17 December 2013

Ho, Ho, Ho or Ho Hum?

The festive season has arrived and Christmas is everywhere ... in the shops, on the net, in our homes and in our heads! Yet this season of good cheer and goodwill sometimes has the opposite effect on our hearts ... ho, ho, ho becomes ho hum for some.

The loving meaning of Christmas can get lost in the endless list making, shopping stress and family drama that accompanies the end of the year madness.

If this applies to you ... stop and take a breath and ask yourself: “What does this time of year really mean to me? ... Who am I choosing to BE?”  When you get clear about what you are choosing to have things mean, you can choose to reframe “ho hum” to “ho, ho, ho” any time you like! When you focus on who you are being while you do whatever you do, you get to experience each and every moment as sacred and loving irrespective of what is happening around you.

My choice for this festive season is no different to my choice for the rest of the year ... to be the most loving, open, honest, aware and responsible me I can be. Sometimes I experience effortless flow and magic and sometimes obstacles, frustration and stuff-ups. Yet when I remember that only love is real and the fearful moments are simply there to remind me who and how to be, I relax and accept whatever is happening as ok. The key is in the remembering that who I am is perfect love.

My wish for you this Christmas is that you remember who you are and when ho, ho, ho becomes ho hum, you stop and take a breath and remember ... it’s always your choice.

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year."

Charles Dickens

19 November 2013

Tough Talk

Lately I have encountered many people with the same concern ...
How to have a tough/difficult/confronting conversation without any upset/anger/push-back etc.
Well the simple truth is ... you can’t.

Having a tough or difficult conversation is just that because of how you feel ...
And because you don’t want to feel the feelings and you don’t want the other (or others) to feel them either, you go along NOT confronting the issue/situation all the while feeling strongly that which you want to avoid!

There is no short-cut here or way to side-step the emotional reality of conflict. Conflict is emotionally challenging and the most effective thing you can do is accept that feelings will be felt and expressed - and that’s ok. Feelings won’t kill you, feeling the things that are uncomfortable leads you to see what you make things mean and how you can change if you choose. Feelings are not facts; they are simply feelings and they let you know how you feel ... which is why you are experiencing/addressing a conflict in the first place.

So take a deep breath ... remember that you (and they) are ok, lovable and valuable (even though you feel anything but that) and be willing to acknowledge the feelings as well as the ‘facts’ in the communication.

It may get messy and yes, you probably will feel vulnerable and exposed ... and if you detach from making any of it a personal attack, remember that who you are is love, communicate CONTEXT first then content, keep breathing and allow the emotional energy to be expressed and released ... you will get to peace and harmony.

"Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict."

William Ellery Channing

22 October 2013

Feeling Guilty

I read a great blog last week by Colin Pearce, where he made the distinction that guilt is not a feeling ... it’s a state. The example he used was when someone is pronounced “guilty” by a court of law it means they “... broke the law and it is now declared”. He goes onto say that feeling something about the declaration - remorseful, angry, humiliated, etc. - is not mandatory ... it’s a choice. Guilt is state and how you feel about it is up to you.

The way I see it, guilt is like yoghurt ... it has a use-by date or it goes off. It serves a very essential purpose and that is to confront you with a truth about your behaviour that is not in alignment with who you are. And it provides the opportunity to take responsibility for whatever you have done, to make amends and choose again to BE who you are, to stand for your grandest version of the greatest vision you can have of yourself in each and every moment.

Yet, so often, feelings of remorse, regret, anger etc. become all consuming in the midst of a guilty reaction. Shame is usually the catalyst and when it arises, needs to be acknowledged, allowed and released ... so breathe and allow and breathe and allow and breathe ... until the energy shifts and you can see your way through the illusion of fear back to love.

It’s not easy, particularly when you have a strong story to reinforce your feelings ... and it is possible to allow the feelings to come and go by simply remembering that only love is real and everything else is simply a call to love.

Choose to BE love as the context for who you are and do lovingly all that you do - including responding to your feelings - and you will experience your feelings as a resource for growth rather than a hindrance to your joy.

"Pain in life is inevitable, but misery is optional."

Henry Ward Beecher

17 September 2013

What Does It All Mean?

The simple and short answer is: whatever you decide things mean is what they mean because your perception is your reality in the paradigm of cause. And whatever you decide is true is what you experience as truth. In order to have a different experience, you need to change your beliefs and filters so you perceive something else as truth. The wider your viewing platform, the deeper your filter, the more complete your truth will be.

