures you are not only plugged into the right voltage but also switched on? In life we need others in order to accomplish our dreams. We can only get so far by ourselves. Together we can accomplish more when we are empowered by those who catch our dream or purpose and are not threatened by it. These are people who believe in us even when/if they donâ€™t see or understand the purpose or dream, challenge us, encourage us and assist us in keeping focus. These people are our investors.
When we are offered too much power we will quickly burn out, causing lasting damage to ourselves and others in our lives. If we are not plugged in to the correct power then we also canâ€™t achieve our full capacity. This can often be disempowering or discouraging as we watch others achieve goals and live their dreams. When we are empowered it gives us the authority to be who we are meant to be. It takes away the need to strive or the desire to be like others. As being empowered gives us confidence and courage to be who we are. Each of us have been crafted for a one-of-a-kind purpose. I believe that from the beginning we are equipped with what we need to fulfil our individual purpose. Our experiences, challenges and triumphs shape us to fulfil that purpose. On the journey of finding and fulfilling our purpose we can experience times of being dormant or hidden as we navigate who we are and what we need in order to be empowered for the task and journey.
There are some keys to being empowered. Two main keys are keeping hope alive while holding on with faith. Hope offers potential, possibilities and perspectives which widens our focus, letting light in to see clearly what we have rather than what we lack. Faith keeps us grounded and endorses our purpose even in the challenging times. It is not about the amount of light that lets us see clearly, rather it is knowing we have enough light to see what we need in the moment. One other thing you will require that no one else can assist you with in being empowered is ensuring you always start from a place of rest. Starting from a place of rest ensures our heart is guarded and we are at peace knowing who we are. Rest also ensures we are mindful of any doubt and fears that may arise.
The shaping process is difficult. It can be painful, mind boggling, exhausting and thrilling. It is one crazy journey that requires regular servicing/check-ups. The most important part that requires regular care is the condition of the heart. The condition of the heart will determine whether a person decides to give up or push through. It is the heart that holds the will power. The brain may want us to quit or stop when the going gets too tough, but the heart LIFE Edition 09, Issue 36
Be encouraged, get equipped for the journey, chase your dreams, fulfil your purpose!
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
and groups are missing out on the best of what people have to offer and who they are.
Trudy Buchanan Over the last few years diversity and inclusion have become hot topics. Evidence clearly suggests that implementing strategies to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace and community results in increased productivity and innovation, enhanced outcomes and communication and happier people.
How to foster a culture of belonging: •
A mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” Sundar Pichai
This topic has now expanded to include the importance of a sense of belonging.
Share stories and encourage others to share their own Allow for mistakes Include everyone and encourage involvement and input from all in the room during talks/meetings Don’t interrupt people when they do speak up Be aware of your own unconscious biases:
Affinity bias—leads us to favour people who are more like us, i.e., they look, sound and behave similarly to ourselves. With affinity bias we tend to ignore faults in people who are more like us and notice faults in people who are less like us. Whilst much of this discussion is around workplace culture and behaviour, I think the theory applies to all organisations, groups and to us as individuals. Our inherent belief structures and biases reflect in how we behave—response and reaction—and how we communicate. At the corporate level it impacts how organisational culture is formed in the groups and organisations to which we belong; at a personal level it impacts the affect we have on others with whom we relate.
Confirmation bias—leads us to search for or interpret information that confirms our existing perceptions. In other words, we will give weight to information that confirms our existing viewpoint and ignore information that might contradict it.
Belonging is a fundamental need that we are wired to seek out; it is a sense of belonging that captures our hearts. When we belong, we can become our authentic selves. Conversely, feeling like we must cover up - or put a mask on to fit in - is tiring. This means that organisations LIFE Edition 09, Issue 36
Social Comparison bias—we constantly compare ourselves to others in order to develop a sense of an individual or group identity, and we tend to see ourselves as more superior to other groups.
Eugene Gendlin is a philosopher and counsellor. He studied counselling with Carl Rogers, the founder of Person-Centred Psychotherapy. This formed the basis for Gendlin’s approach of seeing the person in the therapy room, rather than the problem or solution.
How to avoid bias: • • • •
Gendlin was influenced by Wilhelm Dilthey (another philosopher) who theorised that we first experience something before we express it, and then come to an understanding of that experience.
Be comfortable getting uncomfortable with differing opinions, ideas and otherness Challenge your first impressions and automatic thinking Know that uniqueness and difference help us learn and grow and is not necessarily conflictual, just different Accept multiple possible solutions—often there isn’t a right or wrong
Dilthey had three terms: “experiencing”, “expression” and “understanding”. Taken in the usual way, an author (artist, social creator) first has some experience, then expresses it in a
concrete work (art), and then we understand the work. But Dilthey says that experiencing is inherently also an understanding already, and also an expression. Each is a case of the other two (Gendlin, 1997, p.41).
Diversity, inclusion and belonging start with us—you and me—creating an openness towards others and a willingness to listen, affirm and accept their place beside us, their voice in the conversation and their participation in the activities and moments that make up our workplaces and communities.
