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Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Are You Hiding?


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Yes, you’re hiding something! & you know what? That’s okay. We all have private things (thoughts, stories, ideas, …) that we wouldn’t want to share. They could be dream-like nice fantasies; & they could be distressing memories, facts, or wounds that ignite your negative emotions when unleashed.

You may not be interested in playing “hide & seek” with what you hide. In fact, you may not want to seek to find what you’re hiding ever… That’s why you hide it to start with. But you know what? Whatever it is that you’re hiding comes to seek you every so often…. it remains there….

You can shove things under your memory carpet as you please. You can lock the doors to their accompanying emotions & throw the keys. And you can attempt to bury in the hollow their negative effects all you want to, but whatever you do, they’ll always find you & tease ….

They manifest themselves in multiple ways you don’t approve of, & seep out without your permission in no transient craze. It all stays; resulting in emotional eating, sleeping problem, and/or a bad habit that stays for long days…..

I often thought: “There are two types of wounds: Open wounds & closed ones. In human psyche, no closed wound is ever sealed tight enough.” ~ 3Ds

Some grow like a cyst causing so much pain. You leave it on its own hoping it heals. You put a plaster on it. You cover it up. You hide it. And it works sometimes to drain it out when it’s ready & ripe.

Still other cysts, & despite all attempts, just won’t recover. No attempt to hide & repair succeeds; & it all leaves you impaired with the manifestations compounding until you get scared.

Yes, open it up & dig for the roots. Get everything out & then slowly heal. What gets you cured is a surgical intervention. It may be unpleasant for a while, but is worth your intention….

It’s true you’ll get scarred, but aren’t we all… by far?

Can I tempt you to seek what you hide now? Come out, come out wherever you aaaaare…

Would you give your secret to just a trusted few? They’ll help you do the self-soothing later…

On your “Team” always: Your Personal Coach

          Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Makes You Move?


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Ever wondered what makes you move? What makes you take action or have a reaction? What drives the direction of your thinking or reflection? You may reply: “it’s other people, events, or situations” that move you….

Or you may reply that, in the end, it is only YOU who moves YOU best & you’re right! More specifically it’s your varied emotions that could numb you, or fuel you; even propel you to greater distances.

Such feelings as: joy, passion, content, guilt, anger, sadness disgust, shame, or pain… incite your moves, or leave you to slumber, sway, & saunter as if you’re walking in grooves with no shoes….

The direction you’re heading in would highly be guided by your thoughts and brain as if given free reign. These can lead you to recoil in a dark abyss, or soar high in the blue sky….

All wouldn’t be stopped; only substituted. “You can’t stop thinking & you can’t stop feeling. You can only replace one thought by another. Only then will you discover which feelings will hover” ~3Ds

All are interconnected, really…. Your emotions influence your thinking & vice versa; with the more powerful trigger being how you feel. Depending on the ordeal, you’ll be full of zeal (or not) to steer the wheel in any direction….

Succeed in changing one, & it will change the other…. & then you move, but it is you who would’ve set the direction, no? Not other people, not the events, nor the situations…. (Well, perhaps you’d want to experiment on how it feels if you surrender to these, every now & then…)

So who is it that you’ll allow to be in the driver’s seat in, what seems to be like, your endless “formula one” car race, Champ? They all compete to take turns & make their stamp, you know…

I just want to remind you of how many love you in case you don’t recall…. (attempting to stir up good feelings here J ) I see stickers of their names all over your “car”…. J

oh, & they’re cheerleading from afar….

So is your Personal Coach….

          Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Quickly Do You Forget?


 

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Isn’t it both a curse & a blessing how quickly you tend to forget? It’s a curse when you forget good memories; & certainly a blessing to forget hurtful ones. Oh well…. Life isn’t always like that; & at times, you fluctuate between forgetting what you want to remember & remembering what you want to forget.

You push those bad memories away, & like flashbacks, they jump back into your mind’s screen. Like a horror movie, they give you an adrenaline unpleasant rush & your stress hormones peak!! You drop the curtain on that movie screen, but then, somehow… somewhere… the show resumes on that screen…. & sometimes in slow motion to torture you further…

Does this happen to you often? If it does, you may beg to forget; Go great lengths to distract; Try any means to erase the facts. Nothing helps until you vent it out & accept that whatever happened did happen & that, now, you have to adapt. What you resist persists & it will haunt you till you surrender your thoughts against it.