As a nation we decided that a change of Government was inevitable and necessary because whatever the policy issues: eg, we have to save this beautiful country from “the budget crisis” (really?) and “illegal asylum seekers swamping our shores” (not true), I believe the main reason many people voted LNP for the first time, is the lying, betrayal and appalling behaviour and obfuscating communication by the Labor Party had become so intolerable that it was time to punish.

Yet the other truths (and facts) have no discernible impact or influence on what the majority of people perceive as truth and as we tend to choose our response based solely on what we perceive and believe is happening, the change we chose was inevitable!

So what’s next?

The opportunity always is to become informed and aware of what else is occurring in you and around you so that you can make decisions and choices based on the whole of what is happening and not just a small slice of filtered fear-fuelled opinion and rhetoric, sourced in fear and delivered via the popular media as truth.

You and I get to choose what everything means so I am choosing to view this election outcome as a huge opportunity for sustainable change. For all politicians, leaders and you, it is an opportunity to remember and act like we are ALL connected, we are not a separate island in isolation but rather part of a global community of human beings who all deserve to be who they are no matter what they believe. It is an opportunity to do what you say and be open and honest with yourself and each other and all of us. It is an opportunity to treat each other with respect, kindness and love irrespective of differing opinions. And it is a profound opportunity to remember that only love is real and (the illusion of) fear is simply a call for love.

"Love really changes things"
Marianne Williamson, Illuminata

20 August 2013

Let's Talk About Sex

Actually I want to talk about the impending Australian Federal Election on September 7th and specifically to share my interview with Fiona Patten (yes, we are related) President of The Australian Sex Party.

Why the name “Sex Party”?

It’s difficult in this political climate for a minor party to get noticed. Quite frankly, we chose the name to get attention. And it is relevant to every single human being ... let’s face it, without sex, none of us would be here.

What does The Sex Party actually stand for?

Fundamentally we are a civil liberties party. It’s about people taking control of their own lives and being responsible for their own lives. We have a range of policies addressing civil liberty issues and a key concern is the influence of organised Christian religion on political policy and politicians. We are a secular society and as such need to be fully represented..but we are not. We believe in freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

What about honesty, truth and authenticity in politics?

It’s almost an oxymoron!

Honestly politicians (and all people really) would do so much better if they were honest with themselves and others. It’s about being honest about their own ego driven agendas for the way they behave and the decisions they make. But the way it works at the moment is many check their morals and values at the door because they are fearful if they don’t join one of the two major parties and tow the party line,  they won’t get elected.

This minority government was a positive thing for democracy, for Australia, and for considered policy. It created a voice for minorities to be heard and considered and raised the level of debate. The Government had to consider a variety of views and positions before any legislative change was made. And Julia Gillard’s government passed more legislation than any other government that I am aware of.

Unfortunately all we have been focussing on is the behaviour of the personalities rather than the work that has gone on and the monumental legislative changes that have been made. This has been glossed over in favour of the constant bickering of the politicians.

Why are you are campaigning to get elected to The Senate?

The Senate is a House of Review. And it exists, as Don Chipp said: “...to keep the bastards honest”.

The role of a Senator is to represent their whole state, not just an electorate and thus Senators need to take a wider view and consider the whole, the bigger picture when adopting policy and passing legislation.

Why vote for the Sex Party?

It is hard to tell the differences between the Labor and Liberal blue ties and now both parties are being run by men who are strongly influenced by conservative elements in the church.

From drug law reform to same sex marriage we now trail much of the Western world. If you care about these basic human rights and want to live in a country where they are preserved, we need people to vote for the Sex Party. In the parliament we are the only party who will dedicate all our efforts to fighting this civil liberties slide. We cannot afford to be complacent.

We are one of the very few countries in the world who have a 2 party preferred system rather than a wide range of diversity to improve and expand the debate. When you have a greater representation of philosophy and beliefs, you have more thoughtful policy and legislation and that’s better for everyone.

In this election there will be 54 small parties vying for your vote and I believe this simply reflects discontent with what’s happening right now with our major parties. Unfortunately the vast majority of these minor parties are not progressive at all. In order to create real change and growth as a nation, we have to become more progressive and inclusive and not be pushed back by the conservative right...the people who want things to stay the way they never really were!