Dilthey is communicating that you can’t experience something that you haven’t already felt. The two go together. Focusing helps a client tap into experiencing through taking time to find how something feels. An example may be when you go to the movies and you walk into an empty cinema, you already feel where you want to sit. You sit in a seat that you feel with an unknown knowing will be a good place. You like to sit in a certain place in a cinema, e.g., to the back left or right; in the middle to the back, up the front and a little off centre, etc. These are things that you feel within as the right place for you to sit. You are experiencing
What is Focusing? Jodie Chambers The short answer is, “a psychological term”. However, let me explain further, as I find Focusing works well both for myself and some of my clients. Focusing is a descriptive word about something we do. It is believed that clients who are successful in therapy are able to do this, and inversely, unsuccessful therapy clients fail to do this. LIFE Edition 09, Issue 36
the knowing of your comfort, then you express it by sitting in that seat and finally understand the feeling of comfort.
Bibliography Gendlin, E. T. (1997) A Process Model. New York: The Focus Institute.
I recently went to a workshop about Focusing by Akira Ikemi (he is well worth the Google). Below is an exercise that he gave the attendees to do in pairs. Why don’t you give it a try for yourself?
~ LIFE Talks ~ An Introvert in an Extroverted World
How is your life going? Take a minute to sense (feel) this and express your sense of life as an animal. Describe to your partner (or simply contemplate for yourself) what the animal is doing. (e.g., I am a sloth wishing I was a squirrel.) No need to decide if it feels right, just go with whatever animal comes to you. As you talk to your partner, (or think of the animal yourself) the animal may change.
Jodie Chambers The question of “am I an introvert or extrovert?” is one we may never have asked ourselves or that we may not be able to instantly answer. What are the definitions of each construct anyway? Better still, where is the selfhelp questionnaire that will give me my rating on the scale? Personally, I’m not much into the constant social media apps that ask me to answer obscure questions to discover what Disney character I am most like or what sort of holiday would suit me. However, I have recently been personally challenged in the area of creating space and time for myself and others. If you have read some of my previous articles, this may sound like I am repeating myself, as I have often encouraged self-care and self-awareness, congruent with LIFE Inc.’s foundations. I apologise in advance if you feel you are re-reading one of my articles.
Ikemi says, “What you are experiencing right now already understands the situation. This is the felt experiencing.” He goes on to say that if we do not take time to understand our own experiencing, then we are left open to others’ interpretations or analysing of the meaning of our experiencing. Ikemi says that he finds many of the theories interpret and then impose on the clients an experience instead of allowing the client to understand their own experience without judgement or theory being imposed. I find this can be true in some cases. However, the nature of counselling is theory-based and also conducted by people who have their own experiences, trying their best to help another person find non-judgement meaning for themselves. Counselling is conducted differently by different counsellors depending on an individual’s personality. Therefore, it stands to reason that not all personality types will necessarily work well together, while others will find a perfect fit. Ultimately, we need to first believe in our own experiences and their worth so we can come to another with openness and readiness for a non-judgemental discussion.
LIFE Edition 09, Issue 36
The Introverted Mom is a book by Jamie Martin that I have NOT read. However, I became curious about the title enough to Google a page or two. You see, as an introvert I am always looking for space for myself to just simply have a thought of my own. Or at least that is how it feels. Recently I attended professional development spanning three days, so I decided to stay on location to avoid public transport battles or having to find a carpark in the city. To say I enjoyed the solitude is an understatement….I loved it! Even the street light beaming into my room, lighting it up like a sunray 2019
and causing me to wish I had remembered to pack an eye mask was not enough to deter me from wanting to do this again. And soon.
The way I recharge my batteries is by being on my own. And I mean ON MY OWN. Not another person around me or near me. Talking on the telephone, listening to music or organising a lunch outing with a friend are all things that I am NOT interested in doing during my rejuvenating time.
There once was a little frog, who sat all alone on a great big log. “Why are you so glum?” asked another little one. “That’s a fine place to sit!” exclaimed another little widget.
Don’t get me wrong; I love doing these things and they are an absolutely necessary part of all our lives to feel we belong and to stay connected. However, a little alone time can be very beneficial as well. Now, back to the book, what piqued my interest is that one of my children is an extrovert and constantly needed to be around me when she was little. I always felt a little guilty because I was trying to get some time away from her. Just the title of this book made everything fall into place for me. I wasn’t being a bad mother by needing my child to go to day-care or kindergarten as early as possible. I was simply a mother who did her best mothering when she had time to herself. I am still that same person and do my best ‘people-ing’ when I have had some people-free time.
“Ho hum is me” sighed the little frog without glee “Where are the ones who will care and value me?” All the insects in the pond found the frog’s woesome reply very glum. They spent a lot of time thinking what could possibly be done. Many days the insects spent playing with all the froggy gent and tried to include him in all the usual merriment. But no matter the day, the game or the display,
Here is my encouragement to you as we head into a new spring season with its beautiful sunny days. To those of you fellow introverts out there, take time to do your type of nothing. To the extroverts out there, nothing means nothing. I know this will be hard for the extroverts to understand but next time you call your introverted friend and they don’t answer the phone or don’t call you back for say, a week, it is ok, they are just re-people-ing themselves.
The frog would just sit all alone on his log lamenting how to get out of the fog.
If you have a story that you would like to share with us. You can email it to email@example.com LIFE Edition 09, Issue 36
LIFE Edition 09, Issue 36
Our goal is to motivate and encourage you as you take one step at a time on the path ahead.