Allow that memory to flow, to come & go. When you talk about it & accept that it’s in the past, you release any accompanying negative emotions. I’m not suggesting you admit that it’s right, nor to deny it all together; Only that it happened & it’s true. Now you need to deal with the facts, or simply live with it if you can’t change anything about it.

Let me share with you this: What bothers you most isn’t the bad memory. “It’s not the words…. It’s not the act…. It’s not what happens… It’s what it all MEANS” ~ 3Ds

So, perhaps to quickly forget, you need to accept it happened & then find a new meaning for the hurt. Now…. what could be a more empowering meaning to that bad memory? What do you need to learn from it? What do you need to do?

It’s all about taking charge after that. Take the wheel Captain… Never look back. There’s seldom anything new back there….

Where will your thoughts sail next? That would be the ultimatum of all your distractions …

Hear yee… Hear yeee: All on board!!! Ship is heading for a better tomorrow …

Only good thoughts iiiiin…..!!!

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Do You Build Your Habits?


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When you consider the many habits you have, you’ll be surprised at their number. Forming habits is adaptive as you become pre-wired; & this preserves your mental energy expenditure to tougher tasks requiring more focus.

Some habits are good; others are bad. Naturally, we’d want to create the good ones & get rid of those that don’t serve us well. It’s not very easy to do that. It requires, again, some mental energy expenditure & focus. Is the new habit worth that – you wonder?

If it is, & you’ve accumulated enough reasons to make the change, you need to know that forming habits changes your brain. Each time you perform an act (take exercise for instance), you form a neural wire of connections (I’ll spare you all the other neuroscientific details).

So when you repeatedly do that, the wires add up becoming like a thick cable with time. It’s been said that you need 21 consecutive days to kick in the new habit. This thickens the cable; & the act becomes automatic requiring less mental energy expenditure & focus.

Three more months, & your new habit will be well engrained. The reverse is true for eliminating bad habits. Their cable weakens each time you “don’t” perform the habit & trigger you no longer…. Don’t freak out if you regress. It’s normal & part of the change process.

“Adding up to what you already do, requires your giving up doing something. Finding the right substitutes to do, is also true, when you want to give up doing something.” ~3Ds

Think of it as practical math: add this & subtract that; multiply success & divide gratification on all. The functions of life areas are fraught with redundancy & perhaps it’s easier to learn than unlearn, right?

Do I see “Summer” resisting “Fall” these days? Oh well… the predictable seasonal cycle…. How different it is from your making STRIDES linearly forward….

Aren’t you glad it doesn’t take forever? On your marks!… Get set!… Let’s march on to wire that brain differently …

Oh, & don’t forget to bring in those good reasons with you… Cup cakes, anyone?

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Do You Do When You Err?


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I wrote a status – more like a metaphor – on Facebook the other day that said: “Some people dig a hole too deep, realize they can’t move up, & then keep digging deeper trying to find a way out…” The post was understood in two ways despite my adding: “Mistakes become graver eventually …. if you know what I mean….”

Some understood the metaphor as digging within one’s psyche to understand, to heal, or to develop & grow. Once you start plowing the field, you’d want to go further & further. You become either addicted, or entrapped. Many commented on the value of being supported by others along the process. That’s an insightful perspective to look at the process of digging indeed.

Others did connect the digging with making mistakes – which is what I was referring to at the moment. Many cover up a mistake by doing another & protecting the new mistake with yet another. Just like lying once; then covering the lie with more lies.

What I want to highlight, today, is the after-maths of making mistakes. How quickly to you admit those mistakes? How soon do you learn from them? Consider, especially, the biggies – the ones with graver ecological ramifications. Do you persist in denying you’ve done wrong? Or do you change course, apologize to those afflicted, & start a new?