If you believe in your basic human right to freely choose how to live your life, if you believe you are responsible for yourself and your life and want freedom from mico-managing by conservative politicians and their fearful need to legislate the minutiae of human behaviour ... choose to support your fundamental right to choose and vote for the Sex Party on September 7, 2013.

"Your life, your choice."

Fiona Patten, President, The Australian Sex Party

23 July 2013

Just Choose!

Making choices is simple ... just choose.

And that’s where it can get really complicated for you when faced with making an important decision. The thinking mind gets engaged in frantically sorting though the options, making pro vs con lists and endlessly checking the weight of judgement. It’s particularly frustrating when you only have two options ... not much choice going on ... rather more a dilemma! Either/or is often neither and the spiral of thinking and swinging from one to the other is exhausting. And nothing changes until you make a choice.

When you make a choice something happens, not necessarily what you expect and something always shows up. And when it does, pay attention to your immediate energetic response. That will let you know how to respond … .i.e. make the next choice then something else shows up, then you take responsibility for whatever it is and choose again.

This also poses a conundrum for you. What to choose? What is the right choice? How can I be sure I have made the right decision? Blah, blah, blah ... Once again the thinking mind intrudes and you are on a fast tack to nowhere decisive or satisfying.

The paradigm of I Create The Whole Of My Own Reality means you get to choose whatever you choose to choose! There are no limits to the number of choices you can make ... you have as many options as you can imagine you have and you are free to choose whatever you want to choose. 

So stop ... take a breath ... get present ... and remember:

Who you are is magnificent, powerful, lovable, valuable creative being.
Choose what you really, really, really, really want as an outcome.
Detach from future projecting and managing every detail of the the process.
Take responsibility for what shows up and choose again ... and again ... and again ...

Don’t get superstitious with this either ... it’s not a magic lamp with a genie giving you only 3 wishes so you'd better be careful! You have unlimited power to choose and unlimited choices ... go for it!

"Choose what you have and you’ll have what you choose"

25 June 2013

Take A Break From Negativity

I was just talking with my brother Eric, who lives in San Diego, about what's happening in our respective worlds. We were acknowledging how much polarised and polarising spin there is everywhere we look these days. Our TV screens are filled with constant hype judgements, and half-truths. Our newspapers, magazines, radio shows and internet social media's sites are awash with opinion and points of view and fear-filled rubbish masquerading as news.

It appears our media has become a breeding ground for strong judgmental opinion and fear-mongering asserted as truth; for made up and beat up stories that have a sliver of basis in fact and a whole raft of half-truths and heavily filtered points of view presented as the truth.

No wonder there is so much worry and stress and anxiety in our modern age. Everything is instantaneous and so whatever you think, feel or do can be made public and disseminated around the globe in mere seconds. Add to that the relentless flow of negative chatter that you ingest consciously and unconsciously every day and it's a recipe for high stress and dysfunction.

Eric's key message is pretty simple: "Take a break from negativity. Stop ingesting all the rubbish. Stop watching, reading and listening to all the crap. It does you no good and it's all made up anyway.
Turn off the TV and the PC and the mobile devices, play a game, talk to your family, sit and breathe, go for a walk, stare out the window ... just take a break."

Pretty simple. Flick the switch and take charge of your mind, your thoughts, your feelings and your knowing. Be loving, be open and choose what to feed your heart, your mind and your soul.

"Garbage in, garbage out"


28 May 2013

Communicating Meaning Is Key

No matter what is going on, whether it be a disagreement with another person or tension in a group or war between nations ... the key to resolution is always, always, always communication - particularly communicating what you mean.

Everything starts and ends with some form of communication. Not just the words that are spoken or written but also the energy within that informs all your communication - the energy of you and the energy of the meaning you give everything, the energy of feeling called emotion generated by your thinking mind and felt in your physical body.

The whole you is always communicating something and when you communicate the whole of what you mean and intend, the other person (or people) have less room to make up stuff, less room to "mis-understand" you and less room to start a "war".

Always, always, always - the key to effective communication is whether or not you share openly, honestly, clearly, directly and completely in every interaction.

Once again, a simple formula that is often hard to enact consistently because your habit is to withhold something, usually how you really feel and what you really want!

