Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Solo Concerto June 4, 2010

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So I was considering the impact of these two voices whirling through my head this morning as I sit here pondering what to write on my blog. First the tired voice – “I don’t know what to write; I’m too tired and can’t find anything to focus on.” And second the quiet sensible voice – “Just clear your head and start to write, something will emerge”. (Ironic, but understandable.) Pretty obvious which one is the more productive and useful, isn’t it? Nonetheless as we face our days, the choruses of voices inside our heads sing out their tunes in a steady stream. Mostly flying under the radar of our awareness; we are constantly giving ourselves messages through this ongoing dialogue of one. How we choose to heed their recommendations is a choice for our conscious awareness.

Obviously, I am not talking here about “hearing voices” in a pathological sense, and yet they can still be rather destructive in their own right.  But they can also be productive and useful or simply neutral in “weight”. We are constantly telling ourselves what we can do, what we should do, what we want to do. They tell us how to make meaning, how to act, how to react, how to behave and how to feel. Though sometimes given voice their work is often silent, unseen, unheard and even unnoticed by our own selves. Remarkable really when you think about it with your conscious mind, isn’t it? The impact of this self-talk is powerful and constant so why not work to focus their energy in a way that is productive for us?

Making conscious choices about which messages to heed and which to dismiss can have powerful consequences in our daily lives. So today I’m going to keep the message simple on this rather complex subject. And here it is – pay attention, listen carefully to the messages you are giving yourself, try to notice the things you say to yourself that uplift your spirit and focus your energy in a positive and productive direction. You are your own best guide and cheering section – let that group linger at the microphone to your consciousness and ask the undermining voices to quietly take their seats, their services are no longer needed here.

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Got Armor? March 9, 2010

There is a concept that we work with a lot in coaching which revolves around our “Inner Critic” or “Gremlins”. Intuitively we all know what that means. They are those voices inside our heads which are quick to chime in with their negative criticisms and self-defeating rants. None of us seem to be immune from their punishing voice, no matter how self-aware we may be. At times they are an active tribunal of punishing judges who deliver their harsh verdicts without ever giving us a chance at a fair trial and sometimes if you want to move forward you simply have to confront them.

The first step is recognizing the sound of their voice. At times it can be difficult to tease out the sound of your critic amongst the myriad of thoughts we may be having as they are masters of disguise, but it is possible. It requires a training of your inner ear to listen not just for the sound of our harshest critics but to the messages that they are spewing. If there is someone in there telling you “you can’t do it” no matter what “it” may be – likely we are on the trail of one of the little troublemakers. Adjusting your thought process to be aware of their presence is the key to vanquishing the little varmints.

How you choose to work with them is a whole other step entirely. You may use some creative visualization exercise to toss them away, or send them to bed. You may develop an inner armor to shield yourself from their negative blows. Or simply develop counter messages which you use to overpower the negative ones that they are tossing at you. Given the abstract nature of the entire conceptualization the only bounds here are those of your imagination. In my imagination the gremlins often take on the look of those “cold germs” in the pharmaceutical ads who meet their end when the subject takes whatever medication is being hawked in the advertisement. Whatever works for you, there are no limits.

The amazing thing is – that a simple mental exercise can have a pretty profound effect. Changing “the voices in your head” from those of a harsh personal critic to a supportive champion has a real impact. After all, even for those of us who are strongly impacted by those around us, we spend the most time listening to ourselves. So treat yourself with a little kindness, champion your own self and work toward recognizing and transforming the enemy within, you deserve it.

 

Shhh, don’t think, just listen… January 11, 2010

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Intuition;  is like any of the other senses. Often referred to as the “sixth sense”it  is just one of the many ways available to us to observe and interact with the world around us. Just as you know you are looking at a horse when one stands in front of you, intuition provides a sense of knowing and understanding that appears to be accessing information that is not readily available to our other senses.
For many of us, our intuition is easily accessed, providing a ready stream of information that feels as real and reliable as the information we get through our other senses of sight, hearing, etc. But for others it is almost completely inactive and unnoticed, unrecognized when it is at work and underutilized as the resource it is. Despite this, I do believe that it is present all the same, it just requires some concerted effort to access. For the folks that are less attuned to their own intuition, I believe that they just need a little extra help in tapping into it – like glasses or a hearing aid for this less tangible sense of intuition.
There is a lot of useful information out there about accessing your intuition, and I will talk more about this topic at a later date (because I believe it to be extremely important in creating a life that resonates with your true self) – but for now, I just want to start with what I believe is the first and most simple step: awareness. In order to hear what your intuition is telling you – you have to make a conscious effort to listen to it. It requires you to quiet your mind for a moment and to go a bit deeper into yourself so that you can “listen” to what it is telling you. You know when people ask you – “What does your gut, tell you?” or “What do you think in your heart-of-hearts?” That’s it. That’s all it is – it is that sense inside yourself of what your REALLY know.
The great thing is – the more you listen to it – the more you realize it has to tell you. So, I’ll be quiet for now – you take a moment to listen to what you are saying to yourself instead…