“When you err, there’s always a way to be proud: too proud to admit your mistake, or proud enough to admit having done one.” ~3Ds

You’re not expected to make none. You’re only human not an ostrich who can dig its head in the ground pretending to be safe. You know that’s an illusion…

So what kind of proud do you usually choose? Do you dig further down? That’s hardly the best idea. The antidotes of making a mistake are learning from it, words spoken to rectify, & new actions to proceed (like digging in a new direction). You can always dig diagonally back up, don’t you?

Don’t be too proud to recruit assistance either… Be selective where you dig deeper…

Need a rope? a ladder? or a shovel to arrive & thrive?

Considering the best case scenario always….

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your Mind Gym – How Do You Deal With Bad News?


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Those bad news we receive…. eh, part of daily living…. Giving you one big blow or small in effect, but coming in bundles from everywhere. And you’re tempted to say: “Dear bad news, would you please slow down? I’m in the middle of something here….” Bad news can get you down, make you disoriented, or even stop you from normal living….

But if you stop in the middle of the road, you’re likely to be run over. It’s better if you planned the “pause” aside to assimilate, to digest, & to deal with those bad news. On the side…. not in the middle of the road…..

It certainly helps to have chunks of time to yourself to think things over, to experience your negative emotions, & to plan ahead what you will do (in light of the bad news). Meanwhile, one way to cope is to resume your normal living. Other people you’re committed to don’t have to pay the price with you & the whole worls doesn’t have to know – just a selected few.

In doing that, it’s a good idea to adopt the motto of “In the middle of my many obligations, I can’t depress about sad things any time. I’ll assign the right time for that at my earliest convenience.” ~ 3Ds

Then test yourself, challenge yourself, & stretch yourself to do what you think is impossible under your current state, or circumstance. There’s always time to sit on your own & resolve that “unfinished business”. MAKE the time for it if you need.

Only then, will you realize your true strength. Only then, will you realize your true potentials. Only then, will you be even more proud.

There’s a “mask” I call “alright pretense”. This is the time to wear it until you’re in solitude….

So go on …. smile to the world… In your privacy aside, you can face those bad news with no mask; & even give them a spank!!

Sob, or weep. Turn the page, & start over another day (with a smile)…. Then allow for those chunks of time as much as you need… On the side that is…

Need a tissue before I leave?

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – What Do You Regret?


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Regrets…. You’re lucky if you have none; Burdened if you have some; Left completely numb when from multiple sources they come.

Some people avoid feeling “regret” at all costs. They may end up not making any move & drop taking any initiative. Those are prone to stagnate. There are others who just “go for it”… no calculations; No measures for ramifications…. And then, there are those who take calculated risks. & with a lion’s heart, take a leap of faith & hope for the best…

Which category do you best fit? Most people are careful when they make major life shifts. They do all the required math, consider the pros & cons of the new situation, and then make their choice. But what if the results were nothing like their anticipation, or the calculated equation!!?

Naturally, they fall into regret & whip themselves into frenzy with blame, self-loathing, & shame. In retrospect, they forget all the reasons for making their choices when most of these were valid at that time…. It’s true, they could have missed some basic ingredients, but can they, now, undo the past?

“what’s done is done & we cannot easily rectify our earlier choices. We still have today, & all of tomorrows, to ensure being in better places.” ~3Ds

And perhaps you don’t see some ingredients today, just as you didn’t yesterday. More pleasant surprises in your resulting circumstances can be coming your way. All that is required, now, is to decorate your thoughts with FAITH. It never goes out of fashion.

Can you search for the good in what you currently have? Ahhh… those “blind spots” you don’t always see…. but I can detect glipmses swirling about in the unseen….

Need my “torch light”?

Your Personal Coach

Dania

Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Do You Face Uncertainty?


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Uncertain times come knocking on your door sometimes; and threats to major life components just barge in at other times …

It’s, perhaps, this uncertainty that mostly induces anxiety and distress over what can come next. “How will the future be like?” you wonder.

When what’s coming next seems so unsure, and you feel so insecure, you may consider only two options:
– Wait for things to happen and then respond to accommodate. Get stressed in anticipation meanwhile….
– Or keep planning your life as before , do what you’re used to doing, and deny that external powerful circumstances may eventually lead you to a dark place.