So, say what you mean - give context - before you blah all the content. That way the other will get what you mean rather than just make up their own.

Say it all ... what you feel and what you think as well as what you want as an outcome of the communication and take ownership of the whole.

Go all the way, have the 100% conversation and take responsibility for whatever comes back ... respond from love and keep communicating until the energy shifts ... and it will when you take responsibility for the whole communication.

"First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak."


23 April 2013

How To Have Productive Meetings

In my communication culture work with business owners, leaders and teams one issue that arises again and again is “meeting madness”. You know what I am talking about...the seemingly endless meetings that litter your diary on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. There are meetings to talk about meetings, meetings to find out what’s going on, meetings to discuss this and that and meetings that seem to have no purpose or outcome, leaving everyone wondering what that was all about ...

This “meeting madness” of getting together without a clear purpose or outcome is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. The impact is “meeting reluctance” where people turn up but don’t show up, where people share some stuff but not themselves and where the experience is less than satisfying or complete. And often the end result is having to schedule another meeting to deal with what wasn’t addressed!

As always in the paradigm of cause, it is quite simple to create productive and effective meetings ... all the time, every time.

How To Have A Productive Meeting

  1. Before you begin, make sure everyone present is actually in the room. Not just the skin-bag flopped in a chair, but really present, in their body, and ready to engage. Ask everyone to close their eyes and breathe for a few minutes.
  2. Identify and communicate the purpose of the meeting.
  3. Determine the outcome(s)/results required and/or desired.
  4. If required, distribute an agenda prior to the meeting.
  5. Decide on a timetable and stick to it.
  6. Appoint someone to be responsible for keeping the meeting focused and on purpose.
  7. Ensure everyone involved knows the purpose and outcomes before you begin.
  8. Any items raised that are not on purpose/on the agenda get noted to be dealt with at a later date.
  9. Before you begin, request everyone agree to keep the meeting on purpose, on time and to achieve the stated outcomes.
  10. Review: agenda items completed/held over; action items and timelines allocated; meeting outcomes achieved.

When you are clear about your purpose and outcomes before you begin, meetings fulfill their purpose and everyone benefits.

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

26 March 2013

Creating Conflict

Avoiding conflict used to be my main go-to strategy when faced with the possibility of causing a reaction. I did not want to confront anyone with anything too emotionally loaded because I did not want to feel guilty, upset, or wrong.

A while ago, I realised that constantly withholding my deeper feelings and automatic reactions was not resolving anything. All that happened was more of the same, over and over again. And I still felt scared of what I was feeling and what you may feel if I ever revealed how I really felt. What a racket!

I decided it was time to stop avoiding conflict and instead, learn how to deal with it effectively. To begin with, my conflict resolution methods resulted in more conflict and lots of feelings. After many occasions of going almost all the way then pulling back ... again and again, I decided to stop avoiding the feelings (which only made them more intense all round) and go there anyway. Rather than shut down and withhold even more, I chose to keep breathing and keep communicating and keep feeling until the energy shifted and the conflict was truly resolved.

Until the next time ...

And there is always a "next time" as shown by my experiences over this past month. I would love to say that I have nailed it (whatever "it" is!) and conflict resolution is a breeze for me these days. Alas ... it is not. Sometimes resolution is fairly easy, yet lately, I have been deciding that what is occurring really is a very personal attack on me and I then feel wrong and upset and angry and all sorts of things I don't like to feel.

My avoidance and reactions to conflict simply show me where the "not-good-enough" context still informs my feelings and thus my behaviour. Much of my life I have feared being wrong so I have developed very sophisticated and elegant strategies for avoiding any conflict where I could be perceived as being wrong. And when I chose to stop avoiding conflict, I also chose (albeit without consciousness at the time) to stop avoiding this version of the "not-good-enough" stuff ...

And therein lies the loving intention in my choice to keep creating conflict: It provides many opportunities to fully acknowledge the "not-good-enough" stuff and return to love.

"We often must become painfully aware of the unworkability of a pattern before we're willing to give it up."

Return To Love by Marianne Williamson

26 February 2013

You Are Not Your Feelings

Who you are is perfect LOVE - pure, simple, boundless, limitless, joyous, expansive, creative, powerful ... LOVE.