But wait…. there’s a third alternative to go about it. Consider the “waiting time” a chance to do what you never had the time to do before the overwhelming uncertainty barged in. To feel more in control, change anticipation into having plan “A”, “B”, “C”,… Build walls of defense to combat incipient feelings of stress. And affiliate with those facing similar uncertainty, or ask for assistance.

“When excessive uncertainty seems to rule, it’s no use to wait, or deny its existence. It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate resistance” ~3Ds

And then …. with uncertainty comes change. How do you know that this change will be to the worse after all? You may be surprised when you find yourself, eventually, in a better place. Yes, it happens…

Forks in the road teach us how to gallop. Sticks in the wheels teach us how to fly….

Some enjoy and even seek gravity resistance….

Trampolining with you 😉 Eeeee-Haaaaa!

Your Personal Coach

Dania

“Back to School”: Parental Tips for a Great Start!


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It’s school time again! It’s a time for a lot of preparations; a change to a more organized routine; an exciting time for many kids; and perhaps a stressful period for some parents and even some children. It could be a challenging task, at first, for kids to switch gears from a fun filled vacation to school learning again, but parents can play a major role in getting their children prepared for yet another milestone in their developmental journey. i have addressed many questions parents have at the beginning of yet another academic year for “Parenting Family Magazine”. Keep reading if you’re interested.

How can parents motivate their kids about school beginning again?

After a long summer vacation, kids need to be “psyched” up to get back in the “zone” of learning and academic achievement. They need to re-adjust to new sleeping times, meals, and, all in all fit back, to a more structured life style. It’s not surprising to find many kids resenting the start of school again. Parents may need to have a planned talk about the benefits of going back to school and bring to the spotlight the good things about schooling. Parents can emphasize to their kids:

–          Going up one level and becoming closer to being adults.

–          New learning experiences and knowledge that increases their information tank.

–          How their brains are developing and becoming more efficient to analyze and store information.

–          The privilege they have compared to those who cannot afford a good education.

–          Having new teachers and making new friends.

–          Events to look forward to, like: science fairs, competition, dances or shows, etc…

–          Getting organized again (and make setting structures for the new routines more like a game).

–          Still having some time to play and have fun in allocated times.

But kids will have less free time. How can parents overcome the kids’ nagging to have “play time”?

It’s true that kids get very restricted with respect to “play time” – which is one of their basic needs – but parents can make the new phase more interesting by engaging their kids in doing things that seem like play whenever there’s a chance. Parents can normalize the “school time” phase as part of life by talking more about the benefits mentioned before. They can, also, get more engaged with their kids and stress things like:

–          Buying new school goodies with the child (e.g. bag, lunch box, stationery, etc…). Take the child to actually choose and buy the necessities.

–          Spread the new school supplies in the child’s working area and make it exciting to use these in variations to initially help kids be back on track as they do their homework.

–          In the mornings, do a friendly race between them and you, or other siblings on getting ready. Whoever wins gets extra “play time” or other rewards. Make mornings fun.

–          Dangle the carrot always for “play time” (i.e. specify breaks after finishing up some assignments).

–          Get them involved in school activities if available, or other outside school activities.

–          Teach them how to make new friends and participate in dong that by inviting friends over to the house, or other activities.

–          Stress that there will be short breaks and vacations, in time, to catch up with more free or “play time”; and plan special activities for those periods.

Aren’t school routines boring and restrictive to kids?

Not all routines are bad; and of course kids will complain at first, but deep inside you’ll find them settling down after a somewhat chaotic summers. For children, having a clear routine to follow enables them have structure in their lives; and that in and of itself is beneficial to both parent and child. It helps set a platform of better control and certainty of what’s coming next, without which stress may ensue. Parents, therefore, need to set expectations for the new timing of different activities; and from the beginning be clear on the new seasonal routines, like: meals, bed time, study hours, play hours, activities, and weekend schedules.

How can parents comfort anxious kids about school starting again?

Yes, not all kids are excited about a new school year especially first timers and those with parental attachment issues. It’s all about parents gradually letting go; and kids gradually feeling secure again in a new environment. Children can explicitly state their reluctance to go, or implicitly convey that anxiety (e.g. being tearful, becoming sick with stomach ache or headache). Parents need to:

–          Encourage having an open dialogue with their kids and calm their worries by talking it out and giving assurances.