Yet, what you often feel is anything but that ... AND yet, you are the one who chooses to feel the way you feel. Jill Bolte-Taylor made the observation that emotion (energy-in-motion) takes 90 seconds to complete it’s journey though you and be done. If any feelings lasts longer than 90 seconds ... you must be doing something to make them stay ... you start to feel something, then you agree with whatever meaning you make out of the feeling then you feel it even more and on it goes ... sometimes for a lifetime!

Now you may not like this or understand it ... in fact I can hear the silver-tongued fearful ego voice in your head saying ... ”this is nuts, I don’t choose all my feelings, sometimes other people just make me feel stuff”.

No they don’t. No one can make you choose anything you do not choose. You always have a choice even when you feel you do not. The truth about “I didn’t have a choice” is actually: “I did not like any of the other options so I chose the least painful/awful of what was available to me at the time”.

So, who taught you how to feel your feelings?
Where did you learn how to respond to what you are feeling rather than react?

My guess is ... no one did.
In fact, you have probably had little or no education or training in what feelings are, what they mean and how to use them as a resource for change rather than as a reason to stay wounded and suffering.

Consider this:  How much of your life have you spent feeling that you are not good enough - not worth enough, or deserving enough or pretty enough or smart enough or successful enough or strong enough or brave enough or lucky enough or quick enough or calm enough or ... just not enough?

Well enough of feeling not ok, enough of doubting your own loving heart, enough of choosing the illusion of fear when only love is real. Enough of pretending to be who you are not when the truth about who you really are is magnificent.

Step One:

Choose to accept you are ok, lovable, valuable, powerful and unlimited EVEN WHEN you don’t feel it. Let go of needing to figure it all out rationally and just accept that you are LOVE and let yourself BE.

Step Two:

When you start to feel anything at all ... pause for a moment, take a breath, get present in your own body, breathe, and let the feeling (energy-in-motion) move through you - remember 90 seconds and the energy will shift.

If you find yourself getting involved with your fearful thinking mind, tell yourself “this is just a feeling, it’s not a fact ... just because I feel X doesn’t mean X is true, it’s just true that I am feeling X and breathe ...

Step Three:

Choose how you want to feel, what you want to do next and how you want to show up - then BE and DO what you have chosen. Revisit Step One often and Step Two as needed!

Whatever your story, wherever you are now, whatever has been before ... you are OK, you are perfect LOVE and you can experience this if you are willing to accept your magnificence and choose to live into WHO you are moment by moment, one loving breath at a time.

It’s really very simple ... but don’t mistake simple for easy. Sometimes simple is the hardest to do and yet, when you accept, surrender your resistance and simply choose to accept LOVE rather than fear ... well it starts to get pretty simple!

"The highest feeling is the experience of unity with All That Is.
This is the great return to Truth for which the soul yearns.
This is the feeling of perfect love."

Conversations With God Book 1: Neale Donald Walsch

29 January 2013

Whatever ...

Every year I choose a context for myself - the primary filter or framework I am consciously choosing to experience myself and my life from and within for the year. Whatever comes to mind first is what I choose ... and this year it was ... well ... "whatever ..."

I laughed!

How perfect for me for 2013 - year of whatever. Sitting with my choice I noticed I felt quite tickled by the possibilities of "whatever". If I am not attached to anything in particular, then whatever is perfect. So simple to see and say, so hard to do ...

"Whatever" is my shorthand for accepting that whatever is happening, is happening. It's about allowing, observing, noticing and being with whatever is already occurring. It doesn't mean I don't have a choice because I always have a choice. It does mean not attaching to my choice but rather letting myself BE with whatever is actually happening whether it looks/feels/is like my choice or not.

Mastering the moment-by-moment habit of accepting "whatever" is challenging to say the least. I am like a baby learning how to walk - I know I will become attached to particular outcomes and choices, expect things to happen in certain ways and feel a lot of things along the way. And whatever feelings arise, they too are just ... whatever!

What an exquisite paradox - letting things that are already happening, happen without needing to impose my conscious preference, expectation, desire or control on any moment while accepting that whatever is happening is my choice, my creation and it's perfect.

I know the value of support for me in my process on my journey so I invest in a range of things including daily exercise and fresh organic food, regular sessions with my healer/coach, daily meditation and time for me to "whatever".

Ultimately, simply BEING and accepting whatever produces inner and outer harmony and profound peace.

"He who lives in harmony with himself,
lives in harmony with the world."

Marcus Aurelius