–          Ask kids what would help them be more relaxed and secure.

–          Boost their confidence that they will manage on their own at school.

–          Demonstrate actually being there for the kids at promised times both at school and at home until they ease up.

–          Discuss with kids good things that happened in school upon their return.

Sleep regulation may be the toughest to handle. What are the recommendations for healthy sleep patterns?

It would be ideal for parents to shift the sleeping clock gradually before school starts to avoid any shock to their biological system. During school times, weekends should not be set free of the time restriction. A delay of one hour can be acceptable, but not more or else, the child will have cranky feeling on Mondays. Few tips about that may be:

–          For younger kids, an hour to unwind and get ready to bed is needed (i.e. to give time to shower, get dressed, bed-time story, etc….).

–          Pre-school and elementary students need an average of 12 hours sleep a day.

–          Teenagers and high-schoolers need an average of 8 hours sleep a day, but end up falling short of that due to assignments and exams.

–          Keep stressing how mood and academic performance get negatively affected with sleep deprivation.

How involved should parents be with their kids’ finalizing their homework?

Well, that depends on the child’s age. Parents get very involved perhaps till grade 5 after which they need to start letting go gradually. Children need to learn to take initiative and responsibility in doing their own homework without aid. Parents may remain a “point of reference” at all times and only when necessary. Some parents do more harm than good by being over-involved in finalizing their child’s work. Over-involvement results in the child being dependent on others when what the child really needs is to become progressively autonomous and build their confidence. Up until grade seven, parents may need to check on their child’s work daily; after which just the physical presence of the parent can be of great help to monitor progress from a distance. Even if kids become independent in doing their school work, it’s better if parents maintained daily interest and inquired about any challenges, deadlines, and other concerns.

Are there any other tips to make it a great new school year?

School beginning again can be physically and psychologically taxing for parents. Parents can become edgy and overwhelmed by too many preparations. If parents forget to attend to their own needs, they cannot expend the energy required to guide and relax their kids. It’s not about being physically present around the kids. It’s about the quality time spent with those kids. Quality time entails:

–          Maintain the channel of communication open (avoid dictating orders and advice giving all the time).

–          Encourage kids to think of solutions for their problems

–          Do fun activities even in the confinements of the home.

–          Show care, love, and praise their good qualities

Simple things like these require a clear mind and a lot of energy. Parents need to make sure to allow themselves the time to relax and “recharge their batteries”. This helps them satisfy their kids’ needs. A stressed out parent results in a stressed out kid. If parents keep boosting the child’s confidence in his/her abilities, the child will definitely succeed as adult. Isn’t that what all parents aspire for their children?

Time for Your “Mind Gym” – How Do You Face Failure?


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Success & failure are flip sides of the same coin. When you succeed, it’s like a dream come true. You rejoice. You’re thrilled to do more. You’re happy.

When you fail, & you do interpret not reaching your dream as “failure”, then you become discouraged, sad, & may consider giving up your dream, right?

But what if you re-frame that “failure” into a learning lesson of what does not work. This is what Thomas Edison did as he attempted to invent the light bulb some 10,000 times. Each time it wouldn’t work & he’d try again differently until he succeeded!!

Had Edison given up, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the luxury of electricity. Same thing goes for whatever you really aspire to do especially tough endeavors. You need to be aggressive at getting it right.

When things don’t turn out as you want them to, you certainly need to change your strategy. If you keep doing the same thing in the same way every time, you’ll get the same results each time.

So, “If success isn’t there when you show up the first time, keep showing up differently till it’s there. Eventually it’ll get bored of its hiding.” ~3Ds

Got the trick? Cshange your sad mask … Shrug your shoulders & say “oh, well… I’ll try something new”… Better yet, roar when you face a disappointment saying “I’ll fare better next time”….

The sky is definitely not the limit to what you can do when the world “failure” ceases to exist in your dictionary!

Some 10,000 reasons can be found for succeeding if you really want to …

Start counting…. The “hows” are just around the corner. Yeeee-haaa!! 🙂

Your Personal Coach

Dania

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